Last night I put up a telnet server and web interface to play a demo of scroll and send me playtester feedback, and I've gotten that almost solid today. Try it!
Today was a scramble to add more features to Scroll and fix bugs. The game still needs some balancing, and generally seems a little too hard, so added a couple more spells, and a powerup feature to make it easier.
Added a way to learn new spells. Added a display of spell inventory on 'i'. For that, I had to write a quick windowing system (20 lines of code).
Added a system for ill effects from eating particular letters. Interestingly, since such a letter is immediately digested, it doesn't prevent the worm from moving forwards. So, the ill effects can be worth it in some situations. Up to the player to decide.
I'm spending a lot of time now looking at letter frequency historgrams to
decide which letter to use for a new feature. Since I've several times
accidentially used the same letter for two different things (most
amusingly, I assigned 'k' to a spell, forgetting it was movement), I
refactored all the code to have a single
charSet which defines every
letter and what it's used for, be that movement, control, spell casting,
or ill effects. I'd like to use that to further randomize which letters
are used for spell components, out of a set that have around the same
frequency. However, I doubt that I'll have time to do that.
In the final push tonight/tomorrow, I hope to add an additional kind of level or two, make the curses viewport scroll when necessary instead of crashing, and hopefully work on game balance/playtester feedback.
I've written ~2800 lines of code so far this week!