Mega Update (3/3)
(Note: Mega-update 2 was only posted on the Kickstarter page since it is mostly about finances).
This is an update to let you know what we’re currently working on, and what we plan to do next.
One of the main things we wanted to do with DwarfCorp was to let the player interact with the “natives.” The premise of the game is that the Dwarves are new to the land, and must use guile to survive against much the much more numerous elves, goblins, undead and molemen. Right now, native creatures spawn randomly at night, and attack the Dwarves no matter what; but that’s nowhere near what we want.
We’ve been fleshing out a basic system for interacting with the native creatures of the world. When the world gets generated, it gets randomly populated with native civilizations. These spread out depending on the terrain and the preferences of the native race (elves, for instance, prefer forests, while undead creatures prefer deserts and wastelands). If the player spawns within the realm of a native civilization, they will have to interact with the natives diplomatically.
Natives will have a general “feeling” toward you (Curious, Hostile, Friendly, etc.), and toward each other. Trading with the natives, giving them gifts, declaring war on their allies or enemies, and other diplomatic actions will affect their feeling toward you. Hostile natives will attack you. Friendly natives may come to your aid during combat.
These are just vague ideas. So far we’ve got a prototype skeleton of this system working, but it won’t be in the game for some time. Most of the interaction with natives will come through a basic GUI system involving a dialog tree. As the main focus of the game involves building your colony and managing employees, this part of the game won’t be terribly complex at first.
Speaking of native civilizations, we’ve almost got Mole Men working. Most of their sprites are finished, but their behavior needs a lot of work.
Mole men, unlike most other creatures in the game, spawn underground, and collect ores. They have sharp claws, and make trouble for your colony by mining in at the worst moments. We haven’t yet decided whether they should be an “intelligent” race or an animal-like creature.
We are increasing the number of craftable items and room furniture available in the game. Two of the most important items are ladders and doors, which we’ve made significant progress on this month.
Ladders are an important part of any underground dwarf colony, allowing dwarves to move up and down levels easily. We’ve almost got the ladder pathfinding working properly. Right now, doors are little more than window dressing, but we’re working out the mechanics of how to make them useful.
Going Open Source
We’ve decided that it would be best for DwarfCorp to open up its source code for anyone to see, download, and modify. We transferred our code repository from a closed bitbucket repository to an open github repository.
We hope this will make our development progress more transparent, and will help us keep track of bugs and feature timelines better. It will also hopefully improve the possibility for modding/porting the game later on.
Does this mean DwarfCorp will be free? Yes and No. Under our license, the source code of the game is free to use, modify, and distribute; but our proprietary game assets (art, sound, etc.), trademarks and binary executables remain ours.
Releasing Alpha 2.0 to Backers
We hope Alpha 2.0 will be released in some form to backers in two weeks’ time. We’ll soon do a feature freeze and go into bug-fixing mode for a while. More details on this soon.