In release 1-2 you could run in corridors by pressing space. In release #3 I have improved on this so that you can run anywhere. I have implemented this a bit differently from other roguelikes so I thought I’d explain why.

Autorunning by Space

You run just like in the previous releases by pressing space. This will make you run in the same direction as your last move if there are no visible and threatening monsters nearby. If there are only one interesting way to take (like in corridors), you will automatically turn in corners or junctions. The autorun is now more clever and will stop before you wake up a monster or gets within it’s attack range.

The positive thing about this implementation is that it keeps the interface very clean: you can still pretty much play the game with the arrow keys, z, and space, meaning that you can keep your fingers still during a game session. This differs from the traditional shift+arrow running style in two ways:

  1. Whether space causes you to run or wait a turn is contextual: it depends on whether a threatening monster is near and visible. This is sometimes not completely clear.
  2. You often have to take one step in a direction before you can run for the game to know where you intend to run. This leads to an extra key press.

I don’t see these points as a problem however, as I see auto running to be something you use quite rarely. The Ground Gives Way is not meant to be played fast, an experienced player can very well die on the first level if he is not careful.

Shift Arrow Running

For players that would miss the shift-arrow running mechanic too much, or those who would get annoyed by the having space being contextual, I have also implemented shift-arrow running, but I encourage you to try the space running first. Space-running can be turned off as an option, which makes space always wait instead of running.

No Auto Explore

I do not intend to implement any kind of auto explore (such as in Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup or Brogue) in TGGW, for the same reason as above. In for example Brouge, you can auto-pilot your way through the whole first level without any risk. Not to pick on Brogue in particular – it is a great game – but to me that mechanic doesn’t make any sense. Then you could just skip the first level and start with a random number of items that you typically find on the first level.

The Ground Gives Way is short enough with small and few levels and auto running is implemented mostly because TGGW has some backtracking (like going back to stairs/services or other features) and it might be tedious to hammer your way though a big empty room. However, I always thought that exploring should be a pleasure for the player, small decisions such as which direction to go next or which door to take should matter!

Btw, release #3 is more or less finished and I will release it in a few days!