Feb, 09
Changes in mining

This blog post will be devoted to a number of changes that I made to mining, minerals, and map generation.

The main theme is that the geology tech will be removed, and all minerals are going to be placed on the map during its generation. Their locations will be uncovered immediately, which is how things used to be in earlier versions of KeeperRL.

The geology tech was originally implemented to slow down the player’s growth, but it wasn’t a great solution, and some players suggested replacing it with exploration and other challenges. Working towards that, I added a few enemies that are generated next to patches of minerals and will attack if you try to mine them. This does the job of slowing down growth and adding challenge, although for future updates, I’ll keep on researching ways to make maps more interesting and varied.

Another change that the screenshots reveal is that the steel resource will be renamed to adamantium, and will be mined instead of produced in furnaces. I felt that the extra production step was unnecessary and wasn’t adding much in terms of gameplay. Placing the adamantium ores on the map also gives me the possibility to have them guarded by adamantine golems, which are of late-game difficulty level.

With the upcoming changes to the prisoner system, players have the option to supplement their imps with a large number of prisoners. To make capturing them worthwhile, I added a new type of rock that takes longer to mine. The harder rock starts about 20 tiles into the mountain, and will stand in your way to the ores and to building a bigger dungeon. There are more possibilities for different rock types, such as one that’s completely undiggable, and that will also be part of my research on more interesting maps that I mentioned earlier.

Finally, after implementing the above changes, it became very obvious that imp AI needs improvement, as the little creatures get in eachother’s way a lot when mining. One of the problems was that multiple imps would try to occupy the same tile in order to mine the minerals around it. As a principle KeeperRL doesn’t allow many creatures on a single tile, so the imps would either switch their positions at a very fast rate, or one imp would stand and wait needlessly, even though other mineral tiles were freely accessible nearby.

The solution was to assign an empty, neighboring tile to each mineral tile. An imp is then ordered to occupy the matched tile before it starts mining. Of course no empty tile can be assigned to two different mineral tiles, which makes this task identical to the maximum matching problem. The assignment needs to be updated dynamically, as mining tasks get created and are finished continuously. Luckily, a reasonably fast algorithm is easy to implement, and from now on the imps will use it when trying to mine. There are still some nuances that need to be solved, but a nice improvement in imp intelligence should be noticable.

In the following animation you can observe how the empty tile assignment changes when a new mining task is created.

COMMENTS

Home Forums Changes to mining

Viewing 4 posts - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
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  • #7440

    empy
    Participant

    This is a great idea, but I am little bit afraid that the adamantium golems may take away some freedom from the players. This is because in the current state one may choose to go for steel production by early mid game (i.e. quite soon) with the prospect of building steel training dummy and getting one armour and one battle axe.

    I do this in case I want to go sort of keeper/adventurer game, where I play as keeper, but keep only few minions and try to make them into an elite team of utter death for my enemies.

    Also I do this when I go endless and only recruit imps and at most 2 goblins (assuming I do not die before reaching that point).

    M point is: the idea is great, but maybe players should have means to reach some amount of steel without having to go through the tough golems, but having to make other sacrifice (e.g. buy with gold? 1 steel = 1 gold or so) to not restrain some of the fun ways to play the game.

    #7445

    red_kangaroo
    Participant

    This sounds great. Especially the intelligent imps. 😀

    BTW, would it be possible to also make imps more intelligent when it comes to storing items in stockpiles? As in, when you bring back home several different items, your creatures then drop them at the door and imps go pick up one item each, even though all the items go into the same stockpile… But I guess this would require way too intelligent imps. 🙂

    @empy This shouldn’t be a problem, because from the screenshots, it seems that the golems are only near the ore – so you could carefully mine part of the vein without disturbing them, but probably cannot mine it all and still not fight them. Getting a few pieces of adamantine in the beginning if you’re careful and lucky, then all of it once you are strong enough sounds about right.

    #7447

    RTester
    Participant

    I’m glad to learn about the rework of dreadful geology (though in all honesty, since I was one of the players not happy with it, that’s not a surprise). Certainly it’ll help a bit with planning and provide nice risk/reward feature for rapid dungeon expansion. I’m unsure about there being just pockets of enemies. Maybe said pockets could be semi-rare but at the same time digging out enough of certain resource could provoke off-map attacks the way gold does for bandits?

    Steel change I am ambivalent towards – it may be good, it may be bad. I certainly see your reasoning, as it was kind of additional task gobbling up plenty of time and resources. At the same time, however, I liked the fact that it made iron ore relevant even late-game. There was still a point in acquiring it at the pinnacle of one’s power and it had value. Now, it won’t be so anymore.

    I do like the harder rock feature, though probably I’ll try to mine it just for the immersion/head-canon reason of it making my dungeon more secure. And who knows, if you’d consider making ants have hard/impossible time digging through it, maybe it really could make a dungeon more secure (at least in case of newbie players as anyone else will likely attack and then completely wipe the ants out without letting them counterattack).

    Looking forward to prisoners all the same, as well as to improved pathfinding (here’s hoping it won’t mess with my somewhat dated PC).

    #7451

    M point is: the idea is great, but maybe players should have means to reach some amount of steel without having to go through the tough golems, but having to make other sacrifice (e.g. buy with gold? 1 steel = 1 gold or so) to not restrain some of the fun ways to play the game.

    Very good point. I’ll make it possible to create adamantium with using alchemical conversion tech. I’ll also try to think of other alternative ways to get it.

    @empy This shouldn’t be a problem, because from the screenshots, it seems that the golems are only near the ore – so you could carefully mine part of the vein without disturbing them, but probably cannot mine it all and still not fight them. Getting a few pieces of adamantine in the beginning if you’re careful and lucky, then all of it once you are strong enough sounds about right.

    With the current implementation they’ll attack if you mine even a single piece. But it can be changed.

    BTW, would it be possible to also make imps more intelligent when it comes to storing items in stockpiles? As in, when you bring back home several different items, your creatures then drop them at the door and imps go pick up one item each, even though all the items go into the same stockpile… But I guess this would require way too intelligent imps.

    That’s the plan, but probably not this release.

    Maybe said pockets could be semi-rare but at the same time digging out enough of certain resource could provoke off-map attacks the way gold does for bandits?

    I like it because you can see the risk upfront.

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