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Messages - Nikita_Sadkov

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Offtopic / Re: XCOM Inspired Fantasy Game
« on: October 21, 2019, 12:41:25 am »
It appears Daggerfall dungeons are not completely random, but made out of big pre-generated blocks (i.e. like in XCOM)
The dungeons are built of "blocks", with any dungeon having about 3, with as much as 5 or 6 and as little as just 1. The blocks are HUGE, though, so if you enter a block you have done a lot before, then you have a pretty big area that will feel familiar. That said, the blocks are big, twisted, and crazy, so just because you've been to that block before doesn't mean you're going to know the route by heart. It takes quite a while before the same block gets old--besides, the monsters and loot always change. Learning a block only makes it easier to navigate, which can be a good thing.

Some blocks are very recognizable; for instance, the whole of Privateer's Hold shows up sometimes, Others, such as those with very large central chambers are easier to learn. But there are quite a few blocks that consist of nothing but maze, and I'm convinced you can't learn those. Ever.
a dungeon consists of up to 32 blocks, each of which may be connected to any (or all) of the four cardinally adjacent blocks since there are two connecting passages in each of the four cardinal directions, and thusly there are eight paths leading out of each block. While most dungeons may appear to be a random conglomerate of different modules, they were hard-coded in the release media and thus are never-changing. These were most likely generated via a pseudo-random program of some type, but Main Quest dungeons are an exception, because these were all hand-crafted.

While Main Quest dungeons may be the biggest dungeons in the game, it has been commented by some that even the least of the random dungeons are logically too large for the majority of quests. It has also been voiced that because the number of blocks in the source material is limited, most dungeons lack diversity/variance and hence all dungeons tend to look like each other.

Dungeons are built from blocks by assembling them together side-by-side on a 2D grid. Of these blocks there are two types of blocks: internal and border.

Internal blocks
    These provide the meat of the dungeon where most rooms and corridors are placed. Every internal dungeon block has two door openings in each one of its fours sides, one above the other. Each door opening is used to link to a nearby internal block or to an external block.
Border blocks
    These are used when it is necessary to close the side of an internal block. These are primarily composed of a single corridor which reflexively leads back to the same block of their origin. These are most often used to seal a dungeon's peripheral blocks, but could be used to create isolated areas within a dungeon. Border blocks do not contain any quest locations.

Cities are generated using exactly the same grid algorithm as XCOM uses.

So Daggerfall's dungeon generator doesn't handle Z dimension at all.

Offtopic / Re: XCOM Inspired Fantasy Game
« on: October 19, 2019, 08:55:47 pm »
Speaking of lost opportunities:

That guy got pretty unorthodox idea of generating dungeons, but then he botched it by pruning out the maze part, and levels lost the iconic look :( Better idea would be creating some gameplay around that maze-room concept, where say player sees entire maze and is given limited time to pick the passage to next room, or when picking passage leads to blocking it to the competing player, while botch players must navigate to goal (maybe to each other start loations). Each maze passage could have some specific bonus. But yeah, that would be completely different real-time action game, not tactics or roguelike, but I'm sure one can turn it into an instant smartphone hit  :'(

Offtopic / Re: XCOM Inspired Fantasy Game
« on: October 18, 2019, 08:47:14 pm »
Currently my code generates dungeons of hierarchical topology. Such dungeons are a bit boring: enemy can't  surprise you by approaching from behind. Basically they would feel too safe. Regarding loops in dungeons: naturally human made buildings usually have hierarchical topology, so we actually need a good excuse to introduce loops: say have both stairs and a lift to reach higher floor: that  way if player secured the 1st floor, but have chosen stairs to reach 2nd floor, aliens could use lift to descend to the first floor left unsecured.

Badly placed loops stand out in the architecture. Diablo had a lot of them, but they usually created passable loops, appearing more like alternative way to reach the room. Then again, Diablo's dungeon is a cursed ruined cathedral. But, for example, Chocobo Dungeon generator produces some really nasty out of place loops, which would likely annoy player. Here a path splits before both forks entering the same room:

Offtopic / Re: XCOM Inspired Fantasy Game
« on: October 18, 2019, 02:34:47 am »
Came with a simple dungeon generation algorithm. It is relatively flexible and can fill in any stencil constrained area. Should be good enough for now

Offtopic / Re: XCOM Inspired Fantasy Game
« on: October 14, 2019, 09:16:14 pm »
New games already began using AI approaches to generate contents. Most popular of these appears to be wavefunction collapse algorithm:

It is very similar to markov chains and the limitations of markov chains. Dungeons generated with it are not much better than texts generated by markov chain. But it could be useful for generate inherently random patterns, like animal fur color texture. Although biologists would likely correct me that animal fur color is not truly random, but a result of some complex gene expression in action, but then again, nothing is truly random.

Are you sure Gollop, not Microprose, owns the source code and data assets, and has enough time to clean it up for the release (i.e. removing any offensive comments)? I think you should not distract Gollop from his current project. And if you really want to know how exactly something worked in the original there is now - a free decompiler, replacing IDA HexRays, which costed like $10000 (a bit too much for hobbyist modders).

Offtopic / Re: XCOM Inspired Fantasy Game
« on: October 11, 2019, 01:41:02 pm »
Didn't know that but all Diablo games use the same map generation algorithm as XCOM and Spelunky, so the layout is a bit predictable and exploited by speedrunners:

Offtopic / Re: XCOM Inspired Fantasy Game
« on: October 09, 2019, 06:25:49 pm »
Enemy Infestation - the closest one gets to a real-time XCOM. While it looks like a Commandos clone with aliens, it is not. Compared to XCOM, each unit in EI has explicit specialization, there are numerous interactive map objects (XCOM had only doors and lifts). The weapons are almost all unorthodox: fire extinguisher, shrinking ray, zapper gun, etc... but the aliens design is one of the most uninspiring ever, and that is in a game about aliens.

Offtopic / Re: XCOM Inspired Fantasy Game
« on: October 08, 2019, 11:41:19 pm »
With a few more lines of code, we can now have parts with arbitrary outlines, compared to square 10x10 cells XCOM map segments. Obviously it employs the same fractal generator code used to generate the world map :D

Here is a party placement around campfire in the wilderness:

Offtopic / Re: XCOM Inspired Fantasy Game
« on: October 07, 2019, 09:38:41 pm »
Recently one guy (the creator of Cube World) conceived similar idea to mine about replacing experience by auto-generated relics:

Wow! I thought my idea is unique :( well, at least his game is real-time and more minecrafteish (read legend of Zelda based). Also, the fans who funded his kickstarter got really angry that he totally redesigned everything since the alpha, so there is a huge drama. Good thing I have no fans, funders or any responsibilities :D

And Cube World also has circular rivers, which flow upwards, due to how perlin noise works:

Circular rivers is the symbol of our time!

Offtopic / Re: XCOM Inspired Fantasy Game
« on: October 06, 2019, 02:12:23 am »
Looks neat. Anyways I have  a question, will it be something like mount and blade where you travel the world  map or will the geoscape be totally removed?
There is a random world map generator. But no globe - just a 2d maps with several islands, which player can visit using ship. The world map movement is also turn-based, compared to XCOM. As usual, player explores world map, completes quests, which are randomly generated, as well as quest sites. There are also several cities, including port cities, where player can rent a ship.

World map is divide into sites, which, while randomly generated, remain constant during single playthrough. I.e. if there is a multiplayer match, defending player could pre-explore the map, having that advantage against attacker.

Between cities there is some trade, and player can rob caravans. That is exactly the part I'm currently working on in site generator - ambushes. For now it is just an encircled ambush. Victory condition is simple: defeat all enemy leaders. To retreat, defending player will have to move all his/her leaders towards the edge of the map. Given that the game centers around magic, there is an alternative victory condition for most maps: activate some percent of magic nodes, required to cast the Spell of Mastery. Obviously that needs player to have some wizard alive. But compared to enemy leaders, nodes are revealed on minimap. So if enemy leaders cast invisibility or go into defense, another player could just activate the nodes, as part of endgame. That should eliminate infamous "find that last alien" problem of XCOM.

Offtopic / Re: XCOM Inspired Fantasy Game
« on: October 04, 2019, 02:06:13 am »
Another important part of map generation is the player's entry point and the initial unit placement. Should it be connect by road to all important areas or maybe letting player building his own road? Guess I should indicate on the world map, where there are roads and where there is wilderness, and the player will be required some magic, construction workers, flyers or swimmers to reach his/her destination.

One of the inspiration for my game is that old DOS Spellcraft game ( ), which indeed required player to be prepared to traverse the map. In a nutshell, Spellcraft is the Gollop's Lords of Chaos, but in real time, very similar to Magic & Mayhem. Guess they actually cloned it.

In XCOM it was assumed that player isn't obliged to have flying suits, but I clearly remember that during my first ever XCOM terror mission I destroyed a ladder in that island house, and there was no way to get onto the upper floor, where the last alien was hiding. So yeah, ability to build ladders could be the difference between winning or losing :D

Offtopic / Re: XCOM Inspired Fantasy Game
« on: October 02, 2019, 01:10:39 am »
Ok. Time to place some quest locations inside these auto-generated maps. Guess I will need some special generator for castles and cities, but for now pre-made XCOM style parts should be good enough.

Offtopic / Re: XCOM Inspired Fantasy Game
« on: October 01, 2019, 12:19:46 am »
I'm reminded of Zone of the Enders: Fist of Mars actually. A little-known GBA tactical RPG (no grinding, similar to most Fire Emblems) that was an interquel to the fast-paced mecha fighting ZoE 1 and 2.
Looks cool. Thanks for hinting at. Also, GBA had actual XCOM-like game from Gollop, called Rebelstar. It was heavily stripped down to make accessible for younger audience and play nicely with GBA hardware, but still has destructible terrain.

If you go with 2 or something similar, I vote for an optional evil campaign. The gaming world is starved for good evil campaigns.
I decided to mix it all. The king has died and there is now a succession war, between different sides, with an impostor capturing the throne and taxing population. That scenario allows for the most freedom and any number of sides. I've also abandoned the idea of linking player character to be a wizard, so now player can promote any unit into a leader and have any number of leaders.

The development took some really wild turns. Initially the game was just a Chess clone with some modifications, like Sokoban block moving, but then I found that small maps are very limited, so I abandoned the Chess like mechanics, adding HP, but retaining the no RNG paradigm. Then I found that my engine is a bit inflexible, it would be had to impossible to implement proper cutscenes and more complex animations, so I turned the engine into realtime RTS one, with turn-based limitations just added on top. For a short time I played with idea of making a dwarf fortress/dungeon keeper like game, adding room building and cave excavation (the imp character was originally used for that), even some initial resource gathering, but I found it boring and overused, so I kept it turn-based, but retained the terraforming part, because I believe it is cool to chop down trees and make a raft to cross the river, if player has no flight or water walking spell, or any magician at all, or to dig a tunnel under a prison to free prisoners. Anyway, now I have clear idea how it all should combine into a solid game.

Offtopic / Re: XCOM Inspired Fantasy Game
« on: September 27, 2019, 03:49:12 pm »
Randomly generating rock deposits appears to be a non-trivial problem. For now I just use a hack:

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