All posts tagged with "dwarf fortress"

Clockwork Empires: The Press Release

aka: “Project Odin”

August 27th, 2012 – Gaslamp Games, Inc., independent game developers and makers of the critically acclaimed Dungeons of Dredmor, are pleased to announce their new title, Clockwork Empires, for the Windows, OS X, and Linux platforms.

The Clockwork Empire is expanding! Brave people, seeking glory and wealth, are setting forth for uncharted lands in search of fame and fortune. This is a new age of Science – fearless naturalists, clever tinkerers, and brilliant inventors hold sway over the imagination of the common folk, wielding voltaic energies and constructing chromed brass clockwork engines. It is an age of The Arts – poets lie expiring on every street corner, crying for Reform and more laudanum, while the Empire Times spews forth from the great presses of the Capitol, filled with stories of inspiring hubris and adventure from The Colonies. It is an age of Trade – the many arms of the Imperial Chartered Antipodean Trading Company lurch across the oceans like the limbs of a commodity-crazed octopus, dredging untapped markets for wealth and glory. It is an age of Politics – scheming agents of the Empire skulk through the slums and grottoes of the colonies, dodging anarchist schemes and cultists’ rituals, and fulfilling secretive missions on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen. Meanwhile, in the Capitol, favours are curried in the Houses of Parliament and the Panopticon between the artistocratic Lords and the rising classes of Industrial Barons.

Fly the Union Cog over all three identified corners of the world!

But not all is well in the Empire. Strangers gather under lampposts and in bars, telling stories of Those That Live Beyond The Stars, operating in invisible geometries from another dimension. The Queen, some whisper, has been locked away at the behest of her own Prime Minister… but to what end? The Church of the Holy Cog prays for the salvation of the Empire, yet everybody fears the indescribable colors that trace lines through the darkest woods and beyond the reassuring glow of the gas-lamps. The fortunes of the Clockwork Empire are watched, silently, by unseen eye-clusters and malevolent entities trying to breach the walls of reality into this world.

Take on the role of a Junior Bureaucrat (Colonial Grade), sent forth to seek fame, promotions, and natural resources to feed the ever-hungry maw of industry and commerce. Build mighty colonies, fill them with magnificent factories and tortured machinery, and harness the power of steam and energies brought forth by determined, unregulated men and women of Science!

Glory is yours to seize; the world is yours to do with as you please. For fame and fortune, for Science, and for the Queen and the glory of the Clockwork Empires!

But wait, there’s more!

Herein, the good folk of Gaslamp Games present a small selection of their “penny dreadful” game development features, demonstrating wonders never-before seen in plebian entertainment:

  • Dynamic, city-building, citizen-simulating action. Every imperial subject has a purpose and agenda of their own, and their interactions are rich, exciting, and often lethal!
  • New “procedural extrusion” technology lets you design your colony the way you want! Buildings are procedurally generated and extruded directly from the aether to your specifications!
  • Tame the uncharted continents by land, sea, and air! Set forth in mighty Zeppelins to do battle with Sky Pirates, or take to the seas in search of fortune and probably sea serpents!
  • Create magnificent acts of plumbing, link together mighty gears, and build ominous Megaprojects!
  • Tangle with the machinations of malevolent entities! Scry the legacy of the Invisible Geometers, fumigate the baleful moon-fungus of the Selenian Polyps, and cleanse the scuttling creepiness and poor personal and moral hygiene of your everyday, average cultist.
  • Losing is still fun! When your colony fails miserably, earn medals, promotions, and titles as befits a true politician and scion of the Empire!
  • Multi-player mode, with up to 4 players, lets you co-operate with your closest friends to build a glorious city… or fight a horrifying economic battle to total annihilation!
  • Round-Robin mode lets you share your Clockwork Empires with friends! Take turns running a colony directly into the ground then argue for fun-filled hours about whose fault it was! (Like Monopoly but with more exploding Zeppelins!)
  • Rendered in glorious GaslampVision! Thrill as the colours are brought to life by Gaslamp’s team of caffeine-addled artists labouring under the technical specifications of our elite programmers* to bring you a game that is rendered in Each of the Three Dimensions! New multi-core technology by Actual University Students lets you use every last ounce of power in your computer to run a thrilling and vivid simulation!
    (* We’ll see about that, Nicholas. Soon. – David)
  • Featuring the new Dynamic Soundtrack Orchestra – the Soundtrack that Adjusts to Your Gameplay! (Mr. M. Steele, conductor)
  • No always-online DRM requirement, unlike certain other games we don’t want to mention. You know who you are and your mothers are very disappointed.
  • Comes complete with the Gaslamp Games Quality of Excellence that you know and love, and if you don’t like something you can mod it yourself in the best tradition of Empire Craftsmanship!

For more information, Gaslamp Games invites you to subscribe to their Awful Circular, available at www.gaslampgames.com on the Inter-Net Tubes.  For more exciting information about the latest Gaslamp Games endeavor, visit PC Gamer!

Cog Save the Queen! Huzzah and all that.

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Dredmor Beta v0.93.2 : Crafting & Traps

0.93.2 is now out. The big piles of Fun here are crafting and traps. Shall I? Yes I shall: Let’s start with a screenshot.

Click to view full size.

I’ve got just about the full array of crafting skills here and am in the process of making some gold ingots to sell to Brax, whose potion shop I am standing in. The distilling widget has an outline of an apple in the ingredients box because I’ve selected the “Hard Cider” recipe.

You can also drag the inventory bag around to keep it in less-annoying spots on the screen. Yes, Dredmor is on the bleeding edge of  UI design!

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Almost wrapped up Dredmor 0.93

About ready to ship the latest beta out to testers. We’ve been working ourselves very hard on this run up to the end of March; have had little time and energy to write (and man, my hand hurts from drawing sprites).

So to keep this cheap, here’s a little teaser of something we’ve been putting the icing on tonight:

Nicholas and I are both fans of Dwarf Fortress. If you are too, you may know something of what this implies about what we’re doing here.

On to 0.94 and victory!

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Making The Cut

I just redid the character information panel again. I had to re-arrange all the info boxes then type out the size and position of every single textbox and tooltip hotspot. It was awful. Now Nicholas gets to update the code to my specifications, the poor bastard.

Dungeons of Dredmor, as some sort of RPG, and god-help-us, as a roguelikeish game, lends itself to a maddening excess of features, ideas, items, skills, spells, potions, special abilities, factions?, unique rooms, artifacts, vengeful gods, and and.. and … Well, one of the most important points of successful game development is knowing when to cut; no, being able to cut features so that the project can ever be completed.

We have done this. No, really! A bit, at least.

Dredmor Hero dodging a blade

At least you’ve survived with piles upon piles of unique items, silly skills, and an upcoming hellishly complex crafting system, dear hero!

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Game Design Dialectic: Dwarf Fortress and Goblin Camp

This is only the beginning of a story, but it could prove to be a very interesting story if it bears out. I think it already contains instructive lessons for game development and design.

On the left, Dwarf Fortress. On the right, Goblin Camp.

I hope you know about Dwarf Fortress, the very complex roguelike-lookinglike fantasy world sim / citybuilder. From a development perspective, DF is a very long-running obsessive project coded by one guy, Tarn Adams, who makes more money than I do (not difficult) entirely by donations from his fans. I admire Tarn’s goals and his creative freedom which lets him indulge his whims – I wish I could do that. I even had fun playing some Dwarf Fortress until I explored most of what there was to explore. It was sweet while it lasted, but I grew tired with the tedium of a very rough user interface and tedious gameplay.

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