2008
01.28

TCOD gameplay movie

Ok, I promised a beta and now it is delayed. Since I don’t want you to believe the whole game is a vaporware, here is a short gameplay video where I get blasted by a hobgoblin in the first room of the first dungeon… You see what happens, Larry, when you skip the first city dungeon ?… You will also have a glance at the brand new and useless weather system πŸ˜‰

With youtube’s video compression, it’s not very easy to realize what all those pixels represent, but it will probably make the expression “pushing the visual limits of ascii rpg” more concrete…

16 comments so far

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  1. RELEASE! RELEASE! RELEASE! πŸ™‚

  2. No, believe me, it’s not yet ready. There are some interresting features, lots of shiny things, but if you look behind the eye-candy, it’s far from being good enough. There’s no point releasing it if people try it for 5 minutes, then remove it from their hard drive. I pause for thought, trying to find a way to streamline the gameplay. Don’t know how long it will take, it can range from days to months.

  3. I think you’re misunderstanding what people are looking for. They want to see your eye candy and your shiny things; nobody is under the impression that the gameplay is already deep enough to keep them up all night for a week.

    Throughout your entire blog, you’ve emphasized two things: graphics and code structure. You’ve never talked about how revolutionary the gameplay will be – only how easy it will be to implement thanks to your heirarchies and stuff. So now, you’ve got this really pretty engine and it’s being used to run a very simplistic Guild Wars: The Roguelike. That’s fine, though; the engine sounds robust enough that it really WILL be easy to implement whatever interesting gameplay concepts you come up with. In the meantime, you’ve got people interested in the engine. So show it! πŸ˜›

  4. It’s true that I’m focused on the game and never really thought that people would be interrested in its code rather than to play with it.

    Concerning the code, there is no pretty engine and I don’t think it’s particularly easy to implement anything with it at this stage. The TCOD code is a big mess of old stuff partially migrated from C to C++ and lots of unused experimental gadgets.

    I provide what I think is usable through the Doryen library and I will keep adding stuff in it because it helps me cleaning and debugging the game code. In the long term, it may even become a complete out-of-the-box roguelike framework and TCOD would only be a slight layer on top of it, but there’s a lot of work to reach that point and on another hand, there’s already everything you need to do shiny things pretty easily in the 1.1 release.

  5. Well, okay. I can’t understand your rationale… you’ve got something playable and people are interested. If it’s not super engrossing, people will just appreciate what there is to appreciate, and then they will move on. You have nothing to lose from releasing it, and other people have something to gain.

    A while back you said something like “I’m actually finding it fun to play around with when debugging!” That’s all anybody is looking for at this point: something neat to mess around with.

    Oh, and telling people they can fiddle with your library doesn’t count. πŸ˜› (Although I’m sure it’s good for people who do want to use it to make a small roguelike.)

  6. I’m rather perfectionist and you won’t force me to release something before I think it’s ready, but what you say makes me wonder :

    – what do people have to gain from it if I release it ? I’ve documented the most complex algorithms like the world and dungeon generator and the most technical classes like the multi-platform console emulator or the perlin noise toolkit are already released in the library… There’s no secret hidden in the code that I haven’t released yet.

    – what makes you think the library is only suitable for people who want to make a ‘small roguelike’ ?

  7. Seems like you’ve been insulted, so I’m sorry about that.

    I don’t think the library is “only suitable for people who want to make a small roguelike”. You’ve basically said that instead of releasing your game as it stands, people should just download your library and make their own. That’s not useful for me because I don’t use other people’s code; I program because I like to program, not because I like to use libraries. So for me, personally, your code is not helpful unless it’s precompiled. πŸ™‚ Likewise, for people who don’t program at all, a library by itself is no use unless it’s running a game.

    If you released it, I would gain what looks like an extremely interesting game (prototype? alpha?), in a genre where most games are almost exactly the same. From your gameplay video, what you have looks like a really fun thing to explore. What I don’t understand is what you have to lose from releasing it; you may be a perfectionist, but the game is imperfect whether you show it to people or not. Besides which, you already HAVE shown it to people… so I don’t see what the problem is.

  8. ok, I got it right. What keeps me from releasing it is that I don’t think it’s really fun to explore yet and I can’t resolve to release it before I’m really satisfied with it. Showing a 2 minutes video is very different from allowing everybody to try the game and see all of its defects.

    I’m sorry if people feel frustrated, maybe I shouldn’t have released a video in the first place, but sharing ideas and getting feedback helps me getting motivated.

    You probably won’t be satisfied, but I’ll do my best to release something as fast as possible. I promise I won’t wait years before the game is completely finished, but even if it’s an early release with lots of missing features, it has to be clean, intuitive, polished and it’s not the case now.

  9. Could you send it to me over email? πŸ˜€

    I’ll leave you alone now.

  10. Sorry, not now, but I keep a list of people interrested in testing it. Send me your email (see mine on the doryen library homepage) and you’ll get it as soon as it’s ready.

  11. Damn it looks just as nice as I imagined. Keep up the good work. Maybe you want to jump on the 7dRL train and put something up using your library?

  12. Thanks. I’d love to do a 7DRL, but I won’t have time. Besides, it’s already difficult to me to stay focused, I’d better not start another project… πŸ™‚

  13. Hey there, a quick question: what did you use to create the video?

    I would like to provide vids of my game in progress (for which i use your engine). For now there are some screens at http://home.arcor.de/dungeonhunter/Aviel/
    (keep in mind that it’s just 3 days old today ;D ).

    btw. didn’t notice the big lebowsky reference the first time i read this. made me laugh πŸ˜€

  14. I’ve used Virtual Dub to record the movie. It’s far from being the best tool to do it, but it’s free… If you find a better one, I’m interrested πŸ™‚

    I looked at your screenshots, your ground rendering is AMAZING !! I want the same for TCOD !! πŸ™‚ I’m looking forward to seeing your game. Do you intend to make a blog or a website ?

  15. Thanks, the ground is generated with a VERY easy algorythm, i will provide the source soon when it’s finished. It’s just hard to find good colors, i think it took about 20 minutes till i was content with them.

    I managed to create a small video:
    http://de.youtube.com/watch?v=T1XXETksO0U
    (it is obsolete by now, much has changed since).

    I won’t make a development blog, because it’s only a very short project, but i think I’ll do a small web page once it’s finished.

    Another question (not concerning the video, I’ll just ask it here though): is there a way to remove the short delay between the first keypress and the next ones, when holding a key, using the non-blocking input functions?
    I know, this goes against console conventions but I really more fluent input for my game.

  16. It’s HUGE ! All those mobs rushing to you, it’s astounding !

    Concerning the keyboard, I’ve just added a TCODSystem::setKeyboardRepeat function in libtcod 1.3. You’ll be able to set the delays to whatever you want.