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Throwback 03-23-2017 10:21 PM

1. I'd like the sound design improved. While it is currently extremely distinct, it is in many cases not...nice? Almost like you picked unique sounds but perhaps didn't have time/resources to go over them to make sure they all have the same feel and really 'gel' with the world and add to it.

In my limited experience, successful games without stellar graphics instead have good to great sound design - e.g. hotline miami, devil daggers. It's not an immediate thing I notice, but when I think about it it is actually very important.

2. I'd like the world clans to be further refined. At the moment if I find the Horde or Evicerators for example, I'm pretty sure if I want the alliance victory I will have to eliminate them, since they don't play nice with others even they will ally with me. Clans like this unfortunately seem to be in the majority.

3. I'd like the town invasion mechanics improved. Running into 10-20 special characters is not fun, especially since they all take an extremely long time to kill. It's not the difficulty I object to, it's the pacing. I don't have any ideas for improvement though.

4. I wouldn't mind if there was a limit on the amount of quests that could be spawned in an area, but those quests had more scope to 'level up'. This is because distant areas have a tendency to build up enormous amounts of quests, but not necessarily get any more difficult than other areas. So you get there, do your thing and collect amazing rewards. There's not typically any motivation to complete a specific quest. If the quests were to get harder instead, I would have a lot of motivation to get to them, and less chance of being swamped by town invasions on my way to get there (as not so many quests would spawn).

5. Another idea is to use the mechanic of the boardgame 'epidemic', if you've played it. An area that is 'full' on quests could cause quests to appear in neighbouring areas.

6. A way to get to distant areas quickly. How about a clan that will guide you to any map square with a quest in it, for a fee? Or 'guide' NPCs that will take you to a specific gate, for a fee. Or quests that unlock gates to 'full' areas. You could limit the quest so it only becomes available when an area is 'full' of quests. Obviously there are implications for the sense of achievement in opening up large areas of the map. so anything like this would have to be designed carefully.

Throwback 03-23-2017 10:55 PM

Sorry for double posting.

I'd also like to see a fully repaired town matter more. There is something psychologically pleasing about upgrading your town so everyone has a nice place to live - it would be cool to link that to mechanics even more strongly.

Perhaps you could add a 2nd tier of buildings, that are super nice, and make having a fully upgraded town a win condition (or even tie it into the 'food' win condition).

Catweazle 04-26-2017 11:50 AM

Personally I find Drox Operative to be quite original. There are already so many Fantasy themed Diablo-alikes and Zombie games on the market.

Any chance for a Drox 2 at some point in the future with upgraded graphics? (Zombasite does look pretty slick). A way to expand on Drox 1 could be adding a combination of spaceship and ground combat (boarding, on stations, on planets etc).

Shadow 04-26-2017 04:59 PM


Originally Posted by Catweazle (Post 82616)
Personally I find Drox Operative to be quite original. There are already so many Fantasy themed Diablo-alikes and Zombie games on the market.

Any chance for a Drox 2 at some point in the future with upgraded graphics? (Zombasite does look pretty slick). A way to expand on Drox 1 could be adding a combination of spaceship and ground combat (boarding, on stations, on planets etc).

It is definitely possible. I had fun making Drox and it sold fairly well.

Edward Bishop 05-28-2017 04:47 AM


Originally Posted by Shadow (Post 82618)
It is definitely possible. I had fun making Drox and it sold fairly well.

I have to agree; in fact I would go so far as to say Drox Operative has been your Magnum Opus thus far.

( Tchey ) 05-28-2017 09:13 AM


Originally Posted by Edward Bishop (Post 82686)
I have to agree; in fact I would go so far as to say Drox Operative has been your Magnum Opus thus far.

Clearly the best game, for me and mostly all other people i know who played Soldak's games.

Castruccio 05-28-2017 10:07 AM

I think Depths of Peril was best, followed by Din's Curse.

sourdust 10-23-2017 06:23 PM

For what it's worth...

1) Increasingly in gaming I'm looking for games that are playable in anything from 10 minutes to a few hours, but with a meta-game or long-term unlocks that keep me coming back. I'm loving Renowned Explorers, for example, which has some hard and definite constraints - each game is 5 expeditions only and will take max 3 hours to play through - combined with a feeling of endless replayability, which comes essentially from the endless possible combinations of characters (choose 3 for each game, out of 28 available - and each of the 28 has a very unique personality and traits!)

2) Zombasite in my experienced started to fall into a Paradox games-trap: too many systems, interacting poorly, without a strong unifying game dynamic. An ARPG combined with a diplomatic / town-builder dynamic that started to approach EUIV in its complexity - but it was all spread too thin, and in the end I found neither the ARPG elements nor the town-building satisfying. I'd strongly recommend paring back your game design to the essential elements, and then make sure those essential elements are work together smoothly and all contribute to a strong design. It's like women's fashion advice - put on everything you want to, then take off 1 thing and you're ready.

3) I can see real potential in a stripped-back dungeon crawler with a definite hard constraint on the end game. So something like 10 dungeons, total 10 hours play for a given game. But there is infinite replayablity through character class recombinations, and a strong metagame with lots of unlocks and ongoing goals to keep working towards. And within game, experiment with a simple system of upgrades aside from the usual XP->level up and loot dynamics. For instance, how about you're gathering crystals and lugnuts while exploring, and crystals and lugnuts can be spent in town on meaningful town upgrades, with real consequences for town development this way or that? No micromanagement of town stuff, just invest those crystals into buying a strong defensive wizard, or improving happiness by +50% for everybody - but you can't do both!

4) Graphics. I'd love to say I don't care, that it's all about gameplay. To some extent that was true for Din's Curse, where the graphics were relatively minimal in the dungeons, and smooth animations sorta made up for it. But it's not true in Zombasite - the graphic design I feel really gets in the way of the game. Don't aim for Diablo iii-esque graphics if you haven't got a team of 100 artists to make it work. Instead, strip it all back to a unified minimalistic theme. Renowned explorers, Desktop Dungeons, Darkest Dungeon, heck even mini metro are all good examples of smooth and effective graphic design on low budget.

5) The emergent dungeon phenomena in Din's Curse were revolutionary at the time, and have been picked up and further developed in other rogue-likes and even standard RPGs. Divinity series is a good example of combat craziness due to the number of different substances / spells etc that can interact with each other. So amp it up! I want to see mold, smoke, pools of blood, piles of rubbish, explosive powder, sheets of metal, underground rivers, acid, ether, mana clouds, dead magic, etc all swimming about together in the dungeon. So I can go: "hmm, if I vaporize that mana crystal with a lightining bolt, I can use my gust of wind to blow the ensuing mana cloud into that room over there that is full of conductive rods... then I'll lure the boss into the room, activate the rods and quickly shut the door. Problem solved!"

sourdust 10-23-2017 08:27 PM

6) Do away with inventory management altogether, or at least inventory space constraints. Also no crafting please. The worst feature in Din's was the amount of time you had to spend shifting stuff around in different bags, an issue still not completely fixed in Zomb. I don't know who originally came up with the idea that limited bag space is a fun thing in an RPG, but they have a lot to answer for! Diablo 3 sorta fixes this by giving you extremely generous inventory space. Getting rid of crap items (ie, not having crap drop in the first place) helps as well.

7) Related to point 6 - getting rid of crap RNG items. Fewer but better items is almost always good in an RPG. Work on the item generation algorithms a bit - rather than an item having a totally random (and therefore mostly useless) set of traits, how about having Trait A be totally random, but then Traits B and C and D are influenced by what Trait A is, so that the item has a definite theme or direction. For instance, is the first trait on Shield A a bonus to skeleton summoning? Figure out which characters actually can use skeleton summoning, and figure out what kinds of other traits those characters might want. The random selection of Trait B is then guided by that - it might be an increase in darkness, a straight bonus to defence, a buff to skeleton mages, or a synergistic bonus with other necro-leaning items... but it won't be things that skeleton summoners can't use or don't really want, like a bonus to strength or light intensity. In this way items can still be random generated, but they are more likely to be interesting and themed.

8) Shake up the stats a bit. RPGs are getting a bit tired with the usual strength/intelligence/dexterity (or whatever they are called) way of describing characters. And usually a character just maxes their main stat, with enough into dex and con to keep them hitting and alive, or whatever. Levelling up is often formulaic: 3 points into main stat, one into dex, one into con or whatever. Either just scrap all this and automate it (because the player isn't making meaningful choices), or rethink it radically and make the choices interesting and result in viable different builds. Imagine an RPG where the character traits were Ambition / Courage / Pain Threshold / Empathy / Balance etc., maybe 20 or 30 of them, and each one related to different skills in strange and interesting ways, and improving them was to some degree path-dependent or synergistic. Eg, improving "pattern recognition" gives bonuses to skills x, y and z, but decreases skills a and b, and your rating is capped as twice your "raw intellect", which can itself be increased... etc

Shadow 10-24-2017 05:52 PM

Lots of good thoughts sourdust.

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