07 Mar 13

Game design? Nope, Chuck Testa!

TaxidermistDesktop Dungeons has rather a lot of back-story and the game’s story itself is something we like quite a bit. It’s not all just allegory for our socialist-pinko-commie-brutalist-feudal economic agendas, there’s real artistry there (or so Rodain tells us). It just so happens that economics is one of the major ways that players experience that rich story, and the Taxidermist is the main driver of progressive events in the Kingdom.

Except players are rather steadfastly ignoring our humble stuffing merchant! The Taxidermist is one of the least visited buildings in the DD beta right now and, frankly, we can understand why: It’s not as much fun as selecting races or classes and heading back into a new dungeon. This meant that new players weren’t aware of the story progression a lot of the time, often being completely stumped as to why their monster-head-selling business was tanking and having no idea how close they were to finishing the main story arc!

We spent a lot of time brainstorming how to fix this, suggestions ranged from tying Kingdom progression to monster trophies directly (like it used to be before the beta was actually available to anyone outside QCF) to introducing more in-game story events to make players more aware of the existence of a Big Bad™ as they came closer to a confrontation. We even have ideas that might tie preparations to specific trophies or grant specific trophies minor abilities/boosts that could be applied to buildings – both of these are extra systems though, so our anti-feature-creep immune systems have kicked in really hard at those. Mainly though, we’re looking for ways to make the Taxidermist more relevant to everyday players, have his information be more conversational and emphasise his usefulness as we start upgrading the actual building UI as well.

5 Tiles
Optional extra:
Poison animation concepts, woo!

One Response to “Game design? Nope, Chuck Testa!”

  1. Anon Says:

    As a new player myself, I wasn’t even aware visiting the taxidermist /could/ give story information! I think this definitely needs to be better signposted.

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