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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Blog RSS Feed Report abuse Latest News: Mercenaries and Middle-Class Housing

2 comments by UltimaRatioRegum on Mar 29th, 2015

Just a short update this week, partly since it is only one week’s worth of development rather than two, and partly because I’m preparing for my PhD defence. But, nevertheless, things have been done. Before that, though, two things – firstly, your weekly reminder about the EU IRDC taking place at the UK National Videogame Arcade in Nottingham, which I am hosting. Come along! Secondly, I’m giving a talk on generating cultures and aesthetics at the Norwich Gaming Festival on Saturday 11th. Come along! Both are totally free to attend. I don’t have any other public talks planned in the near future (though nearly a dozen academic lectures at conferences in the next five months), but I’ll obviously let you all know when I do. It is possible I’ll be at this year’s GDC Europe, too. Anyway:

Mercenary Guilds

One of the last few buildings left to generate were mercenary guilds, which have now been implemented. These spawn in (most) city centers. Again, it is hard to make every building distinct, but for mercenary guilds I wanted the idea that one might be “browsing” for mercenaries – each room will be the home of a single person from the guild, who should differ significantly in abilities and equipment but still be roughly similar (I’m going to have guilds designed around a “theme”). Each room has its own randomly-chosen layout. The flooring is a square-tiled mix of wood (the brown) and stone (the grey) – it’s a small thing, but it’s hard to distinguish between all kinds of buildings when you’re only using ANSI! Which is to say: obviously you’re unlikely to go into a building with a sign outside without knowing what the building is, but I’m still trying to keep the interiors very distinct (or as distinct as possible). The woods for tables/chairs/beds are also cycled randomly for each chamber. The locked-door room will be the archives of that mercenary guild – lists of past contracts, etc, which will obviously be useful to your investigations – and may also contain a staircase down to a vault below, containing… well, who knows?

Middle-Class Districts

I’ve redone middle-class district generation. Here’s an old example – this is, admittedly, a full release out of date (0.6’s middle class districts had a few smaller gardens, more trees/plants, etc), but you get the idea; much like an “upgraded” lower-class district, random housing patterns, and sometimes roads which end in nothing (or start and end in nothing). I had a few critical comments about middle-class districts after 0.6 and how hard they were to navigate and make sense of, so I decided to do something about them, and to just integrate them slightly more firmly into the rest of the city rather than feeling like a random add-on. So, here’s an old version:

…and here are two new versions, for a “square”-aesthetic nation (with a religious building, a bank and a park), and a “circle”-aesthetic nation (with just a park)…

… and how it looks to explore and walk around:

Some things to point out. Firstly, there are now three types of houses (although all are treated alike in terms of what one might find inside and how the house itself generates): houses will walls and gates, houses with gardens, and houses with neither. I felt these needed a lot more variation, so they’ve got it. Secondly, you’ll notice the thickest roads are of different shapes, and these layouts – like so much else – relate to the aesthetic preferences of that nation. A nation with octagonal floor tiles and octagonal furniture will also have an octagonal layout in their middle-class districts (and so on for the other shapes). Thirdly, you’ll also note that all the plants (in this particular biome) are currently green; in some later version I’m going to add more variety to climate plants, add in a large range of unusual plants, and also add that to the ever-growing “clue” database (such that maybe certain plants only grow in certain nations, or are only cultivated by a few monasteries, etc?). I’m also going to have the colours of plants tethered loosely to climate, so that as you move around the world, you’ll see different “palettes” of plants, which will be a lot more interesting. Fourthly, the buildings are positioned at the intersections of the major roads – I wanted the middle-class district to look more like a true middle-ground between the rigidity and order of the upper-class districts and the randomness of the lower-class districts, and I think that by placing the special buildings more specifically, and updating the road system, but still having the district fairly tight and crowded, I’ve made it into a much better balance than it was before (since I think it used to look like a “slightly nicer lower class district” rather than something really in the center). Theaters have also been temporarily removed due to my uncertainty over, frankly, how the hell they are going to work, and that needs to be left until I have NPCs wandering around the place.

Unlike the mansions of last week, these are the exact opposite of handmade – almost nothing about the district, nor the buildings themselves, is handmade, and is almost entirely algorithmic. The games tries to place an appropriate number of rooms, and then path between them, and it allows situations where multiple rooms can lead onto one another rather than back into a central “hallway”. Here are some examples of some two-floor interiors for middle-class housing:

… and for some more unusual shapes:

Very happy with how these look now, and they’re the last housing type that needed finishing off. Everything from slums to the greater mansions can now be explored, and generate differently. Here’s a last shot, just because I really do like these doors:

All Houses

So, we can now take a shot at all dwellings, from the slums to the grandest of mansions. Here’s a large picture you should take a look at the full size of by clicking on it:

0.7 Release?

I accidentally reneged on my promise to never again promise release dates last week, and now I must pay for it. I am going to rescind all previous predictions and say: it’ll be out when it’s done. All my time not spent preparing for my PhD defence is spent on URR and there isn’t that much left to do, but it’s still going to be a very busy fortnight. I shall now once again swear to never make predictions of release dates again. Let us see how long that lasts. In the mean time, you can keep up to date on my devlog, Facebook page, or Twitter.

Post comment Comments  (20 - 30 of 125)
icer667
icer667 Aug 2 2014, 4:09pm says:

Woah, this game is insane. I last saw this a couple of months ago, thinking it was just a df clone, now it looks like an AWESOME game with its own unique style and gameplay. I saw that pic of the nation choosing thing and i love it.

+2 votes     reply to comment
UltimaRatioRegum Creator
UltimaRatioRegum Aug 2 2014, 6:36pm replied:

Thanks! I cannot lie, it *did* start off as a DF clone, but since about a year-and-a-half ago I'm taking a very specific, story/exploration-driven, direction with it. Glad you like the nation-choosing screen! All those cities on that screen? This is the release you'll be able to walk around them :)

+2 votes   reply to comment
icer667
icer667 Aug 3 2014, 12:44pm replied:

hey man, just wondering, will there be a way to view histories eventually?

+2 votes     reply to comment
Guest
Guest Aug 3 2014, 3:16pm replied:

Eventually? There is now! 'E' to access the Encyclopedia, then head to the histories section :)

+2 votes     reply to comment
UltimaRatioRegum Creator
UltimaRatioRegum Aug 3 2014, 3:17pm replied:

^ that was me forgetting to sign in. But yeah, check out the Encyclopedia once you're in-game!

+2 votes   reply to comment
icer667
icer667 Aug 4 2014, 10:50am replied:

whoops, Missed that, thanks!

+2 votes     reply to comment
LonelyOatmeal
LonelyOatmeal Jul 5 2014, 12:11pm says:

Just saw this game now and it looks really fun (tracked)! Good luck with it and your full-time year of development.

+1 vote     reply to comment
UltimaRatioRegum Creator
UltimaRatioRegum Jul 6 2014, 5:35am replied:

Thanks! :)

+1 vote   reply to comment
ChickenDelight
ChickenDelight Apr 13 2014, 11:57pm says:

DO NOT WANT.
DO NEED.

+2 votes     reply to comment
UltimaRatioRegum Creator
UltimaRatioRegum Apr 14 2014, 7:50pm replied:

MUST DOWNLOAD!

+1 vote   reply to comment
SacredWaste
SacredWaste Jun 4 2014, 5:41pm replied:

WHERE DOWNLOAD MUST NEED
- I FOUND IT

+2 votes     reply to comment
Guest
Guest Mar 2 2014, 2:22pm says:

I wanna play naaaooow... you can even have my money if you want !!!!

+2 votes     reply to comment
UltimaRatioRegum Creator
UltimaRatioRegum Mar 2 2014, 5:12pm replied:

Haha, thank you! Having been developing this entirely in my spare time for the last three years, I'm thinking of a Kickstarter so I can spend a year working on the game full time. Check back in a month or so :).

+2 votes   reply to comment
Spacew00t
Spacew00t Mar 4 2014, 6:47am replied:

I'd plop down a good 25 USD for this game! That art style alone... it's crazy how well you've translated the ASCII experience!

+2 votes     reply to comment
UltimaRatioRegum Creator
UltimaRatioRegum Mar 5 2014, 3:10pm replied:

Well thank you! That really means a lot. I'm still working on the specifics as I'm trying to come up with some more interesting rewards than "your name goes into the name generator database!", and I think I've come up with some good ones...

+1 vote   reply to comment
El_Primeministere
El_Primeministere Mar 8 2014, 4:13pm replied:

Wow good to see this on ModDB (Or whatever the other 'sister site' you can view this on is called), I remember e-mailing you a while ago with some questions pertaining to Python 2.7 and converting it to an .exe. Still looking forward to this a lot :)

Also, it's nice to see you have so much patience for something like this, 3 years is a long time!

+1 vote     reply to comment
UltimaRatioRegum Creator
UltimaRatioRegum Mar 8 2014, 5:03pm replied:

Three years is a scary length of time, there's no doubt about it! I'd say we're approaching the 1/4 point :).

+2 votes   reply to comment
Guest
Guest Jun 9 2014, 11:07am replied:

This comment is currently awaiting admin approval, join now to view.

UltimaRatioRegum Creator
UltimaRatioRegum Jun 9 2014, 11:59am replied:

Thanks for the comment! Yeah, I realize that if I decide to do one, that is a full-time thing for the duration of the month. I do intend to contact some people who've run them - I do know one individual in person who was part of a very, very successful one, but I'm also going to give a few others a shout too. So am I! Thanks for following this far, though :)

+1 vote   reply to comment
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