The State of the Dungeon

I have answers for a few questions that may be kicking around. Read on! (And here’s an image of various skill icons to distract you.)


So how is Dredmor coming along?

More slowly than we hoped, but steadily.

The game is making incredible progress that leaves us feeling much better about our finished product. We do want to release the best product we can as reasonably quickly as possible and we’re fixing all the horrible crash bugs (and polishing many little rough spots, particularly finicky UI issues). All major features are in, but a few small ones are trickling through because the gameplay suggests some good fits.

If we’re to be charging money for a product, we want to make sure it’s worth it to you. Yes, waiting sucks, and scooting deadlines back is ridiculous (and all too common), but I assure you it is better that we do it this way.

When will Dredmor be released?

Before Duke Nukem Forever. That’s one we’re definitely sticking too. Thankfully, they make it easy for us 🙂

Or more specifically: Within a month. We’re actually “pulling the lever” within a week. That is, we’re starting the process of release (that sound you hear is inevitability); we are assembling our fleet of Business Acumen to make this all happen.

So: Dredmor shall be released in the merry month of May.

Will there be pre-orders?


This depends a good bit on whatever deal happens with whatever distribution method we use. If it’s plausible and worthwhile, we’ll do it.

We could have attempted to push pre-orders earlier in development but it didn’t feel like the right move for a number of reasons. A good part of this is that we want to be as sure as possible to be able to put a full and playable product into the hands of our customers when they give us their money.

(We do, however, badly want to investigate Minecraft-style pre-order access to builds during development for future games. It’d be a more stable income stream for us, it’s make for a more community-involved development process, and it’d be Fun. We’ll see how it ends up. We did not do this with Dredmor because it is a much fuller experience when you get the dynamic that arises from the interaction between a lot of game mechanics in operation with each other. And there’s a lot of other stuff we’d do differently anyway, but that’s for the post-mortem.)

So what are the latest details with the Dredmor Beta?

We’re putting a lot of work into v0.94.2 which we shall be sending to some press/blogs/random people as well as to some people on our presently unused beta mailing list (which is primed!). This is also probably the version that’ll prove to distributors that we’re on the verge of product release, so it is indeed important to kill all the crashes and put a bit of polish into it.

This version should be done within the week. And what’s in it?

  • Working Save/Load that doesn’t close every previously-opened door in the dungeon in a creepy Poltergeist-like manner.
  • Added yet more monsters with yet more finely?-tuned spell-effect powers. The snow spell that is fired off when fighting Ice Golems is really quite delightful.
  • Crafting skills which behave so now you can actually make drill-bolts and spring-loaded power cores
  • The mighty return of The Lutefisk Cube!
  • Meaningful difficulty levels (which I’ll do a post about very soon)
  • Many custom-scripted rooms with Fun Surprises. This is a neat system which I should also write a post about.
  • Teleporters no longer send you to a forever-alone void in the corner of the map.
  • Potions can no longer shoot bolts.
  • Heroic Vandalism!
  • Krong, the god of anvils, may be slightly kinder to newcomers.


If you, dear readers, have any more questions you’d like to ask, feel free to leave them in the comments and our Question Answering Team will get back to you as soon as possible.

Note also that we finally have a crude contact email address on the bottom of the sidebar you see to your right, if you feel compelled to write us a strongly-worded letter.

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

19 Responses to “The State of the Dungeon”

  1. Lekon says:

    I love it when a game comes together.

    And looks like DoD’s almost there. What’s Heroic Vandalism though? Graffiti Viking Style?

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  2. AdminDavid Baumgart says:

    Heroic Vandalism: Property destruction in the name of Justice! (also experience rewards).

    Or to explain the mechanic, it’s to reward objective-destruction to give some alternative means of progress from pure combat grind which, though amusing enough in Dredmor, is generally (in my opinion) over-used and often boring.

    So yeah, I’d love for it to be a viable strategy to sneak past most monsters and traps and knock off important objectives to advance experience so that the game can become a tactics puzzle if you want to play your cards like that. Not sure how well this will work or how reasonably balanced it will be, but at least we’re going to introduce the necessary elements for this sort of gameplay.

    (There are currently experience rewards for trap-disarming, and we’re adding it for lockpicking chests and doors. Also looking into experience rewards for successful crafting skill use, practical theology perhaps, and maybe a few other things… )

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  3. Stranger says:

    Will there be a 64bit Linux release?

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    • Short answer: “Maybe.”

      Longer answer: “Sure, but only if you’re okay with an EXE where you can’t save. Fortunately, this is a roguelike.”

      Longest answer:

      I’m still looking into this one.

      Dredmor itself is a very, very 32-bit application. We started developing it back in about 2005 or so, before this 64-bit thing took off. As a result, we use standard ANSI C types without bit-size qualifiers, and there are going to be a few places in the game where this will cause a 64 bit executeable to just blow up. If we simply built Dredmor with the 64-bit compiler flags and tried to run it, save games certainly wouldn’t work, and I’d also say it’s a safe bet that the animation loader will die horribly as well.

      Ultimately, it depends on two factors. The first is demand, and the second is how much time this is going to take. The plan is to get the first release out the door as soon as we can, and that will mean that we will ship a 32-bit ELF, same as on OS X and Windows. Then, we can look into the 64-bit situation to see if it’s worth doing a native build. If this is something where I can patch it in a couple of days and get an ELF out the door that is 64-bit, then I’m okay with that. If it’s going to be two months of pain, suffering, and grumbling at Icculus, then it will depend on what percentage of the Linux using, game buying population wants a 64-bit build and is incapable of getting the compatibility mode working. The other deal-breaker will be external libraries. I think SDL is pretty good about such things, but I don’t know about its dependencies. I’m also not confident that our XML parser will be happy being recompiled as a 64-bit application. So you may have to end up just lumping it and using ia32-libs.

      On a side note: back when I was working for Loki in 2000, we got requests for builds of things like Civ:CTP on PPC machines, DEC/Alphas, and all sorts of other ridiculous requests. (Various forms of BSD?) Despite a very vocal minority of people who wanted these things, the actual majority of Loki’s clientele bought the x86 versions of the products and used them cheerfully and happily. The existence of PPC ports of Civ:CTP and so on and so forth has more to do with the fact that certain Hacker-Minded Individuals thought it would be a fun way to spend a couple of weeks as opposed to anything that made business sense. (Then again, who knows? Loki is out of business.)

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  4. Kame says:


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    • AdminDavid Baumgart says:

      The only answer I can reasonably give here is that we can’t/aren’t going to say anything specific about distribution services until we get the go-ahead from our Business Acumen team. The ball is in their court on this, or whatever.

      But somehow, someday, Dredmor will be available on Windows, OSX, and Linux.

      { reply }
  5. Jeff Craig says:

    This is all very exciting, but I do have a question re: ‘custom-scripted rooms with Fun Surprises’.

    Is Dredmor being designed to be extensible? In this specific case, will I be able to create my own evil rooms to share with other players? Given that I assume that dungeons are mostly procedurally generated (as is the norm with Roguelikes) being able to randomly subject other players to my own evil sounds fun.

    { reply }
    • AdminDavid Baumgart says:

      Yes, you can Make Your Own Evil in the form of rooms (and items, monsters and spells to hide in them) by editing XML files that contain all of this gameplay data.

      I don’t know that mod support will be super friendly upon release. Ideally we’d use a mod directory system that allows you to drop extensions in separate mod folders. It depends on how everything works out with what Nicholas has time to do as we ramp up to launch, so this may have to be a post-release feature (and if it is, I’ll draw ya’all a pile of hats to make the wait feel better).

      But we definitely want to make it easy for modders to extend Dredmor’s content and share the Fun with others.

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  6. Stranger says:

    *begins hunt for suitable 32 bit distro to dual-boot just for Dredmor*

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  7. Chojiro says:

    Regarding difficulty levels, will they or a separate feature allow the user to increase the entropy of the RNG, and thus the maximum “level” of enemies/items/traps/etc that can appear at any given time?

    I know the increasing both the banes and boons upon a player doesn’t really affect the difficulty, but I’m sure it does affect the “Fun”.

    { reply }
    • Entropy in what sense?

      { reply }
      • Okay, okay, I get it. you can’t change the “entropy” per se; item and monster distributions are governed by a box-muller transformation that produces a random normal curve around a selected level, and you can adjust that curve’s parameters in an XML file if you want.

        Also, yes, all the difficulty stuff is in an XML file. You can change it if you want to change things.

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        • Chojiro says:

          Very nice. I can’t wait to take a poke at it after I get acquainted.

          Altogether, you seem pretty smitten with XML. I have to wonder what CAN’T be changed using it.

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  8. Stranger says:

    Business acumen is keenness and quickness in understanding and dealing with a business situation in a manner that is likely to lead to a good outcome. (Wikipedia)

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  9. sym says:

    I can’t wait any longer. Take my money now!

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  10. Pingback: TuxPlay – Linux Games » Dungeons of Dredmor – premiera w maju bez wersji 64 bitowej

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