Netpack 1.0 release

Title screen

Game page: http://www.royal-paw.com/games/#netpack
Direct download: http://www.royal-paw.com/dev/netpack/Netpack-v1.0.zip

I was pretty ecstatic this morning when I saw Netpack on the IndieGames.com feed while scrolling through Google Reader. It took me off guard. As a new indie dev on the scene making my first strong effort and with a lot of learning to do and connections to make, it felt like a giant boon. And I would have been totally let down if no one ever played the game I worked on for so many months. I really started to believe in it after it took shape, and this feels like a nice payoff. I just want people to enjoy it.

I dropped the ball on writing a devblog for Netpack. Honestly, I didn’t plan on making this into a fully featured game when I began. It was more of an exercise to get back into the swing of Python and to practice using a library (libtcodpy in this case). I was following the popular libtcodpy tutorial by Jotaf on Roguebasin, and as I generated new ideas and started to stray from the tutorial, I realized I was beginning to have some real fun while making and play-testing my own game.

I’m a pretty big Ms. Pac-Man nerd, so the concept was second nature as my first serious dive into game development. I’ve dabbled before – with a handful of prototypes and Dont’ Find The Kitty, the latter of which is a complete project though not exactly a “game’s game” – but I really got into the nitty-gritty here.

When I decided to Make The Damn Thing, I was worried mostly about my game design skills. I’ve been playing games basically since I was born, and Samus was my first crush (true story), but I’ve never concentrated on game design on a project that I planned to release and market. And I have to say, I’m really proud of the design work I did on Netpack. The mix of items works well, although the difficulty scaling could be improved. Some of the most challenging design work came from writing the algorithms for player attack and defense increases on level-up. I set up a file called dicetests.py just to throw dice and run numbers until I saw some solid, gradual leveling. The code below is the output of dicetests.py, with each combo being thrown 10,000 times to find a good mean. The number of die sides increases by two every level, and each time a new die is put into the throw, the base and max number of die sides increase by two.

From there, Netpack started to take on a life of its own, and PIGSquad buddy Josh Schonstal (of Incredible Ape and recent winner of the Ludum Dare 21 Jam with Ian Brock) introduced me to the term “feature creep.” I thought about this and decided to take a step back and try to finish and polish all the currently planned parts of Netpack and stop coming up with new idea after new idea. This really helped propel me to the 1.0 release. Now I can let the features creep!

I’m currently implementing a temporary save slot, letting players continue where they left off in their last quest (if they didn’t lose, of course). I’ve been trying to come up with a way to encrypt the save data without reading about how most people do it and without using a library, just as a challenge and for fun. But that’s for another post.

Level 4

One Response to “Netpack 1.0 release”

  1. […] wilderness, chop down trees, eat flapjacks! Magog – Hex-grid game with portal-connected areas Netpack – Pac-man with random levels and inventory system Rings of Valor – Real-time roguelike […]

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