Earlier this year I made a game for the 'Make With Defold Game Jam" called Rouge Royale Reloaded. After the jam I spent around a month and a half getting it to place where I was happy with it. I had a DevLog video scripted for a while and only now got around to editing it. I wanted to share the video with you all, as well as talk about game’s story in depth, plus ask for some help on long standing technical issues I have had.
Link to Rogue Royale Reloaded:
Link to the YouTube video:
Back in 2021 I tried to create a game called “Rogue Royale”. My goal was to create a genre mashup between the popular battle royale mode and the infinite possibilities of a RogueLike. What resulted was a decent twin stick shooter game but one ultimately devoid of any RogueLike elements (beyond very simple random map generation).
The project never sat right with me, but with other ideas I wanted to work on, this concept got shifted to the back burner then ultimately off the pile entirely.
While I would occasionally consider a re-design I didn’t put any serious effort into it until 2023.
In 2023 I began doing a reflection project on some of the older games I had made for a self imposed challenge I called “12 games, 12 months, 1 story”. After the first three Devlogs I came back to this game. The story behind it and lasting legacy wasn’t as great as the other projects I had covered this far. I started drawing up and seriously reconsidering a proper update to the game to make the reflection video more interesting. I was still unwilling to commit until I saw the “Made With Defold Game Jam” and that it had the theme of ‘Infinite Gameplay’. It fit perfectly into my redesign’s idea so I took it as a sign and began working on it properly.
Development basically happened in 4 parts:
- The Game Jam Version (Alpha 1)
- The Post Jam Version (Alpha 2)
- Random Map Generation (Beta)
- Final Touches and Secrets (Final)
All of these parts of detailed in depth in the video above. Here’s a recap as well as some detailed I cut from the video for pacing reasons.
For the Game Jam version I decided to skip random map generation since I knew it was going to be such a challenge for me. I focused on the other core aspects game instead. Things like the enemy Ai, weapons, perks, shrinking arena, etc. This ended up paying off as I tied for 5th in the game jam, which helped to motivate me to continue working on the project.
The post jam version was mostly me trying to clean up bugs from the jam version. Fixing pathfinding bugs, audio issues, etc.
The next major update/challenge I had was doing random map generation. In the past I had played around with things like Cellular Automata but never got anything useable in a game. Due to the specific requirements of my game, I ended up coding a solution from scratch. While this took some time, it gave me enough control over my game to design levels programmatically to ensure a good gameplay experience between the maps. While it still results in things like doors that lead nowhere and paths that resemble spaghetti (see screenshot bellow), I am happy with the solution I created. If there is interest I can go into a deeper dive of how exactly I did the random map generation.
The final update was a combination of me fixing the last major bugs of the game and adding tons of additional content with new locations, weapons, perks, and secrets. The secrets were a ton of fun for me to add in, I’m not sure when or even if some of them will be discovered. I usually hold back from cryptic or hidden content in my games given most players will not find it. That being said, given the random nature of most of the game, it felt right to add in something more consistent for players to stumble across. I was also able to foreshadow some future projects and ideas that I am working on.
I did encounter a few technical issues I still have not been able to resolve with my game. Seed based level generation and artifacts when the tile map is zoomed out to far.
Firstly, I have had some issues getting the game to properly recreate maps given the same seed. The maps tend to be close but some differences still exist. I am using the math.randomseed() function to set whatever seed the user wants. Even when I turn off the other sources of random generation within the game, I still cannot get the same maps. For a while I thought maybe some of my lists were loading in differently. After sorting those lists by constant values I still have not been able to get the random map generation to be consistent.
Secondly, on one of my computers the tilemap has visual edges within some of the tiles. In the screenshot bellow some of the sand has lines between it. I’ve tried playing around with the graphics settings on the engine side but am unsure what exactly is going wrong.
All things considered these are both minor issues. The Defold Engine has worked perfectly for the rest of the project. The performance has been amazing, the game has been able to simulate 50+ enemies running around the map. I was going to do smoke and mirrors for the enemies but decided instead to simulate the entire Battle Royale.
In terms of future plans for this game, I do not have many. While I could do small updates like more building prefabs, weapons, perks, etc. None of those would fundamentally change or improve the game experience to the point I’d be willing to commit serious time to them. I will update the game to address either of the technical issues listed above.
While I could spend another few months adding huge new features and doing a proper commercial release. The game feels much more like a side mode or a minigame then a full experience. I’d have to overhaul the narrative to turn it into a proper story, which takes away from the core of the game which is seeing how long you can survive. Maybe in a few more years I’ll revisit this concept again.
Lastly I’m committed to another (and a larger) project at this time. I cannot share many details yet, but I am very excited for it!
Revisiting this idea was a ton of fun for me (even if it cost me a few nights sleep). Seeing how much my skills have progressed over 2 years, not only in terms of game design, but my knowledge of Defold was incredible. It makes me excited to see where I’ll be in the future as I continue to work on games.
The original 2021 game was something I considered to be one of my greatest failures for a period of time. After revisiting the idea, Rogue Royale Reloaded has become one of my favorite games from a mechanical standpoint. The biggest thing I learned is that it’s okay to revisit older projects and ideas. There is a lot of untapped potential in these older games. Going forward I hope to strike a balance between exploring new ideas and renovating older ones.
Thank you so much for reading!