29 January 2013

Randomizing a Location: Some Thoughts

A friend and I are working on a sort-of roguelike and I've made a randomization-system for creating a procedurally generated cave-system that's different every time one plays. This can be applied to both pen & paper RPGs and games of the video-variety.

Making an easy-to-use randomizer for a dungeon (or any other location that is separated into different rooms/sub-areas) is easy enough. Designing the whole thing so that it creates a certain type of shape or pattern that you wish to have for the game-area to have is the next step: Do you want a maze-like pattern with lots of dead-ends and crossings? Do you want a winding corridor? A sprawling necropolis of repeating chambers?

I wanted to simulate a cave-system that is somewhat natural in its genesis. Most caves are either carved by water (or lava, I guess) or fissures resulting from movements within the earth. While there are labyrinthine caves in nature, most of them are somewhat linear affairs branching off into side-caves every once. I limited my randomization-effort to four directions, as three dimensions and all that make things a bit to complicated. Then I thought up four different types of passage a player may encounter.

22 January 2013

Adventures in KSP: Going for Duna!

I've been playing Kerbal Space Program for a while now, recording my progress in this blog. Let's head for the second big milestone in my space-program: The flight to Duna...

Creating a spacecraft able to fly to Duna, land there, and get back was going to be a big step for my space program. I decided that the month-long trip would need a crew of multiple Kerbals and a crew container to house them so they wouldn't go mad in a cramped capsule. It was going to be a multi-part spacecraft to be assembled in orbit. I decided to go for a three-section approach: A central command module with the habitat, avionics and power-supplies, a thruster-section with fuel and nuclear engines, and a lander that could parachute-land on Duna and then return back to orbit with a Kerbal on board. Getting the former and the latter into a stable orbit for assembly around Kerbin was easy, getting the heavy engine-section up there was a bit harder: It took me six attempts to get the thing up there, and that only worked because I re-routed the fuel from the thruster-section to go into the starting-stages. So the whole thing ended in orbit drained of fuel. Two Kerbals came up with the habitat/command-module and one came up in the lander. The crew was on board, all I needed to do now was to actually fuel the whole thing up...
I present: The KSC Troy. Kerbonaut spacewalking for scale.

07 January 2013

Free Release! One Page Dungeon! 100th Post! 1 Year Blogiversary!

Well well well, it's been one year with this blog now, coinciding with my 100th post. Putting out something that's been in the works for quite a while this is a good point to get back a bit to role-playing, which has come a little short during the current Kerbal-streak I'm on.

So here (a bit more info after the jump) it is, intended to be entered into this years One Page Dungeon Contest: Midnight at Halcyons Coven:

06 January 2013

Adventures in KSP: Probing Duna

In this series of posts I'll tell my progression (and my throwbacks) at the brilliant Kerbal Space Program. I have currently set my sights to the neighboring planets, Eve and Duna. Join me in my quest for exploratory glory!

So, it was finally time to hit the first big point of interplanetary exploration. You see, Eve, interesting as the place is, was just a test. Or something like that. Anyways, Duna is the more interesting planet. Why? Well for one it has anomalies on it that can be discovered. Also, it's much more possible to do a manned shot with a return-option to Duna than to Eve. So, starting out unmanned, I launched an orbital Deliverator with extra fuel-tanks and a landing-probe attached to it in the general direction of Duna. Not only would this allow me to land an automated probe on the planet, it would also give me something with which to help a future mission retrieve their lander from a low orbit.

The mission started with a standard heavy-duty asparagus engine, in the middle of the night so that I'd get away from the sun and more towards the orbit of our target, Duna.

I'm missing something, aren't I?