SRD and Art

My primary project during this time has been my sci-fi turn based rpg. I’ve had this project going on for a while, working on it off and on when I need a break from my regular game dev. I don’t remember how much I’ve wrote about it in the past, and I don’t have it in it’s separate project page yet, so here’s the basic premise of the game: it’s an adaptation of the System Reference Document (SRD) released by Wizards of the Coast. What this is, is a set of rules that many of the most popular role playing games used. When this role playing industry was in a slump, the company Wizards of the Coast, released a general version of their rules systems for anyone to use. So anyone can take their rules, create their own setting/world/environment, and play. There are a few different ‘versions’ of the SRD. The main one is for a typical Fantasy RPG, but what I’m doing using the Modern and Space SRD. A turn based rpg game based on the SRD set in a sci-fi setting.

I think at some point or another, many a game dev wants to build an rpg despite being told they are very long and complicated. And sometimes that “call of the rpg” is hard to resist. So I gave in for awhile and got to the point where I would need to start creating some basic art assets. That’s a tough point for me to get past, not just for this particular project. But RPGs require tons of art assets. And it’s difficult to switch my brain from code to art, even if it is just ‘programmer art’.

I do want to get more practice in creating my own assets, and most game devs should. I don’t plan on devoting myself to the point of creating high quality, release ready art. But even having a roughed out general idea of what you envision can dramatically improve your chances of finishing a game.

Back to the game – I’ve got character creation working which sets up a basic character, a movement system based on tiles with a working system that scans the surrounding tiles for walls and creates a line of sight, and a basic inventory system. Once I get to a point I’ll start posting some screenshots.

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RPG Character Creator

Concerning my last post, I ended up building a new computer so I got all of those problems out of the way. The majority of my development time has still been spent doing web development, but I have been working on an RPG Character Creator. I’m almost finished with it, and it will be incorporated into the RPG game I’m creating, but I figured I would release the creator on here for free. Look for updates in the next couple of weeks.

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Turn based tactical game

I’ve been working on a game using the mechanics of the Open Game License that a lot of the d20 type games are based on. I have some overall goals for this game that I will continue to narrow down as I work more with it. The most immediate goals are finishing character creation, movement and interaction during combat, and combat mechanics. Those are all core gameplay mechanics. Once those are in place, I can start some experimentation with specific ideas for this game.

Right now, the rough ‘vision’ is a sci-fi type future game, where the player manages a group of characters. It might be a mercenary group or maybe a specific faction. Think Jagged Alliance meets X-Com meets d20 Future. The player would have some kind of ‘home base’, either an actual base or ship, maybe both, to manage/purchase/store the characters and equipment. I don’t think I will add any type of base building element, but it depends on what direction I want to take the game. There will be two distinct game play modes; the actual combat / movement of characters during a mission, and the more management overview of inventory/ships/planets/missions. Since I’ll be using a tile-based system I want the missions to be randomly generated levels and objectives.

So, a lot of work to do and still a lot of details to hash out. But my primary goal right now is to finish the mission portion of the game.

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d20 Movement system

I’ve finished with the basic movement system for a the “d20” type game.

I divided the world into a 2d grid, where each grid space is 2 units wide and long. I created a call to store information about each grid space, or ’tile’, and created a 2d array to represent that. Then I basically feed everything else from this grid. For instance, I set all the properties of the tiles which are then drawn to create the game world, check for rules, calculate movement costs, etc. I also create a 2d array of game objects (which represent the actual 3d polygons) in which each cell corresponds with the tile array. That way I can have an interface between the ‘code’ part (the tile array) and the 3d part (the game object array).

The basic character has 30 move points, and by default it costs 5 points to move from one tile to the next. The idea is that the player hits a ‘move’ button, and the map changes to show available moves.

To generate the grid, I check each tile to see if from where the character is standing, if there’s a wall in that direction. If no walls are present, so it calculates the movement cost in a straight line, then moves to a diagonal cell and calculates that outwards again, and so on, until it’s finished. Here’s an example with a wall in the middle of a tile two spaces to the right of the player, showing how you can move around and the system correctly blocks off certain tiles.

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New d20 game

For the past several months I’ve been working a new game based off a d20 system. I’m currently implementing the movement system, which is based on a tile / grid setup.

I’ve got the basic system for character creation in place; once I finish some more of the movement system I’ll start posting some screen shots.

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