2008
07.22

Arachnophobia

I added some more cool stuff to Arena 0.8 :

  • creatures are pushed away when they die. The smaller creatures go further.
  • corpse bleed for a few seconds. The arena rapidly becomes a blood bath. Warning, this game is M rated 🙂
  • now the burning condition is visible on the main screen through the creature character color

Some creatures have fancy new skills :

  • the gnoll becomes a gnoll sorcerer who can metamorphose himself into a much stronger “three headed gnoll abherration”…
  • the giant spider can enter gestation and summon a bunch of annoying baby spiders
Arachnophobia : so rats and goblins couldn’t tame you ? Maybe spiders will…

This inspired me a new challenge : arachnophobia. In this one, new giant spiders regularly enter the arena. You goal is to survive until the end of the round while keeping the total number of spiders under a certain limit. This is tricky since spiders can immobilize you with their web and quietly go and give birth to lots of baby spiders… You’d better bring a lot of firepower with you…

5 comments so far

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  1. Ohh, gore! You should change the rating for this game now. Combat is slick, I recommend you show more and more meaningful status effects the way you do with the burning condition. Health would probably be most useful.

    How about reserving the background color of the monster’s location to gradually go from green to yellow to red as it loses health? Because, as much as I like the little health bars, it’s very difficult to know which one refers to which monster. When my attention is focused at the center of the screen, it’s hard to tell which monster has what condition, especially when they can move around and switch positions without any indication. I think combat would be much, much more visceral if you could gather all the info you need just by looking at the enemies’ characters.

    An obvious scheme could have the backcolor show health (red/yellow/green) and forecolor show status effects. An alternative scheme could use only the backcolor (forecolor reserved to identify the monster), where brighter means more healthy and darker means less, and the actual color could be white for no status effect, green for poisoned, red for bleeding, etc.

  2. Hey nice idea. I don’t think I’ll change the background color though, because the game would result in a psychedelic kaleidoscope. But using the creature color to show their health status would be cool (from white : full health to dark red : almost dead). The other existing effects are only temporary, so they can be mixed with the global health status. Thanks for the suggestion, I’ll do that ASAP 🙂

  3. Nice! I can see this becoming more enjoyable with each update 😉 keep up the good work!

  4. Thanks ! I think I’ll release the 0.8 soon. It still uses libtcod 1.3.2.

    I tried to implement the creature color but there has been an unexpected issue. When the color goes from white (full health) to red (almost dead), it goes through orange and the creature becomes almost invisible (the arena is mainly orange). I tried different colors and finally used violet, but I might have the same issue by night (where the arena is rather blue)… Take the different possible colors of the arena, depending on the time of the day and the weather, and there’s a good chance that no color will be visible enough in all cases… I may use a color which depends on the arena current color…

  5. Maybe darken the background color a bit, for contrast? At first it may sound a bit artificial — but you can argue it’s the “shadow” of the monster, maybe it wouldn’t look too out-of-place…and this way, bright colors that indicate status would always show up correctly. You can then go wild with the status colors.

    Either that or you will always have to be careful when choosing colors for the little monsters.

    This sort of issue always comes up with a limited mode of display. But at least we don’t have to chose only among 16 colors, right? 🙂