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Sat, Dec 8th 2012, 05:14
Throwing A Fit  

This week was spent making background changes to some item subsystems and implementing a new type of item.

Throwing Weapons

While it has been possible to throw items via the Heave trait for a quite a while, I decided it would be worth adding a dedicated class of throwable weapons. Enter boomerangs. And shurikens. And, yes, even bombs. These fill the previous void of consumable, offensive items; consumable recovery (food) and utility (potions) items are already well established.

Because thrown weapons are generated (using materials and quality levels) like equipment, the way an item's throwing starts are calculated needed to be changed. This was a great opportunity to try a new approach to stat calculation that I've been wanting to use. So, the throwing stats were set up using the new system. It worked exactly as intended (yay!) and I went ahead and added it for equippable items as well.

Old Stat Approach -- Some lazy thing I did at a gamejam

Previously, items derived their stats by multiplying the different factors of their components (quality, material, etc) together to get a composite value. This works well enough for easily adding a lot of variety to items, but it also produced a lot of "underpowered" items. This is undesirable. Junk items should be bad because they don't fit a player's needs / build / playstyle, not because they are numerically inferior. So, rather than just adjusting the component values to create a glut of bland, "balanced" items, the entire system was rebuilt.

New Stat Approach -- Items as Unit Vectors (Sort of)

Individual components are now looked at as a whole and weighted according to what they provide. Then the component weights are combined to create a set of percentages that make up the item as a whole. These percentages are then multiplied by a stat-specific scale, yielding the final value.

The end result is that items of a given quality will always be on par with other items of the same quality (even if the specific distribution of values isn't useful to the player). In a game that revolves around maximizing the quality of items you receive, this consistency is crucial. Without it, the player's success is simply too random.


Fri, Nov 30th 2012, 23:10
The Story So Far  

A while back, I started working on a simple game with some RPG elements. It was dubbed Roguelite (working title) and I whipped up a quick prototype:

Since then, I have been slowly improving on it and putting some meat on its bones. I even have proof! Here is a screen from the latest version:

While it looks largely the same, there's a quite a bit more going on there. Not exhaustively and in no particular order:
  • Quests
  • Traits
  • Time
  • Status Effects
  • Scenic Locations
  • More of.. everything!
There's still a lot of work yet to be done, but it's getting there. So let's touch briefly on the game itself and why I think it's interesting.

The Standard Stuff: You are a hero. You kill monsters. You collect items. The difficulty increases over the course of the game. The quality of items increases to compensate for the increasing difficulty.

Important Details: You have limited recovery options while out adventuring, but returning to town will completely restore your character and items to top condition. Inevitably, you must return to town to avoid death.

The Big Wrinkle: Returning to town also permanently lowers the quality of items that you find (by a small amount). Take too many trips to town and you will find the monsters are outpacing your equipment and you will die. This press-your-luck arrangement exploits your greed and forces you to play outside of your comfort zone. "Can you survive another battle? What if it's a werewolf? Or a dragon?" Also, there is permadeath.

So that's it in a nutshell. Future posts will address new additions, improvements, existing features that were un(der)explored in this post, and just be more detail-centric in general.


Tue, Nov 27th 2012, 20:48
In the Navy  

Ben McGraw recently posted about reviving an old blog Pact. I have elected, against my better judgment, to participate in said Pact.

Posting will commence with a brief summary of my current project, Roguelite, and continue with weekly updates on its progress until release.