27 Dec 10

“FienDASH” game prototype and beginner’s guide

It’s been a weird and rather stressful year, and in the aftermath of all the personal┬ámadness I realise that I’ve been rather Internet-withdrawn recently. Having come to this understanding, I knew that there was only one solution to this problem (and indeed, all of life’s problems): get Vikings involved.

Hence FienDASH, a creative exercise in which I decided to take the absolutely awesome (and not-used-nearly-often-enough) Norse mythology, fuse it with some inspiration from the Deadly Rooms of Death game series and throw in stuff like special abilities, axes and lots of badly-drawn blood. Oh, and procedurally generate the whole damn thing because I absolutely love that sort of stuff.

Typical Viking messiness. Gotta love it.

What I strove for was something along the lines of this really badass Viking story : absolute swarms of enemies against a lone hero in a randomly-generated, turn-based environment.

So far it’s only a crappy prototype with some horrendous art to match, but I think I’ve got the basic gameplay demonstrated if you feel adventurous enough to download it. It’s pretty challenging and poorly explained though (if I keep working on this, I’ll probably throw in a proper tutorial), so if you want to read the full post, I’ll give a quick summary guide:


20 Dec 10

Gamasutra’s top 10 indie games of 2010 list

Desktop Dungeons has made its way into the Gamasutra top 10 indie games of 2010 at an incredibly startling #3! Huge thanks to the awesome editors at Indiegames.com whose regard for Rodain’s design hax is well documented, but they’ve really outdone themselves this time:

“Rodain Joubert has managed to do something that other developers could only dream of — achieve a perfect balance between casual and hardcore with his freeware roguelike game, Desktop Dungeons. Every gameplay session usually lasts for only about 15 minutes, yet the unlockable achievements, playable characters and bonus dungeons will keep the fans coming back for more. The game is popular enough to spawn its own wiki resource, regularly updated to keep track of new spells, deities, enemies, character classes and dungeon areas.

But wait, there’s more! If you don’t like the default tileset (drawn by Spelunky creator Derek Yu) that comes bundled with Desktop Dungeons, you could always download and switch between other custom tilesets found in a variety of online forum threads dedicated to the game. When you lose, it’s usually because you’ve not planned ahead, so be sure to brush up on your tactics and calculations before spending time with this indie gem.”

That is some truly nice stuff to say about our little game. We <3 you (and all the new visitors) too!

17 Dec 10


There’s something to be said for that feeling you get when you’re really into a project. When you wake up with code pouring out of your frantically twitching fingers. When the team leaps from problem to problem, gnawing them into bite-sized chunks and crossing off multiple tasks a day. That’s a great feeling.

We hit a wall a few weeks ago. Obviously the whole cloning thing had a lot to do with that – yes, the responses were overwhelmingly positive rather than negative – but dealing with lawyers just takes so much time. Plus having a spanner thrown into our schedule like that made us question a lot of the assumptions we’d made about what people were willing to pay for DD. Suffice to say that I think we’re more comfortable erring on the side of polish rather than release buggy games (and y’know, with really poor difficulty ramping), but that’s all I’ll say about that ­čśë

My trip to Kenya for the Open Innovation Africa Summit sort of landed directly in the middle of all this, and while the summit was an amazing experience (I kept worrying that because everyone else was so bloody interesting and creative, I was going to turn out to be the boring one, but I ended up meeting him on the last day so I dodged that bullet) few things wreck a schedule like being inundated with ideas and cool totally-need-to-happen-yesterday type projects*.

So the past two weeks have been us getting that old momentum back up. We’re starting to get things rolling again: Art is flowing in at a rate of knots – boy does it look GOOD (will have some for you later, honest); The god systems are revised and finding their way into the Unity build pretty fast, nearly ready for balance tweaking; Rolled out the last of the systems that’ll make adding late-game content a ton faster – effects plus schneaky C# hax, woo; Building for Mac is now part of the drill, next step iPhone builds; And hopefully we’ve reached the last of what we need to feed the lawyers (I could totally go on about how little IP laws do for people like us and how 90% of the internet really just doesn’t get it when it comes to copyright, but I won’t. Yet).

So yeah, things are on the up. Now we’ve just got to survive this ridiculous time of year, although I must say that Cape Town is looking pretty friggin amazing at the moment. Also, you really do not want to know how much iPhones cost in Africa. Argh!


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