“Hey,” you might be grumbling, “what happened to last Thursdays’ Dev Update?” You might even use a face like >:-|
Nothing happened to it, because it doesn’t exist! I made the call to scale back the weekly updates to every other Thursday instead. I’m doing a lot of work that isn’t quite flashy or exciting, and a lot of it involves cleaning up old code systems to work better, as well as adding mouse and gamepad support to the game. There’s also an art overhaul in the works, but I don’t want to show that off until I’m ready.
The other reasons I kept the updates going every week was to make sure people knew the project was constantly being worked on, and that the game would have new approaches to old standards. I think the Kickstarter proved both those points pretty well, and now there’s a playable version available for anyone who wants to crush monsters for themselves. Bottom line, as long as I remain available on Facebook, Twitter, and get to Livestreaming some development every now and then, I think things will be just fine.
The two biggest and loudest complaints about the UI were fortunately ones I’d anticipated. Keyboard only control is too obtuse / confusing, and oh boy is this inventory terrible beyond terrible, please send help.
True facts, both of them. I accepted them during the Kickstarter and knew I’d tackle them as soon as things settled down. The tackling has begun. The goal of making the entire game playable via mouse is well underway, and item sorting is starting to take shape.
- Picking up an item you’ve never seen before will mark it as new, and it could rise to the top of the inventory list with a little sparkle on it.
- Weapon and armor can be sorted by category, and the UI might adjust for that.
- Magic items appear above regular items, and I’m thinking that plain, unenchanted weapons and armor might stack in the inventory to save space. No need to clutter up the screen with 10 pairs of Blandals you’re just going to sell anyway.
- Skills can be activated via mouse and dragged to an action bar on screen! You can click the icon there to cast them, or use the assigned hot key.
- The Masteries window can now be navigated entirely by mouse as well.
Dungeonmans Tales Need Telling!
Even though the mad-dash of fundraising is over, it helps the project greatly to build up stores of information about the game wherever such things are welcome.
Dungeonmans has a Giant Bomb page, and which is a requirement for being counted as a Real Game TM on Twitch. If you’re a Giant Bomb member, maybe you can make some edits to the page to help bring it to life, adding insight or screenshots of your own!
Dungeonmans player Fusoya has set up a wiki for Dungeonmans, and it could use some community support. Maybe you’ve got a build you want to share, or some data on monsters or treasure you think would be useful? Throw it up there!
Other Adventures: Race The Sun
I’d like to give some recognition to an inspiring project, a team who filled the promises they made and set an example for anyone making games with Kickstarter.
There’s been some unfortunate headlines about Kickstarter projects in recent weeks, when large profile games encounter setbacks and have to change scope, or ask for more coin. That’s unfortunate, but it shouldn’t cast shadow on the successes of Kickstarter, and I’ll share one of their stories here.
Race The Sun, from Flippfly, is the perfect example of a focused and polished indie project. Simple concept, executed masterfully, with the right amount of bells and whistles. They were funded via Kickstarter as well, and with 48 hours to go they were at 12k/20k dollars, it looked quite grim. Word got out about them at the end (as it always seems to do) and the brothers San Filippo went into overdrive getting the community excited about the project, streaming the game, answering questions, and sharing the experience of building the game live with the fans. It worked.
The campaign succeeded, they got their funding, and delivered the game as promised. Maaaaaybe a touch later than intended, but so goes game development. Hard work and community engagement leads to fun game and happy fans. That’s the dream for anyone in this business.