Development status

Here’s a quick list of what’s been done so far.  It is a condensation of my task log and time tracker text file, leaving out all the bugfixes and just listing new features added.

Week of 9/12-9/19:

  • basic floor drawing
  • basic editor features (tile and collision map)
  • main character movement & attacking
  • animated tiles

Week of 9/20-9/27:

  • basic creature movement & attacking (line of sight only)
  • projectile attack that fires at closest target
  • monster spawners
  • archer summon
  • triggers and gates system
  • simple hud showing HP and summons

Week of 9/28-10/4:

  • place monster spawners in editor
  • place gates and triggers in editor
  • floor data stored and loaded in xml
  • tank summon
  • bomber summon

Week of 10/5-10/12:

  • basic sound effects system
  • creature AI: pathfinding (slow but works)

Week of 10/13-10-20:

  • pathfinding optimized
  • set player start position in floor data

The pathfinding is the big challenge so far with this project.  I knew it was going to be the hardest engineering aspect, with the content design being the biggest overall challenge.  I’m kind of intimidated by the prospect of tuning damage levels and finding ways to make each stage interesting given the game mechanics.  Nevertheless, taking it one step at a time, it’ll get done.

As for what’s next, I don’t keep a huge checklist of subprojects, because I find it too daunting to see ahead of time the hundreds of microfeatures the game needs.  My task list tends to be about six items or less, and only items that can be worked on within a week are added.

My next tasks involve:

  1. Creating a few basic monster types (e.g. fast, medium, slow)
  2. Building some test maps with various mazes and situations
  3. Text dialog overlay and menu system

Introduction to the project

I’m making a 16-bit style dungeon crawler similar to Gauntlet or Legend of Zelda.  It features summable allies to give it kind of a tower defense twist.  Basically, you have to traverse a dungeon and destroy hordes of monsters, but their numbers are too great to take on alone.

Screenshot

All the summons stay in the same position once placed, and can be killed by enemies just like you can.  They do things like fire arrows, throw firebombs, and tank damage.  Strategic placement of the summons is key to getting through the game.

There will be an upgrade mechanic to boost your allies’ powers, such as attack rate, damage, and special effects like piercing and AOE.  I’m also planning a spell system where each summon has an ultimate attack that consumes a potion but devastates the enemy.

Basically, this is the type of game I dreamed of making when I was a kid.