|RuneSword 2.6.0 Release!||Tue 2009.12.22 21:30|
Redesigned. Improved. Given a good de-lousing. RSII 2.6.0. New pieces have been added on, other pieces have increased functionality. Stronger, bigger, and more powerful than ever, RSII has been given new life with the release of 2.6.0!!!
The Creator software has been greatly improved and stabilized again. Creator now supports Ctrl-X, Ctrl-C and Ctrl-V shortcuts. The Creature Explorer has been given an ‘Insert’ button, so you can look at a beastie and then stick it straight into an encounter in the active tome. An Item Explorer has also been added in with the same functionality. Lots of minor and major improvements to the search function, map use and tile use. Encounters are now sorted alphabetically in the treeview, making it a little easier to find things. A ‘Browse’ button has been added to certain windows, making it simpler to insert items, creatures and triggers from the library. Combat wallpapers now show their picture in the Creator, so you can see what they look like without having to leave Creator. The treeview is now updated after the "replace" function is used (and several other bugs with search have been fixed as well) and when an item is selected in the center of the screen, it is also automatically selected in the treeview. Trigger code windows are now horizontally resizable. This makes it easier to see all of the code that you are working on.
Maps and map-making have been greatly enhanced. The Move Map right-click command was fixed. It used to leave out areas that were not previously loaded. A major improvement was the move to drop down lists for the CopyTile and TargetEncounter statements. No more typing in the names of tiles or encounters and maybe getting them wrong! A new statement was added also: "TargetEncounterInArea". This is an improved "TargetEncounter", valid for the whole tome and not the current map only. You can also now place your mouse over the right or left edges of the map to move the map in that direction. New tile graphics (Right-click on the tile area of the treeview to create new tiles) are now updated when they are created, instead of waiting until the active map was opened again or another new tile was created. The Find Tile function was improved as well.
Conversations have been enhanced, allowing Creators to use CreatureTarget.Name and CreatureNow.Name to personalize dialogues between players and NPCs. A new statement: RemoveTopic, has been added to the trigger functions, making conversations much more meaningful and easier to build. So now if a player makes a merchant uunhappy, Creators can set it up so that the merchant topic is removed from him and he will no longer sell goods.
Also, the picture to display when a creature dies can now be world or even creature dependent. So, your blobs won’t show bones when they die if you take the time and specify a new graphic!
Tome Creator Several new capabilities have been added to the tome creator. Right-clicking on a map will create an entrypoint (or an encounter if Shift is pressed) if no encounter/entrypoint already exists at the clicked location. Getting easier and easier to Create! On the individual maps, creators can now select a set of wandering monsters for each map straight from the map properties. These wandering monsters only attack in encounters that are classified as "None" or "Dangerous Area" on the encounter properties. So you can have your map, dangerous as you want it to be with a selection of monsters to encounter at random, and mark safe havens in there as well. You can also tag an entire map as a Camping area, with a chance for monsters intruding as well as setting the time needed between rests. Talking about monsters, Creators now have more options when it comes to body parts for opponents. Besides the standard arm, leg and other basic body parts, there are new parts including hull, cabin, deck, mast and turret for boats and spaceships! Creators can also specify (for a world or individual creature) a different picture than the standard bones bitmap for when a creature dies.
Tome Packager The tome packager, one of the best additions to the core software, has been improved again! It now checks creatures, items, and triggers attached at the tome level and packages them correctly. It also generates an .rsp file instead of an executable, making emailing tomes a breeze!
Creating a personalized world has never been easier. Each world can now be assigned an appropriate interface that will change the screen display to more accurately reflect your world. So when a player changes worlds, their interface will portray the new world automatically. The way Creator handles race pictures has also been improved. Creators can now select a separate set of female pictures for their races! World Creators can also change, remove or add race pictures in a kingdom by right-clicking on the picture. Brand new to Frankenstein is a World Packager! It works the same as the Tome Packager, creating a file that can be shared with others via email. Each world now has its own random tome as well! This is a big addition. Creators can put random tome(s) created specifically for their world under Library\
A lot of new things are in the Player as well, both to provide a smoother, less buggy playing experience as well as improving overall play. The most obvious change is the new interface. There are now submenus for tomes and characters. The character submenu allows you access to your characters outside of picking them for tomes. You can scan through your roster, checking to see who you have ready to play. Another one of the bigger additions is support for mouse wheels, improved drag & drop capabilities, and more double-clicking! Want to change weapons in combat? Double-click on the weapon you want to use and voila! The weapons swap places (as long as both have been previously examined). Tired of having to drag treasure over to your characters one by one when you don’t want to “Take All”? Double-click on the desired booty and it will go as quick as Uncle Darryl with diarrhea to the active character’s inventory! Want to open a container? Double-click on the chest and it will display its contents (except of course if it’s locked or unexamined). Want to go down the list of goods for sale at the merchant shop? Use your mousewheel to stroll down the list.
By the way, merchants no longer crash if you buy their last item and then try to buy more. We also fixed an error with tomes that contained journal entries, and stopped characters from being able to search in areas that they had already left (when you were transported somewhere else, you could search the previous area). The health bar has undergone a facelift. Instead of the green and red colors, yellow has been added in. Now green shows you are in the top third of your health total, yellow the middle third, and red only shows when you have dropped down to 33% or less of your hit point total. If the world uses a magic bar, then this color scheme works for that as well.
Rune names alongside of the screen have been fixed so that they can be read in all screen resolutions. Last update introduced several new features, including a Home Tome for characters. This update fixes a few of the problems found. For example, when characters visited their home tome, Player used to save the tome as many times as there were characters in the party living in it. Not any more, now it saves only once. Monsters got smarter too in Player too. They will switch weapons if needed, and they no longer check the size or level of their items. If the Creator was dumb enough to give them the wrong sized armor, then the monster will still be able to use it! But don’t worry, characters got smarter as well: now, when they search an area, they also look for traps (and when found, they try to remove them!). The RT 91 error that used to happen when closing the Player is a thing of the past as well.
Almost every single tome available since RSI has undergone a facelift. Rewritten to take advantage of all the changes in the new version, tomes now have wandering monsters, camp areas, and increased playing areas. For example, the original Dragon Merchant tome was a quick sample tome to catch and trap a dragon. Now the tome has a redesigned town map, more encounters, and a realistic set of NPC’s instead of the generic library critters.
Several things were done to improve combat... Players now get to play with stats for their characters. On the Status page, there is a new section that lists all sorts of goodies like hit percentages, kills, tomes played, etc. There is also a new Combat log in the Log display that lists the hits and misses of melees. The infamous Combat Freeze bug is now a thing of the past. We have been hunting this bad boy for many versions now, finding causes here and there and this time we put the final nail in its coffin! Players now have access (through Shift +right-click on a monster) to view the capabilities of opponents. Not everything is in there, but you get a good idea of what you are facing. There is also a new Guard option which allows characters with some Action Points left to attack enemies that come within range. Speaking of Action Points: when the active creature has more than 20 left, the exact figure is displayed just after the AP globes. Also, at the end of combat, there used to be some confusion as to who was the active player. Well, no longer. Now whenever combat is finished, the active player’s name and the highlighted box agree on who is in the lead and doing the talking, searching, etc.... We also added in an ‘End conversation’ topic for "Can't ignore" creatures when they have no such topic, to prevent games from locking up.
Players, did you have trouble looking through a long list of skills for the one skill that you wanted? Now you can filter your skills list! See only spells, etc... And just for the ladies (and those guys who like to play female characters –you know who you are!), making a female character improved as well. Now, when you click on the female button during character creation, you switch to a screen of female graphics to choose! We updated the graphics library as well, adding in some sci-fi graphics, creature graphics, and character graphics.
Camp (Yes, CAMP!)
The biggest thing is -wait for it- the NEW CAMP BUTTON! The first topic new players ask about on the boards is HOW DO I @!#% CAMP! The "Camp" button makes its debut in this release, hopefully forever ending questions about how to camp. New statements Encounter.CanCamp and Map.CanCamp properties can be used by Creators to make it active or not. Creators can set whole maps for camping (such as an indoor residence, a small druid grove, etc...) or encounters (a safe rest area, room at the inn, etc...) as safe to camp within hostile areas. Creators can also set wandering monster encounters in supposedly safe maps by setting an encounter as ‘Danger’.
|GENCON 2009||Mon 2009.08.09 14:30|
I'm extra excited this year! We're running Galactic Emperor (2 events on Thursday night) and trying to get folks to play test our new game Ninjato. Maybe you'd like to get a sneak peek at our new game? Maybe you'd just like to play GE? We'll be in the open gaming room off and on. I hope to have buckets of free doo-dads too for give-aways. If you're around, drop me an e-mail here or find Dan and I in the dashing CrossCut Games 2009 t-shirts sporting the thrilling CrossCut logo.
|RuneSword 2.6.0||Sun 2009.05.10 15:15|
To keep up on the latest, drop in on the forums!
|Another Quick Update||Thr 2009.03.17 21:30|
But anyhow, Dan and I are also working on Dungeon Delvers. We've got the inventory clicky stuff mapped out - but I haven't coded it up just yet. I do have a nifty chest picture opening and closing. The goal of inventory was to make a single click all you needed to do to activate an item - or use it in solving a plot card. Dan had the grand idea of including masterwork items that are permanent fixtures to a Delver. I like that too - gives you some gold plating on the character for long term appeal (and it's easy too).
The other part to it is when you smash a monster, it spills out the items right away. Sure, that's arcady and all, but I really like the thought and it should work well in the game. After all the items are spilled, you click on them to shuttle them off to the chest. If you don't click 'em, the items fade off screen. After combat is over (and you're victorious), you can divide the items up amongst your delvers. So that's all pretty clean.
I just need to get coding!
|Developing Dungeon Delvers||Thr 2009.02.12 23:15|
One thing it definitely does: you now really do care about how much you get hit during combat - how far down your Delvers really go. Every hit is important. That's a great thing for the feel in the game.
|Dungeon Delvers Update||Tue 2009.02.10 21:45|
Inventory is servicable now - at least you can move things around and trade them. What I just got working was the weapon and smart bomb placement so you can see them. And weapons now work as they should. Magic items (like scrolls and spells or what have you) can now be seen. I also just got multiple special effects explosions working too and that's quite a relief (although there's a problem with one of them - it's not dying right). I'm running out of time tonight, but I hope to get the main health guage in place next along with the refresh bars for the weapon and smart bomb.
|Galactic Emperor Upgrade Kits SOLD OUT!||Tue 2009.01.27 21:45|
|Merry Christmas!||Wed 2008.12.24 11:15|
|Order Galactic Emperor!||Thr 2008.12.10 21:15|
|Click to Order!|
We now have the second print run available - and it's much improved with extra thick cardboard stock, a new reference card and several graphic improvements!
|We're Number 1!||Mon 2008.02.04 22:20|
If you happen to have questions, comments, concerns or other conundrums, just post 'em here on the friendly forums. These folks can answer your common questions and offer up some helpful hints.
|Well, THAT's Something!||Thr 2008.01.31 21:45|
I think I'll list out the tasks again. That generally gets me depressed and motivated at the same time. And I'll open up those data files. And maybe change the intro screen a bit - that always cheers me up! And then.... maybe I'll add a few more lines of code. Who knows? This may begin a whole new trend!
|Top 10||Sun 2008.01.27 21:15|
I've also requested a special event at Origins Game Fair this year in Columnbus, Ohio for Galactic Emperor. We'll see if they accept it.
Another news note: I turned Forum Registration back on. It has been turned over for many months, but I think I've figured out a way to stop the pesky spam-bots from requesting access which was flooding my e-mail box in the past. Human spamers - I'll deal with them on a case by case.
In the mean time, if you have any trouble with the forum, you can always post a question or comment - I'm checking pretty much every single day (sometimes multiple times during a day).
|A Small Update||Tue 2008.01.22 23:20|
If you have any other questions or comments, please send me an e-mail or post on the forums right here. And thanks for visiting the site!
|Merry Chirstmas!||Mon 2007.12.22 00:50|
|Ah Well||Mon 2007.10.11 22:23|
|Love and Delvers||Mon 2007.08.31 22:13|
|GENCON!||Mon 2007.08.13 21:30|
This year we're running Galactic Emperor and milling about. I hope to see many folks - friends and foes alike. Bring 'em all on! And if you're there, look for us in the Open Gaming Room (116) on Thursday and find us via the BG HQ on Friday. Else, I'll be doing what everyone else is doing: getting my game on!
|Galactic Emperor Rules||Sun 2007.08.03 21:10|
This isn't the final copy, but we hope it's close. If you have any questions or comments about the rules, please let us know! We'd really appreciate your opinion on how well it reads, how easy (or difficult) the game seems and any point that needs clarification.
|Back from Origins!||Sun 2007.07.22 14:40|
Dungeon Delvers? It's sitting there for now at about 80% done. It will not be forgotten! But I'm sinking alot of time in Galactic Emperor now. Once I get that squared away and moving toward production, I can divert back to Delvers 100%. Just a question of bandwidth right now - only so many hours are available to me. So don't fret. Delvers will be finished!
|Off to Origins!||Tue 2007.07.05 22:15|
I'll post a session report (or whatever notes seem right) when I get back on Sunday (or maybe Monday). Wish me good fortune and good play testing!
|Origins||Tue 2007.06.28 23:10|
So as for a subject, I've been most focused on and ramping up for the Origins show. I'm going to be there only on Saturday (that's all I could manage in my schedule this time), but I'll be there all day and into the early evening. The good news is if you find me, I'll have t-shirts to give away if you win a demo of GE (or if you convince me you need one). Anyone who is a regular here knows you have my attention and gratitude.
And if you're among the throngs who are grumbling, "So what! What's up with Delvers??" I can only say - we're on it! Dan and I talk about it almost every day (so that's something) and I even put some work in on it. Just today I was once again estimating the work remaining - a wearisome, wretched task. Suffice to say, we will get it done, but it won't be done until then.
Other tid bits. Let's see. I am of course working on other games - shouldn't be too much of a surprise - and figuring out a bigger business plan for CrossCut Games. I still have to maintain my work work (the full time job I have during the day), so can only devote so much to the task. But it is still quite fun and rewarding. I'm also playing games regular - the other night, I played Caylus with my wife and eldest daughter and truly enjoyed it - really, the most fun I've had with that game yet. And I'm reading a book on John Adams (David McCullough) - great book.
|Delving!||Tue 2007.06.02 12:20|
I've been playing Etrian Odyssey on the DS over the last few weeks. It brings back all the wonderful memories of old - you even have to map the dungeon as you play (made very easy with the DS stylus). It's definitely fun and I really appreciate the passion put into it. So I was having fun until I got the first major boss monster on level 5 from which you cannot escape. So if you get into that battle, and you're not ready for it, you're sunk. Couple this with being unable to save your game in that spot (or anywhere near by), you have to replot the entire journey - smashing your way down to the 5th level and hope you can this time swat the baddie. I'm tired of it. Three times in, three times dead. I may try again, but man, it's not fun. And therein is the rub. I'm all for a throw back to days of yore, but let's be decent about it. Let's not suffer for it.
This of course all plays back into Devlers of course. All games are in some way research for Dungeon Delvers. We certainly do allow saving your game. And we have to stay completely focused on fun all the way through. That's a reason (excuse?) why we're still working on the game. Yes, I'm too close to it and overly critical - but I want to do the very best we can packing fun in every moment of play.
|Galactic Emperor!||Tue 2007.05.15 22:30|
As for Delvers, it couldn't be better! The game is also in early testing (just us right now) and we're tuning up the adventures and turning on the excitement. Hopefully, we'll get this puppy out the door very soon! It's looking fine with actually *more* adventures that we originally planned. I love it!
And on the other front, we have yet another game almost ready for testing! Yes, this one is a Euro-style card game. More on that baby a bit later.
|Runesword II 2.5.0 Released||Sat 2007.04.21 21:20|
RSII is composed of two elements: a 'Creator' for creating games (known as tomes), and a 'Player' to play the tomes. The Creator is an easy-to-use, completely flexible game construction set and world builder. The Player features turn-based, strategic combat, 50+ skills, races, a dozen small and full-length adventures, an instant random adventure generator, and different worlds to play in (fantasy and sci-fi).
Fixes in the Creator include updates to the tome wizard and tome packager, several fixes and improvements in searching, map-making and trigger-editing, and increased capabilities when designing worlds. Overall, the Creator has become more user-friendly with easier adventure sharing, additional stability and more options, especially in world construction and character archetypes. Creators can now assign additional stats to new characters, and design new magic systems based on those stats. Entire areas of maps may now be saved to the library as well, speeding up game creation and improving options for Creators.
Changes to the Player include improvements to game saves, items, creature graphics, the character screen, and the combat screen, and additions to the content library. A tray icon is included for the first time, useful for switching away from the game to another program. Players are now given more information about their characters and can see abilities change as armor and weapons are exchanged. The 'Greedy Merchant' Bug was fixed. Weight and bulk limitations have been added in for more realism. The ability to quickly change worlds was also added in, to take full advantage of the worlds now part of the standard download. Medium and long weapon ranges were also changed to extend further. Items in general have received a huge upgrade. Items in the game now have a size, and it must match the character's size to be used. Items also have a new experience level that can be checked against. Additions to the food family of items have enabled easier creation of useful and harmful food items. New items and spells that take advantage of these changes have been included in the library. Along with these changes to items, containers such as bags and backpacks must be at least as large as the items stored within. Problems with animations and creatures switching graphics during combat have been solved as well.
Several new adventures are also included in the standard DL, bringing the total number of ready-to-play adventures to almost three dozen spread across five different worlds. When you add in the random adventure generator, there are literally hundreds of hours of play in RSII without ever using the Creator to create your own adventures.
RSII is open source and completely free to use.
For more information: https://sourceforge.net/projects/runesword/ and https://www.crosscutgames.com/
|Questing||Wed 2007.04.15 15:45|
But this is why we push forward. You can't find the trouble unless you put the time in. And it also indicates where more work is needed - around the edges, finishing touches, polish. Anyhow, back to work!
|Encounters!||Wed 2007.03.07 18:50|
What else? Not much. I'm now working on a floaty-text routine so one can see some special effect stuff going off. That's pretty easy. Just need to type a bit more in and we're good to go there. And then... hmm. Maybe I'll work on ramping up monsters or finish up those trophy pictures OR put together some completed quest maps. Lots of fun things to work on!
|Toadie!||Sat 2007.02.25 00:40|
|Working Through Encounters||Sat 2007.02.10 23:51|
|DUNGEON DELVERS!||Mon 2007.02.05 21:45|
So. What to do? Why, just dive back in and get to it. It's all about content now. I have the levels plotted out, maps completed (I've gone over the original design of 30 different adventures), I have 165 encounter cards and I think Dan has several levels of monsters done (if not, I have several levels myself). Zoodles of items and spells done. Really much of it is about just finishing this stuff off and play testing. Lots of play testing.
There you go! We're back on it and I'm excited!
|New Year - New Game?||Tue 2007.01.09 21:33|
Another bit of new news - Talisman is going to be republished! Yes, the publisher is Black Industries. Not much more news than that, but still, I find this very exciting - especially since they are stating they have some new rules in place - and a new "speedy play rules written by the legendary Rick Priestley". We'll see if they can pull off a great re-release of a grand old game.
|Ho Ho Ho||Fri 2006.12.22 11:33|
Also, I've decided to allow monsters to generate in place of normal encounter spots. This lets me focus on the key events on a level and lets the engine balance out everything else. Like other games I've made, you can tweak some parameters on the level that influences how the engine generates things. I'm always trying to balance hand made content and generated content. Think of it as a laziness slider.
The only other thing to report is I've made a board game. Yes, over Thanksgiving I got this idea in my head, turned it into a set of rules, alpha tested it and now have a working prototype with a board, cards, components - the works. Now to move on to a beta test and see what we have.
|Monthly Update?||Thr 2006.11.23 10:40|
And for those of you in the States - Happy Thanksgiving!
|Special Combat Effects||Sat 2006.10.28 12:10|
But back to Delvers, I'm still working there too. I just set up the individual combat damage effects seconds ago. I can always see the next thing to do. Right now, I'm moving through the individual Delver abilities one by one to make sure they all work right. After that's polished off, I just need to finalize some graphics, sound and combat spinning effects and combat should be about done. I think. Should take a few weeks yet.
Last on the task list right now (if we ignore zillions of little things) is the trophy room and the intro screens (plus the default quest pictures which I can't do until all the quest content is finished up). The 'zillion little things' won't be tackled until we are testing quests since they are just estimated problems based on the design document. I'm not inclined to implment (say) lose quest gold until we have a quest that needs to do that.
And I have to do something about a tutorial. But that might wait until we get some good testing in. I mean - what is hard about the game? I can guess (and make a pretty good guess), but really don't know until some newbie tries it out and starts to stumble on some point.
|Rise and Shine||Sat 2006.10.14 09:20|
|An Update! Ooohh!||Thr 2006.10.12 19:10|
As far a serious update, I've really got to get back into special effects. But before I stroll over that way, I'm going to polish through the Delver abilities. I've had each one working before (save for one I think - the Stomp ability on one of them because I was never sure what it really should do - Dan designed that one). It shouldn't be too much work to get them all working again. Oh! And the ability to reroll on Fate. I never did have that one working. Hmm. But I think that's about it.
I'm just trying to get some serious time in each night so the game continues to make progress toward completion. Last few nights, I haven't had it in me to get much done (although I did do some research and implemented a new level in one adventure). Oh! Speaking of which, I'm kinda thinking about adding a few adventures now since I have more maps than I need. Anyhow, we'll see. The design was for 30 adventures - and that's how everything is plotted out. But maybe a few more side ones wouldn't hurt. More play time and all that. Also, we're originally plotted about 30-45 min per adventure for a single play through. But now, it's looking alot more like 60-90 min per adventure. And even more for some. There'll still be some fast ones for sure, but in the main, I think we're going for larger adventures in general. It all comes down to play testing.
|Can I Hear You?||Wed 2006.09.27 17:39|
But anyhow, back to work. I do like working on flashy effects, so maybe I can get a bunch of that done tonight.
|Attack Complete||Sun 2006.09.24 23:40|
Still, this is pretty cool. Combat is very, very fun. Lots of variety, lots of strategy, wonderful pacing. I really like it!
|Onward!||Sun 2006.09.17 21:50|
|Onward!||Wed 2006.08.30 23:20|
I'm excited about getting into combat. It works now by the way, but I have to go through each of the special abilities and attacks of delvers and monsters - building the features in that are missing. Each of the abilities and attacks are a combination of tokens - like Damage 2, SFX Snow, etc. Several tokens need implementation. And I need some interface tweaks as well. One of the more difficult things to do is getting monsters to be called in by other monsters - this is simply because the way I've implemented the turn queue. But I'll get it figured out. There are several combat special effects to put in place too - and they could take some time.
Anyhow, back to the code!
|Map Touches||Mon 2006.08.28 21:15|
The other map parts are all functional - and I think that's everything there is to do on the map. I could polish some more, and there are a few optional features we might add later, but I have to move on. I just need one more round of quick testing then I think I'm off to work on combat. Dan has nearly 100 monsters in the queue and I have to get all their attacks working. That's not nearly as bad as it might sound. The monsters fall into nice categories - again, that's all by design. Once you encounter a creature, you should have a good strategy developed so the next time, you can take them out faster (or know when to flee!) with less risk to your Delvers.
|GenCon!||Mon 2006.08.07 20:10|
Delvers continues development. I'm in the throws of reworking some switch graphics on the map and then I have to get the timed portcullis working. Then I *should* be back in combat. Dan is cranking out monsters last I checked. But wow, still alot to do. Why is that? Well, a game just takes time my friends. I'm working every night and weekend, and every hour gets us closer and closer. It's looking fabulous I must say.
Just a reminder, we now have a blog running. Dan and I are posting there pretty often (it was every day, but we're slacking again), so please check it out.
|Forums Resolved||Tue 2006.07.18 22:22|
As I said a few weeks back, we now have a blog running. I'm posting there nearly every day, so please check it out.
|Cross Blog||Wed 2006.07.05 21:30|
At some point, I'm going to work over this web page format and get something new in place. When Delvers is wrapped up that is.
|Save Game||Tue 2006.06.20 22:20|
We also have an Ironman mode. In this mode, you can't just leave a quest (but you can still save whenever you want). No, it's either find your goal or restart the whole thing! But if you complete the quest in Ironman mode, why, besides bragging rights, you'll have the fame you deserve in the form of bonus points. Hey, play a quest in Ironman mode on Hostile difficulty, and you'll get even more reward.
And what is the reward? Why, fame! Fame is used to 'buy' more Delvers and increase the power of your Delver's Guild. Delvers become available as you finish quests - because, of course, they are attracted to your prowess as a great Guild Master. But Fame is spent on bringing them into the Guild. You can complete your collection of Delver Teams like Wicked, Know-it-alls, Treehuggers and more. Delver Teams are more powerful on a quest than just bringing in random Delvers. Much more powerful. And more power means more riches and fame and the ability to take on the truly mindblowing later quests.
Ah, the life of adventure.
|Wow. Just Wow.||Wed 2006.06.10 11:00|
So that's that. But second, the game design has now become something more than we planned. I mean something great - way beyond what we envisioned. I look back on our original design document, original screen mock ups and concept art and what I have in my hands today is just so much more than that. It was scary about 9-10 months ago when we scrapped alot of the quest design in favor of total dungeon exploration. And moved from our home grown engine to PopCap's Framework. Yet right now, I am completely convinced that was not only the right decision for Dungeon Delvers, it was a great decision.
So I just have a feeling that we're going to blow the doors off expectations. Not just in wowza graphics (even though yes, we will do that), but in setting a standard for indie game developers. Is this all braggin' and blowing smoke? Just hype? You'll see, my friend. You'll see.
Third, I have some new screen shots coming. Give me a few weeks (I'll be on a vacation next week). And you'll see for yourself where we're at. Dungeon Delvers rocks. 'Nuff said.
|Opening Magic||Wed 2006.06.07 23:30|
And Andy. My man Andy - he turned in a fantastic piece of work for our opening sequence. A castle picture to rule them all. It is utterly cool - just what we're looking for and has once again raised the graphic bar to the stratosphere. Like way up. Delightful. Truly. So once he wraps up the last bits of that (there's the duke bit to do), we'll have an opening sequence for the game.
Now don't get your hopes up too much, dear reader. There's still lots of stuff to do. Like the trophy room for example. And I have to rehook the history tab for Delvers and Quests. It lets you keep track of your overall score in a dozen ways (roughly - don't hold me to these over-reaching, marketing spin estimates). And then there's all the polish still needed in combat. And - I dunno - lots of little stuff. I have that list around here somewhere.
But still.... Dungeon Delvers is looking sweet. Like chocolate and butter, brother. Like chocolate and butter.
|Dialog||Wed 2006.05.31 22:20|
Yes, you can yield a quest too. That basically means you give up and want to start over. You still get a score (most likely lousy because hey, you gave up), but you won't get any quests unlocked or any new Delvers to hire. You might score a few fame points. Maybe - it all depends on how well you did up to that point.
But that's all yet to come. I've got to finish off normal scoring first and historical scoring. Again, it shouldn't be too bad - I've done this all before.
|On To Scores||Sun 2006.05.21 17:00|
The other bit of stuff is I've collected a list of all the fantasy board games I've researched - games like Sorcerer's Cave, Warlock of Firetop Mountain, Legend of Heroes and so many others. Some I know very little about, others I own and play. But in every case, I approach each with the eye of a game developer, learning about rules implementation and game dynamics. Grist for the mill of Dungeon Delvers!
|Stuck or Careful?||Sat 2006.05.06 09:40|
On the other side, the weather outside is glorious. (Fear not! I'm still working on the game every day). And I signed up for GenCon this week. So this year is really shaping up!
|Polish and Sparkle||Mon 2006.04.24 23:20|
It's all phased based combat. So you click on the targeting cross-hairs, and drop it on the monster you want to attack. You do that for all your Delvers. It's kinda like calling the play book, the tactics, your strategy. It's visually cool because you can see where your attacks are going to hit and what you're setting up to do for all the Delvers at once. You can tweak around until everything is just so. Each Delver has a variety of possible attacks - not to mention your cadre of spells, magic items, explosives, healing potions, and the like. Lots of decisions.
Then you hit 'fight' and off you go. The screen transitions to combat and all the monsters and Delvers resolve their attacks in speed order. Flashy graphics galor zip around the screen - particle system slinging lightning, fire, energy, swords, claws, freezing, flying - it's all here. Then you transition back to tactics again. Do you flee (run like a pansy!) or continue on? Which attack to use now? Some attacks have to recharge - so don't waste your best stuff right away unless you know what you're facing.
So all that happens - and we have to resolve combat in just minutes because an important design element of Delvers is speed of the quest. You have to get through the quest fast - in a short sitting. We can't be hung up in combat. But those minutes you are in combat have to be memerable. They have to be thrilling, nail-biting, but all the time keeping you enganged and in the game - giving you loads of powerful, meaningful decisions.
|And a Splash of Fate||Sat 2006.04.15 00:30|
You can see clearly how each Delver will respond to the possibility of fate. Their individual masks pause above each portrait, then zoom up with a splash of sparks, the target fate masks spread around and make room, one opposing fate mask explodes and everything else settles in again as your fate is revealed in a 'press your luck' kinda way. Lots of tension, but very clear interface. Fast, yet enough facts to make it clear what's about to happen. Madly replayable. And wildly cool!
|Pop It||Sat 2006.04.08 11:15|
Just now I have the fate modifiers working pretty well. That all sounds mundane, but its kinda cool - lots of animation going on. Fate in the game is really important. It determines the result of various encounters. And each delver can modify Fate with one or more Fate masks - either to give you a better result or a worse result. Every tile in the game has a type - and each Delver's reaction in that tile type is different. A Barbarian is crap in a Shrine, but not bad in a Crypt. What we're trying to tweak out here is making it very clear how well your Delvers modify fate - whether fate is for you or against you.
In fact, I'm just thinking how to make it every better.... back to the code!
|Deails||Fri 2006.03.24 22:40|
|Touring||Fri 2006.03.17 22:20|
Also, I was browsing the web logs this afternoon. Last year, we got around 7,000 unique visitors each month. So far this year, we're around 7,600 per month - about 1.5 visits per visitor. That's around 48,000 unique visitors for the year. Last year, Google accounted for about 67% of our traffic from search engines. Most common phrase: 'runesword' followed by 'runesword 2'. The phrase 'dungeon delvers' accounted for 5% of our search traffic. We get quite a bit of traffic from RPGDot (thanks guys!). And Monday is our busiest day - but all the days are pretty much equal.
Anyhow, interesting tid bits I thought.
|Tea and Toast||Tue 2006.03.14 21:35|
But they are so cool!
In any event, the game continues moving ahead. Lately, I've been cranking in maps and more maps. Lots of nods to the old CRPGs. And now I'm working on the clicker thingy for stairs and teleporters. You know - so you can choose to go up and down stairs. Then on to keys, and pathfinding, and the new intro and combat polish and... well, there's lots to do.
But they are so cool!
|Progress||Wed 2006.03.01 21:50|
What else? I've added a few new features to the quest format. Like this: when you make a map, it's in a quest text file. Just simply edit the thing in a text editor - no big deal. When you're making a map, you can plop down what type of tile it is, drop down encounters and tricky tiles like teleporters, darkness, switches, etc. Or you can leave alot of that stuff out - and let the engine populate for you. It's a bit of a randomizer, but not completely. It doesn't make completely random maps. But you can say, "I want a 50% chance for dungeon tiles and 10% of those should have a dungeon encounter." So that's pretty cool in two ways: it makes it faster to build a quest because on one map, you can have it kinda random. And of course, it all adds to replayability.
Another thing: we have the overarching story line worked out - the intro to it is hilarious! You're definitely going to love it. Really sets the tone for the rest of the game and ties everything together - the whole purpose of Dungeon Delving. I was telling Dan the other day how much this game brings back all the old school RPG memories for me - but it really isn't an old school RPG. Ironic and perfect. Just what we were chasing after - all the emotions and engagement of role-playing games at a fast pace. Perfect!
|Exit and Goal||Sat 2006.02.18 23:10|
In any event, I'm off to the Relic room now. Yes, that all important central treasure vault where evil wizards store what is rightfully yours (or rightfully that other guy what hires you do his diry work). Get there, get away and you're the hero. That's what it's all about.
|Tiny Bit||Mon 2006.02.13 23:10|
With that and the new door switches (tweaking continues), we have alot of stuff functioning just fine. So much so that I was making a few fun maps just for fun. It's easy too because you just open up your text editor and type it in. Entire maps - just copy an old one and type over it. Put a wall here. Add a trap there. Set up a stranger. Put in an altar and locked door. No problem. Even set the chance for a certain style to drop (you know - just in case you get lazy and don't want to put every turn and twist in). Reminds me of just whipping out the graph paper and drawing the boxes. Yeah - I'm one of those old guys.
|Which Switch||Sat 2006.02.11 10:45|
Here's a few new screen shots (they're kinda heavy - about 400Kb apiece):
|More Tiles||Sat 2006.02.04 20:20|
On another front, I finally switched over to Firefox 1.5 for my browser. It is truly all that. Having tabs to browse is wonderful. Why did I wait so long?
|Here to There||Sat 2006.01.28 17:10|
Right now, I couldn't be more pleased with the game. Every little bit is coming together well. I do wish we had all this nailed months ago, but the changes are definitely worth it. No doubt!
|Effort||Mon 2006.01.23 23:10|
But I am happier now with the particle system. Using some blending effects in the Popcap Engine just doesn't work terribly well. It's kinda slow for one and kinda blurry for another. I could write my own pixel blending system, but it's just too much to do right now. What I'm doing instead is using straight up animated pictures - stars and the like that sparkle and spin. It looks great and I think fits in even better with our art style in the game. Or I could just be rationalizing away.
I still have to trim back all the monster pictures since we've changed the backdrop in combat. That won't take too long at all, but I just don't want to forget about it. I'm debating about more animation in combat still. It might be needed to add some extra dazzle. We'll see.
Hmm. I think that's about it. Should get some more time in this week!
|Blooming Sparks||Sat 2006.01.14 09:30|
I might just move on to the scoring mechanic for a bit. That's pretty easy to plug in and will get me a bit down the road. That's the part where it scores your quest and stores away the history by Delver and Quest. It also leads me to the Fame award that you use to invite new Delvers to your guild. You know - it makes a completed game loop.
On the quest front, Dan is cranking away. And he's also picking out his favorite sound effects from our rather extensive library of sounds. Once that's wrapped up, we'll be plugging it into the engine. By the way - that's all in an XML file, so you'll be able to mod around with it as you please.
|Curves||Mon 2006.01.09 23:00|
I'm also putting together some Bezier Curve and Catmull-Rom Spline routines. Now... for the uninitiated, you may think I'm making up words (again). Although in general you'd be right, here we have some real genuine mathematics stuff going on. It's not too bad given my ki-powered Google-fu abilities. After all, I did find an entire library in Java, some source code in Perl, and more than one mathematics/computer science homework assignment - why should I complain? My hope is the result will be some very cool visual effects in the game. The spicy and sassy way that will make you beg for one more minute of play.
|Fight the Powers||Sat 2006.01.07 10:00|
This brings us almost back to a fully playable game again - I mean from start to finish. I still have to put together scoring and the tracking of completed quests (should just be a transfer over from the old engine). And then I'll have to work on the new map system. There'll be more dressing up with that stuff too of course since I can splurge a bit on special effects now without feeling any additional pain. The benefits keep coming with the new engine. Wonderful!
|More Functionality||Tue 2006.01.03 11:30|
Now. Hmm. I think I'll get the victory screen working after combat (the one that spits out experience points and levels up Delvers) and get some fizzle effects running so we can see the pace of combat in real-time.
I also recently read a pretty good blog-article on game rewards. It makes me think about a concept of 'banking' experience points - making it very visual when you finish a quest and apply your experience points to a final score bonus. And it also reminds me of a very early design decision to have 'titles' declared as you increase your fame in the game. I think I have a file of great level names around here somewhere....
|Wonder of Wonders||Thr 2006.01.01 00:05|
So I've achieved all my goals for the last two weeks - and more! Next up will be to continue back on the new map system (getting the new tile types workings like teleport, doors, portcullis, darkness, traps, etc.) while hooking up all the components to a completed quest system. Too cool!
|Trade 'Em||Thr 2005.12.29 00:35|
I should get that wrapped up in the next day or so and then (yes!) combat! If I can get that done this week, I'll have accomplished all my goals for this vacation time and set things up very nicely for the finishing stretch for the engine. We'll be back where we were prior to the port to the PopCap Framework - plus loads of new images, an entirely new map format (much, much improved with loads of nifty new features), and a (slightly) new interface design. It's looking very nice now. The added confidence we've gained has been well worth the effort - the game just hums now, is about 33% smaller in size and runs wonderfully with small video cards.
|Bright Lights||Thr 2005.12.22 15:30|
Speaking of pixels, I've generated a few dozen icons for the game yesterday. I debated for awhile on style - how far should I go with colors? What we have done is changed the shape to be extremely clear about where things can be used - square for sitting in inventory and circle for 'usable' items - like spells and magic items. The new interface is showing its mettle now and it's looking really fine.
So anyhow, two major hurdles left: inventory itself (which *should* be pretty straight forward) and combat (which should also be a straight port). After those, it's on to minor but essential things to connect up all the parts - like the scoring and unlocking system (all this was pretty much working in the old engine). Then we'll be straight into tweak mode again for the levels. This time there's a bunch of new stuff to get working just right. It's funny - I realized this morning that I'm looking so closely at every single pixel of the game, every little movement, everything. I wonder how many square feet of pixels I've generated now?
If I don't post again until after December 25th, I want to wish all of you and yours a very Merry Christmas!
|Silver Bells||Tue 2005.12.20 09:15|
Now I'm off to work on the combat system again. You might remember we're rewriting the engine using Popcap's Framework. Truly cool and upon reflection, we can see it was the "right thing to do". But that meant working through the codebase again - now leading me up to combat.
The map is wonderful - graphically stronger and the entire game is much tighter when you play. Snappier if you know what I mean. Of course, the real acid test is when we have several levels built and you can play from start to finish - and that's not too far away now. The largest areas of work are combat (going to start on that today), inventory (up next or in combination with combat) and the particle system (which I have to now do without the benefit of 3D specific system calls - but not to worry!). The Framework hasn't failed me yet and I trust it'll see us to completion at 60 FPS+ in play.
|More to Report||Tue 2005.11.29 23:15|
To further prove the point, Dan previously ran the old engine on his kinda crappy laptop and was getting 18 FPS. Not deadly slow, but not great. With the new engine it's running at 60 FPS. That just knocks his socks off. Of course on my spiffy laptop with a 64 MB graphics cards, I run easily at 85-90 FPS and even top over 100 FPS when I shut everything else down but the game. This all adds up to me being very pleased with our difficult decision. It does seem to be paying off in spades. We're gaining a lower profile of hardware that will handle our game and that should turn into more people able to play.
Another thing: it is really easy to develop levels now. Much, much easier than before. Just open up a text editor and edit your map. Use little ASCII symbols for altars, teleporters, stairs, types of tiles, doors, and the like. Very fun and very fast! And the download size is about half what it was. What else? Man,I just like the feel of it. That's probably the biggest improvement. It feels exciting and has tension already - just like I was hoping it would.
So next up is getting the encounters, combat and inventory turned on again. I'm pretty far along with encounters already - so just a few more days and that should be running again. Dan recommended some changes to the combat interface (cosmetic mostly, but goes to making it cleaner to operate), so that'll take just a wee bit of pixel slinging. Yeah, that reminds me. We need some updates to the FAQ and some new screen shots. Lots of stuff to show now! Give me a few more weeks and we can really show it off.
By the way, we're still getting around 5,000 visits a month! So whoever you are, thanks for stopping by. Delvers is becoming reality. The wait will be worth it.
|What's Happening?||Sun 2005.10.30 14:40|
Why the change? As I said last time, the game just didn't have the punch it needed. It was lacking a sense of urgency, and a sense of meaningful decision points. The game base was good, the concept was solid - but the actual quests lacked something. They just felt a little lack-luster. So we've come up with some significant changes to the game - specifically focusing on the quests.
So what changes? For one thing, we've moved the game completely into dungeons. That was more in keeping with the theme of the game, but also gave us alot more focus and simplicity in design. Another thing is we've made these dungeons more interesting and meaningful - adding things like rotating rooms, dark areas, altars, crypts, pits, doors, teleporters, and more. We're reworked how Fate operates - basing it on a metaphor of masks and press-your-luck. It's really cool and feels more like you control your fate rather than just watching it unfold. We've also removed any ambiguities in the objective of a quest. Now it's all about getting the Relic and getting back out alive. That added tension to the game that makes everything more exiting.
There are many more changes too - fundamentally, we've rewritten the engine using Popcap's Framework. This gives us a lower profile - you no longer need a 3D card to run for example. And added stability. The framework has been tested on thousands of computers. This was a challenging decision, but it's paid off big - we're running at 100 FPS with a decent 3D card and at acceptable lower rates without. What's more, many things come right from the old engine with only a few minor tweaks. So the game is already well on the way to being back to where it was a month ago - with added features!
So I hope you get the idea. The changes have truly made the game even better - and it was already better than anything else we've ever done. The new release date is simply "when it's done". Yes, we hoped to be done months ago. But we want to release a game that is the best we can do - and Delvers is all that plus whipped-cream.
|Redeux!||Thr 2005.09.22 17:15|
Also, I want to give credit to the game Dungeon Quest. It's an older board game from Games Workshop that I just picked up on eBay, but it has wonderful game mechanics and a great theme feel. It's a killer game - literally! But it inspired me to turn up Dungeon Delvers a couple of cranks. So thanks to you game makers out there - including all of the current workers of magic in RuneSword! You're always inspiring me to keep pushing ahead!
|GenCon Done. Next!||Tue 2005.08.30 17:15|
But that's not to say I'm only playing games. I'm making a game too! Delvers is moving along - but not as fast as any of us would like! I'm pushing through pure content right now, and also working in a few new design features here and there - there's a long list of suggested features. The last thing I did was work out randomizing Encounters into your quest - adding a new property to select if it should be in the random stack or not. This allows for putting together special "quest" Encounter cards that are randomized first and then a whole stack of other Encounter cards that are added second. One of my goals is always to make it fun for me - and different each time I play. After all, I'm playing some quests or parts of quests dozens if not hundreds of times! So although the quest is the same, where things are changes and what's between things changes completely.
|GenCon 2005 is Near!||Sun 2005.08.14 17:15|
As for Delvers, believe it: we are working hard. If you'd have asked me this time last year if I'd still be working on it, I would've said no way - this one's a slam dunk! But all estimates to the contrary, Dungeon Delvers continues to progress. The engine is running fine and the game is humming along. What's left is all the content, tweaked to perfection, dialing in for delightful gaming. That's no easy task as we're finding out. Our goals are lofty and our standards for thrilling fun are continually spiraling upwards into the heavens!
|Waggly Waggins||Sun 2005.07.24 15:40|
All this content manipulation is also impacting the game engine in subtle ways - such as figuring out how to show the type of space on a card and allowing certain encounters to randomly appear in appropriate ways. It's like painting by building up the picture over time. And yeah, it is taking time - alot more time than I originally estimated. But heck, it's getting us to our goal of our best game yet. And best by far!
|Progress||Thr 2005.07.07 23:30|
As for me, I'm working away on more encounters and the like. The interface is looking pretty good, so it's all about continuing on content and adding features. There's just *so* much to do here. We set out a pretty lofty goal on content in our original design and it's a long climb to the top. As I've said before in just pure numbers, this will be the largest game we've ever made. Not as complicated as having to write some scripted stuff for each tidbit as in RuneSword, but tons of different things in the game. Just boat loads of monsters and items, spells, characters, quests (lengthy, puzzly things!) and all out adventure.
And fun! Man, just looking through the list of features and quests - it's mindblowing and really, really fun. My girls were playing through things and laughing at all the wild and funny quest names. They also were loving putting together teams of Delvers - just like we hoped! Alright, so they're not our ultimate audience for the game, but it's good to know that your kids find your work fun.
|More Touches||Sun 2005.06.19 24:00|
What's more I can 'cheat' through all the quests now and see how things unlock. That lead to a few play sessions with my kids to see what quests they chose, what Delvers they liked and why, and if they understood how to play without my prompting them. And that in turn lead to some pretty good interface tweaks like clearly saying how much a Quest was worth in Fame. Also, I need to ramp up the reward screen even more - more jazzy effects and sounds when you get a new Delver.
|More Touches||Tue 2005.06.09 19:30|
I've been also working on tweaking the scoring parameters - finding that sweet spot between generous, yet not so easy that you score so much that a score hardly scores at all. Still more to go on that count, but at least now I can play a quest and see how scores rack up. Game balance is the key here.
Andy has almost finished all our pictures. Just a few more encounter cards left, plus a handful of monsters and a dozen icons or so. Everything is shaping up!
And for a confession: I've been playing the game Fate. Indie games rule! This one has all the leveling goodness of Diablo, plus a dash of Hack/Rogue - all wrapped in great execution. I really hope the guys at Wild Tangent do well. Great stuff, guys!
|Games and Wars||Tue 2005.05.17 19:30|
But that's only part of it. I'm also going to see Star Wars Episode III tomorrow at midnight. I'm pretty excited about that. Star Wars solidified by journey into geek-dom almost 30 years ago. Yes, I saw the original in 1977 on opening night and I haven't missed an opening of a Star Wars movie since. Whoop! It should be fun. I'm going to the theatre where the local Star Wars club goes - there'll be wookies galor. Really, they are MY people.
But what about Delvers you may ask? Oh, yes. I've been working. Picking your Delvers for the quest is now utterly finished. And I'm working on the special rules section for combat. This is a device we've installed in the design to make sure there's no pat way to beat the monsters back. And it also leads us to special monsters that take advantage of the rules. Ah, cool stuff to be sure.
|Quest Construction||Mon 2005.05.02 19:30|
On the other hand, I have been refining the interface for gathering a party of Delvers. Now you can switch between listing Delvers by level or by team - making it a bit easier to get just the precise party you want. Also the team bonus flickers up as you add team members. Each member gets a bonus if you bring along their fellow team members. So the more Delvers from the same team, the better each Delver will be. It's the game around the game. Very cool!
|In the Balance||Sun 2005.04.10 18:00|
Soon, my friends. Soon.
|Tons of Dungeons||Sat 2005.03.26 10:00|
Dan continues to put together the tutorial quest for Delvers as well. The idea is to guide you right into all the mechanics while you're playing. Coming out of it, you'll have finished your first adventure and be ready for all the horror and wild fun Dungeon Delvers will throw at you.
And for your enjoyment, I've added a few more pics to the screen shots page! So take a look!
|Fog of War||Sun 2005.03.13 23:15|
|An Aside||Thr 2005.03.10 21:00|
On an completely different tangent, I now have a Pocket PC and have been exploring different forms and features - including entertainment on that device. It's a haven for old school gaming and I'm struck by how new technology brings back the old gaming styles. Lately I've been grooving on a Wizardry/Bard's Tale/Might and Magic-esque game called "Legacy." Yeah, it's a distraction, but even a game developer has to play too.
|Screen Shots||Wed 2005.03.02 21:00|
And as for more info, check out the lengthy interview of the reckless rum-runners of CrossCut at RPG Vault. It's more than we've ever said about Dungeon Delvers in one place. The entire cat is out of the bag now and it's got big, nasty claws.
Beyond those tasty tidbits, Delvers is coming along famously. I'm listening to the theme music right now and it's fantastic! Way better than I was thinking originally which is all very, very cool. While humming along with the tune, I'm drawing up some of the dungeon levels. I'm going for a particular style with the images - twisty caverns, flagstone floors, spooky lights - the works. This is all part and parcel of content creation and it's really fun to get my pixel slinging puck out, pushing around pounds of ponderous painting particulars. Whoop!
|News! News!||Mon 2005.02.21 19:45|
What else? Dan has cleaned up all the Delver descriptions, so that's all good. And we've been trying the game out on different systems to measure frame rate. Delvers will definitely require a 16Mb video card - probably 32Mb to run it well. And a machine around the 1-1.5 Ghz range. I hope to drive those requirements down a bit yet - we do want to support as many older machines as we can.
Anyhow, if you have any questions or comments, drop me a line!
|MASSIVE Content||Mon 2005.01.27 20:45|
The other thing that has me giddy is the game loop. I'm talking about how the game keeps you playing from quest to quest. You'll no sooner finish one, gather your bonuses, get your final score and want to dive right back into the next one. You'll be up all hours, weak in the knees, eyes blurry - but your grin grows.
What's this score stuff all about? We score virtually everything in the game - attack average, how many kills, how well your team works together, who's wearing what armor, how many rare items you retrieve, specials found, artifacts recovered, how long it takes you to finish, how well you do against traps, how you gain favor in shrines and way more than I can list here - everything piles into your rating while playing. And that rating in turn plays into your ability to hire in more Delvers. Your fame grows, and so does your guild. And there are always more quests to finish. Wonderful stuff.
|Nearing Code Complete||Mon 2005.01.10 09:30|
So what's next? We're now ramping up content! Lots and lots of adventures are being created. As I've said before, this has way more focus on play than any previous game we've made. We're auto-targeting the fun machine, accurately making every bit filled to the brim and bursting over with frivolity! Add on top of that Andy's incredible talent for making pixels come together in fantastic ways, and you've got Game of the Year in the making. If you're feeling a little down about computer games this year, or maybe a bit blue with the grey clouds hanging about, hang on to your hair. Dungeon Delvers will fix a smile to your face and dazzle your senses!
|Let It Snow!||Wed 2004.12.22 11:30|
|I'm Working! I'm Working!||Wed 2004.11.17 20:50|
So Dan's been cranking out the ideas from the deep recesses of his genius and I've been working on all of these in the context of combat. It's all coming along wonderfully - far better than we imagined.
|The Monster Mash||Sat 2004.10.23 09:00|
Believe me. You've never seen a game with a variety of creatures anything like this. Oh, and yeah, you can make your own too. Just edit a text file. Save it. Play it. Simple as that. Sweet!
|Let's Do The Timewarp Again!||Fri 2004.09.24 23:00|
Item: I'm playing board games every week with a few friends. This week, we're playing Mage Knight again - and it's really a kick! I've built blocking terrain buildings, special hexagon boards and bought more than my share of figures. Hey, I never got into Magic the Gathering so I guess I'm due.
Item: I've of course ordered my copy of the Star Wars Trilogy DVD. Yeah, I know Lucas has fiddled with important scenes. I still pony up the money as I seem to remain a sucker for all things Star Wars - even after all these years! I even gave two glances at registering for the Star Wars convention next year. Yikes!
Item: I'm plowing through the old Fighting Fantasy books by Steve Jackson. It all started after a reading drought last week. I finished my standard books and magazines and found myself staring at my bookshelf. There was one of the old Steve Jackson books. I flipped through it and realized how it reminded me of the mold and method of Dungeon Delvers. So I'm off to Amazon to buy a few more. They arrived yesterday. And suddenly, I'm thirteen years old again!
|Ye Gads, Man!||Wed 2004.09.01 22:30|
Now I'm working on magic items in particular - sweating the details of a smooth interface. And I'm making my way back to combat - but this time, adding all the touches of the fantastic. Then it's off to full-out particle-based, light spewing and dazzling special effects. And finally, the completed reward system and putting the bow on things (wherein our hero gets his fat fingers stuck whilst tying the pretty knot).
And dear reader, rest easy. I've located numerous ways to host our up coming game at reasonable rates. Thanks for all your advice and assistance! As always, you make the game!
|Back from GenCon||Mon 2004.08.23 22:30|
I played Evil Stevie's Pirate Game, Traveler d20, Twilight Imperium (3rd Edition), Game of Thrones, Texas Hold 'em Poker, Hex-Hex, SpyCraft, and yes, even True Dungeon - which was in itself an incredible thing. I was talking with Dan about how much gaming mechanics are in my head when I play. It's like a writer reading a book - all you can see are the styles and plot elements. In games, what I appreciate are the various methods used by game designers to balance things, how they try to work fun elements in and how, at times, they achive great things. GenCon is a huge game lab - thousands of people, thousands of games.
We're already counting down the days until next year!
|GenCon Starts Tomorrow!||Wed 2004.08.18 20:20|
On the pure gaming front, GenCon starts tomorrow! Whoop! Whoop! I dropped by the convention center around 4:00 PM and picked up the game listing for the next four days. There were about 2,000 people in line to register (the convention doesn't start until tomorrow!) - they're expecting around 28,000 in attendance. And we have NFL football on Saturday. This city will be jammed packed this weekened and I'll be in the thick of it.
And I CAN'T WAIT!
|T-Shirts and Such||Sun 2004.08.15 20:15|
Item 2: I was in deep coding this weekend as well. I'm putting together the internals for abilities, spells and magic items. Earlier, I was having fits with the code jamming up on me. I got kinda crazy and moved a bunch of code over from one structure to another to make saving the game easier. My fingers got in a twist and the result was a locked up render engine. Nasty that. All is well now and I'm back on the road to code completion - and scored an additional back up in the proces. It's funny how a close call can make you appreciate anew the prudence of reasonable caution....
|A Game Long Ago....||Fri 2004.08.13 21:40|
Here's some sobering facts:
We didn't advertise at all.
Alright, that was over three years ago. That was then, this is now. Why live in the past? What's this all about? I'm just trying to guess at bandwidth needed for Dungeon Delvers. If Delvers tops out at 50 Mb in size and gets 1,000 downloads in 24 hours, that's 50 Gb of bandwidth in single a day. Yikes!
So we're on the hunt for hosting sites.... again. This one issue killed us last time we pushed a game out as an independent. We are focused on not having that happen again.
|GenCon!||Wed 2004.08.11 21:00|
Point 2: I'll be at GenCon starting August 19th - Thursday, Friday and Saturday. If you're in the area, stop in and we'll chat a bit. And yes, I do have new t-shirts this year featuring new artwork for Dungeon Delvers.
Point 3: Andy Hopp will also be at GenCon, camping out in the artist's area. So please stop in, lay down a big stack of cash, and walk away with a personal, original print.
|Can You See Me Now?||Fri 2004.08.06 21:30|
Dungeon Delvers Delivers Dynamic Dynamo Development!
Oh! Dungeon Delvers is coming along at an incredible pace. If things go well this weekend, I'll then be over a month ahead of schedule! Whoop! Dan has finished all characters and I've nearly finished the code design behind the abilities, items and spells. Really, truly wonderful stuff. I love it!
|Work Work Work (Ding!)||Wed 2004.07.28 23:00|
I actually had to use Sin() and Cos() to figure up some coordinates the other day. Lookit me, ma! I'm a math wiz! Why this? It came up while working on the main movement screen. These little flicky light things needed to be positioned correctly. You'll see when you play. These little touches are important. So kids, do your homework!
|Andy Hopp is On Board||Mon 2004.07.19 10:00|
INDIANAPOLIS, IN/July 19th, 2004 --- CrossCut Games today announced they have hired fantasy illustrator Andy Hopp to create the artwork for their upcoming computer role-playing game, Dungeon Delvers. "We're thrilled to have Andy's amazing talent on our new game," says Adam West, President of CrossCut Games. "Andy is well known in RPG circles for his fertile imagination and wild creatures - perfect for the fast and fun new realm found in Delvers."
Andy Hopp has worked for top-notch companies such as Troll Lord Games, Mystic Eye Games, White Wolf, Gaming Frontiers, Viking Games, Chaosium Inc., Goodman Games, Sovereign Press, Elmore Productions, Pinnacle and others. Samples of his work can be found at www.andyhopp.com.
Dungeon Delvers is a fresh take on computer role-playing games, combining the flavor of fantasy-themed board games with a humorous, fast role-playing design. Dungeon Delvers has over 30 adventures with hundreds of unique events, and dozens of powerful, unlockable characters.
Dungeon Delvers will be released March 2005. CrossCut Games has previously developed RuneSword.
For more information, see the FAQ and latest news at www.crosscutgames.com
|Freaking Awesome!||Thr 2004.07.01 23:30|
The great thing too is this made the Merchant just come together for me. It all makes sense now and it's all very consistent.
And we have a huge library of sound effects and music now. Just bought all that last week. Plenty, plenty. Nice stuff too. Ambient tones, mysterious, moody and loads of fun. Playing the game with sound really adds alot needless to say.
And we've hired our artist! Wait until you hear who it is! He's a major talent and just perfect for the game.
|Hope Springs||Mon 2004.06.21 21:15|
I know. I know. I said I'd post some screen shots of Delvers and here it is the next update (and a long time coming!) and no screen shots! But don't take that to mean we don't have screen shots. The problem is I need to finalize a bit of contract stuff. And then the
|Wait For It||Thr 2004.06.03 23:50|
That kind of statement. With jelly on top.
|Undead||Sun 2004.05.23 13:50|
But setting metaphors aside, I am back to work now and working hard toward new, totally cool improvements in the interface. I did manage on the plane to put together a list of tasks remaining - good that I think I can create such a list and staggering in that the list is always longer than one thinks.
|Flashy Gizmo||Sun 2004.05.02 21:30|
Beyond that, I'm just now working on a graphical gizmo that whizzes and zings when you encounter various hazzards in the game (I are an artists too!). Not really happy with what I've tried so far (this is my current excuse for being rather silent on the forums and updates), but we have some working material. Certainly enough to get things moving along. And I have some really cool stuff to work through on moving about in the game. This game still rocks my socks off!
|Delvers Dungeon||Sat 2004.04.24 13:00|
|Got Slashdot?||Tue 2004.04.20 20:40|
Couple of other related (now frequently asked) questions: RuneSword is now Public Domain - so you can do what you like with the source code as long as you don't resell it as RuneSword again. Also, it is indeed in Visual Basic and I hear you! It was the path of least resistance at the time. We're all C++ now, but that was then, this is now.
And speaking of now, we're all over Dungeon Delvers, our latest effort in CRPGs with CrossCut flavor. It's truly looking cool - lots of nifty graphics effects in play while I'm working through the simple mechanics of inventory. Interface is king, baby!
|RuneSword 2 FREE!||Sat 2004.04.17 14:40|
Now, say you want to learn more about how a CRPG is made. Say you know Visual Basic. Or say you just want to help make RS2 even better. Now's your chance to get involved in the open source community! Just drop by our RuneSword Forums right here at CrossCut. There's already tons of ideas for how to improve the game, there's already several experienced folks involved, and there's already space for you to make a difference. So drop in and post!
|The World of RuneSword!||Mon 2004.04.12 21:40|
But that's not all. We're ramping up for a wonderous announcement regarding RuneSword. So even if you don't have your own copy, hold on to your hats. It's about to get very interesting....
|Play!||Sat 2004.04.10 17:00|
|And Now...||Sun 2004.04.04 21:10|
|The Good Fight||Mon 2004.03.29 21:20|
For those of you keeping score, Delvers is coming along nice and fast. Several critical components are now in place, and the engine is humming smoothly. Fantabulosity! Next, I'll be hooking up monster attacks and character abilities to the effects engine.
|Announcing Annoucements||Fri 2004.03.24 22:00|
We also received a bump at RPG Vault and RPG Planet. See? There is still goodness in gaming for the little guys - like us!
And if you're new to the news here at CrossCut, welcome! Wander over to the Forums and strike up the band.
|So THAT was it!||Tue 2004.03.23 22:00|
Speaking of which, if you haven't been, check out the new Forums. Information is leaking out every day - and what's more, there's rumblings of new things for ye old RuneSword game too!
|Wonder Work||Sat 2004.03.20 23:00|
Yes, it's a night of amazing (albeit awful) alliterations. We of the Indie crowd need to mark these occasions with much whooping. So Whoop!
|FAQ Update||Fri 2004.03.19 20:25|
|To Die Rightly||Wed 2004.03.17 21:30|
But even now, Dungeon Delvers rocks like no other game we've done. We've been making games for 20 years now and never has a design come to the screen the way this one has. Oh, yeah....
|What Affects Effects?||Sun 2004.03.14 23:10|
All these items, spells and abilities truly impact each encounter and combat. You can clearly see the direct amount of impact by watching the "bonus orb" that shows the amount of bonus being added by your spells, items and character abilities (not to mention the dazzling special effects!). The Necromage has a negative bonus at shrines. So you'll want to find the Holy Amulet to off set this. Or maybe take the Paladin along instead to balance things out. Or the Oracle who gets a free re-roll at shrines. Finding the right combinations is the game outside the game.
Monsters have Effects too that do all sorts of nasty things. You have your normal sharp claws and nasty fangs, but also some can heave, wobble and split in two. Or spray you with sticky poison. Or just out right explode! Love those monsters.... And have I mentioned you can edit it all in a simple text file? Sweet!
|Forum News||Sat 2004.03.13 15:00|
As for development news, I recently spent way too much time worrying if an action should happen when you click down or release the mouse button. See and be amazed how far we'll go to give you the absolute supreme gaming experience!
|Magic Cards||Fri 2004.03.12 21:30|
Though inspired by Talisman, Dungeon Delvers does oh so much more. Encounters can do all sorts of things of course: reveal a new Dungeon (for Delving), shower you with roasted frogs, spawn up a Stranger, open a new market, toss a crowd of creatures at you and on and on. One key to the game is how your various party members impact the results using their skills. So the combination in your party is key to the brass ring of victory --- or scampering away with your proverbial tail tucked between your chubby legs.
|My eyes! My EYES!||Thr 2004.03.11 22:00|
Good question! Well, before it goes any further, let’s stop the rampant rumor that CrossCut has recently forged a six-figure deal with a local optometrist. The truth is the screen shots are what we in the industry call “small screen shots”. It's a sophisticated term that means we haven’t finalized every iota of the screen layout and have decided to not show full size shots until we do. Call us “overly cautious” and “well-meaning.” Or let’s just say my shoulder angel said I shouldn’t show screen shots full size until the game is ready to test.
In any case, please view carefully. The eyes you lose may be your own.
|Shine Oh Beauteous Forums!||Wed 2004.03.10 20:30|
Good to go post I mean. Not necessarily "good to go" in all aspects of life. That's beyond my power to grant....
|Re-Launching CrossCut Games!||Tue 2004.03.09 20:30|
|News to Chat About||Sat 2003.03.04 23:20|
But on to more pressing matters. Our new game is coming along wonderfully and we're still as excited as we were months ago when the work began! I've had the new web site ready for some time, but it has our new message board enabled and several new screen shots of the new game. New, new, new! The reason we're holding back is we want to have the game done and ready for beta testing before we let the world know exactly what we're up to. And even though I'm busting to say more, I'm staying focused on pure C++ coding. That's all I've been doing since last October. Oh, and a bit of graphics of course.
|News to Chat About||Sat 2003.10.18 23:20|
You say you're tired of waiting? You want to know the answers right now? No problem! Shrapnel has put together a little chat next Tuesday. Here's the skinny:
When: Tuesday, October 21st at 8PM Eastern Time.
Where: #rpgcodex on irc.gamesnet.net.
Who: Malfador and Crosscut Games
Why: Because no one can resist two for one deals! No one!
So come on by and I'll spill the beans. Or at least let you look in the can.
|The Day After||Mon 2003.07.28 23:20|
I was of course sporting my CrossCut shirt, but on Friday, I switched over to my (ahem) "new game" shirt. Yes, I was tromping around advertising a game we haven't even officially announced! But trust me, an announcement is now in the works. I should have some screen shots of the new game in the next couple of months. And I might even launch a new web site with it. We need one for CrossCut Games anyhow and what better occasion than for announcing a new product!
|GenCon 2003||Tue 2003.07.03 23:00|
In other news, things are coming together extremely fast on our new game. To be sure, we're still moving on RuneSword 3 which remains our long term project. But in the short term, the elves of CrossCut are cranking out a different style of game. Easy to get into, wildly fun, and amazingly engaging. Its easily our tightest design yet. I'm itching to say more because there's alot to tell.
In the mean time, tell all your friends to check out the new price point for RuneSword 2 at $24.95! It'll help keep cookies in our cookie jar. Hmm. Cookies.
|RuneSword 2: Renewed!||Tue 2003.06.10 17:00|
|Right Turn, Clyde||Mon 2003.06.02 21:00|
|Rainy Days and Mondays||Sat 2003.05.10 13:30|
But anyhow, Dan and I have been batting around the idea of making a game for the GBA. Can you believe that? But what attracts us is the simplicity of the platform and the quality (free!) development tools. No, this isn't halting RS3 at all. It's just us wandering about as we often do.
|In the Year 2525||Tue 2003.03.25 22:30|
Also, got a technical demo running under DirectX which is cool. No big deal yet, but it's a step in the right direction.
So keep your chin up! Where there's life, there's hope.
|On The Menu||Wed 2003.02.12 22:40|
I'm hoping to have more screen shots soon showing the map, quest screen, episode transitions and more. Stay tuned!
|In Progress||Tue 2003.02.04 23:00|
|Screen Shots Coming?||Mon 2003.01.13 23:00|
|RuneSword 3: Worlds Apart!||Sun 2003.01.05 23:00|
In-game editor - edit your module while you play!
New intelligent randomizers for maps and full adventures.
Any-size tile system supporting lush, full-screen, hand-drawn backdrops!
Particle SFX: explosions, warp cannons, stellar effects and more!
Adjustable turn-based, real-time and phase-based combat system.
A new episodic storyline thousands of years in the making!
What to know more? Then go right on over to our new Game FAQ.
|New Web Site Launch||Mon 2002.12.30 21:00|
|Not Nuthin'||Sat 2002.12.28 18:50|
|Big News Approacheth||Sat 2002.12.05 20:00|