Dodeka progress update
Author: HS_Dave
- Posted on: 03/11/2015
Post Type: Blog Entry
Wow, as usual long time between updates! 2015 has been a very busy year and a lot of the time it has been a choice between blogging about gamedev or actually doing the gamedev.

Actually that's nonsense, I could of found the time to blog more frequently if I had really tried. Slap my wrist!

The good news though is that I HAVE still been working. If you are one of the few people who follow me on twitter (@HS_Dave - tweet nearly as infrequently as I blog though.) then you may of caught wind of some sort of editor tool I have been working on.

It has been worth the time I am investing in it. It is a utility that allows me to create scripts/quests/npc's/etc etc for the Dodeka single player and is enabling the creation of much more dynamic content than I was originally providing.

To recap, the single player idea for Dodeka is procedural and quite random. Random missions in random location in a randomly generated continent. The continent generation I have had working for many months and I am very excited by it. Indeed, it even was successfully generating missions on the island though VERY random.

Too random.

I wanted some coherence and some idea of story. It was our lead artist, Elin, that soon came up with the idea's of "truths". A truth is exactly what it sounds like - something that is "true" about the story. For example there could be a truth named "Fred is Evil". Using the campaign editor I have been working on you can create a database of truths such as that. Then you can create a new quest and create (using point and click UI rather than typing) a script for that quest. The script can check wether a particular truth in the database is true or false and then act differently as needed.

When you start a new campaign the game will randomise the values of the truth table (unless a particular truth is setup to prevent this - such as a truth that may only change if the player does something specific) so even if you play the exact same campaign as last time it will now be very different.

As usual I have got carried away, disobeyed the KISS rule (keep it simple stupid!) and generated a lot of immediate work for myself. But as the tool nears its first usable build (it now performs full compilation of the scripts and campaign data for the game engine to load. It will even compile to assembly for debug purposes :P) I am actually glad I broke the rule this time as the content the alpha build is creating is already 200% better than the hard coded "random missions" from before. The ability to create quests which randomise themselves and can spawn other quests in certain conditions (making for potential quest chains with interesting conclusions) yet keeping the ability to assign random NPC's to the quests and all the other little things I added is really going to give some depth to the story I believe.

If I have my way this tool will be packaged with the game so anyone can create (and share!) their own campaigns. Now that I would REALLY enjoy to see.

So that is what I've been silently working on the past few months. I probably need to hire more help ;) Elin is still drawing away and amazing me as usual and we actually have a new website design waiting to be implemented which I think you'll all enjoy! Someone else is working on the new implementation on my behalf this time so hopefully it will be finished before the next ice age.

Thanks for reading!