All posts tagged with "lean startup"

Patch 1.0.4 Status & The Road Ahead

EDIT: Okay, final patch release date for 1.0.4 can now be confirmed as Tuesday morning – the morning of September 6th, 2011. We’re putting one last beta out even as I speak, and the actual release candidate will be sent to Valve over the weekend. Why are we doing this? Well, frankly, because it’s a very bad idea to ever release a patch on a Friday. That’s just asking for something to go wrong and for everybody to be frustrated over the long weekend. So go enjoy your last few moments with Dredmor 1.0.3, and throw some Lutefisk on the grill.  Next week, there’s a whole new Dredmor waiting for you. — N.

We’ve been fairly quiet on the blog so I figured I should fill everyone in on progress on various fronts. Let’s dive in.

Dungeons of Dredmor patch 1.0.4 status

We released the second iteration of the 104 to testers yesterday and it seems pretty stable. Lots and lots of small fixes, tweaks, and rebalancing plus a few new features (like the “digest” button), some new content, and some new achievements (pictured above).

There are also known smaller issues, tweaks, fixes, and new content that aren’t going into the 1.0.4 patch because we want to ship a patch sooner rather than never. We’ll push them to the next patch. Your patience in all of this is very much appreciated; we’re a tiny team.

We’ll try to assemble a comprehensive list of changes when the actual patch ships — this may be as soon as Friday, if all goes well.

Gaslamp Games & offices

Nicholas is moved to Vancouver and he and I are now set up in a shared office space – naturally, with a coffee machine running at all time. Expect crazy things. We’ll have to post a picture as soon as we remember to do so and aren’t all busy with this patch.

We’ve also got income coming in now so we can focus our efforts on Gaslamp (read as: Nicholas doesn’t have to sell his belongings to make rent).

Buying Dungeons of Dredmor via non-Steam distribution channels

Is a real thing that really exists and it’s up next on the to-do after patch 104 ships. Deals have been made and will be announced when the time is right.

Dungeons of Dredmor on Linux

Is also a thing that will happen after patch 104 (and of course requires the above non-Steam distribution channels because there’s no Linux Steam … yet?

Dungeons of Dredmor patch 1.0.5

Looks like it’ll be UI upgrades, some fun content, the usual round of fixes and rebalancing, and official/useful modding support seems likely. We’re aiming to fire off a patch every two weeks and I hope we get the process smooth enough to be able to do so. At the very least there won’t be delays like that between 103 and 104 (as that was due to a move and sorting out how we can actually pay ourselves).

The future of the Dungeons of Dredmor looks bright. Or dark and murky, if that’s what a dungeon is supposed to be. Whatever – point is that we’re getting on track with running a business and working out how to systematically patch (and work on Project Odin) in an organized manner without random stuff exploding. One step at a time.

If there’s anything else y’all would like to know feel free to ask in the comments and I’ll answer if I can.

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

On the Commercialization of Roguelikes (And Some Other Stuff)

(David recently did a State of the Dungeon post, and I guess this is my State of the Dungeon.)

For the most part it is rewarding for us, as developers, to hear that people are excited about the work that we’re doing and how badly they want to pre-order our title. (See, we’re listening!) I think that this is true of any creative endeavor: the artist thrives on the energy of his or her public. At the same time, it is also worth noting that it is very easy for a developer to get unexcited about a project when people keep telling you that you’re doing a lousy job. Most developers will tell you that the secret to this is not to listen to people on the Internet – after all, what do they know? That said, most successful developers – Valve springs instantly to mind, under the capable direction of Gabe Newell – will tell you that the success or failure of a game, and of a game company, is dependant upon your fans and your customers. Listen to people, get them excited, and you will prosper. Alienate your fans and you will alienate your customers, and your customers are the people who pay you money (or who will pay you money once we get the pre-orders going.) So that’s why we listen: we secretly want to be Valve. (Who doesn’t? Ben McGraw, our executive producer, recently pointed out that Valve is one of the few game companies in the so-called “Industry” that he would work for. Like indies, Valve brings joy to people. Other companies, he says, just make games.)

So what are our users saying? In a recent poll on our Twitterfeed – which you should all be following, because it really is the best way to keep tabs on us – one user wanted to know more about our development process, and the day-to-day decisions behind game development. We hope that this will oblige you, but today’s blogpost is *really* inspired by something from The Internets.

In a recent online discussion about Dungeons of Dredmor, somebody said – and I paraphrase: “Commercial roguelikes will never be as good as free roguelikes because the multi-year, evolutionary development process that results in amazing games like Crawl will never be commercially viable.” Here we have somebody who likes roguelikes, and who should like Dredmor. Hopefully,  he will support us – here is a man, after all, who could be a customer, and any failing to attain him as a customer is a failing on our part as a business – but his concern is legitimate. Can a commercial roguelike be as good as Crawl, or Nethack? Well, I think we can… but let’s talk about this.

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Posted in Dungeons of Dredmor, Game Design, Games, Gaslamp, Other Games, Programming | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Lean Startups, Part II: Some Games That Suck (And Why That’s Not a Bad Thing)

(Eric Ries has now started re-tweeting this series, so I will take that as tacit approval from the master. He’s in British Columbia in two months, giving a series of talks on Lean Startupsin Vancouver and somewhere in Kelowna, so there is a slim possibility that this is just a ruse to lull me into security while he takes time out of his busy schedule to hunt me down and shoot me with a blowgun.)

When last we left our hero, he had just discovered that it was possible to make a lot of money by shipping software that sucked. This, of course, was nothing new to our hero; now, however, he was confronted with the fact that this might not be a bad thing after all.

So here’s the skinny.

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Posted in Programming | Tagged , , , , ,

Lean Startup, Part I: “Why does your IM Client Suck?”

I promised that I would write a post about my thoughts on Lean Startups at some point. This is evolving into… well, it’ll be a series. Gaslamp is not a lean startup, at least in the puritanical, traditional sense; that said, there is a certain amount of talk around the old campfire about doing our next game in a Lean fashion. Lean Games have been done before – arguably the best example is Mount and Blade, but I think Overgrowth and Natural Selection 2 both count – but nobody has put a label on the idea yet.

So let’s do this, and while we’re at it let’s talk about Lean Startups. What is a Lean Startup? Well, it’s a complicated subject. I also get to tell an Eric Reis story, which he probably doesn’t even remember, and if he reads this either I’ll get flamed and the company will be sued, or he’ll put it up on his excellent weblog. It’s a win either way, so here goes.

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Posted in Programming | Tagged , , , ,