Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Quietly announcing SocialRoguelike 0.1

Here's a little something I've been working on the last 2 weeks.

What makes this different from other roguelikes (that I know of at least) is that you can talk to NPCs. Not through some dialog tree or talk menu or whatever. Instead, you talk to them by pressing [enter] then typing out a command. Not much is implemented yet, but your followers can carry an item, name areas, and change the terrain.

Try the following commands:
    the northern wall is from 5,5 to 75,8
    @Eve, make your house from 3,13 to 8,18
    the stockpile is 20,20 to 25,25
    25,24 is not the stockpile
    move 99 apples from the northern wall to the stockpile
    @Adam make the northern wall
    @Eve give an apple from the stockpile to me

The commands follow this syntax:
<@audience> <subject> verb <number> <object> <prepositional phrases>
"is" and "is not" name, rename, and unname locations; "pickup", "drop", and "move" handle items; and "make" changes the terrain. There's also a few synonyms for most words. The prepositions "at", "from", and "to" specify where the action should take place. For now, if you want to do one of those things you need to specify yourself as the audience ("@me pickup apple"). The language is somewhat flexible with the word order but the vocabulary is still small and simplistic.

When playing, press "?" for details on what your followers understand. This is just version 0.1 so there's no combat, monsters, or anything other than you, Adam, Eve, some apples, and a few verbs and prepositions really. I think the idea has a lot of potential and I wanted to put it out for others to see.

There's a problem where people may trap themselves when making walls but other than that, let me know what you think. After a couple more versions, I'll add it to roguebasin etc.


  1. Very interesting!

    In the end it's no more than an alternate (but very cool) interface to issuing commands though?

    Or will you also be able to discuss topics, build a relationship, and manipulate/influence characters in this way?

    Curious as to your plans with this, keep it up!

    P.s. It took me 20 seconds before I realized it wasn't a screenshot but an embedded SWF :)

    1. Yeah, it's just another interface - except I don't have to add menus and popups and hidden key bindings and other clutter. I think the prepositional phrases also add a lot of flexibility and the feedback from other people can have interesting effects. Especially when they start giving commands and talking to each other. I'm sure fun things will emerge from that.

      Eventually I'd like people to have their own personality, families, organizations, and daily lives. Your relationships and influence will become important part of the game.