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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Blog RSS Feed Report abuse Latest News: Markets redone, 0.6 release coming!

4 comments by UltimaRatioRegum on Nov 15th, 2014

Just a quick one this week. First off, I've finally found a place to move to for URR's *full-time development year*, which is this lovely building:

Brew

The intention is to move on the 3rd/4th of December, so we can therefore say my full-time development year will be starting on the 5th of December! More information nearer the time. I've also been planning my travels in this coming year and there are potentially a lot of places I'm going to be visiting to give talks (including this year's roguelike conference, unless it ends up in North America), so more on those as and when - I've loved meeting fans in the past, so it would be awesome if anyone was based near some of the places I'll be travelling to.

More immediately, I've redone market districts. The playtesting I've been doing has shown a serious issue in the navigation of market districts above all others - it was very unclear what the boundaries of the district were, it took a long time to find all the shops, there wasn't much else to look at within the districts, and (quite simply) there were just too many damned shops. Here's what they used to look like:


As you can see, there's a huge number of shops (the normal buildings) and warehouses (the enclosed/walled buildings), but it's not clear if you'd have missed one or not without exploring the entire district because they are so spread out. That means optimal gameplay within a market district is uncovering the entire thing rather than having some idea where to go for the shop you wanted, and that's just not on. Instead, I decided to blend market districts with some of the housing districts, to create something like the version below. In this model (there's naturally a large number of variations) the markets and warehouses that service them are placed in a pattern in the middle of the district. All the patterns make it very clear when you walk around them when you have "exhausted" the shops that district has, and also, this new contained version allows me to simply have fewer shops in a market district. They can now spawn with 7-10 shops (towns have only 1-3 shops, heavily biased towards 1 or 2), and always spawn with a currency exchange (the diamond building) and an auction house (the flattened cross building).

New_S

These both look a lot better, and more importantly, play a lot better. As above, there's never uncertainty once you've seen every shop there is to see, and the smaller number will make the variations in shops between market districts much more significant, as in the past most districts contained most shops, which doesn't really fit the scarcity gameplay mechanics one is used to from roguelikes. Alas, that's everything for this week, but we're only about a fortnight to the release of the colossal 0.6. There's a couple more graphics I need to make, and then it's just onto bug fixing. Stay tuned! In the mean time, you can keep up to date on my devlog, Facebook page, orTwitter!

Post comment Comments  (40 - 50 of 117)
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
HereticUK
HereticUK Dec 10 2012, 6:59am says:

I would like to ask if possible about the language implementation in the game. What are your plans for this? How are you going to do this? As a student of languages it really interests me.

+2 votes     reply to comment
UltimaRatioRegum Creator
UltimaRatioRegum Dec 10 2012, 8:16am replied:

Thanks for the question! Well, a longer explanation is going to go up on a blog entry in the future, but here's the brief one. The game produces two kinds of languages from scratch, either based around syllables (so it will generate a database of syllables for that language, like 'car' or 'ur' or 'ab' and piece them together into words) or based around chances of letters, so a language might have 'z' as its most common letter and 'h' as second, so it'll have a preference for those, and same goes for vowels. Each produces visually different languages. The ancient languages in the game do not use a Latin alphabet, but I'm not saying any more about those for a while! If an NPC says a word to you in another language, the game first checks if you know it - if so, it is translated - if not, it checks if a non-English word for that English word yet exists in that language's dictionary. If yes, it uses that word (so 'the' will always be translated the same), if no, it creates a word, checks that word is unique, then adds it to the dictionary. I know this means that all languages have the same grammar/syntax/whatever as English, which is far from true, but from a gameplay perspective I felt they had to keep the same structure to help the player make sense of half-translated sentences, and also because a system for the game recognizing adjectives, nouns, verbs etc and re-ordering them would be a) immensely complex, b) unnoticeable to a player looking at a non-translated language, and c) would prevent the player making informed guesses at unknown words. Shout with any more questions :)

+2 votes   reply to comment
HereticUK
HereticUK Dec 12 2012, 7:27am replied:

That is a very interesting way of generating languages... I shall be keeping an eye on this for sure!

So, will the player character have to learn new languages in order to communicate with others?

+2 votes     reply to comment
MichaelSeph
MichaelSeph Dec 3 2012, 5:53pm says:

Oh My Gosh O.o

+3 votes     reply to comment
UltimaRatioRegum Creator
UltimaRatioRegum Dec 4 2012, 7:10pm replied:

I apparently cannot just post :), but please nevertheless accept my appreciation for your comment!

+2 votes   reply to comment
UltimaRatioRegum Creator
UltimaRatioRegum Dec 3 2012, 8:28am replied:

Thanks! Ditto; because I'm a one-man team, and releasing for free, I have that kind of freedom to just shovel everything I've ever wanted to see in a game, into the game! Multiplayer I did briefly consider, but rejected both for the reason you said, and because I know nothing about it technically. You're very welcome! Let me know what you think of 0.2.1, which I've just released - added resources, and you can export maps to .png now, too.

+2 votes   reply to comment
GorillaOne
GorillaOne Dec 3 2012, 11:36am replied:

Unsolicited advice from a fellow dev: Constraints are what make us the most creative, and produce the best games/movies/whatever. When you're free to just shovel anything in, it may be interesting in the moment, but not make a good game.

Good luck! I already like how you used ASCII - much more elegant than some other implementations.

+2 votes     reply to comment
UltimaRatioRegum Creator
UltimaRatioRegum Dec 3 2012, 3:12pm replied:

Very interesting, and I understand what you mean. I hope people would/will tell me if/when that happens, but at the same time, this is a *long* project. Anyway, thank you re: ASCII - glad you like it.

+2 votes   reply to comment
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Ultima Ratio Regum
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