Hello all! It’s been a while since the last proper update, mainly because Alpha 1.1.0 is massive. I’m going to break down the major changes in this news post, but there is a lot more stuff going into it as well. Probably the most important piece of information is that 1.1.0 will be launching at the end of this week. So if that was what you wanted to hear… you’ve heard it. Now, what’s in it?
New Map Generation
Probably the largest change is to the dungeon floor layouts. This is the first step toward a more interesting and logical generation system which I will be working on over the next few weeks. Instead of just rooms connected to each other by doors, floors now generate with blocks of rooms, single rooms, corridors, and mazes, as shown by a sample generated map below (rooms white, doors pink, corridors green):
This change not only makes exploration more interesting, but also prevents previous door and room spawning errors, and allows much greater customization of floors, both for me to work on more interesting layouts, and for later player customization options.
Since the overall floor generation has changed, changes have also been made to individual room generation. Rooms can now follow set layout types when being generated, which in future means specific room types can house specific enemy and item drops (a similar system already existed in the form of gold rooms, libraries, dining rooms etc, but the new system is much more efficient and flexible).
Potions and Scrolls
The next change/addition is to how potions and scrolls work. Sticking true to the original Rogue formula, all potions and scrolls now start out both randomized and unidentified, leaving the player to identify its use. This can be done either by using a Scroll of Identification (which initially, it is unlikely you will have a huge supply of) or by biting the bullet and using them. This can of course be very risky, as there are an equal number of good and bad effects, but once identified, you will know what that specific scroll or potion does for the rest of your current game. Once you die, all potion and scroll effects will be randomized again.
I will be adding to the number of potions and scrolls steadily each patch, and certain ones will be rarer than others. Health potions and Scrolls of Identification are more likely to be identified since they are more useful. You never know though. Since you will be needing scrolls and potions a lot more post 1.1.0, scrolls can now be crafted by using a bottle of Enchanted Ink on a sheet of Paper, and Empty Potion Bottles remain after the contents have been drunk. Alchemy remains the same, just with mushrooms corresponding to potion colour, as seen above.
A lot of Claustrophobia’s graphics were made almost a year and a half ago now. The walls, for example, have had the same graphic since the very first PreAlpha version back at the start of 2012 (at that point the game had 1 item and a character that 9 times out of 10 went in the opposite direction when you clicked a cell). So I decided it was time to revisit a lot of the main tiles and give them a bit of a retexture. I’ve tried not to stray too far from the original graphics, while still giving them a much needed facelift.
Enemy and Item Rescaling
One of the largest problems in Claustrophobia currently is the way that enemies and items scale. For anyone who has reached level 20 and higher, it becomes apparently quite quickly that you are fighting a losing battle. Although you could say that in a roguelike that is kind of the point, the balance for high (and low really) level just wasn’t there. Enemies would level up as soon as you did, which made leveling more a punishment than an achievement. The exponential increase in needed XP also meant that at high level it was impossible to get to the level needed to take on enemies.
Therefore enemies are now leveled based on the floor which you find them on, and reward XP based on the amount of experience needed to reach the next level, and the amount of enemies on that floor to dish that XP out. This makes leveling a much smoother experience, especially at high level.
The second change in terms of scaling is to do with both the gear you find, and how frequently you find it. Gear has been rescaled for a third time. The rarity of an item is now dictated by the amount of different stats on it, and the item level dictated by the amount of points in each stat. Shops will now sell much higher quality items, and have a preferance toward gear. Gear drops less frequently, with a higher chance to drop potions, scrolls, and crafting materials. Scrolls have a greater chance of dropping in libraries.
New UI and Resolution Options
There’s already a whole news post on this, so if you want more information on it, you can go check that out here.
Two IMPORTANT Closing Messages
Right, this one’s kind of important. As I said at the top of this post, Alpha 1.1.0 will be launching at the end of this week. A couple of weeks after 1.1.0, updates and news will temporarily slow down for a month or so. This is because in a couple of month’s time from now, I have a number of very important exams, which I really need to dedicate majority of my time to. My ‘revision’ at the moment consists of Physics and Mechanics books lying open around my keyboard, and unfortunately, I have not developed the power to absorb knowledge from around me.
I will still try hard to keep up to date with any messages/questions/suggestions/comments sent to me, and I will be working on Claustrophobia in any other time I have. There will just be less news and updates in that time. As soon as my exams are done, I’ll be straight back to the normal update schedule.
Secondly, due to that changes to items and world generation, it is not advised that you continue a saved game into the new patch. While the save file will work, there may be some issues caused by items you were carrying pre patch, the level of enemies you have already encountered, and of course, floors which you have already visited. I don’t say this often as I know how annoying it can be, but for the best game experience, I strongly suggest you start a new game for 1.1.0.
Whew. And that was the news. Time to go resolve some forces or something.
New UI and Resolution Options
Hello everyone! It’s been a while since a proper update on what’s new. Other than bug fixes, the main thing I have been working on is a complete redesign of Claustrophobia’s UI, for a more polished and more customizable experience, and (finally) resolution and proper fullscreen customization. So, I present to you, UI v3!
As you can see, the right hand side panel is gone, allowing the screen to be resized without the fixed window stretching and breaking. Instead, health, mana, experience, and skills can be found at the bottom of the screen, in a more traditional rpg style. The top right remains as the minimap, with the addition of gold, level, and floor counters.
All other features, such as inventory, character screen, skill book etc, can be found in moveable and minimise-able windows, which can be opened and closed via a pop out panel on the left hand side of the screen. This gives you both more room to see the play screen, and choice to arrange UI elements how you see fit.
In addition to just being a visual upgrade, the new UI is also more optimised, and all tooltip bugs have been fixed. But of course, one of the main reasons for this change is to allow support for multiple resolutions, so…
…we also have a brand new Options menu, allowing you to finally change your screen resolution, as well as choose the scale of the game sprites, the scale of the UI, and fullscreen.
Alpha 1.1.0 will be coming soon, and includes a lot of polishing and graphical changes, as well as game rescaling, and new customisation options.
Patch Alpha 1.0.9 Released - 4th April 2013
Patch Alpha 1.0.9 Changelog
- Added 3 Skill classes to each Skill Tree!
- Added Stairs!
- Added 2 new Music tracks
- Floors now continue to spawn as you travel deeper
- Floor size reduced from 200x200 to 100x100
- Pressing the Middle Mouse button over the inventory now organises it
- Added Featherbrains
- Added Eggs
- Added Possessed Armour
- Added a floor indicator to the minimap
- Items on the floor now sparkle
- Added a load of new item graphics
- Cut down on update processes to reduce memory usage
- A number of typos fixed
- Lowered Vampierre’s attack damage
- Mana will now naturally regen to full capacity, incuding intelligence gained mana
- Shop plinths now remain impassable after reloading a saved game
The Rise of the Chickenmancer Announced!
Hello everyone! It is time to announce something that I have been working hard on, and something that I think you will all agree will be a great addition to Claustrophobia! After literally days in the making, it is finally time to announce Claustrophobia’s Day 1 DLC, Claustrophobia: The Rise of the Chickenmancer!
For too long, the dark Chick King has sat upon his throne! For too long he has left his subjects cooped up in the dark! It is time to face the tyrant! Take up deadly poultry powers in an all new Class, the Chickenmancer. Summon armies of chickens into battle, and use dark powers to cook the perfect fried egg.
Fight your way through a whole new chicken farm themed level, facing deadly new enemies, such as Frier Tuck, and Omelette Lords, before finally coming face to face with the Chick King himself.
I’m sure you’re all as eggcited as I am at this news, but please, contain your excitement! Claustrophobia: The Rise of the Chickenmancer will be available on launch for just $10, half of which will go to support your local fried chicken branch.
Edit: Happy April Fool’s everyone ;)
Patch Alpha 1.0.9 Preview and Skill Breakdown Part 1
Hello everyone. If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll have seen earlier in the week I had some issues with my computer (it’s not very well) which delayed all updates up until this point. However, I am now pretty much back on track, so, time for a patch preview:
One of the main changes for the next patch is how the dungeon generates. This is still very much a work in progress, so any suggestions on how you think this should work would be appreciated. For now, the size of each floor has been reduced from 200x200 tiles to 100x100 tiles, and multiple floors have been added, including stairs between each floor. Floors currently all have the same design, but will continue to randomly generate as you explore downwards. The plan with this is to eventually have a variety of floor designs, each with their own enemies and items, which are chosen at random for each floor when you arrive at it.
A couple of new tracks have been added, one for the shop, and one for boss encounters. Once different floor designs are added, there will also be different tracks for each design.
Skill Breakdown Part 1
As I’ve said before, the new skill engine will be released in two parts, one in 1.0.9, and the other in 1.1.0. The new skill engine is a complete rework of the skills and skill progression thus far, and (finally) the addition of the intelligence tree. The breakdown of Part 1 can be viewed below:
Patch Alpha 1.0.9 will be released next week, and features all sorts of optimization and feature additions.
Patch Alpha 1.0.8 Released - 13th March 2013 (and other news)
Hello there! I am currently (and have been for the last week) working on the design and implementation of Claustrophobia’s skill engine, so that there is actual progression within the classes, and you have a choice in your play style. Of course, this is a massive job. Each class has 6 skills, which all have custom animations, sounds, and functionality, and there are 15 classes designed. In the amount of time I have spent on it so far, two classes are complete; The Juggernaut, and the Necromancer. They will not be included in this patch, as they do not balance out well with the other temporary classes. I will be posting gameplay examples of the classes over the next few weeks as I complete them.
As some of you may or may not notice, Claustrophobia now has a (if rather blank) Wiki! If you want to add anything to it, feel free, it would really help out a lot in filling out the content. I don’t have time right now to keep updating it, but it will get done at some point.
Since it has now been two weeks since an update, I will be releasing Alpha 1.0.8 now as a minor content and bugfix patch now so that there is at least some new content coming out before the big 1.1.0 Skill update. But anyway, that fills you in on what it currently taking up all of my time. Below is the changelog for the patch.
Patch Alpha 1.0.8 Changelog
- Rescaled health and damage of all units
- Changes and additions to dungeon generation
- Lots more room varieties
- Removed Blacksmithing level
- Crates and Barrels no longer block your vision
- Added 3 new active items
- Enemies have a chance of dropping arrows if killed by a ranged weapon
- Items can now be directly placed in their corresponding equipment slot
- Minimap improvements and additions
- Passive Skills are no longer displayed as Buffs
- Scrollwheel now zooms in and out on the mini map
- Massive amounts of map & object optimisation
- Portals can now teleport much greater distances
- Fixed the spawning of arrows in shops
- Items in shops no longer reset on loading
- Enemies will now lose interest in the player after a certain amount of steps
- Enchanted items no longer enchant all instances of that item
- Crafted items can no longer be unidentified
- Fixed an eating bug which caused both a cooldown refresh and a new buff
- Fixed a crash caused by enemies standing on the player in a portal
Patch Alpha 1.0.7 Released - 28th February 2013
Patch Alpha 1.0.7 Changelog
- Added Goblin Cutpurse
- Added Unidentified Items
- Added Golden Chests and Golden Keys
- Added Scroll of Identification and Enchantment
- Added Wooden Arrow
- Multiple weapons can now be equipped. Press Q to cycle between them
- Ranged Weapons now require ammunition to fire
- All movement now works via A* pathfinding. Clicking a cell will navigate you to it
- You can now name and customize the appearance of your character on starting a new game
- Enemies now have a chance of spawning asleep, and will be woken by the player passing
- Rescaled all healing items to percentages for higher level use
- Disarmed duration reduced by 5 turns
- Gear prices reworked to better match the quality of the item
- Shops now have a much wider range of higher level items from level 1 onwards
- Chests now drop a much wider range of higher level items
- Reduced the spawning of Boss Lairs
- Added character hair styles and skins
- Added more new graphics for gear
- Reworked the Skill Tree to be easier to use and to be more aesthetically pleasing
- The scrolling text window will now display repeats of the same action on the same line
- Added button to toggle showing of Head items
- Fixed a bug which prevented WASD movement when the mouse was over FOW
- All Rings and Necklaces now have stats based on their rarity
- Healing buffs will no longer cancel when a debuff in front of them runs out
- Text Window now correctly refreshes on starting a new game
- Fixed a bug which caused some enemies to reset on loading a saved game
- Thorn Mail now correctly returns a percentage of damage dealt to the attacker
- Continue Game no longer refreshes the title screen when no save file found
- Fixed a rare bug wich gave a chance that an enemy spawned with stats 10 levels too high
Patch Alpha 1.0.7 Preview: Character Customisation, Bows, and more!
So, this is a big update. I won’t talk here, because I will need my fingers for the typing to follow. So: News!
Your character can now have all sorts of wondrous hair styles and skin tones, and, probably more importantly, a name! On starting a new game, you will enter the character creation screen which allows this visual customisation. Due to your new found hair styling abilities, you can also choose to toggle the displaying of your helm on or off, and, once you die, your hero’s name and appearance will be displayed on the leaderboard, allowing you to fondly remember your little adventurers and the expeditions that led to their eventual demise. New skins and hair styles will be added over time, including unlockables.
Bows and Weapon Swapping
Bows, from launch, have been overpowered, both in the fact that you could shoot enemies which were stuck, and could normally kill enemies before they even reached you. While an archer’s job is to keep his enemies at bay, they had it too easy. Therefore bows now require ammunition, which can be both crafted and picked up. This means you must think more about how and when you spend your precious ammo.
However, due to this addition, ranged damage has been increased, and multiple weapons can now be equipped at once. This means you can have a bow and a sword equipped, and, if an enemy reaches you, you can switch to your melee (Q) and finish your target off, without wasting ammo at point-blank range.
Pathfinding and Enemy Logic
Proper pathfinding has finally been implemented! This means that you can now select any cell in sight, causing your player to jog over to that spot without any more player input. If an enemy appears, or the player takes damage, the movement will be cancelled.
Likewise, enemies also benefit from the new pathfinding. They will no longer get mindlessly stuck on bookcases, shops, doors, each other, or, in fact any animate or inanimate objects. They will actively search for you by any path they can find, and attempt to block you in and surround you. Ranged units will also stand out of the way of melee units, so long as they still have vision of you. Enemies now also have a chance of spawning/falling asleep when nothing has happened in their area for a long time.
Gear rescaling, new Items, and new Enemies
All gear stats and pricing have been reworked, and shops now spawn with much better quality items. Good gear is now much easier to find early level, which balances out the difficulty a little. Gear that is worse than the starting gear is less likely to spawn, and necklaces and rings have been fixed, meaning they now all spawn with stats (handy, that).
New items and enemies have also been added, but I will leave their purpose to either your own discovery, or the patch notes (your choice).
New Trailer and GamersGate
A new Trailer is up for the game! You can check it out here:
Secondly, if you watch that video, you will notice the “Available on GamersGate!” notice. While this is currently not quite true, it will be within the next few weeks. Yay!
The Closing Bit
There is so much more in this patch that I haven’t talked about, but to save a post which is already tl;dr, I will be finishing here. As well as all this, 1.0.7 includes a new skill engine, healing rescaling, text window changes, UI additions, and a tonne of bugfixes.
New look of Claustrophobia’s Skill Tree. Easier to use, nicer to look at, much more organized, and easier for me to edit and add new abilities. You can spec into as many trees as you like, but in order to get better abilities early on, you will need to stick with specific trees. The order and tree of each ability will more than likely change over time. There are also a lot of abilities still to add, and some new ones already added.
Patch 1.0.6 Preview: Lighting & Turn Strategy
Hello everyone. I think it’s time for a Patch Preview. And since there was no patch last week, its rather a big one. In this preview I’ll cover the major changes and additions, then the changelog released with the patch (either later today or tomorrow) will document the rest. So, without further ado:
The main change, which is fairly obvious on running patch 1.0.6, is the lighting. The whole system has been redesigned, to make it not just more visually pleasing, but also limit the amount of sight you have on entering a new room.
All static world objects (bookcases, crates, barrels, etc), accept those which give off light, limit the players sight, which completely changes how you go about exploring a room. This means that large rooms such as libraries, if careful, can be navigated without monsters seeing you by keeping static objects between you and them, rooms initially blocked by a breakable object cannot be viewed without breaking the object, and enemies can hide out of sight ready to jump out on you. All of this brings a whole new level of strategy to navigating the dungeon.
Talking of strategy (it’s almost like I actually plan these things before I write them), the way that the player and enemies take turns has been reworked. Instead of the player taking a turn, then all enemies taking their turn at once, the turn counter now makes a stack of all units visible, and steps through that counter one unit at a time. This means that there is no mad shuffle of enemies at one time, no deafening mass ‘everyone’s attack at once’ sound, and no mad splodge of damage numbers splattered above the player’s head every other turn. You can now view what is doing more damage, and predict what enemy will move where so that you can prioritise your next move better.
Final Round-up of Important Additions
- Loads of new gear (naturally)
- A load of new buffs and debuffs
- A new potion which applies a random effect when drunk (equal amounts of good and bad effects of course)
- Changes to spawned gear and yet more tweaks to overall average difficulty
- UI Buttons for main features: Skill Menu, Options Menu, Pause Menu
- A great deal of changes to how you regenerate health and mana, and how buffs and debuffs effect you
- And the rest of the Changelog which I’ll post later
Very Last Point: Caves
This update was also meant to introduce the cave level to the game, and I have spent a lot of the last few days working on it. However, while it the level generates and stairs generate down to it, it’s having some odd effects on save files (current and updated), and I’m certainly not going to release it while that is happening. So caves are being pushed back to the next patch. Apologies.
Patch coming either later today or tomorrow.