Heroic Fisticuffs!

Here's a place where I talk about games, applications, websites, and other things that I make for fun. Mostly roguelikes. And pirates. And robots. Since my domain is hard to spell you probably came here on purpose.

Give me the 30 second version

"So, what's it about?"

I'm probably mis-quoting Darren Grey here, but it's close enough. I was in London for a visit last year and while I was there I decided to look Darren up. I've been a big fan of his for quite a while. We've run in the same circles online, from the old rec.games.roguelikes.development (RGRD) to rogue temple and all of the incarnations of the 7-Day Roguelike Challenge to the current rogue-reddit "scene" at (r/roguelikedev and r/roguelikes). He also writes some great games - he's done a lot for the community.

So of course I was excited to meet him in person. And of course we start chatting about development, what are you currently working on, etc. Turns out being a new dad is not so condusive to programming, but I had been continuing to develop my failed 2017 7DRL Hardpointe. That's when I get the question: "So, what's it about?"

Oops. I didn't have a smooth or particularly convincing answer. Something about tactical combat, maybe?

A few months later, here was my first definition:

Hardpointe is a "medium" sized roguelike with a focus on tactical combat and movement. Managing a limited set of powers, upgrades, and items will be critical to your success.

Here's my 2nd try:

Hardpointe (name subject to change) is a browser-based roguelike with a focus on tactical movement and finite resource management. Players have 3 power slots that can be upgraded or swapped out as luck and necessity see fit. Combat is deterministic and the numbers are small - almost all attacks do 1 damage and almost nothing in the game goes over 3 hp. (With 1 or 2 exceptions). There are no real 'vanilla' enemies. Fighting 1-on-1 is usually easy, but difficulty can scale quickly with multiple foes.

Maybe somewhere in between?

Hardpointe is a browser-based "medium-sized" roguelike with a focus on tactical combat and finite resource management. A lone soldier must infiltrate and destroy an asteroid fortress filled with robotic hordes bent on Earth's destruction. You will harness unique powers, abilities, and an assortment of weapons that you find along the way. Each enemy has unique abilities and behaviors that will require different strategies. Combat is deterministic and health is extremely limited; positioning and thoughtful movement will be your keys to victory.

How's that? (They keep getting longer... oops.)

Hardpointe still alive

Despite my lack of posts and entire blog going offline for a bit, I continue to develop Hardpointe in my "free time". Progress did stall for the last half of 2018, but seeing all of the posts around 7DRLs earlier in Feb really pushed me to get back into making progress.

A lot of work has been behind the scenes since the last version. I did a lot of work to add a 'radial' menu. In an effort to reduce on-screen distraction and the number of button presses, when there is an ambiguous action, the radial menu pops up, and the available options always show up in the same spot. (e.g. 'Heave' is always the up key) It makes for much smoother gameplay.

Enemy AI was also changed to make them less omniscient and more cautious about doors. There was an annoying habit for  enemies to "wait" behind doors and punch you right as you walked in. This wasn't really by design. Now enemies take a turn to go from non-alert to alert statuses. So if you walk into a room and they DO happen to be behind the door, they will act surprised for a beat. That gives you an opportunity to attack, back away, or do something else.

I didn't do any power switching in this video but that menu has been streamlined as well. You can now just hit space + <slot to replace> and not have to page through multiple screens or even read anything if you don't need to.

Here's me dying on the 1st level because I messed up a dash somewhere and got hit. In a 3-hp game you really need to pay attention to every single hit. Apparently I'm a bit rusty.