Early August Update

This is the first development update in a couple of weeks. I’m still primarily working on my thesis in the hopes of finishing before the end of September, at which point I’ll be starting the full-time development year. Nevertheless, I’ve managed to snatch a little bit of time here and there to code and keep things ticking over.


I’ve done a few more fortress archetypes. As mentioned before, there are twelve “shapes” fortresses can generate in total; each civilization chooses one, and there can never be more than five nomadic civilizations, so it’ll be a long while until you see each archetype (not to mention, obviously, that each instance of each archetype will generate differently). I’ve thrown together the “Pentagon” and the “Double Fort” algorithms, and here are a bunch of screenshots. Fortresses are really interesting to walk around – they definitely evoke a very different feel to towns or cities or settlements. One thing I’ve found to be a very good idea is to really emphasize¬†difference in procedural generation – sure, in the real world, a “castle” and a “fortress” may be very similar, but by placing one at the core of cities and giving the other to nomads, I’ve emphasized the differences in each one to create two totally different kinds of structure. Even though they lack NPCs yet, walking around the four different types of population centre (cities, towns, settlements, fortresses) all feel totally, totally different (which was exactly the goal) and I can’t wait to see what everyone else thinks once this release is out. Some fortresses are more or less militarized than others; some have larger or small markets, or housing, or defenses; some are more open, some are more closed and more challenging to navigate. There’s a great amount of variety, and they all also handle rivers in different ways, leading to some really interesting maps (which have been challenging to make ensure walkable generation on)…



Hunter-Gatherer Buildings

I’ve thrown together the generators for the textures of all the different building materiasl hunter-gatherer civilizations might use. Whereas feudal civilizations use variations of bricks and nomadic civilizations sometimes uses bricks, or stone, or drystone walls, hunter-gatherers are forced to be a little more resourceful. There are currently sixteen different materials, each civilization will choose a different one (a couple are tied to particular climates) and they won’t repeat, so you’ll have a wide variation every game. Here’s an example of the outcomes of each of the generators for the different materials. Going left-to-right and top-to-bottom, these are “logs”, “leaves”, “wood”, “stone”, “bones”, “mud bricks”, “snow bricks”, “interwoven sticks”, “mud”, “drystone”, “thatch”, “wattle and daub”, “rope”, “bamboo”, “leather”, “fur”:

HG Building

The materials have no particular gameplay difference, but they do lend a nice variety to the hunter-gatherers, especially as the way they are displayed in-game varies according to the colour of each texture. HG civilizations are now looking rather more complete than they were before, and the other reason for this is the introduction of standing stones.

Standing Stones

Different religions worship in different ways; some have big idols, some might have small totems in the houses of worshipers, and so forth. Some hunter-gatherer civilizations have standing stones in the middle of their settlements as the focal points for worship. Each of these is a different shape, contains a symbol of the appropriate religion, and… some other text, in an ancient language. In future versions this text will be one of many clues around the world to help you find your way through the world’s mysteries, and will be one of several reasons you might consider visiting a hunter-gatherer settlement you pass on your way to parts unknown.



The next three entries will probably be the other games criticism entries I discussed before, then we’ll have a roundup of some more code at the end of August/start of September. By then I should have more of the fortress archetypes done (maybe all of them?) and maybe some more city districts too – military districts might be next on my list, though I think I also need to make some changes to market districts; playtesting them by myself suggests that they might need to be a little more contained and a little less open to make them more enjoyable and more understandable to navigate. The plan thus remains: I’m working hard to finish my thesis before I move house in late September, and then to start the full-time year of development in October, with the intention of releasing 0.6 – admittedly the biggest URR update ever, since it is generating¬†every town, city, fortress and settlement – within November.

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12 thoughts on “Early August Update

  1. I *love* those Standing Stone images. Ever since I went to Stonehenge a long time ago I’ve found stone circles to be mysterious and compelling, and exploring them in URR should be a lot of fun. And the building materials look very nice as well.

    • Excellent! Likewise; they’re just one part of hints towards the world’s past and the main story. Some hunter-gatherer civs without them might have other forms of religious structure like smaller shrines, or idols/figures within houses, etc.

  2. This is probably the prettiest ASCII games I’ve seen.

    Are you going to add hunger, sleep etc. requirements into the game or would they interfere with your goals?

  3. Pingback: DevLog Watch: That Which Sleeps, Limit Theory, [encrypted] | Rock, Paper, Shotgun

  4. Was a lot of time since I write you Mark because I was out of the country with parents all those months. Then, I arrive to my home and see your homepage and what I found? YOU WILL WORK FULL-TIME IN URR?! If that is true, letme tell ya, this game will be a Adventure Simulator/Next Gen Roguelike/History Generator/Sandbox Game of the Milenium. Really. It’s just amazing see you saying that. I’m just… Crying of the emotion. I can’t demostrate in words how I feel right now. Really. Mark, I love you and I hope you the best of the luck.

    • I WILL INDEED! And thanks a lot : ). I’m looking forward to the year so much. End of September/start of October still looks like the time I’ll be starting the full-time year, given the speed at which I’m finishing my doctorate off at the moment. Still doing little bits of coding here and there where I can grab some time, but it’s once October starts that things will really pick up speed and I’ll finally be able to finish off the huge amount of content in 0.6.

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