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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1 comment 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  (50 - 60 of 125)
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
SteelMantle
SteelMantle Dec 2 2012, 2:52pm says:

You do not know how excited I am for this game. I downloaded your 0.2.0 release and although there isn't a lot to do at the moment (alpha), the content I have read from your website is amazing. This is the type of game I've been wishing for a long time. It's a shame that this is a single player, but I know it's extremely hard to set up a multi-player option due to the turn-based movement.

But anyways, a humongous thanks from me for starting this project, I'll definately be tracking this game. Thank you!

+3 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
Zollec
Zollec Dec 2 2012, 5:17am says:

Well, bright idea. But!!! Make a working and usable in persin ordering system for a huge kingdom... Not an easy task, not a bit sir. But far not imposible. But beware of gamekilling bugs (Dwarf Fortress :)).

+2 votes     reply to comment
UltimaRatioRegum Creator
UltimaRatioRegum Dec 2 2012, 1:42pm replied:

Undoubtedly :). I'm doing a very bottom-up approach, which is why there isn't yet that much gameplay. I'm doing extensive in-house playtesting, and - thus far - no gamebreakers have appeared!

+2 votes   reply to comment
Zollec
Zollec Dec 2 2012, 4:16pm replied:

good to know. But u know, DF problem is, instead of making a great polishing and game fixin, they add more and more kontent (bugged fcourse:). And if we find somethig broken, we let u know. So I look forward for 0.3.0. yeah and any idea about the price?

+2 votes     reply to comment
UltimaRatioRegum Creator
UltimaRatioRegum Dec 2 2012, 7:13pm replied:

Agreed; I don't intend to keep adding content whilst previous issues still exist. Also - price? It's free!

+2 votes   reply to comment
Zollec
Zollec Dec 3 2012, 1:30pm replied:

yes I know. I mean u will keep it free in the full version too?

+2 votes     reply to comment
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Ultima Ratio Regum
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