Wednesday, March 12, 2014

AndroidLovesKitty 7DRL Preview


The annual 7DRL challenge is underway (and has been for a couple days now) and I'm participating in it. My entry this year is a game that is NOT inspired at all by Bomberman, Star Trek, or Metroid. Indeed, the game has changed titles many times but right now I'm calling it "AndroidLovesKitty".

It's a fairly straightforward game. Anyone who has played Dead Man Walking should feel pretty at home in regards to the aesthetics and certain other features (like dungeon generation). Perhaps the most startling thing is that bumping into enemies is a worthless exercise. You see, the hero in this story is an android and he is barred from engaging in direct physical combat. Thankfully, he's got a nice little loophole in that he can plant explosives. This is helpful when one wishes to defeat an alien horde and rescue a cat.

Here's an example of our beloved hero in a bit of trouble. Thankfully, he's set up a bomb (the orange asterisk) and it's just about to blow up that horrifying alien. Hopefully, at least. Bombs have a limited blast radius (just one tile surrounding them) and so a bit of planning is required in order to setup adequate bombs.

Looks like it worked out for him. Sure, bombs are dangerous and they require a bit more timing than just hacking and slashing, but they do quite a bit of damage. In fact, by design, many enemies in the game will fall down to a single bomb.

One of the goals of the game is to avoid simple, flat items. Each item should provide some level of interactivity. Here the hero has a pair of boots on and is able to get a nice jolt of speed after running in the same direction for a while (thanks, Sil).

What's going on here, you might ask. Good question - our hero has setup a bomb (the 3 below him). Bombs are "animated" in the most basic sense and will automatically switch between the asterisk and the number (which represents how many turns it has left until it explodes) occasionally. Now, with that out of the way, one might ask why our hero has chosen to place a bomb there when the alien (the "h") is clearly more than 3 tiles away. Well, our hero is attempting to bomb jump - a simple enough tactic based on the fact that bombs have immense and predictable knockback. Someone willing to take a little bit of risk can cover a surprising amount of ground with a bomb jump.

Here's the result of the aforementioned bomb jump. It allowed our hero to cross a whopping 8 tiles, although at least part of that is thanks to a different pair of boots: the "high jump boots", in this case. Still, even without fancy jumping boots one can cover a surprising amount of ground with a bomb jump. They can also be used to knock enemies around, which can be a useful tactic against heartier foes. Of course, it can also be used to knock them towards you, which is maybe less ideal.

In this picture our hero has acquired the legendary "hockey stick", a fairly simple tool typically used when playing hockey. A little known fact is that it can also be used to set bombs up to 2 tiles away (typically the player can only set bombs in the tiles immediately adjacent to them). The trade off here is that bombs do slightly less damage, although the upside is likely worth it (at least in this case).

One common downside to bombs is that they tend to cause some structural integrity. Wait, downside? Not so much. Here our intrepid hero has carved out a nice hallway for himself which conveniently connects to what looks to be a fairly large room in the normal dungeon. A watchful reader may note that a substantial number of bombs were spent in making this hallway. Indeed, making full sized rooms will likely not be a common thing. Still, even the most resourceful player will likely seem some use in "wasting" a bomb to blow up a hallway.

So that's the end of my little preview of "AndroidLovesKitty", which should be done by Sunday (at least the 7DRL version). A beta version maybe released on Friday.

The game is based on the framework of Dead Man Walking, which itself was based upon @Star Wars. As one might expect, all of the content is new and all of the gameplay mechanics are new or have been altered substantially.

If you've read this far, I apologize for lying to you in the first paragraph. The game may be partially inspired by Bomberman, Star Trek, and Metroid, amongst other things.


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