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The Dungeons of Noria


Parisoft
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Some time ago I was playing Angband and start to think to myself "how can such a simple game (aesthetically) be so fun? ... Hey, would be very cool to port it to the NES!!" so, after deeping through the Angband's source code I reallized that it would be so "heavy" to be ported ... But ... how about his predecessor (also known to be the Diablo's dad)!? Hours later and it seemed feasible at first glance, so I started a POC...
My first concern was about memory and processing time to procedurally generate the dungeon. CPU time is ok, it tooks about 2 seconds to generate an entire level...look very resonable to me. But man, it needs memory ... a lot of it, which gimme only 2 options:

1) Go with MMC1 (SXROM) equiped with 32KiB of WRAM
2) Go with FME-7 equiped with at least 64Kib of WRAM

The former results in some restrictions: dungeon with fewer rooms, no monsters memory, no player history (character background), no player scores (table with info about dead characters), and only 1 slot for save games.
The last has no restrictions, all features of the game can be implemented with a lot of space for save games.
Both of them needs an ASIC mapper and battery backed SRAM, which rises the price of an eventual physical release.
My next concern is about CPU time to handle all monsters AI during a turn...this one is about to be done soon...

If I go forward with this project, the game will be available in the digital form as open source and I have plans (must find a publisher) to launch a physical release as well, with some extras like options to switch to non-ascii graphics (someone interested to draw a lot of 8x16 monsters?), background music and sound effects.

Please, say what you think about this. It's a bad ideia? Like it? Hate it? Should I stay ot should I go? 😉

 

I'm attaching the 1st POC, which generates a full dungeon.

D-pad: moves the camera
B:     generates another dungeon

For those unfamiliar with these symbols:

.		A floor space                    
#		A wall
^		A trap                   
'		An open door                     
+		A closed door
<		A staircase up
>		A staircase down                                       
%		A mineral vein
*		A mineral vein with treasure
:		A pile of rubble
a-Z		Monsters
Others		Items

noria-preview.thumb.png.0ca8e2eabbf09aa5480082090c51b572.png

noria-poc1.nes

Edited by Parisoft
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If you haven't played The Ground Gives Way, I think it provides some interesting gameplay changes that make Roguelikes more ammenable to console controls (gets rid of diagonal movement and diagonal melee and massively simplifies the input set)

 

The biggest issue on the NES is going to be the miniscule RAM situation.

Basically that forces your hand to a one-way crawl and probably mandates a dungeon style that makes use of room blocks rather than organic generation.

Could still make a cool game in the genre for the system, though.

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