17 May 13
It’s somewhat satisfying whenever we wipe out the more uggo elements of the old UI in favour of newer, sleeker and more accessible systems. The Kingdom continues receiving love on all fronts, helped along generously by user reports which let us work out the kinks that much faster.
This week, we’ve been putting our work into the default Kingdom and map side panels, both of which have been in sore need of updating for quite a while. The obsolete information displays and quest listings have left the scene, replaced by stuff that’s easier to use and much friendlier on the eyes (our Kingdom Advisor panel will be making a return later in a different and much more impactful form).
We’ve also managed to properly implement regeneration trails in-dungeon, which is a huge relief for us. As it turns out, teaching people about the marriage of exploration and regeneration is a rather thorough exercise in pulling teeth. Visually reinforcing where one’s health comes from – and where it ends up – is one of our most vital weapons in the war of understanding. Perhaps we’ll write a post sometime about common gamer expectations versus departures from the norm, because this issue alone has given us more pain than third-degree burns at a salt convention.
The radial menus mentioned in this week’s dev blog aren’t in the game yet, because we want to polish them a bit more (not much use giving people an alternative interface yet if it’s not 100% convenient to use, right?).
Aside from one or two changes which could be considered bug fixes more than anything else, we don’t really have much in the way of balance adjustment for you this week. Graphical improvement, however, marches proudly on. Changelog follows: More…
10 May 13
This week’s an interface update, folks. The most noticeable change is the movement of building panels into the Kingdom’s sidebar, which involved a fair bit of code reshuffling to make the new system work as intended (you may read that as code for “here be dragons and / or uncaught bugs”).
As those of you who read our blog post on the subject are already aware, we’re trying to get certain tasks and game areas done and dusted in a very definite manner. We’ve already abandoned most trivial balancing concerns (favouring user interface and player expectation problems) and we’d like to get the Kingdom locked down soon, too. Expect regular poking at that over the next few weeks.
Since the changelog generally does a good job of explaining what already IS changing, we’ll mention here that the coming weeks are also going to see more changes made to the in-dungeon interface, mostly related to combat interactions and supporting animations for “everyday” stat adjustments.
We’ve been receiving a lot of feedback from new players recently about their experiences with the early stages of DD. Our thanks to all of you – even the horribly confused ones. Especially the horribly confused ones.
Slowly but surely, our Kingdom is winning the war against its greatest and most long-standing nemesis: poor UI. The changelog that follows chronicles just one battle in this epic, years-long conflict: More…
26 Apr 13
Right, so a bunch of you have been complaining about the apparent dissonance between the Transmuter’s lore and his abilities. We’ve attempted to clarify this point with an all-new set of Transmuter challenges that absorb the old storyline and update it just a lil’ bit. Have fun!
As is the norm recently, we’re pleased to announce a few interface improvements and an important development in the war against erroneous logging (hawww yeah!). The inventory and prep panels have been improved and we’ve also removed the questionable Gardening Shears from play.
Enjoy this week’s update, that’s the last of our bonus challenge series. The feedback in recent weeks has been fantastic, thank you! Changelog follows: More…
19 Apr 13
The Tinker challenge dungeons are in now!
Aside from that, welcome to the first full update week in a while. Phew. We nailed a chunk of that huuuuuuge bug list that crept up on us over the break, tweaked some minor balance issues here and there (in an unprecedented move, we’ve been quite generous towards players) and performed some well-needed interface maintenance.
Some notable fixes and tasks: we’re working on the login problems that some folks are having (with game sessions repeatedly demanding usernames and passwords), PQI Vicious awards a much bigger chunk of gold to victors and more work has been put into effects icons and information density concerning your heroes. As the past two blog images may suggest, we’re also hoping to get some revised icon art into the game soon.
Enjoy this week’s update, and let us know what you think of the latest round of improvements.
This week’s changelog is slightly bulkier than the last one. Are you ready for this? Okay, brace yourself, let’s go! The list awaits below:
12 Apr 13
GDC is behind us for another year – and so are the long flights, communication delays and jet lag. Our normal update / work schedule resumes next week, but we’ve thrown together a couple of things for the front end that you’ll appreciate, including an all-new set of Crusader challenges featuring the all-new Ratling opponents featuring an all-new story told across several paragraphs of all-new epic writing.
So this is us getting into gear again. You can expect a full update next week with the regular dose of beta adjustments, poorly-constructed witticisms and life-changing work. Cheers for now!
Our artist is hard at work right now making effects sheet adjustments and fancy new icons for a lot of everyday stuff (half of the ability roster seems to be represented by a pool of blood right now. Seriously). Minor changelog follows, but we’ll actually have more tweaks next week: More…
22 Mar 13
Hail, fair Desktop Dungeons supporters! Today, QCF is flying from sunny South Africa all the way over to GDC 2013 in the glorious urban utopia of San Francisco, to frolick amidst like-minded professionals and play Game Developer Katamari with as many quirky industry types as possible.
This means that today’s release is a little earlier than usual (yay!) and consists mostly of tweaks and interface adjustments and miscellaneous changes (not quite so yay, but still kinda important).
For the majority of the conference, your best bet on keeping touch with QCF is via the twitter accounts @dislekcia and @aequitasZA , where a whole manner of GDC adventures will be recorded in 140-character form. And in case folks are sad about the disruption to our regular broadcast, we have something special planned for the coming week.
It’s short and sweet this week, there’s a plane to catch! We’ll see you on the other side. And in the meantime, cuddle up with this changelog and give it a good read: More…
15 Mar 13
This week’s serving of the DD beta comes with several clarity tweaks, most of them related to the graphical interface. Many players will appreciate, in particular, the ability to rearrange the class / race selection screen for more intuitive selection, as well as the increased clarity with altar sparkles.
Digging just a little deeper, one can also find some fun little tweaks: an updated Trisword graphic here, an awesome new enemy pic there … all part of the visual polish process that makes Desktop Dungeons feel more like a completed product. Hooray for that!
As well as the graphical holes, we continue to fill in tutorial niches with the Glyph Academy puzzle pack, adding four new challenges to this week’s loadout. Some of them are probably trickier, but they come unlocked at a point in the game where veterans should be able to conquer them – at least with a bit of thought (and if not, the helpful hint signs are always ready!).
This week is a veritable goodie pack of pretty and we hope you enjoy the update. Doesn’t Glenrick look absolutely dashing? And yes, we’ve let y’all keep the Titan Guitar. It’s fun and silly and we like it. Changelog ahoy: More…
08 Mar 13
As we continue making interface adjustments, we bring our attention to particular areas of player understanding, such as the under-used Taxidermist and improved building labels. As far as the former is concerned, we’re rather aware of the gap in usefulness and eventually want to give it more “mechanical” importance in the game … though a lot of that will be tied in with the evolution of our building interface.
We’ve also been working on more content-based player guides such as the new Glyph Academy puzzle pack, which has six puzzles so far exploring the quirkier rules and situations that come with three popular glyphs. Eventually, we hope that these will serve as a more gracious bridge from complete newbiedom to more intermediate (and perhaps rather advanced) methods of play.
We keep this blog post brief: aside from the interface and content buffs this week, we’ve also taken the time out to smash a few more bugs. ‘Nuff said! Changelog follows for details: More…
01 Mar 13
It has been a crazy week for the QCF team – stolen equipment, cut-up faces and bad Soul Calibur matchups have all reared their heads in the past seven days. But we’ve persisted regardless and present, once again, the weekly DD Beta Update (capital letters for special emphasis).
We continue to pick at the Kingdom interface while readying up the next major bunch of graphics. We’ve also hopped back into the dungeons briefly to start work on the enemy effects overview system (a convoluted way of saying that Slow, Poison and other stuff will visibly animate on monsters without needing a mouseover). We even took a moment today to adjust APHEELSIK’s interaction with magic resistance and try out a new balance idea for the less-alive opponents in the DD roster.
You’ll notice that a lot of this week’s changes concern UI and player comprehension tweaks – we consider this to be a good path to focus on right now and we thank everybody for their assistance in picking up on / pointing out these little weirdnesses, particularly the more abstract ones.
Sorry we didn’t get more done this week: one of us is currently short of a laptop and rather cheesed off about it. The changelog is still reasonably chunky in terms of all the little details we brought together, though. Have a look: More…
27 Feb 13
We noticed recently that many players were reporting long load times (over 30 seconds!), which is not ideal. I’ve written about the save system before, and until now it’s served pretty well. We decided to investigate and came away with some neat optimizations, and some insights into the meta-game.
After running some tests on culprit save files, we found that there were way more lockering events happening than anything else. Players seem to love going into a dungeon and converting their locker item, they also love coming out and reclaiming it, but will often just go find that item again and re-locker it over the reclaim slot. It didn’t make sense to keep two matching ‘destroy’ and ‘restore’/'relocker’ events, so we wrote a save game pre-processor that can go through the file removing matching statements like this, and some other odd edge cases, like an item being lockered over the same item.
What this did is gain us some big savings in file size, and a fair reduction in load times … but something still wasn’t right. After some more investigation, we realised that there was a graphical element that was being re-drawn every time the locker status changed, and that was eating up load time as well! That little hole was soon plugged, and now the graphical reset only happens if the game isn’t loading.
One nice thing is that we now have the pre-processor in place, and we can add to it if we ever find another way to save space/load time.