language communities

I’ve been looking for a while for mechanical ways to represent “imagined communities” (Anderson), and especially linguistic communities. Grotto is starting from a very abstract and arbitrary formal bits- random character classes (robot, animal etc) with meaninglessly arbitrary skills that don’t have an immediately obvious mechanical use.

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minimap

I really enjoy the way stuff looks when I draw it with the tile painting program we made, but to actually include it seems like it would be so complicated. Using something pre-made like d3 seems much easier, but visually boring.

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savior

This is the beginning of work on savior, a video game project.

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mapping

Grotto has some somewhat unique challenges to its success as an actual game because it uses an atomic maze structure where exits are blind guesses about what is inside adjoining rooms. This mode is inherited from interactive fiction, Hunt the Wumpus, MUDS, etc– games that either had puzzles within the rooms themselves, or relied on constructing a mental model of the maze based on guesses (each one potentially fatal, in the case of Wumpus). I’ve had critiques about whether the game is intelligible and whether there is any player enticement to play. I’ve kind of sidestepped these critiques by saying that the real game mechanics haven’t been implemented yet, and that they would be the sugar that activates the content I am spreading through the maze in room and item descriptions. This suggests that I have some kind of plan for game mechanics though, and all my game design ideas gravitate towards roguelike mechanics, which may not be a good fit here. A roguelike structure where a visual map is slowly completed by exploring would probably require a substantial amount of retooling.

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Grotto 0.8.0

[Unreleased]

Added

  • Eyes for characters to view items
  • Arena for fighting ancestors
  • Inline files for Items

    Changed

    Removed

    Fixed

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class item ideas

  • robot item: (servo? actuator? battery?) action? (work? compute?)

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