Sunday, April 27, 2008

Monster Hunter secret origins

The monster hunter game was a game that had to be included in my Ultimate Retro Project and was originally going to be placed into the first volume as it had a lot in common with the early style of seeking games that were common in the early seventies. While I never played these text games until the mid eighties and did so by typing in the BASIC game from a listing and running the game where finding all the inevitable bugs really helped me learn to program. Besides, I couldn't afford to buy that many games so typing in games from library books or magazines helped keep me entertained as a kid. I decided to place it into the adventure game collection when I realized that it essentially had a lot of the early elements that later text adventures would utilize and beating up monsters definitely has the ring of role-playing to me.

The Monster Hunter game was derived from a number of monster hunting games, though the biggest influence on this game was the classic game by Gregory Yob known as “Hunt the Wumpus.” This game was kind of unique as it's map was a squashed dodecahedron instead of a regular grid like most other monster hunting games of it's time. Considering that computers were quite limited in 1972, the year that the game came out, it was quite an impressive game for it's time not to mention the game that finally taught me how to take advantage of arrays and data structures.

My monster hunter game uses a flexible map file that allows for the creation of any type of map, though the initial map is a dreaded grid. Perhaps if there is interest in this game I will create a squashed dodecahedron map and a few other alternative maps. I, however, suspect that this game is going to be more of a curiosity than anything. The number of traps in the game is controlled by the map file, as is the number of arrows within the map. My game will start the player off without any arrows, though there will be a number of arrows (determined by the map configuration) that will be hidden through the map. All the monsters, traps, arrows, and the players starting position will be determined randomly.

What is really interesting about the code I am writing for this game is that a lot of the code that goes into this game is shared with the later adventure game that will be developed. The adventure game is obviously inspired by Colossal Caves, but that is a different story.

No comments: