Hunting the Wumpus (Searching For "The Ultimate" GameDev Tool)

On Hunting the Wumpus (The Quest for “The Ultimate” GameDev Tool)

I embark upon a quest that cannot be achieved. No, there is no “Ultimate” GameDev tool.

Mostly, I’m looking for one that makes me the least grumpy.

So, the best way I can think of to do this is to try things, take some metrics, and come up with a score.

I’ve decided to go with a “Grumpiness Index” (a negative score) instead of a positive merit based score. This just means that low scores are good.

So, I have categories:

  • Cross Platform(Weight: 3): does the tool allow building for multiple platforms?
  • Local Storage(Weight: 9): can I save data to be retrieved later?
  • Text Input(Weight: 3): can I get an actual unicode input string from the player?
  • Localization(Weight: 3): how hard is it to change display language?
  • Debugging(Weight: 9): how bad are the debugging tools?
  • Strongly Typed(Weight: 3): versus weakly typed.
  • Web Service(Weight: 9): how hard is it to make a request to a web page and get a result?
  • Database(Weight: 1): can I connect to a databse?
  • GamePad(Weight: 1): is using the gamepad supported?
  • Cost(Weight: 9): how expensive is it?
  • Ramp Up(Weight: 9): how difficult is it to learn?

Notice the Weight values after each. A 1 is a “nice to have” and a 9 is an essential feature. A 3 I can live without, but prefer not to.

When evaluating something, I will also give scores of 1, 3 or 9. Occasionally, I’ll give a 0 for the Cost category when something is free, 1 if something isn’t too much of a hassle, 3 if it is a minor pain point, and 9 if it is an intolerable deal breaker.

Multiply scores by weights, add them up, and get a grumpiness score, called the wumpuscore.

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Wumpus Map

http://www.playdeez.com/images/wumpusmap.png

In the course of porting the Wumpus game to JS, I took a look at how the icosahedral world is mapped, and came up with an alternate way to represent it using rings.  In the course of doing this, I determined that alternate wumpus worlds could exist with a similar geometry.

Wumpus world exists on a series of at least two rings.  The original uses three rings.  The innermost and outermost rings will have the same number of nodes.  The original has five, but the number can be as low as 2.

The rings between the innermost and outermost will have twice as many nodes as the innermost or outermost.

So, if we describe the various wumpus universes in terms of number of rings and nodes in the innermost ring, we might say that the original is in wumpus universe 3-5.

And because something like this cannot be complete without a formula… the number of nodes in wumpus universe x-y is 2*(x-1)*y.

Nerdy geometry post complete.