Sunday 19 February 2012

Not the key

This opinion piece on the Zelda series elegantly summarises why I don't think a 'procedural Zelda' will ever be interesting.

Tuesday 14 February 2012

Interview with David Ploog

If you're at all interested in game design, you should listen to David Ploog (former lead designer of Dungeon Crawl: Stone Soup) get interviewed by the Roguelike Radio team.

Sunday 12 February 2012

To do list

You might note that my to do list is progressing very slowly - at least the public face of that list (Unangband development, blogging) has virtually stalled. I've got two very good reasons, plus I'm back working full time with a long commute.

I've mentioned previously that my OS X laptop was running Tiger. No longer, I've upgraded to Leopard - anything newer felt a little risky.

Given the amount of software I now have access to, it feels like a new machine. So I've taken advantage of being able to run Steam natively, and started playing some games in the comfort of the living room.

As a result: I've beaten Mom's Heart in the Binding of Isaac. The Book of Shadows and Virus together feels like cheating - even more so when I had every stat at maximum. Isaac, however, is one of those games which you need at least one ability which fulfils that requirement in order to get anywhere.

Unfortunately, you won't be able to follow my progress, as the OS X version of Isaac doesn't support achievements. This is probably a good thing, as I may be taking advantage of the slow down running it on older hardware ... [Edit: Apparently I can transfer the save file over to Windows to get the achievements. Hmm...]

Next on the list is fixing a bug which has made the current Angband competition featuring Unangband a lot less interesting than it should be.

Thursday 9 February 2012

New poll 'How do you handle errors?'

Just put a quick poll up for roguelike developers out there: how do you handle error conditions in your code?

(Inspired by this discussion, which you should read after you vote).

Friday 3 February 2012

Fast Pathfinding via Symmetry Breaking

This paper at AI Game Dev has immediate and natural application to roguelikes, and uses a number of techniques I've not seen discussed elsewhere. The headline quote is 'up to 30 times improvement on A*'.

I can see RSR being extended for Dijkstra maps, by storing the map cost at each rectangle corner, instead of every grid, and interpolating if required. (Paging Pender).