The best part of game development, for me at least, is when everything suddenly starts working. Quite often, there is a critical mass of code that you end up writing for a game, and then – in the span of a week, or even days – you go from “everything is hideously broken and we’re going to die” to “Oh, this might be fun.” We’re right on the cusp of that right now; programming has seen some setbacks this week, mainly due to an outbreak of flu that has consumed the office. Nonetheless, we’ve been hard at work here in Programmertown, trying to get all the excellent artwork and ridiculous designs that people have come up with integrated into the game as quickly and efficiently as possible. Once again, let us take a tour through my folder of wonderful work-in-progress screenshots.
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Dungeons of Dredmor has now been updated across all distributions and all platforms: Steam, the Humble Download Page, Desura, and GameFly (our bonus new distributor!) So far, the only problem we are aware of is that the skills for Realm of the Diggle Gods are not installing correctly in the GameFly build only; we are looking into this with Gamefly, and hope to have it resolved as soon as possible. There have also been reports of some people being able to wear cheese as armour, but that’s neither here nor there.
The full change log for the patch is reproduced under the cut. If you have any feedback on the new patch – balance changes and complaints, bug reports, praise, suggestions, or simply wish to enjoy the complementary Lutefisk samples, please don’t hesitate to let us know on our forums.
So what do we do for an encore? Stand by for … three announcements.
In the mean time, why not buy some shirts? (Or, for that matter, stickers.)
Here’s a transcription of what Nick posted on the forums earlier today (just to get people to maybe check out our shiny new toy), we’ll endeavor to keep the blog the de-facto “news” source.
I’ve been directed to post some interesting stuff on the forums about what we’re doing next, in order to get as many new people using them as we can. So that said, here’s the plan going forwards, courtesy of today’s company meeting. (Which did, in fact, involve swords.)
– 1.0.6: Linux support and a handful of the more interesting things that need to be fixed. I’d like to get this to the beta testers by Monday. I’d like to do it earlier, but the first part of the week is consumed by rubbish Real Life Stuff. So we’ll see what happens.
– 1.0.7: More fixes, and the introduction of a Super Secret Thing that we’ve… well, I may have talked about it before, and I wanted it to get in for the original game, but I didn’t. So I think we’ll put it in for 1.0.7. Again, I’d like a turnaround of about a week, a week and a half.
– 1.0.8: If necessary, more fixes. This patch may not exist, depending on where we set our cutoffs for 1.0.6 and 1.0.7. Hopefully, we get the female character in by this point.
– 1.1.0: Mod support, including bumping all the strings out of the EXE and into an XML file for the usage of various translation teams. (We have a *really* cool translation announcement coming up later this week, by the way.)
and then various support patches for 1.1.0 moving forward.
There is also the little matter of an expansion pack. Gaslamp as a company – and myself, personally – are universally opposed to charging you for things that should be in the core game. We’re committed to fixing every single one of the one hundred and forty-nine issues in the bugtracker for Dredmor, and we will keep adding more Stuff to the core game every time we send out a patch, so that you always get a little something extra.
We don’t want to try to sell you 99 cent horse armour, either. That’s just… lame.
That said, people have actually *asked* us for an expansion pack, so we have to make one. We think we have a concept for an expansion pack that does justify being spun off to a paid expansion, as opposed to being Horse Armour or Eyebrow Wigs or whatever, and we will be moving on this front as soon as we are happy with the state of the core game. (That is to say, Not Yet. Not For A Long Time Yet.) In typical Gaslamp fashion, said expansion pack will probably be about the price of a package of potato chips. Crawl players will like it. It also won’t be anything you couldn’t put in yourself with the mod support, so in effect we will be putting up an Officially Sanctioned Mod and inviting you to buy it from us. I think this is a reasonable policy. I have no idea when this will be done, either. If I had to pull an estimate out of my posterior, I would guess six months or so. It’ll mainly be frontloading on the art side and less on the code side, and will be something that the company will collectively move on after 1.1.0.
There should also be an announcement about Merch in a few weeks. Buy Merch. BUY MERCH.
So that’s the roadmap going forwards. Questions? Comments? Let us know! That’s what we’re here for.
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.
(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.
I have answers for a few questions that may be kicking around. Read on! (And here’s an image of various skill icons to distract you.)
So how is Dredmor coming along?
More slowly than we hoped, but steadily.
Happy new year from all of us at Gaslamp Games. 2011 is gonna be huge. Some housekeeping:
– Did you know we have one of those damn-fangled Twitter-things? Why not give it a look? In particular, I’ll be Live-Tweeting my work session for a bit today, and maybe tomorrow as well. We’ll see how it goes.
– We’re also on Facebook. Just search for Gaslamp Games and you’ll see us. I don’t know what we’ll do for Special Facebook Content, but I’m sure I’ll think of something.
– Congratulations to fellow Roguelike makers QCF Design whose game, Desktop Dungeons, was nominated for the Seamus McNally Grand Prize at the 2011 IGF this year. This’ll be a lesson to us: we didn’t end up submitting a build of Dredmor to the IGF last year because a) it wasn’t in a particularly good state at the time, but also b) because we didn’t think a Roguelike had a good chance of placing anywhere. Shows what we know. There you have it, folks: 2011 is clearly the year of Roguelike Domination!
More importantly, perhaps: over the holidays the collective Gaslamp crew managed to recharge our batteries and get a lot of work done. The game, replete with a new combat system, a new skill system, multiple resolutions, and the blasphemous presence of Numbers all over the place feels like a game, and that’s a sign that we’re getting close to shipping. Now, if you’ll excuse me – these 52 bugs aren’t going to fix themselves, you know.
You know what? I didn’t get ANY Sewer Brew for my birthday. Not a drop. That means I’m now programming sober for the first time in ten years. Watch out, people.
A recent post from the SomethingAwful Forums states, “Well, I went to check up on Dungeons of Dredmor, but there’s been no new release information.” Well, something to that effect, anyhow, and the post wasn’t all that recent. I think it was in November. So here’s the state of the union. As a bonus, I’ve taken a few more WIP Screenshots showing off some of the new systems, which we will shove in a new post.