Wednesday, 1 August 2012

ARRP plans

The Annual Roguelike Release Party's coming up soon, so I've resumed making changes to Mutant Aliens!
  • Buildings now have windows, which can be destroyed by explosions (but not bullets) - this makes getting into and searching buildings slightly easier.
  • Damage required to flatten a given piece of terrain now varies with terrain type. As well as windows (reliably), walls can now (unreliably) be destroyed by direct cannon shots.
  • Doors are now opaque - this makes walking through them more dangerous.
  • Active devices now have spy cameras that transmit pictures to you (giving you line of sight)
  • Aliens can now be shot critically, doing double damage. You have to discover a species' weak point before you can specifically aim for it, which you do by shooting at each of its body sections in turn. All this is done automatically, so for the player the effect is that after several shots (the larger the alien, the more it takes), a shot makes a critical hit. From then on there is a slightly-more-than 1/3 chance of each shot being critical.
  • New messages are drawn in bright white, old messages are drawn in dark white (grey) to distinguish them.
There are other changes I made slightly longer ago, which haven't yet been included in an official update:
  • Tiles in line of sight are drawn with bright colours
  • Two alien species can no longer share a character representation with each other
  • Probability of the player starting trapped in a room is now 0 (but escape was always possible with explosives)
  • A message is generated when the player is hit by an explosion, discouraging them from shooting the cannon at adjacent enemies
  • If aliens are camped in the ship when you return, you can close the doors before killing them in order to stop any more from entering.
  • Aliens can no longer spawn in visual range of the player.
  • Transmitter is always generated at a minimum distance from the player.
Several more changes are planned:
  • Options to change the keyboard controls
  • Tutorial, even if it's just a bunch of labelled ASCII screenshots!
  • Incorporating improvements from Mutant Aristocrats! (feedback on individual monsters' health and stamina states when examining them)
  • Flesh out the plot, make it not-totally-obscure why the transmitter is there (completely changing the endgame), add props to make the map seem less dead
  • Write scores/character dumps to file in a format suitable for usenet and forums
  • Choice of character backgrounds (classes)
  • The ubiquitous galactic pest: giant carnivorous plants (if you're very unlucky)
  • Rebalance monster senses to ensure that distraction devices have a noticeable but not overpowered effect
  • Complete difficulty rescale (too many easy difficulties which don't differ much, too few challenging difficulties which differ too much). Most of the planned gameplay changes (critical hits in particular) make the game easier, so a general increase in difficulty wouldn't go amiss.
    • changes to alien stat distribution?
    • changes to initial ammo?
    • changes to device counts?

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