The Sound of Progress

Version 0.93 of Dungeons of Dredmor just hit our stream of beta testers. We are exhausted, but happy, having resolved one hundred and eighty six bugs and minor TODOs since the start of the new year. Will we hit our April deadline? No idea, but I think we’ll go gold some time in April and it will take a little while to get the distributors sorted out. Famous last words.

This week, the plan is to deal with 0.93.1 (bugfixes for 0.93 – including, finally, the mysterious thrown weaponry crash that has been plaguing David’s father! – and anything that comes up in the immediate feedback for 0.93), hopefully by Friday, and then onwards to 0.94 (“higher level gameplay”, which as far as I am concerned means adding in a batch of new sound effects, making a number of improvements to monster AI, and trying to deal with our unpleasantly large memory footprint. I don’t know why it’s gotten so large recently – probably, it just means that we’ve been adding stuff – and now I get the unpleasant task of trying to retrofit the game with a garbage collector for sprite memory. Lessons learned…)

I’m very happy with this latest release; I find myself using things that I didn’t previously use, relying on skills and magic to save the day instead of simply trying to collect six artifacts and beating the tar out of monsters with a fistful of fireball-shooting amulets. A new smattering of interesting, entertaining traps – most of which shoot lightning – makes the dungeon more dangerous. Buying and selling gives you somewhere to dump your stuff, and there’s lots of random stuff to have fun with. Players are actually enjoying themselves, without us needing to pump them full of drugs.

The newest problem? The game is *too easy*.

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