Thursday, October 30, 2014

Dungeon Brawl - Alpha 6

Windows Download Link
  1. Added in two new pieces of equipment.
  2. Added in a new enemy.
  3. Setup the basic classes: the Berserker, the Explorer, and the Wizard. The player class currently determines starting equipment and grants a bonus to hit points and mana points.
  4. Fixed a crash bug related to the monster spell Warning.
  5. Several color changes for items to make it easier to differentiate between them.
  6. Changed the dagger to a 1d3 (was 1d4). Changed the club to a 3d2 (was a 2d2+2, I think).
  7. Raised the mana cost of all player spells.
  8. Fixed numerous bugs related to the daily dungeon. It should now consistently recreate the same layouts. Note that direct attacks are not fixed to the dungeon seed (by design).

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Dungeon Brawl - Alpha 5

Windows Download Link
  1. Fixed a grievous misspelling of the word "rack".
  2. Shops now have a 2 in 3 chance of appearing on non-special floors (was guaranteed).
  3. Rooms can now generate with loot. The loot will typically be scrolls, but will occasionally be wands or equipment.
  4. Doubled player hit points.
  5. Hit points now regenerate (slowly).
  6. The enemies' Force spell is slightly less obnoxious (was 0 to 8 tiles, now 0 to 4).
  7. The enemies' Warning spell now always provides 50 points of tracking (was 33 to 100).
  8. Enemies now properly use the xDy+z damage system.
  9. Enemies no longer generate potions upon dying.
  10. Equipment can generate with special tags (brands). These do nothing yet.
So the game has swung back around in the other direction and is now a bit too easy, especially if you're willing to use scrolls and wands. This isn't a big surprise: balance is going to be in constant flux until all of the core features are in place. I'm taking a general policy of avoiding balance concerns, unless it relates to something that is just annoying (e.g., the Alpha 4 Force spell).

Since it isn't actually written anywhere: Tracking is a special enemy-exclusive property. Enemies gain it while they're in your line of sight and when certain spellcasters use the Warning spell on you. The pathing for tracking enemies is a little iffy. It's pretty common for enemies to be tracking you to just end up stuck somewhere 2 or 3 tiles out of your vision.

On that note, enemies used to (before Alpha 4) exclusively go after you while you while they were in your line of sight or while they were tracking you. In Alpha 4 they gained a very abstracted form of "hearing" which allows any enemy to lock onto you within ~4 tiles, even if they're out of your line of sight.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Dungeon Brawl - Alpha 4

Windows Download Link

Another day another alpha push. Download above, change log below!

  1. Improved monster spellcasting significantly. 
  2. Replaced gnolls with something new.
  3. Added in a new class of foes for later in the dungeon.
  4. Added in player spells. Spellbooks can occasionally be found in shops (3 lines stacked on top of each other). Once a spellbook has been used, the spells can be cast from the spells menu (press <z> or <Z>).
  5. Added in evasion and accuracy. Removed the shields.
  6. The UI has been reorganized with the above changes in mind. Money is now on the left, hp is in the center, and mana is on the right.
  7. Minor tweaks to the AI.
  8. (Temporarily) reduced the HP of most enemies to make the game slightly less impossible.
  9. Attacks can now only cause 1 tile of knockback. Certain enemies can cause an additional tile of knockback.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Dungeon Brawl - Alpha 3

Windows Download Link

The third in the Alpha series of Dungeon Brawl is certainly the most content rich version to come out. Download is above and change log is below! Also some related ramblings even further down.

  1. Roughly tripled the size of the bestiary.
  2. Added in a static/special level. It's guaranteed to show up on floor 7.
  3. Added in monster spellcasting.
Progress is coming along quite a bit faster than I expected. Still, the game is definitely still an alpha. It's broken in terms of balance and the content is heavily concentrated on enemies, but those are not exceptionally difficult issues to solve.

There are some quirks worth mentioning with the latest version. For one, spellcaster enemies behave very passively. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, though I do think it's rather excessive at the moment. Secondly, enemies haven't been properly migrated to the xDy+z damage system that the player uses yet. Both of these should be fixed relatively soon.

Currently the monster pool is a bit of a Fantasy whirlwind, although this is hardly uncommon among Roguelikes. Still, I'll no doubt go through the bestiary again at some point and spice things up a tad. I've tried to unify monsters based on symbol and naming along the lines of something like NetHack, which should help keep information clear.


Sunday, October 26, 2014

Dungeon Brawl - Alpha 2

There were a handful of bugs in Alpha 1 (not a big surprise). Alpha 2 fixes those and adds in a couple of new things. Change log is below, along with the download link.

Windows Download Link

  1. Floors have had their minimum room count increased by ~50%.
  2. Added in two new scrolls.
  3. Added in remaining "screen effects" (the wall flashes).
  4. Made it so most enemies will keep spawning after floor 3.
  5. Changed potions to restore 10 HP.
  6. Changed piles of gold to be worth slightly more.
  7. Fixed a bug that would prevent the player from opening their inventory.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Dungeon Brawl! [Alpha]

Much has changed in the world of Dungeon Brawl over the past week. Much is left to be done, though many of the basic ideas of the game are written down (even if they aren't in the game yet).

This first alpha release is a simple game that is meant to serve as more of a proof-of-concept than anything else. It is not an accurate representation of what I plan for Dungeon Brawl 1.0.

Here's a list of stuff you can expect to find (and not find) in this first alpha:

  • An example of what the UI might look in the final version.
  • The randomized, contextual wall coloring.
  • Functional, if somewhat barren, shops.
  • ~8 enemies over an endless number of floors.
  • 3 different character species.
  • The core of the Knockback system.
  • The core of the Momentum system.
  • No instructions. 
  • No story.
  • Very little character progression.
  • No balance at all.
  • Kobolds.
As you can probably guess from a few of the elements listed above, I'm rushing this first alpha release out. This is because I said I'd release it and I have a bad habit of not following through with things I mention on the blog.

I recommend checking out the readme if you have no clue at all what to do.

My goal going forward is to try and push out at least one release per week, regardless of its significance. 

Here's some stuff that's coming soon (1 or 2 releases away):
  • Branded weapons and armor
  • Win condition
  • A static map or two (think DoomRL)
There's other stuff in the pipe too, but I'm not sure which release they'll come in and I don't want to make any promises.


Sunday, October 19, 2014

Turn-based Speed

Speed in turn-based games is a rather heavily abstracted concept. This isn't a big surprise in Roguelikes which are effectively defined by abstraction. Still, I think speed in Roguelikes has a tendency of being unusually spoilery for something that is relatively significant. This is because the way speed works is rarely something that is spelled out for the player and must instead be inferred through gameplay.

Many Roguelikes that implement a speed system for movement essentially just make it so characters lose or gain a free turn based on relative speed differences. For example, in Dead Man Walking, a character with a speed value of 20 will get to move twice per single move of a speed 10 character. Some Roguelikes choose to take this even further and include numerous, less obvious speeds (like the difference between speed 11 and 13). Some also choose to incorporate an element of randomness into the movement (Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup).

In general I do not have a problem with speed systems in Roguelikes as a player. But, as mentioned, I do find them to be relatively spoiler-y in many cases (i.e., understanding them fully requires external assistance). This is especially true if the game uses the aforementioned granular speed differences and random speed boosts.

One of my goals with Dungeon Brawl (the now-official title of the new project) is to avoid unclear mechanics. Movement and positioning meant to be very important. In my mind that means a speed system designed for it would need to be so complex that it demands spoilers or so insignificant that it might as well not exist. Or it could instead be redesigned to become a much more explicit concept that also conveniently fits the theme of fighting games pretty well.

The speed system in Dungeon Brawl is effectively an abstracted form of acceleration. Characters moving in a single direction for several turns will begin to move two tiles in that direction. Currently this just applies to player characters, though I intend to expand to apply it to enemies soon. The basic idea here is still the same as traditional speed systems in Roguelikes, but it is deliberately designed to function on a much more interactive level.

In my (limited) playtesting thus far, the acceleration system offers a lot of intimate tactical decisions. For example, I might run into a room with full momentum. Now I have to face the decision of whether to keep that momentum alive or switching directions to improve my position or aim at an enemy. This is a fairly basic example, but hopefully it's clear how the new system can have definite applications in regards to how to retreat, how to approach enemies, and just generally how to engage in combat.

As a teaser/example, here are the basic characters' "minimum momentum" scores:

Lily: 1
Norm: 2
Fat Mac: 3

The number refers to the number of turns a character needs to spend moving in a direction before they start to move two tiles per move. The "last direction" arrow I showed off in a previous post will update to show when the player has surpassed that point (compare above, bottom left of the screen).