vrijdag 24 juni 2011

Dungeon Builder: third makeover & digging

As you might have noticed, the previous posts about Dungeon Builder followed quite quickly after each other. This is because I was writing a report of the first month of development over the course of a week, trying to catch up my blog with the actual development status of the game. Right now we're at this point; the screenshot at the bottom of this post shows the game in its current state.

After the second overhaul, I started working on the digging component of the game: the part where you expand your dungeon by digging more rooms, in order to improve your defense. However, I quickly noticed that the room-centric setup was much too limiting for this. The original engine was built around rooms, and you either had to dig rooms in one piece, or combine two rooms into one bigger room. This can be seen from the previous screenshots, where there are obvious rooms in a grid layout. This did not give enough freedom to the player, so I decided in another major overhaul.

I changed the engine into a more DK-style grid, in which you dig out squares of dirt to build rooms of any shape you want. It took something like 5 days to complete the overhaul, and when it was finished, I quickly realized I made the right call: this was so much better. But this made pathfinding a much more difficult task, so it took me a while to get the heroes and monsters to find their way to each other again.

I also added a brown color palette to make it look more like earth you're digging in, and I changed some of the game mechanics as well. For example, parties of heroes now enter the dungeon about every +- 30 secs, and you better be prepared by then. Previously, you could choose at which point the invaders came by clicking a button when you were ready.

Here's a screenshot of the current state of the game:

The playable area on this map is a circle. Dark brown means that you can't dig through. The light brown areas are rooms. Several imps (pink) and one skeleton (blue) are fighting a knight (cyan) at the bottom. The yellow areas indicate squares the hero hasn't explored yet. When the knight has won the battle, he will head out for one of the yellow squares to explore the dungeon further. Eventually, he will stumble upon the second line of defense at the top right, and will have to fight them too to get to the treasure. The 50's around the dungeon indicate that I am in build mode, and can dig out additional squares for the price of 50 gold.

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