... now with 35% more arrogance!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Text to Dungeon

I've been working on a crazy, complicated project recently. I wanted to try a different approach to generating dungeons from snatches of text; instead of using letters as leximorphs, I wanted to go back to an old idea of using text as a seed for self-similar structures. Basically, each word can generate one room, with the length of a word defining the width of the room; the first letter defines the vertical length of the room (using the Lewis Carroll mnemonic to translate letters into numbers: ABC -> 1, DEW -> 2, JIT -> 3, FOQ -> 4, LUV -> 5, SX -> 6, MP -> 7, HK -> 8, GN -> 9, RYX -> 0.) But that same text can also be used to define distances between rooms, or describe the rooms in other ways; the same text is applied multiple times to produce elaborate results. Punctuation (which I've barely started) defines structure instead, turning a simple chain of rooms connected by corridors into mazes with connections to secret areas.

I actually had this idea years ago, when I had illusions that I was going to teach myself C++ or Java and write my own roguelike. But I never got anywhere, even with the text interpretation. So, it's kind of funny that, over the last couple days, I've been able to write enough rules so that I can create rectangles, trapezoids, and irregular rooms connected by moderately zig-zagging passageways (they can even zig-zag up or down, via staircases.)

The document is kind of longish, so I'll be adding it to my Google Docs after I develop it some more. But I plan on posting small chunks here to the blog.

1 comment:

  1. I'm a bit afraid for your sanity, but I have to admit I dig this for some reason. Winds up the old clockwork orange, if nothing else.