Some highlights from this week:

+ Character generation (wohoo!)
+ New character race.
+ 4 new talents.
+ 2 new monsters but they need more love before they are in alpha quality.
+ 8 new harmful conditions to make our prisoners’ lives even more challenging.
+ about 20 new item graphics.
+ 6 new portraits.
(+ Juho has generated about a gallon of mucus.)

+ Implemented right-click stack merging and splitting for stackable inventory items.
+ Added 5 new herbs.


Hey all!

We’ve had a lot of steady progress in making the game itself and in the meanwhile the release plans have also started to solidify. And like always, we want to keep you guys up to date on these things. Although do keep in mind that just like before we don’t want to label these plans as promises quite yet since a lot of things might happen in the next few months still so regard these as our goals instead of absolute truths. All right, now since we got that disclaimer out of the way let’s talk about the plan itself!
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Apologies for the infrequent blog posts lately. We have been extremely busy with getting the game to alpha stage where we can play through the game from start to finish. Not quite there yet but getting closer every day. Anyways, some avid readers have requested a status update so here it goes (we’ll try to post these weekly from now on):

+ Save games (big change which took much longer than I had thought!)
+ Main menu and in-game menus
+ Intro sequence when starting a new game
+ 7 dungeon levels are now in alpha
+ 11 monsters are now in alpha
+ Four new item classes: cloaks, amulets, gauntlets and bracers
+ Elemental damage resistances
+ A ton of smaller improvements

Since things are getting more hectic here we have also decided to start working one hour earlier every day. That’s 8am which is a little scary to me personally because I haven’t been waking up that early for work for years. Let’s see how this works out!


A view of the towering Mount Grimrock on the Dearthfang Ridges in the outskirts of Theraen Empire.

Click the images to view full-sized.

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Juho already showed how the dungeon tiles are modeled so I thought it was time to give a quick glance at actual level creation process. This is also a very preliminary tutorial for making mods – but please note that details may still change and modding support will not make it to the initial release. But let’s get started!

It might be shocking news to you but we don’t actually have a level editor at all. All our levels are laid out in text editor because that was the fastest way to get started. The initial plan was to first do a few test levels with text files and then code a proper graphical level editor. Well time passed and we actually learned to like the text based system a lot. It actually has some really nice properties: first, because we are using a full blown programming language (Lua) we can use all kinds of nice programming techniques like create functions (i.e. pieces of script code) that help in repetitive tasks or even automate some aspect of level creation like place items procedurally in the level. We can also script all kinds of wacky features into level files without having to wait for our overworked programmer (yea, that would be me!) to add new features to the level editor. Another benefit is that we can easily search for items in the levels simply by doing Find in Files in text editor.
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Adam wrote us and asked some insights of how we design and create our dungeon environments. I thought this would be a nice opportunity to demonstrate our asset creation methods.

First we of course need an idea of what we want to depict. In this case it’s some old mossy brick wall dungeons. At this point I search for reference material and maybe scribble something on paper like how the bricks are divided or the pillar silhouette. Color palette is also thought out to get the right mood and feel.

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This week has been a lot busier than normal and considerable amount of time has gone to discussing the business side and various publishing options. We have received a ton of email and I think we have answered to everybody now – if you haven’t please check back with us! Because of this we haven’t had as much time as we would have liked to write blog posts. Sorry about that, folks! Anyway, here’s a short summary what has happened on the dev side this week:

+ Missile auto pickup has been implemented. Basically prisoners holding missile weapons will automatically pickup new missiles of the same type when you walk over them. Also if a prisoner runs out of missiles (but does not pickup another weapon in the meanwhile) the prisoner will fill the hand automatically with any missiles from the ground.
+ We have a cool entirely new graphics set for a new type of environment (or “wall set” as we like to call them internally). It really adds a lot of variety to the environments.
+ We have a new armor set and some new first tier melee weapons.
+ Work on save games has started, 50% done now.
+ Prettier mouse cursor.
+ New secret monster has been animated.
+ First three levels are now in beta quality.
+ Juho, our 3D artist who doesn’t have any earlier programming experience, has learned basics of level scripting (wohoo!)

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