ordinal: (Default)

Some sample output from my tests of the Conflict system for the browserish Roguelike MMOish thing that I am writing; at the moment, it is just NPCs challenging each other.

I am a little bored of games where “conflict” simply means repeated murder attempts, so I decided to test with a different model of conflict.

Your technique cannot possible defeat mine! )
ordinal: (Ordinal 8px sprite)
A quick few thoughts that I have been batting back and forward as I work on my HTML5/JS MMO-ish Roguelike client.

As a basic introduction or recap, the client obtains current map data and basic information via AJAX, and then lets the player move around looking at things without needing to talk to the server, until either

(a) the PC moves out of the current map region and so needs a new map;
(b) the PC hits a "hotspot", which is a square that requires a server update. The client isn't told _why_ the hotspot is hot;
(c) the player performs an action that needs a server update, such as using an object;
(d) or an idle time limit is reached of a few seconds, and every minute or so of idleness after that.

(I quite quickly abandoned the idea of light and vision masks - that means that every step the player makes means having to ask for an update, and on a phone, that is a bit catastrophic; it's even annoying on the desktop with broadband.)

Whenever the client syncs with the server, it sends a list of all of the moves the player has made. The server calculates the outcomes and sends back an entirely new game environment (a very small amount of data) - so it is practically impossible to cheat. If you send impossible moves, the server will ignore them and send back a game state on that basis, and anything involving random factors is calculated server-side.

Yes, it gets worse. )

On the other hand, there have been lots of diverting games in the past which had pretty limited NPC movement on the map. Some had none at all (e.g. The Bard's Tale just had random encounters and some ones fixed to map points).
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What I would like to do would be to create little "stealth" games that can fit inside other sites.

For instance, with 8px sprites, you could fit an entire game into a 100x100px space. That's nothing in the modern browser world. That's a tiny area in a sidebar, and the Javascript required is not huge, either. Zoom in if you'd like to see it in detail, or just move around and explore a world.
ordinal: (Default)
I have something to confess. I have become obsessed with making 8x8 pixel sprites.

It started when I began writing HTML5 games, concentrating on the Roguelike style, which requires sprites, really. (I did start off with character-based displays but did not find this very satisfying.) If I had not had Sprite Something for my iPad, I probably would have given up at this stage, but I do, so I didn't.

At first, 16px tiles and sprites were fine. I even flirted briefly with 32px ones, or such oddities as 24px isometric tiles. But gradually the size reduced. It is so much quicker to create an 8x8 pixel sprite, and also, in practice, more of a challenge - the colour of every pixel counts.

Of course, an 8px sprite is basically invisible on a modern computer screen, and to be visible, these images have to be enlarged to 32px or more. Here is the current state of my primary 8px character/monster tileset, enlarged to four times normal size:

All images full copyright - these are things I may use.

Tile 101 is me:

Quite a few of those are to be moved to other sheets. The system I have worked out allows for dynamic tilesets, anyway, which don't give away details of tiles the player hasn't seen, and this is not designed to be a generic fantasy game - the demons and elementals were for practice. But I have hundred more of the things - objects, map tiles, icons. Late at night, in bed, I take out my iPad and stylus and shift pixels about. It's worrying and probably, in practice, unproductive.

p.s.: I am aware of the "oryx" sprites, and they're very good work, but not quite what I'm looking for. In any case I would like to do things myself.

December 2014

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