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Sundries and Minutiae

First off: as mentioned on a couple of other places, a hotfix was applied to Beta 54, replacing it with “Beta 54a.” This fixes a couple of major crash bugs that were in Beta 54; one of which had to do with the new tooltip system interacting badly with the code that was supposed to provide data to them for characters. I banished this very hastily, although it took me all of Saturday and a good bit of Sunday to figure out how to do it. The other crash bug was me forgetting to save something in the save game file, and the game being reliable enough to… kind of… operate without it. It’s patched up now and so far Beta 54A seems to have been really stable (except for on a few people’s machines; I’m looking into these now.)

bureaucrats

Back when we said “Beta” the indication was that we were shifting towards completing the game and getting it out of Early Access into the next phase, which I guess you would call “Access.” A larger portion of this also involves finishing little stuff that I’ve been putting off and can put off no longer put off. I have been instructed to write about this stuff today.

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Shades of Tofu

[SCENE: The Gaslamp Games Offices. THE NEW OFFICES. DAVID BAUMGART, ART DIRECTOR, enters the Break Room.]

David Baumgart, Art Director, enters the break room. Programmer Art Depiction.

David Baumgart, Art Director, enters the break room. Programmer Art Depiction.

DAVID: Wizards, grain silos, Utretcht, tank simulation… ah, it is good to be a vegan! Horrible frost giants! And now, lunch.

[DAVID opens the door of the fridge. Inside is BEEF JERKY, which leaps out and attacks him.]

DAVID: Alas! I die.

[HE COLLAPSES. Enter DANIEL and NICHOLAS from the Break Room Door.]

NICHOLAS: David is being attacked by beef jerky! It must be Wednesday. Quickly, get him onto the table.

[THEY DO SO. The table collapses. OH WELL.]

DANIEL: The beef jerky is … attacking his mind, somehow. It’s corrupting his vegan essence.
DAVID: I… deny then… my essence…

[SCENE: In David’s mind, terrible flashbacks occur. The company is formed in a basement. Dredmor ships.]

NICHOLAS: Fascinating.
DANIEL: You can’t say that – we’re parodying The Next Generation, not The Original Series.
NICHOLAS: Look! He’s remembering old blog posts… in his dreams.

[DAVID PROCEEDS TO REMEMBER.]

David Baumgart proceeding to remember happy memories (in this case, a carrot.) Programmer Art Depiction.

David Baumgart proceeding to remember happy memories (in this case, a carrot.) Programmer Art Depiction.

DAVID: mumble, mumble… Scott Pilgrim ruined it for all of us… mumble…

DANIEL: Now it looks like he’s experiencing good memories.

[DAVID PROCEEDS TO REMEMBER “GOOD MEMORIES”:

Clockwork Empires’ Early Access Announcement
– That GDC trip where Stephanie got us all Hand Lotion
Six months of early access updates!
– 4,700+ repository commits
– 22 experimental builds released to the public
– coverage from just about every major PC gaming site on the planet
The Beauty of Poetry
Whatever this thing is!]

DANIEL: It’s no good. The Beef Jerky is getting to him. Maybe if we make him… remember bad memories, it will damage the virus. Jerky. Jerky virus.
NICHOLAS: We can induce bad memories with Medicinal Liniments. Remember, under no circumstances take medical advice from me!DANIEL: Aren’t all those good memories *your* blog posts?
NICHOLAS: Whatever. Here, let me stick needles into his head.

[DAVID PROCEEDS TO REMEMBER “BAD” MEMORIES”:

– Making three Clockwork Empires Trailers
– That GDC trip where Stephanie got us all Hand Lotion
– The last time we parodied Inception]

DANIEL: Hang on, let me set this machine to “Programmer Art.” There we go.

[DAVID AWAKES, SCREAMING.]

David Baumgart Awakes from a Horrible Dream. (Also, he is wearing Mittens for some reason.) Programmer Art Depiction.

David Baumgart Awakes from a Horrible Dream. (Also, he is wearing Mittens for some reason.) Programmer Art Depiction.

DAVID: What happened?
DANIEL: You’re on vacation, so we made fun of you in our year-end wrap-up blog post.
DAVID: Ah, it must be Wednesday!

NICHOLAS: That’s it for us, folks. As always, we thank you for your patronage and look forward to seeing you in 2015! Happy New Year!
DAVID: … who are you talking to again?
DANIEL: Gnomes!

[ALL LAUGH. CREDITS ROLL.]

 

 

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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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A Rather Dredly Birthday

Dungeons of Dredmor, a thrusty bursting from a cake at our shocked hero

A barrel of sewer brew and well-preserved, fishy birthday wishes to our oft-abused web djinn, Derek. Cheers!

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A Very Dredmor Birthday

Dungeons of Dredmor happy birthday image feature the Dredmor hero and Lord Dredmor himself

– Just wishing Nicholas, our bold programming wizard, a very Dredmor birthday. Today we unshackle him from his hole in the Code Mines and allow him all the sewer-brew he can pour into his gullet. Cheers!

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Some Recently Asked Questions

Old Business: I think I have finally banished the last of the issues to do with scaling. The game now handles any resolution we throw at it up to 1680 x 1050, and that should last us for awhile. I think we will also kill 800×600 off completely, meaning that our minimum in game resolution will now be 1024 x 768. This gives us some extra real estate on screen.

New Business: Hello, new readers from linuxgames.com – and also Reddit, apparently! In response to our recent blop of extra publicity, here are some answers to your recently asked questions:

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Hi-Res Screenshots Ahoy!

Alright, Derek fixed the uploader for the weblog, so we can now put up some new, hi-res screenshots of Dungeons of Dredmor. These are running at my native monitor resolution of 1680×1050. This is still very much an alpha version of the code; liquids are still broken, item sizes are all over the map, spell sizes are hoopled, and I haven’t even begun messing with font sizes yet. More damningly, the scaling algorithm we are using chokes up on some of David’s pixel art, which does not adhere to Pixel Art Formalism and hence contains lots of colors with small delta values instead of a fixed, 8 or 16 color palette. (The art for the characters, on the other hand, was drawn by Pixel Art Formalists and is therefore Perfectly Safe.) There is an interesting trade-off to be made here: we can either fix it before or after we ship (it will be fixed – we’re all perfectionists!), but I don’t know if we will do it before Dredmor ships or as a patch afterwards. My inclination at this point is to get Dredmor out to you lovely people as soon as we have gameplay in an acceptable state, and we can fix the few visual glitches (as you can see, it still looks perfectly acceptable) post-ship. On the other hand, it really would be nice not to have to upload a massive art patch. It may also be possible that there is a code solution.

The characters look great, though, and as there is a *lot* of animation that we simply cannot redo at this stage in the game, it’s fortunate indeed that we are able to get results that look this good. I mean, look at that giant-feet-with-an-eyeball monster. Anyhow, get some fresh screenshots under the cut…

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Auditions for the role of Director

We are fairly well-convinced that this is the way to go: the game is actually a lot more engaging now, the only problem is our current director thinks that rooms *literally* full of traps are a good idea without so much as a “hey, this might be a trap room” sign, so we’re working out kinks.

Also, I would currently analogize our relationship to our bug tracker with a guy with a shotgun and a horde of shambling zombies. ┬áThankfully there’s lots of ammo and it’s a big shotgun, and he’s smoking a cigar.

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