PlomRogue Development Blog

7DRL 2015, Day 5

Time is getting scarce. My 7DRL game Please the Island God is supposed to be finished on Sunday, one minute before midnight. And I intend to go to a party on Saturday evening – so some social life will cut into the remaining time. I guess it's good to have some time off before the final Sunday sprint. Some relaxation, some diversion will hopefully clear my head for focusing on the final priorities. Don't expect much blogging about day 6. It's possible that I won't blog at all anymore before day 7 is over …

In any case, here's a screenshot of my game at the end of day 5:

A screenshot of "Please the Island God".

Some quick notes on what I did on day 5:

Bugfixing: The game kept crashing. That is no minor issue to postpone to the last minute. I had to delve deep into my engine client's C code to fix an obscure memory management issue (I can't thank the makers of valgrind and gdb enough for the help their tools provide with this). Identifying and solving the problem took a few hours. That was quite frustrating considering the scarcity of time. But such issues are the reason I ported my engine server to Python before the 7DRL. I'd probably have to fight many more such problems if I had not done that …

New altar mission: The altar now provides two agricultural missions. To avoid spoilers, I will not go into details here. I managed to play them a bit and balance the difficulties. I intend to add one or two more missions, shifting the focus from the plants to the animals. We will see how far I get with this …

Stacks of items: More than one object can fit on one map cell. But which one is shown in the map display? In what order are items listed in the "Things here" window? The "pick something up" action so far takes no argument, so which item is picked up when there are many to chose from? Before day 5, I (or rather: my code) made decisions somewhat randomly, or inconsistently. I finally forced the same stacking logic on all cases, sorting items in item stacks by priorities I can configure easily in the game configuration file.

"Things here" window: I made this window scrollable, for great stacks of items will not fit easily into its frame. I also added one list entry to describe the terrain at the bottom. (See screenshot.)

Map cell meta data: I made it simpler to identify stacks of items (as opposed to single items) in the map display: Their symbol gets a "+" suffix (see the dollar sign in the center of the screenshot above). I also gave actors (see "a", "d", and "@" in the screenshot above) health bars: The screen cell next to their symbol will turn from green to yellow, and from yellow to red, as the actor's health deteriorates. The extra space in the double-width ASCII cells of my hex map sure pays off! (I should not overdo it, though, or else the map grid will become invisible.)

Colors: I keep re-doing the colors. I want to keep things simple and only use the eight default ones provided by ncurses. But there's more and more information to shove into them …

Download: Here's the day 5 version of my 7DRL: It's far from finished, but I think there is already some amount of playability in it.


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