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MichaelMakesGames

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A member registered Jan 28, 2016 · View creator page →

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Thanks for the feedback! This game was made for a game jam and I don't have any near-term plans to continue development, but if I do, I'll address this

In the meantime, a tip: the maps are roughly rectangular in shape, and the stairs tend to be in the opposite corner. Knowing this, if you run into a dead-end, you can often dig to find a different tunnel. Good luck!

Makes sense. Though if unblocked, seems like there could be some timing weirdness with UI (like if game state affects the UI based on what actions are valid). Not sure if that's applicable at all to Leyliner, just thinking through my own games. Anyways, looking good! Thanks for the insight

So the game state isn't updated immediately? Does that mean that it blocks player action now?

I'm curious about the sequential animations. In your Roguelike Celebration "juice" talk, I remember you saying that was something you hadn't done yet and that it was really tricky. It's something I've considered as well, and decided not worth the effort for now. How'd you end implementing it? Any tips?

Thanks! I update the game's info in RogueBasin whenever I release. I'm glad to hear that's finding it's way to new players! (Also, that sounds like a neat premise for a game)

I think some sort of dynamic difficulty is a good idea, but I don't think I'm going to invest in it now, since the release with the reactive ecosystem will change things so much that all that work would be lost. The reactive ecosystem by it's very nature will dynamically adjust the difficulty. For example, an efficient, rapidly expanding player will probably cause more disturbance to the ecosystem.

Under the hood, there is a bit of dynamic difficulty now. The number of enemies you get each night is partially based on your population. So if you have a few bad nights and lose some colonists, the next night will be easier than it would have been otherwise. I might expand that a bit to take other things into account. Perhaps total "value" of buildings. I think that might be a good metric for how effectively a someone is playing.

True I was already thinking about these things, but hearing other people's ideas and talking through my own helps to clarify, so thanks for sharing!

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Wow, thanks for the kind words and detailed feedback! It's really motivational to hear from someone who "clicked" with the game!

I just added a roadmap to the game description, where you can read about my plans for the next 2 major releases, Alpha 4 and Beta 5. Here's some notes addressing things not mentioned in the roadmap:

  • Splitters. I agree that they're too obvious of a choice once you've learned the game. I'll look into ways to balance them for the next release. I'm considering several, but trickiest part will be communicating this to the player.


    • Each splitter costs more power/turn than the previous one. For example, first one is 2 power, second is 4 power, third is 8 power. This might also help make advanced splitters a bit better, since you get a little more bang for your buck.
    • Using splitters overheats the laser faster (see the roadmap for more about overheating your laser)
    • Splitters themselves can overheat if used too often
    • Hard maximum on the number of splitters. Beta 5 could include technologies to increase the maximum
  • Map RNG. Things can get weird when water or mountains spawn right in the middle of the map. For now, I'll change logic a bit so you player and colonists should never be separated at the start. Also, if you're up for a challenge, the "badlands" and "marsh" maps are quite a bit harder than the standard map.
  • Burrowers. It was interesting to hear your generally positive take on them. I'm personally not quite satisfied with how they turned out. They do serve an important role in undermining some otherwise too good strategies, but I want to figure out how to make them more manageable. As is, some burrower attacks are unavoidable. The laser overheating mechanic will help with that, since you can choose to fire multiple turns in a row if needed. Anyway, this is something that I'm thinking about, but no specific plans yet. I also don't currently have any plans for more enemies, but I wouldn't be surprised if some new ones find there way into Beta 5.
  • Optimal strategy / build order. A couple things to note here.
    • Beta 5 with the reactive ecosystem and random technologies should really mix things up. There will no longer be one optimal strategy, and you will need to adapt to your specific situation, available technologies, and corporate demands.
    • Alpha 4 will add difficulty levels, and default difficulty will be easier than the current game. In my experience, many players are like your brother and spend quite a bit of time wandering and experimenting before the game clicks for them, and then get slaughtered on night 2 and lose motivation. I'd like the default difficulty to be less punishing to those players.

You said you got linked to the game? Out of curiosity, where/how did you find it?

Thanks again for detailed feedback! With your permission, I'd love to add you to the playtester section of the credits. Let me know if that's alright, and what name/username you want to be credited as.

Yeah, I was wondering when someone would notice that... Next version (3.1) enemy spawning will use a seeded RNG so it stays consistent when you undo. That's a 2-3 months away though. I'll check how much work it would be to patch for a smaller 3.0.x release.

Fixed :) This release also changes the default "click to move" behavior so it only works for adjacent tiles. If you liked being able to click to queue an entire path, change "Click to Move" to "Always" in the settings.

Thanks! And yeah, I'd consider that a bug. I'll include a fix in the 3.0.1 patch I'm working on, should be out in a day or so. Thanks for reporting!

Thanks for the feedback, and for reading through my big wall of text! Yeah, this is all pretty theoretical for me too. Playtesting will reveal the truth, haha.

Regarding wounds, yeah, it might end up not feeling very fun to have your deck clogged up. It works pretty well in Mage Knight (Slay the Spire still has HP, but it has other status effects as cards). Removing player health is part of the design I'm most uncertain of... I could potentially still do status effects as cards and change enemies to have 1hp, but still keep multiple hp for the player. We'll see how it works.

Currently there's no indication of enemies current health. Armor and other status effects are mentioned in the action log, but I don't expect anyone to closely read that in general. Less things to track for the player is definitely one of my motivations for single hp. I'm not too worried about removing cards... The cards in the game right now are basically the only ones I could think of during the first few days, but I've had lots of other ideas during and after the 7DRL.

That transitions into your final point about card balance. I definitely agree with you there. Flash, Open Your Mind, and some others end being pretty obvious choices most of the time. And then others are I almost never choose, though I just buffed a couple of those. It's definitely an ongoing effort. I definitely don't want any card to be automatic grab or automatic skip. I want to focus on those bigger changes above first though, since they will have a big impact on the cards.

One tangentially related change I'm considering is adding variations on the levels, that are weighted towards different enemy/card types, to give the player a bit more choice about how to build their decks. For example, you could choose between going to a level with mostly slime enemies, or a level with a mix of mushroom and crystal, etc. with not all combinations always available. That might help each run feel a bit a different and make the deck building more interesting.

Watched the whole run, and it was great! I'll start of by addressing some questions/bugs you encountered, and then I'd love to get your feedback on some future directions I'm considering for the game

  • Vomit card description mentions healing slime terrain - that's indeed a typo, should be slowing slime terrain
  • At one point your energy was above your max energy - that's debatably a bug (I plan to fix it). Your energy and health is allowed to momentarily go above your max, and it's brought down to your max at the end of your turn. In that instance you did a flash, so your got more energy, but your turn hadn't ended it.
  • There's a bug where a bunch of action log messages talk about things getting poisoned and not poisoned, when they should actually be talking about other status effects like strengthened, etc, so that might have contributed to some confusion about poison
  • Trained slimes are kinda OP, even after some last minute nerfs. They are summoned by the Slime Tamer so there's potentially an infinite amount of them, which is why they don't give you progress towards the Slime cards (each level has roughly equal amounts of Crystal/Mushroom/Slime enemies and thus potential card unlocks). They have a poison ability on a cooldown, and one of my last minute nerfs was to change it so when they are first summoned, their ability not charged and ready to use, so that's why sometimes they didn't poison you.
  • Crystalize card (turn terrain into crystal terrain) is not very good, since the additional damage from crystal terrain mostly affects you
  • You weren't too sure what Armor did or when it would be useful
  • Strengthen (deal double damage) isn't very good since you mostly just eat enemies
  • Those previous 3 (or 4) points are all related to damage and health, which is the subject of the biggest design change I'm considering, more on that later
  • Finally, how big are you supposed to grow? I don't know either :P Designing the game, I knew I wanted their to be a trade-off between growing stronger and consuming more energy, but I didn't balance for a particular rate of growth or final size. The City with all the juicy peasants end ups encouraging a final growth spurt before the boss fight, and I like how that turned out, but honestly that's a happy accident.

So, the big, far-reaching change I'm considering: remove damage.

  • The player mostly eats enemies directly, and damage modifiers (strengthen, crystal terrain, armor) are not too important. I'm considering removing damage and health entirely: all enemies have a single hitpoint, and the player no longer has health and only dies from starvation.
  • Armor currently subtracts damage received, which would no longer be relevant. Instead, it would fully block a single attack then go down a level (so Armor 2 would block 2 attacks, etc).
  • Poison is damage over time, which would no longer be relevant. Instead, for enemies, poison would mean delayed death, giving the chance for a friendly Shroom Doctor or Shroom Chemist to cure them. More later on what poison would be for the player...
  • Strengthen is double damage and would no longer be relevant. It would change to Piercing, letting an attack ignore armor (I'm guessing you probably didn't even notice that some enemies have armor in the current game, haha).
  • Crystal terrain gives +1 damage received, and would no longer be relevant. I haven't quite decided what to do with this. It might be a completely unrelated effect. Perhaps instead you slip over crystal terrain like ice in some games, which would fit thematically with the Flash and Charge crystal cards (the sprite would be updated to something smoother looking in this case).
  • When the player is attacked, instead of taking damage, negative Wound cards are added to their deck (similar to Slay the Spire, or the board game Mage Knight). The player is then a theoretically unstoppable monster, but they are too careless, then their deck will be clogged down with useless cards and they will die of starvation because they are not able to fight and consume efficiently.
  • Healing abilities would remove wound cards from your hand.
  • Other negative status effects for the player would add cards to your hand or deck. Getting slimed would add a Slimed card to your hand that is slow, and playing it removes it from your deck. You would then get to choose if you wanted to play it and take the delay right away, or let it remain in your deck for a while. Poisoned would be another card added to the player the deck, that would continue to add additional Wound cards (details TBD). This would also easily let other status effects be implemented. For example, Confusion (currently can only effect enemies not the player) would be a card that when played moves the player in a random direction and is then removed.

Other, less fundamental changes I'm considering:

  • There's too much luck involved in the map / exploring. Not finding the stairs then needing to double back can be a death sentence since there's no longer anything to eat. I'm thinking I'll add some Slime/Crystal/Mushroom walls that when dug out, leave a consumable slime/crystal/mushroom, so you can save some snacks for the way back if needed. Other solutions I'm considering (might implement all them together): smaller maps, more interconnected maps, Stone Sense card to help with exploration.
  • Introduce Poison as a mechanic in the Lair, since it's weird to have cards to cure poison when you never get poisoned...
  • Difficulty levels. You're the only person I know of other than myself to make it past level 2. If I go through with removing damage, then difficult could be pretty simply adjusted by changing the amount of energy you get from eating things.
  • I guess that's about it other than a bunch of UI improvements and smaller balance changes. Though I'll end with a tease that I'm also brainstorming a whole new suit of Lava enemies, cards, and terrain ;)

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this, since you clearly have a good grasp of the game! And feel free to let me know if you have any other questions.

Wow, really looking forward to watching the whole video! For now, I just skipped to the end to observe the bug.  Looks like I introduced it when doing some final day balancing and refactoring. When the king dies, it's supposed to drop the Chalice, not a regular corpse. Then eating the Chalice triggers victory. But the King didn't drop the Chalice... (If you directly eat the king, that also counts as victory, and that works as expected.)

Fixing this is going to the top of my to-do list! Thankfully it's an easy fix, just need to change the definition of the King so it drops the Chalice when killed.

As far as I'm concerned, you can consider yourself the first official winner of Wyrm's Wrath!

I would love to see you try out my deck-building-meets-traditional-roguelike-meets-snake game, Wyrm's Wrath! I'll tune in for stream if able

Fun game! First time I could call a roguelike a melee bump-fest and mean it as a compliment ;)

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Glad you enjoyed it! Brightbone did an amazing job with the music. I almost want to make the game super easy just so everyone can experience the epic boss fight music, but it should be up on YouTube soon

Thanks for linking the video. I'm working on some post-jam balance and quality of life updates, so watching others play is really helpful.

Tip for the ranged guys: use Flash to close the gap (let's you move without enemies getting a turn) or try to chase them into slime (they lose a turn). Paralyzing Spores and some other non-starting cards are also useful here.

Wow, I think that's the nicest thing anyone has ever said about something I've made! I'm glad you enjoyed it. Big shout out to brightbone and Lemunde who made the music and art respectively.

I'm working on some post-jam balance and quality of life updates now, but after that I have potential plans for bigger changes to the design. If you end up playing this some more, I'd love to hear what specifically you think works and doesn't work in the current iteration. Don't know for sure if or when, since that'll be competing for time with my main project.

Thanks for playing and leaving feedback!

Yeah, brightbone did a great job with the music! It got really stuck in my head after my final playtesting push, haha.

I'm going to do some follow up releases to refine the balance and improve the UI. One of the main new features with that will be the ability to hover your cursor over hexes to see a description of their contents, so that should help with learning the terrain and the enemies.

I've died to the trained slimes so many times (the little green thingies). A rebalance/redesign of poison is fairly high on my list.

It took longer than anticipated, but I released Alpha 2 last week! The base building and management has been expanded a lot. Check it out if you haven't and let my know you think

Thanks! Development is alive and well. I'll be posting a monthly progress report in a few days and Alpha 2 will probably be out in a month or two. I hope keep future updates a little tighter in scope, so there's not so much time between releases, but I think this one will be worth it! It really fleshes out the core mechanics and will have a much improved UI.

There won't be an in-game tutorial for the initial release. The version of the game that is currently playable on here is for the original game jam project, Reflector RL, which is pretty different from the revived project Reflector: Laser Defense, so you might be a bit confused reading about the devlogs then playing that.

That being said, I'm pretty happy with how playtesting has been going, so I'll be releasing the initial version of Reflector: Laser Defense this Friday! There are some tooltips in the game, and I'll also include some instructions in the itch.io page.

Thanks for the heads up. I'll add that to my cleanup list

VICTORY! (Sneaky victory message in the log. I should make that more obvious...)

Thanks! I almost beat it once... But I'm not normally very good at roguelikes, so I figured that was about right