State of the Dredmor

You know what? I didn’t get ANY Sewer Brew for my birthday. Not a drop. That means I’m now programming sober for the first time in ten years. Watch out, people.

A recent post from the SomethingAwful Forums states, “Well, I went to check up on Dungeons of Dredmor, but there’s been no new release information.” Well, something to that effect, anyhow, and the post wasn’t all that recent. I think it was in November. So here’s the state of the union. As a bonus, I’ve taken a few more WIP Screenshots showing off some of the new systems, which we will shove in a new post.

So, we haven’t released yet. We thought we were close, but we made two decisions which slowed us down. The first was to implement support for resolutions larger than 800×600. Was it the correct decision? Absolutely. Are we still dealing with issues related to this – art touchups and the like? You betcha. I think we’re out of screens that are broken, but David still has go through and finish a bunch of newer, high-resolution artwork, and we are still reducing items to lo-color… the fun never ends. The second decision we made was to rewire the combat model. As part of this, we added FIFTEEN damage types (crushing, slashing, blasting, piercing, hyperborean, conflagratory, voltaic, toxic, righteous, necromantic, acidic, putrefying, transmutative, aethereal, asphyxiative, and existential) to make weapons more fun, and we rewrote a huge chunk of the damage code to make this model work. In fact, we substantially rejiggered the combat model after testing it on a bunch of Excel spreadsheets. We also made the decision to expose some of the damage model to the player in the user interface. This means the death of one of my original design goals for Dredmor – producing a roguelike without visible numbers – but it seems to be necessary.

We’re still recovering from these things. I just about have our bug count under control again, but I’m still implementing new features and re-doing the skills. Once we get down to just bugs again, we’ll pull the trigger on our exciting pre-order program and we’ll let you put some cash in our hands.

This is reflective of the larger nature of game development, by the way. Most commercial game development operates on the same principle as we have: you iterate over your features and UI problems until you get it right, and then you ship. The problem with AAA game development is that the number of iterations you need is unknown; however, the time line for the project is fixed. This is why I’ve sworn off of doing AAA titles, despite the fact that people keep waving money at me; now, I get to just frustrate my customers by not announcing release dates.

I’m still going to try to beat Duke Nukem Forever, though.

Posted in Dungeons of Dredmor, Game Design | Tagged , ,

2 Responses to “State of the Dredmor”

  1. Brian says:

    Interesting stuff, especially the currently eclectic range of damage types. :waves placard for Sonic as a Harmonica that somehow kills would seem a good fit:

    { reply }
  2. Daynab says:

    Existential damage? Does it make the enemies ponder on the meaning of life? 😛
    In all seriousness I like the concept of so many different types.

    { reply }

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