6DRL Success - 6 Days Later

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sinoth

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Nov 1, 2009, 9:45:29 PM11/1/09
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Download (win32 and linux32 binaries and source):
http://sinoth.net/code/6dl.zip


The gameplay revolves around defending a cellar door from zombie attack.
You can build defenses such as walls to help you. Once all the
zombies in a round are killed, you enter build mode again with some
additional resources and continue the cycle as more and more zombies attack.

As with most #drl, we didn't have much time to balance or fully test
gameplay. BUT! Nearly all the features we wanted to include are
finished and hopefully segfault free.

I'll try to get buub0nik on here so he can better explain how he did the
zombie behavior.

Overall a fun project. We will definitely be tweaking this into a more
fun experience. Thanks as always to jice who provides the awesome
library libtcod. This is our third project using it, and it preforms
like a champ.

Nik Coughlin

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Nov 2, 2009, 12:04:20 AM11/2/09
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"sinoth" <sin...@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:hclh4c$28b$1...@news.eternal-september.org...

I was having fun, but then on the 2nd day the turn failed to end after I
killed all the zombies. I spent ages playing "hunt the zombie" just in case
I'd missed one, but after traversing the whole level several times I
realised that there weren't any more.

Also, once I switched into minimal interface mode, I couldn't switch back by
pressing tab again. If I hold tab down the full interface comes back but it
goes back to minimal as soon as I let go of tab. However, you can get back
into full mode by pressing d to drop and then cancelling it with esc.


Nik Coughlin

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Nov 2, 2009, 12:27:02 AM11/2/09
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"Nik Coughlin" <nrkn...@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:hclp80$jp3$1...@news.eternal-september.org...

No problems on second run, apart from getting myself killed. Didn't try
switching min/full interface this time

jice

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Nov 2, 2009, 3:57:19 AM11/2/09
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Congratulations to both of you for being #1 libtcod user with 3
releases !
Nice old school font. Reminds me good ol' Amstrad days :)
--
jice

purplearcanist

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Nov 2, 2009, 12:44:38 PM11/2/09
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Good job guys, expect a review of it shortly from me.

I found two bugs that I would like to see fixed if you are going to do
further work on it:
1. When I buy a terrain tile worth 6 metal, and I have 6 metal left,
it won't let me buy it.
2. I don't want it to segfault when a monster can't be placed.

Good Luck on this 6DRL. Also, I invite you to try my 7DRL, PlantForce.

Nik Coughlin

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Nov 3, 2009, 3:44:38 PM11/3/09
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"Nik Coughlin" <nrkn...@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:hclqii$rbb$1...@news.eternal-september.org...

Now that I've played it a few more times, I like it, but I'll wait for
another release to play it any further. The balance of the game is a bit
like, really easy for a few levels and then die on the next level every
time. Looking forward to seeing where you take it!

purplearcanist

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Nov 3, 2009, 11:20:00 PM11/3/09
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Ok, review time:

Concept: Draft a good prototype for a Roguelike, but fail to give it
the bugfix it needs to be a good game.
Graphics: Utilizes libtcod for a good-looking roguelike and an
interesting visual effect between day and night. ****
Controls: I wonder why SHIFT was chosen for help instead of ?. And
why is the player able to attack his barriers without confirmation?
At least the controls are intuitive and explained coherently. ****
Difficulty: Zombies start out as wimps, lulling you into a false
sense of security. Overnight, they eat steroids, suddenly becoming a
much bigger threat. I didn't find too many problems beating them, but
the game kept crashing before I could explore further. Some may be
appaled at the sudden change in difficulty.
Strategy: The choice of four resources to build things seems odd,
especially considering the few things there are to build. Strategy
simply consists of surrounding your cellar with walls, as zombies will
punch at them hopelessly. ***
Bugs: Prepare for an annoying search and destroy after the zombies
suddenly stop moving for no apparent reason. Brace yourself for
segmentation faults that will kill your game. **
Overall: Zombies+Tower Defense is a great idea for a roguelike, but
the bugs make it annoying to slog through. A great framework, but
needs plenty of polish. ***

Other comments: My other annoyance was with handing out items, as you
have to place them directly on the map. This is slightly annoying
when you can't see what items you have, and you can't cancel the
handout.

sinoth

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Nov 5, 2009, 10:42:00 AM11/5/09
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Many thanks for the review! I'll do my best to explain some of these
points.

> Concept: Draft a good prototype for a Roguelike, but fail to give it
> the bugfix it needs to be a good game.

Agreed! Unfortunately, this seems to be a chronic problem for buub0nik
and I. No matter if the competition is 7 days, 6 days, 48 hours,
whatever... we always seem to get to that point of "OK, the engine is
done, time to balance!" but we hit that point 30 minutes before deadline xD

I hate this because while I am happy about the technical nature of the
engine, the player doesn't care. The player wants a segfault-free and
balanced experience. I think the lesson to take from this is that we
need to feature-freeze 24 hours before submission and JUST work on
playtesting and bugfixes. I wanted to do that this time but we simply
didn't have our core features finished early enough.


> Graphics: Utilizes libtcod for a good-looking roguelike and an
> interesting visual effect between day and night. ****

libtcod is a wonderful little library, especially if you take full
advantage of its color functions. For example, we will eventually
implement fire and burning tiles. An easy way to represent this would
be to color a tile's background red, but if you want to get fancy you
can fade the red in and out to make it flicker like a flame. Also, jice
just added an SDL post-process render callback, meaning you can do stuff
like draw particles for an explosion, or animate environment effects
like rain. Very cool stuff!


> Controls: I wonder why SHIFT was chosen for help instead of ?. And
> why is the player able to attack his barriers without confirmation?
> At least the controls are intuitive and explained coherently. ****

I was having problems getting '?' to register for some reason! I spent
30 minutes trying to get it to work and just gave up, assigning SHIFT
instead. I have since figured out what I was doing wrong, and the next
version will use '?'.

As far as attacking your own barricades, I felt this was ok. One punch
against a barricade shouldn't screw you over too badly, and having a "Do
you really want to do this?" confirmation would be annoying if you
actually DO want to destroy something. I assume players will
accidentally hit a wall a few times and quickly get used to that fact
and be more careful. If you can think of a better way to handle this
I'd love to hear it!


> Difficulty: Zombies start out as wimps, lulling you into a false
> sense of security. Overnight, they eat steroids, suddenly becoming a
> much bigger threat. I didn't find too many problems beating them, but
> the game kept crashing before I could explore further. Some may be
> appaled at the sudden change in difficulty.

Ah, balance issues. Would you be disgusted to know we didn't even fully
play the game before submitting it? I know I am :P


> Strategy: The choice of four resources to build things seems odd,
> especially considering the few things there are to build. Strategy
> simply consists of surrounding your cellar with walls, as zombies will
> punch at them hopelessly. ***

Funny story -- buub0nik's girlfriend (who is an architect) was there
when we discussed some of the basic ideas for this game. She was
absolutely thrilled at being able to build stuff, and wanted us to
pretty much make Bob the Builder 7DRL. She was listing off all these
different building materials, multiple types of concrete, what to use in
different situations and for structural integrity, etc etc etc. We
obviously didn't go that far, and settled on four resources :)

I too feel like there is something lacking here. In my mind I wanted
complex interaction between different structures. For example, cement
walls would block sound better than wood. Wood walls would allow light
to shine through, but can catch fire (possibly a good thing for traps?).
Braces help absorb damage and can be repaired. Metal walls are hard
to break but can be toppled if too much weight is applied to one side.
I hope subtleties like this should make the building more interesting.

Also, more complex zombie behavior will hopefully put more focus on good
building strategy. They need to understand how to navigate gaps in
walls, rather than simply walking into them.


> Bugs: Prepare for an annoying search and destroy after the zombies
> suddenly stop moving for no apparent reason. Brace yourself for
> segmentation faults that will kill your game. **

Yeaaa, that is an embarrassingly game-breaking bug. That will
definitely be fixed in our next update.


> Other comments: My other annoyance was with handing out items, as you
> have to place them directly on the map. This is slightly annoying
> when you can't see what items you have, and you can't cancel the
> handout.

How would you improve the salvage system? I didn't want to put items
directly in inventory, since if the player's inventory is full it would
require a better item-management interface which would have taken too
much time. The idea was that placing directly on the map would allow
you to stash ammo in a certain spot if you wanted. There definitely
needs to be a 'discard' option so you don't clutter up the map with crap
you don't need.

Thanks again for the review.. I appreciate the testing of our entirely
unpolished game. With some tweaking I hope it'll actually be fun :)

sinoth

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Nov 5, 2009, 10:51:33 AM11/5/09
to
> Now that I've played it a few more times, I like it, but I'll wait for
> another release to play it any further. The balance of the game is a
> bit like, really easy for a few levels and then die on the next level
> every time. Looking forward to seeing where you take it!

Thanks for testing! I don't blame you for waiting on the next release..
the current version is in a pretty sad state. I just posted a
post-mortem in response to purplearcanist's review. If you have time
you should check that out and comment on anything you'd like improved or
think should be added!


>>> Also, once I switched into minimal interface mode, I couldn't switch
>>> back by pressing tab again. If I hold tab down the full interface
>>> comes back but it goes back to minimal as soon as I let go of tab.
>>> However, you can get back into full mode by pressing d to drop and
>>> then cancelling it with esc.

This is by design, but I knew it might be a bad decision. The idea was
you would mostly be playing in minimal mode, and only switch to full
interface when you need to reload or heal. Is this something you can
get used to, or is it just annoying? It would be easy to change the
minimal mode to a toggle, so you wouldn't have to hold TAB. Also, I
will probably add a bit more information to the minimal interface, such
as ammo remaining and equipped weapons.

purplearcanist

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Nov 5, 2009, 5:58:32 PM11/5/09
to
On Nov 5, 8:42 am, sinoth <sin...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Many thanks for the review!  I'll do my best to explain some of these
> points.

Thanks for commenting on my review.

> > Graphics:  Utilizes libtcod for a good-looking roguelike and an
> > interesting visual effect between day and night.  ****
>
> libtcod is a wonderful little library, especially if you take full
> advantage of its color functions.  For example, we will eventually
> implement fire and burning tiles.  An easy way to represent this would
> be to color a tile's background red, but if you want to get fancy you
> can fade the red in and out to make it flicker like a flame.  Also, jice
> just added an SDL post-process render callback, meaning you can do stuff
> like draw particles for an explosion, or animate environment effects
> like rain.  Very cool stuff!
>

Libtcod convinced me to start programming in C++, combined with the
failure of java to do good graphics. It is an awesome library, but I
need to figure out how to do objects and header files in C++.

> > Controls:  I wonder why SHIFT was chosen for help instead of ?.  And
> > why is the player able to attack his barriers without confirmation?
> > At least the controls are intuitive and explained coherently.  ****
>
> I was having problems getting '?' to register for some reason!  I spent
> 30 minutes trying to get it to work and just gave up, assigning SHIFT
> instead.  I have since figured out what I was doing wrong, and the next
> version will use '?'.

I see.

> As far as attacking your own barricades, I felt this was ok.  One punch
> against a barricade shouldn't screw you over too badly, and having a "Do
> you really want to do this?" confirmation would be annoying if you
> actually DO want to destroy something.  I assume players will
> accidentally hit a wall a few times and quickly get used to that fact
> and be more careful.  If you can think of a better way to handle this
> I'd love to hear it!

A better way of doing this would be to allow the player to destroy
barricades with a confirmation message. Or, provide a command that
allows the player to tear down an adjacent structure.

> > Difficulty:  Zombies start out as wimps, lulling you into a false
> > sense of security.  Overnight, they eat steroids, suddenly becoming a
> > much bigger threat.  I didn't find too many problems beating them, but
> > the game kept crashing before I could explore further.  Some may be
> > appaled at the sudden change in difficulty.
>
> Ah, balance issues.  Would you be disgusted to know we didn't even fully
> play the game before submitting it?  I know I am :P

Yeah, I would advise playing the game before submission. Otherwise,
you don't find balance issues, such as making the hero a warlock,
summoning lots of rats, and using them to pwn in Epic Monster Quest
Hyper.

> > Strategy: The choice of four resources to build things seems odd,
> > especially considering the few things there are to build.  Strategy
> > simply consists of surrounding your cellar with walls, as zombies will
> > punch at them hopelessly. ***
>
> Funny story -- buub0nik's girlfriend (who is an architect) was there
> when we discussed some of the basic ideas for this game.  She was
> absolutely thrilled at being able to build stuff, and wanted us to
> pretty much make Bob the Builder 7DRL.  She was listing off all these
> different building materials, multiple types of concrete, what to use in
> different situations and for structural integrity, etc etc etc.  We
> obviously didn't go that far, and settled on four resources :)
>
> I too feel like there is something lacking here.  In my mind I wanted
> complex interaction between different structures.  For example, cement
> walls would block sound better than wood.  Wood walls would allow light
> to shine through, but can catch fire (possibly a good thing for traps?).
>   Braces help absorb damage and can be repaired.  Metal walls are hard
> to break but can be toppled if too much weight is applied to one side.
> I hope subtleties like this should make the building more interesting.
>
> Also, more complex zombie behavior will hopefully put more focus on good
> building strategy.  They need to understand how to navigate gaps in
> walls, rather than simply walking into them.
>

I would suggest adding traps that persist. Barbed wire only feels
good on the space you use to enter the bunker.

> > Bugs: Prepare for an annoying search and destroy after the zombies
> > suddenly stop moving for no apparent reason.  Brace yourself for
> > segmentation faults that will kill your game. **
>
> Yeaaa, that is an embarrassingly game-breaking bug.  That will
> definitely be fixed in our next update.
>

Hope so.

> > Other comments: My other annoyance was with handing out items, as you
> > have to place them directly on the map.  This is slightly annoying
> > when you can't see what items you have, and you can't cancel the
> > handout.
>
> How would you improve the salvage system?  I didn't want to put items
> directly in inventory, since if the player's inventory is full it would
> require a better item-management interface which would have taken too
> much time.  The idea was that placing directly on the map would allow
> you to stash ammo in a certain spot if you wanted.  There definitely
> needs to be a 'discard' option so you don't clutter up the map with crap
> you don't need.

The discard option would have worked well. Also, for weapons, avoid
generating weapons the player already has.


>
> Thanks again for the review.. I appreciate the testing of our entirely
> unpolished game.  With some tweaking I hope it'll actually be fun :)

I plan to amend my review if you can fix it.

David Damerell

unread,
Nov 5, 2009, 10:01:07 PM11/5/09
to
Quoting sinoth <sin...@gmail.com>:
>The gameplay revolves around defending a cellar door from zombie attack.
> You can build defenses such as walls to help you. Once all the
>zombies in a round are killed, you enter build mode again with some
>additional resources and continue the cycle as more and more zombies attack.

Possibly inspired by "The Last Stand" (the Flash game)? :-)
--
David Damerell <dame...@chiark.greenend.org.uk> flcl?
Today is Stilday, October - a weekend.
Tomorrow will be Gorgonzoladay, October - a weekend.

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