Answering Unasked Questions

I figure it would be useful to take some time to address some points of speculation raised in various forums. Oh yes, we read what you write. Wherever Dungeons of Dredmor is mentioned, we’re all over that. (Thanks Google.) But enough faffing about, I’m going to respond to a few points raised out in the Internetlands.

Well … one more bit of faffing around first.


Those eyebrows are out of this world.

“What’s up with the eyebrows?”

They took on a life of their own. Originally the eyebrows were fairly large due to making art based on up-sizing the Hero sprite whose features were necessarily exaggerated to be visible in tiny pixel art form. Then from there … oh, from there they just grew and grew. I think we thought it was funny to make them bigger. It’s like how wizards and Russian politicians have huge eyebrows because they’re so powerful. We were drinking a lot of coffee; it made sense.

You get used to it. Takes time.

(And about FLCL: Our eyebrows showed up before I’d heard of FLCL. I’m not an anime/manga guy at all so this similarity had to be pointed out to me.)

“Is there Permadeath?”

Yes. It is an option you can enable.

“Why is this game so silly?”

It just happened this way. Maybe it’s just the chemistry our team has together. Granted though, the game was probably made from the start to have some levity to it — see the monster animations as a starting point. We rolled with it.

Really, the silliness is probably due to three guys being stuck in a basement with piles of caffeinated drinks and listening to totally awesome fantasy metal.

“Is it just a silly game without gameplay?”

I assure you, we’ve got some neat mechanics going on. Judging from the testers, hardcore rpg players seem to be enjoying themselves. And dying a lot, hah! I think we’re pretty solid on the gameplay side of things, just need to fill out some content. What worries me now is making all of these mechanics comprehensible to players who are not as familiar with the roguelike/CRPG genres, so we’re doing lots of UI additions and polish.

And to speak for myself on the matter of gameplay: Frankly, I’d hate to make a boring game that had no substance and I can’t stand grindy rpgs that substitute artificial scarcity and delay for meaningful gameplay — I am of the opinion that gameplay should be engaging, interesting, and involve making tactical decisions. It should be intellectually engaging, I mean. Further, gameplay should be its own reward, not a labour that one must undertake for something else, be it “rare” items or achievements or locked-up narrative advancement.

We play games for playing games, right?

“Are there keyboard controls or is it only mouse controlled?”

A combination of both. You can do everything with a mouse but you can’t do everything with a keyboard. I prefer to use keyboard controls for movement and quick item/spell selection while I use the mouse for item manipulation and attack targeting.

“Is that Guybrush Threepwood?”

Sorta. The artist who drew the hero sprite for Dredmor, Bryan Rathman, was influenced by the art of games like Monkey Island and Quest For Glory.

Have any more questions/suggestions/accusations? Feel free to leave ’em in the comments or send them to our contact email.

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

19 Responses to “Answering Unasked Questions”

  1. rascalpuppyjay says:

    Always watching and waiting, I freaking love the commentary you guys talking about FLCL and such. I’m excited for this game. ^^

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  2. Chojiro says:

    Do you consider “Going Rogue” to be as difficult as other roguelikes usually are? I’ve heard you talk about the difficulties before, but I’m not sure how they compare with the familiar.

    For all I know, it could be harder than most roguelikes. That would be a laugh. A squeaky diggle victory-laugh.

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    • AdminDavid Baumgart says:

      That might be a question for a beta tester with extensive roguelike experience. And I’ll readily admit that I’ve not played roguelikes much at all, though I’ve certainly read a lot about them and their development. (But who has time to play games anymore!)

      I think Dredmor may be a different type of difficulty from classic roguelikes, so it’s a bit of apples and oranges.

      The impression I get is that roguelikes will throw the player into deadly situations without enough information to deal with them or be prepared for them unless the player has died in that situation before (unless they’ve read a guide or wiki or something). So that difficulty is not so much a matter of tactical error as it is ignorance of the solutions to a heck of a lot of special-case problems. Or just unfair insta-deaths. To beat such problems, you have to learn all the special cases – and exploits.

      With Dredmor we try to play a lot more fair in terms of information about the world. A properly cautious player should only die by making the wrong decisions, letting their focus down, or taking too great of a risk.

      Then again, Dredmor has its share of mechanics that must be learned the hard way. It’s not terribly difficult to kill oneself with overuse of black magic, or particular crafted items of mass destruction, or certain random traps, or a class of mostly-invisible monsters …

      Feel free to chime in, beta players!

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  3. Danswan says:

    Will you give out a specific release date? I want to mark the day i can wake up and buy it on my calendar 😀

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    • AdminDavid Baumgart says:

      We’ll let everyone know — friends, enemies, people we don’t know — when we have a solid official you-can-buy-the-game release date.

      This is in the hands of distributor(s) and unfortunately it’s not something we can talk about publicly yet. Hopefully very soon.

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  4. Lebowski says:

    Congrats, it really seems like you have crafted a thing of beauty. And I have not been this excited for a skill list since I read the manual for Baldur’s Gate II while installing it on release day. Was that too nerdy? Probably.

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    • AdminDavid Baumgart says:

      I did the exact same thing with BG2. Heck, I’d randomly read the manual years afterward just ’cause. You’re in good company.

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  5. MJ says:

    Is this still coming out in May?

    And how much will it cost?

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    • AdminDavid Baumgart says:

      The release date for the game depends on distributor(s) and we’re keeping quiet on that ’til we get a go-ahead. To clarify a bit: We have an internal development schedule which we’re quite happy about and then we have a release schedule which, well, we’ll let you know.

      Looking at the calendar, May is looking a good bit less likely, isn’t it. I think our official line is now “Summer 2011”, but I’m hoping to release the game as soon as possible — and I think we’re in a state where just a little crunch to do some real polish, fixing, and a few UI & content upgrades will get us out the door.

      As for cost: “under $10”.

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  6. MJ says:

    Another question;

    Which distributors will you use?

    I’m hoping for Gamersgate, since I’ve all my games from there.

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    • AdminDavid Baumgart says:

      I know it’s a terribly unsatisfying answer, but we can’t talk about specific distributor(s) until our Business Acumen Team does their thing.

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  7. Drew DuPont says:

    That would be awesome boxart.

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    • AdminDavid Baumgart says:

      Problem is, I imagine that KMFDM and Adrian Hughes might have something to say if we used this in any commercial capacity.

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      • Drew DuPont says:

        Oh, I don’t know. It actually reminded me more of the graphic style of Frank Miller. What the hell, Hughes doesn’t own the rights to figure/ground!

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  8. MJ says:

    Is the game expandable/moddable and is there plans to keep updating the game with new content after release?

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    • AdminDavid Baumgart says:

      1. Modding:
      Yes, the game is easily moddable by the same means that we are ourselves making the game content. Almost all game data is held in xml files and most art is in png format (the exception being monster sprites, but there are plans to open that up). To do real justice to modding we want to support mod directories (where you drop all the assets into a folder for the mod then choose which mods to launch at game startup), though this is more likely to be a post-release feature seeing as how we want to concentrate on shipping the core game.

      2. Post-release content:
      Yes, we want to update the game with new content after release. The wisdom of this depends, of course, on the success of the game. The scuttlebutt has it that doing free content packs gives sales spikes, so from that perspective it makes commercial sense. Plus it wouldn’t be that hard, just give me some coffee, Photoshop, and a text editor.

      And we want to give our players lots of love ’cause that’s what it is all about.

      There are of course future projects we want to work on, but they’ll probably require that Nicholas invest some up-front time into engine work so I may have a free hand to draw and script stuff for Dredmor while he’s busy.

      The addition of especially complex game-changing features may justify a paid expansion pack. Maybe. Depends on how things work out and what results we see. We’re open-minded about how to maintain a game, and certainly companies like Valve have experimented with strategies that go against tradition (see Team Fortress 2).

      We’re not interested in things that I feel would insult customers like exclusive content packs for pre-orders or for certain distributors or day-1 DLC or anything like that. – just so we’re clear.

      Anyway, it’s all quite speculative at this point.

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