Possession 2: New Level Designs and Graphics

Happy New Year! It’s been a while since I’ve posted. Writing devlog posts just kind of fell behind over the holidays, but work has continued.

Today I’m going to talk about the levels. Possession 1 had just one level generator. It worked pretty well, and made pretty good-looking caves, but there wasn’t much variation.

I’ve added some more randomness to the cave generator, so that sometimes it makes more open cave and sometimes more enclosed ones, but I’ve also added three more level generators. They all will receive some more tweaking as work continues, but here’s what they look like so far:

The “BSP Tree“:


Click to enlarge.

The standard seen in most roguelikes, this generates a bunch of rooms and links them together with corridors.

The Maze:


Click to enlarge.

Pretty self-explanatory. Generates a maze. To make it more interesting, I remove all the dead ends (except two, where I place the entrance and exit), and add some extra passages and rooms.

The “Drunk Walker”:

"Drunk Walker" level generation.

Click to enlarge.

It needs a little more work to ensure that more of the level is open, but this builds random, more natural-looking tunnels across the level.

There’s more new stuff in levels besides changes in their shape, though. There are going to be special levels (the first of which is almost finished and will be the subject of a later post), as well as modifications that can be made to basic levels, such as adding rivers (of water, lava, blood, slime, etc.) and chasms, or covering the level in (flammable!) grass and trees:


Click to enlarge.

I’ve also written the graphics code for tiles in the levels themselves. There are seperate tiles for walls depending on what other walls they connect to, and various floor tiles to make the level look more varied. You can also see a chasm on the left. Chasms can be crossed by flying creatures, but not by others, and you can knock your enemies into chasms if you have abilities that let you push them around!


Click to enlarge.

Not all levels will look the same in graphics mode, either. Special levels will have special tilesets. For example, here’s the “graveyard” tileset from the first level:


Click to enlarge.

All the environment graphics are pretty ugly, I know…I just made them quickly for testing, the final versions will look better.


Possession 2: Programmer Art, and First New Creature!

Creatures from levels 1 and 2...plus the ratling fungal wizard, just because.

Creatures from levels 1 and 2…plus the ratling fungal wizard, just because.

As I mentioned earlier, I have someone working on graphics for the game, and hopefully I’ll be seeing what he’s done sometime this weekend.

For the time being, though, I’ve made some quick little pixelly sprites on my own, to test the graphics code with (and also to make screenshots more interesting).

I’d also like to introduce the first new creature in the game: the caretaker! He’s found on the first level, and is a sort of stealth-based character.


Click to expand

He has some unique abilities that aren’t really like anything in the first game. First of all is Undead Repellant, which keeps undead from noticing you (though they’ll still notice you if you attack them!). The second one is Undead Bait. If you throw it at an empty square, it will make nearby undead congregate around it. But, if you throw it at another creature, it will make all nearby undead attack THEM instead!

(Unfortunately, the screenshot I just took reveals that the creature will also attack ITSELF, so that needs to be fixed).

Possession 2 Announcement

I am working on a sequel to Possession: Escape from the Nether Regions, the 7-day game I made earlier this year. I’m currently calling it Possession 2: Return to the Nether Regions, because it is a terrible name. Whether it’ll stick or not depends, but it’s growing on me.

I’ve actually been working on it for a while, since the beginning of the month, which is nice because that means I can slack off for a few days and still post up something and pretend it’s something new I’ve been working on. While the majority of the changes will be adding new content, I also am going to make some changes to the basic mechanics of the game, involving how possession works. Specifically, I want to make it so that there’s more risk involved, so that it’s not always the best choice to immediately possess a new individual of the creature you’re already possessing.

To that end, here’s a development version. It has the same content as the old game (though it does have some interface improvements, but I’ll talk about that later), but trying to possess something now ejects you from the old body whether you succeed or not (unless you’re next to the new body), and causes your ghost form to zoom to the new target. If you fail to possess the target, they’re stunned (so they won’t just immediately kill you), but other enemies near them aren’t.

Mac Version

Windows Version (untested)

.love file (Usable on Mac, Windows or Linux, requires LÖVE Client)

This isn’t in the above version, but this is what I got done today. A system for projectiles, and giving ranged attacks to creatures. In this case, apparently a skeleton throwing its own bones at people.

(Apparently I can’t just post the animated image here, click to see it.)

The new game WILL feature graphics, so you don’t have to play with ASCII characters, but I’ve got someone else working on those, so that depends when he gets done. You might also notice some new animation, like the floating damage numbers above the creatures’ heads. I’ll talk more about that later. Also, also, I now use Twitter (it’s for marketing, I swear!) Follow @vaughantay if you want

Daniel and Elijah’s Magical Evening (18+ I guess?)

Content Warning: Contains celebrities.

Elijah’s heart pounded in his throat. He was finally going to meet Daniel. They’d never met in person before (except for a few minutes at a press event years ago), though they’d been flirting over twitter for a while. But tonight Daniel had finally invited him over to his place. Surprisingly, he lived just on the other side of town, and Elijah felt foolish for not having realized it before, and also for not being the one to make the first move. He was shy, plain and simple, and he was nervous about how this meeting was going to go. Still, he really liked Daniel, and he was pretty sure that Daniel liked him, too, so how bad could things go?

Butterflies in his stomach, he rang the doorbell.

The door opened. There stood Daniel Radcliffe, in the flesh (and what beautiful flesh it was). “Hey, Elijah, good to see you,” he said, extending his hand.

Elijah Wood shook it and smiled. “Nice place you have here,” he said. The house was enormous.

“Oh, yeah,” Daniel said. “Well, after those Harry Potter movies, I had something like a billion dollars, so what else could I do with it? You know how it is.”

“Well, not really,” Elijah said.

“Really? I’d have thought those movies you were in would have…they were pretty big, I thought. What were they called? Lord of the Flies? No, it was something about the Twin Towers?”

“Lord of the Rings,” Elijah said. “And they were popular, but obviously not as much as Harry Potter!”

“Well yeah, obviously,” Daniel laughed. “All those preteen girls loved Harry Potter. A magic orphan? Way more exciting than elves or whatever was in your movie. Hey, you want something to drink? I already got started without you, sorry. You were late, so…” he shrugged nonchalantly and took a sip from his own glass.

“Oh, sorry,” Elijah said. “Yeah, sure, I’d love a drink.”

“Great,” Daniel said. “I’ll mix you up one. Let’s go ahead and go up to my room. I’m pretty horny.”

“Um,” Elijah said. “Yeah, me too, I guess.”

They went up to Daniel’s room. There was a minibar in the corner, and Elijah sat down on the bed while Daniel whipped up a top-notch mojito. Daniel came over and handed him the drink. Elijah took a sip and smiled. Daniel leaned in for the kiss. It was as magical as anything in either of their movies.

“Wow,” Elijah said afterwards. “It’s like kissing a mirror.”

“I know,” Daniel said. “That’s why I like it.”

They made out for a little while, until Daniel put his hand on Elijah’s crotch.

Elijah pulled away. “I’m sorry, Daniel,” he said. “This is just moving kind of fast for me. I’m not usually a sex-on-the-first-date kind of guy. Can we just talk for a little bit first?”

“Ugh, fine,” Daniel said, sighing heavily and getting up to mix himself another drink.

“So what are you up to these days?” Elijah asked. “I know you were in that play…”

“Yeah,” Daniel laughed, “I fucked a horse in that! Can you believe that! Americans are so weird.”

“I thought Equus was written by an Englishman,” Elijah said.

“Maybe. I’d believe it.” Daniel sat back down on the bed and took a long sip of his drink. “I also had another movie come out, too, something about a ghost or a house, I don’t really remember. I just did it because I was bored.”

“Oh yeah, and you’re in that movie about Allen Ginsburg! He’s such a great poet, I really love his stuff.”

“I don’t know,” Daniel said. “I don’t really read or go for nerd stuff like that.”

“Oh,” Elijah said. An uncomfortable silence filled the room for a few seconds.

“Oh, hey, listen, I’m so sorry,” Daniel said. “I didn’t realize. You finished your drink. I’m a terrible host sometimes. Let me get you another one.” He took Elijah’s glass and walked back to the minibar.

“It’s such a good idea to keep a minibar in your room,” Elijah said.

“Yeah,” Daniel said. “I have them in every room, actually. They were the first things I had put in. This house is so big, it’s such a pain in the arse to have to walk to the kitchen every time I want to get my drink on.”

He drained his drink, poured another one, then drained it again. Finally, he filled Elijah’s (and his own again, of course) and walked back to the bed. Elijah took the glass and sipped it gratefully.

“Hey,” Daniel said, fishing a bag out of his pocket and dumping two pills into the palm of his hand. “I’ve got some molly, what do you say?”

“Uh, no thanks,” Elijah said.

Daniel shrugged. “More for me,” he said, swallowing both pills and washing them down with the rest of his drink. He got back up and walked over to the bar again. “Sometimes I think I ought to pay someone to invent a nightstand with a minibar in it,” he said. “It would probably be the most useful invention I can think of. I should see if I can get that patented.”

At that moment, a man dressed in a giant dog suit walked into the room. Elijah blinked a few times and rubbed his eyes.

“How’s it hangin’?” the dogman asked. “Not at all for me, since this asshole over here got me fixed.” He jerked a thumb towards Daniel as he plopped down on the bed next to Elijah. Reaching under the bed, the dogman pulled out an enormous bong.

“Uh…that’s your dog?”

“What, are you afraid of dogs?” Daniel asked. “Shake, boy!”

The dogman held out a handpaw and blew a cloud of smoke. “Name’s Wilfred, pleased to meet ya.”

Elijah shook the dogman’s handpaw gingerly. “He’s very…uh…big.” The dogman was at least six feet tall.

“You haven’t even seen me when I’m excited!” the dogman laughed as Elijah recoiled. “Don’t worry though, mate, I’m not gonna join in, I just like to watch.”

“Hey, Dan, thanks for having me over,” Elijah said, “But I just remembered I have to…do something tomorrow.”

“Oh, hey, I’m sorry, I should have known you were afraid of dogs. Here, let me put him up.”

“Aw, come on, mate, don’t make ‘im put me in solitary! I was just joking about watching, I’ll go back in the other room and give you two some privacy. Just try to keep it down with the squeaking and groaning and all, I’ve got pretty good hearing y’know.”

“No, no, it’s fine,” Elijah said, standing hurriedly. “I just, uh…”

“Really?” Daniel said, placing a hand on Elijah’s arm, “Can’t you stay over for a little bit? I mean, if we start now it’ll only take five minutes.”

“No, sorry, it’s been fun.” Elijah said, rushing out the door. “I’ll call you!”

“Damn it,” Daniel said sadly, scratching the dog behind the ears. “Another night alone, stuck playing with my own wand again.”


Alternate title: One Cockring to Rule Them All


At My Neighborhood Kroger (if their commercials are to be believed, that’s now the name of the store), they’ve started putting “freshly” baked doughnuts near the entrance of the store, those magnificent bastards.

So far, I’ve always managed to resist the temptation, but I always give them a fleeting, longing glance as I leave the store. Only today, after I’d been staring for well on 30 seconds, I realized a guy was standing next to them, giving me a weird look.

“Oh, sorry man,” I said, “I was looking at the doughnuts.”

He shook his head. “You weren’t lookin’ at doughnuts,” he said, “You were lookin’ at DEEZ NUTS!”

My new game, Possession, is Released!

For the last week, I’ve been taking part in the “7-Day Roguelike Competition,” which involves creating a new game in 7 days. Today’s the last day, and I’m done!

In case you (somehow) missed my earlier (incessant) posts about it, in this game you play as a ghost escaped from the Nether Regions, trying to make your way to the surface. You are incredibly frail, but have one advantage: you can possess the bodies of the monsters you encounter.

Mac Executable

Windows Executable

If you’re using Linux (or have the LÖVE interpreter installed), you can download the .love file (requires the LÖVE interpreter to play). You could also try running the Windows Executable under WINE.

It’s been a busy 7 days, and now…I’m going outside.

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