Weekly Update – October 30, 2021

Thanks to a very rainy weekend and a day off in the middle of the week, I got a lot done this week. The focus remained largely on procedural map content generation.

  • Added a debugging console. A key press displays a prompt. Typing the name of an entity (actor/object/item) creates an instance of the entity in a cell near the player. It’s a time saver because I no longer have to look for an instance of the entity on the map. Why didn’t I add this sooner?! I will extend it in the future as needed.
  • New actor action, Transform, that transforms an actor into another actor. This is used to animate a pile of bones as a skeleton and replace a treasure chest with a mimic.
  • New object, Animated Bones, that changes into a skeleton when the player comes near it.
  • New Map Elements: Animated Bones Area, Debris Area, Storage Cluster. Animated Bones Area places a few piles of animated bones in the specified area. Debris Area adds rubble and other debris to an area. Storage Cluster places storage objects (barrels, crates, etc.) in clusters for more natural-looking placement.
  • Added more Treasure Area Map Element variations. Treasure Areas can be actively used or inactive (abandoned / forgotten), and looted or not looted. The combinations of these parameters produce different effects. For example, an abandoned and looted area will have only empty, open chests, with cobwebs and debris. Conversely, an active, not looted area will have all of its treasure items and chests intact and no cobwebs or debris.
  • New enemies (partially): mimic, gelatinous cube, cultist, bandit, witch. The Unity prefabs, animations, and definition data were created. I still need to add different behaviors for each. I also need to incorporate some of them into Map Elements. As of now, the mimic can appear as a chest in a treasure room, and some shrine rooms may contain cultists.
  • Combat modifier visibility. The cell inspect panel now displays combat modifiers applied by the cell. For example, a cell with rubble, or a cell that is an open door, will modify the chance to hit and/or chance to evade modifiers for any actor occupying the cell.
  • Procedural generation tuning. I fine-tuned some parameters such as probability of caves, numbers of objects and enemies, and non-combat vs combat Map Elements. The final values used for each map are still randomly generated, but the ranges of possible values were adjusted. There’s still a lot of work to do in this area. Some rooms are way too big, or filled with way too many enemies. Some maps have too many rooms, and some don’t have enough.
  • Bug fixes, mostly around map generation. In the course of troubleshooting an AI bug, I discovered that actor tracking was extremely inefficient. Each turn, each actor was checking to see if it could see every other actor. This was occurring because the visibility check was executing before the check for whether the actor was tracking the other actor.

Next week, I need to build expand the utility class responsible for getting cells in different patterns (e.g. room corners, rows/columns, rectangles) to accelerate the creation of new Map Elements that place objects in patterns (e.g. Library, Armory). I also plan on building out the behaviors for the new actors added this week.

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