It’s been an exciting week! On July 16 we launched sales for “Earliest Access” to Clockwork Empires, then on July 18 we distributed the game to the public for the first time. It may not be our first time at the rodeo but it’ll always be scary to launch a game after keeping it hidden away (for over two years, in this case).
We come bearing videogames!
It’s all gone really well! There were a lot of parts that we needed to test in the real world instead of sitting on private servers and this goes not only the game content itself, but our distribution and payment partners as well as our supporting websites. As Nwabudike Morgan put it, “Each interdependent piece must be materialized simultaneously and in perfect working order.” That’s pretty much what happened and we had a smooth launch; go team!
People are buying the game and are having fun with fishpeople, starvation, and building stuff. People are finding all kinds of fascinating bugs and telling us how we should make the game better. We sent out a hotfix yesterday, rev27C — changelog at the end of the post — which fixed more than a few things, and we are now fixing a bunch more stuff and putting together some new content for the next update which should be coming early next week. (We had to delay the hotfix by a day because you guys found so many Fun and Interesting bugs.) Special props go out to Dienes for telling us how we really ought to fix this or that script error before we even get a chance to look at the bug reports.
We’re also figuring out how to best communicate with fans, working out how to keep up a rapid pace of iteration, developing new features, and maintaining an active dialog about the game going in the forums.
The 1.0.7 beta should be going out to you Steam users with beta access in the next day or two [edit- or Monday for sure; whenever it gets pushed to Steam], provided little else explodes. We’ll keep you posted.
This screen gave me some trouble as you can see. The challenges I faced only grew from this point.
(We’re close to the end/the beginning and Gaslamp is antsy to announce a ship date. But we can’t do that just yet. Yes: working hard. Especially Nicholas with his pile of hatred incarnate, see: bugtracker todo list.)
Beta testers: We’ve finally added a tutorial! Unfortunately you’ve probably all learned everything in it through an education of pain & countless deaths.
Other people: Although we’ve made a game that’s found most people dying to drinking acid or being savaged by a horde of small bird-like animals in the first minute or so of play, we’ve been good enough to have scripted up a fun little set of tutorials to teach a bit of how to play Dredmor – using items, skills, UI interaction, and such.
As a game built on roguelike foundations the key to Dredmor is the core concept of each action taking a single “turn”. Yes, it’s a turn-based game. But there are many turns and they are taken quickly each time you do anything — take a step, execute an attack, cast a spell, drink a potion, open a door, and so on — so the flow of the game has a fluidity to it while allowing you to effectively pause the action and take your time to consider your tactical options whenever you so desire. And you will certainly need to.
Here are some shots, 1. of the tutorial list and 2. of a poor diggle that’s about to get a final education in bomb-throwing.
Now I know that you hardcore players are not about to get excited about a set of tutorials, but consider what happens when we open up the scripting that made them possible. It could allow for some very interesting possibilities both in official expanded content (which I’ll probably have a heavy hand in) and for modders who want to push the game past what we at Gaslamp ever imagined possible.
It’s hard to believe, but just about a week ago Daynab (a Dredmor beta tester) wrote up this quick preview of Dungeons of Dredmor. All I’ll say is that he’s been a big help and Dredmor has come a huge distance in this short time.
Paul Soares was good enough to make a video of Dungeons of Dredmor gameplay for his Indie Test Drive series in which he gives a good introduction to the variety of ways to die in the game. Check it out:
These are exciting days at Gaslamp Games. Publicity is kicking up momentum and the game is nearing completion. A handful of sites have been writing previews for Dungeons of Dredmor (hey, if you’re a writer, drop us a line to the contact email in the sidebar). Our beta testers have been furiously breaking things as well and I’ve got a few thoughts on that to share.
It turns out I haven’t put any new screenshots on the front page since Dredmor v0.90. Considering we’re about to hit Dredmor v0.95 in the run up to release, something had to be done. Let’s get to it!
Click on the image to view full-size.
Here (in the above shot) I’ve found a Diggle Nest room absolutely full of junk. (The over-clutter is due to an issue in the dungeon building that’s compressed all the items in a full level into a space smaller than intended.)
Diggle Eggs? Good eating. And I’m getting some good use out of my Thaumite Infection wand to kill these guys.
We’ve just declared Dungeons of Dredmor beta 0.94.1.
It’s a beautiful thing how much this has come together. I can see it looking back just a week — and two weeks, a month, the changes are huge! We have a real game here which is almost ready.
What’s new in this version? Oh, all sorts of things: new stairs that aren’t awkward, custom scripted rooms (which means we can do Very Silly Things), lots of UI polish, lots of new dungeon content, many more varieties of monsters — and spellcasting monsters. Tons of bug-fixes. Lots of new sounds. Players actually getting to level 4 or 5 of the dungeon. Lots of new things.
We’re confident enough to start sending copies out to a couple press outfits and we’ll be mining the beta list for testers as soon as we figure out a protocol for all of this.
Yeah, it’s all a bit of a blur right now. My mind is still decompressing from this last crunch cycle. (And shall be back at it soon enough, I assure you.)
So here, have some pictures.
We have all kinds of tooltips loafing around our UI just waiting to fill your head with baseless hearsay and conjecture.