Sunday, 9 May 2021

Feature review

They often say you shouldn't have too many features in a roguelike, because they are hard to implement. It is very true, but large scale roguelikes require features and complexity that they give. I went through the source code and listed most major features that are distinctive. There are 64 features and I don't know how it even compares to other roguelikes. The startling or depressing thing is that most of the features are more or less concepts with often minimum amount of implementation. This isn't a surprise, because my inability to decide how features work in detail has been a monumental theme in this project.

I feel like this is a major problem in many roguelike projects. The design is too simple if you just decide to have some feature like fountains. It doesn't stop there, you need to decide how exactly fountains work and what sub-features they have. Do they dry when you drink from them? Do they spawn monsters? Are there hidden items in them? What happens if you kick a fountain? Is the water always healthy? Etc.

The sub-features are often linked to the engine thinking, where features either require lots of special code or they should be supported by the engine which then requires more from the engine. Everything adds to the total amount of code which can already feel overwhelming just with the core of the game.

I think the list of features is going to be my next goal where getting at least the basics working would help get the project to the next level.