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Monday, November 24, 2014

20 New Objects Added to Dungeon Colony

Hello Dungeon Masters!

The release from yesterday, November 23 adds an array of new objects to the game. You can find these objects in the editor and create your own levels to place them. Some of these objects can be crafted, and the crafting recipes will be made available soon.

The new objects include:

A wooden bench, wooden chair, small wooden table, large wooden table, round wooden table, buffet, 3 books, a scroll, a plate, a diamond, spider venom, 2 tomb stones, a stone cross, an anvil, a candle stand, and a stone crypt:


The next screenshot puts some of these objects into perspective showing them in a dungeon setting (click to enlarge):


What's next ? ... a bit more art I think. I have some new trees to add to the engine.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Dungeon Colony Version 0.2.3.10

Hi Dungeon Masters, 

Dungeon Colony (v.0.2.3.10) is out. This release includes a few new things that I've been working on last, random things mostly. E.g. you will find that I reorganized the tool box icons and put them in their own window frame. 


I also added a new set of fonts and will start implementing them throughout the engine. 
The TextArea controls include the new font capability (see Main Menu Screen). Additionally, TextAreas also have a new look as well as new scroll-bars that disappear. 

Besides the UI changes, I have also started on two other game concepts. One, is improved minion behavior, I am going to upgrade how minions use their resources and how their basic needs are met. For one, if a minion isn't doing anything, then the food and stamina bars are not going to be affected. This will prevent drainage and only consume resources if the minion is actually doing something. The second feature I've been working with is 'rooms'. This is still a proof of concept, but the goal is to give creatures rooms that they own instead of having them sleep anywhere on the ground. While I'm still working on the design of these features, I will probably side step and begin adding new craft-able objects and blue prints. 

Until next time...

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Dungeon Colony Version 0.2.3.0

Today's release updates Dungeon Colony to 0.2.3.x. The release is a major milestone as it includes all of the features that I initially set out to accomplish for this game. This is quite a long time ago, so a lot of new goals have been added since then. I'm also releasing a new Map Editor to the game. With the first version of the editor completed, I am excited to move back into game design. There are a lot of game elements that have been waiting to be completed. You can also expect new content in the next major release.

Summary of updates in 0.2.3.0 include:
1. Updating usernames.
2. Newsletter opt-in.
3. New: In-Game Map Editor.

1. Some Dungeon Colony usernames are currently set to the email address. Many account holders have requested the ability to change usernames. This feature is available and can be accessed here:

http://dungeoncolony.com/MyAccount

Upcoming features in Dungeon Colony will allow you to interact with other players. To protect your email address, any user account that still uses the email address as the username will not be able to use these features until the username is changed.

Additionally, you can also do the following on your account page:
  • Change your email address.
  • Change your account password.
  • Change your username.
  • Set your newsletter preferences.
  • Access your game passcode.
2. I am launching a news-letter to send you development updates. In order to sign up and receive it I created an easy way for you to to opt-in: simply log into the game and check mark the Dev-Updates Newsletter button in the Main Menu. That’s it! You can also opt-in/out from the website listed above. If you would like to continue receiving email updates, please sign up for my news letter. (NOTE: This email is not a news-letter type email and you will not receive anymore email communication from Dungeon Colony in the future unless you sign up for news-letters. If you have opted-out you may still receive important emails regarding your account with us)

3. A few months ago I created a game editor that allows you to draw maps, add quest, configure properties of objects and creatures, include/exclude enemy waves, and add specific level winning and loosing conditions (... and much much more).

Today, I am releasing the editor to the public. The editor is still in a rough shape around the edges, nonetheless, if you haven’t already, you can try out the first level I created using the editor. On the campaign map, this level is called “First Arrival”. I am very interested in hearing your feedback, suggestions or wishes regarding the editor.

What's next? I am going to start adding new content including new craft-able objects and I am also starting to upgrade an existing game feature. Stay tuned for more updates.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Feedback & Voting System - Dungeon Colony Version 0.2.2.14

It's been almost 2 weeks since I've had a larger sale where you were able to set your own price and buy Dungeon Colony for as little as $0.01, yes one cent. The reason for the sale was the completion of version 0.2.1.x - Game Audio. I love these kinds of sales as they give everyone a chance to get the game and play it during alpha development. This can be a really good thing if you need to get a bit more feedback from actual players. And so it did: The response was great and the demand crippled my server. Moreover, I received an influx of emails which took an eternity to respond to. To overcome all of these issues I created a new way for players to communicate with me which I'm releasing today in version 0.2.2.14 (Try it now here free). 

The In-Game Feedback System with Votes:


In order to organize all the bugs, comments, questions and feature requests in one place, I've long been wanting to use a forum of some sort where players can post such things. One solution had been to use an existing forum that's on some website, but there are forums just about everywhere: There is a forum on steam, indiedb, tigsource etc. And players have submitted bugs on all those platforms before, which leaves me with the problem that bugs are scattered around the web making it difficult for me to track them.

As a result I'm releasing a new experimental system where players can send me feedback from within the game.This system can be accessed from the Main Menu (see 'Feedback' button), but you have to be a registered user in order to send me something. Demo users do not have access to this.

The following screenshot is the Feedback List page. It shows all of the currently open bugs, suggestions, questions and feedback:


Any feedback that is submitted will not be shown immediately on the list page. I will first review it to make sure it is relevant and not spammy.

Vote Count, Up-votes, and Yes/No Votes:

Every player who as purchased an account gains access to the voting system. There are 4 categories of requests:
  • Bugs
  • Suggestions
  • Questions
  • Feedback
Users can vote on each of these categories, however, for bugs and suggestions each player gets only a total of 2 votes to distribute. For example, if a player likes a particular feature request she can vote for it. That leaves her with another vote to be used on another feature request or another bug. Votes cannot be undone. So be careful what you vote on. However, once a bug or suggestion has been completed, the vote is recycled back to the player, which she can use again on another item.

On the other hand, votes for Questions and Feedback are unlimited and help reveal the more interesting questions or feedback submissions.

Bugs, questions and feedback can only be up-voted, which causes the most voted item to appear at the top of the list. Suggestions on the other-hand have a YES or NO vote. This should help me determine the sentiment of the community over each feature request and whether I will end up creating it or not. Suggestions are merely for smaller feature requests and I will generally not take any larger game design requests.


The above screenshot shows how a request is submitted. 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Username Changes Now Possible

Many players have asked if they could change their username. Until now this wasn't possible, but I have just added this function on the Dungeon Colony Website:

After you login, you will see a link next to the username field with the label '(change)'.

Usernames must be between 8-20 characters long and be alphanumeric as well as may contain the '_' character.

Additionally, if you couldn't reset your password, the Forgot Password page is now fixed.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Ambients vs Background Music

Ambient & Music 

In Dungeon Colony music and sound has been on the side lines for much of development. This is not always a good idea, as sound can not only tremendously increase immersion into the game, but also can have ties to game mechanics.

Nonetheless, as a developer, you may find yourself in the same situation as I have been: little experience in sound design and no budget to buy music when your idea is still young and fresh. Of course, you can always use free samples available on the net or find other means to get free audio and use that as a placeholder until you can figure out what actual sound effects and musical tunes will be in the final version. I don't like using placeholders because they create an atmosphere that isn't what you really want, and if you don't want it, there is no reason to use them in the first place and confuse the player (given that you are programming with early access).

dSonic

A few months ago, after GDC, I met with a sound design studio which shared a lot of the values that I find important in game audio: Instead of playing distracting music tunes in the background over and over, I believe that ambient sounds are far more outreaching and immerse. I don't think that eliminating all music from a game-play is good either, but it can be used to indicate changes or events rather than being non functional. For example a short set of battle tunes inform the player that a fight is about to break out or happening somewhere on the map; or a soft musical short can indicate a change in time of day, etc.

The studio that has made the first set of audio for Dungeon Colony is dSonic. This studio has actually made audio for larger titles such as Bioshock and Eve Online. However, those guys working at dSonic are very much engaged in the indie community and offer their services for indies with a special licencing deal. Since releasing Dungeon Colony for public early access, I've been able to generate enough dough to hire dSonic and I'm happy to have finished this first set of sound and music.

Pay What You Want

As a result, I am going to offer Dungeon Colony again for a reduced pre-beta cost of "Pay What You Want" =)... my favorite way of paying for games. So please, if you like Dungeon Colony, tell your friends about it, share it on facebook, follow me on twitter and help me get the word out, so that I can bring Dungeon Colony into beta stage.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

New Character Profiles


Dungeon Colony - Beta is coming closer and closer!! Ever since I started working on this game I've always worked on all parts simultaneously: Game Engine, Features, Art, Audio, Web, etc... adding bit by bit, similarly to how I would work on a paining.
Continuing this trend, I've recently added new character profiles for each creature that is currently or will soon be available in the game. For the Beta release, the following characters will be included:


  • The spiders live in dungeons. They like darkness to prey on their victims.
  • The Dungeon Master and his minion are the creatures you control (center column). 
  • The boar is the only friendly NPC which roams the grasslands.
  • To the right are the Hero creatures which will raid your dungeon for all your treasures.
  • Skeletons are new creatures which will be available in the game soon.