Category Archives: Side Projects

AutoFire: 7DRL Victorious!

Welp, the 7-Day Roguelike Challenge ended in a photo finish… Not only was I putting in stuff up to the very end, but I uploaded a build to my website and not a minute later I hear an EXPLOSION outside and the power goes out. There’s a transformer out on one side of us and a power line down in the other, so no more power today.

Luckily I have a nerd-huge phone and managed to use it to update my website and finish my entry into the challenge’s website. A few minutes later and all the hard work this week would have ended in a major disappointment. Instead I’m pretty happy with the results!

For 2016 I wanted to stray from the comfortable gameplay I did for my inaugural 7DRL with Huge. There were some systems for turn-based car combat that I’ve been tossing around for a while… But applied to the Roguelike mold.

Check out the game’s page here.



7DRL2016_Day5Day 5 of the 7-Day Roguelike Challenge has completed now and I’ve finally got smooth vehicle movement in my Auto RL.  I put some time into an improved UI that hopefully starts to convey the concept of “you get more actions when you go fast”.  With this is the implementation of Grip, which drains from manuevers at high speeds so you can lose control  It has hints of greatness but is hard to deliver satisfyingly on a grid in 7 days.

My remaining work on weapon pickups and types, some improved world generation and a weapon pickup inventory, and hopefully an opponent you’re stalking (I’m starting to regret throwing out my boss code from last year!)

Since I don’t have time for you to get out of the car and salvage, you just run over the equipment and I’ll prompt you to choose which of the four weapons you want to replace (or discard it).

My one regret is spending as much time as I did on the basic sprites on Sunday.  Last year I was reasonably good about keeping the scale of Oryx’s sprites so that 24×24 was a standard tile, but this year I had to bring in graphics from a number of sources that varied from 16×16 to a car I found that was some weird rez like 56×108.  Plus, I reduced the size of Oryx’s character sprites which implies a resolution of 32×32.  In a way it probably would have been better in this case to stay representational and not cobble together a vague swipe at pretty, but it inspires me to work in an environment with visual flavor.

Check it out below…  I apologize for the atrocious 20-minute sound hookup.  2 days left, wish me luck!

Auto RL – 7DRL Day 3.5

So I’m halfway through the week and making okay progress on my Auto RL.  In the last 3-plus days I’ve replaced the fantasy graphics from last year’s RL, ripped out all the sword-swinging and put in a vehicle system with multiple mounted weapons and variable actions per turn based on your vehicle’s speed.  Forward and back accelerate your vehicle and left and right will turn and advance…  but I wanted to keep the feel of “one result per action” of typical Roguelikes.

So, if the player gets, say, 5 actions per turn (100 MPH), they have to choose each action whether they turn, shoot (which forces them to move straight that turn), change speed or wait (which will also result in moving forward).  However, since each weapon has a fixed-duration cooldown, you have to switch to weapons on different sides of the vehicle if you want to attack multiple times a turn.  Why exactly do you get more attacks when you’re driving at higher speeds…?  Adrenaline!

I had to start doing some cutting if I want to be done Sunday morning.  I don’t think I can do getting out of the car or vehicular enemies and my world generation quality may take a hit, but I know now that I’ve got a lot of work to do on UI and selling the movement of the car.  My major improvement will be to hook up the “Grip” system, which will force players to balance speed with control and allow for skids.  I’m excited so far!

Auto RL – 7DRL Day 1

This year is my second 7DRL, and this time I wanted to push some systems I’ve been tossing around in my head for years.  The plan is to get the player driving an armored car through a post-apocalyptic wasteland, battling bandits and 7DRL2016_Day1salvaging gear while hunting down bounty contracts.  I chose to strip down last year’s entry Huge and use it as a starting point, focusing on significant core mechanical improvements that will hopefully set it apart from that entry.

Day 1 was a busy one, ripping out the fantasy graphics and putting in sci-fi themed ones from Oryx and other sources.  I added facing and vehicle functionality to my entity system, with a variable turn-length based on speed.  I also roughed in an ugly HUD with the various systems I wanted to track. Unity makes a lot of the early stuff fairly simple, but now I actually have to make this stuff work and hopefully fun!

7DRL 2016: Impending!

7drlThe 2016 7-Day Roguelike Challenge starts this weekend!  Here’s the deal:

  • Participants will labor to make a Roguelike start to finish during a 168-hour period between March 5 and March 13 (that is, you can work Saturday to Saturday, or Sunday to Sunday, or whatever you can schedule).
  • You can use some existing base code as a starting point, as long as you are up-front about it (in my case, I’m going to use some of the stuff I wrote for the 2015 Roguelike Challenge to kick it off)
  • A “Roguelike” is a pretty flexible definition, but typically means procedural or randomized content, turn-based game flow, and permadeath.  Some folks go full-on old-school text-based complete with an @ player, while others have created things as awesome and varied as turn-based bullet hell shooters and dice-based FTL-style adventures.
  • You register your project on the 7DRL website and at the end, you get reviewed.  The reviews take into account things like innovation, aesthetics, fun and faithfulness to the Roguelike theme.

My plan is to move beyond my fairly bare-bones (but relatively pretty now that I go back to it) Roguelike HUGE from last year and turn it into a vehicular combat adventure.  Lots to do!  Gonna be a fun week!

Ludum Dare 34: Complete… ish?

Over the past 48 hours I’ve been whipping up a silly game for Ludum Dare #34.  Whew, I’m beat!37354-shot0-1450062206The theme was “Growth” (there were two to choose from).  I was kicking around a weird idea about growing your magical influence by traversing ley lines around a map of a real metropolitan area.  You control a fanatic Cthulhu cult who wishes to bring the elder gods into the world.  A classic set of “adventurers” are set against you.

It was created in Unity 5.3.  All art and sound had to be generated in the 48-hour span by the single entrant (me).

You can play the game on a webpage following this link (sorry if Chrome loads more slowly than Firefox):


You can also download the standalone PC player by clicking the adventurer: Adventurer

Oculus Rift: Weekend Puttering Part 2

I borrrowed the Oculus from work again this weekend and put just a few hours in…  This time I experimented with setting up targets and creating a mechanic where the player can move slowly to new locations by pointing and right-clicking.  Overall it seemed like a worthwhile experiment…  Actually the motion was some of the best part.  I think perhaps just a constantly orbiting viewpoint could work all right, with maybe a few choices as to where to move next.

The goal is to create motion and control that won’t make my wife sick…  Have yet to put her in it, but it might just work.

Oculus Rift: Weekend Puttering Part 1

My company (Hidden Path) was kind enough to let me borrow one of their Oculus Rift DK2s over the weekend to do some experimentation.

I got it working in Unity pretty quickly, and proceeded to experiment with a stationary camera position with a mouse-aim cursor.  After a couple of experiments, I ended up with a model where the cursor points at a single point in 3D space, manipulated by the mouse.  If the player’s view moves away from the cursor, the cursor gets “dragged” with it.  It felt pretty good and snappy in the end.

I also did a simple dumb character using WASD controls, with motion relative to the viewer (ala Mario). That part was easy and I can see the appeal (although with my test sprite character it’s a bit lacking of course).  It was fun to mess around with!