Cataclysm 2

A development blog for Cataclysm 2, the sequel to the popular post-apocalyptic roguelike.

Anonymous asked: I can't seem to launch CDDA2 (the version you have on github), any suggestions?, there's just no launcher.

By “CDDA2” I assume you mean Cataclysm 2? CDDA is a mod of Cataclysm 1. Cataclysm 2 has nothing to do with CDDA.

To run the game, you need to do the following:
First off, are you running Linux? C2 is (probably?) Linux-only right now. It should compile just fine for Windows but no one’s actually tried to play on Windows to my knowledge. It might work on a Mac but honestly I have no clue.
First, you need to compile the game. You won’t need anything special to compile besides the ncurses library. On Ubuntu, I believe you can install ncurses by running “sudo apt-get install libncurses-dev” but the package name might be different. Search for it!
To compile, open a terminal and cd into the directory that you downloaded the source code into. Then just run “make” and everything will automatically compile!
Once it’s compiled, there should be an executable created called “cataclysm2”. To run the game, all you have to do is enter “./cataclysm2” into your terminal (without the quotes). Obviously you have to be in the directory that contains cataclysm2.

So, in short:
1. Compile the game by typing “make”.
2. Go into the directory that contains cataclysm2.
3. Type ./cataclysm2 and the game should run!

Let me know if you’ve done all this and the game’s still not working for you.

Anonymous asked: Thx for your "aiming" answer, and congratulations for the wedding stuff. I can understand your answer, and as its not forum i dont want to discuss to much. Still i would like to say that burst, sami auto etc are a bit different story. Even with bolt-action rifle or revolver i can imagine that one can aim carefully to conserve ammo or get critical hits, or shoot like madman. Maybe its becouse you dont have ammo,maybe its becouse they are so many of zombies, maybe becouse you are running like mad

Hmmm, you have a good point there! It would be easy enough to add another firing mode to all guns, called “Quick Shot” or similar, which took half the time of a normal single shot but also loses a lot of accuracy. I’ll think this through, thanks!

Anonymous asked: *Just a fan of your work and derivations from it spawned passing by to send you my best wishes regarding your wedding.*

Thanks so much!

Anonymous asked: First of all i am very happy that cataclysm is once again on the track. I just read what you have written on aiming shoot. I completly agree that the game shouldnt make player to chose between tedious and suboptimal ways of play. Still aiming shoots is something that in my opinion could be a neat option. My proposal is to give a player option to set "aiming level" - you could spray&pray or aim. Aiming would make every shoot last longer, but give better chance to hit and higher chances of critics

Well, this is kind of the idea behind firing modes. Single-shot mode is a carefully aimed shot. It takes an entire turn (more or less), but is largely more accurate.
Full-auto takes the same amount of time as a single shot, but fires many more bullets (depending on the gun, it could be 3, 5, 8, 12, 15, or 30). The first shot is slightly less accurate than a single aimed shot, and subsequent rounds will generally be less accurate (particularly if you lack the strength to control recoil, as recoil will increase with every single round). A plus side here is that if your relevant gun skill is high enough, you’ll automatically retarget between shots; so if you kill your first target, you’ll target the next-closest enemy.

Many guns have a burst mode, which is somewhere between the two; it’s as accurate as a single shot, but fires 2, 3 or 4 rounds, depending on the gun.
Machine guns (right now, just the M249) are a special case. It doesn’t even have a single-shot mode; you can only fire 10, 20 or 30 rounds! It’s really not designed for accuracy though; its specialty is clearing out huge packs of enemies.

Anonymous asked: Guns, mods, building architecture. Do tell.

Uhhh, kinda vague there, but I’ll do my best.

Guns are simplified compared to C1 (and especially compared to DDA).  I wanted each and every gun to be distinct from all others in a way that’s noticable to the player, so there’s no list of 500 guns which are each distinguished by having some stat be 3% higher than another otherwise-identical gun.

At present, there are 7 handguns, 3 shotguns, 6 SMGs, 5 hunting/sniper rifles, 4 assault rifles, 1 machine gun, plus a nail gun and a crossbow.  There’s   Those are plenty of variety!  Each one is fairly unique, meaning that the choice of which gun to use is a meaningful one.  There’s 8 calibers (plus nails and crossbow bolts), and with the exceptions of .22, 9mm, and 5.7x28mm, each caliber has 2-3 varieties (standard and armor-piercing mainly).  Later on I might add incendiary rounds or other special rounds.

Guns look pretty much the same as they did in C1/DDA.  Damage is derived from the ammunition, though some guns modify it slightly.  There’s also accuracy, recoil, durability, capacity, and time to reload and time to fire.  The biggest distinction is in the class of firearm; handguns are fast to reload and fire, and use common/cheap ammo, but suffer from relatively poor accuracy and recoil.  Assault rifles are accurate, usually low on recoil, and hold lots of rounds, but they use rare/expensive ammo and are slower to reload and fire.

Many guns have a variety of fire modes; single shot, burst (2-5 rounds) or full auto (5-30 rounds).

Gun mods aren’t in the game yet, but they’ll probably look pretty similar to C1/DDA as well.  Modifications to the gun’s stats, and occasionally something special (scopes improve accuracy at long range, mods might add or change firing modes, change the caliber used, etc).

As for buiding architecture… I’m not sure what you mean there.  All buildings are defined in data files, which basically look like ASCII drawings of the building.  These files allow for some randomization,so the building is less predictable; also, for any given building type there’s lots of layouts (for example, there’s 15 gas stations), so repetition is kept to a minimum.

Larger buildings, like malls, are made up of “puzzle pieces.”  There are maps defined for a mall tile with 0, 1, 2, 3 or 4 mall neighbors (2 neighbors can either be straight across from each other, or a corner piece).  Again, each puzzle piece has 6-8 layouts defined for it.  The pieces are correctly rotated and made to line up nicely for each other, so the result is a mall with randomly placed shops, bathrooms, aisles etc.

rogueesp asked: Why progress is soo slow? And also, I've read something in the DDA forums about you comparing in a vulgar way C:DDA with C2... It's that true?

Well, I’m getting married in two weeks… and that’s kept me pretty busy.  I’m also busy with a lot of other stuff in life, so I sadly don’t get much time to work on Cataclysm.  Sorry!  Also, I’ve been focusing what little effort I have in Edigotia lately, simply because it’s more interesting to me at the moment.  I’ll circle around and get back to work on Cataclysm sooner or later, I promise!

I’ve said basically three things about DDA:

  • Large parts of DDA are poorly designed and/or coded.  I have to admit - probably 90% of this is my fault, since most of DDA’s code is from Cataclysm 1.  When I compare the two, it’s mostly to say that I’m designing Cataclysm 2 from the ground up to be well-coded and easy to mod, and I want to make it clear that C2 will be much better designed than C1/DDA since it’s being written from scratch with a finished product in mind.  Again, these comments are mostly me saying that my old code is bad.  Most of DDA’s additions are well-designed, especially considering the mess they had to work with.  Cataclysm 2 is better because it’ll be less of a mess.
  • There are some gameplay and UI choices in DDA which I don’t like personally.  That doesn’t mean I think it’s a bad game, or that I think these choices are objectively bad; they just aren’t what I’d choose.  Obviously lots of people thing that these are good choices, and that’s fine.  DDA and Cataclysm 2 are pretty different with different gameplay, and comparing the two is really like comparing apples and oranges.
  • I didn’t like the way that DDA’s Kickstarter was handled.  I have an earlier post about the specifics of this here.

So I’m not really badmouthing DDA.  There’s some problems with it in my mind, but those are largely personal tastes.  I think that the majority of what the DDA team has done is great work, especially given the state of the code when they picked it up.  I think it’s really cool that they’ve had success with a mod of Cataclysm.

Unfortunately, so people on the internet loooove drama, so I’m sure they’re blowing up my minor criticism into some kind of fight or bad-mouthing on my part.  Please don’t perpetuate this kind of sad, obnoxious behavior.

rogueesp asked: Hello. I just wanted to ask; why you don't open a paypal account and a blogger and leave this tumblr for questions and such? With paypal we can donate you, with the blogger you can upload progress in a more clean way, and with the tumblr the question will not make interference with the updates. Cheers :)

Regarding Paypal, I haven’t done anything worth donating yet!  Once I’ve got some releases out and I’m putting out updates at a faster rate, I’ll probably stick one up.

I had a hard time choosing a platform for this blog, and I settled on Tumblr… I don’t think I’ll be opening up another one.  For progress news and releases, I’ll be putting up an actual website (with forums and other stuff as well).  I might use Blogger at that point to make things easier on myself, we’ll see!

klaymored asked: Hello, Whales. I'm a big fan of the original Cata and wanted to ask a question about NPCs. Will they have different sayings and accents between factions? I know you don't want to focus on irrelevant things that make the game complex, but... -cont-

-cont- but since you plan to make the game dependant on NPCs, dialogues are going to be pretty important to the game. Like if you hear a lot of strange religious chatter, you understand that’s a Cultist NPC. Thanks and I hope you can respond soon.

I should clarify - I don’t want to put a lot of focus on things that clutter the game or make gameplay complex without adding fun as well.  Neat little well-thought-out details like this are definitely a good thing!

Cataclysm 1’s NPCs used a speech randomization feature to keep things varied, and avoid typical RPG NPC syndrome (where every time you talk to a villager, he says the exact same line).  In Cataclysm 1, lines of speech looked like “<name_g>, we <really> need to talk!”  When the NPC actually said that line, <name_g> would be replaced by one of ten options, including “friend,” “buddy,” or “fella.”  <really> would be replaced by a different pool of ten options, including “really,” “urgently,” “definitely” or “most <really>" (which in turn would stick in another word from the pool).

In Cataclysm 2, I’m planning a similar system, but as you suggest it could be expanded to further define the characters.  Cultists could use their own replacement pools, and their own set of lines, to give them more depth of character and make it clear that this NPC is into some weird stuff.

On top of that, certain NPCs could have their own specific dialects.  The “cowboy” dialect could include “partner” and “fella” amoung the names; the “kid” dialect could include “mister” “old man” and others.  By combining the two systems, we’ll get NPCs who not only have speech patterns determined by their factions, but also peculiarities that set them apart as individuals.  Should be cool!

Anonymous asked: This isn't really a question, but it seems like a good way to get a message to you. I enjoyed the heck out of Cataclysm, and have been playing a lot of DDA lately. I thought your original game was brilliant, and I thought the community mods (eventually merging into DDA) added a lot of content and enjoyability. However something is just not quite right in DDA. Just today I saw this blog, and learned you were working on Cataclysm 2, and let me just say I am glad to hear it. Much respect, sir.

Thanks for the kinds words!  This kind of thing is really good encouragement to keep me plugging away.  I agree that the community mods - and the community in general - are really excellent!  I’m lucky to have such creative, friendly fans of my work.

Anonymous asked: Talk about the weather.

No concrete plans here yet - it’s not high priority (compared to core gameplay features), but it’ll show up eventually.  I’m planning on something very similar to Cataclysm 1, though probably a little more gentle on the player (no more acid rain, for one thing).  It’ll be possible to have different types of weather at different locations on the island, and even to do some (very simple) weather patterning, so that a storm will sweep across the island, getting wider and bigger before dispersing.  This could allow some interesting options like a weather machine to seed storm clouds at a particular location, or a radar system that lets you see what the weather is like in various places.