Monday, February 27, 2012

Design your own piece of the dungeon

I'd like to invite everyone to create your own dungeon room for use in Dweller. The maps in Dweller are built using pre-defined blocks of 7x7 tiles, puzzled together so that exits align. A room can look almost any way you like as long as it has at least one exit. Exits are placed in the absolute middle of an edge (i.e. on the fourth tile of an edge, with three tiles to the left and three tiles to the right). Some examples of valid rooms:

 Room with four exits

 Corridor with two exits

 Library with one exit

Room with vault and four exits

If you'd like to give it a try and design your own room please use this online map editor by Callidus Rex. Once you are happy with your room click save and send me the comma separated list of map data. Most of the available tiles should be self explanatory. If you want to use an "exotic" tile that you haven't seen in-game before please let me know.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Ad-supported version?

My goal with Dweller has never been to make a commercial game. Dweller was started many many years ago thanks to my childhood passion for roguelikes (I played Moria a little over 20 years ago). I had started experimenting with mobile development (I released a commercial game for the Mophun platform available on Sony Ericsson devices) and it occurred to me that there weren't any roguelikes available for mobile devices. I really liked the thought of trying to convert the traditional 20+ roguelike key-bindings to a device with only 12 available keys and a very limited screen resolution.

Looking back at the years of development it has been a real encouragement to get so much positive feedback from players. Knowing that players have enjoyed the game and stuck by it for so long has really made me want to keep developing Dweller. Thank you!

Still, the thought of getting some monetary encouragement as well as kind words is a nice one. So far the PayPal Donation option hasn't resulted in much money, but I'm truly grateful for the donations I have received. I have toyed with the idea of providing a commercial version of Dweller with more features (new games modes, a new playable class and so on) but Dweller is not there yet. If I ever add a commercial version it will not be at the expense of the free version. My goal is still to make Dweller the best free fantasy RPG/roguelike there is.

Another idea would be to have one ad-supported free version and one ad-free version sold for a small cost. Both versions would have the same functionality but the ad-supported version would show ads at the loading screen (but not in-game). My main concern is how this would be received among the players. Would you stop playing Dweller if you were presented with an ad while the game is loading?

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Opera Mobile Store

This post proves that I need to pay more attention to what I'm doing. Me and probably anyone else developing an Android game got approached by Opera (yes, the browser developer)/Handster in December 2011 about their new Opera Mobile Store asking me to upload Dweller to their store. And so I did (only the J2ME version) and totally forgot about it afterwards. Now when I log in again and have a look I saw that the version I uploaded 1.11.4 has been downloaded 20000 times! That's not bad but it also proves that I'm taking Dweller as a product a lot less serious than I should... I will think more about how to market Dweller (yes it's free, but it doesn't hurt to treat the game more serious anyway) and possibly also how to profit from it.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Calling all J2ME players part 2

Ok, so it wasn't the use of CLDC 1.1 that caused problems when trying to run Dweller on Nokia handsets. I do however think I've found the cause now, and it has to do with signing of the Dweller.jar file. I had always thought that signing a jar file for deployment on a phone worked the same way as when signing a normal jar file, but I was wrong.

I have decided to ditch signing of the J2ME version of Dweller. The primary purpose of signing a J2ME jar is to not have to ask for permission from the user to access certain parts of the API. And I'm not using any of that in Dweller so it's safe to publish Dweller as an unsigned jar.

I have uploaded a new version of Dweller for J2ME (1.16.9). I would very much appreciate if any Dweller players using J2ME handsets would report back to me if the latest version is working or not.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Calling all J2ME players. I need your help!

I've been struggling for many versions now with problems reported by a lot of players that they can't get Dweller running on their J2ME phones. It seems like the most recent version that worked on all handsets was 1.9.1. In the next version I changed from CLDC 1.0 to CLDC 1.1 to be able to use floating point numbers for UI scale and alpha values. I believe it is this change that for some reason has been causing a lot of problems for some players. The problem seems to primarily exists on Nokia devices. Sony Ericsson is running Dweller just fine and I haven't heard of other devices that haven't been able to run Dweller.

Tonight I decided to revert back to fixed point math for scaling and alpha and by doing so it was possible to go back to CLDC 1.0 again. I also had to change my logging since something like LoggerFactory.getLogger(MyClass.class) doesn't work on CLDC 1.0 due to the fact that NoClassDefFoundError isn't included in CLDC 1.0

I am now hoping that as many J2ME users as possible out there would like to help me test the new version and verify if Dweller is running on their devices. Please try (version 1.16.8) and let me know if it works or not

Monday, February 20, 2012

Dweller 1.16.7

This is yet another bug fix and balancing release. I was hoping to be able to have some time to add new features and improve spell casting, but that will have to wait until the next release. Things that have been fixed in this release are:

#83 Fix J2ME preverification
#79 Tweak orc disarm chance
#73 Nerf troll healing
#37 Improve level text in highscore list
#84 Add an option to disable pathfinding by tapping
#92 Problem with pushable stone blocks and tap-to-move
#90 Update cursor text when target dies
#86 Prevent certain monsters from being charmed
#81 Add a batch/shell file to the Dweller for Desktops release
#88 Missing translation when buying a service from an NPC
#87 Never switch dungeon branch when falling through a trap door
#91 Double "you are standing on" messages

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Dweller 1.16.6

I had to do an unplanned release to fix some issues in 1.16.5 where keys sometimes became unresponsive. The new and fixed version is available to download on Android Market and in the Download section. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Dweller 1.16.5

Dweller 1.16.5 is now available for download. The main focus of the release has been to improve the user experience. I have removed the <more> prompts (you can enable them from the settings menu if you really want them) to make the game faster. Another really great addition that many players have asked for is tap-to-move with full pathfinding to make exploration easier. Targeting feedback has also been improved and there's a new Equip menu that pops up if you pick up an item of a type that you aren't already using. Full change log:

#72 Items and monsters in walls
#50 Move buy/sell options to top of NPC menues
#57 Remove messages when selling/buying
#58 Change targeting icon when you can see but not target the selected creature
#47 Evaluate if a Equip popup should be shown when picking up an item of a type that isn't equipped
#73 Nerf troll healing
#69 Reduce amount of more prompts
#49 Remove blood splatter after a while
#30 smaller text log..
#17 Pathfinding
#42 Use Android display density to scale UI accordingly
#66 Monster sleep and idle animations not removed
#56 Improve item comparison
#77 Add "Miss" scrolling combat text (sct)
#78 EFFECT_LEVITATE_TARGET message missing/incorrect
#67 Allow buy/sell when a quest is ready to be turned in

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Preparing for the next release

My goal is to release the next version of Dweller during next week. I'm trying to finish up the features I'd like to have in the release and then start testing. Last night I started working on pathfinding and tap-to-move. And these are the features and fixes already done:

#72 Items and monsters in walls
#50 Move buy/sell options to top of NPC menues
#57 Remove messages when selling/buying
#58 Change targeting icon when you can see but not target the selected creature
#47 Evaluate if a Equip popup should be shown when picking up an item of a type that isn't equipped
#73 Nerf troll healing
#69 Reduce amount of more prompts
#49 Remove blood splatter after a while
#30 smaller text log..

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Please join the forums and help me shape the future of Dweller!

The Dweller forums have so far been a great success and a lot of good ideas and discussions have been started there. If you haven't already visited the forums please do so now and join the Dweller community!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Dweller 1.16.4

Dweller 1.16.4 has been released. The version solves some issues with pushable stone blocks, adds a new user created artifact and solves a problem that prevented panning the map after the menu has been opened. Change log:

  • CHANGE Weapons with draining now base the chance of success on attack vs defense instead of magic vs magic
  • #61 Opening menu removes ability to pan screen
  • #44 Added a new artifact
  • #15 Pushable stone blocks blocked movement in some cases

Monday, February 6, 2012

Quests are finally working on Android!

The very annoying bug on Android where quests sometimes didn't complete properly should now have been solved. If you are still experiencing problems with quests please let me know!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Dweller 1.16.1

The recent change to hardware keys triggering on key up instead of key down unfortunately caused quite a bit of problems, especially for J2ME users, This new release primarily fixes this issue but it also addresses: