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Lost Coastlines

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Lost Coastlines

Postby The0didactus » Thu Sep 27, 2018 11:04 pm

I have now submitted to IFCOMP 2018.

I plan to take a 2-month-long hiatus from game design to work on some professional stuff.
When I return, I will finish the other game I worked on this summer (that's right, I almost submitted TWO games to IFCOMP)

This game will feature some very unusual mechanics for a text adventure game, namely:

- You will not be able to move in any cardinal direction
- the "map" will be laid out in an even more confusing way than Tingalan
- there will be no way to lose, and only one way to "win" which can be done at any time. You play till you think you're done


The game will feature:
- gnomes
- exotic fruits and spices
- scantily-clad pearl divers
- muscular silk-pullers
- gemology
- nightmare fuel
- pirates
- whales
- many, many beetles
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Re: Lost Coastlines

Postby Lumin » Sat Sep 29, 2018 10:35 pm

The0didactus wrote:The game will feature:
- gnomes
- exotic fruits and spices
- scantily-clad pearl divers
- muscular silk-pullers
- gemology
- nightmare fuel
- pirates
- whales
- many, many beetles


The map stuff is mildly terrifying but with a feature list like this I am excited.
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Re: Lost Coastlines

Postby DazaKiwi » Mon Mar 04, 2019 2:21 am

So where is Lost Coastlines? i mean...where is the download link to play? I looked on the main Adrift site/Games and couldn't see it there. Is it still WIP or finished?
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Re: Lost Coastlines

Postby The0didactus » Mon Mar 04, 2019 4:34 am

It's very sad.
After IFCOMP 2018, I realized that I would only be able to work on, and submit, ONE game for IFCOMP 2019...I wanted to put all my energy into one game. I had two options: Skybreak (A sci-fi game) and this (which is sorta a surreal exploration game). I initially chose this...but I suffered a catastrophic computer failure. The game is locked up on a failed hard-drive, and I'm making skybreak instead.

I will probably return to this game someday, the initial idea is so good that I can't pass it up...but it might be years away.


Skybreak is gonna be awesome though
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Re: Lost Coastlines

Postby Lumin » Mon Mar 04, 2019 7:16 pm

I'm still in mourning and will never be less sad.

Please put beetles in Skybreak.

Lost and sad ones. On a coast somewhere.
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Re: Lost Coastlines

Postby The0didactus » Tue Mar 05, 2019 4:55 am

Really funny you mention that, because the SAME EXACT mechanic is in Skybreak (because I like the mechanic and it works in basically any surreal game). The mechanic is pretty simple: In addition to all the slightly more "normal" trade goods you pick up as you wander the universe, you also inexplicably find like 17 varieties of beetles. There are only a handful of places where they are useful, but in those places they are VERY useful. So it's like a divine epiphany, you're finally like "oh wow, I finally found the place where beetles are relevant!"
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Re: Lost Coastlines

Postby The0didactus » Tue Mar 05, 2019 4:56 am

there are no handsome silk-pulling monks though. I mourn their delay.
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Re: Lost Coastlines

Postby The0didactus » Wed May 15, 2019 9:14 pm

Today was a beautiful summer day, and so was yesterday, and it put me in the mood to work on this game again for the first time in almost half a year.

The previous version of "lost coastlines" was utterly toasted thanks to one of those nasty hard-drive failures, but forunately I saved the most sophisticated bit, a procedural location-naming/object-populating system, as a module. I decided to start over.

Initially, I didn't think I'd make this game in adrift, and my conviction in that regard was fortified after I lost the Adrift module.

...now, I've decided for no other reason than the sheer fun of making a totally unstandard IF/CYOA game in Adrift, I MUST make the game in this system.

It won't be done for a while because, despite my work on it the last few days, it really should take a backseat to Skybreak...but you might wanna move this thread to WIP
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Re: Lost Coastlines

Postby The0didactus » Thu May 16, 2019 5:11 pm

To my knowledge this is the first "procgen" terrain generator done in adrift. It situates the player in a randomized graph of locations, and then builds out formations of landmasses, islands, seas, and the like. It then names them according to conventions that shift as you cross the map.

The "blank spots" are areas with hard-coded features, so that starting players are always assured to have a nearby fishmonger, temple, etc.
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Re: Lost Coastlines

Postby The0didactus » Thu May 16, 2019 5:12 pm

another
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Re: Lost Coastlines

Postby David Whyld » Fri May 17, 2019 3:11 pm

How did you handle the procedural generation? I thought about trying something a while back but couldn't figure out how to get ADRIFT to do it.
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Re: Lost Coastlines

Postby The0didactus » Fri May 17, 2019 3:50 pm

There are lots of ways to do it. One way I could NEVER figure out was actually getting a task to just Rename the location as part of an event when the player entered that location.

I'm quite proud of how I did this, so on one hand I want to share it. On the other, it diminishes the magic of the world somewhat, so I'll put it in spoilers.

[Reveal] Spoiler:
The easiest way to procedurally generate a location name is to name the location "%1%"
then create a variable called "1"
then have a task change the name of that variable. So a task that sets "1" to equal: %names[%pointer%]%+%names[%follower%]%+%space%+%types[%locationtype%]%" will create locations that look like "blankblank blank" (see "pingbril town" above. ""The"+%space%+%adjectives[RAND (1, 100)]%+%space%+%types[%locationtype%]%" will create locations that look like "The red Abyss" or whatever.

The difficulty with procgen is to make it follow patterns, but then have the patterns display variation.

Lost coastlines has a list of 1,000 random syllables (some bisyllables) from four different languages. They are further grouped by "genre" (so among the english words, the list starts with childish happy words and moves to things like death and blood and storm and stuff. A 'pointer' starts somewhere on the list, and moves upwards by a random walk, creating locations that come from the same "genre" over short distances. Occasionally the pointer will jump really far ahead or fall behind.

Similarly, lost coastlines has a list of 60 "location types" ranging from wide open oceans to mountain ranges and jungles. A "typer" starts somewhere on the list, and moves along it. Over short distances then, locations will have roughly the same "type", creating chains of islands and continents and the like.

Occasionally, the generator will randomly snatch a word from another list (a list of 100 adjectives, a list of 50 animals, a list of 100 nouns, a list of 50 rhyming couplets, etc).

Every location has the same convention in every iteration of the game. So location %66% will always be "The great [something] of [something]" and location 35 will always be "The Vantasner [something]" (it's a sea above). However, because the player starts in a random location and the map connections are, to some extent, randomized, it will always feel like a pretty random distribution.

Before any of the random generation begins, a character is created that is moved around the world in a zany kinda-spiraling path. Each time this character enters a new location, it "drops" an object that fixes the identity of that location as one of the "hard coded" locations: The condign archipeligo (where the game begins), St. Cosmo, St. Belchior, the Port of Thrones, the Danish Main, the city of Daen, the Scantish Main, and the land of Scant. These locations will always exist somewhere close to where the game starts. Other locations like these are generated very far away, so for example the game always has a fabulously wealthy city called Orcane that the player will be trying to find.

The map is not perfectly random. It's just a huge maze that I made with adrift, in which SOME sets of connections only work if a random number is either a 1 or a 2. This means the map will always look more or less the same on large scale (vaguely spherical, with clear pathways to the north and south) but there will be subtle variations in each playthrough.

Each location has 1-4 things to do. Each "thing" is vested by way of an object, moved to that location during procedural generation based on what "type" of location it is (so exotic schools of fish can only be found in oceans, seas, islands, etc, fabulous lost tombs full of treasure can only be found on continents) There are more than 300 locations, and therefore more than 1,000 of these objects.
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Re: Lost Coastlines

Postby David Whyld » Fri May 17, 2019 6:09 pm

Thanks. That's quite interesting.
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Re: Lost Coastlines

Postby The0didactus » Fri May 17, 2019 8:38 pm

I should add: my holy grail would be to somehow make it so ADRIFT just performs this action for an arbitrary location whenever a player enters that location. So the event would go
- Check to see if the player has been here before
- if not, decide what this location's x, y, and z are
- change the name of that location to match the x, y, and z
- pull objects into the room appropriate to x, y, and z


the lost coastlines method (and all working methods I've tried) involves making a special procedural task FOR EACH LOCATION, which for a game like this means hundreds of subtasks. I initially thought this would be quite easy to do a single operation, using properties, but I never found a way to do it.
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Re: Lost Coastlines

Postby DazaKiwi » Sat May 18, 2019 11:03 pm

Great write up. I have experimented with a random loot system in the past and also renaming locations, which i've had to use a work around to get renaming a location (and alt long desc) to work by adding a location into a group where you can force property changes, changing the location name this way seems to be the only way to do it, the built in method does not work sadly its broken.

How did you action the name change? with groups also or another method?
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