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Dwelvers Journal 2014.07.30 - Long overdue polishing
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Rasmus Offline
Main developer of Dwelvers
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Post: #1
2014.07.30 - Long overdue polishing
Long overdue polishing

First of I want to tell you all about my weekend at NärCon, this is a Swedish cosplay / anime / indiegames convention which had ~7000 visitors. I was invited to promote Dwelvers, and I have to say, it went really good Big Grin I went there last Thursday and stayed there until Sunday, I have to admit it went a little slow at first, but I blame this on the bad location I was placed on and that was ill prepared. My first thought was that I was going to do some coding and show of some gameplay to people that walked by, so all I had was my laptop and some business cards (now I know better). It was not until Saturday that I got a better location to stand at and a monitor to connect to the laptop.

[Image: NarConStation.jpg]

Long story short, after I got a better location to stand at I managed to give away 40+ business cards and 30+ fliers in less than a day. The response was really good, people seemed to love the game and all of them came with feedback on ideas that they would like to see implemented (deja vu Wink).

So, I have been invited to the next närcon conversion in winter, and that time I will come way more prepared with pull up posters, a big monitor and a lot of fliers Smile

(Sorry for not taking more pictures Sad)


New creature bars

So I followed Mello Tonin's design and made new creature bars.

[Image: CreatureBars.jpg]
As seen in the screenshot the player can now see the health, the level, the mood and the name of the creature, and a lot more clearly than before. Also, with this design it is a lot easier to separate friend from foe.


Console window

Well it is not actually a console window, but it behaves a little like one.

[Image: ConsoleText.jpg]

Why I implemented this is because I wanted to get rid of the annoying window that popped up every time the player got a new item or creature available for production. But as soon as I implemented it I saw its potential and tried to push as much information through it as possible. So it will show:
  • When a new item is available for production.
  • When a creature level up (showing the name of the creature as well so that the player bond a little more with them).
  • When the player gets a new message (battle or production).
  • When the player speeds up or slows down the gamespeed (yes, we can now modify the gamespeed with +/- within the range of x0 -> x9).


Easier to obtain creature info

First of, here's the screenshot:

[Image: CreatureMoodsAndActions.jpg]

When a creature icon is selected with the hand some other icons will pop up above it. These icons shows how many of the creatures are in a good, neutral, bad or dead mood. Also how many of the creatures that are idle, working, or fighting. When these icons are left clicked the player will toggle and zoom in on these creatures.

Also when a creature type is doing battle a red square will flash around the creature icon so that the player can find the battle without having to scroll through the messages.


New creature production system

I know, this is the third time I change it... But as long as I am not happy I will keep changing it. So this time I have backtracked to DK's way of creating creatures with some modifications.

The idea is simple. There will be some buildings in the dungeon that attracts certain creature types. When these buildings are built the creature that are being attracted will get spewed out by the Dark Mother. From this point the player will have to make sure that this creature (lets say Orc) is happy. Because when all the Orcs the player owns are happy a timer will increase (that is the cyan colored line in the screenshot above), but when one Orc of all the Orcs is unhappy the timer will decrease. This is represented by a green (+) or a red (-) as seen in the screenshot. The challenge here is to keep all the Orcs happy, and the more Orcs the player gets the harder it will be to keep them all happy at once.

To limit the player from creating 50+ Orcs every Orc the player own will make the timer increase slower. So when the player has 1 orc it will take 1 minute to create another one, then it will take 2 minutes, then 4 minutes, then 8 minutes and so on.

The reason I want to limit the creature production is because I want the player to focus on equipping and training the creatures and not to mass produce them.

I will of course make it a lot harder for the player to keep the creatures happy by giving them more demands. The Orc for example requires:
  • Well rested, drunk and well feed.
  • To be at least level 2 to be happy.
  • To get really drunk at least once every 20 minute.
  • To start a battle with someone else at least once every 10 minute. If the Orc faces some real enemies there will be a delay on 20 minutes, it doesn't matter if the orc wins or looses, he will still be happy (A lot of creatures will probably be beaten up and dragged to their beds unless the player engages the orcs in battle).
  • To be able to be left alone from other races once in a while. (Good to build their beds separately from other races).
  • To be able to pray to their God once in a while (Here is where the orc statue come into the picture)

So what about the imps. What I am going to do here is to make all player owned buildings attract imps, this will speed up the imp production timer a lot more. The same goes for the Orcs, if a large amount of buildings are built that are attracting Orcs they will be produced faster. This could be visualised by adding more plus signs to the Orc icon in the screenshot above.

I know a lot of you have been talking about the Evil Meter, it will still be implemented but I have been thinking about using it for spells costs instead.

When it comes to making direct actions to produce creatures faster I have have been thinking about making it so that certain creatures will be attracted faster if the player does certain actions, like torturing enemies and so on. Another idea is also that every time a enemy is killed by a Orc the Orc production timer will get a boost. So we could have more needs implemented for the creatures, but we could also have primary needs that will make the creatures super happy and boost their production timer.


Dwelvers XML Config

Now when I am working on what buildings should attract what creature I decided to make the editing a little bit more simple, so with the next version I will include this tool:

[Image: DwelversXMLConfig.jpg]

From here the player will be able to choose building costs and creature attraction if he wants to experiment with the balance of the game.
(This post was last modified: 30-07-2014 01:11 AM by Rasmus.)
30-07-2014 01:02 AM
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mag0ca Offline
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Post: #2
RE:
This all sounds really amazing, I can't wait for the next version Big Grin

Also glad you got some good attention at närcon, that's great for getting your name out there.
30-07-2014 01:28 AM
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ADoby Offline
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Post: #3
RE: 2014.07.30 - Long overdue polishing
Pretty empty here Huh
30-07-2014 07:38 AM
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Dermott Offline
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Post: #4
RE:
nice polish! I like the bars and info "console"
30-07-2014 08:45 AM
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TopperHarley Offline
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Post: #5
RE: 2014.07.30 - Long overdue polishing
Welcome to the forum ADoby and Dermott, feel free to ask everything.

@Rasmus
Yeah, this sounds amazing and i can't wait for the next version, I hope it comes soon, maybe this week?:-)

(30-07-2014 07:38 AM)ADoby Wrote:  Pretty empty here Huh

To your statement ADoby: It's holiday time...Cool
(This post was last modified: 30-07-2014 09:16 AM by TopperHarley.)
30-07-2014 09:15 AM
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Rasmus Offline
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Post: #6
RE: 2014.07.30 - Long overdue polishing
(30-07-2014 01:28 AM)mag0ca Wrote:  This all sounds really amazing, I can't wait for the next version Big Grin

Also glad you got some good attention at närcon, that's great for getting your name out there.

It was really fun Smile Now on Saturday I am going to visit another convention with walking distance from home, so then I am able to bring a big monitor.

(30-07-2014 07:38 AM)ADoby Wrote:  Pretty empty here Huh

Welcome to the forum Smile It is my fault as well, I haven't been active on the forum for almost a week because of NärCon.

(30-07-2014 08:45 AM)Dermott Wrote:  nice polish! I like the bars and info "console"

Welcome to the forum Dermott, and thank you Smile
They really gives the player a lot of feedback!

(30-07-2014 09:15 AM)TopperHarley Wrote:  Yeah, this sounds amazing and i can't wait for the next version, I hope it comes soon, maybe this week?:-)

Maybe not next week, but the week after that perhaps. We are going to release the next version to steam as well Smile
30-07-2014 11:07 AM
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mag0ca Offline
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Post: #7
RE:
Thats awesome to hear Rasmus, more conventions, more exposure, more players, more people in the forums. win, win, win, win and one more win just cause you're awesome Big Grin

welcome to the forums ADoby and Dermott, i'm new myself and everyone here is amazing
30-07-2014 11:49 AM
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Sebt Offline
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Post: #8
RE:
Bring some concept arts, big posters and t-shirts with you for the next con ha ha. Big Grin

Rasmus mentioned about Creature Production - decisions was made upon a choice from different ideas which we discussed here: Game Mechanic - Creature Production 2.0

The same is about Evil Meter which we discussed here: Game Mechanic - Evil meter, so to discuss it or Creature Production I encourage to go there. Smile

P.S. Welcome to our dungeons ADoby and Dermott. Cool
I support The Venus Project & Resource-Based Economy - The feasible plan to get rid of scarcity, poverty, and other incoming global issues.
(This post was last modified: 30-07-2014 12:47 PM by Sebt.)
30-07-2014 12:42 PM
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Mello Tonin Offline
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Post: #9
RE:
Awesome update Rasmus! Glad you got a chance to spread the word, and wow, all the new modifications to Dwelvers! I especially like the way we will be able to hover over the creature list and find out what their status is as far as mood and activity. Being able to click-to-zoom on creatures in combat or who are unhappy is going to make things a lot easier. The new console will be a nice addition to the messaging system so we can see what's going on and perhaps not have to click on a message to find out. Also, the XML Config app is going to really help start putting the game in balance which will likely be an uphill battle until all the rooms and creatures that get added to the game are there, but it seems like this will help a lot more by being able to better crowdsource the problem. Can't forget about the new creature bars...those totally add some flare to the game to make the creatures really pop on the screen. They look really cool to0! Big Grin
30-07-2014 03:08 PM
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darklordabc Offline
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Post: #10
RE:
So happy to see any updates from this site. I want you to know that I play this game every few days, and I think its great, even if there is a limited amount of things that can be done currently. I'm sure I speak for a lot of people when I say I'm really excited about the future of this game, and I'll be with you every step of the way!
30-07-2014 07:29 PM
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Rasmus Offline
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Post: #11
RE: 2014.07.30 - Long overdue polishing
(30-07-2014 11:49 AM)mag0ca Wrote:  Thats awesome to hear Rasmus, more conventions, more exposure, more players, more people in the forums. win, win, win, win and one more win just cause you're awesome Big Grin

The best thing is that I can get some reaction of people playing it first hand. The main problem I saw right now is that people are having troubles getting started playing the game, we need to make some features more intuitive. The learning curve is way to high atm.

(30-07-2014 12:42 PM)Sebt Wrote:  Bring some concept arts, big posters and t-shirts with you for the next con ha ha. Big Grin

I wanted to get a pull up poster for this Saturday, but the delivery time was more than a week long. So until next time Wink

(30-07-2014 03:08 PM)Mello Tonin Wrote:  Awesome update Rasmus! Glad you got a chance to spread the word, and wow, all the new modifications to Dwelvers! I especially like the way we will be able to hover over the creature list and find out what their status is as far as mood and activity. Being able to click-to-zoom on creatures in combat or who are unhappy is going to make things a lot easier. The new console will be a nice addition to the messaging system so we can see what's going on and perhaps not have to click on a message to find out. Also, the XML Config app is going to really help start putting the game in balance which will likely be an uphill battle until all the rooms and creatures that get added to the game are there, but it seems like this will help a lot more by being able to better crowdsource the problem. Can't forget about the new creature bars...those totally add some flare to the game to make the creatures really pop on the screen. They look really cool to0! Big Grin

Thank you Mello Smile The creature bars is your design! It is just me that took way to long time to implement them Tongue
About the XML config, yeah that is a little what I'm looking for, there will be a lot of modifications getting the game balanced, but with your help it should go a lot faster Smile

(30-07-2014 07:29 PM)darklordabc Wrote:  So happy to see any updates from this site. I want you to know that I play this game every few days, and I think its great, even if there is a limited amount of things that can be done currently. I'm sure I speak for a lot of people when I say I'm really excited about the future of this game, and I'll be with you every step of the way!

Thank you Big Grin
I am relived to know that you understand that I try to take one thing at a time, and as long as the updates keep coming in the game will continue progressing. It is hard to set a deadline as I don't want to rush it and deliver to much unfinished features. It is also thanks to you guys that the game is in the state it is today. All the feedback you have given me has improved the game hugely Big Grin
30-07-2014 10:26 PM
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Rasmus Offline
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Post: #12
RE:
One thing I would really like to point out is that the new creature production system will make the "production menu"->"creatures" tab obsolete. So this one will not be available in the next version. And I see this is a good thing, the more the player can handle and configure without having to enter menus the better. The more options and information the player get in the main screen the better.
30-07-2014 11:50 PM
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Mello Tonin Offline
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Post: #13
RE:
_Ob I agree!!! Can't wait to see how it changes the gameplay.
31-07-2014 12:14 AM
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Marcus Ljunggren Offline
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Post: #14
RE: 2014.07.30 - Long overdue polishing
Exclamation Sounds awesome brother ! Only thing im unsure about is the need to fight every 10 mins.
31-07-2014 02:03 AM
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Mello Tonin Offline
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Post: #15
RE:
I was kinda thinkin the same, but there could a way to keep aggressive creatures happy if they could spar in the Training Room.

Nice to see a new member and Ras' brother no less. Welcome to the group Marcus.
31-07-2014 02:09 AM
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