Friday, October 14, 2011

Dark Delve, looking forward

As someone who has been making half finished games for most of my life as a hobby, Dark Delve is very special to me as the first game I actually finished and released.  It was always the type of game I wanted to play myself, and I was not sure how others would feel about my particular take on the RPG dungeon crawling genre.  I am stepping up to a table filled with the giants of some classic games.  And while I certainly do not feel entitled to an actual seat, I have gotten enough positive feedback to think I am getting a few table scraps.

Just today I learned that Dark Delve made it onto Kotaku's XBLIG recommended list.  This is unbelievably awesome to see.  Most of the other reviews have been positive as well.

There are some common complaints however, bad graphics, dislike of the endurance system, and too many misses in combat.  As a one man studio, I really cannot do much with the complaint about graphics.  I very much agree with it, my attempt at art is rather sad (though it did improve over time, some of the monsters on the final level I actually am rather happy with).  I hope that I earn enough with Dark Delve that I can hire a proper artist in future games.

Almost as soon as Dark Delve was released on the Xbox market place, I began working on a PC port.  Though I didn't think ahead to do so from the beginning, I am wrapping up the process already, much quicker than I had originally thought.  More information about that when I find a means of distributing the game.

In addition to making the input and screens compatible with the PC, I have also been making some updates to address the other two common complaints.  So here is a look ahead at what the first update to Dark Delve is looking like.  The Xbox version of the game will likely see this update in about a month, and it is a free update.

  • Hit chance of weapon attacks changed from 80% to 90%, this will result in half as many misses as there currently are.  To compensate, the status effects of Blind and Evade are boosted up to see about the same miss rate as current, and all skills and equipment that increase hit rate are also boosted up.  The True Strike ring for instance nearly negates the penalty for being Blind.
  • Endurance mechanics now only appear when the game is played in Hard mode.  This was a very tough decision, while the Endurance system generated a lot of negative comments, there were some positive comments about it.  I think (and hope) that moving it as an optional system keeps it as a challenge, but an optional one for those players that are looking for an increased challenge.  The ability to play the campaign with less than 4 characters provides a way for players who want an increased challenge to still do so without the Endurance system.
  • New challenges and deeds.  While I am still not sure on the exact number, there will be between 3-5 new challenges available to play.

If you know of any other balance or play issues with the game, please let me know, as there is still time to address them in the coming update, and thanks again for playing!


Tim said...

Just bought your game and many kudos for what has most really have been a labor of love for you. Have one little bug issue on the xbla version in that I haven't been able to equip wands or charms on my mages only daggers. Happy to hear about your coming update so maybe this problem is already slated to be killed. Thanks for a fun throw-back rpg.


Harvicus said...

Thanks for the comment Tim. Wands, Talismans, and Charms are equipped to the offhand only (the Shield icon). I now see that this is not communicated anywhere on the interface. I will add this information to the item descriptions, thanks for bringing it up. Let me know if you continue to have issues with this or anything else. This most certainly has been a labor of love, and I want to make the game as good as possible.

Kirk T. said...

I bought the game because I grew up in the heyday of the early Wizardry and Ultima games, so old school dungeon crawls are very enjoyable to me. Having played through most of the first floor of the main quest, I have to say I really like it! As for people's complaints about the endurance system, it has yet to be a major problem for me, because I've always been able to make it to an altar before running out. I look forward to your upcoming patch, as well as finally beating the game.