Development Log 7 – Progress Update

I though I’d make this log a proper devlog and list a few things I’ve been working on the past couple of weeks. Nothing truly unique or exciting to report, these are mostly tasks to improve overall stability and usability of the game.

Save game functionality is now working properly. This is a pretty fundamental feature, but I’d neglected it for a long time and it had started to accumulate bugs. Maintaining software has a constant tax – each change or addition you make can easily affect another part and save/load basically touches every system in the game.

Balanced dungeon loot. I was feeling dungeon exploration a bit unsatisfying and after some analysis found the item drop rate was too low. Opening a big shiny chest and finding a pile of gold is fine, but if that’s all you get it can feel disappointing. Balancing is a never-ending task, but this makes dungeon delving more rewarding overall.

Candles make even the darkest dungeon more romantic…

Candles are back. Another example of “code rot”, at some point I adjusted how object were placed in dungeons – to prevent them from overlapping – and candles stopped appearing. Finally got around to investigating and fixed the bug. Little objects like this make the dungeons feel less empty and repetitive.

Numerous UI fixes. From making sure you can’t cast a spell while looking at your inventory to just making menus easier to navigate a turn-based RPG is probably 50% game and 50% UI, so this area will be under constant development. For early access there’s minimum usability bar for the game to be enjoyable, I don’t want a player’s first experience to be painfully trying to navigate buggy menus.

Bug reporting. This feature is one of my criteria for launching in early access. No matter how much time I spend trying to find all the issues HOBL2 is a very large game. Especially when combined with procedural generation it be nearly impossible to find all the issues before release as a solo developer. This feature allows the player to send me a report with various game related information so I can re-generate their world and fix procgen issues. I’d like to add a nice way to send save games and engine logs easily too – both are critical for tracking down the cause of bugs.

Looking at my earlier log about early access you can see there’s still quite a lot to do! I’ll be continuing to polish and fix issues as the arise (I have a loooong list of improvements large and small). Next, I’ll be focusing on world and combat balance as well as seeing how many character skills I think I can get working before August.