Monday, August 29, 2011

Barricaded Doors

Miscellany today:

In SpaceRL, I added barricaded doors that can only be opened from one side. With these, the level generator can control the order in which the player encounters rooms in the spaceship, while allowing the player to subsequently take shortcuts across the level.

I also added a slight refinement to the way the level generator places doors. It first creates the ship's original door layout, then replaces some of those doors with barricaded or broken doors to restrict the player's travel path. Previously it was only doing one pass to establish the connectivity of the ship's rooms. With this algorithm there is a slight bit of history implied in the level, as you can see the ship's original symmetric, non-maze door layout underneath the current restricted connectivity.

Separately from this I've been experimenting with learning Javascript. It's not that bad of a language, so far. I had a C program I wrote with a friend many years ago to generate random RPG names; it was designed to be run on a web server to generate a web page. Hardly anybody does things this way any more. As an exercise I rewrote it in Javascript; the server only has to serve up the page and the client's browser does the rest. It's around 10 KB, most of which goes into the word lists. Unfortunately none of the free Google things (Blogger, Sites) are good for serving up Javascript so I can't easily demonstrate. Maybe it's time to get my own domain and hosting again.

I logged into Facebook (as I do every other month or so) and discovered that Chad Jones, an artist with whom I worked on two games over the course of four years, has written an e-book about his last decade-plus of experience working in the games industry. It's a dollar and a good read, especially for anyone thinking about going into games. It's available for Kindle and Nook. The book's called “Laid Off” which in boxed games development is the usual disincentive for shipping a product.


Akhier the Dragon Hearted said...

For quick webpages I use:
it might work for what you want. Also it lets you log on with Facebook so no new login to remember.

James McNeill said...

Interesting site; thanks for the link!

My friend Tom posted the file for me, so if you want to see the Javascript, view the source on this:

Akhier the Dragon Hearted said...

Your welcome, always glad to help where I can. As for the name generator some of the results are pure gold. "Dagger of Formal Criticism", sounds like a magic dagger that would constantly critique you on your combat abilities.

Mark said...

Would it be worth it to allow the player to barricade doors as well? Might add an entirely different mechanic to the game.

James McNeill said...

Yes, I've been mulling that over. Allowing players to modify the environment should make it more engaging.

Maybe stir in some tower-defense mechanics... have waves of enemies with a breather in between to arrange defenses.