Thursday, 23 July 2015

Evolution of diggers

In still unfinished Teemu 1.3 I was experimenting with so called 'diggers' which are corridor creating "robots" that can create clones of themselves which simply are the branching corridors of a labyrinth. I realized that diggers can be evolved to do much more than just labyrinths if you create a set of rules for them.

Currently I need diggers to create corridor systems for a 'catacomb' theme. They can be as simple as a straight corridor with branching corridors to both sides of the main corridor. This can be expressed in rules of having zero curvature, more than one branching rate and 100 percent double clone probability.

If you want regular labyrinths it's simple to give more curvature for both original digger and clones. The amount of curvature and changes in other data can be used to create different kind of labyrinth styles and I like the idea of just having extra corridor systems with more or less curvature. Those can be created to otherwise unoccupied areas of the level after the main structure creation has been done.

While this is all exciting I've had trouble implementing the new digger system, because there is a strange bug with searching of so called tile masks. When searching an entry point for diggers one way to do it is find mask values of tiles. So I can for example find water areas and start diggers from there. But for some reason the routine doesn't find room walls, even they do exist and I can even confirm the proper mask values are there by looking at the automap in debug mode.

So I guess I'll spend this day searching for that bug.

ps. Well, that was quick. The bug happened, because 'small rooms' were created after the level theme creation in where I was calling the digger routine, so those rooms weren't even there at the moment the digger routine was called. That also seems to be true for some other routines, because I get some debug error messages of the search routine trying to look for parts of rooms.

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