Monday, September 30, 2013

Pugnacious Wizards 2 retrospective

I did it! I spent six weeks on remaking and improving my 7DRL Pugnacious Wizards. Time for a retrospective.

What went well.
  • I finished. I picked ambitious goals, a deadline of the 2014 ARRP, and actually did it. I've started a lot of programming projects but finished few of them - it feels good to finish a project.
  • Cleaner magic code. The code for the magic spells is much cleaner than the 7DRL version.

What went poorly.
  • Screen size. It's supposed to be played 800x640 like at the website but if you download it and play it in the standalone Flash Player, you can resize it and get some ugliness. I remember that happening with the 7DRL version, but I guess I forgot to display a warning if it is at an unexpected resolution.
  • Separating objects from their display. I tried to really separate the objects and the display of the objects. The tiles, items, creatures, effects, etc don't say what symbols or colors they display with.  I figured it was ok for them to know that but I wanted to try something different and see if it's really cleaner to make the objects not know anything about their display. For PW2, the WorldDisplay class has a few giant switches and a bunch of if statements to determine what the background color, foreground color, and glyphs for each object in the game is. It's a mess but I tested a hypothesis and learned my lesson: don't go overboard with separating the objects and their display.

What should be done differently next time.
  • There were a few weeks where I was throwin' out features every other day and times where I'd go a few weeks with only one update. Maybe having monthly goals would help smooth that out. I don't know if that was a real problem or not though.
  • Parameterizable tiles. I really pushed the Tile class to the extreme and it got ugly. The tiles are all single instances of things like light_floor, dark_floor, tower, ice_tower, fire_tower, etc. I made them all the same instance for performance reasons and because that's what I'm used to but I'm not sure if it's worth it. Maybe I should have made each tile a full fledged object oriented parameterizable object instead of something like an enum.
  • Feedback. I got some feedback but most updates didn't get any at all. I've been posting to the roguelike development forums and trying to get more visibility. I'll contribute more to other's projects and maybe that will help direct some eyes and feedback to my next project. Game Hunter did do an amazing LP but that was after the final version.


  1. Hey, re: resizing, you can change Flash's scaling behavior (see Stage.scaleMode). I hope you get more visibility in the future, but realize the roguelike community is pretty small. Any ideas for your next project?

    1. Thanks Victor, I'll take a look at that. I've got a ton of ideas for future projects (like everybody) but I think I'll try something with dynamic quests and emergent storytelling.

  2. Hello Trystan, your game is really amazing I like the art and its simple easy to control lots of amazing spells, I couldn't unlock lots of stuff becz its super hard specially of the rotating shooter (super hard). You are really amazing and this game is very amazing, I suggest you have kind of twitter account, put on other indiesites (gamejolt, I would love to talk to you at some time (I appreciate talking to amazing developers like you) I am Ahmed by the way and this is my email (amidos2002 (at) hotmail (dot) com) contact me at any time. I started working on a weird roguelike now and trying to make it even as good as ur :) (this is my website if you wanna check my games www (dot) amidos-games (dot) com