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Sheriour

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Created a new topic The future of Dungeonlike

I suppose it's about time I became a bit more open about where this game is going in the future and what features I have in store. Up until now I was mostly disclosing this stuff in private conversations and of course upon new version releases, but something more transparent should definitely be available, especially for those who plan to stick around for longer, especially if you can suggest any changes to what you see here or what should be here and is missing.

The Big Picture

Currently the format of Dungeonlike can be described as "one dungeon, one town, one boss to kill".  Also, if you read through the story, you might get an impression that there is not much depth and that is - in a way - by design. I want Dungeonlike to eventually become an open world fantasy adventurer simulator... or something along these lines. I do not have the exact shape of that end-result in my head, mostly because I have a long list of features that in theory sound nice, but in practice they might not work well together. But details aside, open world will come at some point and a lot of work will go into the transition from current "town + dungeon" mode into "huge map with towns and dungeons" mode. 

So what currently is the entire game, will at some point become a repeatable sidequest of clearing a dungeon from a location (will have some kind of bounty board for these things probably). That open world will also allow for some other activities beyond dungeon crawling, as I want to have some elements of trade and faction warfare (inspired by Mount & Blade), along with less dungeon-oriented missions, but all of these cool additional features are subject to being thrown out the the window if  they become more of a pain than a source of fun. This is one of the reasons why I try to have regular updates, so that the community can have a say about any feature that is going out.

The Feature List

Here I will list all the stuff that I am currently considering, some might be half-done already. Take everything below with a grain of salt, especially if it is not really a fleshed out idea yet. I am not sure how will I manage this list over time, but I will try to keep it updated as much as I can. Here we go:

More Dungeons

Currently all you get in the game is an orcish fortress, which is ok and all, but becomes very dull early on. So I plan on having some other dungeon types that will be able to house totally different types of creatures. Now, in many roguelikes this could exist in form of branching dungeons, but if my game is going to have multiple dungeons in an open world setting anyway, it would probably make more sense to just have more than one dungeon already. I will probably achieve that by having more dungeon entrances from the Town Level for now, till I get open world up and running.

More Enemies

This is actually quite tightly related to the "more dungeons" point and I think that this lack of variety in enemies is the main con of the game at the moment, making it a very repeatable and unsurprising. I have a ton of enemies designed on paper already, and some of them might actually make their way into the orcish fortress, before I start creating new dungeon types. 

  • Tough enemies with no armor. I am thinking Ogres and maybe Trolls, but the point behind such enemy type is to make swords and axes a bit more viable as the game goes on. I have a feeling that due to armor being much less effective against blunt weaponry makes cutting weapons much less attractive. Those big beasts would actually go against this rule, as Ogre would be much easier to bleed out than to have his bones broken. These could actually appear in current dungeon, as they fit the horde quite well.
  • Undead. Yep, undead are definitely coming to the game and will be much much trickier to defeat than orcs. Orcs bleed, orcs run, orcs have stamina and get tired, orcs die when you remove their heads and an be poisoned. Skeletons, not really. So undead would be a much more threatening enemy group in general (as they should be!). Apart from skeletons, this would also include some zombies (and those would die when their heads are gone!), ghouls, vampires and lich-wizards.
  • Once I get open world or some forest-like locations, I could also have some beasts and animals. Didn't put much thought into this yet, although such a body part based game is really asking for a hydra with multiple heads to be in it.
  • Summoners. So this would be more of an enemy archetype that could probably be found in many variants across multiple dungeons, but that would require some AI tweaks to allow more "squad oriented" behaviour so that the summons follow their source. At that point I would probably introduce summoning spells into the game in general, so that the player can also try that.
More item enchants

One of the things I've been thinking about was to get a new batch of enchants that can be rolled for the items, as there are many mechanics which do not get influenced by enchants at the moment: Poison-countering, Healing, Speed boost, Movement speed boost, Aiming/Spell Effect boost... and probably more. On top of that I could add some more interesting enchants, like "Massive Arming Sword" having a big bonus to damage, but a (smaller) penalty to aiming.

Rare items

This can mean many things, but having taken a lot of inspiration for Diablo, I will have some more powerful items for the player to find, with some rarity system. Will probably have both items which are a result of multiple enchants being applied randomly, as well as some more pre-defined items which will not divert too far from some schema. Nothing too fancy, as ToME does the same thing already, but it's definitely something I want to have.

Rare enemies

These guys will be more powerful versions of normal enemies, and will also work nicely if I am going to implement those rare items mentioned above. Best chance of getting said items would be rare enemies, and they would feel even more powerful due to the way item drops work in Dungeonlike - enemies drop the items they are using. So to get an "armor of immortality" you would first need to kill its previous owner.

Room-based dungeons

This is a bit more in-depth kind of thing, but I think it can add a lot to the game and it is partially finished. For a long time, all enemies were spawned by placing them randomly on a finished level map. This was very sub-optimal as RNG would sometimes give you a level which mostly has empty rooms and crowded rooms, so you get odds stacked incredibly against you. Current implementation already uses the concept of a room for spawning, but I want to push that further. I want to have "themed" rooms which might have different shape (not every room needs to be a square),  or some specific enemies and loot (eg. Armory room or Granary room), or maybe even be a seat for this level's captain (and that could hold rare enemies mentioned above). This could also allow stuff like trap rooms or rooms with puzzles, and of course vaults with some deadly monsters and really cool loot.

AI using consumables

That one is pretty obious. AI does not use consumables at the moment, which is primary reason for why they don't drop consumables as well, apart from non-combat ones. I really don't like the idea of an Orc Infernalist dying due to having no mana, with a mana potion in his bag. Once I get the AI to actually use stuff like potions and scrolls, it will make way more sense for them to have those in the first place. It should also make them far more surprising, if that half-tired warrior suddenly pops a potion of vigor and starts to pummel you mercilessly.

Composite spells

The game already features a spell designer, but its functionality is quite limited. I based that entire idea off what I recall existing in TES: Morrowind, and one of the cooler things you could do with spells in there was to actually combine multiple spells into a single one to save time. This would be even more useful in a turn-based game as this one, so it's definitely a must-have. The game already expects to encounter such situation, but having this work without buggy behaviour will probably be a big adventure in coding. I think I'd rather get more dungeons and enemies first and worry about such gimmicks a bit later on.

Stealth, rogues, traps and hidden rooms

I've had this in the back of my head for a long time, and I probably get to it soon. So I already have a semi-finished visiblity system which i scrapped on the last second before release due to missing features and horrible imbalance. But the game definitely needs some sneaking mechanics. I also think that this entire area of "stealth", once introduce, will pull traps into the game, as this would be something that a rogue would be very good at detecting and countering in general. And once I get those done properly, I can also do something about all the hidden rooms that are practically impossible to find at the moment, unless you aimlessly try to "Search" from any possible position within the dungeon. And of course, once you can sneak and backstab your enemies, you can rest assured that I would already have implemented enemies who can treat you the same way.

Aggressive consumables

To make life of the abovementioned rogues easier, I was thinking about introducing consumables which can be used directly within combat. At the moment we got semi-functional poison darts, but I was thinking about some stuff like vials of dragonfire, blinding powder, thrown knives/shurikens and so on. Maybe even scrolls which contain aggressive spells, to add even more variety. This would of course mean that the AI would also be able to use those, making combat far more unpredictable.

Item deterioration

I kind of dislike the fact that once you get all the items you want, eg. all the high-tier armor, there really isn't anything to do with your gold anymore. So, in a way, you are "done". Something I am considering (but not really convinced myself) is to make items require repairs after being used for a time, so that wearing expensive armor when going into a dungeon is sort of an investment, because if things go south, the armor would require a lot of money to repair, which sucks if you went to a low-level dungeon with low rewards. This of course is taken from the perspective of open world + many dungeons, where every dungeon is an expedition, but it could work even in current setting, considering how easy it is now to just sell all loot from a given dungeon level and become rich quickly.

Thanks!

I was hoping that my replies would be reachable by the notification system, but apparently it just blocks all access to the "comment world" if community section is enabled, how harsh.

And no, the game is just an evening/weekend thing for me.  I got a full time job as a software tester. But who knows, maybe one day... :D

Created a new topic Bug Catcher's Lounge

Hello Dungeoneers!

If Dungeonlike crashes during gameplay or does something very fishy (like making your items disappear), let me know below. All I usually need to debug an issue is a short description of what happened just before the game went haywire, and the .log file which has been created during the crash within your game folders, under Logs. You can post your bug together with the contents of the log file here,  send me a message on Facebook or shoot an email at sheriour@gmail.com. 

(Edited 1 time)

Hi all!

I figured that I'd much rather have an actual community/forum section under the game than a simple comment zone, especially that some of the reply chains have already become quite long and therefore difficult to read and follow with the way comments are handled on itch.io. On top of that, I really want to have a much more useful tool for stuff like development roadmaps, bug reporting, community-driven ideas and all the goodies that such a forum section can allow.

 This shift unfortunately means that all comments which have been posted up till now will be hidden by the system. Not much I can do about it, I don't think I can convert them into community threads.


(Edited 1 time)

Thanks!

Nah, I got a full time job in an unrelated field (automation testing in telephony, a bit less exciting). This is just a project I fiddle around with on evenings and weekends mostly. 

But you know, one day maybe :D.

This does sound serious. I could get that confirmation popup implemented quite easily now that I think about it - after any player attack/spell the game can just check if the attack is harmful and if the player is among the affected targets, then ask for confirmation. Could be optional as well, if somebody likes using AOE and does not mind hitting himself.

Elona is one of the three main inspirations for my game, ad this will get more and more visible as time goes on. Although I won't go as far as introducing etherwind and playing blackjack with a luck buff received from a loaf of bread to get potions of cure corruption, the entire idea of "fantasy sim" is on the horizon.

The particular thing you are talking about though... I didn't think about such approach. I had in mind the idea of player undergoing mutations as game progresses, but having such "custom race maker" does sound VERY interesting.

Yea, I know it's quite a bother to get all loot into the shops at the moment, but let's say - for now - that it is the price that us greedy hoarders need to pay in order to just sell everything we find :D. It's  amazing (psychologically speaking) how the game suddenly feels that it "forces" you to gather and sell loot, even though it does not give you that huge of an advantage and is a totally an optional path. And yet I do find myself creating loot-chests in the middle of a level, to later take everything out of them, use Town Portal and sell all the stuff. 

I do agree that for the games you've mentioned, the solutions were spot-on, but somehow I would not feel content with either (even though I love both games - Crawl was the first RL I played, while ToME was probably the one I sunk most hours into). I might go with something like "there is a special cheap scroll that lets you instantly sell all items on the ground and get 50% their worth". So if I implement some quick-selling system, it will need to have a trade-off against manual haul like that.

Yea, townsfolk are generally very crude when it comes to their AI in the first place, and I still don't have dynamic faction/attitude switching, so currently NPC's can't move their attitude towards player between allied-neutral-hostile, it's all kind of written in stone. But I didn't want to have an unpopulated ghost town just because this feature is not there yet, so there you have it, the town of defensless sheep. Enjoy your murderous tendencies while you can, Joseph the Ripper.

Sheesh, I need to start writing shorter posts. Btw, I might at some point change this comment section into a full-blown community forum (Itch.io has that option), but that will wipe all existing conversations, which I am not really happy about... :/

What version of Windows are you using? This will not run on stuff older than Vista (I tried on XP SP3 with no results). The game also needs .NET Framework 4.5 or later, so maybe that is missing (though I would expect a clear indication/error of that).

And yea, I can place them in a single folder within the archive, that is probably a clean way to do it.

Well, this does sound interesting for a project with complex shapes, but pixel-perfect is not going to be an issue in a tile based game. Getting those thousands of text lists to support the mouse will be!

Oh, I think I know what you are trying to do. You are trying to open the Dungeolike.exe itself with WinRar, aren't you?

WinRar is just a program for unpacking archives, so all you need to do now is right-click that dungeonlike.rar file and choose either "extract here" or "extract..." to make the files unacked from the archive. This will create a new folder and unpack all the files from the archive there. Then you just navigate to the Dungeonlike.exe file normally in that new folder (no need for WinRar at this point anymore) and just double click the Dungeonlike.exe file in there.

Are you trying to run the file directly, or having an issue once it is unpacked? This is a rar archive so you might need a program like WinRar or 7zip (or any equivalent) to unpack it first into a folder, then run the Dungeonlike.exe from there.

Yea, I think I managed to reproduce it by taking all the weapons off and having no spells learned and no custom attacks defined, then moving into an enemy (this brings up the attacks menu, which becomes a tiny empty box in the topleft corner - something that should be fixed as well with some "you have no usable attacks" info). If you then press Enter, the game actually tries to look up the chosen attack... and fails miserably, as nothing is chosen. I was sure I protected the window against this scenario, but apparently I didn't. What a rookie mistake.

Nice idea with variable currency amounts dictated by difficulty level, will probably do something along these lines!

Tutorial window will have  the "stop asking me about this" option in next version, already got it written.

That crash looks very serious! E is just a hotkey and I've tried everything my imagination allowed me to and still could not get it to crash.  Can you send me the contents of Logs folder in the game to sheriour@gmail.com, so I can investigate?

Wow, that is a lot of valuable feedback! 

  • Will think of something to get diagonals working without numpad. I was thinking about having rebindable controls for the main game part of the interface, might put that higher on my list.
  • Clunky control in the character creation is an issue I am aware of. I guess I could allow some quicker movement/assignment with the Ctrl key pressed, as I do in some other areas of the UI. So pressing ctrl+arrow would instantly put 10 points in Strength, or 5 points in a chosen skill etc.
  • Specifically about the part when you choose your weapons, that is quite frankly a placeholder. Once I get shops and currency up and running, you will be able to choose your entire starting item set, with armor pieces and consumables, during character creation.
  • With respect to character creation in general, at some point there will be starting "Classes" for the player to choose from (presets of stats, skills, full item loadouts), and current creation system will become an optional "Customize" way of doing it . In that situation I could also allow the player to save his custom loadout as a new custom Class, which then he could use on future runs.
  • Not much that I can currently do in way of graphics, as I am just using free tiles and I'm a horrible artist myself.
  • The player tile issue, that is the one I cannot do much about due to the reason above. I also plan on having a ton of races to choose from at some point and I'm not even sure if I will have a distinct tileset for each of them at my disposal, so filtering by race might be a problem. 
  • Viewing enemy health. Good idea with that key showing all nearby enemies damaged BPs. Currently you can press L and then navigate around and highlight the enemies you are interested in, but that is still clunky. A "bulk view" feature does sound tempting.
  • Random name generator... That sounds like a fun thing I could implement at some point. Could have one for the attacks/spells as well once I am at it. But that is far from a priority I feel.

So yea... "at some point", "eventually" and "in the future" are a very common phrase in here, but I definitely can prioritise some of these things. I am slowly starting to look into mouse support, but it's one of those things I fear that might just become a  huge project in itself, delaying everything else.

Again, many thanks for taking your time to raise all of these points!

Thanks for the kind words!

What problems in particular do you have in mind? Maybe I can tackle some of them in the next version. And if they're the "big" sort of problems, I would love to know in advance what to keep my eyes on.