Posted by & filed under Dissertation.

Yesterday afternoon I had a meeting with a prospective supervisor about my dissertation idea. On the whole he like the whole designing a roguelike game but felt it was ‘lacking’ in uniqueness, designing a game is quite simple in regards to the grander scale of things, for example there may be lots of work but once you have the basics adding new things becomes a mundane task, for the most part I would agree with this. We sat and discussed ideas about how to bring this project up to scratch and make it something more, a few ideas were floated but two of them really stuck.

Android
That’s right, this will no longer be a desktop game; at least not this incarnation of it. Designing the game on a modern technology helps make the project not only more complicated but unique, I’ve often sat playing a roguelike game thinking “This would be great on a mobile platform”, whether it is on mobile or handheld consoles. Looking at the market I can only find one or two games that currently exist, but the play style they have is very true to the roguelike genre, in the aspect that it’s all turn based; the game I want to make will be free flowing as The Binding of Isaac is.

Using Android also allows me to utilise some of the hardware that a mobile phone has, for example the accelerometer is just begging to be used for some sort of puzzle/challenge room. The weather application on the phone could be utilised to help create in-game weather and the phones clock could do day/night.

I’m both excited and nervous about using Android, on one hand this allows me to use a whole bunch of APIs that come with it; which allows me to be more creative with some of the room content, but on the other hand I haven’t got a clue how to use Android. I’m sure I can pick it up, but the task currently is quite daunting…not as daunting as the other idea that stuck.

Self-Learning Artificial Intelligence
Yeah…those were my thoughts too. Summarising in a nutshell, the AI of some of the mobs needs to learn how the user plays, it then needs use this information to update its own logic and respond accordingly. So let’s say Monster A attacks by creating a path to the player and once it is within its firing range, launches a bomb at the player. Now let’s say 70% of the time the play dodges to the left, Monster A will need to be able to understand this, perhaps the updated AI could fire the bomb slightly more to the left, perhaps it could fire two bombs, one normally and one to the left, perhaps it could move left and then fire. All these are just some of the possible ways for the AI could react.

How I actually go about doing this is beyond me right now, I’m going to have to do a lot of research into the area as I know self-learning AI has been done before, hopefully I can find a creative and unique way to implement this concept into a game.

What’s Next?
Android tutorials, lots and lots of Android tutorials…

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