Friday, April 30, 2010



Not related to Hellband, I've been fiddling with a Tower Defense game based on 'Processed Tower Defense' I always like to take something open source and see how far I can go in giving it a console look by putting a black background and replacing images with ASCII symbols.

Sadly enough, Processed Tower Defense has flaws; you will see the critters stick slightly in the north west, but if you close the north piece of wall next to the exiting east stair case, the path detection actually fails... Too bad I have not been able to abuse this yet in the real game ;)

So, if anyone wants to play with, go ahead, download and play with it.


Clipped screenshot;

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Swamp vs. Deserts


after reading that there is no more auto-scum and there are no more great drops I got reminded of this little pearl written by Hajo in 2002. The pearl is a little bit hidden and only talks about OO design but really it talks about all design, so I extracted the part that struck me right between the eyes and rewrote it a little :

But in the meantime I think to get anything finished, creating perfection isn't the optimal approach.

Most other RL games are quite messy, code-wise, but they are all prosper and evolving.

Currently I'm trying to find a golden path between the desert of perfect theory and the swamps of usable reality. The swamps will in the end swallow you, but perfection can be like a desert that is very hard to cross (= takes a long time to implement properly).

Between the swamps and the desert there must be a temperate zone, which is easier to walk than the deserts and less dangerous than the swamps. Now the question is, how far should you stay from the swamps, and how deep should you travel in the desert?

This could be applied to anything in design, but specially to roguelikes. The Vanilla team is right now too much in the desert; it is a noble place to be, but us lesser players cannot always see where you're going to or have the patience to wait for the final product.

The other thing I'd like to say is dont be like the French, I will never forget working for a French company that did not like their email system, they were going to replace it. So since they were going to replace it, they cut the current email system without replacing it first. This stock quoted company went without email for 2 days (!!!) before realizing that you know, maybe they should have the replacement first... Taking out the auto scummer without first re-designing level generation is 'being French about it'. Refusing to give people a buy out button and also not redesigning shops is 'being French about it'. Refusing to give 'great drops' because long term you're going to fix item distribution is also pretty French.

Now, I've worked in a few countries since then and whaddayouknow, it's not just the French ;) If you've found a better term for this behaviour, let me know, I love and adore the French, I'm even married to one of them.


Monday, February 15, 2010



probably a first in banding ( and roguelikes ? ), I am providing bounties. Bounties are issues which have the 'Bounty' status :

So far there is only 1 bounty : get big screen working.

Bounty would be for getting the windows port, using main-win-old.c, to have a resizable window that shows as much of the dungeon as the window is large. Bounty is 50 USD on paypal.

If you want to work on a bounty issue, shoot me an email first.


Getting close to 0.8.8


The earlier mentioned 'myshkin' has not only fixed the mac build for Snow Leopard with a case sensitive file system but also is finishing up a Leprechaun Mystic, reporting all bugs and balance issues he finds.

At this point I'd like to finish all object descriptions and release 0.8.8. And of course fix any bugs that might come up.


Tuesday, February 02, 2010

I sense a minor disturbance in the force


Sentient weapons are in and working in svn, so are 2 'new' classes and a rewrite that deleted tons of duplicated code thanks to a hint of myshkin on oook.

Part of the cygwin build process updates a stat file with the new executable size since I dont want to inflate executable size:

01/27/2010 03:03 PM 2,002,859 hellband.exe
02/02/2010 10:18 PM 2,002,572 hellband.exe

Mission Accomplished ;)


Friday, January 29, 2010



in free time development I always hit at some point an assignment that I keep avoiding, which is in this case the XP weapons. So if folks are reading this blog and they want me to do XP weapons or instead fix the bug that's been driving them crazy or do the long promised bloodmages or even shadow mages or even hedge mages, let me know.

Enjoy your weekend,

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Choose a destination


demonic weapons are in, they dont get xp or powers yet, but at least warlocks no longer need chaotic weapons and they dont start bare handed any more. I've started play testing a Lilli Warlock to see whether things hold together with the new leveling rewards and recent changes. They do.

One thing I noticed with this character is that when casting 'Sleight of Hand' the phrase 'Choose a destination' stays on screen, even after teleporting. So I Control Shift F for the sentence 'Choose a desti" and lo and behold:

Find all "Choose a desti", Subfolders, Keep modified files open, Find Results 1, "Entire Solution"
C:\cygwin\hellband\src\cmd5.c(1394): msg_print("You open a dimensional gate. Choose a destination.");
C:\cygwin\hellband\src\cmd5.c(2374): msg_print("You open a dimensional gate. Choose a destination.");
C:\cygwin\hellband\src\cmd5.c(2810): msg_print("You focus your Chi. Choose a destination.");
C:\cygwin\hellband\src\cmd5.c(3473): msg_print("Choose a destination.");
C:\cygwin\hellband\src\cmd6.c(4770): msg_print("You open a dimensional gate. Choose a destination.");
Matching lines: 5 Matching files: 2 Total files searched: 72

The same exact code has been copy pasted 4 times, and, 1 of those times it was copy pasted by yours truly...

I guess my 'destination' at this point is to create a common routine and add some message flushing after the teleport is done ;)


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Bleeding edge download


for people who live on the wild side, I'm providing a 'wheneverly', which really is a 'nightly' whenever I remember to upload one ;)

Basically it is a bleeding edge binary of the Hellband game, Windows only, with all the new shiny features ( and bugs ) inherent to wheneverlies.

Bugs, praises and philosophic discussion is always welcome. Bleeding edge has full screen and allows testing of the new patron level rewards in debug mode.