The ASCII Project is a completely free (100% GPLv3), open-source, fully-documented game engine I have been developing along with the input from a few others for use in an MMORL (Massive Multiplayer Online Roguelike). It's been rather difficult at times, as the normal approaches for solutions I'd normally take for a Roguelike don't necessarily scale or apply well in a realtime persistent online environment.
The initial goal was to develop an online text-based world, similar in graphical style to Dwarf Fortress or Nethack, but with the added ability to dig or place tiles on the map to build 2d/3d structures (multi z-leveled).
At the moment the game engine does exactly that, and in clustered testing on HP's Cloud Infrastructure(I work there) I was able to push the maximum map capacity to 3.6 billion explorable/editable tiles being generated and evaluated in realtime. Though the state of the game engine stability now doesn't really warrant a map that large being generated, but it gives you the idea of how large of a world the game engine can handle.
This is great and all, however the current state of the project is really just a game engine waiting for a game to be developed around it. I have the concept of an extremely large game world in my head, but distributing my time worldbuilding and adding more features to the game engine is proving to be quite a challenge.
In order to make room for the MUD-style gameplay I'm really craving from the game engine, and somewhat encouraging active roleplaying instead of hack-n-slash gameplay, I'm going to be spending quite a bit of time taking out pieces of the engine and rewriting them for modularity's sake. It's a convoluted mess right now, and I'm not entirely pleased with the way some data structures are handled due to the way I've duct-tape coded some underlying rather important pieces… anyways…
Right now, The ASCII Project, is the name of the game engine. However as it is an open-source engine, I felt it necessary to create another project solely for the Game which should (hopefully) run on the game engine I've been building (in C++). That game is to be titled, "Legends of Meru", Mount Meru being the center of the Universe in Hindu Cosmology.
The goals for the game engine summed in one sentence would be, "Players should share the world with the entities that inhabit it, not own it". Thus there are many pieces of the project that are an absolute necessity to work under this philosophy:
* Permadeath - both for players and npc entities. * World persistence - the state of the evolving world should remain permanent. (explained below). * Seamless world generation - players should never reach a boundary in the map, the worlds should wrap around to create a spherical map. * All items in the game (aside from a few rare items, dungeon rewards, etc) should be craft-able by a player. * NPCs should continue to operate even when nobody is logged into the game world.
Together these features, along with many more which are covered in the wiki available on our website, are going to allow for "butterfly theory" scenarios, as I like to call them.
Imagine that you have built a village, hired a few NPC's to work there and tend to your farms, and you have traders coming by daily to pick up your goods to export to the larger capitol cities. Now you log off for the night and when you come back your farms are burned and some of your NPCs are dead. Those NPC's won't respawn, and unless someone else goes out there (either a player or an NPC) to farm, those farms won't just magically repair themselves.
The families of those NPC's may react in different ways, depression, violence, etc. The persistence aspect comes into play here, where you could possibly track down the goblins that raided your village while you were away and go retrieve the goods they stole. However those NPCs are going to remain dead.
tl;dr - Looking for project members for a hybrid fantasy based MUD/Roguelike running on a custom built game engine in C++.
- Writers - WorldBuilders (Maps/History) - Artists (Concept Art does amazing things for MUD projects) - A programmer or two, I have been doing alright managing the development of the game engine up to this point, but another set of eyes on the code would definitely go a long way :-) - Organizers - People to help manage the Wiki, facebook pages, project homepage (keep the news updated), etc. our current project members operate around the globe so keeping everyone updated and informed can get kind of crazy sometimes.
I hope the long post didn't bother anyone, as there's way too much information about the project to sum up here.
You can get a hold of me through my email (available on our site) Or on our IRC room (better choice for obvious reasons) on Freenode (##asciimmo). -Yamamushi