Apr 142014
 

I’m happy to announce that the Dungeonmans Early Access program has begun! Buy in to Early Access at a new, lower price and get to playing instantly:

Whoops: If you haven’t already, don’t forget to grab the XNA 4.0 binaries! Dungeonmans needs those, the installer with the binaries will be up shortly!

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=27598

Jump into the Alpha 2.0 (Balpha!) build and see for yourself all the exciting changes that have gone in since the Summer Preview:

  • New Classes: Control the battlefield as a stalwart Bannermans or raise hell with the Southern Gentlemans’ frantic temper tantrums!
  • 30+ New Skills: Both new classes bring three distinct masteries to mix and match, as well as an all new Armor mastery collection.
  • New Dungeon Styles: Explore twisting, dripping Swamp dungeons and raid fast-action Towers for their huge treasure vaults and Warlord bosses.
  • Expanded Academy Features: See WIP versions of the Academy Armory and Museum and help shape them with your feedback.
  • All New UI with full Mouse and Keyboard support:  Like the mouse? Use the mouse! Hate mice? Go keyboard only, it still works.
  • Brand New Art: Every environment, monster and hero has been overhauled, with more new art on the way!
  • More Excellent Dungeonmans Music: Five brand new tracks and extended versions of music from the Summer Preview.

Get in early and help guide the course of Dungeonmans. Data from every adventure and your critical feedback help fine tune the combat, masteries, layouts, and every other aspect of this in-development adventure.

 

 

 

Feb 242014
 

Alpha Backers: Download Here

Besides a bushel of bug fixes, there’s been an update to Towns, the Sword and Board skill line, and a whole mess of new art. Most magically, this should be (fingers crossed!) the last time you ever need to start a new Academy due to a game update. That S won’t fly come Beta, and I’m trying out my solution now.

Greenlight Progress

Right now Dungeonmans is sitting at #49 on the Greenlight charts. Is this month the month? Is that the summit we see ahead? Perhaps it is a monster with a summit-shaped crest, which it uses to lure in prey. You won’t be fooled though: careful, cautious, and on guard!

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=114781779

 

 

Build Notes

Alpha 1.2

Crash / Bug Fixes:

  • Fixed crash that could spawn from empty inventories.
  • Occasional crash leaving Scrobold Warrens fixed.
  • Fixed crash involving spell targeting.
  • Fixed crash related to status effects and Mostlies.
  • Raise Mostly once again costs Deadpulses and an action.
  • Fixed Ghost Dungeonmans / Big slides after being pushed back.
  • Lizardmans Pope should register as a boss and spawn an exit portal on death.
  • You can now cancel out of the Use Item on Item screen, however you still consume the scroll that you read.
  • Fix for Brigand Foominologist drawing incorrectly.

New Art!

  • New art for nearly every creature in the game. They should still feel familiar, let me know if you see a change you feel is for the worse.
  • New overworld icons for Towns, the Academy, and the Convenient Scrobold Warren.

Sword and Board Overhaul

Wreck Armor and Danger Shuffle were unintersting powers that no one used. I’ve tried to make the skill line more interesting. Sword and Board continues to focus on a mix of defense and offense, using rushes to get you into (and out of!) trouble.

  • One Stood Against Many: Replaces Wreck Armor. This power is a battle cry that gains effectiveness for each enemy nearby. Enemies hit by the cry have their buffs stripped away, and you receive a bonus to damage taken and delivered that lasts for 2 rounds per foe within 3 tiles.
  • Furious Assault: Replaces Danger Shuffle. Bull-rush an adjacent enemy, pushing them up to 5 tiles away, and make a flurry of melee attacks while doing so.

Town Improvements

  • Towns now render correctly, and shops work once more.
  • Shop interface now works with mouse or keyboard.
  • Towns have been simplified, with guaranteed shops. Inn and special shops are not complete.
  • Towns have a Prosperity ranking, which you can increase by finding Purloined Inventory and bringing them to the Mayor of the town you like the most.
  • Prosperity expands shop collections, reduces prices, and adds a greater chance of magic items.
  • The first specialty shops are in, Blacksmiths who focus on a particular type of item. More to come!
Feb 032014
 

The Alpha has been updated, and (over the next hour or so) Alpha backers will be notified via a series of emails, KS messages, and fastest possible birds. For the curious, the notes are below.

If you want to join the Alpha, there’s still time!

 

Patch Notes

Alpha 1.1 Patch!

Crash Fixes:

  • Dying in the overworld or asking the bartender for dungeon tips no longer dooms your game to endless crashing.
  • Binding a hotkey to 0 no longer crashes.
  • Rapier Wit will no longer cause the game to crash.
  • Armor Racks and Bookshelves should no longer cause the occasional crash.

Bug Fixes:

  • The last two character sprites can now be properly selected.
  • Health and resource bars no longer jankily creep up the side of the inventory bar.
  • Rangermans now starts with 1 point in Medium Armor.
  • Dungeonmans class now starts with a polearm in the bag.
  • Polearms are listed as such in their item card.
  • Main menu options page works– help button not so much.
  • Light Shield and Flux Shield draw in the correct position on the sprite.

UI Improvements:

  • Mouse/Skill/Hotbar use all significantly improved. Binding to the hotbar should feel much more natural via mouse or keyboard.
  • More icons and proper tooltips added for masteries.
  • Some powers that let you target an empty square no longer let you do so. These are powers like Shield Rush and Lightspear, which have no benefit when not cast on a target.
  • The map now draws over other UI elements.
  • The Masteries panel now shows you how many points you have remaining.
  • The Skill selection panel now shows you what your weapon/armor loadout grants you, and powers you cannot use are listed as greyed out in the panel.
  • Skills in your hotbar that you can’t use due to your loadout will be greyed out as well.
  • Use-item-on-item interface improved.

All Mana Using Classes:

  • Picking a class with a manapool (such as Necromanser or Bannermans) and taking the first point in Applied Wizardry will now result in a 20% bonus to your maximum mana. Previously, the Wizardry pick was just a wasted point.

Bannermans:

  • Lightspear is no longer an unstoppable ray of destruction. Will probably still ruin all scrobolds though.
  • Added proper information for Banner of the Fallen Tower and Banner of the Cowardly Shadow.

Necromanser:

  • Raise a Monstly has changed. You may now only have 1 Mostly in the field at a time. When your Mostly dies or is replaced, it explodes in a cloud of poison that damages enemies nearby. Group your enemies correctly and use those horrid Mostlies as poison bombs!

Still Broken

  • Towns and shops
  • Road, field, and badlands battles
  • The purpleonian wastes and The Dread Spire
  • Graveyards
  • Caves
  • Academy Armory
  • Academy Museum (“True Things About _______” books)
Jan 232014
 

Dungeonfans! Lots to cover today, not all of it is Dungeonmans related but it sure is related to gaming and adventure, stuff I know you enjoy. Still, I’ve tried to keep it all sorted with big headlines if you want to just get your quick scroll on, and the Dungeonmans stuff is up front.

Closed Alpha in 4 days (!)

This will be the most Kickstarterest thing yet done in the Dungeonmans adventure, letting people into a genuine early alpha. This goes beyond the Summer Preview, this will be a chance to play a game as it is being developed, warts and all.

  • Upgraded UI with mouse and gamepad support.
  • Nine new masteries to start including totally redesigned Armor masteries.
  • Bannermans Class and Polearms!
  • Southern Gentlemans Class
  • New swamp dungeon set.
  • Academy expanded with a Museum and Armory
  • Lots of shiny new art and music.
  • Bullet points bullet points woo

Ok that’s enough. If you’re interested in taking part, find out how right here: http://www.dungeonmans.com/?page_id=362

 

Art Update and New Weapons

Lots of upgraded monsters! Hell there are even three *all new* Purpleonians and I’m not going to show you them because that would be spoiling!


Bluebelle doesn’t afraid of anything.

 

Dungeonmans on Greenlight: The SAGA(c)(r)(TM) Continues!

I have no doubt that each and every one of you has created four new Steam accounts (and purchased 100s of games on each) to create extra Greenlight votes for ol’ dmans. But just in case you haven’t yet:

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=114781779

The January batch of Greenlight games just went through, Dungeonmans wasn’t on there but there were some real gems. If you like Dungeonmans (and you do), you should take a look at these:

Quest of Dungeons: From zero to Greenlit in FIVE DAYS. How is that even http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=216200309

Claustrophobia: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=92940102

Claustrophobia is much like Dungeonmans in that it took more than a year to get through to the top 100. Never quit, never surrender! I’ve been thinking about that lately and thought it would be fun to share with you some examples I’ve seen of projects and businesses that stick it out through all sorts of trials and tribulations, in a brand new Dungeonmans Kickstarter Update segment called…

 

Never Say Die #1: The Gladius

I’m a big fan of hardware experimentation and evolution, and while I don’t have the time and money to personally indulge in it very often, I’m always interested in what people are doing on the cutting edge. When the fancy tech dovetails with a story of dedication and hard work, I can’t resist.

http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-gladius-world-s-first-passive-submersion-pc

The Gladius is pretty wild, it might be ahead of it’s time or it might just be too crazy for our plane of existence. What makes it something I’m writing about here is the story of the small team behind the project. Tech Armory has busted their tails for years on trying to get this right, and if you’ve spent even the smallest amount of time with liquid cooled machines you know how the smallest design mistakes can multiply into a big sloppy a mess.

Tech Armory worked for a few years on this project fueled by personal money, and they had scheduled a Kickstarter for later in 2014. However, as it often does, life and circumstance got in the way and just around New Year’s Day it was do or die: close up shop, or go out fighting with an earlier than planned crowdfunding campaign. So here we are.

Yeah, I know, 6k/100k isn’t looking great, and you might also be thinking that roguelike players, who play free games with ascii graphics, aren’t exactly in need of submersion cooled war machines. All true! But it’s the spirit and courage of Tech Armory that moves me, and the more people that get to see their future tech, the better. Take a look, and maybe run that link by the friend of yours with seven spare PC cases and 3.2km of tubing coiled around the broken fridge in the basement.

 

Never Say Die #2: The Adventure Game Store!

The Adventure Game Store is my old hometown Friendly Local Game Store. If you’re enjoying Dungeonmans, you owe a nod of thanks to Brian and his crew down in sunny South Florida. In fact, the term “Dread Purpleonian” came from him as he was explaining a space battle minis game at a nearby table, decades ago. There really aren’t two words that describe alien menace better and more succinctly than those, right?

https://www.facebook.com/AdventureGameStore

I started slinging dice in middle school and never stopped. And while there were actually quite a few great game shops in South Florida during the 90s, this place feels like my alma mater. Endless games of all types were hosted at this shop, plenty of RPGs, Battletech, Warhammer, and oh man they had one of the most vibrant and friendly L5R communities. I remember bringing in a Ric Flair action figure clad in jade armor to serve as the emperor’s favor. They were the place where I picked up my very first copy of Knights of the Dinner Table.

Anyway, who cares why am I mentioning this place? Because they should have gone out of business 10 times over now, and yet they live– they thrive! There were the downturns of the late d20 era when lousy game content flooded the market. There were, in grand South Florida tradition, multiple storms that ripped off ceilings, tossed around air conditioners and generally brought wrack and ruin to many businesses down there. They’ve moved… six times? Seven? When things were looking good, they’d expand into a bigger location with more room for play tables and extra displays. Then one bad thing happened, and another, and they’d move or shrink and each time it seemed like there’s no way they’d bounce back. At one point the shop was down to what was basically a cubby hole in a strip mall, barely large enough for two tables… AND the AC was broken.

But bounce back they did!

There were plenty of chances to quit, plenty of opportunities to give up, but The Adventure Game Store lives on. They’ve picked back up on their feet, expanded to a larger (and air conditioned!) space with a fancy new gaming table to boot. They just recently celebrated their 25th Anniversary! 25 years of spreading the fun and good cheer of the world’s greatest hobbies, I can’t help but be inspired. I’ve just started on my own solo adventure, and I hope when metaphorical hurricanes come and metaphorically rip off my metaphorical roof and air conditioners, I’ll have the same courage and tenacity.

40th Anniversary of Dungeons and Dragons

This month (or late last month, or some other dates depending on whatever who cares) D&D turns 40. Anybody who’s ever played an RPG, hell most video games really, should take a moment to think about how the jolly pastime of crushing monsters and taking their stuff came to be. I’ve run countless tabletop games, in every city I’ve lived in, and it has informed every aspect of how I work, play, and do business. Rogue itself, our genre’s progenitor, was inspired by D&D decades ago.

There’s plenty of articles out there on the Anniversary, and more news to come as we approach the weekend, but I’ll share with you this excellent video sent to me by a friend this morning that takes a thoughtful and interesting approach to the genesis of the game. Watch it over lunch!

Dec 272013
 

Dungeonfans!

As promised, Dungeonmans development is powering along with blistering speed and unstoppable force, much like an angry freight train racing through traffic to catch the last train to the freight train convention. Everyone knows better than to mess with the FreyTreyCon crowd.

New Forest Tileset!

You are not prepared!

 

 

I can’t believe how awesome that set turned out, and it’s still a WIP as there’s new barrels, camp props, and banners that need to get into place. It’s ok if you need a minute, I could barely handle it either.

Monster WIP!

The dreaded Beeholder arrives to stalk hopeless Dungeonmens through whatever evil hive they infest.

Swamp Dungeon WIP

I’ve spent the last couple of days getting a Swamp Dungeon style in place. All the art right now is placeholder, but the combat and layouts are getting there. The idea is to provide a mid-game area with the same sort of open feel as the Scrobold Warrens but with an additional layer of tactical complexity. Swamp tiles will ask players to make different choices in movement and positioning. While the tiles themselves don’t do any direct harm, they are home to new monsters that have an advantage in the disgusting murk. Traveling through swamp tiles might mean encountering swarms of swift, biting snakes, while staying out of the water makes it impossible to reach the Spitting Swamp Serpents who harry you from the coasts.

 

I just want to blow up monsters.

[youtube id="whmCaChNoho"]

ok!

Thank you!

Drop some comments up in here, what do you think of all this? Remember, I’ve got Jeramy right here behind me for the next few days so if you’ve got burning art questions they can be doused with a firehose of cold wet answers.

 

Dec 052013
 

Here’s the first look at the new and improved Scrobold Warrens!

The walls, floors, and all the props have been reimagined and brought up to the new Dungeonmans standard. Most importantly, I also fixed the bug where loot would spawn in the walls. Pretty sure. If loot does spawn in the walls, it will look awesome doing so.

The Warlords: New Overworld Adventure!

I’ve been working on a new type of encounter in the Overworld, the Fortress Siege. Deep into the dangerous lands away from the Academy, you’ll find the occasional stronghold of a terrible Warlord. These walled strongholds aren’t just dungeons made to be waltzed into. You’ll need to take them head on and break down the gate, then crush the iron-hearted ruler inside.

You’ll have the assistance of some Mans At Arms, as well as the Academy Ramsmens, ready to force down the gate if you can keep them safe from enemies in the field and on the castle walls. Dungeonmans isn’t some grognard siege warfare simulator, so you won’t be burning granaries and digging trenches, you’ll be kicking ass and inspiring the well meaning AI around you to fight harder.

Town Marketplace Improvements

Towns are easily the most boring part of the Dungeonmans Summer Preview. The shops are lackluster, the innkeeper is just-ok, and the whole thing just feels average. Thanks to your help getting Dungeonmans over the top, I’ve got the time to fix that. One of the first additions will be Purloined Goods and the town’s Merchant Level.

You’ll find crates of Purloined Goods in the world as parts of treasures caches everywhere, as well as a guaranteed drop from Roadblocks. You can drop these off with the Mayor of any town (yes, any town– don’t worry about who stole what from where, we’re all in this together) and increase the quality and quantity of items in the shops there. This means that towns will now maintain their layouts between heroes. Did you find a sleepy hamlet with the absolute best collection of boots for sale? Well why not level them up and have a legendary collection of magical footwear of all shapes and sizes available for generations to come?

Where’s the Alpha?

You don’t have it yet. I haven’t announced an Alpha date, and good thing, because the personal one I set for myself has already slipped. Why? The most important reason is that there’s going to be a great tsunami of code and content coming out this month, and I want them to be part of the Alpha as well. What tidal forces are colliding to generate such tsunmariffic tsunamations? You’ll find out tsun.

It also has something to do with the renderer not quite being perfect right now as it transitions from old style to new. Maybe.

Weapon, Armor and Monster Creation Backers

The time is coming for contacting you and finding out what you’d like to see in game. It might happen before the Alpha starts, or just after. You’ll get an update when the feature is ready, and the window to respond will be very generous, just like you.

That’s it for now! As always, drop me a line if you’ve got something on your mind: jim@dungeonmans.com

 

 

Oct 172013
 

Let’s talk about The Bannermans!

Long teased in the class selection menu of the Summer Preview, the Bannermans is a medium range Magic and Melee hybrid. A Bannermans uses positioning and control to keep enemies in check and wins through superior tactics. A crusader with a righteous heart, the Bannermans summons what powers she can to cleanse the forces of evil with burning starlight and melee prowess.

Polearms

A new weapon type, Polearms are separate from other 2H weapons and have unique properties.

Polearms can hit multiple targets automatically! Attacks against an adjacent enemy will automatically target one enemy at random behind them. This two-for-one strike happens without any special input, keeping the polearm pace just as snappy as other melee. If there are multiple targets behind your primary target, they’ll be struck at random. Such is the frantic nature of combat!

 


 

Polearms can attack a single target up to two tiles away. Using the Ranged targeting action, just like firing a staff or bow, you can hit targets that are out of the reach of normal melee weapons. Great for catching up with ranged attackers, or skewering melee enemies before they get in close.

 


 

Polearm powers are about putting enemies where you want them and keeping them there. Unlike most powers, Polearm powers cost both mana AND stamina.
 


 
Lightspear: A ranged/starlight bolt that fires up to 4 tiles away. Targets hit by this are pinned to their location and take a small amount of Starlight damage every round for three rounds. If you manage to kill the target while standing next to him, you recover the mana spent on the spear.

Break the Line: A flurry of piercing strikes thrown in a cone in front of you. Melee attackers are knocked back three squares, Ranged attackers are pinned in place for a round.

[Clever Name, Eventually]: Drop a quintet of Lightspears down from the sky, causing extra damage to targets under the effect of one of your Banners.

I haven’t settled on these names and frankly one has to be careful when labeling abilities that use polearms, it’s too easy to tumble down a slippery slope full of puns and entendres with the chasm at the bottom being “HA HA! DONGS! I get it!” and the Academy Headmaster (see?) frowns upon that.

Banners

Banners are thrown down into nearby tiles and create an effect in the surrounding area. Banners are meant to control, not damage, though their effects will often lead to the swift destruction of enemies underneath them. Most Banners have two effects, one for allies and one for foes. Powers are broken into two groups of three, here’s some examples!

 


 
 

  • Banner of the Tide Turned restores small amounts of health and resources to you every round while softening the armor, block and parry of your foes.
  • One banner reduces the ranged damage dealt by enemies, and increases the ranged damage they take. Throw it into their ranks before charging in, or use it to fire from afar with confidence.
  • Another banner reduces the elemental damage dealt by enemies, and rewards allies with bonus resources (mana and stamina) every time they attack. The Bannermans will endure even the coldest, whirlingest Coldnado!
  • Yet another banner reduces the hit chance of your enemies, and gives you a free counterattack whenever you block, parry or dodge!

I’m still working out the fine details, but banners can be tossed four or five tiles away, and have ranges between two and three. Right now they also block doorways… that’ll get fixed.

Masteries À la Carte

Don’t forget that you can mix and match these masteries like any other. Two handed weapons builds can use banners for a splash of much needed defense. You can build a Wizardmans who uses polearms and Medium Armor to keep bad guys away while lining them up for that Lava Lance of Rhombus of Rime. “But wait,” you interject, “what Wizardmans worth his foom would be caught without a Wizard Staff? After all, they’re the only weapons with Spellpower on them!” That too is changing! More info on that in a future update.

When’s the Alpha? When!? Eh?

I’m still not ready to announce a date for that. The Bannermans is about ready for testing, and I’m going to work on The Southern Gentlemans next, and from there I’m heading on to more Academy mechanics– all the while sprinkling in new UI and art upgrades. It’s a bit more hectic than I’d hoped but I’m enjoying it all the same. I’d like the launch of the Alpha to have a big focus on new classes, new Academy mechanics, and UI usability… so I guess I’m doing it right!

Follow me on Twitch so you can get instantaneous spam the moment I decide to brush my hair and livestream buggy code!

http://www.twitch.tv/playdungeonmans

Don’t forget about Facebook and Twitter, I’m updating there far more often than here, and you can maybe get into exciting* discussions with other Dungeonfans on the FB page!

https://www.facebook.com/Dungeonmans

https://www.twitter.com/Dungeonmans

Sep 262013
 

New Environment and Hero Art!

Hey Dungeonfans,

It has been about two months now since the success of the Kickstarter. Since that time I’ve been showing off some improvements to the UI, controls, and other minor developments, but I’ve been keeping something under my hat. Now, the time is right. Check out some new art for Dungeonmans!

PS: Full Resolution Images can be seen here:

http://www.dungeonmans.com/images/september/

Look at that! Look at it!

Multiple new styles are coming into place!

Woo!

Awesome. If you want to see some of this in action, here’s a short video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cYEWQQq1LzE

UI Art Improvements

Take a look at what’s happened to the Masteries page. Now a single panel that slides in from the edge of the screen, it’s cleaner, condensed, and more flavorful without sacrificing any of the important information.

Here’s a WIP of the new health and vitals package. I’ll have this working in game soon.

New Concepts and Illustrations

Illustrations and new concepts that bring the world of Dungeonmans to life! Here’s an extended and improved version of Nick’s title screen, along with some sketches for a new piece he’s working on. It’s actually quite farther along than these sketches, but we’ll save that finished work for a later date.

Finally, I won’t have to keep this stuff wrapped up while streaming. I’ll be online soon (maybe today, kinda sore from recent dentistry) and we’ll be able to tour the new environments together live!

A New Art Direction for Dungeonmans

I’m delighted to announce that dear friend and veteran of 1,000 battles Jeramy Cooke has stepped up to the pump and will be directing the core of the new Dungeonmans look. Along with master Item Forgestress Lorraine Herrera and Grand Illustratio Nick Arnold, the future of Dungeonmans is looking better than ever.

As mentioned in previous updates, Jeramy was the very first artist to contribute to Dungeonmans, way back in the halcyon days of late 2009. His colorful and flavorful items and monsters are a big part of what drove me to keep pushing forward with the game and evolve past programmer art. He’s been excited about the project almost as long as I have, and it’s quite fortunate that time and circumstance have aligned in Dungeonmans’ favor.

Other News Part 1: Bonus Zircon Albums Reward!

Those of you who backed at the $25+ level will soon be receiving download codes for two of Zircon’s prior works! Full downloads, bursting with delicious beats and crescent aural freshness. This will be happening as soon as I can figure out how to wrangle these backer email addresses.

Other News Part 2: Indie RPG Bundle In A Box

I’ve squawked about this on Twitter and I’mma mention it here: 13 – THIRTEEN!? – Indie RPGs just sitting here, waiting for you to drop a Ventrilatte Frappom Coffee’s worth of coin and then run away screaming into your basement, playing a mess of games. Cool ideas from independent game makers, some great, others less so, but if you’re anything like me you love peeking into the mind of game creators and seeing the stories they have to tell.

http://bundle-in-a-box.com/

That’s all I got today. I hope you enjoy it! As always: questions, comments, concerns, lay ‘em on me.

Jim

Sep 122013
 

Hey Dungeonfans,

The last two weeks have been a scattershot of development. Multiple things are happening at once, which is always a little chaotic but it’s necessary if you want to get the most value out of your time. Here’s some of the broad strokes:

UI Overhaul

There’s some brand new art on the way that will change both the look and feel of the UI as it exists. Easier to read and navigate, suitable for keyboard, mouse, or controller. I can build the skeleton of the new tech without art, but since UI is so much about positioning and specific functions tied to specific buttons, I can’t go in whole hog yet.

Mouse and Gamepad Control

Mouse control has lots of functionality now but it remains imperfect. Gamepad control exists for moving and fighting with Dungeonmans but not much else. The combat controls I continue to work on, however there’s an ever greater amount of work to be done making sure that the gamepad can navigate menus correctly.

Monster Creation Tool

All of the game data in Dungeonmans is stored in text files, because they’re the easiest to mess with and you can work quickly. Dungeonmans doesn’t really have any tools, but that’s changing now. For small projects, especially with a single developer, you have to be really careful about investing time into making tools. If you spend more time making the tool than you save from using it, you’ve wasted time. Monsters are the one case in Dungeonmans where I’d like to have something more than Notepad to gather, balance, and adjust them.

Using the tool, I can create baseline stats for monsters at any given level, then tweak and adjust them so that they fit the monster and feel right. For example, if the Bandit and Gelatinous Cube are both level 4 they can start with the same base stats, such as health, hit, melee damage, etc. But the Cube is a big slimy cube, so I can increase his health a touch, add some extra armor, and remove his block and parry scores. The Bandit gets no armor, but his parry and hit should be higher than average, nimble swordsmans that he is. Finally, the Cube will take extra damage from fire and ice. Done!

Now, let’s say later that I want to make those monsters level 6 instead. I can change the level, and the base stats will adjust to be level 6, keeping the modifications in mind. Later on, if the feedback from testing shows that 6th level monsters are too easy or too difficult, I can change the core values and all the monsters of that level will adapt. Tool writing isn’t glamorous work, but this one should prove useful.

What’s Next?

I know these updates have been lackluster but bear with me, I will have something great to show quite soon. In most cases I have no problem showing things in development, but I want to hold off on showing the art and UI updates until they are just right. It will be worth it!