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Once upon a beginning…

January 28th, 2009

Hi, and welcome to “The Adventures of a Newbie Roguelike Dev”, a weblog featuring articles from a beginning game designer. I call myself a newbie because my programming skills are very poor – I have no knowledge of pointers, file-handling or OOP and have yet to implement basic game mechanics like AI, pathfinding and items. However, I have released a game, and quite a fun one at that, in spite of its simplicity (or maybe because of that). It’s called Gruesome, and you can find it here. Give it a quick try – you might just like it.

This blog will sporadically feature update and development notices about this game and others I have planned, but more importantly I intend to write a few articles about my experiences in taking up programming and game design. Aspiring developers may find it a source of inspiration, or maybe even a warning of what not to do. Experienced developers may find it a fresh take on conventional ideas. Overall though I hope it’s simply enjoyable to read, as I try to tread lightly past the hazardous pitfalls every developer must face: bugs, procrastination and over-ambition.

  1. December 17th, 2009 at 09:27 | #1

    Great freaking idea – haven’t played it yet but I love the concept.

  2. Jonathan
    April 16th, 2009 at 18:06 | #2

    When I run this on my Mac, this takes up 100% of the CPU waiting for keys to be pressed. I’m pretty unfamiliar with pascal, but it seems if you comment out line 1733 “repeat until KeyPressed;” then the game still works and doesn’t waste CPU cycles.

  3. Ash
    March 4th, 2009 at 12:03 | #3

    Ok then:) waiting for new versions (hope they’ll come soon)!

  4. March 4th, 2009 at 07:09 | #4

    I know of the Valkyrie library, but have no real reason to use it at the moment. Maybe in future if I want to add things like sound or fancier text I’ll give it a try.

  5. Ash
    March 4th, 2009 at 04:24 | #5

    @Joe Larson
    Yep, Free Pascal.

    you can use the same library for your RL, that was used in DoomRL and others:

  6. March 3rd, 2009 at 17:54 | #6

    @Ash DoomRL was Pascal? Well slap me and call me blur.

  7. Ash
    March 1st, 2009 at 03:35 | #7

    @Joe Larson
    You didn’t play DoomRL, BerserkRL or AliensRL???

  8. February 28th, 2009 at 16:32 | #8

    No, yeah, nothing against Pascal, I just haven’t seen a program written in it in years.

    I’ve got about a million ideas for this game, if I were doing it. Been playing it a ton, actually. (Just deleted it this morning so that I’d get work done on my own game.) Shadow balled 3 adventures at once one time. That was pretty cool.

    I thought one thing that might make the game more zork like is to have lighted areas and adventurers criss-crossing the area trying to grab treasure from one location and stash in in their own, making it like a sort of red-rover where you’re trying to catch the adventures while they cross the dark. There’s only one lamp and when an adventure has it you’re stuck, but they’ll drop it to pick up treasure. Then maybe occasionally two will work together, one carrying the lamp while the other shuttles treasure, and you’re only hope then it to bait the lap carrier with treasure in their path, so that they’ll drop the lamp.

    Great game.

  9. Ash
    February 25th, 2009 at 09:50 | #9

    Allright! Keep using Pascal for it, it’s good enough for RL. I did my own RL too, so, if you need some help just ask.

  10. February 23rd, 2009 at 07:54 | #10

    @Joe Larson
    Haven’t a clue about the RSS feed – I just went with the WordPress defaults. Getting your own domain and blog up doesn’t take much effort, and they’re nice to have in the long-term. Should probably spend more time working on the game than fiddling with blog software though!

    I know there’s a lot to be improved in the game, and I do have a decent design plan scribbled on some bits of paper. For now I’m just happy to have a working prototype, and will try and work on improving things as time allows. Also, lurking near an adventurer may not be the same as attacking him with ShadowBall – there’s nuances to the game you may not have discovered ;)

    As for my choice of Pascal, it’s partly because I learned a bit of Turbo Pascal whilst in school 9 years ago. When I decided I wanted to write a roguelike I checked out some threads on RGRD and “Free Pascal” came up – it seemed perfect. The syntax is all extremely easy to read (much more akin to pseudocode than C’s jargon-bloated code) and it’s fully OOP with native support for dynamics arrays etc; it’s a really powerful and fast language and is also multi-platform. I heartilly recommend it for anyone new to programming – all the functions you need without having to learn mysterious terms. Maybe not so good for serious programmers that need to know all the mysterious stuff though :)

  11. February 23rd, 2009 at 07:44 | #11

    I’ve learned almost entirely from experimentation. Makes me dumb, but by god it’s fun :) At some point I might start reading some real resources on how to program and some specific roguelike articles, but at the moment I find them very difficult to follow.

  12. February 21st, 2009 at 08:26 | #12

    Since you moderate your commentates this seems like a good place to contact you. Did you do anything to your RSS feed? I can’t get mind to display more than 3 lines. How’d you do that?

  13. February 21st, 2009 at 08:14 | #13

    What a great idea for a game. I love it.

    I must say I’m impressed. A domain name and a blog for this little project. I would have just started a forum post somewhere. For a guy who claims he’s not a programmer, you’ve got more than a little tech savvy in ya.

    There’s a lot that could be improved with this game. For one thing, lurking near and adventure getting close enough to cast your shadow ball are practically the same action. Perhaps change the pattern of the shadow ball.

    Sorry, I’m not even here a minute and I’m offering suggestions on your prototype.

    Pascal, an interesting choice for a language. What motivated that?

  14. Russ
    February 20th, 2009 at 17:12 | #14

    Great idea! :D

  15. PoisonedV
    February 17th, 2009 at 16:09 | #15

    Also, where did you learn programming? Most sources from where I have been learning it cover that stuff

  16. PoisonedV
    February 17th, 2009 at 16:08 | #16

    Good luck.

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