Dwelvers Alpha v0.6c -------------------- This is a minor bug fix version since the 0.6b version. See the description for more details.
Dwelvers is a real time strategy game inspired by the old time classics Dungeon Keeper and Settlers. The player needs to guide their minions in digging out paths and rooms, and claiming them for themselves, growing their dungeon. The game will be based on creating your minions and keeping them pleased in various ways. Then you will lead them into battle to defeat your enemy and claim victory! The most challenging part for the player will be creating advanced production chains so as to have enough food to keep their creatures well fed, enough weapons and armour to outfit their army as a force to be reckoned with, and of course enough beer to keep them satisfied with you as their master. A drunk minion is a happy minion! The theme of the game will have a lot of dark humour, and each creature will have its own personality, demands and fighting style; forcing the player to handle all the creatures in different ways in order to max out their potential.
I can honestly say that there were some things I was hoping to get finished by now, but it took a little longer than expected, so they will not be presented until next week. But even so, the groundwork has been laid out and now I am starting to see the next release closing in finally :)
So there have been a lot of discussion on this forum about that it is very annoying for the player that he only can send out all creatures or no creatures into battle, my first approce to solve this can be seen in this screenshot:
I started by adding all the creature types that the player own in small little squares in the bottom right, as seen they all have a little yellow flag as a background, this means that a rally flag has been put out for these creatures.
When the player left-click these icons he is able to zoom in on his creatures location one by one very easily. But when he right clicks on the icon the player gets this creature types rally flag to put out somewhere. As the screenshot shows I have put out one rally flag for each creature type, the main reason I wanted to show you a screenshot of all the creatures is because it shows how easy it will be for the player to see what flag attracts what creature. And yes, if the player right-click an creature icon where the rally flag has already been put out then the rally flag will disappear, just like the ordinary rally flag.
In the future I have planned for the player to create and assign creatures to squads, these squads will also have their own rally flags for the player to put out. We have had a rather long discussion about this over here: Forum.dungeondwellers.net
While I was thinking out a location to put the creature icons on I get very annoyed with the currently implemented message system. How it worked was that I had a menu where the player could go in and check all the messages and if he had any, and also there were these quick message icons on the left that just piled up on top of each other so that the player easily could see the last message without having to enter the menu.
What made me annoyed about this is that it looked very un-organized on the screen, and the player was forced to enter the message menu non the less if to many messages started piling up.
So what I did was to remove the message menu from the game and instead have 3 icons on the top right that always is visible and shows if a message has come into that category. So in the top right in the screenshot above you can see "battle messages", "creature messages" and "production messages", the first two are in grayscale as there are no messages there, but there are 2 messages pending in the "production message" category. When holding the mouse over the icon this "frame" will come up:
I figured that if the player are able to toggle between the messages and be able to trash the message or zoom in on the event there are no need for a message menu, because everything can be done from here much more smoothly.
The message menu haven't been trashed yet, it is just disabled, but as long as everything can be managed from these icons I see no reason to enable it again..
For those of you that don't know how it looked before can take a look here: Forum.dungeondwellers.net
As new weapons and armours have started pouring into the game it is time to start getting the production for these organized.
Here we have the updated items menu, I have made some changes to it as you all can see.
Firstly, the info window that comes up when the hand hovers an item has been greatly optimized. Now we see a clear headline, a image of the item, what it is for, in this case what damage it does and finally a little description. Later on when more stats are given to the items these will stats will be shown right below the image where the description text is now and the description text will be moved down below these stats.
The items menu has also gotten some sub-categories, that is "Misc", "Hydraulics", "Consumables", "Weapons" and "Armour". This will make it a lot easier for the player to find the item he or she wants to check out.
The idea I probably will be presenting with the next release is that not all weapons and armours will be visible at first, at first we will have the club and the wooden shield to construct, and to gain knowledge on how to construct other items the player will have to find these either in chests or from enemies that drops them, once the imps has carried these new items to the storage room the player will know how to produce them in the future.
With the new redesign of the items menu I have left some room in the top right where the description text were before. Here the player will be able to control how many weapons or armours of a certain type he wants to construct.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot :P
The hydraulics category in the items menu are reserved for items only used by the hydraulics. Right now I have a Cannonball there, to avoid spamming the cannon against enemies the cannon will only have a limited supply of cannonballs to shoot out. But the good thing here is that once a cannon ball has been shoot out the imps can pick it up and deliver it back to the cannon. One thing I really like about this is that I can probably keep the player being able to click the pressure pads manually if he wants too, but we will see :)
In earlier news I presented the tutorial menu, it looks like this:
In the screenshots above you can see that it is positioned in the top left, and that it can be minimized. I have decided to take this menu one step further, instead of just having tutorials in it I can have mission objectives working in the same way.
These mission objectives will be attached to the level the player is playing, so if the player wants to play the tutorial level he will get the current tutorial objectives, if the player wants to play in sandbox mode he will not be given any mission objectives, and if he wants to play campaign, then the objectives will be endless :)
Right now I have a friend that I went to school with that will take a look into creating a level editor. This is a pretty simple task to start with because it can be externally made and don't have to have any direct connection with the current game engine. The only thing the level editor is supposed to do is to be able to generate levels and replace blocks and finally save the level. Once that is done we will start to look into making it more advanced and that is will be able to support event handling.
It have been a while since the last release, and I am very grateful that you all have been so patience with me :) There have been so much to do, so many minor things here and there that is hardly visible for the player but that plays a big role in the game-play. The modding possibility is almost complete, and adding items and weapons into the game is really easy (according to BurningPet :P), so I really hope this feature will take of and that people will be interested in adding their own made content.
So what is left to do before the next release:
This list is on top of my head and it is really hard for me to set a certain date for when everything will be finished, there is always a lot of stuff hiding behind the curtains, but I hope I will have it all done before the end of this month.
With the next news I will create a more definite list on what is left to do and start checking it off.
That was all the news for this week, so now it is back to work for me :)