Suddenly, it was 2013

Category: Monstrum

It’s been a long time between updates, so please accept my usual apologies. Let me fill you in on what’s been happening.

Despite the Roadmap, I managed to go careening off a cliff. Which is to say, things didn’t go to plan. Towards the end of last year I had a long bout of depression which left me questioning not only my willingness to do this type of work, but also my capability. I really started to think that I just didn’t know how to make games any more. It was a bit scary, actually. I think it may have been exacerbated by some design issues I was having with the city builder game I was working on. By the time I came through all that, putting that game on the back-burner seemed like the smartest option, especially as I was getting more excited about Godfall. That city builder is the strategy game I referred to in the Roadmap post, and though it still doesn’t have a name I think it’s a neat idea. I do hope to come back to it one day.

So I’ve been back on Godfall full time for a little while now, and it is exciting. Time has helped clarify some questions I’d never had firm answers to, and the direction and scope of the game is more solid than ever. The amount of work still ahead of me is daunting, and I’ll try to communicate progress better here, like I used to. One thing I may have got right in the Roadmap is that the game does have to come out this year. I don’t have the financial resources to go any longer than that, that’s all the runway I have. It’s an incentive and a challenge and an ulcer in my stomach, all in one.

There is one big question hanging over the game, and that’s whether it should be aimed at the web. Should I release another free, sponsored game, or is it time to try selling it as a download? I do want to make that transition eventually, and this will be by far my biggest game yet. It is a real risk though, and I’m still undecided.

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..better than your new stuff. Chronicles post-mortem.

Category: Monsters Den Chronicles

In a previous post, I asked for ways in which people thought Book of Dread (the previous game in the series) was better than Monsters’ Den Chronicles. Based on the responses to that, as well as general feedback on the game since it’s release, I’ve identified some common complaints. I’d like to talk about these factors, explain why they went the way they did, and perhaps figure out how they can be corrected in the future.

Be warned: this is a long one..

1. Slower Battles

A lot...

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Monsters’ Den Chronicles v1.4 – XX Chromosome Edition

Category: Monsters Den Chronicles

A new update to Chronicles has now gone live on Kongregate. It should appear on Armor Games within the next few days.

Changes:

  • This version (finally) introduces art support for female characters. I hope people are happy with the non-pandering approach I’ve taken.
  • There’s also a new feature: you can now export your current progress to a convenient save file, and then import it later. This is somewhat against the spirit of the game, but the number of people reporting save problems was large enough that I had to try to find some solution. At least now it is possible to maintain a backup in case your data is lost. This will not appear in Armor Save-enabled versions of the game, as the Armor Save is supposed to serve the same purpose (and the two systems could interact badly).
So, what about the Chronicles 2.0 I mentioned in the Roadmap post?
I’m putting it on the back-burner for now. Since the female art was now finished, I decided to just push it out rather than wait. I may come back to it, but for now I’m refocusing on the next game which will help pay my bills.
The original plan for 2.0 was that I would introduce some additional premium content to justify my time spent adding the new free content. I have cooled on that idea a bit.. it’s hard to think of anything else I could charge for now that wouldn’t feel abusive or disrespectful to those who’d already purchased the original Premium Content.

 

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I like your old stuff..

Category: Monsters' Den

Having read a lot of the comments about Chronicles on various sites, it’s clear that there’s a group that still prefers Book of Dread. The reasons given are often very vague. This makes it difficult for me to understand, but it’s also important for me to understand as the series moves forward. So, please, enlighten me!

What did Book of Dread do better than Chronicles? What was lost in translation, or moved in the wrong direction?

Comment below, but please don’t argue with others about their opinions.

 

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Monsters’ Den Roadmap

Category: Monsters' Den

Now that the Chronicles release is behind us, it’s time to look more seriously at the future of Monsters’ Den. Here’s what will keep me busy for the next year or two:

 

2012 – Monsters’ Den Chronicles 2.0

Female characters. New monsters and items. And, hopefully, a campaign editor.

 

 

Late 2012 – Unnamed Strategy Game

I’m not ready to say much about this one. It will be set in the same universe, but it’s not an RPG.

 

2013* – Monsters’ Den Godfall

Company management. Overland travel. Randomly generated quests. I haven’t given up!

 

 

So, exciting times ahead! I had better get back to work.

 

*Let’s be honest: this one may be a little shaky.

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Premium Content

Category: Monsters Den Chronicles

For anyone on the fence, here’s a full breakdown of what is (and isn’t) in the Premium Content package for Monsters’ Den Chronicles.

 

1. Extra Characters

Unlock ten new characters, one of each class. These new heroes start with visually-distinct equipment, but are otherwise the same as the starting heroes. Parties can be formed from a mix of old and new characters.

This greatly increases your options for party composition, as you can (for instance) have two Confessors, or an all-Mage party.

 

2. Campaign Bonuses and Modifiers

The premium edition also unlocks new ways to customize each campaign.

Campaign bonuses let you choose between different benefits for a campaign.

  • Experience: Experience earned from battle increased by 20%.
  • Reward: The gold reward for campaign completion will be doubled.
  • Recovery: Additional 25% Health and Power recovery after battle.

Campaign modifiers are optional changes to the rules.

  • ‘True Hit’: Use different accuracy calculations that are biased towards success.
  • Fixed Level: During a dungeon campaign the enemies will not increase in level.
  • Lethality: Enemies have 25% less health, and deal 20% more damage.

 

3. Sparks of Legend

With your purchase, you get a bonus of five Sparks of Legend in your inventory, immediately. If your inventory is full, the game will try again to add any sparks you are owed each time the game starts.

These sparks function exactly the same as the ones that can be found (rarely) through normal play. When used to enhance an equipment item, that item will then automatically scale to the level of whoever equips it. The base armor rating and/or damage of the item also increases.

If these sparks (or the items they enhance) are sold or destroyed, they cannot be recovered. However, if you choose to reset your saved data entirely via the options menu, you will start with all five of them.

 

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Monsters’ Den Chronicles 1.2

Category: Monsters Den Chronicles

Time for another new version! With the exclusive period ended, the game can also now start appearing on other portals (let’s try to ignore all of the sites already hosting a hacked version).

Here is the list of fixes:

  • The “Fixed Level” campaign modifier now works correctly
  • When the game loads, any bugged/missing Emporium achievements will be awarded
  • Purchased (premium content) Sparks of Legend are re-added to the starter inventory if the player clears all saved data
  • The cost to restock the Emporium shows properly on mouseover (when you can’t afford it)
  • The cost to restock now uses a different formula, it scales more smoothly and reasonably
  • Suborned Champion is now considered a “boss”, resists Coup de Grace
  • “Mind Control” can no longer be chained indefinitely in some rare circumstances
  • Revival skills heal a minimum of 1 health, regardless of -healing or -healed penalties
  • Portal integration (Newgrounds medals, Kongregate API etc)

The game was also positively reviewed on Jay is Games today.

 

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Monsters’ Den Chronicles v1.11

Category: Monsters Den Chronicles

A new version of Chronicles is now live on Armor Games, and it includes a host of bug-fixes and improvements.

 

v1.1 – Premium Content version

  • Premium Content added! New characters and campaign modifiers are available. The purchase is tied to your Armor Games account, and can be used whenever you are logged in.
  • Secondary stat bonus thresholds reduced
  • Boss monsters are not instantly killed by “Coup de Grace” – they now lose 30% of their max health
  • Ctrl shortcut in inventory is now “quick sell” rather than destroy item
  • “Auto Re-sort bag” button on inventory bags
  • Spark of Legend grants an extra enhancement slot
  • Cant use more than one Spark of Legend on the same item
  • Various other Spark of Legend-related bugs fixed
  • Some teal set items didn’t have enhancement slots, they do now
  • Store contents are properly updated when switching from local to cloud saves
  • When using “Change Formation”, styles belonging to dead characters don’t take effect
  • When switching to “Empowered” style, your current skill will be changed if you no longer have enough power for it
  • Resurrection skills can no longer have their healing component reduced below 1
  • Non-weapon attacks now scale up slightly faster
  • Changed power costs on “Heal” and “Healing Flash” (slightly)
  • “Healing Flash” cannot be used on the caster, target now loses a small amount of action
  • “Insidious Poison” cancels health regen on the target while active
  • “Flash Powder” is now a half action
  • Cleric’s “Revive” now also Anoints the target
  • Rogue’s “Deadly” style critical chance increased
  • When a summoned creature is forced to retreat, it is unsummoned
  • When you buy an item, the status message tells you which bag it went to
  • Better handling of buying items when bags are full or loot settings wouldn’t allow (items no longer lost)
  • Current difficulty setting is shown on the load saved game dialog box
  • “Double stairs bug” fixed – can no longer use ascend/descend buttons while the party is moving
  • Monster damage (in general) increases slightly slower
  • Base monster damage reduced by 10%
  • On Beginner difficulty, monster health/damage increases even more slowly
  • Soulharvester has slightly less health, damage
  • Necromancer fights in Act II have reduced enemy counts
  • Stats on many undead creatures adjusted

v1.11

  • Fixes ‘black screen’ crash bug
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Monsters’ Den Chronicles v1.02

Category: Monsters Den Chronicles

A new version of the game has been uploaded to Armor Games. Here are the changes:

 

v1.02

  • Online saving has been implemented. This requires a free Armor Games account.
  • Randomly generated items will correctly remember their number of enhancement slots
  • “Necromancer” stats have been reduced a bit
  • “Curse of Mortality” damage decreased
  • “A Martyr’s Example” shrine should no longer cause rare crashes
  • “Greater Devourer” has a description
  • Enemies should no longer try to revive disintegrated characters
  • Negative bonuses to healing now work more logically
  • Unvisited rooms will now highlight properly beyond the first floor (when mousing over %)
  • Confirmation dialogs now mention mention Cmd button as well as Ctrl (for Mac users)
  • You will not get campaign unlock messages every time you finish Act V (only the first)
  • Sorting a bag by “none” makes more sense, and unpredictable behaviour corrected
  • Character customization icon no longer shows up in the battle inspection dialog
  • Secret rooms no longer count towards the floor explored percentage (you can get 100% without them)
  • Secret rooms are easier to see
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Inaccurate Attacks on Chronicles

Category: Monsters Den Chronicles

In comments on the new game, a lot of people have been complaining that the accuracy calculations feel wrong or unfair. I wish this was new to me, but exactly the same thing happened on the release of both of the previous games.

In the interests of science, I added a new function to my editor. It simulates 10,000 attacks using the actual functions from the game (the editor is the game, compiled with different flags). Here are the results:

 

So. That’s that, then.

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