Scaling Back Movement at the World Map Level
The goals for the Dance of Death v0.6 release revolve predominantly around world generation, wilderness generation, and integrating these radically new features into the existing game. No small task, by any means, which is why I have devoted an entire version to this set of features, and also why I have made the decision to scale back on three non-essential items:
- 4. Ability to move between a wilderness area and the world map.
- 5. Moving at the world map level.
- 6. Entering a wilderness area from the world map.
These features outline a system that might make its way into Dance of Death down the line, but would be unwisely added for this release: movement at the world map level.
While I have mixed feelings about “fast travel” mechanics at large (take the immersion of traveling by foot in Morrowind vs. fast travel in Oblivion, for example), two of the major influences for Dance of Death, ADOM and UnReal World, feature world-level movement, and it serves them well to traverse large spans of wilderness painlessly. I have decided to put this feature on hold for the time being not only to ensure a timely release, but also to move in more discrete, deliberate steps from one release to the next, first getting a feeling and feedback for the basic world map integration. Scaling back on this particular feature will also make space for a number of unplanned features in the goals, two of which might be (not set on these yet) town generation and basic NPCs.
I have my work cut out for me with implementing and integrating wilderness generation and reworking the quest system, the former which is underway and the second which I am yet to start. Despite a small development break due to vacation and work, progress is steady towards the 0.6 release. I am very pleased with the world generator so far; here’s an example of the islands the world generator is putting together.
I have also been toying with the idea of releasing 0.6 at the September 20th ARRP (Annual Roguelike Release Party). A feature-heavy release such as this one may be better served by a flexible release date, but I may not be able to pass up the opportunity to participate in the ARRP!
First off, you’ve definitely succeeded in making an accessible and intuitive Roguelike, so thanks for that alone.
It’s great to see an active blog for a game currently being developed. I always seem to find out about such things after the final version is released, so this is a pleasant change. Always interesting to see the process of game development.
Good luck with ARRP if you decide to release then. I’m sure I’m not the only one looking forward to seeing 0.6
Thanks for the kind words, Kast!
“UX”, user experience, is a central focus of most interactive design, especially web design, but it seems like games are lagging behind in this regard, especially roguelikes. User interface is not the only part of the user experience, of course, but it’s a large one, and an intuitive, modern interface has been one of the main focuses for Dance of Death; in fact, I already have some plans to further streamline it in a version or two, once more features are implemented.
It is a bit of a challenge maintaining the blog, since most of my time goes towards development, but it is definitely worth it. Twitter works well for short, succinct updates, but the blog definitely provides more details around the development and is also a great aid in helping to organize my thoughts about the game.
The September ARRP is fast approaching, but I am working steadily towards it! I will be making an official entry into it soon.
Thanks again for the encouragement.