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Monday, April 26, 2010


After a massive migraine-inducing programming session I have gotten the procedural dungeon generation working :D

In lay terms, it means that every single dungeon in the game will be different. Some will be tiny, some will be MASSIVE and sprawling labyrinths. What's that? That's in games already? Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that this game is infinite... There are an infinite number of dungeons in the game, and ALL of them will be different! They are generated by the COMPUTER, and not by a level designer.

Similar things have been accomplished in games such as Diablo and Torchlight before, but those games actually only use a 'faked' procedural generator where a selection of pre-designed 'chunks' of a level are slapped together in a random order, so while each level is different and random, you're walking through the same thing over and over again. In The Sword of Ahkranox, EVERY piece of the dungeon is random.

This is gonna be fun to play...

Now I have it working on a 2D plane, the next step is to fix up a couple of minor bugs and then get the game generating staircases so as to build multi-level dungeons. So far the engine supports dungeons that can be up to 10 storeys deep, which - with each level being up to 50x50 grid spaces, that makes a possibility of an in-game dungeon with up to a quarter of a million areas to explore.

I dunno, I can't explain it any better than that... If you're a programmer, you'll understand the staggering implications of what I've managed to do. If you're not... Well... Jump up and down and clap and just accept that it's an amazing breakthrough in video gaming, then buy me a drink when you see me next to say job well done.

Anyway, I've attached a couple of pics of the level generation system (top down) and inside one of the levels (still low-res wall models and zero lighting/props/monsters). Just know that what you're looking at was designed ENTIRELY by the computer, and not by me.

I've also been playing around with the monster's animations. They can now walk, run, charge, dodge, block, be hit, attack and die - among other things. So once I've perfected the level generation, monster population will be one of the next things to do.

So here's the updated completed list:
- Basic test dungeon models
- Character movement (grid based)
- Basic lighting
- Model loading
- NPC model animation
- World asset generation
- Basic dungeon generation
- Multi-tiered 2D levels
- Initial set monster animation

Aaaaand the updated to-do list:
- Fix small bugs in 2D dungeon generation
- Add t-junctions to dungeon generation
- Add doors to dungeon generation
- Add rooms to dungeon generation
- Get player collision working
- Basic AI (no player recognition)
- Range-of-vision processing (hiding 3D models that the viewer can't see to preserve memory)


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