It’s a good point though, the contributors individually have their own visions for where we’re headed, but these visions aren’t really documented anywhere. I don’t have a roadmap or powerpoint for you, and I can’t speak for anyone else, but I can share my personal mission statement for dda.
The zombie apocalypse happened, now what?
To unpack that a bit, I’ve been running “what would I do after the apocalypse” scenarios in my head since my first brush with post-civilization fiction (Robinson Crusoe, when I was 10 or so) and intensifying with exposure to the post-apocalyptic genre (starting with Day of the Triffids, when I was 13 or so), zombie movies in particular (all the classics, too many to name), and other post-apocalyptic games (fallout of course, but DnD scenarios requiring extreme self-sufficiency are also common).
I want to build dda up to be able to simulate (yes, I said it, simulate) as many of those scenarios as possible. If it’s something you’d likely need to deal with in an actual end-of-the-world scenario, I want it in the game. This includes things we have, like managing storage, acquiring food, infrastructure breakdown, transport, and self-defense, and many, many things we don’t, like stealth, migration, NPCs, physical/mental conditioning, long-term injuries, social issues, and community-building. The hard part from my point of view is balancing that with a UI implementation that allows that really deep simulation of the survival scenario, but in a way that doesn’t make you angry just interacting with it. Luckily we have some contributors that are way better than me at building these interfaces, like the cool 'V’iew items menu, and another item management interface that’s coming soon.
Cutting across the grain of FEATURES like the above is CONTENT, like locations, items, crafting recipes, and monsters. This brings us to probably our biggest medium-term goal at the moment, which is moving CONTENT out of the source code (where only other C++ hackers can get at it) out to config files, so that we can open it up to more of the community. You can already go into data/raws/monstergroups.json and adjust spawn rates for most of the monsters*, and data/raws/professions.json to make your own starting packages for characters**. A major feature of GlyphGryph’s item rewrite is that all the items will be available for modding. We’re in the middle of stage one of this, which is pushing the data out to data files, the second phase is adding features that allow for different game modes, classic zombie mode is sort of a prototype for this. In the end, you’ll be able to configure a whole lot of the game without knowing what C++ is***.
*The exceptions are things where the map generation code decides that a turret needs to be placed at a particular location, if need be we can make that configurable too.
**I don’t remember if this is in 0.4 or just in github. Regardless, the professions are still a bit in flux, with more configurability likely to be added to them soon.
***By the way, if the JSON is problematic, don’t let that put you off, we’re pushing things out to JSON mostly because it was the easiest format to add from a technical point of view, we’re planning on revisiting that at some point and settling on a format that focuses on ease of modding