Welcome to the Delver’s Drop End-of-Month Update for May 2015!
Before we get started, we’d like to apologize about being a little sporadic with the Livestreams this month. We had several conflicts, and weren’t as consistent as usual. But we did have several guests, so hopefully that makes up for it! To see a list of past episodes, hop over to our forums: http://forums.pixelscopic.com/let's-play/official-pixelscopic-live-stream-thread
DEV UPDATES & FEATURE PROGRESSGame Download Portal
A friend of ours has kindly offered his assistance in an effort to give the Delver’s Drop website some nice upgrades. We are unsure about the timeline, but we are planning to develop a customer portal on the site, where our backers can login and download a full archive of all versions of the game.
As most of you may know, you can currently download and play the game via Humble. (If you never saw an email with your key, let us know via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
and we’ll send your link!)
However, that system is limited to the newest build, and we’ve received many requests to try out older versions of the game. We even occasionally like to go on a trip down memory lane, and play the oldest version, which pre-dates even the Kickstarter campaign!
So the plan is to give all of you the ability to download and play these older versions in the near future. But be warned — they may be (probably are) quite buggy, and a few of the earliest are PC-only. We also hope that this will make it easier for some Kickstarter backers to download and play the game.
Looking even further to the future, we will most likely use this web portal to provide many of your digital rewards.New Build on the Horizon
We are working hard on a new build with some significant feature additions. However, the scope and playtime will be limited, since several system will still be undergoing revision. We have decided to focus on the basics of gameplay: controls, physics, and movement abilities. We are also striving to get some missing and long overdue systems up and running — such as adding several in-game sub-menus, and exposing the experience points and leveling systems. Some of these features may be rough and experimental, with more polish and balancing to come in the future.Physics
As we’ve mentioned (probably more than once), progress has been slowed by some physics rework. This became necessary when certain game-y mechanics were introduced, which contradict some of the normal laws of physics… and produced pretty bad bugs. Sokoban-style, limited-direction pushable blocks would get permanently stuck on each other, like a left-moving rock against an upward-moving hard place. (Broken puzzles!) When we tried to modify character dashing and add some cool new mechanics, we hit the mathematical limits of the physics simulation. (Super-fast dashing could not be bug-free.) For the same reason, players could not throw objects all the way across the room… more like 5 feet in front of them. (Lame!) And finally, some of you may have also noticed many objects interpenetrating as if everything in the game were a balloon animal. (Just weird!)
Anyway, all of that is getting fixed! It’s been a rather un-fun change to undergo on the programming side, but it means that player abilities and puzzles can now be a whole lot more interesting. As a huge added bonus, performance should improve dramatically on slower machines.
Experience, Leveling, Skill Upgrades
We have (theoretically) had experience points in the game for a long time. But it was definitely not visible to the player. And when we exhumed this bit of code from its sepulchral hiding place, it apparently counted XP for enemy kills until it reached 100 points… and then stopped. So now, suffice it to say that you can gain XP from enemy kills, and level up as you reach each scaling level threshold. For instance, Level 2 is reached at 1000 XP, then Level 3 after another 1250, and so on. (Obviously pending balancing).
So what happens when you level up? This is where the long awaited Skills / Perks system comes into play! Each time you level, the character class you are playing as will gain at least 1 skill point. You can then assign this point to several active ability skills or passive perks. Some perks will only be unlockable once you meet other requirements. We are avoiding a very complicated prerequisite tree, and instead gearing the system toward maximum player customization.
Just remember that the game will be 100% playable without grinding for levels, or assigning perks. We are emphasizing player skill over the numbers-game of level-grinding (more like Dark Souls), so that the game can theoretically be beaten with a Level-1, non-upgraded character. So for those of you who (A) hate wasting time grinding, or (B) love a challenge, we hope to accommodate your wishes!
While the implementation of this system will be VERY simple in the upcoming build, we are making good progress, and are excited about showing it to all of you.Sub-Menus, Item Comparison
Partly to accommodate the leveling and skill customization screens, we are working on a larger set of sub-menus. These will eventually also include a level map, achievement list, in-game settings (volume, etc), and an item/weapon info sub-screen. This last item screen is currently one of our highest menu priorities.
Ever wondered why the game has had so many nonsense items that do very little damage, or knock the player backwards? The plan was to start the player with low-quality weapons in Zone 1 for narrative realism and added challenge, and then to introduce the idea of item comparison as better items are found. Very soon we will have implemented a menu state (inside of the pause menu flow) where you can look at the stats of any given item, and compare it to others you are carrying, or an item that you have just found in a treasure chest. This will allow players to pick only the best weapons, and ones for which their character class has greater affinity. Other weapons are still usable, but if they have low stats or are ill-suited for your character, you may want to cash them in or thrown them at enemies for bonus damage. The Item comparison sub-menu will help you make all of these decisions.
We also enjoy giving the weapons silly names and descriptions, and we need a place to display this text so you can (hopefully) chuckle at our wit, and cry at our bad jokes.
That’s all for this month’s development updates. But June looks to be a very promising month, so stay tuned!MEET THE CAST: SORCERERGender:
The Shade WhispersOccupation:
Purveyors of (often illegal) potions and tinctures, the Sorcerer employs potent magic that manipulates spirit energy to benefit others or serve more shady purposes.Best Weapons:
Sorcerers wish to increase their social standing and influence over others, or manipulate others to their purpose.Specialty:
They sap spirits and energy from living plants, animals, and people, to create more powerful magic concoctions and tame powerful Echo ghosts. Description:
Lovers of flattery and practitioners of the same, Sorcerers are self-important and have a penchant for gambling and conspicuous spending, in attempts to increase their social standing. They rely on magical substances to forget their past and to ease the burden of their magical capabilities — or to enhance them.Thanks Again!
Thanks as always for sticking with us! And please show up for our Art Livestreams every Friday (usually at 3pm CST), or visit our forums, where we will be happy to hear your suggestions and feedback!