7DRL 2012: Dead Night Forest Chapter 2: The Lost Caravan

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Mar 11, 2012, 4:37:10 PM3/11/12
I'll be starting on my 7drl 2012 challenge entry after lunch. My goal is
to experiment and hopefully create a first person, real time melee
combat based game which, despite the perspective and time step switch,
cannot be mistaken for anything but a roguelike. The setting is a sequel
to a ludum dare game I did a few months ago, and will borrow some art
assets from that project.

Start time: Sunday March 11th, 2:00pm, PDT.


Mar 18, 2012, 10:35:25 AM3/18/12
On 3/11/2012 1:37 PM, edenicholas wrote:

> Start time: Sunday March 11th, 2:00pm, PDT.

Just under 9 hours left. A playable version appears! Windows only for now.


Going to take a short nap, then do some more testing and tweaks.

The caravan which was due is late and the forest is full of rogues.
Recover gold and supplies by force of arms.

WASD to move (you can change keys on the Input tab of the splash screen)
Move the mouse up, down, left, or right before you press left mouse to
set the direction of the attack.
Press left mouse button to pull back sword, hold to charge it up power,
release to swing.
Charging up power may give special abilities to your swings... for
instance perform a guard break by charging up a downward attack for half
a second.
Right click uses items. Only one potion can be active at a time.
Duplicates will be converted to gold, eating food at full health also
converts to gold.
Space jumps.
Tab and Escape pause the game.

Your XP will increase each time you hit, kill an enemy, or clear an
area. Your XP will decrease when you are hit, or when you are unlucky.
Enemies become stronger at higher XP levels, but you will get more gold
from all gold bearing activities.

There are two game modes, Normal and Hunger. In Hunger mode, you will
lose a bit of health every 10 seconds.

There is no saving mid-game (each games should be short anyways), only
the highest gold total and level reached is saved.


Mar 18, 2012, 5:02:13 PM3/18/12
I'm calling this one a success!

You can get Windows (and eventually Mac) downloads here:


Mar 19, 2012, 2:50:34 AM3/19/12
I made a gameplay video for it: http://youtu.be/k1L_VlehaEE


Mar 22, 2012, 11:11:30 PM3/22/12
On 3/18/2012 11:50 PM, edenicholas wrote:
> On 3/18/2012 2:02 PM, edenicholas wrote:
>> https://sites.google.com/site/edenicholas/roguelikes/thelostcaravan

Wrote a quick post-mortem. Biggest wrong: Not being roguelike (or is it
roguelike-like? (or is it Binding of Isaac-like?)) enough. Any
suggestions or ideas on how to improve would be appreciated. (besides
"make a turn based game" :P)

What went right:

1. Unity
It's well documented and when I had questions, a quick Google search
(eg. "unity 3d how do I obtain a random rotation around the y axis")
would turn up what I needed. This is the 5th project I've made in Unity
in the past 4 months, so I was up to speed and needed very little lead
time to practice.

2. Simple art style
I stuck to the simple art style that I adopted in Dead Night Forest 1
and just didn't worry about it. And the enemy's beady eyes make me want
to hack and slash them all that much more.

3. Got the combat system working fairly early
I really love roguelikes and have for many years, but these days I
really want something more twitch based, but not a mash fest like Elder
Scrolls has become. That was one of the goals of this project and I feel
I accomplished much. It's a nice proof of concept that the system I had
in my head would work in practice. I can take what I've learned here and
start work on my Skyrim-killer roguelike fps hybrid in earnest.

What went wrong:

1. It's barely a roguelike
A pretty major factor in a roguelike dev challenge. While I created a
playable game after 7 days, what I've created is barely a roguelike. It
has procedural levels, and a basic item ID system, permadeath, and
that's about it. The hunger mode gives you a real-time hunger clock, but
it's optional. One major flaw is the lack of resource management, aside
from health. Another is that there's no tactical advantages presented in
the layout of the map. The last I feel would be interesting, game
changing items. The potion effects were meant to change up the way one
approaches each battle, but that really didn't come across that well.

2. Not enough enemy types, enemy attack types, and
Encounters feel too bland. Each enemy has only one attack. With only two
enemy types that means there are only two types of attacks to learn how
to avoid or counter. Which leads to...

3. Enemies are too easily kited to death.
A major thing that I overlooked was simply kiting enemies and attacking.
I knew in early testing that the problem was there, just slash, back up
and wait for the enemy to approach, slash again. This is a 100% way to
beat every enemy. The AI will fall for it every time, and it totally
eliminates all the depth of countering and guard breaking that I worked
on adding.

All in all, it was a fun week, and a great learning experience. I got a
ton of practice modeling and animating in Blender, and really pushed the
boundaries of my knowledge of Unity game development. I ended with a
playable game, that despite the game breaking bug (#3 above), I find
quite fun to play. also the sound effects I created for eating and
drinking make me giggle.

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