A semi-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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2 comments by UltimaRatioRegum on Jan 24th, 2015

This week I’ve been finishing off the first set of interiors for the game – religious buildings. I selected these first because I know they’d be quite complex, and I figured this would be a good way to get down a lot of the appropriate infrastructures for interiors and generating/saving/storing/loading them, and then be able to apply those to other simpler buildings rather than simultaneously creating the data structures and the buildings as I went along. Here’s a nice shot of a religious building with the ground floor – the purple symbol is the altar, the blue symbol is a reliquary! – and the second floor, which has some private quarters for the priest (behind the locked door in the middle) and also a staircase leading upwards behind another locked door (on the bottom-left), which leads to who knows where?

Religious buildings have become highly complex and varied in a huge number of ways, but one of these ways which I’ve focused on this week has been in terms of statues within the religious buildings. Originally statues were going to be a binary either/or – either religious buildings had statues of appropriate important figures/deities, or they didn’t. However, I decided it would be much more interesting to add more possible details to this list as a way to both further enhance the variation of religious buildings, and give NPCs and information in the game more to talk about. Therefore: instead of statues, religious buildings may contain ceremonial gongs, vases, and incense stands. Rather than always hearing “The church with the statues that look like X”, you’ll get “The church with the brass gongs”, “The church with the vases that depict two dragons fighting”, and so on and so forth. These are all, naturally, procedurally generated. I’ve created all the graphics for the gongs and also worked on some more graphics for the rest of the ordinary furniture, and my intention is to next work on the vases and the incense stands whilst I move onto programming other building interiors in the coming days.


I’ve also implemented HERESIES. The average game will have between 3 and 6 of these generated in the game world, and they draw upon the data stored for existing religions to propose heretical notions “logical” (as it were) to the religion in question. Religion worships an animal-headed god? Maybe this sect believes that eating animal flesh insults the god. Religion consists of a pantheon of eight gods? Maybe the sect believes there is a ninth. Religion proposes a kind, benevolent god? Maybe the sect believes this god is actually evil, or at least inimical to human well-being. And so on. Just like all the flags and coats of arms and so forth, heresies have their own algorithm for symbol generation (there’s about 40 or so possible, so it’ll be many games until you see them all) and now show up in the Encyclopedia, where you can read a little information about the nature of that heresy, though this will be added to significantly in the future. Each heresy also has one of three statues – it may be TOLERATED by the dominant religion, SHUNNED, or be the subject of an INQUISITION, in which case that belief will be entirely hidden underground. Inquisitions will be worked on later, maybe this release, maybe next. We’ll see. As you can see, the screenshot below is very much an in-progress screenshot (information is not lined up nicely, there’s no leader data, some of the names don’t fit into the window, there’s an unusually large number of heresies in order to make sure they all generate correctly, etc), but you can see how these are coming along. Once I implement the leader information, there will also be a list on the left side of the information screen showing what settlements this heresy has been found in.

Lastly I’ve also fixed a bunch of smaller issues this week – there were some unusual edge cases with entering/leaving buildings I’ve sorted out, and some residual minor problems with coats of arms and a few tiny other things which nobody except me seems to have noticed (since I know what things should look like!), but those have been fixed. This next week might be a lesser coding week – my intention is to submit my PhD no later than the 30th, and probably on the 27th/28th, so I need to devote time to getting it formatted correctly, having it bound, handing it in, blah blah. Either way, whatever coding does happen will be focused on moving interior generation into other buildings (I think I’ll go for something simple like slum housing next after this religious complexity), and adding in the rest of the graphics for the vases, gongs, etc (statues, being highly complex, might have to wait for now). See you all next week! In the mean time, you can keep up to date on my devlog, Facebook page, or Twitter.

Post comment Comments  (40 - 50 of 125)
Arethrid
Arethrid Mar 6 2013, 3:28am says:

I am kinda hoping to see a playable demo or at least a video of gameplay sometime soon (If actually there's one that I might have missed, please do tell me).
I love the idea of proceduraly generated graphic elements. Procedural game environments are something most gamers are familiar with but I belive procedural graphics that is as stylistic as pre-designed assets is something yet to be explored.
Being a programmer myself, I am always interested to see what other programmers can come up with procedural generation algorithms. I like watching the development of this project not only from a gamer's perspective but also from a programmer's technical perspective.

+3 votes     reply to comment
UltimaRatioRegum Creator
UltimaRatioRegum Mar 7 2013, 9:30pm replied:

There's a playable version on the site with my development blog atm, though it's mostly in early alpha - you can walk around and look at the world, but little else. 0.3 which I'm working on now will have the first 'gameplay'. Glad you like the idea - I totally agree that it's a relatively new/unexplored one, which is a big reason why I'm so keen to do it. The talk I'm going to give at the conference is actually about this kind of generation, both in terms of art/graphics and coding, so I'll be sure to post up a link or something about it when the video's up. Though there will probably be updates before then on the same topic...

+2 votes   reply to comment
Arethrid
Arethrid Mar 8 2013, 7:25am replied:

I found the demo in your blog after posting the comment above.
Looking forward to that conference video.

+2 votes     reply to comment
romenigcandido
romenigcandido Jan 2 2013, 1:46pm says:

I must say that I created an account just to be able to follow the development of this game, and if you ever decide to charge for the game I'll be more than happy to pay. The game seems to be extremely complex, which is something that I love, not to mention that you make ASCII graphics into something beautiful to behold. My sincere congratulations!

+5 votes     reply to comment
UltimaRatioRegum Creator
UltimaRatioRegum Jan 4 2013, 9:44am replied:

My sincere thanks! Very glad you like the concept and the graphics. As I speak, I'm finishing off the religious symbol generation (which there will be a blog entry on next week), which is itself another graphical route I'm exploring (along with flags). Let me know if you have any thoughts/ideas for the game in general, anyway :)

+2 votes   reply to comment
romenigcandido
romenigcandido Jan 4 2013, 11:50am replied:

I have some questions and ideas about Religions, but I'll wait for the next update to comment on the matter.

+2 votes     reply to comment
UltimaRatioRegum Creator
UltimaRatioRegum Jan 4 2013, 8:08pm replied:

Cool; I await them come Monday :).

+2 votes   reply to comment
Arethrid
Arethrid Jan 1 2013, 2:48pm says:

I am looking forward to see this project's final version :)

+2 votes     reply to comment
UltimaRatioRegum Creator
UltimaRatioRegum Jan 4 2013, 8:57am replied:

Thanks :) - though I couldn't possibly say when that will be...

+2 votes   reply to comment
taylan!
taylan! Dec 30 2012, 10:34pm says:

Looks like a very ambitious game and highly interesting. I downloaded 0.2.1 and played around a bit. One thing that I noticed was the frequent loading pauses in the game (to load zones, I assume?), which can be bothersome after a while. Oh and the game crashed for some reason. Are you interested in crash logs to be emailed to you?

+2 votes     reply to comment
UltimaRatioRegum Creator
UltimaRatioRegum Dec 31 2012, 9:56pm replied:

Re: loading, yes, loading does happen often. However, it seems much more often because there is nothing "to do" yet, so to speak - if you're spending half an hour on a single map grid, the odd loading screen shouldn't be a trouble, whereas just running across a map grid is going to trigger another load screen very quickly. Yes, please, absolutely re: the crash log, and info about OS as well :)

+2 votes   reply to comment
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Ultima Ratio Regum
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