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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsRun the Void - First Person Space Roguelike
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Author Topic: Run the Void - First Person Space Roguelike  (Read 4212 times)
fraxcell
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« on: August 06, 2014, 10:32:14 am »

Run the Void is a first person roguelike (roguelike-like?) that seeks to combine the systemic gameplay and atmosphere of the System Shocks, the exploration and space posses of Mass Effect, and the procedurally generated elements of Dwarf Fortress. You'll start as a lowly space plebeian, and be tasked with commandeering a ship, acquiring crew members, and flying around the galaxy. There will probably be some sort of endgame goal, similar in scope to the suicide mission in Mass Effect 2. However, if you just want to fly around and explore alien ruins, you should be able to do that too.

My primary vision for Run the Void is creating a seamless experience, where you can go from flying a ship to fighting off space pirates to exploring a planet without ever experiencing a loading screen or being taken out of your first person perspective. This is a pretty challenging task, so I'll be spending the first part of development making prototypes of every gameplay system I can think of. This includes stuff like procedural generation, npc interaction, space ship piloting, and combat.

I plan on posting from a backlog of dev log updates I've been doing until I catch up to current development. Until then, here's a quick mockup I made of how the game might look in the future (although hopefully it will be less monochrome and have better textures Smiley)




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PeteHuf
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« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2014, 01:09:50 pm »

Sounds like a cool project! Those textures might even be alright depending on what you do with lighting.
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Biodrome Devlog! Competitive exploration in procedural platformer adventure worlds.
fraxcell
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« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2014, 04:47:22 pm »

Sounds like a cool project! Those textures might even be alright depending on what you do with lighting.

Thanks. I'm using Game Maker, so lighting effects will probably be pretty minimal... I'll see what I can do though  Smiley

Speaking of Game Maker...

Update #1 Procedural Dungeon Generation, or Everything is a Dungeon
On a basic level, my idea of a dungeon is simply a collection of rooms connected by corridors. By this definition, most environments in Run the Void are dungeons. Space Stations and moon bases are dungeons. Spaceships are dungeons too, just more logically arranged and compact. Planet surfaces are dungeons too, modeled after the KOTOR approach of having large open areas connected by relatively narrow passageways, rather than a truly open space like Skyrim or something. Even cities are dungeons, although instead of being connected by corridors, rooms might be connected by an open area with streets and alleyways.
Since everything is a dungeon, the first prototype I've been working on is procedural dungeon creation. I based my algorithm on this helpful example by Big Bad Waffle. The method is pretty simple. It starts by generating a number of randomly sized rooms.

Next, the rooms are squashed together towards the center of the space (in this case, the compression is pretty extreme, as you might see in a compact space like a space station).

The final step is to generate corridors between the rooms. This is definitely an early iteration of corridor generation. I was able to ensure that no more than one corridor would exist between any two rooms, but unfortunately it’s easy for some rooms to become separated from the rest with no connecting passageways.. In the future I’ll use pathfinding to ensure all the rooms are properly connected.

So there we go, my first procedurally generated dungeon. Next time: better corridor generation and a little more specificity in room layouts.
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fraxcell
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« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2014, 12:24:36 pm »

#2 Fleshing out Dungeon Generation
I implemented some algorithms to try and produce room layouts that felt more like a space station or space base thematically. This involved adding some parameters to create certain starting layouts, which would then be built upon by the current dungeon generation.
For example, here is a dungeon which started out with one central room with four main hallways branching out from it. After this hub was created, more rooms were generated around it and connected through the standard algorithm.

This is another example where a ring shaped hallway forms the base of the area.

In other news, I made some significant improvements to corridor generation by using gamemaker’s mp_grid functions. This works by choosing one room, and making sure that there is a path from the selected room to every other room. Maybe not the most efficient method, but it works pretty well.
Here’s an example of a dungeon generated with the old corridor method (note the rooms in the center that aren’t connected to anything) (ignore the numbers and stuff, they’re just for debugging).

And here it is with the new method:

Much better! Everything is now connected properly. Next time, I'll try and work in some 3d tilesets.
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ndke
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« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2014, 02:29:00 pm »

Sounds really cool, the dungeon generation is very interesting!
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poe
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« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2014, 09:16:04 am »

Your level gen looks fantastic, really nice detail you're putting into it Smiley
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fraxcell
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« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2014, 10:49:00 am »

Thanks for the kind words guys Smiley

#3 3d Tilesets
Here’s a quick look at one those procedural levels with some 3d models thrown in (keep in mind you can click on all these images to view larger versions).
I used two models here, one corner piece, and one wall piece.

And here's another tileset, this time with support for inside and outside corners:

I also started experimenting with multi level “dungeons” (although not without running into some funny looking bugs on the way)
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ndke
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« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2014, 11:48:20 am »

That's looking awesome!
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Suedeash
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« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2014, 12:45:50 pm »

This is looking awesome so far, and it definitely has a ton of potential. Keep hustlin', OP.  Smiley
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TheAnndddyyyy
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« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2014, 12:46:42 pm »

Love the high concept of the game! Can't wait to see where you take this.

Are you working on this solo or do you have a team?
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fraxcell
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« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2014, 12:59:38 pm »

Thank you folks, it's super motivating to hear your positive feedback.

Are you working on this solo or do you have a team?
I'm doing it solo Hand Any Key
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fraxcell
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« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2014, 11:56:21 am »

#4 AI Prototyping
Started work on a new prototype, this one is AI. Right now I have a simple state based AI, with a passive state, a search state, and a combat state. In the following gif, you can see the AI (red ball) search for the player (blue ball) and then alternate between shooting and taking cover. I’m once again using gamemaker’s mp_grid functions for pathfinding.

I also tested out an algorithm for door placement:
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fraxcell
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« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2014, 10:51:22 am »

#5 More “Dungeon” Generation Work
I was running into some roadblocks with my procedural generation prototype when trying to make better looking 3d structures, so I decided to rewrite it from scratch. I made some better use of gamemaker’s data structure functions like ds_grid, and made room generation much more modular. Among other things, I can now generate generate individual groups of rooms and combine them together into one level. For example, here’s a central hub with four groups of rooms surrounding it:

This new functionality allows much more flexibility in designing complex areas with multiple levels. It also makes it easier to gate off certain areas, leading to puzzles and metroidvania style exploration.

EDIT Accidentally posted update #6 ahead of #5, I guess I'll just leave them both here

#6 Back to 3d
Implemented a much better version of multi level structures. Now each level has its own data structure, and I can do stuff like pathfinding between different floors. In this gif you can see an ai make its way towards a target that’s one floor higher than it by making use of an elevator. It doesn't work perfectly; I still have to account for cases like when the target is on the same floor, but in a room that is inaccessible without, say, going up a floor and then back down.
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« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2014, 11:07:14 am »

I've always loved the idea of crossing roguelike over with other genres. This looks pretty cool. Dungeon generation is already looking nice.
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Cloudiest Nights
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« Reply #14 on: August 10, 2014, 01:49:08 pm »

Wait, this is being made with GameMaker? And it's 3D?!

Definitely following, and good luck on doing 3D in Gamemaker!  Beer!
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fraxcell
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« Reply #15 on: August 11, 2014, 03:27:33 pm »

Thanks folks.

@Cloudiest Nights Yeah, the only reason I chose GM is because I've been using it forever. I've tried Unity in the past and stuff but kept getting frustrated over having to look up how to do every single little thing I wanted to do... Fortunately GM studio seems to be a lot faster than previous versions, so a project like this is actually feasible Smiley

#7 Combat
Began working on fps combat. I was able to reuse some code and assets for melee weapons from an older project, so that’s working pretty well. I also put in some bare-bones hit detection for projectile weapons. You can see it in action in this gif:

Next step is making the enemies fight back Wink
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fraxcell
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« Reply #16 on: August 12, 2014, 01:10:12 pm »

#8 AI and 3d Interfaces
Gave the enemies some AI, watch them take cover and attempt to coordinate an assault on the player in this gif  (shooting is represented by their arms turning green because I’m too lazy to give them actual weapons)

Also did some work on 3d interfaces, which will generally be your primary method of interacting with things in the environment (opening doors, operating spaceships, and so on)
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fraxcell
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« Reply #17 on: August 13, 2014, 12:26:08 pm »

#9 Modelling
Did a bunch of modelling tests, trying to find what works well for low poly modular tilesets. Here's some images of that process (as always, click to view larger versions):

Blender pictures:




And a couple in game shots:


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fraxcell
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« Reply #18 on: August 18, 2014, 06:09:35 pm »

#10 Project Update
Hey folks, sorry I haven't updated in a few days. I've been taking some time to seriously reconsider the scope of this game. I've run into a couple of issues with procedural generation, which can be summarized in these points:
  • PCG is very difficult technically, especially when dealing with three dimensions
  • It's challenging to create procedural environments that offer enough diversity to encourage players to explore a totally procedural world
  • Making procedural levels that look good, play well, and are not boring seems to require a great deal of tweaking and hand authored content
  • If I'm going to be making all this hand crafted content, why not just make one predefined experience that I know will look reasonably good and play reasonably well, rather than trying to offer infinite mediocre experiences?
Obviously, lots of games use procedural content to create amazing and unique scenarios. However, with my (limited) skillset, I think it's more reasonable to try and create a more authored experience.

In other news Game Maker no longer works for me! Apparently it is trying to update itself, but it's having some issues. Probably because yoyogames is down! It's a little alarming that the software that I paid for isn't working just because the website for the company I bought it from is down, but I guess that's just the time we live in now.
(Actually I just figured out I can get Game Maker to run... but only if I disconnect my computer from the internet. Lovely)

In the mean time I've been continuing to churn out models and textures.

 
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ndke
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« Reply #19 on: August 20, 2014, 03:51:52 am »

Love the looks of this, great job!
Are you going to add other types of weapons like bows etc. ?
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