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Cool stuff, I'm going to start using it right away. Integration for pictures and videos is nice. Good job :-)

Cool game, I hope you'll continue working on it!

Created a new topic Ongoing work on a spell system
(Edited 3 times)

Long time no post ! In the last weeks I've been implementing a spell system. It is fun to program. I took some spells that were available to monsters already and generalized them for players. They need generalization, because monsters never do useless casts; where players can, for example a player can cast a firebolt on an empty cell (whereas monsters could only cast firebolt on an enemy) or can teleport an item or a barrel (whereas monsters were only teleporting themselves). My code wasn't supporting that. The spell system works a follows: you can either find spellbooks or blank spellbooks. Spellbooks can be boosted with a boost runic (like armor/shield/weapons). Blank spellbooks can be "instantiated" by a branded runic (quietus, vampirism, etc.) and then boosted like other spellbooks.

I think this system will enable many many more builds than before. For example, you'll be able to play a necromancer if you boost your "raise a skeleton from a dead body" spell a lot. Or you'll be able to play an offensive mage if you boost firebolt/lightning. Or you will be able to do mixed melee/mage builds (health and protection spells can be useful for melee characters).

I haven't a lot to show yet, except an inventory full of spellbooks: http://i.imgur.com/QMZfG42.png

and how I show the cooldown of spells (see "health" on the right at the end of the video, how it becomes grey when cast, and progressively gets back to white): http://i.imgur.com/Hf7kun2.gif

I've also added animation for drinking a health potion: http://i.imgur.com/CJg8hDN.gif

and drinking a life potion: http://i.imgur.com/fiOFo37.gif

Hope you'll like it, and feedback is always very welcome, so please comment :-)

Oh I'm so glad this release was finally shipped out! It's by far the release that contains the most stuff.

At first I had decided to add pits in the game. Then I got sidetracked by Damien Casoni's ASCII post of a balrog on a bridge. Because I wanted to be able to have something like this, I added handling of hand written maps to Dungeon Mercenary. Once hand written maps were available, well it looked obvious to do a few special levels with special monsters. So I added the kobold wizard, for which I coded new spells: firebolt and teleportation. That's was like 2 more weeks burnt, in particular because I wanted an animation for firebolt that was lighting the walls nearby the projectile (I got inspired by drakefire chasm).

Then, because I added pits, I needed at least one flying monster, so I added the chaos fairy. Because it is designed to be annoying, I needed to add a potion to tame it: the negation potion. For which (and other potions) I coded throwing of potions. So that's another few weeks consumed. All in all, that is why three months flew by between the previous release and this one. But I'm very happy with the state of the game now. It's starting to have decent content (thanks to the additional depths too) and it's getting ready for the next two big updates: making it a local coop game and adding a spell system.

As usual, it has been very quiet on itch, I don't understand why; people are more active on Dungeon Mercenary's GameJolt entry. Maybe the presence of the devlog helps ? Anyway, please give your opinion, a lot of changes came from user's suggestions (thanks to reddit's roguelikedev). And stay tuned for the next release!

Hey fellow ASCII lovers. It's the end of summertime, but summer was busy for Dungeon Mercenary. I recently released version 16-09-02 that features barrels, high scores, and forges. Forges allow you to melt items, taking runics back from them, and to transmute runics. Makings runics easier to use was something I wanted to for a long time (I spoke about that in this previous post). In particular, now that it's really easy to obtain boost runics out of branded runics, I will be able to add more usages for boost runics, for example boostable spell books! Along with new features, I enhanced the UI: I display the inventory on the map's right and I finally removed the last use of the very-spaced font for text display in the bottom panel. This panel finally uses the usual text font.

A nasty bug has been reported in version 16-09-02: the game crashes if you choose 'transmute' in a forge, without having every picked a runic before. I'll try my best to release a bugfix version soon.

For the future, I plan two things: as said already, 1/ boostable spell books. I believe spell books will come in two flavors: blank spell books, that you can inscribe with a branded runic (vampirisim, lightning, etc.); to choose your spell; and already inscribed spell books. In both cases, spell books will be boostable with (branded or not) runics, just like weapons, armors, and shields. 2/ I want to add chasms, that allow you to jump to the next level; together with flying monsters and potion of levitation (hello brogue).

Feel free to give your opinion on planned enhancements! ❤

Created a new topic Future developments
(Edited 7 times)

I'm writing this topic to describe the developments I'm doing and to get feedback about them (that is why Dungeon Mercenary's development blog doesn't fit for that). So please give me your opinion, that's how I hope to offer you the best game possible :-)

July 8th 2016: This week, I released version 16-07-06 (since the last message here, there was another release, check the changelog (dash moves + special attacks!)). This version features achievements and throwing of bombs. Achievements weren't really planned, but as the game got many hits on gamejolt, I thought it would be nice to add them, plugging with gamejolt's API, so that achievements are integrated with the players' accounts (as on steam). If you're playing on itch, you have achievements on the desktop version of the game, but not on the web version :-/ And achievements will be useful when I ship the game to Google's play store and on steam. Throwing of bombs wasn't really planned too, but I did it because it mixes well with dash moves and it is the first step towards firing weapons, since the UI to code bombs and firing is the same.

I've been speaking about neutral/hidden rooms and merchants for a while here, but I still won't do it soon. Instead, I want to add barrels (the Ū in this screenshot) that the players will be able to push and pull. It'll allow to block monsters, and I'll put explosive barrels in there, which we'll combine well with... throwing of bombs of course :-) Yeah I'm all about the interaction between simple elements these days. I think that's what makes brogue such an interesting game, because the interaction between items create very interesting strategies (it doesn't have the kind of interaction with the world that I'm putting into Dungeon Mercenary though). Hopefully, talk to you soon again, development shouldn't stop in summer :-)

May 30th 2016: Last week, I released version 16-05-26. It contained some of the planned improvements, and the others have been delayed to the next release. Included improvement include the credits screen and making runics "carryable". Improvements that have been delayed include text-wrapping in the info panel, but I've done it since the release; so it will be in the upcoming release. And I'm working now on the non-monospaced font for in-game menus; so it'll also be in the next release. Another unplanned thing was the release of the game on gamejolt. It seems there are more players here than on itch, as the first stats I've got witness.

On the gameplay side, I'm still willing to do (neutral?) rooms with (neutral) merchants; but it requires quite some work, because it requires 1/ neutral people 2/ computing the merchant's propositions. Point 1/ is still coded somehow, because my AI code doesn't suppose "one player and some monsters", it just supposes that there are entities that belong to different teams (the player having a team and the monster's having another). If I make merchants part of the monster's team, they will be neutral; since the monsters won't attack them, but I would have to code that the player should not attack them. So I think a better solution is to have a team for the merchants, that is flagged "neutral". Still there would be a lot of menu-work for the merchant's menus. So I'm not planning to have them in the next release.

Instead, on the gameplay side, maybe I'll do hidden rooms, which you can open by activating some lever. Or I'll do another special areas, like the cemeteries. They are pretty easy to code and contribute quite well to the game's atmosphere. Maybe I could do swamps ? I have to check which cool symbol I have in the font :-)

May 10th 2016: On the UI side, I know what I want to do next:

  • I want to (finally!) plug the Credits button on the welcome screen, because that's not serious to have a not-working button here. Previous work on text panels (see this enhancement) paves the way to that. Done: check it out in this video.
  • I also want to have text-wrapping again (it was there in the past, with the monospaced font) in the info panel (the panel at the top in this video), because it is important for vertical screens.
  • Continuing to move to a non-monospaced font, I want to change the in-game menus (such as this inventory).

On the gameplay side, I'm still willing to do neutral merchants, but I also envision to make runics "carryable". I mean that you would be able to store them in your inventory, to apply them later on. That would allow to delay the choice of your strategy, as long as you're able to survive the dungeon without using your runics (as in the awesome brogue). I think it'd make runics more interesting, because it'd avoid the "oh I found a runics early on, but have crappy gear, anyway let's burn it, as I won't be coming back here" feeling that can happen in the early levels. I may also remove the possibility to find end-dungeon weapons (hammers, axes) on the first level's weapon rack, because it's not balanced.

Regarding the previous changes, I'm pretty happy with the introduction of baby dragons, the breath animation is kinda cool and the "red carpet" areas pave the way to neutral rooms, coding-wise.

April 15th 2016: On the UI side, I know what I want to do next: I want to use the new serif font (as in the top panel of https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CgAzQBKW4AABxnq.jpg:large) for descriptions (i.e. that). It'll make the text much easier to read, and it's pretty easy to do (I suppose I'll push it to SquidLib). On the gameplay side, I envision one of the following 3 things:

  • A monster that is restricted to walking on grass, like a chaotic dryad or something alike. That could be fun.
  • A monster with a breath attack, like a baby dragon (baby, because there are only 10 levels in Dungeon Mercenary for now, so don't go crazy on brutal monsters).
  • A neutral room with merchants.

For the first 2 points, I want to diversify the monsters, as the melee/'bump to attack' monsters are kinda boring. Plus, non-standard monsters create interesting strategies (wanna avoid the dryad, well it's easy, find a non-grass walk!). For the merchants, I wanna offer choices to players, so that they can trade their stuff, or are incited to take risks to grab extra gold).

April 8th 2016: I'm working on altars. For now 3 altars are planned:

  1. The altar of war, that allows to double a runic on an offensive item; at the cost of 33% of your full life.
  2. The altar of chaos, that allows to double a runic on any equipped item; at the cost of cursing the item, meaning you will never be able to take it off.
  3. The altar of peace. It allows you to resurrect once upon death at the altar, if you donate an offensive item to the god of peace.

I believe these altars create interesting strategies, because they offer a tradeoff. The altars of war and chaos allow you to specialize (do you want to be a super fast killing ninja with a high level quietus weapon ? or a life sucker vampire ?). The altar of peace is slightly different in my mind, in that it should alleviate permadeath.