I’ve got the same piece of good news for you as always: the KeeperRL team is working on the game continuously, and the next patch is underway! But there is more: I’m also happy to announce the addition of a new team member! I’ve managed to convince my friend from university, Krzysiek, to join me in programming efforts.
Krzysiek is a graphics expert, and he took upon himself the task of adding new animations to KeeperRL. Initially we planned to animate spells and creature effects, but it turned out that there is potential to add a lot more. All the new animations are implemented using particle effects, so in a sense they are procedurally generated, and can be easily tweaked and extended to other parts of the game. You can see some examples below.
Besides the eye candy, they will also convey useful information about what’s happening in the game, especially in the battle field, although we are trying to keep them moderate to avoid unnecessary overload. I also hope that they will make the game feel more alive and help the players get more immersed.
Meanwhile, the other part of the programming team, which consists of me, is working on gameplay improvements and various fixes. The biggest change so far has been the replacement of mana with a leveling mechanic. Superficially, the change is small: after defeating an enemy, you are awarded experience points, and after earning enough, your level is increased. With each level you unlock a chosen technology.
The subtle difference is that the higher your level, the more experience points are required to advance. As a consequence, defeating minor enemies only helps you at the beginning of the game, and as you grow in strength, you need to tackle the major ones to advance. Add another side to this: if you’re an expert, you can make quick progress by defeating a major enemy early in the game.
In other words, the difficulty and progression will scale better. Besides that, I also plan to allow other improvements when gaining each level, which I temporarily call “dungeon upgrades”. In contrast to technologies, they can be applied repeatedly, and include things like more effective prisoner conversion, faster immigration, training, crafting, mining, etc. What’s important is that they are independent of technologies, so you’ll get to choose both a technology and an upgrade when reaching a new level.
Another new feature is what I call a “luxury system”, which replaces the efficiency modifier in furniture. Instead, some constructions have a luxury modifier, which continuously increases the morale of nearby creatures. Thus, minions who get to live in more luxurious environments, get more efficient at training, crafting, combat, etc. To amplify this change, I’ve added bed and coffin tier levels (undead will from now on sleep in coffins, and graves will only be used to store corpses). Your favorite minions can now be made very happy by sleeping comfortably and being surrounded by shiny things!
Most of the things described above are nearly completed, so I hope to be able to upload testing builds for you to check out very soon!
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