7DRL 2010: Terraforma (pt. 1)
I decided to throw my hat in the ring for this year’s 7DRL on a whim. I’ve read about it in the past and played various 7DRL’s, but I’ve never considered writing one. I have a hard enough time finishing projects when there aren’t any time limits! As I said in my announcement post, I’m quite sure I won’t come close to finishing, but that won’t stop me from starting!
Originally, I didn’t have a name, just a vague idea that I wanted to play around with a continually expanding game map through a Terraforming theme. I’ve scrapped the idea of a wrap-around world, as it doesn’t make sense conceptually. Here’s the basic idea of my new work in progress, Terraforma:
Your cruiser landed on the planet Aegon weeks ago and set to terraforming almost immediately. Within days, settlers were venturing out from the cruiser to the edges of the newly inhabitable planet surface. They carried with them Terrapacks, experimental lightweight terraforming devices that operate remotely in tandem with a mother generator. When placed on the edges of inhabitable land, they apply biodiversity algorithms to the forming in their particular areas. This allows new regions to open up with unique flora and fauna. Detached from the mother generator, Terrapacks can only operate 12 hours on battery power. As such, they’re designed to take advantage of solar power and in the absence of light to turn the nutrient rich soil and ores of the host planet into power.
About 6 days ago, the mother generator when silent. The Terrapacks continued in earnest but were separated from the guiding artificial and human intelligence from the cruiser. The skies became clouded with ash, leading you to believe the worst has happened to your spaceship. Still, you have to make your way back somehow to find out exactly what went wrong. Unfortunately, you have to keep your Terrapack operational to stay alive and cannot venture beyond its boundary of habitable land and atmosphere.
What creatures and surprises await as you feed it the planet’s minerals and ore to stay operational? What will an isolated Terrapack dream up to populate its new planet? You’re about to find out…
Details on gameplay:
- You start with a single 15 x 15 map screen, your Terrapack at the center.
- You have to harvest minerals / ore and carry them to the Terrapack to keep it powered up and to expand its reach to open up new territory. This leveling up results in new screens being opened on a random edge of the inhabitable area at the rate of one additional screen per level of your Terrapack. (i.e. it starts at level 1, so powering it up to level 2 will result in the exposure of 2 new inhabitable areas to search.)
- Screens may include dead settlers you can loot for gear, other working Terrapacks you can network with, food and water as created by your Terrapack, and caches of minerals / ore that you have to harvest.
- The type of terrain on new screens will be random but based on the bordering screens. I’m going to use ideas from the map generation of Realm of the Mad God and determine terrain based on elevation and humidity.
- Higher level generators populate screens with more powerful monsters. Yay!
- To that end, the gear in the game will include weapons, healing items, and technology items. There will be nothing to wear, so I won’t have to bother with complex inventory programming or UI.
- Eventually, your cruiser will appear on a screen. It will be randomly placed at a distance of at least 7 screens from your starting Terrapack. I won’t give away any endings just yet, but you’ll find out what went wrong and then receive an end game score based on your performance in the game.
And now let’s see if I can’t work up a little map generation!