03 May 13
This week is heavier on bugfixes again, but we’ve made a few interface and design tweaks according to recent player concerns (don’t get too excited about balance though, we’re keeping our interference super light on that from now on).
The new effects icons should start rolling out this week, and will continue doing so for a while (you may remember us teasing the concepts for those in previous blog images). We’ve also got more significant plans for Kingdom interface improvements which will hopefully be gracing your screens next week. We’re not just talking about artwork, here – extra user interface optimisations are lurking off the port bow, cap’n.
A few other ragtag changes of note: we’ve done teensy tiny tweaks to the Tinker and Transmuter challenges which should make them more readable and consistently doable (mostly by massaging the RNG, so let’s see how well a more subtle approach works). We’ve also done away with the initial buying of prep slots, at least for now, so hopefully that’ll make the play experience a bit smoother in this area.
That’s it for now! The rest is detailed in the changelog. Because it’s the changelog that you both deserve and need right now. It’s kinda like some sort of double hero, maybe? Or maybe just an obscenely stretched pop culture reference. Either way, it follows: More…
03 May 13
When parts of QCF Design went to good ol’ San Fran for this year’s GDC, I opted to stay on my home continent due to a combination of local life admin and an extreme hatred of sleeping in airport lounges between flights.
I spent a lot of that time working in the office of another South African game dev studio known as Free Lives, the chaps responsible for the ever-excellent BROFORCE. They’re a great crew and I really like what they’re doing for South Africa’s presence in game development (Evan Greenwood – God King And Ex Chief Beard Cultivator of Free Lives – just recently presented a talk at A MAZE in Germany). But although this blog post was originally going to be about them, I realised after a draft or two that my time spent with these guys has inspired me to talk about the broader dev scene in our country and what I consider to be our primary challenges as a group of developers trying to build momentum in Africa. 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…
25 Apr 13
So what exactly did we do at GDC? Among other things, we went to the IGF/GDC award shows (look, Journey won Game of the Year!), and got to congratulate all our fellow devs on their wins/nominations. Watching Tim Schafer and Andy Schatz MC the two shows was a treat as always, and it’s the event where you’re most likely to meet some of the big names in AAA development. And yet, it’s not the highlight of GDC. Not for me at least.
So in San Francisco, there’s a hostel where practically all the Indie devs stay during GDC. This is fantastic. Meeting people at formal events is nice, and grabbing lunch with a random katamari of devs is great too, but heading down to the hostel common room at 2am (because time zones!) to do some browsing, and running into 20 devs in various states of panic/denial is amazing. The casual atmosphere lets you really get to know these awesome people, and learn that they’re all having the same struggle as you: Making a game. Making games is hard.
It was a whirlwind week of meeting people though. I’m just gonna list off some of the favorite moments from the conference now. Going to Supergiant Games to play Transistor. Hanging out with DannyB and Grant Kirkhope, chatting about DD’s music. Meeting Kert Gartner, and asking him to help us make a trailer for DD. Chatting to Lucas Pope about game design. Having dinner with the guys from Cipher Prime, and playing something new from them. Touring EA redwood shores with Paul Barnett. Going to the MoMA to see Robin Arnott exhibit SoundSelf. Meeting Steve Russell, and playing Spacewar! on an actual PDP-1. And about a million other things.
There really is no place quite like GDC
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…
21 Mar 13
Last year around this time, we ran a promotion. We let anyone and everyone register an account for DD, and play for free during the week of GDC. This was pretty cool, got us some nice exposure, and made us some sales … it also completely killed the e-mail service on our host for two whole days. We managed to write a mail queue system that would send out 100 e-mails per hour (the limit set by our webhost), but before we got that running, mails were getting lost left and right.
We’ve spoken to our webhost about raising the limit, but they don’t seem to understand that we send out mail ‘on request’ not in mailing lists, but we still need it to be automated. Searching around the internet for a bit turned up Madrill, an offshoot of MailChimp. Mailhimp does newsletter stuff, and they extended the business to do transactional mail. Madrill is nice in that it has an hourly limit, but that limit gets shifted up as your needs increase and as your reputation becomes better (no spam, no bounces, etc).
Switching over to Mandrill means we can open the tap on our side of the mail process a little more, letting through 100 emails every 10 minutes instead of 15 every 10 minutes. Once we have some more time on our hands, we’ll switch our mail sends to direct through Mandrill immediately, instead of sitting in our queue. What this should mean for you is faster e-mails for password changes, and faster replies when buying copies of the game. Also fast e-mails when next we do a “free for a while” promotion …
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…
14 Mar 13
So far, the puzzles in Desktop Dungeons have been an odd sorta peripheral to the main game – they’re hooked into the experience, but they’ve always stood apart as their own special mode and people generally don’t pay much attention to them until they realise that one or two item unlocks happen to be puzzle-dependent.
This isn’t too bad on its own. We wanted to focus on puzzles primarily as tutorials and learning experiences distilled into small, pure sections of educational monster-thwacking. Such situations don’t have much mileage by nature (at least compared with the infinite possibilities of a randomly-generated dungeon run!), but the lessons last for a lifetime. At least when they’re done properly. More…