Oct 13 2010

What’s going on?! Pt. 3: Shaman MK II

No longer a pushover

As most of the beta testers have probably noticed the Goblin Shaman missed some pretty vital classes at the Boss Academy. Well, we had him retake a couple of them, and now he’s back packing a much harder punch!

When he first appears, he’s pretty much identical to his old self. He just stands there, looking silly and summoning one monster at a time. The longer you let him be, however…

He's four times the man he once was!

The Shaman will summon more and more minions with each cycle! With some bad luck, what once was just a harmless clown in a cave might become five red orcs in your back yard! But that’s not the only badassery the new Shaman does to mess with lazy players:

Why is it blue? Is it a bug? Is it a plane?

Nope, it's a water summoning circle!

Boss Rage Mode

We call this the “Rage Mode”. Each boss have one, and the Shaman’s way of telling you to step up your game is by summoning water. While summoning four or five minions is pretty nasty as well, this ability is absolutely devastating! Nine times out of ten, it’s the end for you should he succeed!

The general idea behind making the bosses stronger by adding Rage Mode, was to prevent them from becoming harmless statues standing in caves and waiting for some properly leveled Warriors to pick them off. In the beta, getting a warning about a Shaman generally meant a good opportunity for leveling up and getting some easy score. We wanted players to think: “oh sh- here comes trouble!”

The Shaman is still pretty easy, though. He hasn’t become harder to beat in combat, so all that’s changed is you’ll have to stop the power leveling meta-game at five or six minions in if you don’t want to risk water summoning. He isn’t the only boss however, and the other two makes the Shaman look like a kitten…

but more about that some other time!

Next Up:

Bonus Modes!


Sep 27 2010

What’s going on?! Pt. 2: Decorations

A picture is worth a thousand words, so let’s begin with one!

Aw dat's boring!

Daym, now that's some boring tunnels!

So, what did you think? “Wow! Such an amazing game“, I’m sure, and while that is absolutely correct, if you have played the game a few thousand times like I have, a correct answer would also be: “I’ve seen those tunnels before!

This is why we made decorations! The idea behind decorations is that if we riddle the tunnels with all sorts of crazy stuff, they won’t look as repetetive! Of course, it’s up to the player how much crap they want on their playfield, but for the sake of Dawk — the Duck God — let’s go into Options and crank that slider to the max!

No one quite knows who puts all that stuff there, but we all want to give him/her a hug!

Take a load of that! The playfield is now full of random things that mostly only make little sense, because if they wasted energy making sense, they wouldn’t be quite as awesome! I don’t want to blow my own horn here, but Mariah Carey once told me that our decorations are the best she had ever seen in a game! I was going to get her phone number as well but was rudely interrupted by the alarm clock.

Let’s take a closer look at them things!

Very cool!!

Man, these decorations sure liven things up! I better make sure to invite them to my next party!

There are two types of decorations: wall- and ground. Ground decorations stay put the entire round, while wall decorations gets destroyed when the wall behind them is opened. You can adjust the amount of decorations that spawn, or disable them completely. In these examples, there are about 3½ minutes worth of decorations with the spawn rate set to maximum! My guess is that the more casual the player, the more they will enjoy a huge amount of silly decorations, but the options slider will let you find your own preference.

Instead of regular decorations, the "nice ground" gets buildings!

As your score increases, the area around your base will grow larger. On this ground, unique buildings will spawn depending on what you achieve! For example, killing a boss might give you a statue, while trapping a water cave might give you a well! We might give some of these buildings passive bonuses, such as higher spawning levels, but that’s just an idea and haven’t been implemented yet!

Hello, ladies! The wall is now sushi!

Who are those two sexy fellows, one might ask? Why that’s me and Robin! To round things up, a keg of dwarven ale goes to Robin’s talented fiancee, Emma, who made many of the decorations!

.

Next up:

Shaman MK II


Sep 23 2010

What’s going on?! Pt. 1: Sandbox

Three weeks without updates? I should be ashamed! >:(

And I am! But it’s all because I’m working hard. Or beating people up with Dudley. Mostly the “working hard” bit, though!

For some easy points, I’m going to reveal some stuff that we’ve been working on for the past couple of months, one tiny bit of info at a time! First up:

Sandbox

Derp

Look at that sandbox mode! Such grace! Such glory!

In Sandbox Mode, you’re allowed to play around with the engine pretty much however you want. As can be seen above, The Sandbox is comparable to Photoshop in terms of artistic capability. Who can forget this masterpiece, painted entirely in Dwarfs!? by Tedí d’Eau?

Historians running a simulation of the Battle of Thermopylae. Bonus feature: negative score!

The inbuilt Battle Simulator (accessed by clearing a large area and painting out Dwarfs and enemies) is insanely accurate. It’s so good, that even if you mess up the setting of the battle like in the pic above, you’ll still get the correct results! Wow, talk about cool features!

Knerp!

You can tweak pretty much every aspect of the game, minus some aspects of the game!

In Sandbox mode, we leave players in complete control! Some have even said that our Sandbox settings are like a huge triple A-title in itself! And these are not just for show… look what happens when we crank the Water Speed up to max!

So FAST!!!

Oh. My. God. Just wow! LOOK at that speed! I am speechless. It's so fast!

Remarkable! As can be seen in the pic above, the water is now amazingly fast! The poor warrior has no chance! Such velocity. It is like a space shuttle launch. Marvellous.

Yes, truly the Sandbox Mode will be the bonus feature that will go down in history as the tool of this generation, of this decade. You can do pretty much anything in it! We were thinking of offering $1,000,000 to anyone who could find even one thing you could not do in our Sandbox Mode, but then we decided against it since it would just inspire false hope and lead to frustrated realizations that the Dwarfs Sandbox truly is capable of anything!

.

Next time:

Decorations!


Jul 8 2010

Dwarfs 0.65 Beta Uploaded!

Update 2: Disregard the previous update! The new version has been uploaded now, and you REALLY should be able to start the game now if you crashed at start up! Also, there are a some new sounds

Update: A new version has been uploaded, which hopefully works with graphics cards capable of storing textures up to 2048 pixels wide! If you got a crash at startup before, give it another go.

The day you all have been waiting for has come! You can now download a beta of Dwarfs (http://www NULL.po2games NULL.com/forum/viewtopic NULL.php?f=4&t=2)!

To download it, just visit this post (http://www NULL.po2games NULL.com/forum/viewtopic NULL.php?f=4&t=2) and follow the instructions! We’ve disabled all time modes but 15 minutes. Not to be cheap bastards or anything, but because the longer modes make no sense since only about 1/4 of the content is in the game. You can still get pretty far in 15 minutes, and you’ll have more than enough time to encounter all content!

At this point in the development, the game’s foundation is pretty much done. What we’ve left to do is make more of what’s there — more enemies, secret caves, more campaign missions, and so forth. The game, as it is now, gives a very good sense of what the final game will be like. It’s a very playable beta.

To make playing the game interesting, we’ve added an online scoreboard! To upload  a score, there are only two prerequisites:

  1. You must be connected when you get it
  2. It must qualify for your own highscore list

Now we will truly find out who has the longest beard!

Annoying Insects

When releasing a Beta like this, only one thing is certain: there will be bugs. Lots of them. Most people probably won’t notice anything major. Some people will run into pretty drastic ones! If you stumble upon a bug that crashes the application, you will (hopefully) be taken to a crash screen asking you to upload the crash report! Press Enter to do this. If you find a bug that just messes with the game without crashing it (such as dwarfs digging through rock, or your base flying away), please do report them in the forum! Oh, and on that note…

The Forum

As stated above, we’ve created a forum where you can report bugs, ask questions and come with suggestions! Anyone can register and post, and if you have something to say, please do! :)

Some Pointers

It might be a good idea to go through the Campaign (which for now is a tutorial), to learn the basics. In the Codex, accessible from Main Menu, you can read up on some tips and tricks, as well as watch short video tutorials and listen to my silky sweet faked British accent!

Oh, and when you’re not playing Dwarfs, I trust you’ll be watching the EVO Stream (http://evo2k NULL.com/live/), just like we will ;)

Enjoy!