Reddenhurst tech demo

So, I didn't really have all that much free time after all in November, what with moving and starting at a new job. Consequently, I didn't get anywhere close to finishing my entry for the Lovecraft Commonplace Book competition over at TIGSource. Still, I'm quite happy with the engine, and the editor is at least okay, so it would be a shame to just drop the thing silently. I had a certain portion of the game's narrative typed out already, so on an all-night hacking session yesterday I put some last-minute finishing touches on the engine and threw in some hastily generated content in order to create a small tech demo. It looks like this:


As you can see, it's an ASCII-based engine with some semblance to a roguelike. Unlike most roguelikes, it has full 32 bit color for foreground and background of each cell and a realtime lighting engine. The Doryen library was a definitive inspiration here; initially I tried using it for this project, but I wasn't happy with performance as the Doryen library does all its rendering in software. So I developed an OpenGL renderer with VBO support to speed things up, and I'm very happy with how it performs on my desktop PC with a Radeon 9500, although on my laptop with an integrated Intel chipset it leaves a lot to be desired. That one just seems to have crappy OpenGL drivers though.

For scripting, I used Lua via the LuaLib binding for D. On top of that, I developed my own metaprogramming-based binding library which I'm very happy with; so happy, in fact, that I may consider releasing it or contributing it to LuaLib after some cleanup.

Gameplay-wise, I was hoping to marry the visual stylings of a roguelike with the narrative of Interactive Fiction, which might have been a bad idea from the get go because my writing is very, very rusty. Still, it was an interesting experience to do some creative writing after all the technical writing I had to do lately, even if the result certainly is far from what I'd call good. I have some more narrative typed out beyond what you can read in the demo, but then it's not that much either.

The story itself was supposed to be quite classically Lovecraft-inspired fare; read the intro to the demo and you might already have a vague idea where I was going with this. In fact it's possible that I unconsciously ripped off some Lovecraft story directly, though I can't remember which one that would be.

Maybe I'll continue to work on this project; it was fun while I was working on it. I guess it depends on whether there is sufficient interest as well.

Anyway, if you would like to give the demo a try, download it here:

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