Terminal Rain: A game where you search for meaning in a cyberpunk sprawl, with only the neon light to guide you…

A lot has happened in my life recently, but luckily it hasn’t stopped me from making a bit more progress on Terminal Rain. I want to start this post off a bit more artsy than usual.

ASCII Faces

Some of these symbols, like the upperscore and the split half block are non-standard ASCII. I’ve been making my own font to have more artistic flexibility.

These are some ASCII faces I’ve been working on in Kizrati’s lovely REXPaint editor. I’m not sure how many of these I’ll make or how I might use proc-gen to add variety, and they may just be reserved for special characters. But I hope these illustrate the mood I’m going for, perhaps in contrast to the recent bombastic Cyberpunk E3 trailer.

There’s a specific mood I’d like that I haven’t really found in cyberpunk games, but that I catch glimpses of in movies like Akira and Blade Runner. It’s basically ambient electronic as opposed to synthwave. Subdued, dark, melancholy. Room for dark humor, but it’s played straight.

Speaking of rooms, I’ve put some more work into procedural generation. Most importantly I made a special viewing mode that allows me to generate rooms and adjust parameters, which will make it a lot easier to see how my algorithms work under various setups and edge cases.

Interior Progress

Do the couches read? I think they still need a little work.

I’ve been working on adding variety into the rooms like tables with stools. Large rooms now break up into smaller areas with tables, couches etc. Notably, the algorithm doesn’t block doors or light switches!

Interior Progress

I’ve also started generating neon signs. This… needs a few iterations.

You probably didn’t notice, but I put some major updates into the tileset/font itself. It’s now 9x9, down from 12x12, to fit more on-screen at once. This is really important to me to be able to add larger buildings without taking up too much of the screen. Windows are now half-tiles and floors are compressed more in the exterior view to create a stronger sense of verticality and depth.

Lastly, I’ve started adding mouse controls. It’s a technical challenge with the map flow and I’m still working on restoring feature parity, but it’s already made movement feel a lot nicer. For the future, I’ll be writing a lot of building generation formulas, which should finally give me the structure I need to work on missions! Now that’ll be really fun.

You can follow me here for more updates: @jacksonlango.