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1067448 Posts in 43592 Topics- by 35627 Members - Latest Member: quadridamage

November 28, 2014, 10:07:18 PM
TIGSource ForumsFeedbackDevLogsUltima Ratio Regum - roguelike/Borges/Eco, v0.5 released!
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DustyDrake
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« Reply #120 on: January 19, 2013, 02:54:41 PM »

Oh god, that's one thing I hated about nethack.
You either needed to have the controls memorized, have a list printed out, or frequently check the help command.
I spent about a minute or two trying to figure out how to put my armor on after accidentally taking it off in it. If these games weren't turn based, I'd die instantly.
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Ultima Ratio Regum
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« Reply #121 on: January 22, 2013, 04:20:19 AM »

Oh god, that's one thing I hated about nethack.
You either needed to have the controls memorized, have a list printed out, or frequently check the help command.
I spent about a minute or two trying to figure out how to put my armor on after accidentally taking it off in it. If these games weren't turn based, I'd die instantly.

It is tough at the start, but based on my experience with Nethack (probably played it more than any other 'traditional' roguelike, and 4 ascensions) you learn the keys really very quickly until they become second-nature. It's impressive how many keybindings you can come to recognize in a very short space of time.

Meanwhile, a new devblog entry about religions, cults, and history generation:

http://www.ultimaratioregum.co.uk/game/2013/01/22/history-generation-ii-religions-cults/
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Ultima Ratio Regum
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« Reply #122 on: February 03, 2013, 04:45:17 AM »

Just had an interview with The Game Bastion, about URR, my goals, plans, development, the next version, etc etc:

https://thegamebastion.wordpress.com/
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Ultima Ratio Regum
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« Reply #123 on: February 04, 2013, 02:57:36 PM »

This fortnight's devlog entry, in which gameplay makes an appearance for the first time!

http://www.ultimaratioregum.co.uk/game/2013/02/04/ziggurats/

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Ultima Ratio Regum
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« Reply #124 on: February 18, 2013, 03:38:11 PM »

Inside ziggurats lurk some new graphics, and some hopefully fiendishly-difficult procedurally-generated puzzles, traps, and challenges...



... along with tales that speak of creation myths, legends and heroes from centuries before...

In a place beyond this life there is a shadowy and noiseless realm of limbo. Nothing occupies the landscape except a wet and humid marsh inhabited by great, lumbering beasts that splash through the undergrowth. The atmosphere above is dotted with a few sharp stars of different colours which some believe represent great artists and philosophers in the world of the living. Hidden here perched two hawks, one male, white and known as Ur`tharran, the other female, black and known as Undorar. They are believed by many to have dominion over the mountains of the world. They could see no other creatures in reality to eat, so they desired a land with more sport. They thus flew to an appropriate spot and scratched at the ground to unearth a new world, ready to be born and give them all the game they could ever want.


... and more to be revealed in future blog entries. Next time: historical figures and noble families in the in-game encyclopedia! More info on the blog: http://www.ultimaratioregum.co.uk/game/2013/02/19/inside-ziggurats/
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« Reply #125 on: February 18, 2013, 06:25:17 PM »

Awesome. Just popping by to say that reading this devlog completely changed my opinion on ASCII games, it just looks so good.
I also admire the way procedurally generated elements look as good as if they were designed by human.

Good job, and keep up the good work  Beer!
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Ultima Ratio Regum
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« Reply #126 on: February 23, 2013, 05:51:49 AM »

Awesome. Just popping by to say that reading this devlog completely changed my opinion on ASCII games, it just looks so good.
I also admire the way procedurally generated elements look as good as if they were designed by human.

Good job, and keep up the good work  Beer!

Thank you! Great to hear.
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Ultima Ratio Regum
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« Reply #127 on: March 05, 2013, 04:53:05 AM »

Despite my relative silence this past week on Twitter/, I've been doing very little except coding. As I think I mentioned, I'd given myself a mini-crunch-time to see how much of the ziggurats I could get done by the end of yesterday. The things I wanted to get done I didn't finish, but a ton of other stuff I worked on instead did, so I'm happy with how it all turned out. I've created about half a dozen new block designs, and I've started the actual level generation for ziggurats! I debated showing an aerial image of one of the interiors, but that would give far too much away, as so much of the emphasis here is on exploration.

However, the current situation is that you can find your way from the bottom floor, to the top, via a number of puzzles, which have a selection of blocks, pressure pads, gates, clues inscribed on the wall, and the puzzles get tougher and tougher as you go upwards. The gate-pad-block triumvirate is coded fully, and can be expanded to any potential puzzle. Currently only the easiest levels of puzzle generate (2-4 blocks), but I'll be working on tougher ones in the near future. I also need to add a lot more to the ziggurats, so that not just every room is a puzzle, but now I reach a question, which is - how much should I put in ziggurats for this release? I could just put in puzzle rooms and blank rooms, which would be one thing, or I could put in puzzle rooms, rooms with statues, other features, hidden doors, treasure rooms, vaults, etc...

The problem is that for treasure rooms, there has to actually *be treasure* worth picking up, and that requires an inventory system; for statue rooms I have to code statue generation based on myth; for more complex puzzles I have to have multiple sources of clues, or clues that tie into mythology, or encyclopedia entries... and you get the idea. If I do make ziggurats "just puzzles" I want to stress that in the future there will be a lot more there, *and* a greater variety in the puzzles themselves, but I'm not really sure how much I have the time to put in for this release, given that history and myth generation, while coming along nicely, are still a long way from being finished. So, I have reached a conclusion - they will be puzzle-focused, but completing specific ziggurats will give you... let's be vague... a component of a clue, and when you have enough of the components, then there will be some hints towards what later versions will hold. That's vague enough for now. There will be things to "accomplish" this release, but many will hint towards later offerings. I think I have to stop somewhere for this release, and this is how. In later releases, when I add an inventory system, then treasure rooms will be added to ziggurats; when I add NPCs, then maybe other characters exploring them will be added, etc; it's an iterative process.

For those who don't follow on Facebook or Twitter, I'm aiming for the summer of this year for this release (probably/hopefully the most new content yet), to coincide with a talk I'll be giving at the International Roguelike Developers Conference. I'm not sure what exactly will be in 0.3 yet in gameplay, but there will at least be puzzles to ponder, and something snazzy to find on the top floors of the ziggurats. In the mean time, here's a picture of the "skull" block. I can't recall how many different procedural variations of this image are possible, but it's probably around a dozen:



Twitter: https://twitter.com/UltimaRegum
FB: https://www.facebook.com/UltimaRatioRegumRoguelike
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jO
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« Reply #128 on: March 05, 2013, 05:47:26 AM »

your ascii art keeps being top-notch and very amazing
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Ultima Ratio Regum
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« Reply #129 on: March 15, 2013, 10:21:30 AM »

wow the ascii art alone in here is immense, keep it up laddy  Hand Thumbs Up Right
your ascii art keeps being top-notch and very amazing

Thanks very much Smiley. Might post another block design before too long, but I do want to save the majority for release...

General update: I have now all but finished implementing scaling puzzle difficulty, remaining puzzle clues, remaining block graphics, and "boss"-level unique puzzle rooms (currently drawing from a database of 50+). Don't have the time to code these next few weeks, though blog entries will remain on the fortnightly schedule for now. When I next resume URR work, I'll be finishing off history gen...
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Ultima Ratio Regum
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« Reply #130 on: April 02, 2013, 06:26:32 AM »

This fortnight's devblog, about URR's inspirations, the concept of "inspiration" per se, and a general update. http://www.ultimaratioregum.co.uk/game/2013/04/02/inspiration/
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Ultima Ratio Regum
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« Reply #131 on: April 28, 2013, 03:50:28 PM »

It's been a while, but I finally present a new devblog entry, in which I insult the game of chess, and more importantly, announce the imminent return of active development!

http://www.ultimaratioregum.co.uk/game/2013/04/29/short-term-luck-and-long-term-skill/
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Ultima Ratio Regum
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« Reply #132 on: May 23, 2013, 06:02:07 AM »

I've now updated the development plan (http://www.ultimaratioregum.co.uk/game/development-plan-2/) with the path ahead, and active development will be resuming in under two weeks! I have some very cool stuff to show off when it does. Here's a copy of the dev plan (brackets indicate progress):

0.3.0, Summer 2013:

- Language generation (50%)
- Flag/religious symbol generation (100%)
- Present-day civilization territories (75%)
- New map key and information
- Memory use/loading time improvement (50%)
- First gameplay – Ziggurats (80%)
- Ziggurat puzzle generation (60%)
- Language-specific name generation (80%)
- About 50 small improvements/bug-fixes (10%)
 
0.4.0, Winter 2013:

- Myth & legend generation (30%)
- History generation (20%)
- Civilization generation (50%)
- More messages when moving around the world
- Seasonal soil/tree ‘look’ changes
- All ruins etc tied to history
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« Reply #133 on: May 23, 2013, 06:07:45 AM »

This is amazing.
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Ultima Ratio Regum
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« Reply #134 on: May 23, 2013, 06:16:29 AM »

This is amazing.

Well, thanks Smiley. I've been meaning to say for a while, your engine is exceedingly cool - had I started this project a year later and not already built up my own engine, I strongly suspect I would have used it.
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Ultima Ratio Regum
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« Reply #135 on: May 27, 2013, 07:35:45 AM »

Development resumes! You can read the full blog entry at http://www.ultimaratioregum.co.uk/game/2013/05/27/urr-development-resumes/, but here is the short version:

What I am removing:

- Skill trees. They just clutter things up at the moment. They will return, bit by bit, when you can actually use them.

- Civ selection screen and civilizations/histories. I’ve done a *lot* of work on generating myths, histories, civs, flags, religions etc, which will see the light of day, but that will be the focus for 0.4. As above, don’t want to show off anything half-finished.

What I am adding:

- Language generation. Languages will be tied to civilizations and reflected in their ziggurats. In 0.3, you will be able to translate them from the start, but this will not always be the case.

- Civilization territories. Although they cannot yet war and battle in history, territories will nevertheless be generated and appear on the world map to demonstrate how this appears, and how languages tie to geographical areas.

- Technical improvements. Almost everything will be sped up, and should use less CPU.

- Ziggurats! With procedurally generated three-dimensional levels, puzzles, and some secrets up top. If you piece the secrets together, you’ll get a clue towards the future of the game…

What I am changing:

- Speed mechanics, probably. Next week’s update and blog entry will be (yet another!) in-depth look at this eternal problem.
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Ultima Ratio Regum
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« Reply #136 on: June 03, 2013, 07:04:14 AM »

Let's talk about speed. YET AGAIN.

For those who have followed this game's development for a while, speed has been a constant pain. I've gone through a variety of different speed systems, each of which had something in favour. The fundamental driver is this - in a game where your character is fragile, and has permadeath, you must be able to rapidly assess the speed of foes. Currently I have an incremental system. If something takes 10 turns, say, walking on tundra might add 15% of time, having a light armour load might take off 20%, having high stamina might take off 25%, etc, and all these add together to create new (and hidden, under-the-hood), values.

So, I've been thinking about this all day, and I've come up with a model that is clear, fair, but still offers a lot of depth, and that scales nicely. The two things that affect the time it takes you or a foe to move are affected by terrain type and movement type. Under this model, here are the values.

Sprinting: 1 turn/tile.
Running: 2 turns/tile.
Walking: 4 turns/tile.
Crawling/Sneaking: 8 turns/tile.
Moving through difficult terrain: turns x 2.



^ Normal terrain like this will have no modifier, but wading through chest-high water would half your speed.

So, someone trying to run through difficult terrain - like up a sand bank - moves at the same speed as someone walking in normal terrain, which I'd say is about accurate. From the player's perspective, therefore, if they are crawling through normal terrain, someone sprinting will cross eight tiles in the same period. Snow, sand and waist-high water will slow you - all other terrain gives you normal walking speed. This means you can actually think about terrain types in combat - escaping across sand will be more difficult, enemies will be slowed on snow or through shallow water, etc, adding a simple but effective layer of tactical depth.

Lastly, I think I'm going to remove encumbrance speeding/slowing you. It's a boring mechanic and everyone else does it. Let's focus on terrain instead! Leave any thoughts below - I need someone to point out if I've made a glaring error, but I think this system gives a lot of knowledge and power to the player, whilst still retaining depth and thought to your movement and attack.
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« Reply #137 on: June 09, 2013, 08:13:26 AM »

Speed sounds hard to handle in a game where movement is based on tiles and time on turns... I think keeping it simple is best option, but the best way to be sure is to actually test the new system.
However, I think that if you want the player to be able to assess how much time is required to move from a point to another, the new system is far superior.
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Ultima Ratio Regum
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« Reply #138 on: June 11, 2013, 05:08:32 AM »

Speed sounds hard to handle in a game where movement is based on tiles and time on turns... I think keeping it simple is best option, but the best way to be sure is to actually test the new system.
However, I think that if you want the player to be able to assess how much time is required to move from a point to another, the new system is far superior.

Agreed - I increasingly realized that a complex system made things just too unclear for the player. I'm not sure how important it is to be able to assess time from point A to point B (though I could write a very simple function for that), but more crucial in combat. Probably.
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« Reply #139 on: June 11, 2013, 02:26:05 PM »

I think either Brogue or Stone Soup has a similar speed mechanism, some creatures only move once every two turns for instance. Not sure how it would work from a player's perspective, do I have to press 'up' 8 times to move one tile? What happens if I press 7 'ups' followed by one 'down' etc.
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