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Happy Dungeon – Week 2

Continuing my XNA roguelike project into week two, I've had time to decide what I want to produce and how I'm going to do it.

Step 2 - Hello world!

Week 2, step 2 - complete

This week I spent most of my time researching Roguelikes, probably a bad idea but there you go. For step two you're supposed to "Prepare your programming environment". The step ends by saying "Write a simple 'Hello world!' program and test whether it works."; see XNA 4.0 - Tutorial 1 - Fonts for my hello world 😉

I'm going to do this in XNA and use the standard Game State Manager as a start point because that's what it's for. I'm also going to use Bitbucket by Atlassian & TortoiseHg as my DVCS, you can find tutorials for both of these on their own sites. This will be a PC only game I have no interest in porting Happy Dungeon to the Xbox360, Linux or Macintosh.

Each week I'll publish an installer for the project so far, I plan to do this using the publish feature in VS2010 so if you have an old version of the game it should auto-update if there is a new version. This should take care of dependency issues as well.  You can find the link to the install at the end of the page after screenshot of the week. At the end of the project I'll open source the code base for people to play with, don't expect the code to be amazing, I'm not aiming for the most elegant code I just want it to do the job.

For people who don't understand what goes into a roguelike here is an overview of what I'm aiming to produce at the moment :-

User interface

  • Character display
    Traditionally roguelike games display as ASCII, so I intend to use XNA' Sprite Font Texture, if in the future a switch to sprites is required it will be a simple matter of replacing this binary with one that has the sprites in the place of the characters.
  • Narrated action
    Short text descriptions are given for almost all game events except ordinary movement.
  • Front-loaded commands
    The player has knowledge of and access to all commands at the start of the game, often long before acquiring the objects or powers that make the command useful.
  • Keyboard based interaction
    The keyboard is the traditional way to interact with the game world, as it provides the quickest way to access the several commands that a Roguelike may have.

Game World

  • Random world generation
    All of the world is going to be generated using a random algorithm;  but saved between levels, so the player can move up and down the dungeon this is made for the sake of replayability, thus every gaming session is unique.
  • Spatial consistency
    All the actions happen in the same screen. No warping to fight scenes or minigames on a different reality.
  • Little storyline
    A gripping plot is not typically the selling point of any roguelike.  To start out Happy Dungeon will have no plot, I want it to be sort of a coffeebreak roguelike
  • World interaction
    No objects lie as an adornment in the world; They all will have a use in the game.
  • Setting
    At this point I'm thinking the game world will be sort of a traditional D&D setting.

Game Mechanics

  • Grid-based motion
    All objects, monsters, players, terrain, dungeon features, etc. are restricted to the grid.
  • Permadeath
    Once your character dies your savefile should be deleted.
  • Freedom
    You can roam freely or look for the final game goal, so a proper sandbox.
  • Turn-based
    The time freezes in order to make the best of decisions when time comes.
  • Dungeon hack
    Your goal is to kill monsters and find powerful treasures in order to kill stronger ones and repeat the process.
  • Tactical single character play
    The unit of action is based on the individual adventurer.

 Screenshot of the week

Nothing much happening for the first week, but I have a  working project 🙂


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