General Musings

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General Musings

Postby CoolBoy on Sat Jun 30, 2012 6:34 am

Hello dear Desktop Dungeon adventurers!
I've been playing the freeware Alpha build for a solid week now, and was so impressed I pre-ordered the Special Edition. After initially thinking I wasn't sent an email, I checked my junk inbox and all is well.

I've completed a diploma in Game Art & Design and have played from start to finish over 450 commercially sold PC games to date (Yes, I'm a dork. I have the list of games to prove it!). Anyways, I recognize talent when I see it. Desktop Dungeons is brilliant, for it takes the addictive structure of a standard rogue-like, tweaks the formula just enough to ensure a fast pace, and creates a game with equal parts luck, strategy, challenge, and rpg. The puzzle factor is what drew me in, as if you strip away all the rpg elements, the game is really about utilizing everything at your disposal in exactly the right way to succeed. From what I've played in the Beta so far, this has been maintained. The only game I can recall that does something similar, is a little known title called "Oasis" that plays like Civilization condensed to 15 minutes.

I don't have bugs to report, in fact, I'm not even sure if I'm posting this in the right place. What I do have is a list of recommendations from my early Beta play experience. I apologize in advance if you've already dealt with the issues I've pointed out.

1. When your character is over a stairway or shop, give the option to return the window (bottom right corner) to its standard view. I can foresee moments when the only path forward would force you onto one of these tiles, thereby removing your access to inventory and spells in battle.
2. The way items are converted could be made clearer. For instance, why do certain items have higher values than others? Perhaps assign them conversation payouts in their descriptions.
3. I can't recall exactly what line, but about the third or fourth text popup when you are introduced to the kingdom, has a line which I think is missing the letter "a." Sorry I'm not more specific, I can't recall it exactly. Overall though, your writing is both humerous and well written.
4. I'm not sure this is even possible, but I would kill for a music track when adventuring.

That's everything for now. I'd like to finish off by saying my greatest experience so far has been spelunking in a Dungeon so full of Army of Darkness references I couldn't help but smile. Great work.
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Re: General Musings

Postby dislekcia on Sat Jun 30, 2012 11:47 pm

Thanks! Oasis is one of my favorite games, so hearing it mentioned in the same breath as DD is awesome :)

Interesting, a lot of those feedback points are already handled in the game in at least some capacity. Either that means that we're not communicating them well enough, or they're not performing as intended for other reasons...

CoolBoy wrote:1. When your character is over a stairway or shop, give the option to return the window (bottom right corner) to its standard view. I can foresee moments when the only path forward would force you onto one of these tiles, thereby removing your access to inventory and spells in battle.


The tabs at the bottom of the interaction panel allow you to switch between different "pages" there. So your inventory is always available (blue tab) - the TAB key switches them as well. I'm assuming you only did the textless tutorial level? We seem to have left explaining tabs out of there, hmm.

CoolBoy wrote:2. The way items are converted could be made clearer. For instance, why do certain items have higher values than others? Perhaps assign them conversation payouts in their descriptions.


Item popup panels and shop displays all show conversion amounts in their bottom right corners. It's next to a small conversion symbol, although perhaps that's not immediately obvious.

CoolBoy wrote:3. I can't recall exactly what line, but about the third or fourth text popup when you are introduced to the kingdom, has a line which I think is missing the letter "a." Sorry I'm not more specific, I can't recall it exactly. Overall though, your writing is both humerous and well written.


I'll look for that :)

CoolBoy wrote:4. I'm not sure this is even possible, but I would kill for a music track when adventuring.


Soundtrack by Danny Baranovsky and Grant Kirkhope! (Seriously, working with these two powerhouses is amazing)
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Re: General Musings

Postby CoolBoy on Sun Jul 01, 2012 2:34 am

Wow, a one-day response to everything. Kudos. I'm pleased to hear you have everything well in hand. I'm downright thrilled you're getting a soundtrack as I thought that was just wishful thinking.

Thank you very much for such a quick and thorough reply. I did have one other question though: Will there be an option to retry the same dungeon, with the same race, class, and preparations, either from the score screen or the fail screen (listed in bottom right corner)? I realize you can from the kingdom screen but I was thinking it would be faster to press one button rather than load the score screen, go back to the kingdom, then finally back to the dungeon again.

On an unrelated topic: I love the Indy game scene! Really, I mean, the true creativity these days isn't coming from the folks churning out the same sports title over and over again, but from the small independents whom sacrifice years of their lives on the commitment to their uncensored creative ambitions. Frozenbyte showed promise in Shadowgrounds, years before Trine emerged.

Speaking of years before, have you ever played Yoda Stories or Indiana Jones and his Desktop adventures? Your current art style seems delightfully similar.

Cheers,
Fraser
A fan from Canada.
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Re: General Musings

Postby Darvin on Mon Jul 02, 2012 6:49 am

Wow, a one-day response to everything. Kudos

The devs are very involved with the forum-going community. It's always nice to get the actual thought process of the devs. Same-day responses are pretty typical.
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Re: General Musings

Postby dislekcia on Mon Jul 02, 2012 10:15 am

A friend of ours here in SA recently suggested the death screen play again button. We're trying to figure out how to make something like that work - ironically it's preparations and cash load that are the biggest hurdles there ;)

Haven't played either of those games, although I think I did see another friend playing Yoda Stories way back.
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Re: General Musings

Postby CoolBoy on Sat Aug 11, 2012 10:19 pm

Hello again,
Sorry I haven't posted in a while, I spent close to a month playing the alpha until I beat the campaign.

Anyway, I've gone back to the Unity version and have already noticed a few additions I'm quite pleased with. The "Restart" option is wonderful and I wish to thank you for including it. The depth of the game is readily apparent, and I could see this replacing Solitaire as people's casual game of choice.

My only request/criticism is that you add a completion flag to the opening level of the Tutorial in which you end up killed by a goat. I realize you don't get a reward for finishing all the Tutorial levels like you do the others, but it would be nice to show it as finished for consistencies' sake.

I'm thrilled by the additions and keep finding more things to so see, do, and try. The text for the bosses still makes me smile, as do your references to movies, games, and whatnot. Keep up the great work and thanks again.

P.S. The Deities I've encountered seem much improved (more forgiving and rewarding compared to the Alpha).
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Re: General Musings

Postby dislekcia on Mon Aug 13, 2012 10:28 am

You mean the Tutorial via the puzzle menu? That's a symptom of how those tutorials are structured that we didn't have time to deal with last week, sorry about that. Those tutorials are actually the "more in depth" tutorials that you go to if you die in the new live-fire tutorial ;)
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Re: General Musings

Postby CoolBoy on Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:10 pm

Don't apologize for the work you've done. :)

Yes, the puzzle menu Tutorial was what I referred to. The levels themselves are great at introducing the basic play mechanics. Some of the Deity puzzle menu challenges I've attempted several times to no success, but I don't consider that a negative. They are "challenges" after all.

I like how the different classes have their own increasingly difficult levels to tackle. This, coupled with the many badges and achievements, and even the simple joy of replaying a randomly generated environment will ensure a very lengthy lifespan for the game as a whole.

Just to reiterate, thank you for the "restart" option. It has sped things up nicely.
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Re: General Musings

Postby CoolBoy on Thu Aug 16, 2012 12:14 am

Sorry for the double post, but I've found a few "errors" you may wish to look into.

1) Playing the first challenge for the Monk class, the one where you must best the Meatman, I encountered a "? Tile" that stayed on the board and didn't disappear when I moved to its location or any of the surrounding tiles. (Randomly occurred, restarted the map a few times and it didn't happen again...)

2) The "Restart" option is a godsend, but I've discovered that around 5-10% of the time, it will restart the map once, then restart again if you move your character on the board.

That's all for now.

UPDATE: August 17

3) Count Blahblah had health that exceeded his maximum (intentional or not?).

4) Playing for a few hours I noticed that item/glyph information panels would remain overlaid on top of the right portion of the map screen and not disappear. This happened on a few different maps, and I can confirm it for both the CYDSTEPP glyph and the Fortitude Tonic.
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Re: General Musings

Postby CoolBoy on Tue Aug 21, 2012 6:39 am

5) Text doesn't fit quite right for a) the descriptive information for the Crystal Ball, and b) The De-Animated Helm (title).

6) I have read the description for the Crystal Ball item, but I can't figure out what it does exactly.

7) If you have three possible quests on a single map location, the % Completion title overlaps the bottom quest on the list.

Question: I noticed that you occasionally take damage (with an accompanying sound effect) when you explore new map tiles (making black tiles visible). This isn't a bug, but I was wondering if this mechanic is explained anywhere in-game.

Question: Who is Glenrick? :)
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