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!