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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Dungeon Colony Rooms - Ownership

I've introduced some of the new room features in a previous blog post. Since then I've continued on rooms and built the logic to let minions take ownership of the room Lair type. All a minion needs to walk on a tile that is defined as the room type Lair and if that room is still vacant, the minion will automatically become owner of it. I will add a way to remove owners as well. Other room types, such the Pantry or Treasury do not need owners. They have different functions such as managing food and gold reserves for the entire Dungeon.

You can see in the following Gif animation some of the new features in action:

  1. I'm first setting up two Lair rooms by selecting the lair room button on the right and then drawing the room in. (Lair rooms have the color blue)
  2. Then I'm sending a minion in the left room; as soon as he enters the room tile, he becomes owner.
  3. The other new feature is the room info. You can see that I de-selected the room tool button and the blue color showing the room area disappears. However, you can still see the room designation in a lighter blue when hovering the mouse over the room. After a few milliseconds, a popup also gives information about the room. In this case whether the room has an owner or not. 

What's not shown in the gif above is some additional info when hovering over a room. If the lair has an owner, the owner will be highlighted, so that you can find out quickly where the owner is.

... Next: I'll start building the logic that determines what a minion can do in a room. 

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Dungeon Colony Rooms - A first look


I've started designing Rooms for Dungeon Colony! This is where things get interesting. The main purpose of rooms is determined by their type. For now, I'm introducing and testing three room types: Lair, Pantry, and Treasury. These rooms all play a fundamental role in the up-coming economy update. The Lair will be the room that your creatures sleep in. Your minions can claim a room and become the owner of it. I'm planning to assign ownership by walking into a room. Currently, only the Lair can be owned by your creatures. The other rooms are common or belong to your Dungeon Master by default (the treasury of course).

As a minion takes ownership of a room, it becomes his hub for anything that he needs. That includes sleep, food, potions, weapons and gold of course. To store all of that, your minion will ask you for furniture... That part I am going to work on soon. Right now I'm finishing up the UX features. That is the way that you can create room of different room types. As well as how the UX responds to you when you try to place a room or remove a room again. For example, I've built in features that allows you to merge existing rooms of the same type, or splits rooms into two (or more), while reassigning ownership of any previous room owners. Anyway ... if that makes no sense, I think a small demo is nicer to show some of it in action:

Placing rooms is just like drawing in a paint program: You choose the room type, which will draw the color of the room to show you where the room dimensions are. If you turn the Room-Button off, the room colors will be hidden. For development purposes I show the room ID, so that I can merge or split rooms correctly (see red pantry room in demo). I will reveal more about rooms as features become available.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Dungeon Colony


I'm making good progress on the final major game engine features: Creature behavior and creature economy. In this version update (v0.2.6.0) I'm extending how abilities are used to control your minion behavior.

There are 9 new abilities which range from mining ore, lumbering wood to transporting and building objects. Now, the player can control what orders a worker will perform and which one he will ignore. The following gif animation shows how you can simply turn on and off certain abilities.

You ask what is the benefit for that and why should I care??? A lot of feedback I've received asked me to allow the player control over what minions do. The engine used to assign orders to your workers on a first come first serve basis. So if you had 10 activities pending to lumber wood, whenever a minion would become free to perform this job, he would take on the job and carry it out.

With the new system, you can designate which minions lumber wood, which mine, dig dirt, collect water, etc. This way, you could limit how many of your workers lumber wood, while others stay back to mine fore ore. By default a minion will carry out all of these abilities, but you can choose to turn them off when you want. In future game updates, workers will be able to learn new abilities. But that's not part of this release yet. :)

Friday, March 20, 2015

Dungeon Colony Version


It's great to finally write a blog post, I've been waiting for this day for a long time and, for Great reasons, I took time and put the Dungeon Colony machine on hold for a while to welcome new life into this world. Now that I returned I continued development and I want to tell you that there is a new release available today. It adds new features both to the engine as well as the game server:

The Campaign Engine:

The pieces are starting to come together and connect into a full Campaign Engine. It loads levels, integrates into the game editor, connects levels to the campaign map, manages units travelling from one destination to the next and puts your units onto the playing map, when the player selects a game. This means that your units travel with you, including their experience and items they may be holding. Currently I'm working on connecting loose ends to complete the playing experience of a full game from start to finish.


At the same time, I've continued on level design. One of the larger level design elements is about runes. Your Dungeon Master get's it's magic spells from ancient runes which his ancestors have left scattered around the land. He has one of the pieces in his possession, passed down to him from generations, but he must find and collect the rest to unleash its full power. The first rune gives him the spell to summon a minion into the world. The minion's soul is bound to you and the weak power of the rune doesn't allow you to summon more than just that one minion. There are, however, other ways to get more minions in the game.

The Dungeon Master has a special button that opens up the Rune Collection window (screenshot below). Any runes that the Dungeon Master collects will be shown in this window. The following screenshot shows the windows at different stages of assembly. Each time the Dungeon Master finds a new piece the player may try to put them together to craft the next assembly:

Game Server:

The game engine communicates with a server where players can store their game. During alpha development this was (and still is) the only way to save games. Its serves the purpose of debugging and understanding issues players may have. I'm currently looking for a cloud solution for game saves and may use AWS for this, let me know if you recommend another solution and why. One of the biggest upgrades I've made to the server is improving email communication. It was a disaster before and I lost too many emails in the process. This should not happen any longer.

New in version 0.2.5:

- Dungeon Master can now carry certain special items.
- Added new Rune Stone Fragments. Fragments can be combined into one full assembly.
- Further improves campaign map logic for units traveling between locations.
- Enables campaign save/load to server.
- Adds button in settings to allow you to delete & restart a campaign game.
- Adds Gold Reserves to Campaign Game Map.
- Adds Legend to Campaign Map.
- Adds next/previous buttons to scroll through this list.