Din's Curse random dungeons 2
Monday, 12 October 2009

Since the dungeon maps were so "brown", I thought I would show some maps now that they have some texture variety. These still aren't finished, but they are a little bit more interesting.

Din's Curse map

Din's Curse map

Din's Curse map

Din's Curse map

Din's Curse map

 
Din's Curse random dungeons
Thursday, 08 October 2009

The caves and dungeons in Din's Curse are completely random. Each dungeon will use different models, different textures, use secrets in different ways, have special rooms, favorite monsters, and completely different layouts. My goal is for each type of dungeon to have a fairly distinct feel, but yet each time still be quite different.

Unlike many action RPGs, we'll have random secrets in our levels to make things more interesting. Sometimes these will be hard to find and other times fairly easy. Each dungeon type will use secrets in different ways- like having all of the secrets at dead ends, or all hidden inside rooms.

Although they are a very old idea often used in roguelike games, special rooms are not very common. A special room is basically a named room randomly placed inside of the dungeon that behaves differently from a normal room. In our case there are vaults, armories, treasure rooms, and lairs- each with a lesser, normal, and greater version.

Vaults have a ton of gold and are usually heavily trapped to keep out intruders.

Armories store lots of weapons and armor racks.

Treasure rooms are filled with chests and usually monsters.

Lairs are the homes of special, harder than normal creatures (champions and elites). However, they also store all of their loot here. Lairs can be death to a standard adventurer, but they also are one of the best places to find loot.

Each dungeon type will look different with different models and textures but they also will have different layouts. Some have lots of open space while others have very tight hallways and small rooms. A cave might have lots of curvy, long hallways or instead have huge caverns. I could go on and on I suppose, but let's get to the examples. BTW, in the final game, the maps will look a bit more cluttered and the ground won't be a uniform brown.

This dungeon only has wide hallways and small rooms.Din's Curse map

This dungeon has narrower hallways, but some bigger areas.Din's Curse map

This dungeon is basically a maze. Notice the room at the top and the one at top right though, those are secret rooms.Din's Curse map

This dungeon is much more open than the others.Din's Curse map

This cave has lots of small rooms. Notice the two square rooms, those are both special rooms. In this case they are probably vaults with tons of gold in them. It's just luck that there happens to be two of them right next to each other.Din's Curse map

Here is a cave with fairly large open areas.Din's Curse map

Another cave with big open areas but has a more shaped look than a normal cave.

Din's Curse map

And last and apparently least, sometimes the levels are really small. :)

Din's Curse map

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Hybrid class system 2
Monday, 28 September 2009

See part 1 here.

I originally thought that we were going to have a couple of disadvantages by using a hybrid class system. In Depths of Peril, each of our classes had a distinct type of mana that worked differently. The warrior had rage, the rogue had momentum, the priest had faith, and the mage had mana. Each of the DoP classes also received different stat amounts per attribute point. Warriors get more damage per point of strength, rogues get more attack per point of dexterity, etc. These differences really helped each class feel and play a bit different. I was sorry to see that it looked like these types of differences might go away (and from some forum comments I'm not the only one).

Luckily, I figured out how to still keep these differences and support hybrid classes at the same time. Actually they make hybrids even more interesting. Instead of the mana type and stats per attribute stuff being a part of the class itself, they are now skills that each specialty has. Most of the time these are skills that the specialty starts with, but in a few cases they are normal skills that you can put skill points into.

Let's take the warrior class as an example. In Depths of Peril, the warrior uses rage as his power source and gets lots of damage, attack, and health from attributes. In Din's Curse, the warrior class is split into the weaponmaster, gladiator, and defender specialties.

The weaponmaster, receives extra attack per dexterity, extra damage per strength, and gains mana on each successful hit.

The gladiator, receives extra attack per dexterity, extra damage per strength, extra health per vitality, and gains mana when hit.

The defender, receives extra damage per strength, extra health per vitality, and gains mana when he or she blocks or parries a blow.

Basically, in Din's Curse the warrior still uses rage and has high damage, attack, and health from attributes except this time it is split across the 3 specialties. When playing a hybrid with part warrior, you will work with part rage and whatever the other specialty has. You will also get some of the warrior attribute bonuses. Which bonuses and mana generation you get depends on which of the 3 specialties you choose. If health is your main concern, then the gladiator or defender are you best choices. If pure damage is what you want, then the weaponmaster or gladiator is the
best.

Picking your 2 specialties is a decision based on skills, weapons, armor, mana regeneration, and stat bonuses. Of course you can always just pick one of the 6 full classes or hit the random hybrid button.

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Announcement days
Thursday, 24 September 2009
I really should love announcement days. I get to share something with the world and it's great for the marketing side of the business. I am happy about those things, except I don't really like doing it, even if it is necessary.
 
It just makes me really nervous. I pretty much just pace around between tasks, especially when I'm waiting for something to finish. It also bugs me because it feels like I'm getting nothing done. I probably also drive my wife nuts. Oh well. Like I said, they are kind of necessary.
 
And if you weren't paying attention, we announced Din's Curse yesterday.
 
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Hybrid class system
Thursday, 10 September 2009

Change is becoming a common theme, and now it's time for the class system. In our upcoming dungeon crawl, we will have 6 main, fully fledged classes with 3 specialties, each offering 10 skills for a total of 30 unique skills for every class. So far this is similar to how our first game, Depths of Peril, worked. The major difference is that instead of picking a full class, you can choose a hybrid class!

The advantage and disadvantage of hybrid classes are one and the same- you choose any 2 specialties you want from the 6 main classes. You have a lot of freedom to choose any combination, however, you end up with less skills than a full class has (20 instead of 30). It's the penalty of pursuing two completely different specialties at the same time.

Each specialty has 10 unique skills and/or spells, and also has a number of basic armor and weapon skills (these don't count against the 10 skills). So picking your specialties is a decision about what armor, weapons, and skills you want to be able to use.

Do you want to play a plate mail wearing mage type of character? You can do that. Do you want to have healing spells and be able to pick locks? You can! Do you want to summon fantastical creatures, but still stand toe to toe with monsters in a fight? You should be able to do that too.

Yes I am being a bit vague on the classes. I think I have settled on what the 6 classes and 18 specialties are going to be, but the skills are still very much in flux.

As an aside, with our hybrid classes, I just made what should be an easy interview question much harder. Often we get questions like "How many classes will your game have?" With Depths of Peril this is an easy answer-4. In Kivi's Underworld this question got harder. There are 22 classes total, but they aren't full classes. They each have 2 unique skills and work a bit more like a gauntlet character (they aren't meant to be full fledged character classes). In the dungeon crawl, the full answer is we have 6 main classes, 18 specialty classes, and a possibility of 141 different class combinations (6 full classes and 135 hybrid combinations that make sense).

As usual comments are welcome.

See part 2 here.

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