Forbidden Lore Design Diary #6: Let The Beatings Commence

Holy shit, you guys. It’s a game now.


I mean, don’t get me wrong, it’s a fucking TERRIBLE game. If I came across it during my bundle playthrough, I’d pimp-slap the bejesus out of it for completely wasting my goddamn time. Tactics are simplistic and obvious, there’s no mechanism for healing yourself or upgrading your abilities, there’s next to no on-screen feedback for what’s happening, the win state is boring, the lose state is even more boring … this game is shit.

But, nevertheless, after this tutorial, I can now roam the dungeon and punch orcs! And punch trolls! And they hit back! And can kill me, which only seems fair! Trolls hit harder.

The code that makes this stuff happen is, by and large, comprehensible to me. I don’t get every nuance. (And it doesn’t help that this edition of the tutorial begins with “Okay, this is how we’re going to totally reorganize the code, because this way is better.” The author is probably right, but still … grr. Would have appreciated if they’d go back and retrofit the existing tutorials. Eh, it’s free learning, I can only bitch so much.)

Even if I don’t get every nuance, though, I can see where stuff goes. When I think about “Okay, how am I going to tweak this to handle an action-point-based mechanism instead of strict turn-taking?”, I have a really good notion of what needs to happen where. It’s pretty dope. I’m probably wrong in several important respects, but I know where to start.

Even more fun, I got to do a little debugging!

The latest version of the code knocked-out the feature by which you could hit “Escape” and quit the game — but only if you were still alive. Once you were dead, you could escape-out just fine.

Trollums McGee has killed me, and is now just standing over my corpse. Apparently, my existence was the only thing giving his meaning.

I thought it was due to some nuances I wasn’t understanding in terms of how the event handlers were firing, but naw, there was just a block of code that hadn’t been copied over, but should have been. So MY code is actually infinitesimally better than the canonical code at this stage of the tutorial!

AND I figured out how to dump objects to the console for debugging purposes, which is super valuable. Also inadvertently got a sniff of just how many events get fired every time the mouse twitches on-screen. Spoiler: several.

Just for giggles, I also tweaked the AI so that the monsters don’t need to see me to bum-rush me; in this version, they all have security cameras and walkie-talkies. Doesn’t take long before the entire dungeon descends upon me. This makes things pretty fuckin’ brutal.

This is really awesome. My little game may be terrible, but it exists, and it’s mine.