Jun, 26
Alpha 33 gameplay news

After a bit of a break following the last patch, I’m back with some new, exciting gameplay features that will arrive in KeeperRL Alpha 33.

Workshop materials

I’ve been looking to add more ores/materials to the game for a while, as an extra reward for exploring deeper z-levels. Quite a lot of mods add new materials, and it’s really a no-brainer feature for vanilla. For now I’ve settled on adding two new ores. The first one, “adoxium”, is named after your favourite evil god. It allows crafting items with magical properties, and is super rare, to the point that you’ll only craft a few full sets of equipment with what you can mine with reasonable effort. The other material is “infernite”, borrowed from the Bonus Mod, as it is a cool and unique idea. It is a permanently burning ore, which allows forging weapons that deal fire damage. The only issue is that it burns whoever touches it, which means that you’ll have to solve the problem of fire resistance for your workers and the users of infernite weapons. It is as rare as adoxium.

What was previously stopping me from adding new materials was the workshop UI. Requiring listing every new item/material pair, it would become quite unreadable. After a bit of research, I’ve ended up adding simple tabs to the menu, which you can see in the screenshot above. They’ll help a lot in finding your desired item.

Specialized storage

A storage system overhaul has been on the table for a while, partly because piling items on the floor randomly is a bit counter-productive, and also because I want to give players new ways to design their dungeons in creative ways. On the other hand, I don’t want KeeperRL to require sophisticated storage micromanagement. A simple “designate and forget” should do.

The first step towards this goal was to create a hierarchy of storage types, starting from the general “equipment”, “resources”, etc, and specializing them into more and more narrowing categories, like “weapons”, “bows”, “gold”, and so on. When a sword is produced, the game will start with looking for a specialized weapon rack to store it, and fall back to the old equipment storage if it’s not found. This way you can have your items neatly organized, but you don’t have to. Your minions won’t really care.

It’s worth mentioning that the new storage system is fully moddable, so you can probably expect your favorite modders to come up with new custom storage furniture as well.

Another topic are storage limits. Right now you can store your entire dungeon’s treasure on one tile. This is both due to simpler implementation, and for players’ convenience. I know from other games that having to constantly create new storage rooms for your ever growing pile of stuff can be annoying. I think that a middle ground would be practical, where basic storage types have limits, but one can eventually build some sort of bottomless magical chests. I still need to think about all gameplay and implementation (performance) consequences of this, as it would be a big change to KeeperRL’s engine.

Prison, arrowslits, and new traps

In another improvement inspired by modders, I’ve added two new prison features. Mostly to improve realism, the game will require you to secure all prison tiles by either prison bars or prison door. It’s mostly an aesthetic change, as prisoners can still move freely around your dungeon when doing work. This might change though in a future prisoner overhaul.

Something that has been suggested by players, is the idea of arrowslits. In KeeperRL it is a special wall tile, which creatures with the attribute of “arrowslit vision” can see and shoot through. It’s a human equivalent of “elf vision” (which you may have fallen victim to if you were ever shot by elves through the trees). It will be available to the white knight faction as well as AI villains. Expect more unexpected arrows flying in your direction.

KeeperRL will feature two more traps. The first one is the gargoyle, which is a stone guardian that comes to life whenever enemies appear. The other trap is the blast trap, which is pretty similar to the “directed blast” spell. While pretty simple on the surface, with some clever tricks it can create very interesting situations involving attackers.

Enemy alliances

Inspired by one classic fantasy story, I’ve added a special end-game event to KeeperRL, in which the last standing enemies gather in a final, desperate attack against you. It is a fully scripted scenario, so don’t expect any simulated enemy diplomacy. It’s thought of as an occasional change of pace, most likely to your doom.

The attack, when it happens, involves all the forces from the remaining main villains, including their leaders. Therefore, resisting it should secure your victory in the game.

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This game is amazing! It’s challenging, fun, unique, and exactly what you might expect it to be. For an early access game it’s incredible. And the thought that there’s more to come thrills me! I can’t wait to see how this awesome game will develop even more.

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