• izzy

    Posts: 23

    Joined: 1st Apr, 2015 9:15pm

    Breaking the silence

    This was a quite long time for us being silent, and not posting any news. If there was any suspicion that we abandoned the project let me state first one thing: I do finish all my projects and this project will be finished for sure. Sooner or later is yet to be seen, but it will be definitely brought to the end.

    A lot happened meanwhile, most important was the outbreak off the Covid which affected as severely and brought us unpleasant changes to our tables. This project is more of a side project which doesn’t bring any income to the table yet, so most of our incomes came from various contracts I am getting during the year. Usually, these are bigger projects that tend to last for several years, and I got in a habit of leaning toward those bigger projects, neglecting the smaller ones.

    When the Covid happened I wasn’t worried at all. We live isolated and I am working remotely for almost a decade and a half. I thought that this shouldn’t be a big difference. What a wrong assumption it was!

    After a month all of my bigger partners stepped back and put on hold all of my projects. 

    I was shocked. I have overlooked one important piece of information, that is these projects were based on society members that go out and meet in person, and when future markets closed down their public services, the project became meaningless. In one week I was without any running project, practically stripped-down of any income. 

    Luckily other projects came into the view and after usually hassle with contracts and NDA I was back on track again. But unfortunately, this project as being huge and complex took away a big chunk of my daily time.

    This led to a slowdown in the development of DoE. My plan to release the alpha version in a half year fell into the water.  I could get free time to work on it. Meanwhile, I got proposals for quite a few other projects which I with heartache rejected. And there were few quite interesting ones involving AI and robotics. Again, can’t say anything about it because of NDA but those would be ones I would gladly work on. Months were passed and I am finally finding again some free time to work on DoE. I am able to spend a fraction of my time on the game, but not as much as I would like to. I get few hours a day before sleep, and during weekends. A bit slow to my taste but at least it is steady progress.

    This is why there was a slowdown in progress for a year. 

    Actually, the situation is not that grim :) Various new features will be included in the next version which is so to say - right behind the next corner. Currently, we have a mix of approximately 90 different tweaks, bug fixes, and new features in the core and ASCII game and 40 other issues fixed for the HD version.

    There are a few more issues that need to be done for me to reach the Alpha 9.8 milestone, so I can call it done and release it.

    One of the biggest changes included in the next release is removing hunger & thirst as a painful clock that was planned as a ticker that will push the player forward. To be honest it didn’t turn out as it was planned to be. Players dying from thirst and hunger is not fun gameplay. Although there were nice death options involved with food, like my favorite one: a “bacon eater” death. There was a slight possibility in certain conditions that players could die by eating a slice of bacon. 

    Since this was the only funny moment of food eating, I needed to admit that hunger and thirst was a complete failure.

    So it got removed from the game. Food and water got a nice new function. Food is increasing health and water is decreasing fatigue. Some foods do both, like melons, because melon is juicy fruit full of liquid. 

    For eating and drinking to work as planned, another new feature is introduced. Buffs that are in effect for a certain time, and giving effect on every tick. When a player is eating food, for example, eating will increase health by 1 point every few turns, until the food is consumed. The player can walk around while eating, but if a player gets into the combat the buff will end, and the player will be left with partially consumed food.

    This feature led to removing of camping as well. There was no need of sleeping to gain health and reduce health. The game got more dynamic and tactical, and much funnier to play. So I think this was the right move.

    Learning powers are done the same way. You get a debuff that upon reaching the end will grant you a new learned power. Quite simple and elegant.

    There is another problem with removing camping, that is there are certain buffs/debuffs that last until the player gets to sleep. One of them is Casting Fatigue which is a bane for spell casters. With each stack of Casting Fatigue player gets an increased spell failure effect, which is quite good in some situations. Like missing the enemies players will gain experience to that one specific spell. Which after some time will get upgraded to a better version. But of course, there is a downside of it, players can get killed more easily. 

    Currently, there is a task of adding shrines to the game that will upon praying or sacrifice remove all disadvantageous effects. Still in progress.


    And one of the most wanted features is done, saving games. This one was bugging me for quite some time but it is finally done. The first versions of the save game got saved persistent levels to 100MB per level which was one big ouch. After optimizations, the final size of the save game file went down to few kilobytes. 

    And when the next release will be ready? To be honest I don’t know :) there are few missing tasks like expanding power failure effects, gliders functionality, a few modifications and checks, expanding of HD with new content and that’s it. In a normal working cycle it would be done in a week, then tested for another week, and released at that point.

    But unfortunately, that’s not the case, and the development phase will be expanded probably to more than a month. We will see.

    HD version is more interesting here, I have some ideas on how to speed up the development. Pre-release in the current state is not yet possible. I am still missing few enemies renders, not every action has a sound, and only a human female is playable at the moment. Although there are no known critical bugs in the HD version I don’t think that the game is ready for Early Access, yet.

    New versions will be available on Mac again, on M1 and on Intel ones as well, Windows, and now quite probably on Linux. I was not sure if I can make it work on Linux, but this task now seems certainly doable.

    • izzy

      Posts: 23

      Joined: 1st Apr, 2015 9:15pm

      Re: Breaking the silence

      And here is an image as a bonus to two exact same spots in the game one in ASCII and second in HD.

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