22 Nov 10

Getting cloned and not looking like a douchebag

I have very few emotional parallels to what it feels like find out that your game is being cloned. It’s an extremely difficult thing to explain how your creative joy turns into sheer anger and undermines the hope that keeps you doing this every day. This post tries to figure out “where to from here”, after establishing where “here” is… More…

15 Nov 10

The evolution of a Kingdom

We’ve mentioned the Kingdom before, but we haven’t actually spoken about what it is. Essentially it’s Desktop Dungeons’ new menu. Some of the changes to the full version required a bit of a reboot to how players initiated a dungeon run, plus we wanted to have the meta-game be more visible and instantly rewarding. Here’s how Lurk interpreted our scribblings in the design doc from initial concept to his usual jaw-dropping final polish after the cut, I’m sure nobody’s going to miss the old menu.

The first draft. How much do you love that goat?

Discretely clickable areas worked quite nicely, but we realised that because players had a strict set of filters that they would use while interacting with the Kingdom: Choosing a race, a class and then individual preparations (more on this later). We moved things around in response: More…

02 Nov 10

Interface thinkings and more art

We can safely reveal that the artist responsible for the character portraits that got some of you salivating even more than usual is none other than: Lurk! Recommended some months ago by Derek Yu (possibly to stop us saying thank you for the tileset), Lurk answered our “Would you be interested in working on Desktop Dungeons?” email with this image:

We took that as a yes.

I’ve been spending a lot of time redesigning DD’s interface. Again… (You can see Lurk’s mockup is based on an even older version of the game) Thankfully the event-based design now means that the UI can sit on top of the game logic like a spider, registering to get events that it cares about (like the player taking damage, or mousing over a glyph) without having to be integrated into the logic at all. Essentially the interface is the most self-contained one I’ve ever worked on.

That may not sound like much, but UI coding is almost universally reviled in game dev circles – sitting somewhere just above game tester in the hierarchy of traditional studio progression, below pond scum. Anything you can do to get you amped about an interface is a good idea. Interfaces often end up being polished late in a project, right after the point when everyone throws code etiquette out the window during crunch – they’re historically messy, bug-riddled and done way too fast. Also, I like spiders, they’re cool.

The problem with an inventory More…

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