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SquidLib is a Java library that provides a diverse toolbox for working with procedural generation in games using libGDX.

What Can It Do?

SquidLib is a very full-featured library, and is partly targeted at making traditional roguelikes and similar genres. It can handle basic to moderately-complex dungeon generation, including rigid mazes (GrowingTreeMazeGenerator), flowing/natural cave systems (FlowingCaveGenerator), dense systems of inter-connected rooms (DungeonGenerator's default setting), rooms that connect via thin corridor in a cyclical pattern (SerpentMapGenerator), mixes of cave, room, and corridor (also SerpentMapGenerator, with more options using SectionDungeonGenerator), and more. It represents dungeons universally as a char[][], consistently using x-then-y indexing throughout the library, and various other parts of SquidLib can understand char[][] input. Since we target the JVM, we have Unicode for our chars, and dungeons often are drawn with box-drawing characters for walls. Within a dungeon or cave, the lighting system can be complex, so there's code to find the Field of Vision for a character that can also be used to find the level of brightness for light cast into many tiles. You can mix these fields of vision (FOV) based on what lit cells are in Line of Sight (LOS); SquidLib provides LOS algorithms to get the actual line and can also find the total set of cells that are at all within line of sight, even if out of lighting range. The dungeons can be generated from repeatable random number generators (RNG), so if the same seed is provided to an RNG, you get the same procedurally generated content, even on different runs, machines, OSes or platforms.

There's a lot of procedural content generation here. There's simple name-generation roughly matching the style of a list of names in WeightedLetterNamegen, and then there's the sizable and just-about unique FakeLanguageGen, which imitates the linguistic properties of real and/or fictional languages but can also generate those languages procedurally (with no list of starting material) or hybridize two or more languages it already knows. For English text, there's Thesaurus, which can choose various synonyms for specified categories of words, Messaging/ProceduralMessaging, which is useful for transforming coded statements into short, game-appropriate sentences like "You smash the goblin for 7 damage!" or "The goblin slices you for 3 damage!", and general utilities in StringKit, like word-wrapping and handling case. SquidLib can generate wild area maps using WildMap, all the way to continent or world maps with WorldMapGenerator. Handling complex map situations is made more feasible using the incredibly-powerful but oddly-named GreasedRegion class; it allows manipulating regions of a map not just as unrelated sets of points, but as areas that can be expanded, retracted, limited to only their outer surface, randomly filtered, flood-filled within the bounds of another region, and so on. GreasedRegion has a spill() method, but there's also a Spill (and MultiSpill) class, all of which handle randomized flood-fill to loosely simulate a fluid expanding through an area. There's code for continuous noise, including Classic Perlin Noise (ClassicNoise and a mode in FastNoise), Simplex Noise (SeededNoise and a mode in FastNoise), and more unusual kinds like Foam Noise (FoamNoise, PhantomNoise, and again, a mode in FastNoise); this is often used for making water animate in games, or to make grass sway slightly.

Once you have inhabitants in your map, whatever it is, you probably want to have them act at least a little intelligently, and so there's various pathfinding classes here. DijkstraMap produces one of these beloved roguelike concepts and can support not just simply getting next to the player from far away, but also pathfinding toward a target while keeping a minimum distance, fleeing away from a target, pathfinding to the closest of several potential targets, reusing certain parts of pathfinding to make later paths nearly instantaneous to find, etc. The squidpony.squidai.graph package draws on the very fast code from simple-graphs to handle A-Star pathfinding to one target, and various other common graph algorithms like topological sorting.

Displaying the map and all the contents of the world you carefully craft really is something that's different in every game. You can use squidlib-util on its own and render your game with libGDX, Arc, some other choice for graphics, or you can use the text-based display code in the squidlib module. This could be just for prototyping, or for your final game, it is up to you. This text-based display is usually used via SparseLayers, which can render a grid of text layered over other text and that layered over a background, any of which can be partially transparent. It can also render chars out of grid alignment for movement between grid cells, or bump/wiggle effects. Fonts are usually in the TextCellFactory class, which is misleadingly named because it doesn't actually handle cells, nor is it a factory... But it does handle the nice and smooth "stretchable" SDF fonts, and the newer "crisp" MSDF fonts, which are provided in various pre-made forms in DefaultResources. There's a ton of pre-defined colors in SColor along with ways to manipulate them. You can make use of SColor with Radiance, which handles those FOV-based lights mentioned above, and can also make the lights flicker and/or strobe. You can also filter colors before they are drawn using Filters or FloatFilters, which store various handy predefined effects that you can add to.

Where Is It Used?

SquidLib is used for Wyrm, Epigon, Attack the Geth, Assault Fish, Dungeon Mercenary, Cave Cops, and other projects.

You can see a small example online; it is part of the SquidLib-Demos collection. It uses squidlib-util to generate dungeon maps, handle pathfinding for enemies (who chase you after they see you) and the player (if you click, it uses pathfinding to move the player to the clicked spot), calculate field of vision, and produce gibberish text that looks like Russian (but isn't). It uses squidlib (the display module for text-based games) to show the generated maps in a traditional roguelike style with @ for the player and Я for enemy guards, blend colors for torchlight effects, and smoothly slide the player and enemies around when they move. A much more polished use of SquidLib is Dungeon Mercenary, by smelC; it is a full-fledged game, not just a demo.

You don't need to use a text-based display to use many features of this library; there's a demo of this (not yet a game) in ColorGuard, which uses squidlib-util to handle random numbers, world map generation, and text generation in fictional languages. SquidLib-Demos has some demos that only use squidlib-util and libGDX; one can be seen here, source here, and another with a simpler graphics style can be seen here, source here.

There's a fairly-active Discord server for SquidLib; many questions for SquidLib also apply to libGDX, so if you're on Discord I'd recommend also joining the libGDX Discord server. There's also a SquidLib IRC channel on Freenode; it is usually nearly empty and silent, so prefer Discord if at all possible.

Documentation:

Jars of javadocs are distributed with each release via Maven Central, and with the current latest via JitPack. You can get the docs and source of the latest version, 3.0.3, in two parts for each; squidlib-util (the core of the library, and also the largest part) has its library jar here, docs here, and source here, while squidlib (the display part of the library, named the way it is because depending on squidlib should also pull in squidlib-util to make it a "one-stop shop" dependency) has its library jar here, docs here, and source here. The completely-optional squidlib-extra module (primarily used for serialization; relies on libGDX but doesn't use it for display) has its library jar here, docs here, and source here.

You can browse the JavaDocs of a recent commit (possibly newer than 3.0.3, but no older) here:

You can browse the JavaDocs of the stable 3.0.0 release here:

Download

Download JARs for older versions from the Releases tab, use Maven Central to download the latest stable release (or JitPack to download any commit, typically the most recent one) with your choice of features (display or none, with or without squidlib-extra), or simply use SquidSetup to make a new project configured the way libGDX prefers to work (including SquidLib's assets), and copy in any code you might already have.

Ideally, if you're starting out you should use SquidSetup. This is based on czyzby's gdx-setup tool, an alternative to the current official libGDX setup that aims to have more features and update more readily. A demo is present for SquidLib, selected by default when making a project with SquidSetup (typically if the demo becomes out-of-date, SquidSetup is updated to fix the demo). The recommended release is v3.0.3, which uses SquidLib 3.0.3 and Gradle 6.7, and as such is compatible with Java versions from 8 to 15. There's also v3.0.0-JITPACK, which will use Gradle 6.5.1 for the project and will automatically depend on the latest SquidLib version at the time the project is generated. The Jitpack release is sometimes out-of-date if assets change or dependencies update.

If you use a dependency manager already and don't need a new project, you can use these dependencies for Maven projects:

Core of SquidLib:

<dependency>
    <groupId>com.squidpony</groupId>
    <artifactId>squidlib-util</artifactId>
    <version>3.0.3</version>
</dependency>

Optional Text-Based Display (depends on libGDX 1.9.12 and anim8-gdx 0.2.4)

<dependency>
    <groupId>com.squidpony</groupId>
    <artifactId>squidlib</artifactId>
    <version>3.0.3</version>
</dependency>

Optional Serialization Support (depends on libGDX 1.9.12)

<dependency>
    <groupId>com.squidpony</groupId>
    <artifactId>squidlib-extra</artifactId>
    <version>3.0.3</version>
</dependency>

Or these dependencies for Gradle:

Core of SquidLib:

api 'com.squidpony:squidlib-util:3.0.3'

Optional Text-Based Display

api 'com.squidpony:squidlib:3.0.3'

Optional Serialization Support

api 'com.squidpony:squidlib-extra:3.0.3'

If you want the latest version of SquidLib, which uses libGDX 1.9.12 and either GWT 2.8.2 or GWT 2.9.0 (if you use GWT), you can use JitPack to build the latest commit on-demand. It needs an additional repository, which is this for Maven:

	<repositories>
		<repository>
		    <id>jitpack.io</id>
		    <url>https://jitpack.io</url>
		</repository>
	</repositories>

Or this for Gradle, which if you used SquidSetup, would be in the repositories block inside subprojects:

maven { url "https://jitpack.io" }

Then the dependencies would be this for Maven (the first is needed, the others are optional); replace 2b577109cc with any short commit from GitHub:

	<dependency>
	    <groupId>com.github.SquidPony.SquidLib</groupId>
	    <artifactId>squidlib-util</artifactId>
	    <version>2b577109cc</version>
	</dependency>
	<dependency>
	    <groupId>com.github.SquidPony.SquidLib</groupId>
	    <artifactId>squidlib</artifactId>
	    <version>2b577109cc</version>
	</dependency>
	<dependency>
	    <groupId>com.github.SquidPony.SquidLib</groupId>
	    <artifactId>squidlib-extra</artifactId>
	    <version>2b577109cc</version>
	</dependency>

Or this for Gradle (the first two are needed, the others are optional); replace 2b577109cc with any short commit from GitHub:

    api "com.github.SquidPony.SquidLib:squidlib-util:2b577109cc"
    api "com.github.SquidPony.SquidLib:squidlib:2b577109cc"
    api "com.github.SquidPony.SquidLib:squidlib-extra:2b577109cc"

If you use GWT, you should probably use SquidSetup to configure the project, since there's a lot of places where Maven or Gradle with GWT gets tricky. GWT needs the sources for all dependencies, but also needs the sources for regexodus 0.1.10 (because squidlib-util needs it) and possibly anim8-gdx 0.2.4 (because squidlib needs it; anim8-gdx is only needed if you depend on squidlib). The sources dependencies look like this for Gradle (I haven't really tried with Maven):

    implementation "com.github.SquidPony.SquidLib:squidlib-util:2b577109cc:sources"
    // above depends on this:
    implementation "com.github.tommyettinger:regexodus:0.1.10:sources"

    implementation "com.github.SquidPony.SquidLib:squidlib:2b577109cc:sources"
    // above depends on this:
    implementation "com.github.tommyettinger:anim8-gdx:0.2.4:sources"

    implementation "com.github.SquidPony.SquidLib:squidlib-extra:2b577109cc:sources"
}

If you want GWT 2.9.0 support, just use SquidSetup, otherwise you'll be fine with GWT 2.8.2.

There's also the GWT "inherits" configuration for your application. These should be present once in GdxDefinition.gwt.xml if you use GWT:

    <inherits name="squidlib-util" />

If you use the display module, you also need

    <inherits name="squidlib" />

And if you use squidlib-extra, you also need

    <inherits name="squidlib-extra" />

What's Next

The road to 3.0.0 was long and winding; libGDX support was added midway between the 2.x and 3.x releases, and by 3.0.0, libGDX has established itself as the way to go (and definitely not Swing). Keeping backwards compatibility is a primary focus of the 3.x series now that it's stable. But looking ahead, to the 4.x (or whatever it will be called) version, we can benefit from large breaking changes that aim to simplify usage of the library. That's where SquidSquad comes in. It's SquidLib, but split up substantially more to address a feature that's been requested for years; you won't need dependencies on unrelated parts of the library, and hopefully you will be able to depend on just the parts you use. SquidSquad is also simplified in some ways; its data structures are shared with jdkgdxds, making it easier to share a dependency on common data structures, and it doesn't have an RNG class of its own (it relies on the LaserRandom class from jdkgdxds, which is nearly identical to TangleRNG here). SquidSquad is still at an early stage, and it isn't usable for much yet (as of this writing, it only just gained an equivalent to TextCellFactory, and still doesn't have an equivalent to SparseLayers, though it can generate dungeons and imitation-language text). Some bugfixes have already been backported from SquidSquad to SquidLib; a long-standing bug in SerpentMapGenerator, for instance, was fixed in SquidSquad and that fix brought here. SquidSquad's scope is meant to be a little smaller, and to be spread across more libraries if possible. Since releasing 3.0.0 took about 5 years, I hope SquidSquad becomes stable more quickly!

Credits

GitHub repository: https://github.com/yellowstonegames/SquidLib

Blog updates: http://squidpony.com/not-games/squidlib/ (possibly down permanently; server mishaps)

Created by Eben Howard - howard@squidpony.com
Currently developed by Tommy Ettinger - tommy.ettinger@gmail.com

Additional work has been greatly appreciated by a team of contributors. smelC and David Becker have each done excellent work in improving and modernizing SquidLib in all sorts of ways. In particular, David Becker needs thanks for handling some very tough work with Maven configuration and encouraging more unit tests (which have caught quite a few bugs), and smelC has found all sorts of ways to give back to SquidLib as he has worked on Dungeon Mercenary, including doing most of the work for the HTML target, cleaning up and improving the handling of colors, emphasizing more flexible ways to work with display (such as zooming the screen on mobile), and supporting non-monospaced fonts in the display. Don't be shy about posting issues! Many of SquidLib's biggest and best changes have been motivated by issues posted by users, including the port to Android!

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Useful tools for roguelike, role-playing, strategy, and other grid-based games in Java. Feedback is welcome!

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