Started my day working on the roguelike, then 10 hours of other work, then a few hours more before bed!
I was confused why my grids were still not lined up properly in the Terminal. River Smith on Mastodon pointed out that to get consisted full-width characters I could use east asian full-width latin characters, something I wasn't previously familiar with. These are unicode characters (there are so many!) that appear like western latin characters with extra spacing around them, so they will fit in a grid properly with the emojis I think, and my early testing bears this out. I replaced my @ with ＠. Can you tell?
@ or ＠
Then I went back to looking at emojis for spawning items, and it dawned on me how limiting that is. The brilliance of ascii roguelikes is partly what's so brilliant about reading books for pleasure. Our mind fills in a picture-idea of the environment. I don't fully know how it works, and it's not the same as a visual experience, but I *feel* things that I read, even those that are described. This is why we can almost jump out of our chair when playing rogue and a certain monster appears. I enjoy Brogue but usually can't get past level 10 or 11. I get so thrown off when a purple g appears, and I know it's a goblin conjurer! The emojis are a bit different. They are a representation that's more 1-to-1 with what they symbolize. A tree for example. It's hard to let them to serve as mere symbols rather than the specific object they're depicting perhaps. I'll have to spend more time considering this. I could have particular emoji represent certain types of items. In any case, currently I am spawn emoji terrain and player (or @) and chars as item symbols. It's a strange combo and I've not seen that before. We'll see if it sticks or I move one way or the other or switch to a tileset.
I'm also feeling like I might simplify the mechanics. A small 'tiny village' is spawned each day, and a new one isn't spawned until the next day, replacing the previous. That shouldn't be too bad to do, and perhaps feels not only in scope but also an appropriate amount of gameplay. Less than a coffeebreak, more like an espresso-break. Which is in keeping with the feel I'm going for here. An ambient mini village walking sim that you return to each day, easily, from the command line. But the inventory should be carried over, and perhaps a quest or other things? Maybe just inventory for simplicity at this point. And you collect the items just like the "You are carrying bot" by Andrew Vestal. You can't do anything with them beyond enjoying them. You can drop items and leave behind, or hold onto things you like and read them. Maybe there's a limited size backpack or something, so you have to choose each day what items to keep and what to drop.
You are Carrying bot on twitter
Now that I have a particular goal in mind I need to collect a good number of interesting items to be spawned. I read that You are Carrying bot uses a list of items from Infocom classic games like the Zork series, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Planetfall. Unfortunately, I can't seem to find those lists of items readily. It's probably obscured in the source code, but I don't see it in my initial searching.
So next I am checking Darius Kazemi's corpora for ideas.
There are 450 objects in this file
words relating to new technologies
list of appliances
a list of 1000 nouns, though many are ideas rather than objects
An article with 151 items to bring camping
List of 181 survival kit items
Maybe these last few can be added to Darius's Corpora. They seem in particular a good fit for the outdoor environment setting, though I do like wacky items generation as well.
I think it would be nice to also add messages in a bottle you find and/or books or poetry.
I'll try to get at the items from Zork and maybe examine the items from robotfindskitten if possible. Perhaps I'll also use a form of Kate Compton's Tracery to develop a grammar. Not sure yet. Depends how ambitious I feel and my time available.
I downloaded robotfindskitten objects and added to game. I load them externally. I added collision detection and have it read out the robotfindskitten description of the item you're on. I also added the ability to "grab" what you're standing on, and save it to inventory (which gets written to file as well). Hmm. Now that i've implemented, the tone of robotfindskitten doesn't seem to perfectly fit here, though there's something nice going on in a few of them. I think it's possibly too wacky, which doesn't match the emoji tileset/theme.
Rewatched Josh Ge's How To Make a Roguelike talk from Roguelike Celebration a few years ago. It was helpful. Concentrate on core gameplay! That's where I'm at now!
How To Make a Roguelike talk on Youtube
I now have a pretty big TODO file going on, adding tasks, and checking off ones I've completed and bugs I've solved.
I'm thinking I may want to actually use a cool tileset, or just revert back to ascii. Undecided! But I'm still worried there's not enough emoji, and they're too specific to represent the range of text description I want to hit on. Hmmm.
I've also refined some of my core concepts ideas. Thinking now you'll have a limit of number of moves in a day before you "fall asleep." Perhaps you can extend your action by programming a robot, in a simple LOGO-language. ! (I'm probably adding too much But I'm thinking of this as a stretch goal).
Tomorrow I need to work more on generating the tiny village. I'd like to generate tombstones to read, book titles, probably a more specific good list of random items-objects. They should all be compelling, interesting, that the player cares about being a caretaker/digital owner of. That's the "point" of this game, so the text needs to meaningful. I may need to use Tracery I think.
It's pretty late, time for bed.