Weird DC bugs part 1
Tuesday, 27 July 2010

I thought I would write something up about some of the weird or amusing bugs that I have had to fix in Din's Curse because of the crazy amount of possibilities that exists in the game.

NPCs that you need to rescue down in the deep need to be safe before you can rescue them. This usually means killing all of the monsters near them. Well apparently the NPCs are really paranoid because they use to want you to kill the nearby cave-ins and volcanoes also.

As DC players know, important NPCs in the town can be killed. Luckily usually another NPC in town will eventually find a replacement and give you a quest to bring them to the town. Well when your apothecary is killed, the person responsible for the replacement is the steward. This is usually works out fine. However, what happens when your current steward is petrified? Well you just have to gather some reagents for your apothecary and he will fix that right up for you. Oops, a nice little catch 22 there. Now if you hit this situation, you lose the town.

A while back stunned monsters (and others that can't move) could block, dodge, and evade blows. They could move pretty well for being stunned.

At one point in time Dark Elf Wizards could cast Ice Storms right through the walls. And people say AI isn't very smart. I'd cast spells through the walls at my enemies if I could. :)

We had lots of issues during the beta where summoned creatures were extremely aggressive. By aggressive I mean they would attack things like lifestones just because you had them selected. Obviously if you had it selected it must be an enemy to be destroyed. This same idea worked when you had yourself or an NPC selected also. There were a few other related bugs also, but this was the funnier one.

Scavengers eat pretty much anything that is dead. For a while this even included destroyed cave-ins. Yummy rock.

How do you find a ghost that can walk through walls? It's difficult, but when they decide to walk into a completely solid area that's outside of their attack range and decide to stay there it becomes impossible. Yeah, ghosts that are part of quests are a pain. Now they will actually roam around so that they never get stuck out of range of the player.

What happens when you hide from a monster that hides from you? Well neither of you ever sees each other. What happens when that monster is also a solid object that can block your movement? Well they tend to appear as an invisible solid object that is blocking the hallway. :(

There is an advanced option that allows you to create a character that can only used cursed items. It's pretty difficult because cursed items are rare and well cursed. It was a little harder than I realized because there are no cursed keys. Now you can destroy anything that is locked in Din's Curse, but I didn't mean to restrict key usage.

Another bug that was similar to the ghosts is monsters that can hide in the ground. When you have a required quest to go kill something like a zombie that can hide, it is extremely hard to find them (not impossible though).

That's enough of these for now, I have more that I'm going to post later though.


Tweets 7
Thursday, 08 July 2010

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

Been trying to drum up more Din's Curse reviews for the past couple days, email can be exhausting. No more comment probably needed. :)

Added 5 new types of harder character options today (Ego, Unlucky, Poverty, Honorable Death, and Fragile). These all made it into version 1.002 of Din's Curse.

I finally tracked down a master server crash today. :) This was actually a big pain. I had more and more debug prints running on the master server for a few weeks. Finally tracked it down though and it was a pretty simple fix.

I started putting some real thought into a new class for the Din's Curse expansion today. This is still most likely going to be a Demon Hunter.

For some "unknown" reason I just thought of this skill: Cat Sneeze - enemy runs away in fear of more mucus. This unknown reason of course being the kitten on my desk that had just sneezed on my hand.

Possible Din's Curse expansion skill: Demonic Control. Assuming this makes it into the expansion, the idea is that you can temporarily gain control of an enemy through this spell.

Actually got some code done for the expansion today. :) I believe this was actually just code to have the main game and expansion to play nicely together, but it was progress.

Seeing if I can add a perspective view mode to Din's Curse. This was actually a pain.

Din's Curse is now on Impulse. :)

There was a great battle and I finally conquered the fierce beast commonly known as math. This was more perspective mode stuff. I've actually had a perspective view in the code base for a long time. I needed to build correct frustums for culling, make sure everything in view was actually drawn, be able to click on things correctly, and various other little things. All of that sounds pretty simple except it involves a lot of math. I basically have a minor in math, but it has been a while since I have done some of this stuff. :)

Running around in Din's Curse with a perspective view is just strange, I'm so used to the old view. It's just weird because I've been looking at basically the same view point in this engine for the past 6 years.


Expansion class thoughts
Friday, 18 June 2010

Although both a monk and bard are tempting, right now I'm still thinking along the lines of a demon hunter for the expansion. None of this is even remotely final and still pretty rough, but I would like to get some of my thoughts out there so that you guys can comment on them.

I'm thinking of the demon hunter as basically an arcane fighter that is designed to kill demons. I'm looking at more of a fight fire with fire type thing, not anything like getting bonuses to killing demons specifically. I want him to have a decent amount of magic, but all pretty much close combat.

For the 3 specialties I'm thinking of Reaver, Warden, and Demonologist.

Reaver is a pure up close dealer of death mainly through 2 handed sharp weapons (sword/axe). Might have lots of short range area of effect type of attacks.

Warden is more defensive by nature focusing on not getting hit: shields, wards, slowing projectiles, etc.

Demonologist is focused on abilities that are used by demons: possession, inferno, blood rage, blood sacrifice, etc.

I have more thoughts than this, but I mostly just wanted to get some discussion going.


Free vs purchased demos
Tuesday, 25 May 2010

There has been some talk recently about charging gamers for demos. So far I've seen Crytek and EA mentioning the idea. I personally think the idea is pretty ridiculous.

Demos are pretty much a marketing tool. Like most marketing, it's a way to find people that find our game worth more than the money we are charging. Ultimately, when it works we have found a nice win-win situation.

However charging for the demo just seems very wrong. First of all, it means you are now demanding payment for your marketing. What's next, making the customer pay for your ads? Also what happens when they don't like your demo (which is going to happen fairly often)? The company got some amount of money, but the customer paid for something they didn't enjoy. A lose-win situation.

Personally I really dislike lose-win situations in business. I'm not in competition with our customers. We are in a mutually beneficial relationship, a loss for them is a loss for me. As a small aside, this is why we have a money back guarantee on all of our games.

All of this seems kind of obvious to me, so it's strange that this concept keeps popping up.


Tweets 6
Friday, 21 May 2010

Here's some of my latest tweets from twitter / facebook with a bit more explanation.
Working on an interview again today, will hopefully be done soon. This was the Tales of the Rampant Coyote. It took me way too long to answer these (not because of the questions, I was just busy).

Submitting to game contests is a really big pain (way too much legal crap to read). I actually wrote this after submitting to PAX. However, I wrote this tweet thinking about most of the other contests we have entered. The PAX agreement in comparison is awesome. It is very short and in plain English.

Started thinking about expansion pack ideas today. I'm still thinking about expansion pack ideas, but we are much more likely to be going forward with this.

Just solved a meeting quest by accidentally triggering a trap, the 4th or 5th subsequent explosion killed the 2 monsters in the meeting. It was quite funny. Things just kept blowing up further and further into the distance, all of them out of sight. I went from oh god I hope that trap doesn't kill me to oh I somehow just solved a quest really quickly.

I know that I should leave blast triggers alone when playing hardcore but I just can't help myself. :) I'm a bit more careful but I still pull most of them (at least when it's not obvious I'm going to get caught in the explosion).


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