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  • Karel Crombecq

Devlog #2: manual map design

In our first update, we explained that we needed to rewrite the map building system from scratch, so that we have an efficient way to make all the examples needed to train the AI algorithm. Because of this, the first step was making a nice, user-friendly interface to build maps manually. This is what we internally called our "first milestone".

We are happy to announce that this week, we completed our first milestone on schedule! Our interface for placing objects, floors and walls is now finished, and making maps in Dungeon Alchemist is now easy, fast, and, most importantly: FUN!

We recorded a video of Wim working on a map to show you how it works:



Some fun details you might have missed:

  • Objects are intelligently positioned where they logically belong. For example, a buffet piano automatically sticks to the wall for easy placement, seeing as you would typically place this kind of object against a wall. This makes placing objects super-fast.

  • When scrolling through objects, there's a preview in the top left of the screen. Convenient for browsing through all the options without having to click on all of them.

  • The button in the upper right corner allows you to choose the perspective you want to work from: top-down or 3D. Choose top-down for a good overview, or 3D for a close-up look at your work!

  • We try to add beautiful animations to everything you can do. This way, making changes to the map is just fun and nice to look at. I'm especially proud of the floor replacement animation I made, which you can see at around 0:50.

  • You can freely rotate, scale, clone and delete objects. All to make map building as fast and frictionless as possible.

  • The grandfather clock actually tells the real time. People with eagle eyes can probably figure out when we recorded this video ;).

What's next?

We realize you didn't back Dungeon Alchemist to make maps manually. Dungeon Alchemist's main feature is, of course, the AI-powered map generation. There are two reasons we focused on manual map building functionality first:

  • Wim will be using this functionality to build all the examples. This will speed up our AI training greatly!

  • We do think you will want to tweak or improve your map after it was generated by the AI, so we want to make that process as enjoyable as possible. And we believe we have succeeded – making maps in Dungeon Alchemist turns out to be FUN!

Now that we have this functionality in place, we can get back to focusing on the AI-powered room generation. So our next milestone is re-writing the AI system to work with the new map building system, and to create a set of examples for the AI algorithm to learn from.

If all goes well we'll have some cool auto-generated rooms to share with you in the next milestone!

Join our Discord for more updates!

Finally – we're posting work-in-progress videos and images several times a week on our Discord server. If you want a more in-depth look at our development process, you should definitely join. The da-content-creation channel is already full of shiny things!

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