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:



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.


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 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!

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!

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:

Look at that! Look at it!

Multiple new styles are coming into place!


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

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.

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


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!


Aug 292013

What Happened?

“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 FacebookTwitter, and get to Livestreaming some development every now and then, I think things will be just fine.

Work Continues!

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.

  1. 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.
  2. Weapon and armor can be sorted by category, and the UI might adjust for that.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. The Masteries window can now be navigated entirely by mouse as well.
 No screenshots yet since the look of the UI hasn’t yet changed much, though I might throw the occasional behind the scenes shot up on to Facebook. Thanks to those of you who sent in your feedback, as well as those who contributed to the Facebook thread about the topic.

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.


Aug 152013

Mouse-based control for Dungeonmans is coming into shape. This won’t be the quickest of tasks but it’s coming along. I was able to put some of it together on today’s developement stream but a sudden bluescreen cut that short. When more features are in place, I’ll put together a video.

Movement is super important in Dungeonmans, and careless steps can cost you dearly. The keyboard is the superior input device when it comes to precise tile-by-tile movement, but the mouse can do quite well. Left click is the action button. Clicking a tile adjacent to your hero will move you exactly one step, and clicking on her directly will pass her turn. If you want to move farther, hold the left button down while the cursor is farther away, and you’ll move toward it Diablo style. Movement stops immediately on damage, so you won’t accidentally step through a bunch of turns and get wrecked.

Left click also melees enemies at close range, and if you have a ranged weapon equipped you’ll be able to shoot them! That’s pretty cool right now actually, clicking enemies to blast them feels nice. You’ll also be able to click to use powers, either by clicking on a hotbar first or just pressing a hotkey to prime the power and then clicking on the target to activate.

Mouse controlled play is pretty fun to develop, and I imagine that fun will dry up once I get into coordinating the mouse with the UI. Remember, the goal is that you can play the entire game without touching the keyboard. I imagine for most people it’ll be a mix of both, but we’ll see how that goes.

In other news: Dungeonmans has a subreddit!

The time will come one day (perhaps around Alpha) to set up a forum, but in the mean time here’s a great place to talk about builds, ask questions, and just Dungeonmans it up. Check it out!


Aug 082013

The Dungeonmans Kickstarter Campaign was a success!

The goal was set at 35k, final tally 43k and change. Outstanding! For a full post-victory write up, check it out here:

Dungeonmans Build 1.08 went live today, follow the link to grab the latest version and read the patch notes.

This is the last update for the Summer Preview. It will remain free and available here on, as a thank you for everyone who helped make the game possible. Now it’s time to get back to work on full development.

Paypal Support?

Coming right up! Now that the build is squared away and things have settled down, I’ll put up some Paypal options for people who want to support the project or get into the Alpha or Beta.

Let’s stay in touch!

While I’ll continue to update this site with Development Updates and other important news, you can catch more information through the Dungeonmans twitter or FB page:

Twitter: @Dungeonmans
Dungeonmans on Facebook

Jul 292013

Not much time left to get in and help Dungeonmans become the awesome game it was meant to be! Don’t forget, members of the Pioneer’s Guild not only get beta access and the full digital soundtrack, but they ALSO get two additional digital albums from zircon! That’s an amazing amount of awesome game music. Don’t miss out!



Jun 282013

Build 1.05 is ready! More enemy Champions than ever before prowl the depths, and defeating them will earn you a Proof of Stremf, a trophy you can carry proudly back to the Academy! Collecting these trophies allows the Academy Battlemaster to upgrade your base stats! Best of all, each trophy goes toward a permanent running total that can be used by future graduates!

There’s additional changes too, including the addition of bulk selling! Get all your trash cleaned out in one swell foop! Read all about it here: