Posts Tagged ‘Diablo’

ActionRPG Update: Axes and Shields

February 26, 2009

Nothing really big to announce, just did some tweaks and added a couple of new usable drops: Axes and Shields.

actionrpg-2009-02-26-2102
actionrpg-2009-02-26-2059
I really only need to get Helmets and Jewelry (Rings and Amulets) and I’ll have all of the equipping slots covered in Diablo I. As for the melee weapons, there’s really only Clubs/Maces and Staves to put in. I’m not sure how I’m going to deal with two-handed weapons yet.

Next I’m going to put in Bows and probably put a youtube up to see whether people [don’t mind] or [absolutely hate] what I’m going to do for targetting. I’m going to use the same system for missile targetting as I am for spell placement, and doing it with Bows saves me the trouble of having to first build the magic subscreen. After that, I’ll get some of the important spells in, so you guys can get a good idea of why I’m going this route.

Restricted Area

February 2, 2008

The second of the three games I bought, Restricted Area, is a game made by a company called Master Creating. I mentioned it in irc.starchat.org/#gamedevelopers and gbgames mentioned that he knew them before they got big, and was talking about a game they made before they got big a long time back. Since I’m reviewing my first impressions of Restricted Area, I’ll stick to that for now – but now I have two more games I want to collect.

restrictedareass200802021258.png

The best way I can explain Restricted Area would be that it’s a mix between Diablo and Shadowrun SNES. It’s set in a future where the 5 Big Companies have pretty much taken over govornment, and the quality of life has fallen through. There are four characters you can choose from, each with their own story. All four play differently enough to be called classes, but I only tried out the shotgun guy so far.

Gameplay is pretty simplistic. You find the guy in the suit at the top of the town map and accept a new mission, then you go to the guy with the transportation at the bottom to fly to the mission location. So far I’ve only had “just kill everything” missions, but I think there’s escort missions too – which tend to be not much more than “kill everything and make sure npc doesn’t die”.

The game has a skill tree you can advance through to specialize your character, much like other modern actionRPG games do. What really makes this game interesting to me though, is the equipment system:

 restrictedareass200802021259.png

Your inventory fills up with equippable body parts! Look at all those arms! I should have started a new character and ran around a little bit – you start off getting very meaty-looking arms and legs. They even make splat noises when they fall to the ground. I don’t know if I want to be wearing an arm that fell off of a mutant into the dirt. And then think of what a bag of said meaty arms and legs would smell like! The flies, oh god THE FLIES

All 5 of the a-fore-mentioned Big Companies produce these cybernetic parts. The Cyber Heart that I have selected is made by the company Life Tec. If you have equipped parts from the same company, you’ll gain stat increases in the same way as multiple Set Items in other actionRPGs. The difference here is that there’s only 5 sets, and all items belong to a set – so you’re bound to gain Set Item Bonuses at a much higher rate. If for nothing else, this game merits reward for being unique in that respect.

Aside from that there isn’t much for me to talk about. It’s a plain vanilla actionRPG. The graphics are pretty nice, but somewhat repetitive. So is the gameplay. They didn’t deviate from the norm much, and in many ways that’s a good thing. When I’ve tried out the other characters a bit, I’ll probably have more to talk (or complain) about.

Sampling of new ActionRPG Items

January 30, 2008

I took a quick run through just to make sure the new Magical Items were working out right. The following is a couple of my interesting finds.

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Wow. That’ll be selling for 1 gold when I get the shops in. I’d even say you should have to pay just to be allowed to show Griswold this peice of trash. Yay for cursed items!

On the flip side..

actionrpg-200801300049.png

The most damage the monsters can do to me is 80, by the Darknuts. With the simple calculation I use, the poor Darknuts don’t even have a chance to hurt me. All those extra HP are only going to make them cry more.

actionrpg-200801300055.png

The Darknuts weigh in with a MaxHP of 99. You would kill them three times over with one hit. Look out, Darknuts. Your day is nigh.

So yeah, that’s a sample of the better magical items you can find right now. You can do better than even these if you keep your eyes peeled :D

ActionRPG update

January 30, 2008

I’d like to have something interesting to post every day, but that I don’t think that’s possible. Still, I try.

I’ve made a few minor additions to ActionRPG, and I’m richer for the experience. Such additions include:
– Allowing magical items the possibility for both a prefix AND suffix.
– Adding all of the property ranges for those I’ve already defined, as per the tables found on Planet Diablo.
– Refactoring related to the above.
– Constant Random Seed, for reliable replication of environment (for testing purposes).

I haven’t yet taken a look at Quality Level, which determines what magical properties can be used on an item. Also, item “quality” is still completely random – so it’s possible to wind up with The Best Item In The Game on the very first drop.

I really want to get some magic into the game. Really Badly. Perhaps I need to be poked with a stick to get it underway.

Random Level Generator

January 28, 2008

I felt it was time to at least set up a testbed for working on some random level generators. As I was looking around, I realized that emulating the look of a Roguelike would be a quick and dirty way to show off a dungeon map. I got right into it and built a WinForms app and gave it the first two test buttons you will see below:

Level Generator - Random Rectangles

I started taking a look at some Roguelike map-related information at roguebasin, that Viridian was kind enough to pass along to me. There wasn’t a whole lot I could really sink my teeth into, but an article originally written by Mike Anderson really caught my attention. I googled and found a page where he provided an example where he was stepping through and showing the algorithm at work. Once I saw that, I was hooked. I wrote up a rooms-only version and wound up with maps that looked like this:

Level Generator - Rooms-Only Anderson Algo 

As you can see, I’ve got something to work with now. Even if it doesn’t make perfect Diablo 1 maps, who cares! I just want some rooms to move around in for now. And this shows that I can have exactly that without a whole lot of trouble.

Make no mistake, I’m not done with this by a long shot. I’m looking at the walls of interconnected rooms and considering rolling for different types of openings: standard wall-door, completely open, pillars, portcullis-walls with door, and so on. I think that will make it look much more Diablo-esque. On top of that, if you consider that there are required rooms for certain floors (the Butcher’s room, for example), I may have nailed their creation method. Only time and effort can tell for sure!

How does Diablo build its maps?

January 18, 2008

I took a bit of time to try and look up how Diablo 1 loads or creates its maps – and I came up with nothing but tile graphics. I have to assume that when you use a stair to go to a level you haven’t been in yet, the progress bar is indicating that the game is generating the map from scratch. I used several tools to look into the Diablo MPQ datafile to try and find more information out, but I was unsuccessful. Without information or raw data, I had to look to other means of working towards building my own maps.

I have the thought now and again that I should really be trying to create my own content. Right now I can’t really support content I’m not ready to build, so it seems reasonable to borrow other content. That’s why you see me building a Diablo clone – it’s a good stepping stone to start off with. I’ve built mazes before, but never anything more complicated than a 1-tile-wide corridor maze. As I think on things, I could probably look up Rogue‘s level creation method, but since I’ve already done this much I figure I might as well see it through.

Getting back to the problem – I wasn’t able to find any information about how Diablo builds its levels, and there was no indication from the datafile how to go about it either. So I decided to take another approach – take screenshots of the automap and put them together in an image-processing program (I like Paint.NET). I wind up with images that look like:

diablomaplv1-200801180807.png

With enough of these, I can start to guess at the patterns and come up with my own builder. It’s a good idea, but the mashup above is awfully hard on the eyes. I wanted to filter out the non-map information, but I didn’t want to hand-edit the compiled image.. but how would I do that? I know GDI+ a bit, but I just wanted a quick-and-dirty solution that I know only one way of creating: Allegro. So I broke down and downloaded Dev-C++ and grabbed Allegro for it. After a bit of wrangling with C++ and a couple of recompiles, I handed my new tool the image and wound up with:

diablomaplv1-200801180807_filtered.png

Perfect! Now I can really get an idea of what the folks at Blizzard were doing.

It would really have been helpful for the guys at Diablo Evolution to have put something about the map generation somewhere on their site. These guys probably know more than anyone else about Diablo. They mention that some of the screenshots in the early days of pre-final Diablo were “impossible” and they could only know that if they knew how the maps were being built. I still have to dig some more before I decide to give up on that route, but for now I’ve got a good lead.


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