Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Dweller 1.16.0

Dweller 1.16.0 has been released! The new version features support for French and Russian. Once again, a big thanks to Dannot, Jordan, Antoine, Florian, Krikunoff, John "Dosman" S and John B for their work on the translation. You will also be able to encounter a few new artifacts, designed by the translators and some recent doners. Another important thing with the new release is the new "Send Save game" option accessible from the main menu. If you come across a bug please use this function to send your save game to me for analysis. It will greatly help me to track down bugs, especially those that aren't 100% reproducible.

Download here.

  • Monsters will flow around obstacles a bit better than before
  • Send save game
  • French and Russian
  • Several new artifacts
  • Poison should now be more efficient
  • Removed "(Compared to Wand X)" when wands actually aren't possible to compare
  • Actions are now performed on key up if playing using a keyboard
  • Mapping spell doesn't map huge chunks of stone walls. Only room and corridor outlines are mapped
  • The effect of Healing potions didn't vary as much as expected between Weak and Strong ones
  • #35 Potion of change shows incorrect message
  • #36 Cleanse at the healer shows "nothing happens"
  • #32 Gaining multiple levels only give one stat increase
  • #1 Unable to disarm trap doors
  • #12 Incorrect amount shown when inspecting a pile of gold
  • #3 Spell cast animations aren't synced

Monday, January 30, 2012

New Dweller release soon

My initial plan was to release a new version of Dweller yesterday, but I ran into some problems when I was building the release. I will need a day or two to fix the problems. The new version will contain some bug fixes, a complete French and Russian translation (thanks Dannot, Jordan, Antoine, Florian, Krikunoff, John "Dosman" S and John B!), a bunch of new artifacts attributed to my great translators and doners, some improvements to the monster AI and a new in-game bug report feature that will send the entire save game to me for inspection.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Dweller forums have opened!

As a part of the launch of the new Dweller home page I have also set up a community section with a forum. Please check out the new home page and please join the forum and start discussing Dweller!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Hack, Slash, Loot released!

I blogged about HSL a while back, and now it's finally released. If you like old school dungeon crawling you're sure to enjoy this! It's currently on sale for $10, on par with Cardinal Quest but below the sales price of The Binding of Isaac and Dungeons of Dredmore. $10 ain't much for a nice little game like Hack, Slash, Loot, but I get the feeling that buyers of indie games are getting spoiled by constant sales discounts on Steam and in game bundles such as The Humble Indie Bundle. 

Monday, January 23, 2012

Roguelike Radio - Interview with DarkGod

In episode 19 of Roguelike Radio Darren and Ido get a chance to chat with Nicolas 'DarkGod' Casalini, the author of the very popular ToME 4, or Tales of Maj'Eyal. DarkGod has really impressed me by his extreme productivity with loads of releases and huge change lists. I really enjoyed listening to his thought on roguelike development and on how to make a popular game with a very active community.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Ludum Dare #22 - Last Breath

Ludum Dare #22 was finished a few days ago and I've started playing some of the top rated games. Last Breath is one of them and it's a nice little platformer where you're in control of a dog "trapped between life and death". The graphics and the music works perfectly together and it makes the game a really nice distraction for a while.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Castle Story

Castle Story by Sauropod studio is an open ended Lemmings meet Minecraft sandbox game where you control little workers that can build castles, create mines and chop down trees. The world is voxel based and as such everything in the world is destructible/modifiable. The game is currently in alpha but it already looks really awesome.

Roguelike Radio episode 16 - 18

The guys over at Roguelike Radio have been hard at work in December and beginning of January releasing three great episodes:

Episode 16: History and Future of Roguelikes
Very nice walkthrough of where it all started and how roguelikes have developed over the years. The discussion on how roguelikes have influenced the indie community was really good.

Episode 17: Roguelike of the Year 2011
A good discussion on the controversial choices of this years voting (eg "Is Binding of Isaac really a roguelike?"). Also the panellist pick their favorites and argue why their specific choice should be the winner.

Episode 18: ToME4
This episodes takes you through the history of ToME4, all the way back in it's infancy where it was known as PernBand.

More on Javascript, jsFiddle

I came across a reference to a site called jsFiddle today. jsFiddle is an online tool to test out small pieces of Javascript, HTML and CSS. You get a panel for each of the three and a fourth panel to display the result. There's also a dropdown where you can pick which framework you'd like to include, be it Mootools, jQuery, YUI, Prototype or any other framework out there.

The neat thing about it is that you can save the contents of all the panels and get a link that you can share. Perfect when you want to send someone a code example or similar!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Javascript and me feeling like a tourist without a map

I'm no hard core Javscript developer but I've done small Javascript projects here and there. Nothing fancy, only small stuff, maybe with a bit of jQuery sprinkled in here and there. Since I don't do JS coding on a day to day basis I always feel like a tourist who doesn't really know my way around town. There always seems to be a new framework or two that I should use and if I do pick a framework or utility library I can bet my ass that there is something better that I'm not aware of. This frustrates the hell out of me and it becomes a mental threshold every time I'm about to do something in Javascript. For instance: is Require.js something worth looking in to? What about Backbone.js? Or Underscore.js?

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Online translation tools and Dweller

Quite a while back I added support for localization of Dweller and added Swedish as a proof of concept that it actually works. What I didn't do was to make it easy for external translators to help out. Until now the translations have been kept in an XML file and parsed build time into a binary file format. It would quickly become unmanageable to pass around XML files and keep them up to date for all languages.

At work we've more or less always worked with multi-lingual games and apps and we have with great success used online translation tools developed in-house to take care of the hassle of maintaining multiple languages. I could probably use the tools we have at work, but for Dweller I think it's better to find a similar solution available for free on the net. To my surprise there were quite a few tools with similar feature set as the one we use at work.

After a bit of evaluation I decided to go for myGengo String. myGengo offer professional translation services to a multitude of languages at a reasonable price and they also have a very nice free to use (at least for public projects) translation tool where you can define what languages your project should support (and which language should be the master language), add strings to translate, invite translator, see the status of the translations and finally export them to a number of different file formats. If you want to help out with the translation of Dweller please send me an e-mail!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Android UI patterns

Quite a few times since I switched job and started working with Android and iPhone development I've ended up in discussions about how to handle different kinds of UI interaction on Android. "This is how it's done on iPhone, but what is the standard way of doing it on Android?"

It is often not immediately clear how things should be done either. Android developers have been allowed to design their UIs almost any way they want to, often resulting in less than optimal UIs.

Luckily there are a few sites that tries to remedy this and suggest good ways of solving different UI interaction patterns. One of the most commonly referred to seem to be Android Patterns. Google recently launched a new Design section on their developer site and it's looking promising as well.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Finding the right issue tracker

I'm receiving more and more feedback via e-mail from players (both bugs and feature requests) and I've come to realize that I need to find a tool that can help me keep track of things. During the last couple of days I've tested a multitude of different bug and issue tracking systems and it's damn hard to find something that gets the job done without too much hassle. These are my requirements:

  • It must be a web based tool
  • It must be a hosted tool. I do not wish to install the tool on a web server of my own.
  • It shouldn't have a ton of settings and configuration options. It should be sleek and ready to go in minutes.
  • It should offer a free account (although I would possibly be willing to pay a small amount per month)
  • It should provide anonymous users with read only access to bugs
  • It is a bonus if anonymous users can add new bugs
  • It is a bonus if the tool allows login using Open ID, Facebook or Google
The ones that I've tried that are still on my shortlist are LighthouseApp, FogBugz, YouTrack, Trakr and possibly also PivotalTracker. Does anyone else have a suggestion for an issue tracker?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Dweller 1.15.0

It's time for the second Dweller release of the year. Most of the issues reported since the last release should now be solved. I've also had time to add a second level to the maze.

The game is available from all the usual sources: Android MarketJ2ME and J2SE. Enjoy!

  • The Healer now offers to cleanse Slowing effects
  • Added a second level to the maze
  • The healer now offer different strengths on the heals
  • The merchant will stock up on basic inventory faster
  • Extinguished braziers can be lit again by bumping in to them
  • Removed the double (and triple) healing message when using items that provide healing
  • Wraith slowing triggered the purple spell animation on each move
  • Graphical glitch when using a Wand of Mapping in the forest
  • There was a problem with magic resistance not working as it should

Monday, January 2, 2012

Dweller 1.14.0 - Happy New Year!

Wow, is it 2012 already? Where did 2011 go?

So what's in store for Dweller in 2012? I intend to make 2012 the year when Dweller will be "finished". Looking back at old versions of Dweller it is obvious that the game has come a long way since it's first release several years ago. There's still some way to go, but I believe I'll get there this year.

I wish to thank all the dedicated Dweller players out there. The game wouldn't be what it is today without all the encouraging e-mails I receive. Thank you! (PS Don't forget that you can donate if you really enjoy Dweller)

I decided to start off the new year with a fresh release of Dweller. The new release contains a side branch of the main dungeon with a mini-boss and a unique drop. I hope to add a lot more content to the dungeons from now. I've played the game quite a bit lately and it is obvious that the game needs more variation, both in terms of monsters and items, but more importantly in the way the dungeon feels when you explore it. There has to be more surprises in there for the player to discover. Stay tuned for more dungeon content!

The game is available from all the usual sources: Android MarketJ2ME and J2SE. Enjoy!

  • Side branch with a mini-boss
  • Different stair variants depending on where they lead
  • Pushable stones will disappear if pushed onto an open trapdoor or stairs down

  • Trap doors will not be generated on the level above the halls of the goblin king
  • Doors are more likely to be generated

  • Scrolls of recall incorrectly required a target.