Tweets 2
Friday, 15 January 2010

Here's some of my latest tweets from twitter / facebook with a bit more explanation.

I still have a funny multiplayer bug that lets you run around while dead sometimes, everyone else sees you sliding around in the dead pose. This was pretty funny watching people slide around as dead bodies. This is fixed now though.

I swear our game is plotting against me, I spawn in a gas leak to test out flaming oil, and the world spawns an earthquake and destroys it. This seems to happen fairly often. I cheat to test something and the game responds.

I really like days were I focus on little things, I knocked 60 things off my todo list today. :) This was last week some time. At the beginning of that day my todo list had 313 items on it. At the end of the day it was down to 247. Today it's at 133.

I actually used a teleport trap to escape some enemies today in Din's Curse. I got mobbed and that was the quickest way out. :)

It's strange how many bugs you can find when you do weird things like tell the networking system not to send anything more than 2 feet away. In this case, the main thing I found was that I was sending all of the npcs in town across the network regardless of how far away you were.

Changelings disguised as imps on a level where you need to find imp tails for a quest is very dangerous. I was actually trying to kill imps and I ran into 2 changelings at the same time.

I destroyed a cursed gate today by setting fire to a bunch of barrels near it with my flaming sword. I couldn't get to the gate because of the barrels and all of the monsters nearby, so I started a little fire. :)

A zombie attacked a naga attacking me, the naga turns and kills the zombie, then walks over to use a lifestone, and then it came back to kill me. I was actually surprised that they were fighting in the first place since I was killing everything, so I just sat there and watched. I was even more surprised when the naga walked right by me to go heal and I'm the one that programmed them to do that.

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Din's Curse in Alpha
Monday, 04 January 2010

Well Din's Curse is finally in alpha. Technically it started over a week ago during the holidays. I was hoping we would be at this point in early November. However, with Soldak I really try to stick with the idea of releasing our games when they are done, not when an arbitrary schedule says to. We have spent the extra two months making Din a much better game. In the long run, I think this is the right decision. In the short term it hurts though (less revenue for last year and we missed submitting to IGF).

So far our alpha testers seem to be really enjoying themselves. They have been trying out all sorts of different builds thanks to the hybrid stuff and racking up a lot of playing hours already. They are even playing more multiplayer games than I thought because two of them happened to be at the same place during the holidays. With their help we are pretty quickly polishing some of the rougher parts and making Din as good as a game as possible.

Right now I'm thinking my longer alpha time guess of around a month is more likely at this point. Hopefully this means we will go into beta somewhere around the end of January. We will continue our internal testing at that point in time, but we are also still planning on the preorder/beta idea (short recap: you will be able to buy the game for a reduced price and get access to the beta).

Overall, I'm excited by our progress.

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Tweets 1
Friday, 01 January 2010

I thought I would start gathering my latest tweets into a blog post every once in a while so that those of you that aren't following us on twitter or facebook could enjoy this stuff also. I'm also expanding on them a bit.

Left Din on all night, came back this morning and all the townpeople are zombies, funny thing is they are all standing in their normal spots. What happened is that zombies raided the town and starting killing everyone. As each npc died in town they raised back up as a new undead to help kill off the rest of the living. Once they were done and had nothing left to do they all walked walk to the original spots and stood there like nothing had ever happened.

I'll just let the skeleton kill him is a bad strategy in Din's Curse (the victim will just rise back up as the undead). I've actually done this multiple times now. It doesn't help any. Do what they should do in the movies and kill it off before it just raises back up.

Added a bunch of new unique items today. Yeah more items. :)

Fixed a major performance issue today, ultimately needed to run a vtune (performance analyzer) build and a 5 player game to track it down. The system was getting confused and it was sending a lot more entities across the network than it needed to.

While testing today, I ran from some monsters by using a walk through walls cheat; the ghost floated throught the wall and killed me anyway. :) It's interesting how many things surprise me, but that is one of my goals for this game.

Had another good play test session today, my weaponmaster/healer pales in comparison to Delilah's assassin/sorcerer though. Both characters seem too weak over all still. However, the sorcerer's tornado skill is way over powered.

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Din's quest system is like a web
Tuesday, 15 December 2009

If you could look at all of the quests/missions in a game and the connections between them, most games would form a linear line. Personally I find that kind of sad. RPGs tend to do a little better and many times will form a tree. In Din's Curse (and also Depths of Peril to some extent) they form a web. A very dense web at that.

I have added a good example of how this works lately to the game: the darkness machine. This is a machine that once built causes the entire area to get much darker than usual. This doesn't sound too bad except it screws with the local crops so food prices go up. Monsters tend to be much more aggressive when it is dark so the town you are trying to save is much more likely to be attacked. Also now that one machine is up and functioning it encourages other monsters to build other machines to wreck havoc on the town (like earthquake or weather machines).

So there are lots of strands that leave the darkness machine quest, but what leads to it? Well a lot of things frankly. Most unique monsters, bosses, and unique monster groups have a chance to secretly build them. Just because you know about a monster already doesn't always means you know what they are up to. Hurry up and kill them already! You might discover that someone is building a darkness machine in the dungeon and have a chance to disrupt the plans. If you fail, you will have the darkness machine to deal with and whoever built it. Sometimes you only get partial information and find out that someone is building "something" in the dungeon. This could be a darkness machine or it could be something entirely different (although whatever it happens to be is probably dangerous for you). Sometimes your information is really bad and you just find out someone is planning something. This could be anything from a town raid to yep, you guessed it- building a darkness machine. As I implied before, if someone has already built an earthquake or weather machine this might also lead to someone building a darkness machine.

Like I said, the quests are very web like. There are many different things that lead to each quest and many possible other quests it can start.

It will be interesting when people get into the situation where they have darkness, weather, and earthquake machines all needing to be destroyed.

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Din progress report
Friday, 11 December 2009

I thought you guys would like a little progress report of where things are now on Din's Curse. I just finished a big quest pass which was one of the major things I needed to do before we get to alpha. I still need to update the master server and do a bunch of little things on my todo list. After that we will get into heavy alpha testing. Hopefully alpha will start within the next couple weeks.

I'm not positive how long we will be in full alpha testing. It could be anywhere from a couple weeks to a month depending on how smoothly things go and how much more I decide to add to the game. Either way beta shouldn't be too long after we start our alpha testing. I'm still planning on doing the preorder thing when we get to beta. So if you want to, you will be able to preorder to get a lower price and get early access to the beta builds.

I'm pretty happy that my todo list has actually been shrinking for a little while. It was pretty steady at 600 items for a while. Now it is down to about 250. :)

So that's where we are. I think things are looking good and that this is going to be our best game ever. I'm biased of course.

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