I’ve been thinking about the melee fights in the Chronicles Of Doryen for a few days, trying to figure out how to make it more fun. Generally, melee fighting in a roguelike involves bumping into an opponent until he dies. In fact it’s so boring that it’s often completely eclipsed by other forms of combat like ranged weapons or magic. Since the first release of TCOD will only feature melee fight, I have to make it really appealing and challenging.

The problem is that it is very tiresome to balance in TCOD because each time you modify something, you have to start the game, go and buy some stuff, go down in the dungeon, find an opponent…

That’s why I decided to create a small program that makes it possible for me to test very easily the melee fight, and in which I can add new ideas without being restrained by the whole TCOD history. But instead of creating a dry prototype, I think it’s more fun to make a small game with it. First, if it is presented as a game, the feedback from the players will quickly show if it sucks or not. Moreover, it’s an opportunity to demonstrate the potential of the Doryen library. Think of it as a sort of 7DRL excepted that I won’t be able to do it in 7 days. 7 weeks might be more realistic… Ok it’s a 7WRL.

Ok, after this long introduction, I hereby announce the start of the Doryen Arena, a sub-project of the Chronicles Of Doryen dedicated exclusively to the melee fight ! If it succeeds, this fighting system will be incorporated in TCOD.

The arena – early concept

4 comments so far

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  1. Nice, a fresh prototype for us to get our grubby fingers on x)

    I’m testing different “worlds” in my RL, and I do it with the simple technique of commenting-a-function -then-uncommenting-another to switch between them. Not that I wouldn’t like to play an arena game, but couldn’t this just be a different world within the TCOD codebase?

  2. Yes, it could. Without even commenting a part of the code, I could simply add the arena in the cities. I intend to do it anyway because I really liked the gladiator stuff in Oblivion.

    But prototyping means doing a lot of tests, writing stuff, throwing it away, changing it, and this would be more difficult and it would take more time inside the TCOD codebase.

    For the Doryen arena, I start with a blank page, I can go quickly anywhere provided it improves the gameplay.

    Also after several months of work on TCOD without being able to release it, starting a smaller project that, I hope, I will be able to release fast is a good thing.

  3. Since I wrote down my ideas for a 7dRL I wanted to call RogueArena about 3 months ago, there have been three arena themed roguelikes. (Counting this one as the third). I will look at why they suck and then announce my VapourWare RL by promising to do everything better. And more. That’s a good plan.

    More seriously (which doesn’t mean i had no plans for an arena RL): good luck with this project and I’m really looking forward to it. If you really take 7 weaks to finish this, I might release my 7dRL before you, which means I will be the first one to release a game in YOUR library 😉

  4. Hey ! I’m really looking forward to seeing a libtcod project that I don’t do myself. I won’t look at the two other arena themed roguelikes since I don’t want to be influenced. More generally, I try not to look too much at existing roguelikes since my whole philosophy is to not follow the path. I may check your 7DRL though, since it uses libtcod.
    Good luck with it and don’t hesitate to mail me if you have difficulties with the library. The 1.2.2 should be released this week-end.