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Specifications for the Design, Development and Deployment of a Text Based Adventure or SDDDTBA

26 Jan

Introduction
I spent a large part of January planning this game, and as of writing this the coding has yet to start but I estimate that completing the game will take no more than a few hours this weekend to complete. The chunk of time I spent design the game, the pseudo / actually code scripts and figuring out how to track user events, game events and the flow chart has helped sort out a lot of key problems I would have otherwise had if I used my usual head first method of diving right in making a mess getting an idea of how things should flow scraping work done and starting all over again.

Game Objectives
A text adventure has the beauty of being as complex or as simple as I the designer wants. I wanted to design a game that is follows a fairly linear path and that changes during each play through. Using this idea as my corner-stone I decided that I wanted the game to have two character options, a ranger or a mage, the ranger was a male character and the mage a female one. The game is radically or more accurately subtly different when playing with either character, it is simple things such as the ranger has to complete the game without loosing health and the mage can cast healing spell, or the ranger is capable of dealing and taking more damage than the mage.

The game is subdivided into two main sections, the first section is the Tower where your character needs to traverse the game and save a princess or prince depending on whom you’re playing, this character is intricately woven into the gameplay by being able to provide the player with health and distance attacks if the player is the ranger or a defensive / offensive mover if the player is the mage, the player must not let this character die or will need to start again.

Story
The main trunk of the story will be the same for either character, the only change will be about social interaction between the two characters, hopefully create an emotional connection by the player towards the two main characters.

A simple overview the player enters a magical forest and decides to camp in a clearing for the night and when the player awakens to see a tower that sprouted overnight and being the curious type, they enter the tower.

Setting and Game Play
I’m trying to design the game to be as non liner as possible, or to be more accurate and less misleading, I want the game to be dynamic, the gameplay is dynamic through having different characters with different stats, and most enemies will have more than one method of defeating or getting by.

The Tower
The tower consists of four floors and each floor has something to overcome and an item to collect that may or may not help in the future. The top floor you need to fight the main tower boss and save the character trapped in their.

Forest
The forest has been divided into a grid similar to that of a tic tac toe board numbered from 1 to 9, number for each zone will be given at random so that the player will not go through the same path on each play through, however due to time constraints each zone will be fairly linear.

As an additional challenge the player needs to escape the forest with a set limit of time or they will be lost in the forest forever.

Code: Buggy and Hackey
Even though I spent countless hours trying to perfectly plan the game in my head, on paper and in small utility scripts I think all that will go right out the window when I sit down to write it. The game will work but I have a nasty feeling that the code will be ugly and hackey unless I have time to refactor it.

I’m hoping to separate everything into classes, functions, or separate files so that in the future I will be able to reuse the code or atleast the concepts in the code. I’m trying to keep the code as readable (ugly but readable) and forgo trying to make it as efficient as ever maybe someone else can go ahead and do it for me.

The version of Python I have decided to use for this game is Python 2.7 in the IronPython flavour simply because I have yet to see a IDE better than Visual Studio. As of this moment no additional modules are needed or will be used, except maybe for the countdown timer or a curses module for the UI.

Summary or tl;dr
Nothing much to say in all honesty I’m still trying to learn the intricacies of programing and particularly python, so this is a learning experience much more than anything else.

Considering how much time has actually gone and that I have only a weekend to complete I hope that I can complete my specifications and make the game I want.

This is not an excercise in coding it is in completing a game, and in doing so I will write it as hackey as I need to just so that it works.

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12 Months, 12 Games

2 Jan

Programming requires motivation, and motivation requires an idea that your interested in, and I’m interested in video games. Taking my interests into consideration and to fatten up my portfolio, I’m going to start a second project for 2011, 12 games in 12 months 🙂

Most of what I program doesn’t really interest me or make me want to pick up a new skill or challenge myself. It becomes mundane and everyday. In order to inspire myself and get those creative juices flowing I decided to start this project. The language that I have decided to use is Python 3 and most games will have a text-based gui, or be in 2D using pygame. The source code for the games will be available publicly on my git. One of my goals for is to make these games as casual and accessible as possible, with high replay value.

The games / genres / clones that I would like to make are listed below, I may change some of these around as time goes by removing the less challenging ones.

  1. Text Based Adventure
  2. Hangman
  3. Battleships
  4. Pong
  5. Asteroids
  6. Sidescroller
  7. Shooter
  8. Rougelike
  9. Children’s Game
  10. Racing Game
  11. Tamagotchi
  12. Tetris
  13. Snake
  14. Scorched Earth
  15. Minesweeper

It’s a little more than 12 games but I’m bound to remove a few at a later date. The order might change as well but I’m going to start with the Text Based Adventure.

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