Sorry for the Lack of Updates

Yikes, it has been too long since I’ve updated! This is partly due to a series of illnesses in my family but also something I need to improve upon. I feel like I owe it to the two or three fans watching my progress to be better than this. I haven’t had as much time to work on the game as I would like but I have gotten a few things done since my last update. Mostly minor bug fixes, and code refactoring. One major change was how the attack works in the game. The difference is subtle but I like it a lot better, and the code is nicer. See if you can notice! I have also been working on replacing all the art assets in the game, which for me is going to be a pretty big undertaking. I’m not a very experienced artist, but so far I’ve been pretty pleased with myself with what I’ve been producing. It is time consuming for me, but I know I’ll get faster and the quality will improve with time. Here is the new orc I’m working on. I’m still tweaking it and I only have the side walking animation. I feel that it is coming along pretty nicely though.

Orc or Ork?

After reading my last blog post, my wife asked me what was up with my spelling of ork. I really hadn’t actually thought about it. I’m not sure why I chose the ork spelling, I just needed to type out that word and it is the first that came to mind. It got me curious though, had I actually misspelled a simple 3 letter word like that?

Based on my 3 minutes of research, no, ork is a valid spelling. Although, it could easily be argued, and I wouldn’t put up a fight, that orc is more appropriate. Ork is most commonly used in the Warhammer 40k game for their sci-fi version of the orc. Orc is most commonly used everywhere else with only some exception. While there is no official convention, ork, is generally used in science fiction and orc for fantasy. Ork is also used in several european language spellings.

Because it is bothering me now, I’ll be switching to the use of orc as the spelling in my game code and everywhere else. The only place you’ll see ork from now on is in this and the previous blog post where I used it.

My Content is Procedural

I love procedural content generation! It allows you to add so much content to a game without too much extra effort. If you have been playing Dungeons of Lunaria for a while you may have noticed that the dungeon looks different each time you refresh the game, and if you revisit after destroying the dungeon orb. Monsters and other entities are also placed randomly throughout the dungeon. This allows for near infinite dungeons for the hero to explore.

My goal is to have as much of the content generated procedurally as possible in this game. My first monster subject for this process is the ork. Among the free assets I got from OpenGameArt.org are 5 different ork skin tones. By randomly choosing a skin tone while creating an ork for the game, I can have 5 different looking orks appear. I also have 24 different sleeveless shirts for the ork to wear. If I generate a random skin tone and a random shirt, that is 120 different orks! Now add in the 25 pants to the ork and you get 3,000 ork variations! All with very minimal programming.

What I just described is really only the beginning for the ork. In addition to other articles of clothing, I also plan to mix and match the ork stats too. Speed, hit points, attack damage, and probably a few other metrics can all be adjusted algorithmically. Orks and other enemies will all be stronger each time the dungeon orb is destroyed and a new dungeon is generated. This means that there are potentially hundreds of thousands of ork variants that can be found in this game. I don’t have an exact number yet, since I’m not sure which metrics I will decide to adjust among variants.

The game has more monsters than just orks though, the skeleton generator will also get the same upgrade as the orks, meaning thousands of skeleton variants will be in the game with very minimal new code. I will also be adding other monsters to the game which will have their own combinations of clothing, body parts, and stats. By the time I’ve added just a few more monsters there should be millions of monster variants to combat within the dungeon.

At some point I also plan to have equipment that the hero can pick up and use. These will also be varied in the same way. There will be millions of weapons the hero can equip, littered about the dungeon.

I do plan to have some static content in the game. Certain characters that populate the camp/village will not be procedurally generated. The map for the surface will also be statically created. I have plans for this part of the game that do not lend itself to procedural generation. You’ll have to keep playing to find out what!

Dungeons of Lunaria

Hey! A blog post! I must be up to something, right? I sure am. I’ve begun and have gotten a significant amount of work done on a new video game called Dungeons of Lunaria. The game is playable by visiting dungeonsoflunaria.com although it won’t work properly on mobile.

The game is meant to be an adventure dungeon crawl style game, with procedural generated dungeons and monsters. You delve into the dungeon to find the dungeon orb, destroying monsters along the way. Once the orb is destroyed you’ll need to escape the dungeon, quickly, or die trying to find your way out.

Right now a majority of the planned features are still missing. I have some fun game-play coded, but there is a long way to go. Right now I have a placeholder map put in for the surface of the dungeon. It just has a campfire the read me sign and the entrance to the dungeon. I’m using free images from opengameart.com as a stand in until I can get my own images produced. It is possible to find some pretty high quality images for free on there, but it is my goal to have a unique consistent look for the game, but that is expensive and there is a lot of code for me to write before I think it’ll make sense to upgrade the look.

Once I flesh out the core features of the dungeon, I plan to work on creating a city builder above ground. Dungeon heroes will need someplace to spend all that gold they find in the dungeon below ground. They’ll be able to spend it upgrading their camp, which can eventually grow into a small town, and eventually perhaps a thriving metropolis. I’m not really sure how far I’ll take that. I like the idea, but as a solo dev it might take some time to create.

Making this game is going to take a lot of time. I so far have only spent a short amount of time each day working on the game in between my day job, taking care of the kids, and everything else I need to do before I can start on my hobbies. I’ve gotten pretty good however, at making the most out of short intervals of time. So keep checking back for more progress. Dungeonsoflunaria.com will always link to the newest version of the game and I will try to keep this blog updated with what’s new.