A roguelike game inspired by the literature of Jorge Borges, Umberto Eco & Neal Stephenson, and the games Europa Universalis and Dark Souls. URR aims to explore several philosophical and sociological issues that both arose during the sixteenth and seventeenth century (when the game is approximately set), and in the present day, whilst almost being a deep, complex and highly challenging roguelike. It explores questions of philosophical idealism, cryptography, linguistics and the writing and formation of the historical record, and will challenge players to hopefully think in ways and about themes that are rarely touched upon by games.

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5 comments by UltimaRatioRegum on Jun 21st, 2015

Clothes as Items, and Inventory Changes

Clothes have now been transported out of the file I use for working on the game’s graphics and added into the game itself, and turned into items (with a horrifyingly large number of variables – it took me much longer to integrate them than I expected). When you look at an item of clothing, it tells you nothing except the quality of the tailoring – “ornate”, “well-made” or “poorly made” – and what type of thing it is – “shirt”, “pair of trousers”, etc, and tells you nothing about the nation it is from, as that’s part of the learning/discovery process. Along side this implementation, the inventory system has been changed. Previously there were different keys for each action, so one would press ‘d’ to ‘drop’, ‘D’ to ‘drop several’, ‘t’ to throw’, and so forth; they’d then bring up your inventory, you’d select the item you wanted to perform the action with, and go ahead and do it. However, this meant you only saw the picture of the item when you pressed ‘i’ to simply look at your inventory, and that meant the images were (to an extent) being wasted. I’ve now changed it so that there are only two inventory functions: ‘i’ brings up your inventory, and ‘D’ allows you to drop many items at once (without looking at them). When you now press ‘i’, therefore, and choose an item, a line of text at the bottom of that item lists everything you can do with that item, so you always get to see the graphics, and the range of possibilities for each item is made a lot clearer (so things you can wear, or things you can use in some way, or eat, or whatever). I think this is a lot better, makes more use of the graphics, and tidies up the UI a little (given how many roguelikes use every damned letter on the keyboard). An example of a piece of clothing currently un-worn, and one being worn:


Character look-up

The look-up window for any character (player or NPC) has now been significantly changed and upgraded, and faces have also been moved out of the graphical-testing file and fully integrated into the game’s code. The first page currently shows the face of the NPC you’re looking at (or your own), and lists everything that person is currently wearing (which is visible; rings are “invisible” if they have gauntlets/gloves). The second page will soon show health, but I’m still working (yet again!) on thinking through how health is going to work, so we’ll have to see, and for now it has been removed (and will probably stay removed for 0.8 unless I finally figure out how health will work, even though I know how combat is going to work). So here’s a shot of me (without a first name, so the name up there is my family name), and this time I happened to be in the “scarification” civ. You’ll also notice I’ve made all eyes into a light grey instead of white! The reduced contrast is far less jarring.


Browsing clothes

The coolest thing about the new look-up? You can now hit Enter and browse through all the things a character is wearing, using the arrow keys. As you move around the “grid” of things the character has on them, each image then appears on the right-hand side (the first time the right side of the screen has ever been specially used!). For now, therefore, you can look over the upper- and lower-body garments, and boots, but I’ll be working on all non-armour garments in this release, meaning that we’ll be adding gloves, and probably cloaks too, but armour will come next time, and necklaces and rings will come… whenever. Either way, here are some nice illustrative screenshots of this! (With some placeholder first names and surnames…)




NPCs are now spawning

This speaks for itself, really, given the above screenshot. They don’t move, think, react, converse or do anything yet, but they are there, and the game can handle them and draw them correctly, and the player can ‘l’ook at them and browse what they’re wearing. My objective for this coming week before the IRDC is to really crunch and try to get crowd mechanics working to the point that NPCs will spawn and despawn out of the player’s line of sight. As for line of sight and field of view, there’s something cool on that point later down this entry…

Genetics, Culture, etc

I’m pleased to say (and one might extrapolate this from the integration of the facial images) that we’ve now got a model for genetics and cultures spreading around the globe. Genetically the game now chooses large chunks of land for eye and hair colours (they bleed out around the edge, but these screenshots show only the dominant colour in each region; equally, although these are very geometric and unsmooth, that doesn’t ultimately matter, since populations of NPCs in-game will always blend and travel). The first picture shows eye colour variation, the second hair colour, in a generated world:

As for how these work for individual NPCs, basically, each nation has a “core” set of values for their skin tones, eye colour, etc, and that’s based on what values are present in their capital city specifically. Equally, they can also spawn NPCs who might have been born hundreds of miles from the capital, but are still within the same nation. The further you get from a nation’s capital, therefore, the more and more people you’ll see who are born according to the demographics of that particular area, and the closer you get to the capital, the more you’ll see people who look like the people of that capital city. Cultural norms will be maintained however far you go – so people in the capital and a distant colony have the same hairstyles – but visual/genetic markers (eyes, skin, hair colour, etc) will vary as you move around. So if you have a capital city on the far, far east, and a colony of that nation on the far west, and in that colony you might expect 25% to “look like” they came from the capital in terms of eyes/skin/hair colour, most to look “native” to that colony in eyes/skin/hair etc, but they will be visually unified according to their hair styles, other cultural markers, beard styles, clothing, etc etc. So we basically have two layers – the “genetic” and the “cultural” – and these blend and intertwine as you move around the world. Also, different types of civilization have different levels of cultural variety – the open and well-traveled nomads have the most variation within a nation, the small tribal societies have the least, and the feudal civilizations are somewhere in the middle.

Field of View Optimization (at last!)

People have been asking for this for years, so I have finally put some time into optimizing the field of view algorithm, and now you can see basically everything on-screen at one time. Buildings will still have a reduced field of view, and it’ll reduce at night, too, but here’s a screenshot and a gif of wandering outside in the daytime:



Next Week

Well, the IRDC is in a week’s time, and I’m crunching like mad to get some kind of NPC pathfinding/crowd mechanic simulation going there. It’s going reasonably well, and I think I’ll have something good to show off, but I’ve been running into some fundamental design questions – can NPCs push past each other, for instance, if one occupies a tile the other wants to get past – which have surprisingly far-reaching algorithmic implications for how pathfinding and gameplay will actually play out in the longer run.

In the mean time, you can keep up to date on my devlog, Facebook page, or Twitter!

Post comment Comments  (90 - 100 of 129)
syntaxibles
syntaxibles Jun 14 2012, 8:48am says:

Looking very fine! i have been eagerly awaiting this game since the start of the yeah or a bit further back, looks like it's coming along great! can't wait to play the alpha, but I will be away for its release date and won't be able to play it :(. Will this compiled for linux operating system(so i can play on virtual desktop while im away) or will this be able to run on dos(avaible for my phone). cant wait to play! kepp up the good work!

+2 votes     reply to comment
UltimaRatioRegum Creator
UltimaRatioRegum Jun 15 2012, 11:17am replied:

Thanks! Yeah, I've seen you following, and thanks for all the feedback/ideas and stuff to date :). I do intend to make it playable on Linux (and Macs) as well as Windows from 0.0.1 onwards... though stay tuned for any problems in getting the thing to compile! That's a challenge for a fortnight hence...

+3 votes   reply to comment
syntaxibles
syntaxibles Jun 17 2012, 5:53am replied:

awesome, what will the control scheme be(amount of buttons etc.) and will the edge of the world loop?(e.g go far enough west and come out on the east side of the map) that would be cool. sounds like I'll have something to do on long plane trips then maybe. can't wait to see this game released!

+3 votes     reply to comment
UltimaRatioRegum Creator
UltimaRatioRegum Jul 8 2012, 7:55pm replied:

I'm not sure how it would work on phone... can you get a virtual keyboard up for games? I know exactly 0 about releasing for a phone, as Windows/Linux/Mac is proving tricky enough! The edge of the map doesn't currently loop, but I have toyed with making it do so at some later point. Well, tomorrow's the day!

+2 votes   reply to comment
samtam99
samtam99 May 21 2012, 8:36am says:

Just wanted to let you know that I've been following this project for quite a while and I like what I've seen. I like it a lot, especially the focus on making the world as dynamic as possible. I'm rather puzzled by the total lack of built-in quests, though: wouldn't it be better, maybe in the future, to use this advanced AI and world simulation system to implement quests which actually take advantage from those features, maybe with multiple paths, choices and consequences? I've always felt that, in most RPGs (even those more focused on giving players multiple ways to proceed through the game, such as Arcanum and the two Fallouts) most actions made by the player have little to no impact on the gameworld and, most importantly, the PC is the only active entity (actually, NPC parties acting against the player *have* been implemented before in Wizardry VII, but sadly that's the only instance I know of a similar feature making its way into a finished game). So it would be quite an achievement to finally have a RPG with an advanced world simulation system which, at the same time, features complex, branching quests and multiple ways to advance through the game.

Anyway, keep up the good work, because this is really looking amazing.

+3 votes     reply to comment
UltimaRatioRegum Creator
UltimaRatioRegum May 22 2012, 8:10am replied:

Firstly, thanks a lot :). As for your specifics - I think it depends on what we mean by quests. There will be 'quests' in the sense of objectives (say, Empire X would like King Y assassinated) but they won't give you a QUEST for it; instead, the information is out there, and completing it will give you a reward, but by the same token, any NPC who does it will get the reward instead. You won't have a quest journal, but rather a kind of 'web' of alliances/allegiances you know about, and therefore allow you to consider how you might influence them. As you say, often the player character is the only entity who really does something, and I want to change that; ideally, I'd like to have the world in a condition where it can actually 'play' itself without the player doing anything. If you choose to spend the whole game, say, living in the woods and never going near a city, empires will still rise/fall etc around you as NPCs do the 'quests' instead. Cheers! First release of basic alpha is definitely looking on-track for end of June...

+2 votes   reply to comment
Jakwattack
Jakwattack Apr 21 2012, 9:04pm says:

If this game doesn't have retarded fish monkeys as starting allies then there will be hell to pay

+2 votes     reply to comment
UltimaRatioRegum Creator
UltimaRatioRegum May 11 2012, 4:19pm replied:

There are no fish monkeys of any description, I'm afraid :(. You can pick what items to start off with, though, so instead of an ally, you could start with some nutritious apples instead?

+2 votes   reply to comment
Jakwattack
Jakwattack May 12 2012, 8:09am replied:

I shall start with fish then

+3 votes     reply to comment
AFellowStalker
AFellowStalker Apr 7 2012, 11:09am says:

New update... any day now...

+2 votes     reply to comment
UltimaRatioRegum Creator
UltimaRatioRegum Apr 8 2012, 7:55pm replied:

There have been lots of updates on the blog! A new IndieDB update is on the way, though. Probably this coming week :).

+2 votes   reply to comment
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