August 7, 2011

Evil Cult v4 release

Evil Cult has now moved into its 4th stable release (actually third, but nevermind). Not much different from v4pre2 except the version change.

July 21, 2011

I have a new domain

... due to the decision of Google to remove from all search results.
So now everything is hosted on:
Please update your bookmarks.

July 13, 2011

Evil Cult v4pre2 release

After a huge amount of time the new dev release of Evil Cult is finally ready. You can play it here. The list of changes is significant:
  • Sects - after the cult grows to some point every cult member can make a sect for himself. Sect is useful for lots of small tasks - gaining information about other cults, confusing investigators, etc.
  • HTML5 Canvas for map display - map no longer uses crazy divs for displaying nodes and lines between them. Everything consists of images now which are drawn on canvas surface.
  • Virtual map bigger than the screen - canvas display almost immediately lead to implementing the old feature request of bigger maps. Minimap included.
  • Custom game - you can now set all difficulty parameters in a separate "Custom game" window
  • Local Multiplayer - up to 4 players (and more after I'm done with cult colors) can now play on the same computer.
  • And a nifty favicon, courtesy of qubodup!
Saving and loading has been disabled until later.

April 24, 2011

Evil Cult Status Update

Okay, while I still vaguely remember what I did before and also to get my thoughts in one place, I decided to describe what I'm working on right now. Well... okay, I don't remember what I did before my current task (that was half a year ago) and my notes are not really helpful. But the current big task is to implement Sects. At the start of this sub-project I decided that I wanted to add more depth to EC (actually that is my whole plan - add more depth until I'm sick of it and then stop). The idea was to make each follower more individual and slightly different from the others. And then to send them on missions, XCOM-style.

After spending some amount of time trying to think up a compelling mission mechanic (there's a 5kb text file full of ideas, just like there is 12kb text file full of vague designs for Dr West - most of them unused), I understood that I had two big tasks in front of me instead of one - first is to make the agents (that's what I called them back then) system and then to make a mission system on top of that. What I decided was to make agents system + non-interactive agent tasks and later expand that into full missions.

April 14, 2011

Dr. West v3 is here!

After only 2 weeks of waiting, the new version is here. What's new here? Loads of small stuff.
  • Quests support - I've built basic framework to make hard-coded quests  into the game. More on that below.
  • Random Events - from time to time a green ? will appear in the laboratory. In some cases it will be an Anxious Assistant quest but more often it will be a random event with a chance of success and failure. More on that below.
  • Finite Police and Police Ending - the amount of police available at the police station is now finite (around 20 or so officers). This amount is displayed on the station itself and each time an officer dies, it goes lower. When all officers are dead, the game ends with victory - the town is now under the terror of the reanimated and no one can stop the doctor from his work.
  • Town Panic - now when there is less than 30% or so of townspeople alive, the authorities will order the police on patrol. The police is a bit scared at that point and will only patrol areas close to the station. Incidentally this also solves the rare situation when theory is still lower than 10 but all townspeople are dead and player has to resort to waiting until fresh bodies are available at the cemetery.
  • Image support - now all tiles and objects are stored in images making eventual graphics version possible.
  • Smarter movement around obstacles - Small improvement but your reanimated are now less likely to stop unable to move around the corner.
The new version is as always here.

March 31, 2011

Doctor West v2 released

Mainly bugfixes and small improvements over the first release. Game stats are now displayed on the end game screen. I reworked the message system - now there's a  message layer on top of the map. Once anything interesting happens, a yellow "?" mark will appear on that tile. If the message is important, it will be a yellow "!". When mouse is over the marker, the message will be shown in the message bar. Once the turn has ended, all old messages disappear. That mostly solves the problem of having too much happening during a turn and ending the turn would leave the user confused.

Take a look at it here:

March 26, 2011

Doctor West v1 released

Yes, it's finally here. After a long period of laziness (or possible lack of creative energy) the first playable version of Dr. West is available. The game is about a half-crazy genius bent on proving that the dead human body can be reanimated after injecting a properly prepared chemical solution into its veins. The good doctor has a working theory but not enough practice. And therein lies the problem - he needs more specimens (the fresher the better) in his lab to mix and test new solutions. But where to get them? One thing that comes to mind is the local cemetery - and that is the first source of specimens available. The other one is much more gruesome...

The manual link in the game currently leads to a blank wiki page (I will make one asap) so I will explain the game mechanics here. The game consists of an overhead view of the town where the doctor lives. There are three special buildings - his laboratory, cemetery and the police station. Pressing SPACE key will end the current turn. The goal of the game is to raise the theory parameter up to 10 which is done by successful experiments. After some time (or possibly right on the next turn) the suitable bodies will start to appear in the cemetery. Clicking on the body will move it into the laboratory and on the next turn the doctor will mix a new solution and test it. The laboratory can hold four bodies at once.

If the experiment was successful, the new knowledge of the theory is gained and the reanimated body will probably be set loose on the streets of town. The reanimated are dumb monsters, they will randomly move around until they see a human. At this moment they will attack and possibly kill him providing a fresh body. The body quality (which is shown by color and BQ parameter in the message bar) affects the result of an experiment. If the murder (or even the attack in some cases) is witnessed by another human, he will alert the authorities about it. The police comes in 2 turns and will try to put down the reanimated. If the police comes too close to the laboratory, its suspicion will rise each turn. When suspicion reaches three points, the game is over - the evil deeds of the doctor have been found out.

Both the police officers and the reanimated have more than 1 life point. Each time a police officer hits the reanimated, he removes 1 life point. The reanimated is significantly weaker though and not always manages to score a successful hit in a fight with the police. Upon attack the officer will call for backup, so the area around will quickly fill up with the police. There are a total of 10 officers that can be on the map at any given time. When the reanimated is put down (and no others are seen), the police will patrol around for some time then leave the scene.

You are able to exert some control over the reanimated movement by putting markers on map. This is done by clicking on any walkable tile. The marker is shown as a red "!" symbol. If any reanimated is within 2 tiles of the marker, it will try to move there. The marker is destroyed when reanimated steps on it and it will also be ignored when reanimated is busy trying to kill humans. At the start of the game only one marker can be put on the map. The amount grows with gaining knowledge of the theory allowing to control more reanimated. Though you still won't be able to control each reanimated separately.

That's about it at the moment. This is the first version which is playable and I need feedback to make it better. Don't hesistate to try it out and tell me what you think here or in the game feedback thread.

In other news: I noticed that Opera 11 plays Black Obelisk (and Dr. West which is based on the same HTML5 tech) well. Last time I checked (it was Opera 10 I think) it couldn't display text in canvas. Hooray for more HTML5 compatibility.