Jan, 19
New year, new sweet gameplay features!

I began the new year with some cool gameplay improvements in KeeperRL that I’d love to share with you 🙂 . In the previous dev update I talked about various ideas on how to overhaul prisoner capturing mechanics, so I’ll start with that. I want to give credit to the community for overflowing me with suggestions, it helped a lot!

I wanted to come up with something relatively simple, while giving the player plenty of control, and forcing them to take some trade-offs.

The first step to capturing a prisoner is tagging the selected creature. You can do that in both the turn-based and the real-time modes. This gives your enemy extra damage resistance, and a separate hit-point bar dedicated just to capturing. This way you can’t cheat by severely wounding them first and only then ordering their capture.

When a tagged creature loses all their hit-points, they get knocked out instead of dying. They also won’t lose any of their limbs. A critical feature is that you can always swap position with a knocked out enemy, so they don’t block anyone’s movement.

Knocked out creatures are given a timer, and when it runs out, they die. But before that happens, they show up in your immigrant list where you can enslave them, provided that you have built a prison. When you do that, they get up and walk into your dungeon. And now you have a prisoner!

Prisoners retain their identities after being captured, so you can use them in various ways, depending on their skills. Of course every prisoner gets a basic mining skill, because that’s mainly what prisoners are for. 🙂 Torturing will have a chance of converting them to your side, which lets them join your armed forces. But it will sometimes kill them instead.

There are still a lot of side features needed to be implemented around prisoners, but the core of idea is here at it works well, which I’m very happy about.

Every once in a while I got reports about players locking off separate mini-dungeons for chosen minions, and that it doesn’t work due to bad AI, which insists on going to the locked-off parts. I fixed the AI issue, but decided that this strategy requires a dedicated feature in the game.

You can now designate living quarters for chosen minions, and they will try to perform their activities within that area, and other minions will try to stay out. Although if some piece of furniture is not available in their area, then they will break that restriction.

I’ve made many other small improvements in the last month. I added hand torches, which you can use to light up the area around you when travelling in darkness. The other use is of course… throwing them to set things on fire 😀 . Which, by the way, also emits light so it’s more fun to watch now. 🙂

In the first gif you may have noticed the new UI for interacting with creatures in the turn-based mode. It should greatly improve the experience when playing using the mouse, and even perhaps let you discover interactions that you weren’t aware of before.

I’m also working on improving the base map generation algorithm to make dungeon building more interesting, but I’ll talk more about it in future updates.

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