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DBlac
September 2nd, 2017, 10:44
Hey all, figured this needed it's own thread, things have been a little scattered otherwise. To kick it off, here's a video of Lord Mordred struttin' his stuff ingame! Enjoy, folks! :D


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOLAMnVQdtU&t=9s

YourMaster
September 2nd, 2017, 10:49
I like seeing progress.

At the moment though my eye keeps getting drawn to those leg-capes and the strange way they move and clip through the legs. I'd just remove those all together.

DBlac
September 2nd, 2017, 11:04
You're looking at a very early build of the game where the silly physics of the engine, which will later on be edited and fixed, are behaving weirdly and you want to cripple the visual design of the model by removing the cloth. In like, a pre pre pre alpha build. There was also an error with some colliders being set to negative and the engine not reading them so that made it a lot worse.

YourMaster
September 2nd, 2017, 11:46
You're right, I'll shut up and give you the benefit of the doubt. You'll seem a lot more ambitious in everything than I would expect, but lets see first.

DBlac
September 2nd, 2017, 11:51
Thanks mate, i appreciate that. That said, never be afraid to level criticism where it's warranted, it's always important hearing about something that might be a genuine problem or concern!

Hapuga
September 4th, 2017, 01:00
Are you guys using Ncloth for cloth physics? Or Apex?

DBlac
September 4th, 2017, 08:40
We're currently only using Unity's own physics, but if you think you know something that can be an improvement feel free to say so, we may eventually have to write our own physics engine if this isnt fixed so that would save some time.

Hapuga
September 4th, 2017, 14:29
I would advice against writing your own physics. Writing physics is like writing a good memory manager - gonna take years to do right :)

Are you using U4? U4 uses PhysX 2.8 sdk, U5 uses 3.3. 3.3 is a massive improvement over 2.8. Perhaps it would be worthy for you to upgrade?

DBlac
September 4th, 2017, 15:32
When you say U4 and U5 i get the thoughts of Unreal in my head :P No, were using the latest version of unity as it stands, we recently had to halt progress in order to actually.. cope with their latest update by porting the project over to it and putting out all the fires that started.

Hapuga
September 4th, 2017, 17:00
I see. There is a physics technology called Flex (part of Nvidia GameWorks). I know that it did not come as default for UE4 4.9 (may have changed?) Check if you have it in Unity. If you do, it is pretty powerful.

One thing however, I dont know how well it performs on AMD cards :)

DBlac
September 4th, 2017, 20:01
Well NVidia's whole thing is "we hate AMD for no fucking reason and were petty as all hell" so im gonna guess... not great?

DBlac
September 4th, 2017, 22:12
A mysteeeerious hooded stranger approaches, my Lord!

https://i.imgur.com/4QBu6v4.png

YourMaster
September 4th, 2017, 22:27
That's just because you are all too lazy to model hair. :p

DBlac
September 4th, 2017, 22:32
Hahaha, were that the case you would have no fur on Mordred :P

YourMaster
September 4th, 2017, 22:49
You did the fur first. After that you said: 'Fuck it, never again'.

And you're in luck because demons have scaly skin and knights have metal armor.

DBlac
September 5th, 2017, 08:54
Hahaha that is a surprisingly plausible assumption. Unfortunately barbarians have hair, so do beardy guard captains, disheveled hags and a fair amount of others... i guess were in trouble :D

YourMaster
September 5th, 2017, 10:51
'Hooded Stranger'
'Hooded Barbarian'
'Hooded Hag'
'Masked Captain of the Guard'

impboy4
September 5th, 2017, 12:10
Korvus :P

DBlac
September 5th, 2017, 20:55
@YourMaster oh dear... you spread some dangerous ideas there :P

DBlac
September 18th, 2017, 12:09
Hey guys! The gang is almost complete! We're cutting it a bit close but we might just have the alpha demo out within a month! If we do so tho, its likely that ranged units (the Grindylow and Archer) will not be in this one. The melee though, Lord, Man-at-Arms and the Goblin (who is dragging his feet trying to get through that portal at present) will be, which should provide a good first basis for the combat, basic as it will be for now.

https://i.imgur.com/f3hAdhQ.png

Hapuga
September 18th, 2017, 19:03
Woo! Congrats, thats awesome to hear.

PS: also if you have a kickstarter compaign, ill back the shit out of you.

DBlac
September 18th, 2017, 23:19
Thanks mate! Cant wait to get something out there to you guys, basic even though it might be for now :D

We will, really appreciate that! It will be happening most likely within the first quarter of 2018, as we need to prepare a good kickstarter campaign and add and polish more for a second, improved demo at the start of the campaign :)

PossessMePlease
September 20th, 2017, 20:00
hi,just dropping my comment to let you know i observe what you guys are up to and i will contribute to kickstarting or whatever the procedure is.Looking forward...
hope you guys wont make it similar to war of overworld (that was horrible)

DBlac
September 21st, 2017, 09:30
Hey there, thank you so much! It's really fantastic to see people starting to say things like that, it validates what we're doing and i sincerely hope you love what we make as much as we do!

Don't worry, we have a very very different direction from WftO!

DBlac
September 23rd, 2017, 10:04
Another Saturday, another massive leap forward! We've completely revamped the way we handle and generate natural tilesets, to a new and frankly to us- fantastic result. Hope you like this as much as we do fellas!

https://i.imgur.com/MtWjp6d.pnghttps://i.imgur.com/aBBvdzz.pnghttps://i.imgur.com/t0GSB5h.pnghttps://i.imgur.com/fhe5osj.png

DensonJ
September 23rd, 2017, 17:21
Wow. Very nice. Dark and sinister ambience.

DBlac
September 24th, 2017, 01:07
Glad that its coming across! :)

Lquiz
September 25th, 2017, 15:10
It looks so natural, what an amazing rendition of tunnel graphics. I am so excited about this project, and having blutonium back!

DBlac
September 25th, 2017, 22:21
Thanks a ton mate! And we're very much excited for having him on! He has proven beyond indispensable!

DensonJ
September 27th, 2017, 03:47
Just finished reading through everything I can find regarding "Lord's of Nether". I am an old DK user (ancient gamer in general, AKA - OLD GUY). Looks like a great initiative (for DK fans anyway). Count me in. If you need Kickstarter supporters, Steam supporters, Testers, etc... give a yell. I will support you. I also have WFTO (GoG version). I do like it generally, but the "Neon" graphics/effects (as I see them anyway) are not my favorite. I like the Medieval (traditional? D&D?) graphics/effects best. Call me old-fashioned. That's why I still play DK1 and DK2. I was also an avid player of Populous and Power Monger back in the day (1989/1990?). Gad, I'm showing my age...

DBlac
September 27th, 2017, 11:00
Hahaha, well thanks mate that is really great to hear! I certainly hope it ends up being something that connects with people as much as DK connected with us. We will certainly keep your offer in mind and we'll post here when the time for these things come, although its likely we will get a Discord channel soon where people can directly converse with us about the project.

As for WftO i have to agree, there is a certain snowballing effect when you make things glow for importance. You say oh this is important and so it needs to glow, but then this is also important so it also needs to glow. Oh but this one thing is more important than the other so it needs to glow more, and then you end up with everything glowing and being extremely visually busy and distracting, which is a regrettable turn of events. I know they know better now though, so i doubt they will make the same mistake twice.

DBlac
October 8th, 2017, 10:03
Remember folks, this is an RTS :P

https://i.imgur.com/fBA2cT6.png
https://i.imgur.com/caVlD0m.png
https://i.imgur.com/fmnBhuc.png

Hapuga
October 8th, 2017, 17:32
Visual style is very fitting.

DensonJ
October 8th, 2017, 17:59
Outstanding. Really looking forward to this.

DBlac
October 8th, 2017, 20:55
Really glad you like how it's going! Cant wait to put out the alpha honestly, looking forward to hearing what you guys will think!

YourMaster
October 8th, 2017, 22:31
Will there be a ceiling?

Blutonium
October 9th, 2017, 01:10
Will there be a ceiling?

Of course. ;)

DBlac
October 21st, 2017, 10:50
Conflict brews and sir Butchin muses! Truly exciting times! :D

https://i.imgur.com/2lIUaTc.png
https://i.imgur.com/SJ6Laa9.png

Blutonium
October 23rd, 2017, 23:11
Oh God... why did you post the Sir Butchin Joke :rolleyes:

lol....

DBlac
October 24th, 2017, 09:01
Hahaha, suffer for your misdeeds! :D

Lquiz
October 24th, 2017, 12:52
Lol that face! Simultaneously hate-able and hilarious. What's your policy going to be with corpses? Are there going to be knockout/prison and graveyard mechanics? Is this all top secret?

DBlac
October 24th, 2017, 14:47
*FBI rushes in* Sir, you're gonna have to come with us.

No but yeah, we plan on all of those. It will work much on the same principle as DK 1 when it comes to corpses. Targets that are knocked out will be dragged to the prison, corpses will be dragged to a location similar to the Graveyard. However starvation in a prison does not equal skeletons and corpses are more of a resource for creating undead of all varieties.

YourMaster
October 24th, 2017, 17:17
I hope capturing the units actually comes at a cost this time, beyond simply pressing a button and have all enemies become prisoners. And I'm not talking gold, but effort on the player in addition to for example additional risk to your own creatures.

It would be a lot more fun to see select enemies get dragged to prisons kicking and screaming instead of their 'alive but frozen corpses' being moved there by a speedy imp.

DBlac
October 24th, 2017, 18:23
We're planning on things like prison overcrowding leading to prison-breaks and the like, you will need to appoint Wardens (some creatures will do the job voluntarily), which reduces the chance of rioting. An unsupervised prison will likely lead to problems in the long run. Since you have no "Hand"mechanic it is usually these Wardens'job to escort prisoners to destinations such as arenas, sacrificial locations or torture equipment and it is these Wardens who do the torturing.

The bodies will not be frozen, they will be ragdolled to a certain extent. The likelyhood a worker, small of stature and lacking of physical prowess as they are, would be able to withstand the thrashing of a full-grown human, especially something like a Knight isnt huge. Then theres the whole why would they be conscious enough to be able to kick and scream and still be lying on the ground :P

YourMaster
October 24th, 2017, 21:09
My point exactly,.... why should getting prisoners be so easy and risk-free as it is in Dungeon Keeper. Flip a switch and you can drag the corpses to the prison where they come back to life for a massive, massive advantage. No risk, lots of reward. Makes it difficult to balance around such a mechanic, and cheapens the training of your own creatures when it is so easy to capture pre-trained enemy units.

When doing a new game, you have every opportunity to be very creative there. If you say one worker is to weak to drag a conscious warrior to a prison, you could have multiple workers be required to hold down each limb getting occasionally kicked off while capturing a unit. Or require two full size units of equal strength to do so. Or require a special deployed trap on which you've got to keep the enemy unit busy for a while so that it can spring shut. Or require a special unit using a special skill that the enemy player can recognize and try to avoid. Or like this (https://youtu.be/6SdGNJGwOww?t=180). Or luring the unit you want to capture to a mimic-chest that eats him.

Whatever you do, make sure that you don't just have gameplay when the unit is already captured, but that the capturing itself actually brings something to the table, is a fun, challenging and rewarding mechanic, preferable with counter-play so it's also engaging when you're on the other side of engagement. It's part of the core gameplay, surely this is a prime location to have player engagement.

DBlac
October 25th, 2017, 08:27
Well this wont be Dungeon Keeper. You have a creature limit, you wont be able to over-stuff yourself with converts to begin with. But i hear what you're saying around capturing itself being somewhat of a challenge. Im going to think on what to do here because it does sound interesting to have a slightly more involved mechanic than simply defeating the enemy, however theres also feature creep to look out for, but ill look into it.

YourMaster
October 25th, 2017, 10:39
Great, thanks.

And without knowing anything else about the game, I think when worrying about feature creep you are better of scrapping features that are unrelated to the core gameplay than features directly related to core gameplay like I suppose converting is. When heroes invade, that's when it should get really interesting.

EDIT:
And as a small hint relating limits,... players much prefer limits that 'make sense'. Naturally you need limits but for a player when you can get no more units/converts/gold/mana whatever 'just because' that just sucks. When ever possible try to make it visible and obvious for the player that you simply can't get anymore - and not because you've reached a limit - because more doesn't fit. For Gold it is obvious when there's no more space in the treasure room, for converts and units and whatnot you somehow need to visualize it or better yet support it with mechanics to show you can't get anymore.

An example how not to do it is on how DK2 handled the skeleton limit, where a 'prison' just had a number of skeletons that could come out of it, but that did not make sense because the skeletons where already created and walking around, with more prisoners still alive in the prison.

DBlac
October 25th, 2017, 11:20
I think converting is a higher priority feature than making capturing enemies more complex, but thats just my opinion.

Yes and sometimes you have to make sure you dont allow players to get a snowballing effect. Let's say you lose your army while attacking an enemy in their territory and even if only -some- of your units get captured and he manages to save his, he still has more creatures than you can have if he converts. This will just keep happening. Sometimes its cosmetics vs good gameplay. Ultimately i get what you're saying tho and there could be ways to create a limit item.

YourMaster
October 25th, 2017, 13:17
Perhaps you've got some good and fun idea's for the converting, but I just don't see that as very engaging to the player. When you've already got the hero in your prison and you'll have to torture him or whatever, and you do that often if there's many steps and player interaction there I fear it will start to feel like a 'converting mini game', so something that feels disconnected from the overall gameplay.
Where as capturing the heroes in the first place could be well integrated with combat itself. Say for example you do need a cage-trap for capturing heroes, and they need to stand on that trap with under 50% health for at least 5 seconds for your trap to spring shut before you can haul the boxed up hero to your dungeon you want to design your dungeon in such a way that fights take place at or near that trap, it would limit the player from simply capturing whatever unit from a rival dungeon, it would enable strategic use of a trap-room where invading units are damaged first and then stun-locked on the cage-trap. It could make combat more engaging by forcing the player to try and kill the heroes he doesn't want while keeping the hero he want to capture alive. It could add a layer to getting a proper creature composition by not only wanting DPS-creatures but needing more debuff-creatures in the mix to help with capturing. And finally you could require a limited resource in acquiring the cage-traps to very naturally limit the amount of converts a player gets while introducing objectives for the player when wanting more converts.

When was the alpha-demo coming again?

DBlac
October 25th, 2017, 15:26
We're getting closer to it but we've decided we need more time so probably Decemberish. Nothing is 100% at this stage tho but we're doing our best.

Blutonium
October 25th, 2017, 15:35
<snip>it would enable strategic use of a trap-room where invading units are damaged first and then stun-locked on the cage-trap.<snip>

Yeah no we've got something a lot more special in store for trap mechanics... a "trap room" is a construct limited too much by DK1 room thinking.
I'm a DK1 superfreak, but it has some bad ideas. A room for every purpose is one of them.

Some of the things DK1 did well, though, was to not over-complicate things. We don't need to add complexity to conversion mechanics to make them more engaging.

YourMaster
October 25th, 2017, 15:38
I meant 'trap room' as in an empty room where you build a lot of traps, a kill-box where heroes all die. Not a workshop.

And do you include 'capturing' when you're talking about 'converting mechanics'? Because if not, then yes I agree. If so, I do not.
Not over-complicating things is one thing, but I think over simplified mechanics are one of the core flaws of Dungeon Keeper. It's not long before players realize they mostly do the same thing over and over again on each map with very little decision making involved. Build a 5x5 room over every kind, train all your creatures, convert invading heroes and drop all your creatures on all enemies until you've won.

WftO tried to add some strategic choice, but they did so by adding a tech-menu that's separate from the main game. A sub-optimal choice to say it nicely as by its very nature it is disconnected from the main game. I think in a Dungeon Sim the fast majority of decisions should be made on the main screen, where to dig, what to build in the space available and where to assign/drop your creatures in that dungeon.

Blutonium
October 25th, 2017, 15:57
I meant 'trap room' as in an empty room where you build a lot of traps, a kill-box where heroes all die. Not a workshop.

Even so, your idea is overly complex.


Say for example you do need a cage-trap for capturing heroes, and they need to stand on that trap with under 50% health for at least 5 seconds for your trap to spring shut before you can haul the boxed up hero to your dungeon you want to design your dungeon in such a way that fights take place at or near that trap

This for example, seems like it would happen so little it's almost redundant. People wouldn't care to even utilize traps if the conditions on them are so high it only works 1.3% of the time.
Personally, This trap system would frustrate me immensely.

Capturing a prisoner should not be rocket science.

YourMaster
October 25th, 2017, 16:09
Sorry, I just added more info to the post above. But this was just one random example pulled out of my ass, capturing should not be a simple switch in a menu. And it should be clear enough to be easily understood yes, and the balance on how easy or difficult it is to capture a specific unit is up to you but should depend on how many units you want the player to be able to convert. What I described above could be very easily visualized in a game, but please think of something that you think would work nicely, where some units are more easily captured than others, where not every capture is a success not by random chance but by player skill, strategy and effort. Where it naturally follows from that you can strategically try to capture select units instead of simply all of them.

And building multiple traps in a room where you funnel heroes to as they invade is not complex. I think in whatever game where people get access to traps they automatically figure out that they are best used together, where enemies are damaged by multiple traps instead of one. A canon next to a freeze trap or whatever.
I don't feel strongly one way or the other on traps by the way, and if you tell me there are no traps in your game I wouldn't shed a tear.

DBlac
October 25th, 2017, 16:34
One thing to keep in mind here is that you already have stuff surrounding the prisons as one gating to the difficulty of this mechanic. You need to -have- the available jail cell space designated and the capacity wont be ridiculous, like it was in DK. Maybe like one prisoner per cell tile. Then you need to keep in mind that the more prisoners you have in a prison the bolder they will become, requiring you to keep watch over them, which may not always be successful either. Its also very likely we will make traps themselves outright kill enemies, instead of knock them out. And beyond that theres the fact that our trap system and the methods with which heroes will deal with them will be a bit more indepth, giving heroes and players the ability to completely circumvent your traps, no matter how fancy you think youve made your gauntlet. That only happening in balanced situations ofcourse. So its not like you cna have a big trap gauntlet and it will just process heroes into knockouts like a factory for you. In addition the closer you are to the population cap or whatever we do here, the more unsuccessful conversions you will suffer.

Given all of this i think the fact that when ordered creatures will simply knock out their opponents (and you can then if you care very much about specific enemies on the field take control of workers and decide which ones youd rather put in your prison, if limited space if available) makes things... challenging and complex enough, no?

Blutonium
October 25th, 2017, 16:40
I didn't say the concept of a trap room is complex, I said your idea is overly complex.
(The idea of capturing a unit if he happens to be standing on a cage trap for 5 seconds while having <50% HP at the same time)

I'm familiar with the concept of a room filled with traps. :)


Basically, You don't think it's enough that some units are harder to capture merely because they are more powerful and have higher levels? Am I understanding that correctly?

YourMaster
October 25th, 2017, 16:45
I don't remember how it was in DK2, but in DK1 traps always killed units. With the info currently available I can only compare it to DK, and there having too many prisoners would not be an issue. On how you describe it, if you want 1 unit, capture them all, when you have the one you want just kill off the rest. Having random failed conversions is better than the current DK system, but not by much as it might feel like just a random background number.

In DK2, the prison remembered the skeletons it made, which is silly.

I think I've said enough about this topic without actually trying what you've got. I'd rather have more depth in capturing enemies than in managing already captured units given the choice.


Basically, You don't think it's enough that some units are harder to capture merely because they are more powerful and have higher levels? Am I understanding that correctly?

Yes. I think it needs involvement from the player. I think having a menu to say 'yes, please capture' adds nothing. There's no risk/reward mechanic, no gameplay, no nothing. Capturing enemy units during a fight could be fun. Think of something fun, anything.


I said your idea is overly complex. (The idea of capturing a unit if he happens to be standing on a cage trap for 5 seconds while having <50% HP at the same time) Think about it, how complex is it really? If you have a cage that deploys, for one-time use only. The player learns that when it shuts it captures what's in it. When a unit is walking over it an animation shows it's triggering and you can see it missing when the unit has left the tile when it shuts after x amount of time. A player will now intuitively understand that an enemy needs to be there for a while. When a unit is captured and it is still to strong, it breaks out, destroying the cage, and has health removed. The player now understands the unit was still too strong to be caged and makes sure to damage the enemy more before capture. All things that become obvious through playing the game. The player will come up with his own strategies on how to best capture units, having fun in the process and feel rewarded when his plan succeeds.
Whereas in DK1 players often don't know how to enable capturing because they didn't read the text explaining it and there's no way to discover through play.

DBlac
October 25th, 2017, 16:55
The only remotely logical thing i can think of is introducing specific abilities to specific creatures which knock out heroes, otherwise theyre killed. This might work but also might be a bit too much micro for some people. and may also be annoying due to being forced to use those specific creatures, BUT i can see it working well if thought about right. Then again in combat there is usually no time to aim to capture specific targets as combat itself will be involved enough. I dont know. This will jsut be one of those thnigs that requires tons of testing to discern which way is best. The time will come.

YourMaster
October 25th, 2017, 17:28
Yeah, take your time to think about this properly. I've planted the seed, sleep on it for a while and experiment a bit. Think out of the box, consider counter-play and favor solutions that have multiple strategic possibilities without being difficult to understand.

Another brainfart,.. how about instead of having the number-generator saying that you've converted too many creatures have a mechanic where when having too many/powerful converted units in your army compared to loyal units the already converted units feel confident enough to rebel against you because they can take out your other creatures? Starting out with a bit of sabotage when the ratio starts to skew into full out revolt when you overdo it (or lose too many of your own creatures).
This also helps with the feel that the heroes are slaves, broken and used by you, not simply turned evil.

DBlac
October 25th, 2017, 17:43
An extent of that sort of thing may be considered indeed. Would be interesting to have some rebels among the rest who are significantly more broken. Perhaps even a loyalty stat, hidden or not, that will increase or decrease based on some conditions, especially increase if the rebellion is unsuccessful and htey are recaptured and tortured again. Something like this could work, needs more thought tho.

Lquiz
October 26th, 2017, 12:22
Another brainfart,.. how about instead of having the number-generator saying that you've converted too many creatures have a mechanic where when having too many/powerful converted units in your army compared to loyal units the already converted units feel confident enough to rebel against you because they can take out your other creatures? Starting out with a bit of sabotage when the ratio starts to skew into full out revolt when you overdo it (or lose too many of your own creatures).


I like this idea, it prevents all the over-complication and additional mechanics from the earlier suggestions, and introduces a realistic reason to stop you from snowballing against the enemy with conversions.

Saying that, I'm keen to let these guys develop the game they're imagining, and provide feedback on that.

DBlac
October 26th, 2017, 20:32
Weve actually already designed some mechanics around these notes yesterday and we're pretty happy about them. I think they mesh together rather well and make everything much more personal, without adding much if any real complication over what already existed. I think the new systems are a huge improvement and frankly im glad YourMaster raised these points because without him we might never have thought to tend to this area more indepth. But i aint tellin you nuthin yet! :D

YourMaster
October 26th, 2017, 21:21
Always happy to detract people from what they intended to work on.

DBlac
October 27th, 2017, 09:55
Hahaha well put :D

mishko
November 3rd, 2017, 20:17
Hello just started following this project. I have some questions regarding your approach to the game but first i just want to start by introducing myself a little since i've never posted on these forums even though i look at them every few days for the past few years. I have played dungeon keeper since I was a little kid, played DK2 first but decided I liked DK1's combat and atmosphere better than 2 (even though 2 was still really fun). I was really excited about WFTO but overall i think they overthought about what would "work" and in the end rather than what would be "fun". DK was not a balanced game but there was something more fun about it than wfto. The thing I love the most about DK games is the concept of your creatures having minds of their own and acting of their own accord depending on their needs and emotions and desires. One thing that i strongly feel is that a game like this should have creatures interacting with each other and having enough unique animations and behaviors that it really gives each kind of creature its own personality. Wfto kind of failed to give each creature more of a personality in my opinion. I recommended to them creatures conversing with other creatures, barfights, creatures hating other kinds of creatures, more animations depending on whether they are sulking, angry, happy, etc. But all of these suggestions ultimately was decided would only detract players from wfto's fast pace. This is the main thing that made me not enjoy wfto as much as i could. What is your opinion on giving the game more life in those ways that wfto didn't?

Hapuga
November 4th, 2017, 00:45
DK was not a balanced game but there was something more fun about it

Yussss. I hate "balance". I hate how every game developer now tries to MLG the fuck out of their game. I love how slightly imbalanced DK1 and DK2 are. I like how some units suck, and some are OP. Because sometimes its fun to make hordes of sucky units and see how it goes. Or make an elite team.

DBlac
November 5th, 2017, 22:58
Hello just started following this project. I have some questions regarding your approach to the game but first i just want to start by introducing myself a little since i've never posted on these forums even though i look at them every few days for the past few years. I have played dungeon keeper since I was a little kid, played DK2 first but decided I liked DK1's combat and atmosphere better than 2 (even though 2 was still really fun). I was really excited about WFTO but overall i think they overthought about what would "work" and in the end rather than what would be "fun". DK was not a balanced game but there was something more fun about it than wfto. The thing I love the most about DK games is the concept of your creatures having minds of their own and acting of their own accord depending on their needs and emotions and desires. One thing that i strongly feel is that a game like this should have creatures interacting with each other and having enough unique animations and behaviors that it really gives each kind of creature its own personality. Wfto kind of failed to give each creature more of a personality in my opinion. I recommended to them creatures conversing with other creatures, barfights, creatures hating other kinds of creatures, more animations depending on whether they are sulking, angry, happy, etc. But all of these suggestions ultimately was decided would only detract players from wfto's fast pace. This is the main thing that made me not enjoy wfto as much as i could. What is your opinion on giving the game more life in those ways that wfto didn't?

Hey mate,

Yes, we are aware that creatures are the bread and butter of the game and their intelligence, behavior, uniqueness and interaction with the world is extremely important and largely what defines it. We will not half-ass anything we make, not the world, not the mechanics, not the creatures, nothing. Everything will get the due love it deserves, but naturally that will take time. You are unlikely to see the full range of these things in the early demos, but they will come when the time is right, trust me we are working on some very interesting tools and tech that will make the world feel rich and immersive even as an rts.



Yussss. I hate "balance". I hate how every game developer now tries to MLG the fuck out of their game. I love how slightly imbalanced DK1 and DK2 are. I like how some units suck, and some are OP. Because sometimes its fun to make hordes of sucky units and see how it goes. Or make an elite team.

Depends entirely on your definition of balance, but an RTS should by all means have a certain degree of asymmetry. What i consider balance in a good rts is making things useful in ways other things are not. Giving more tools for a player to accomplish a goal rather than making tools purely obsolete. That said taking certain approaches while plausible may still end up making things harder for you. An example of the asymmetry that i already plan is that a single man at arms (the earliest hero you face) could fairly easily take out 2 goblins (the first creature you can summon) that face him on a similiar level. But goblins have a pack mechanic where they get stronger in larger numbers (to an extent). That said goblins are an early starter creature so if you decide to bank on them for some specific strategy such as a rush you -might- have some slight chance, but there are many variables. We give tools, we want to make sure that tools aren't without a purpose but that they can be used in creative ways, thats our design philosophy.

mishko
November 6th, 2017, 11:15
Hey mate,

Yes, we are aware that creatures are the bread and butter of the game and their intelligence, behavior, uniqueness and interaction with the world is extremely important and largely what defines it. We will not half-ass anything we make, not the world, not the mechanics, not the creatures, nothing. Everything will get the due love it deserves, but naturally that will take time. You are unlikely to see the full range of these things in the early demos, but they will come when the time is right, trust me we are working on some very interesting tools and tech that will make the world feel rich and immersive even as an rts.

Awesome, it sounds like we are already on the same page. Wfto kept telling me how more animation was too expensive. I understand their first priority was not having a broken game but there just wasnt enough unit behavior and animation. Also I wasn't a big fan of the writing of the game unfortunately

DBlac
November 6th, 2017, 14:28
Awesome, it sounds like we are already on the same page. Wfto kept telling me how more animation was too expensive. I understand their first priority was not having a broken game but there just wasnt enough unit behavior and animation. Also I wasn't a big fan of the writing of the game unfortunately

In regards to animation we want to make things as believable, unique and full of character as possible. To that extent we actually experimented with motion capture, but no quality of acting i could do could fix the jankyness of the equipment we were using. So while we will continue making mocaps we now use it more as a guide for timing for the hand crafted animations that the animator does based on the actual video recordings we do at the same time. Best of both worlds i think, because while hand crafted is technically slower it allows more artistic freedom, but we also benefit from the accurate timing of the mocap.

YourMaster
November 6th, 2017, 14:54
When doing motion capture, please keep in mind that if over 40% of the evil creatures are humanoid we will riot. Please motion capture stuff like this (https://assets-auto.rbl.ms/518b7c898b8fc28794e48f3216391c07eb5b02be038dcfa723 34b9e90fe5af08) instead. And this (https://youtu.be/M4t0aeTX954?t=13) is also acceptable. I suppose stuff like this (https://youtu.be/_HNZePQosxU?t=14) is already included?

If you need more inspiration, don't be afraid to ask.

DBlac
November 6th, 2017, 15:05
Lol. Let the rioting begin. I have shotguns!

YourMaster
November 6th, 2017, 15:18
Well, we'll bring 'fireworks'. Seriously though, it is never too late to add many additional characters and relegate the humanoid characters to the background.

For reference, DK1 had 16 creatures, of which only 1 human (the warlock), and 6 other humanoid creatures. (Orc, Troll, Vampire, Skeleton, Mistress and Reaper). So even if over half were non-humanoid, still the other humanoid creatures did not all resemble humans that much due to color and size and other features. This is a good ratio, and also a good number of creatures. Collecting/attracting interesting specimens is a large part of the appeal, so if you'd go with for example just 12 creatures of which there are only 4 non-humanoids you'll just disappoint us all. We don't just want this diversity, we need it.

DBlac
November 6th, 2017, 15:57
To me humanoid means two legs, two arms and standing fairly upright. In that regard most of our creatures are like that, but they are almost all decidedly inhuman, even if some of them may have at one point been human. We will have only one true beast, but at the same time you will have werewolves, grindylows, trolls, winged demons etc. A number of creatures we have were at some point human, but are at this point fairly far from it, warped in some messed up way. DK2 was terrible with all of its almost identically human characters, due to the limitation of hte 3d and animation rigs at the time. While all but one of our creatures are "humanoid" in they stand..relativley upright and posess 2 arms and legs, none of them will be "human".

We also have 16 creatures planned btw.

Edit: Since i guess you class the bile demon as non humanoid for its lack of legs i guess our ghost can be classified as that as well for its lack of the same.

YourMaster
November 6th, 2017, 16:25
True, I did not classify the bile demon as humanoid because it does not function as a human at all. It walks with arms and body, and uses it's head/horns to work/fight. For me a humanoid is a thing on two legs that can hold something in its arms. I did count the DK1 troll as a humanoid (clearly) and the DK1 ghost as non-humanoid.
Your expressed distaste for the DK2 cast and your confirmation that you'll go for 16 as well. (More is better of course:p) eases my worry, and of course your creatures have to fit the theme you're going for.
I do stand by my preference to attract true beasts/fantasy creatures into my dungeon. Who does not prefer a behemoth (https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/mightandmagic/images/5/53/H7_ancient_behemoth_model.jpg/revision/latest/scale-to-width-down/350?cb=20150404171022&path-prefix=en) over a werewolf?
But if you just have 34 legs in total, if you do decide to add another creature, may I suggest a giant centipede (https://youtu.be/l7kCBHKTuvg?t=100). Many legs, venomous, dwells underground, and uniquely adds a low profile.

DBlac
November 6th, 2017, 16:34
That behemoth is decidedly humanoid however :P One thing to keep in mind is that if all goes well, our first expansion will contain something along the lines of a mechanic that can umm... evolve.. creatures. These evolved things will be powerful but limited in number and among them will be nagas, wargs and lizard-like basilisks. If things keep going well we are thinking of yet another expansion that adds a new.. ermm.. lets call it a faction, that has decidedly more.. insectoid roots.

I HAVE TO STRESS these are just vague future plans which if they will happen are very far away as we've yet to make even the base game :P so dont take this as the gospel truth and dont spread it around haha.

Actually there will be a number of subterranean creatures that you will have to fight usually, outside of things like heroes that can invade. Ive yet to design them but things like spiders and centipedes are very likely to be among them.

Edit: to me the bile demon was always just kindof a corpulent humanoid with amputated legs and the reason it "worked" with its horns in 1 was due to saving on animations by just reusing the attack, as all creatures do.

YourMaster
November 6th, 2017, 16:41
Yeah, I'd like to have 'neutral' creatures. DK1 sorta tried to fill that gap with tentacles that did not come from your portal but were only there to guard watery caves, but that's limited of course.

Lava/Rock/Ice elementals are also obvious neutral creatures there, indeed some tentacle beast (a real one not the silly one like in DK1) for in watery areas and I'd even accept dwarves as neutral creatures if they don't show up among the heroes. If only you could design and make them as quick as I can come up with this stuff:p.

DBlac
November 6th, 2017, 16:45
Oh we dont do the tolkienesque dwarf/elf thing. As for the water tentacle thing there is something planned that you should enjoy. But i have to mention that these would all be enemies/obstacles. Maybe later on there may be ways to tame some but we havent thought about that sort of thing quite yet. Tho it's an interesting idea to have bests you have to actually tame and keep somewhere... might actually think on that a bit more but it may be a little over complicated. For now theyre just enemies that dwell naturally in the world and are hostile to everything... well more like territorial i guess. Theyre largely animals of sorts, with some exceptions.

YourMaster
November 6th, 2017, 21:14
yeah I know, I said 'neutral', but indeed just random enemies that are neither clearly good or clearly evil. Map obstacles, creatures that dwell the level and need to be defeated to get to an objective.
This is also why I mentioned the elementals, they fit well on lava pockets, caves, ice maps as neutral beasts with a fantasy theme.

mishko
November 6th, 2017, 22:45
That behemoth is decidedly humanoid however :P One thing to keep in mind is that if all goes well, our first expansion will contain something along the lines of a mechanic that can umm... evolve.. creatures. These evolved things will be powerful but limited in number and among them will be nagas, wargs and lizard-like basilisks. If things keep going well we are thinking of yet another expansion that adds a new.. ermm.. lets call it a faction, that has decidedly more.. insectoid roots.

I HAVE TO STRESS these are just vague future plans which if they will happen are very far away as we've yet to make even the base game :P so dont take this as the gospel truth and dont spread it around haha.

Actually there will be a number of subterranean creatures that you will have to fight usually, outside of things like heroes that can invade. Ive yet to design them but things like spiders and centipedes are very likely to be among them.

Edit: to me the bile demon was always just kindof a corpulent humanoid with amputated legs and the reason it "worked" with its horns in 1 was due to saving on animations by just reusing the attack, as all creatures do.

Is your evolve system similar to how Demon Spawn could turn into dragons? Because if it is I would recommend having 2 or so examples of that in the base game. Maybe some kind of giant bug larva metamorphasis or demon evolution.

DBlac
November 7th, 2017, 00:29
yeah I know, I said 'neutral', but indeed just random enemies that are neither clearly good or clearly evil. Map obstacles, creatures that dwell the level and need to be defeated to get to an objective.
This is also why I mentioned the elementals, they fit well on lava pockets, caves, ice maps as neutral beasts with a fantasy theme.

Golems of various sorts will prolly be in there but i got more interesting things planned specifically for lava :P


Is your evolve system similar to how Demon Spawn could turn into dragons? Because if it is I would recommend having 2 or so examples of that in the base game. Maybe some kind of giant bug larva metamorphosis or demon evolution.

No, not really. It will be a very specific affair that requires a fair amount of involvement but id rather not say any more at this point given how far such a potential expansion is.

damedog
November 9th, 2017, 14:17
Is this what I think it is? A DK like game?

Non humanoid characters plz! :)

Metal Gear Rex
November 9th, 2017, 15:04
New Lords of Nether screenshot

https://i.imgur.com/ksWqN4Q.png

YourMaster
November 9th, 2017, 15:41
Is this what I think it is? A DK like game?

Non humanoid characters plz! :)

Don't worry, I already told them if over 40% of evil units turn out to be humanoid characters like werewolves and grindylows there will be blood in the street. And MGR is right, we might be able to tolerate a unit like a goblin, but if there's even a single character like the rogue we will complain like there's no tomorrow. They are still playing hard to get, but I'm sure they are scrambling to design more beasts and other horrors.

Lquiz
November 9th, 2017, 17:53
The horned reaper himself is humanoid, so is the avatar, how can you all be so prejudiced!?

YourMaster
November 9th, 2017, 18:15
All heroes are humanoid, those are fine. And to be fair, I don't mind a healthy number of 'not-remotely-human-humanoids' either, like the horned reaper, the DK1 Mistress, or that Grindylow design that has been shared a while back. What we hate hate is something like DK2 where your units are a 'human in a robe', a 'human with fangs', a 'human knight which painted his armour black' a 'human thief that did not wash his clothes for a while', a 'human female dressed in leather', a 'small green human' and a 'not so small green human' so that the most imaginative unit you have is a salamander that looks like a salamander just a bit bigger.

Plus, what we do like is to be amazed by what kind of creature you manage to attract. The first play through 20 years ago each time you got a whole new unit it was a thrill and now we want to be amazed some more. And non-humanoid designs offer so much more possibilities for creativity.

DBlac
November 10th, 2017, 15:59
I'm going to make this absolutely clear. The creature roster is final. There are no clearly human units like the rogue, which was boring and ridiculous, same as the dark elf, clearly human mistress etc yet there is only one real beast in the original roster. We are not going the clearly human route, like DK 2, but all 15 other creatures -are- humanoid. Just not human.

To make a couple of examples - We also have Black Knights. Our Black Knights are not just men with armor painted black, they are warped and twisted soulless abominations who move like death-bent automatons with limited, constrained but powerful motions and have skewed and unrealistic proportions that make them look more like walking towers of armor. You would be remiss if you saw one and didnt think it was more of a suit of possessed armor.

Our vampires are far from human, i think just a bit further than DK1's vampires were, and while yes, we have warlocks who are sort of just "men in robes", they've lost their humanity ages ago when dabbling in forbidden arts, their bodies now more of a slowly twisting vessel for the terrible arcane power contained within. Their eyes glow, their skin has turned a greenish yellow, they walk with a hunched gait, have lesions and such. But -no- there is NO character that will be just outright human, not even the gorgon who outwardly probably looks the most human, yet her body is covered in scales and her face has taken on serpentine features.

This all is -final- untill expansions allow more room for other things. The creatures and characters tied to them have stories in the campaign, they have reasons to be as they are. Also you do not play as some anomalous evil entity that has control over beasts, like a Keeper, you play as a Dark Lord, a General that needs an army, not just a petting zoo.

There will be plenty of animalistic creatures in the world, both above and bellow ground if all goes well, and maaaaybe we may make it possible to tame some of them for the duration of the mission, but they will function slightly differently to creatures if we do so, but nothing of this bit is final.

YourMaster
November 10th, 2017, 16:08
Just to be clear: That was already understood from the posts you made before. The last sentence on post #83 was a joke.

DBlac
November 10th, 2017, 16:14
Aight cool :) I'm just trying to mitigate any potential misinformation, i dont want a Molyneux/Murray effect :P

Btw a kindof vague example of the style of movement of the Black Knight is the big guy later on in this video

Think this (not quite this sort of appearance and not a sword) but probably even less animate, more constricted and soulless.

https://youtu.be/h0C5uhumvb4

(talking about the Chaos Knight that the guy spawns in after killing the first lil fucker)

Oh btw MGR, quality shitpost right there ;) *thumbsup*

And to me Salamanders always looked like sortof adorable minature orange T-Rexes... i wasnt a huge fan of the DK2 roster in general mind you, they were all rather boring and samey, due to the tech limitations.

Hapuga
November 10th, 2017, 18:52
I dont understand where the hate for "humanoid" is coming from. Humanoid != human. You can have all kinds of nasty evil biped. creatures that are humanoid, but are clearly twisted, malicious and fitting the "evil" play.

I for example, am not 100% for a dungeon full of bugs, dragons and elementals. What is it, a fucking zoo? Gimme some goblins :D

DBlac
November 10th, 2017, 20:57
A man after my own heart :D

YourMaster
November 10th, 2017, 21:40
Careful now, he's a DK2 player. :p.

And Hapuga, there's nothing wrong with humanoid (we've all agreed though that the DK2 roster is too boring, too human), but for me the fear is that with too many humanoids eventually the roster still gets a bit samey, as you'd have all the units on a fixed blueprint: 2 legs, 2 arms and most likely 1 head. Now you get a bit of variation with the size, color, posture and amount of hair and horns. Add the occasional tail and you're done. If you have a good amount of units types, they start to look more or less the same. Especially since you've also got the converted heroes mixed in.
With a Dungeon-sim this is a bit more of a problem than with other games because you want an overview of your dungeon so you need to be zoomed out a lot, but you still want your units to have individual personalities. In short, you've got bipeds from a distance.
If you drop the humanoid restriction for a significant portion of the roster it's suddenly much easier to have visually distinct units even when you're zoomed out and a lot is going on.

DBlac
November 10th, 2017, 22:00
I honestly think this argument largely falls apart when you -really- think about how useful and present non-humanoids were in DK. Like, even if they didnt stop appearing in later levels, who wouldnt throw away beetles and flies? Tentacles appeared in maybe 2-3 levels in the entire game and were boring and mostly useless. Dragons, Hellhounds, Ghosts and Bile demons were pretty much the only useful things and even hellhounds and ghosts are debatable and their presence in the dungeon is questionable. So... non-human roster boils down to 2, with a whole bunch of creatures youd never use if the others were available.

Argument regardless, you can have a loooot of difference and diversity in humanoids/biped. Just because DK2 had these limitations and needed the same rig, and ended up making boring human creatures doesnt mean we will.

YourMaster
November 10th, 2017, 22:49
I wasn't arguing with you anymore, but answering Hapuga. Don't worry, I'll patiently wait and see what you'll come up with. I do have to say though that you're the first person I know to ever call the ghost useful.
But I'll play along,....

First of all, one thing I dislike about DK1 is exactly the fact that the way the portal works you've got to throw away weak creatures and end up with less diversity. I hope that in your game you do find a way to both have a massive difference in the strongest and weakest unit available and simultaneously not have the weaker units be useless or detrimental.

But what DK1 is really, really good at is having the units be visually distinct, even in the original resolution. (The first 2 times I played the game was in the 320x240 resolution!). And although in your dream-army there aren't that many units worthwhile, you do use all units throughout the campaign, and in the middle maps all or most of those units on the same map. Many players starting out do not even know they can throw away their useless units by the way, but I personally also keep my insects until I've got my temple researched. Demon Spawn and Spiders play a big role in the first few maps. Hell, I made a few maps myself and on those I made sure all units are useful.

But I think you look at it from the wrong side,... it's not how many non-humanoids do you have, it's about how many humanoids can you have before they start to look too much alike from a distance. DK1 was manageable. This (https://youtu.be/My2TlrveLK8?t=390) quite frankly looks horrible.

mishko
November 10th, 2017, 22:58
I would say in my opinion that the more intelligent humanoids are more fitting for what you are going for with the whole lords system. While as a Dungeon Keeper you were more of an evil "force" and it made more sense for you to have evil animalistic non humanoid beasts. I like what you are going for as it sounds like it has strong DK1 style roots while sticking with somewhat more sophisticated creatures that gives you more free reign on giving them a personality. While having an occassional beast acting on instinct is cool in the end it is more limited. Unless you have an intelligent but non humanoid creature like Beholder or Dragon.

DBlac
November 10th, 2017, 23:05
I mean an argument like a presented point, i know were not arguing :P

Well thats what i said earlier, we want to make each creature have a use and a reason to be used, but naturally people are going to limit themselves to strategies they want. Dont think about it like DK and "whats useful", think about it like an rts like starcraft or soemthing based on "what is the strategy im going for".

I do get your point, and i try to keep my designs visually distinct enough for it to not be a problem. Time will tell if it works, but if a design doesnt work and is not distinct enough then i will simply go back and remake it. Humanoids can come in many different shapes and sizes and its far from difficult to make a cast of 16 look entirely different.

Also the WftO thing is problematic on different levels, its not just the creature designs being humanoid. Everything is a puzzle and in this case the environment calls too much attention, the health flowers are always in your face and distracting and there are so many effects and glowing things that you cant tell what happens, along with the creatures being too small.


I would say in my opinion that the more intelligent humanoids are more fitting for what you are going for with the whole lords system. While as a Dungeon Keeper you were more of an evil "force" and it made more sense for you to have evil animalistic non humanoid beasts. I like what you are going for as it sounds like it has strong DK1 style roots while sticking with somewhat more sophisticated creatures that gives you more free reign on giving them a personality. While having an occassional beast acting on instinct is cool in the end it is more limited. Unless you have an intelligent but non humanoid creature like Beholder or Dragon.

My thoughts exactly, it is much harder to characterize a beast, and since we have Champions which are essentially story characters then that doesnt work. Beasts -will- be amking it into the game and by the looks of things they will be tamable, the team has agreed that it would work nicely, but youd go about that whole thing differently than you would acquire creatures. Well, it would actually be more akin to converting characters, but much simpler and without any capability of direct control.

There is indeed something to be said however of non-humanoids that are intelligent, but that will also come in time.

YourMaster
November 11th, 2017, 00:57
If you can also convert heroes, than it's not just the 16 units you'll have. This is the trick to always remember:
1778

And yes, I'd like my non-bipeds intelligent.

https://i.pinimg.com/564x/d2/0c/fe/d20cfe0572db2ea8469ce5fec0731a70.jpg
https://i.pinimg.com/originals/77/fc/bb/77fcbb864e80eb2ee9db8508465e83ff.jpg
https://i.pinimg.com/564x/b8/05/a9/b805a923901bc3d28d9ea04a7ee2861c.jpg
https://cdnb.artstation.com/p/assets/images/images/001/346/095/large/grosnez-illustrateur-run-grosnez.jpg?1444773291

I did hear you, that you want to keep all units useful - by which I simply understand that is has a purpose for which you might want to use it. Unlike for example the DK1 beetle you just sacrifice or throw away if you can have any other creature.
I also know that for a dungeon sim it could by quite difficult to get right, as you must really have units that are clearly more desirable to show up to better dungeons, but at the same time you don't want the simpler creatures to be fodder as soon as you get there. It's nice to have a strategic component in getting your unit composition, but at the same time it should not be a decision which creatures to get, it should be something to strive for and feel like a reward when getting there. So: "Yes, I managed to get a black knight, nice!", not "I get 3 mages first, then after that I make 8 dead knights and top it of with 3 support units."

damedog
November 11th, 2017, 02:05
I honestly think this argument largely falls apart when you -really- think about how useful and present non-humanoids were in DK. Like, even if they didnt stop appearing in later levels, who wouldnt throw away beetles and flies? Tentacles appeared in maybe 2-3 levels in the entire game and were boring and mostly useless. Dragons, Hellhounds, Ghosts and Bile demons were pretty much the only useful things and even hellhounds and ghosts are debatable and their presence in the dungeon is questionable. So... non-human roster boils down to 2, with a whole bunch of creatures youd never use if the others were available.

Argument regardless, you can have a loooot of difference and diversity in humanoids/biped. Just because DK2 had these limitations and needed the same rig, and ended up making boring human creatures doesnt mean we will.


Now this is true. Nobody complains about the humanoid Horned Reaper because it was badass. I was even a fan of the trolls, or anything with a distinct personality and look.

But i'll hold out on my hope for my spider army for the future DLC ;)

Do you have a Kickstarter going?

DBlac
November 11th, 2017, 14:16
If you can also convert heroes, than it's not just the 16 units you'll have. This is the trick to always remember:


I did hear you, that you want to keep all units useful - by which I simply understand that is has a purpose for which you might want to use it. Unlike for example the DK1 beetle you just sacrifice or throw away if you can have any other creature.
I also know that for a dungeon sim it could by quite difficult to get right, as you must really have units that are clearly more desirable to show up to better dungeons, but at the same time you don't want the simpler creatures to be fodder as soon as you get there. It's nice to have a strategic component in getting your unit composition, but at the same time it should not be a decision which creatures to get, it should be something to strive for and feel like a reward when getting there. So: "Yes, I managed to get a black knight, nice!", not "I get 3 mages first, then after that I make 8 dead knights and top it of with 3 support units."

Well, we also intend to have heroes quite distinct in their archetypes but yes, the potential is there. Like i said, i try to keep everything distinct and it needs more i can always redesign it. No worries there.

As for creatures, you summon creatures manually, altho ofcourse there will be requirements but you determine what and when it enters your dungeon, so you can absolutely build different armies for different scenarios and there will be tradeoffs such as higher demands, higher costs etc. You can build a goblin army even though you could technically have access to Black Knights. But you will prolly have a hard time raising an army of over 3-4 Black Knights in the time it will take an enemy to reach the population limit with goblins and likely rush you. But again, theres tradeoffs. Goblins will suck pretty hard against a black knight because Black Knights have Plate armor which ups their resistances to slashing damage, which is what Goblins do. If you however have around 10 Trolls which do blunt, which is very heavy against plate, you will take down what is essentally more powerful units on nearly the same level. naturally 10 trolls will lose against 10 black knights on equal footing, but you can get trolls faster than you can get knights. And again, armor and resistances play a role here in the rock paper scissors thing, as well as individual creature abilities. So theres just a WHOOOOOLE bunch of reasons you will need different creatures in different situations no matter how far you are in the game. Everything is essentially a tool that allows you to adapt and nothing is useless.

As for the "Eldritch abomination" thing in your image, those types of things are actually *whispers* planned for an expansion, shhhhhhh. And the rest of hte beasty images, those are typically the sort of things you will find as neutral enemies. We will allow you to tame some of them though, so rejoice :P




Now this is true. Nobody complains about the humanoid Horned Reaper because it was badass. I was even a fan of the trolls, or anything with a distinct personality and look.

But i'll hold out on my hope for my spider army for the future DLC ;)

Do you have a Kickstarter going?

Yeah, i personally dont think its exactly about being humanoid or not, its about how distinct and unique looking they are. Youre gonnah ave a hard time mistaking one of our trolls for anything remotely human. As for a spoodler army, we will most likely let you tame beasts in the main game, weve talked about it and were agreed that its quite cool and serves an interesting and unique niche purpose. So rejoice for spider army :P or atleast spider guard dogs if we dont do the beastmaster bond thing.

We do not yet but that is coming next year! You can always follow us on social media, like our facebook https://www.facebook.com/Netherlords/?hc_ref=ARRtJuXxIebTBsxVTg3aKGAJllCVZ0WYuGWR7GndIr V88eAOSTJ3NiOavjPDo6b07Kw&fref=nf

We update those a bit more often and we will announce the Kickstarter very publically :) We will announce it here as well though, i just know that its hard to miss things here.

Metal Gear Rex
November 11th, 2017, 20:33
I also know that for a dungeon sim it could by quite difficult to get right, as you must really have units that are clearly more desirable to show up to better dungeons, but at the same time you don't want the simpler creatures to be fodder as soon as you get there. It's nice to have a strategic component in getting your unit composition, but at the same time it should not be a decision which creatures to get, it should be something to strive for and feel like a reward when getting there. So: "Yes, I managed to get a black knight, nice!", not "I get 3 mages first, then after that I make 8 dead knights and top it of with 3 support units."

It's actually not difficult at all and should be relatively easy, especially for DBlac, although that of course depends on the specifics of LoN's fundamental design. I achieved a similar enough balance in a game as broken and limited as DK2. For example, Goblins remained useful in the late game because they are distinctly the fastest units in the game and with levels, they had decent burst and a stun spell, so they could harass effectively and also support in larger battles.

As for a feeling of being rewarded, well having interesting high level spells and a general high end power level is one way to accommodate as a reward for training a creature that far, especially if there's more limits on training compared to either vanilla DK1 / DK2. Creatures have to be continuously fed combat while surviving. There could also be units who have better high end potential but take more devotion to reach that point, like what I did with the Vampire as he starts weak but gets a 33% increase in level bonuses because of how Drain works.

Plus there is something special about leveling the same weak unit into something strong over the course of an entire level, compared to just replacing them for something stronger like the Horned Reaper in DK1. Granted, there is a separate feeling for becoming strong enough to summon a legendary species as well, but I'm mainly saying that there's advantage to both based on preference. Although, not much reason to not also include both.

These solutions are admittedly pretty simple, although I do suppose they're also a bit cleaner because of it. I'm curious what exactly DBlac has in store for this.

Hapuga
November 11th, 2017, 21:23
Careful now, he's a DK2 player. :p.

And Hapuga, there's nothing wrong with humanoid (we've all agreed though that the DK2 roster is too boring, too human), but for me the fear is that with too many humanoids eventually the roster still gets a bit samey, as you'd have all the units on a fixed blueprint: 2 legs, 2 arms and most likely 1 head. Now you get a bit of variation with the size, color, posture and amount of hair and horns. Add the occasional tail and you're done. If you have a good amount of units types, they start to look more or less the same. Especially since you've also got the converted heroes mixed in.
With a Dungeon-sim this is a bit more of a problem than with other games because you want an overview of your dungeon so you need to be zoomed out a lot, but you still want your units to have individual personalities. In short, you've got bipeds from a distance.
If you drop the humanoid restriction for a significant portion of the roster it's suddenly much easier to have visually distinct units even when you're zoomed out and a lot is going on.

Weak argument, sorry. According to this argument, 95% units of 95% games would feel "samey" because most units are humanoid, which is wildly not true. You are overly biased due to a bad roster of DK2, but who said that DK2 should be taken as an example? Even with a bad and repetitive roster of DK2, I never ever had difficulty figuring out who is who in my DK2 games.

I would argue the opposite point: a dungeon full of weird and totally different creatures will not feel like a united, contiguous source of evil power, but more like a random riff-raff and motley horde of some other-wordly zoo escapees. It should be a balance of both worlds.

Additionally, the "Us versus Them" feeling of being bad is amplified by counter-examples of what is considered "evil" in folklore. Warlocks against Wizards, Vampires against Monks, Dark knight versus (Light) Knight. The entire idea was strongly based on the antagonists that represent the "evil" part of otherwise neutral roster. Having all-weird, all-monster creature roster will immediately lose the feel of relatability and will basically look like a "some weird creepy bugs and spirits defend their dwellings from raiding parties of people" game. The "good to be bad" part will be lost. None of the weird creeps will be relatable, none of them will be a relatable counterpart of some "good" character, and as a result - less motivation to hate the "goodies" because now its just a bunch of humanoids attacked by monsters.

YourMaster
November 12th, 2017, 00:40
Nah,... you're reading too much into it. I'm not biased because of DK2, I like to see unique and imaginative creatures. Not sticking to just bipeds will allow for more diversity, more unique designs. If they stick to just humanoids and still design the units well, I won't hate the game for it. I haven't seen the final result, but chances are I would still prefer more non-humanoids. However, I realize I haven't commissioned this game and they aren't making it just to perfectly match my preferences.

And I personally also hate that counterpart business, I don't want to see evil versions of the invading heroes. I can relate perfectly well with my creatures if the good are equated to boring, by the rules, cutesy and wholesome, and the evil creatures are juxtapositioned to be imaginative, spectacular, radical, characterful and expressive.

And yes, perhaps 95% of games have bald space marines, but I think most games where collecting a big menagerie of creatures is a central theme there's a large percentage of non-humanoid creatures. There aren't that many games like DK out there, but I do feel DK sorta resembles being a zoo-keeper for underground abominations.

Hapuga
November 12th, 2017, 01:39
Nah,... you're reading too much into it. I'm not biased because of DK2, I like to see unique and imaginative creatures. Not sticking to just bipeds will allow for more diversity, more unique designs. If they stick to just humanoids and still design the units well, I won't hate the game for it. I haven't seen the final result, but chances are I would still prefer more non-humanoids. However, I realize I haven't commissioned this game and they aren't making it just to perfectly match my preferences.

And I personally also hate that counterpart business, I don't want to see evil versions of the invading heroes. I can relate perfectly well with my creatures if the good are equated to boring, by the rules, cutesy and wholesome, and the evil creatures are juxtapositioned to be imaginative, spectacular, radical, characterful and expressive.

And yes, perhaps 95% of games have bald space marines, but I think most games where collecting a big menagerie of creatures is a central theme there's a large percentage of non-humanoid creatures. There aren't that many games like DK out there, but I do feel DK sorta resembles being a zoo-keeper for underground abominations.

This boils down to just your personal preference. You hate the counterpart, I believe it is an essential part of the series. You believe that moving away from biped humanoids will make the game more unique, I believe that this is a minor factor of what makes the game unique. We agree to disagree.

DBlac
November 12th, 2017, 03:31
Hooo boy, conflict of personal tastes going on here, lots to reply to. First of all though, you guys can just call me David :D

Ok so MGR, i completely agree there, those are good solutions and we have similar ideas in the works, so we will see how it goes. In addition though, we have Champions, akin to elites from DK2 but.. well better because lets face it better isn't hard hah. There essentially unique characters that you can summon only one of (that is to say there is only one champion goblin etc) and they each have their own unique specializations. Gnash, the Goblin Warlord is essentially their commander and chief, unlike the others he has a nearly full suit of scavenged and cobbled together armor and is capable of significantly boosting the performance of goblins around him. Of course most other Champions have less of a general type role and their own unique advantages, but its another thing to consider when thinking about how different units could remain useful.

Hapuga, i do agree with you and i -also- see YM's point, and i dont think either of you need to worry given the plans we have laid out. There should be enough for both of you to be happy with, especially -after- the expansions if all comes to pass as i hope.

YM, just a small note here, our heroes are hmm... less so boring and certainly not cutesy at all. Mind you a few are boring, like the base units but more powerful heroes become more heroic and badass to the point where when you see a knight you will certainly know that fucker can mess you up -very- good and look like a badass doing it, even before he starts cleaving creatures with his longsword.

All in all everyone has different preferences, im not saying everyone will be 100% satisfied with everything i guess, but there should be enough to keep most people happy i imagine. I mean, we still have a ton of work so we have to see how it turns out, but im confident it will all be good in the end. If the current way things are going is anything to go by, it will just take time but it will end up even surpassing our own expectations and imagination. I cant tell you how many times we've managed to do things we never even imagined so far, so lets hope it keeps up :P

Blutonium
November 16th, 2017, 07:55
This is one instance where I 100% am on YourMaster's side... I love super creative creatures and crazy stuff... having many "creatures" look like humans is not something I'd want personally.

The more demonic and diverse your minions, the better!

Now - Having said that, I can honestly say that you have nothing to worry about. The creature designs are good. Like, extremely good. The stuff you've seen is just the basic starter creatures/heroes.
While many minions might have two arms and two legs, the designs are always creative and very unique, yet fit together well in the Netherverse.

As I've said before... if only you guys were allowed to see all the concepts like I have, for what's going to be in the full game. *cries*
For now, I would just say, don't worry - Creature Design is what sucked me into DK1 and is something I am very passionate about. Trust me when I say David has us covered. :)

DBlac
November 16th, 2017, 10:56
https://youtu.be/26HF6QcOYxg?t=6

Hapuga
November 17th, 2017, 23:18
All in all, all I care is if the game is awesome or not. And I know you guys will do your absolute best. Cheers.

DBlac
November 18th, 2017, 03:45
Cheers mate, that means a lot, thanks! :)

DBlac
November 21st, 2017, 12:25
My my, it looks like the Servants have been hard at work! Such riches, such riches!
https://i.imgur.com/HG0hmYh.png
https://i.imgur.com/KDDj9hq.png
https://i.imgur.com/mINP0Ip.png
https://i.imgur.com/hn5UUvQ.png

In addition, units are creeping their way into the game, but not just yet in a state we would like to show. Patience, Lords, patience. I know, it is a virtue, but i suppose we all have to suffer now and again.

Woudo
November 21st, 2017, 20:05
Looks way too good to be honest. A treasury of those would surely cause framedrops.

DBlac
November 21st, 2017, 20:52
You'd be surprised. It's done in a very specific way that makes it much lighter than youd imagine. It was being developed on a rinkey-dink PC that can barely run anything, and yet this had absolutely no effect on the framerate. However -if- such an issue pops up, its very easy to have an option in the graphics menu that simply turns these off.

mishko
November 22nd, 2017, 03:16
Looks good. It would be cool if you did a twinkling effect like how dk1 did treasure.

DBlac
November 22nd, 2017, 14:49
We already have that, cant you see the twinkles in the screenshots?

Metal Gear Rex
November 22nd, 2017, 14:55
We already have that, cant you see the twinkles in the screenshots?

Increase frequency and size of the twinkles to 10000% of their current values.

DBlac
November 22nd, 2017, 17:59
"GOOD GOD SIR, IM GIVIN'ÉR ALL SHE'S GOT! SHE CANT TAKE IT ANYMORE!"

DBlac
December 12th, 2017, 09:27
And so slowly comes the Goblin, to steal all your Christmass cheer. And very possibly kill you dead.

https://i.imgur.com/rz2VX7e.png
https://i.imgur.com/VyBLJvY.jpg

Lquiz
December 12th, 2017, 13:52
Damn, looks awesome! That's the bluto work that blew this forum away during IKSLM's days!

How difficult is it to animate something like that? The ears look very flappable.

Hapuga
December 12th, 2017, 19:32
Nasty fella. Cant wait to rush someone wit a ton of these lil bastards. Losing 75% of them in the process :D

DBlac
December 12th, 2017, 20:22
Damn, looks awesome! That's the bluto work that blew this forum away during IKSLM's days!

How difficult is it to animate something like that? The ears look very flappable.

Haha, glad you like it, ill pass it along! And well, animating anything is a difficult and time consuming process but we're trying to do the best we can at the moment. We use mocap recordings to get the timing correct, but because of its poor quality its not useful for much else so all the animations must be done by hand. The ears will likely be physically simulated either in engine or during animation and baked into the animation itself.



Nasty fella. Cant wait to rush someone wit a ton of these lil bastards. Losing 75% of them in the process :D

Hahah, well thats the idea! Ofcourse... there are ways to lose less... and also to lose more :D Cant wait to see what people do honestly!

DBlac
April 30th, 2018, 17:08
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZcW8qWFNQA&t=1s

Hello again, my Lords! The silence shatters at last!

Today we bring you a video of Goblins, of all things, who would've thunk! However, these Goblins are in fact now capable of not just following commands but have a diverse host of tasks, idle behavior and needs now built into them, which means that they will differentiate between them all and choose to do them when appropriate! We've been working on this stuff for quite some time now and given AI is one of the most complex tasks to handle, i think we're at a relatively decent place at this point, but of course plenty more to build! We even went so far as to establish a queuing function, allowing creatures to wait their turn for certain things, although this will in the end be applied to precious few things, but none the less important, such as taking food from the Kitchen.

Now units have two basic needs, Food and Sleep, and when they get to a certain threshold of them and left alone, they will seek to solve the problem as best they can, with what you've provided. In addition however, we've also introduced Happiness and it's current function is to make creature utterly ignore any commands you give it directly, in favor of its own needs. Happiness will degrade when a creature's needs are very low over a period of time, and increase when they are high. Later down the line there will be other things that modify Happiness, like certain creature specific activities such as Reading or Guarding, Tinkering etc. Treat your creatures well and they will be a worthy army, treat them poorly and the army will collapse into chaos!

Now, as you see in the video we've also added some basic animations, some of which with issues we are currently addressing and will fix before the Early demo, but we are never the less quite happy with things finally looking like they're properly interacting with the world! Much more will follow of course, but for now basics will do, functionality takes precedent at this point after all.

We have been working on some other things in the meantime, a few top secret models and so on, but most importantly we are nearly ready to unveil our site! It is practically finished, but still requires SSL, which we're currently in the process of securing. As soon as that is up though, the site will go LIVE and we will even have our own forums for everyone! We will of course still maintain updates here for those that prefer it, but we will be very glad to see our community finally have a hub on it's own, so we urge you to join in if you are interested!

As for going forward, well, right now we're smoothing some things out in the recently built systems, but very soon, due to all this work, we will be adding the workers back in with an improved AI! Finally, it's going to start looking like an actual game, eh? Hah! But soon after we're planning to reintroduce combat so things will look quite rounded up and then we just have to do some polishing of existing systems, UI updates and some tweaks and additions here and there. We can't be certain how long this will all take, but we're really hoping for something along the lines of two months, at which time we will put out the Early Demo, at long last! Boy my panties are all in a bunch for that, lemme tell ya! Can't wait to get even a basic and highly limited version of this in your hands and see what everyone thinks!

So thats it for the time being, we will continue working hard and try our best to keep people posted and maybe even entertained, if we can, haha! I hope you enjoyed today's update and we're looking forward to hearing what you think!