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Thursday, March 27, 2014

March Update

Hi everyone,

It's been some days since I've posted news so let me share a bit more about what's happening in the realms of Dungeon Colony. For one, I took a break to recharge inspirational batteries. Some of this happened during GDC and there was a lot of good that came again from this year's conference: I am seriously looking into adding audio to Dungeon Colony!!

Finding Audio has been much more difficult than visual art. I have a much clearer idea in my head of how I want Dungeon Colony to look like, but when it comes to audio it's a different story. I can see several styles, but haven't focused in on the right one yet. All I know is that ambiance is super important to me. I have found a professional studio which works with AAA titles, but who also works with indies. This is all I want to share for now, since everything is in its infancy. But I'm excited =)

Of course, I found some time to code, so I continued a bit on the Beta-Road-Map-ToDo-List. I am currently working on the Level Editor. While its functional, there are soo many loose ends that I still need to fix.

At the same time, another item from the to-do list is the Campaign Map. The campaign map will allow the player to choose and play levels or side quests. The art for the map is almost done and it looks great. I will write a post in the coming days and show the final version of the map, so stay tuned...

There are only a few days left for the Early Access March Discount, support us by getting an account. Thank you!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Beta Progress Log

Last Sunday (3/16), my wonderful business partner and I sat down in our favorite cafĂ© and discussed the plans to move Dungeon Colony to Beta. We came up with the following list of high level items.

As I have done before, I will use this blog post to keep track of progress on each of these items. If you want to find out about the progress, come back and revisit this post. There are many sub-tasks involved in each ToDo list item which I'll start adding as we work on them.

Orange = Pending
Blue = Work In Progress
Green = Complete

Last Updated: 04/13/2014

The Alpha-to-Beta ToDo list:
  • Music/Sound
    • Found and contracted production team for sound/music.
    • First set of sound assets are in production & implrementation. 
    • Adding new audio engine to configure sound effects and control playback based on map locations. 
  • Campaign Map (Pre-Requisite: New Art)
    • Creating new game frame for Campaign Map.
    • Adding new placeholder for campaign world map.
    • Adding Location Buttons that load a level.
    • Adding Level Chain for Campaign.
    • Adding support to the campaign map to show completed levels & next playable level and hide remaining uncompleted levels. 
    • Storing completed level info with user data on server.
    • New Art completed (new World Map + new Map Icons). 
    • Adding new window for processing world map levels. 
    • Adding additional world-map-icon functionality.  
  • Level Editor fully functional
    • Fixing DropDownLists in Quest Creator.
    • Adding Tab-Focus to various controls to Editor Settings frame
    • Adding Tab-Focus functionality to DropDownList
    • Fixes border shadow when placing granite.  
    • Adding Ground tiles to editor tool box.
    • Adding close buttons to various tool frames in editor.
  • Campaign Levels
  • Game Player Profiles
  • Creature Character Window for Equipment and Skill Management (To replace the current skill frame)

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Dungeon Colony Version

In this version (v0.2.0.46), I  added the next toolbox for wall building to the side menu. When selected, it allows the player to choose between Dirt, Rock and Stone walls. It works just like the flooring tool where you to place new ground tiles. Once you choose a destination for the wall, your minions will try to find the necessary resources stored in any of your containers and then proceed to construction. Each requires 4 raw material of it's type. The resource count is subject to balancing.

Along the way, I improved how all 5 tools are deselected. Now you can simply right click to deselect the tool. Before, it was more like an annoying guessing game.

This new wall tool replaces the former way of building new walls. Previously, you had to craft stone blocks in the workbench before you could place them on the ground to make a wall. It was taking too long to get walls build and took much of the fun of dungeon building away. Now, if you have the resources stored, building walls is only one click away.

Here is a short gif animation showing how much simpler wall building has become:

Summary of Improvements in this version:
  • Adds new Wall building toolbox. 
  • Removes old wall block crafting recipes.
  • Adds right-click toolbox deselect capability.
  • Removes Email from Login screen. If you username is your email, then that'll work. 
  • Fixes issue with username on website
  • Fixes bug that caused the selection frame to remain on the screen, even after the object was removed from the game.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Dungeon Colony Version


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The dungeon needs air again, that is, if there is an entrance to the dungeon and if the level has enemies trying to enter the dungeon from outside. As a player, you can close the dungeon off by placing a wall at the entrance. Anyone trapped inside will start loosing air-points. Once depleted, life points will drop.

The air algorithm has always been part of the game engine. I turned it off a while ago when working on the tile map. The Alpha testers found out quickly about it and thus it was time to turn it back on.

As a result, I also made significant improvements to the enemy AI: Since dungeon layout and design is left to the player's imagination, the AI has to make somewhat realistic choices when faced with multiple directions. For example, if an enemy walks down a corridor with a room to the right, should he walk on or enter the room ?

The new algorithm helps the enemy make those decisions. While this is the foundation for enemy movement, I've been long working on an 'actual' AI based algorithm (one that learns as opposed to one that's just decision tree based). It's not done yet, but the progress looks promising.

I also created a new mining smoke/particle gif animation :


  • Adds new Animation when a wall is destroyed (see gif).

  • Re-introduces air need. Prevents player from closing off the dungeon with a wall.
  • Improves Enemy AI navigation. 
  • Improved order-cancelling logic when minions cannot perform a command for any reason. 
  • Fixes bug that crashed the game when placing ground tiles. 

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Dungeon Colony Version

Today's version (v0.2.0.38) fixes a few bugs discovered by alpha tester (thanks Matt & Rob!!). Additionally, I've also added some new animations when the boar eats grass. In the past few weeks, I've worked a lot on game engine features. Most of my time went on improving Path-finding and Minion AI. I made significant progress in both areas, but I'm releasing only the advances in Minion AI. The Path-finding Improvements need a bit more maturity.

There was a bigger bug that kept freezing your minions in certain situations. This had to do with a loop when a path couldn't be found. It would have been simple to patch this bug up, but instead I reworked how command assignment is managed and made significant improvements to the command game engine. I still have some other features that I want to add to the improved AI system, but I'll work on those in a few weeks. For now, I need to make sure that the new system works flawlessly. So please help me test this version and let me know if you encounter any strange behavior in your minions. Thanks =).

Summary of this release:


  • Improves Minion Command AI. 

New Artwork:

  • Adds new Boar eat-grass animation.

Game Balancing:

  • Reduces the visibility of Archers

Bug Fixes:

  • Fixes bug that prevented the close button from working on certain frames.
  • Fixes bug that displayed the object's rotate button when the object couldn't rotate.
  • Fixes issue with Level Up indicator.
  • Fixes bug that prevented the leg-trap quest from being completed in Sandbox Mode.