There is known crashing due to problems with the SDL sound library or something. Nicholas is chained to his work station with a coffee IV (Foul Liqueur of Yog Sothoth!) and is enjoying the effects of The Motivation Stick. Ye shall receive another patch post-haste.
Cynical Brit / Total Biscuit
… did a lovely video for Dredmor. Check it out:
Wonderful stuff! (By the way, his Blade Being spell kept going to random squares because he targeted a monster directly – if you do that, the spell will get pushed off to a random tile.)
Feature Request FAQ and Other Nonsense
Priority #1 is fixing crash bugs so that everyone can enjoy the game. Full stop.
Moving along, someone [MisterS42; thanks!] set up up a “uservoice” page thing for people to bug us and vote on what they most want from Dredmor. Check it out here.
I shall address the issues raised there, in order of votes, as best I can now.
1: Change the appearance of the Player’s sprite based on what they have equipped
This is absolutely nontrivial and a nearly ubiquitous point raised.
The short answer: I’m very sorry, but it is nearly impossible.
The long answer: Well, let me explain how the animation works.
The player sprite was beautifully drawn by Bryan Rathman and has around 250 unique frames of animation. To repeat, every frame was drawn by (digital) hand by one guy in the old Lucasarts style – they were not generated from a 3d model like all the sprites in the Diablo series, back to Diablo 1 (which only had 3 unique armour sprite sets per character plus weapon variations). Similarly I believe Ultima Online also generated the base art for sprites from 3d models then had a team of artists touch them up by hand, and these would be assembled paperdoll style by the game.
Terraria, by contrast, uses an extremely lo-fi style with sprites about 1/2th the size of Dredmor and a side view — this means they cover roughly 1/4th the area and they only need to draw one directional variation (which is mirrored for left vs. right movement) rather than three direction variations (up, down, left/right) like Dredmor. Further, each animation sequence in Terraria is perhaps 4 frames rather than the 6 to 12 that each Dredmor sequence is.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but this means they’ve only got to do about 1/24th the work that we require for a sprite — and due to the low-fi early Final Fantasy style, even less because they can overlay an object or hat without having to have it match the motion of the character in-frame.
Okay: So I’ve established that Dredmor sprites are a lot of work.
We’ve also got hundred of unique equipment items. If we made a unique sprite set for each one, even using paperdolling effects, we’re looking at upwards of a hundred thousand frames of animation. Tell that to an artist and watch their head explode. Tell it to an animation studio and you’ll get a quote for millions of dollars. The best solution would be to cut down item categories to a few generic sets of animation like Diablo 1/2 did – for example, a light/medium/heavy/robe armour, and maybe two or three levels per weapon. We’re still looking at a sub-optimal solution along with tens of thousands frames of animation. For that budget, you might as well make a new game which just uses 3d models for the character. And if we did it all again (with funding behind the game this time), maybe we would.
(Whether using the animation style we used was a good idea in the first place might be a good issue to discuss in a post-mortem, but at least I can blame Nicholas for that decision: All the monster and hero animation was done before I was involved in Dredmor. It’s every single other thing in the game that I drew. But I don’t mean to be too hard on him; the nature of Dredmor changed radically over the course of its development. There should be a blog post on this soon if Nicholas isn’t driven mad by crash fixes.)
I would, however, like to get at least a sprite for a female player character in an expansion.
2: UI Scaling
We’ll look into a quick way to double the UI size for super high resolutions. The max resolution I personally tested on was generally 1600ish wide (you can see this in many of the Dredmor screenshots I’ve posted). We intentionally developed the game to hit a minimum display size of 1024×600, for netbook users, and Dredmor was even initially targeting a fixed 800×600 size (gods help us). This focus on hitting the min spec means we missed out a bit on what the high-end gamers would choose to play the game on.
3. Add more skill trees
Will do! We’ve got lots planned, and have plans to expand existing skill lines.
4. Add More Achievements
We’re on it. From the art side, I believe 36 icons are ready to go and a bunch more are planned. These are a piece of cake.
5. Hot Keys for quick Item Management [and general UI upgrades]
After killing the crashes and easier feature requests, we’ll get started on a list of UI upgrades that have been brought up. Using items off the ground, a quick-sell button, numpad movement, walking-to-use/attack/open, crafting tool hotkeys, more moveable UI windows, and other things are quite reasonable.
6. Add More Loot
Easy. I plan to add tons of loot – we just need to do the modding system first.
And a couple more points:
- Multiplayer: Dredmor was coded from the ground up to be a single player game. The entire game would need to be redone to support multiplayer, and the game mechanics themselves cannot support multiplayer without either being really annoying to play or requiring massive changes. This would be a different game. Maybe for Gaslamp’s next game.
- Wall Transparency: Dredmor’s renderer/tile system/map system would require a massive overhaul to support this. It’s simply not reasonable, but we’re willing to investigate similar solutions. It’s a known design flaw.
- Modding: It’s coming soon. And I’m going to start writing some guides on here for all you modders out there.
- Minimap: Is going to receive an upgrade to show shrines, uberchest, and other important things better.
- The Combat Log: Should be scrollable and more informative when we get to upgrading it.
- Steam Overlay: Looking in to this one. It’d be quite ideal to get this working.
But hey, keep letting us know what you’d like us to add to Dredmor! (And what we ought to fix, too.)
Oh, boy. Okay. All that said, I certainly don’t have time to do a comic today, and I doubt I can write that post on modding — the success of Dredmor and followup this requires from the Gaslamp team is throwing our schedules off track. But then don’t take that as a complaint – massive success is just the sort of problem we want to have!
I’d also like to give a huge thank you to all you fans who bought the game – you’ve made our dreams come true. And I thank you for your patience as we work through the issues with launch. We’ll definitely be doing lots of free content releases for you to enjoy.
So go have fun, and beware the Diggles.