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mishko
November 10th, 2017, 23:16
Hello fellow keepers! I have a list of ideas I would like to throw out there for your game since I've been thinking about what I would do if I made a game like this for awhile


Death Animations!: There should be unique death animations in certain cases where death is guaranteed through some kind of trap or ability or if it is possible to execute prisoners. The only somewhat example of death animation in DK games is in DK1 where some creatures had a "dying" animation and blood would spurt out. DK2 and WFTO didn't have that at all. But I want to see it go a step further and see unique ways creatures can die like being beheaded and see their mangled corpse lying on the ground.
Balance the maintenance of creature based on usefulness/power: You don't need every creature to be similar in usefulness. In DK1 you had more powerful creatures but you had to know how to manage them better and they required more maintenance. I want to see something similar to that but better where there is way cooler more powerful creatures you can eventually summon but have a big downside or have to be uniquely maintained in several ways. For example: say your werewolf is super powerful in werewolf form but has the downside of being a frail man part of the time and in werewolf form goes out of its way to try and kill your vampires if left with nothing else to do.
Think carefully about unique creature traits: First lets look back at DK1 again. Your bile demon was big so it ate a lot, was heavy so wind spell didn't push it, made gas so gas didn't affect it. Bile demon hated skeleton for being so skinny and vice versa. To give creatures true personality and detail you need to think about all possible physical traits and lore about them and think of ways to add more uses and downsides for them based on those traits outside of their job in the dungeon.

mishko
November 12th, 2017, 05:07
Sorry I probably didn't need to start a new thread I could've just stated these on the development thread.

DBlac
November 12th, 2017, 10:44
Hey mishko, a suggestions thread is fine though i wouldve called it that to invite others to do so, although suggestions at this stage are kind of hard to make useful given the limited information you guys have to think on. Onto your suggestions.

Those death animations are a given. Firstly, creatures have their own actual animation for dying in regular cases and when they reach a certain point in it they ragdoll. Secondly, traps adding certain animations is highly likely, tho we will have to see how that goes exactly. Remember that we have 16 creatures and 15 heroes, it might be hard and very lenghty to animate all the combinations those (atleast the creatures due to their diversity) would create. But we will see what can be done there. Additionally, i want to have sync kills in the game, activating as a deathblow is delivered if certain conditions are met.

The balance will naturally be heavily tuned in those regards. We do not at this point plan on having a Payday (i always despise the mechanic when games use it, it stops your entire dungeon from functioning untill everyone drags their asses over to the treasury and back), so instead the primary way creatures will introduce maintenance costs to you is through the fact that every time they eat, it costs gold. Obviously creatures like trolls might take a longass time eating and their food might cost more. Ive been thinking about making the vampire partial to drinking the blood of heroes and while he might do that on the field if he kills something, i was thinking about the possibility of having to feed it prisoners, but WftO did that and it practice it turned out to be an awful, babysitting mechanic that made their vampires vastly undesirable, last time i played. So that bit is prolly not gonna be quite like that, but still different creatures will have their own characters as far as we can carry it with the mechanics and obviously budget, once we.. actually have one, lol.

Creatures outright hating each other turned more into irritating micro management in DK1, mostly due to the fact youd constantly have to pay attention to break up fights. I remember having skeletons in a lair on the other side of the dungeon from the bile demon's lair and for some reason i would still get fights happening between them every 3 minutes which was irritating as hell. Creatures will absolutely have character and interaction with each other and the world though, we will make sure of that, but i doubt it will be as severe as outright fighting each other. After all, are you a Dark Lord or a kindergarten teacher? Your troops should know to stay in line to a certain degree, atleast the non-demonic ones. Particularly the um... "big guy" might be hard to maintain in a similiar way that Horned Reapers were, although again, not -THAT- horrid, you couldnt leave that fucker alone with anything for 3 seconds.

That said in DK2 the creature relationships were boring and only affected evil creatures vs heroes and just with a stat drain and complaining, accompanied with messages. So.. not that, no thanks. In our case it will be stuff like creatures not liking to share a Lair with the Undead and so on.

YourMaster
November 12th, 2017, 17:14
I don't care if we get lair-rivalries back or not, but you must have done something wrong to still get your creatures fighting. Creatures will only fight if they are sleeping in their lair and a creature they hate will walk through that room. So if you make sure there's only ever 1 way into a lair room and enough lair space so that the creatures can choose not to make the beds in rooms of creatures they hate you'll never have fights. An exception to this is flies, they will go and explore all rooms and fly into the lairs with spiders so flies automatically disappear when the map is explored.

As such it is not a micro-mechanic, but it brings dept to the dungeon building, as it gives more requirements to consider when building and planning your dungeon. The same goes for the payday. An efficient dungeon makes sure lair fights don't break out, creatures don't get shot in the library and creatures working and training are right next to hatcheries and treasure rooms so that you don't have down time in working/training.

EDIT: Another possibility is you were getting scavenged. Creatures that are being scavenged by the enemy will start to wonder around before they leave your dungeon, also causing lair-fights. This forces you to defend against scavenging by using enough creatures in the temple. This offsets the costs of scavenging.

Metal Gear Rex
November 13th, 2017, 00:14
I do have to half agree on the thing with Lair Enemies. It shouldn't ever be a problem. But then, sometimes the creatures go full retard and it gets annoying. Like it shouldn't matter really. It becomes an issue when the AI is dumb really.

I do agree about the idea of having more to bring to dungeon building but I would also say that Lair enemies specifically was really irrelevant. It didn't feel nearly as impactful a decision to make, compared to figuring out Hatchery placement for example.

YourMaster
November 13th, 2017, 00:26
Hatchery placement is key. But it does have some effect. Without lair enemies I'd always simply build a 5x5 lair straight next to the dungeon hearth and continue from there. I would also always have 4 exits on every lair room as it are fine hubs.
But with the lair enemies you're encouraged to build lairs out of the way, in quiet areas and have more smaller lairs.

It's just a small thing, but there really isn't much dept in dungeon design in these games to begin with, so I take what I can get.

mishko
November 13th, 2017, 01:37
Hey mishko, a suggestions thread is fine though i wouldve called it that to invite others to do so, although suggestions at this stage are kind of hard to make useful given the limited information you guys have to think on. Onto your suggestions.

Those death animations are a given. Firstly, creatures have their own actual animation for dying in regular cases and when they reach a certain point in it they ragdoll. Secondly, traps adding certain animations is highly likely, tho we will have to see how that goes exactly. Remember that we have 16 creatures and 15 heroes, it might be hard and very lenghty to animate all the combinations those (atleast the creatures due to their diversity) would create. But we will see what can be done there. Additionally, i want to have sync kills in the game, activating as a deathblow is delivered if certain conditions are met.

The balance will naturally be heavily tuned in those regards. We do not at this point plan on having a Payday (i always despise the mechanic when games use it, it stops your entire dungeon from functioning untill everyone drags their asses over to the treasury and back), so instead the primary way creatures will introduce maintenance costs to you is through the fact that every time they eat, it costs gold. Obviously creatures like trolls might take a longass time eating and their food might cost more. Ive been thinking about making the vampire partial to drinking the blood of heroes and while he might do that on the field if he kills something, i was thinking about the possibility of having to feed it prisoners, but WftO did that and it practice it turned out to be an awful, babysitting mechanic that made their vampires vastly undesirable, last time i played. So that bit is prolly not gonna be quite like that, but still different creatures will have their own characters as far as we can carry it with the mechanics and obviously budget, once we.. actually have one, lol.

Creatures outright hating each other turned more into irritating micro management in DK1, mostly due to the fact youd constantly have to pay attention to break up fights. I remember having skeletons in a lair on the other side of the dungeon from the bile demon's lair and for some reason i would still get fights happening between them every 3 minutes which was irritating as hell. Creatures will absolutely have character and interaction with each other and the world though, we will make sure of that, but i doubt it will be as severe as outright fighting each other. After all, are you a Dark Lord or a kindergarten teacher? Your troops should know to stay in line to a certain degree, atleast the non-demonic ones. Particularly the um... "big guy" might be hard to maintain in a similiar way that Horned Reapers were, although again, not -THAT- horrid, you couldnt leave that fucker alone with anything for 3 seconds.

That said in DK2 the creature relationships were boring and only affected evil creatures vs heroes and just with a stat drain and complaining, accompanied with messages. So.. not that, no thanks. In our case it will be stuff like creatures not liking to share a Lair with the Undead and so on.

Thanks for the response. Your stance on death animations already sounds a lot more interesting than wfto. I hope some of them are over-exaggerated and with blood spurting :horny: I understand creatures attacking each other got annoying but I was just using that as an example as I at least want ways you have to think about how you want to lay out your dungeon and manage it. Also are we not going to be able to slap creatures to work faster or pick them up since you aren't exactly a dark figureless god anymore?

Woudo
November 13th, 2017, 02:37
Without lair enemies I'd always simply build a 5x5 lair straight next to the dungeon hearth and continue from there. I would also always have 4 exits on every lair room as it are fine hubs.

Wrong. Bad Mark, smack you on head.

Putting a Lair next to the Dungeon Heart stops you from resting your creatures while the heart takes damage, as the creatures will immediately stop healing to go fight.

Metal Gear Rex
November 13th, 2017, 07:48
Hatchery placement is key. But it does have some effect. Without lair enemies I'd always simply build a 5x5 lair straight next to the dungeon hearth and continue from there. I would also always have 4 exits on every lair room as it are fine hubs.
But with the lair enemies you're encouraged to build lairs out of the way, in quiet areas and have more smaller lairs.

It's just a small thing, but there really isn't much dept in dungeon design in these games to begin with, so I take what I can get.

In addition to what Woudo said about the Lair already requiring some strategic placement for healing, there's a lot of ways to incorporate additional strategical elements.

Personally I'd like for a mix of some of the more obvious but also subtle effects for rooms like the Lair. For example, activity in the Lair could wake creatures up, lower their mood a bit, and cause a bit of delay before they go back to sleep, slowing down the whole process. Subtle elements could be surroundings that relax creatures more, resulting in them falling asleep faster / sleeping better / having better mood recovery. A Warlock might like having pure quiet so they would hate being surrounded by rooms like the Workshop, Training Room, or Hatchery. Meanwhile a Troll might like the noise, especially from the Workshop, as they're less fighters so the Workshop is a place of peace for them even though other creatures would differ. Tentacles liking water, Dragons liking lava, etc.

It would have to strike a fine balance in its effect so that it's small enough to not essentially force the player into building their dungeon a certain way so it leaves the sense of freedom, but matters enough so the player that can take these things into consideration is rewarded.

One of the problems with mechanics like Lair Enemies and the default Hatchery is that it's relatively the same in how you build it, in almost every map. In my most recent DK2 maps I tried to remedy this by designing the levels with limited or awkward spacing to put more pressure on the player to build the dungeon differently, and while that's interesting and produces unique dungeons, it does get tiring after a while and sometimes a player is going to just want to build a dungeon.

Ideally, there would have to be something within the core game to create some sort of variance or need to create variance, and more specific and conflicting creature needs is one way to do that. Making creatures complex and having it so it's *almost* impossible or just really difficult to fully satisfy a creature, but also making it so you never *need* to is also a way to further that idea, and also reflect on player preferences more. Dungeon design will vary more based on what creature needs / terrain considerations are prioritized, based on the player. Provided players aren't doing anything really wrong, there's much less of a 'right' way to do things. Assuming it's all properly balanced of course.

DBlac
November 13th, 2017, 10:38
Right sorry guys i wrote a reply last night but i accidentally didnt post it and it got lost, it was so late that i couldnt bother trying again, but here it is now.

@YourMarkster You know, it may have been that they wandered through for training, altho i usually dont put my training room beyond a lair. I like to have central hallways and rooms to their sides so i doubt that was the case, however if it was the game could've bothered to even hint a little as to what the reason is. I mean up until you just said it i didn't know it was just because they walked through it, i thought it was because they share the same lair. Would it have killed them to write a vague line suggesting creatures dont like certain others from walking near their lairs? They said keep flies and spiders apart sure but like... that could mean keep them in separate lairs or whatever. Now that i know how it works and its effect i am curious about implementing something similar, but ill get to that when im replying to Rex's thing.

@mishko Well, naturally there will be blood in the game, but spurting and such would probably only happen if we have an execution that dismembers in some way. And no, you cannot pick up or slap creatures, remember, this is not Dungeon Keeper nor is it trying to be, it is merely inspired by it.

@Rex, i was thinking about exactly those sorts of things last night and you know what? Weve already set up the framework for it and have been planning things similar to it. You see, we use influence maps and so we will be able to tell what's going on in areas, as well as actually store that information. So we can make it that traffic through lairs wakes creatures up, slows their healing or makes them unhappy, if it is traffic that is not from creatures going to bed. As well as being able to track exactly what has been through there, so again, the whole creatures not liking being near undead would be a thing. The same could be true of the library, research could be slowed down or interrupted if the wrong kind of traffic goes through. And also we can use these maps to track "noise" from neighboring rooms, and determine whether creatures enjoy sleeping near them or not. Certain rooms like the library or sanctum near the lair may even provide a calming effect to creatures sleeping nearby, increasing their healing.

As for the "not building the same rooms over and over again" well theres precious few things-REALLY- preventing people from doing that, we will do our best of course but there will always be those people who try to do the same thing as it is easiest. However given how our dungeon construction works, i think players will actually innately end up building more uniquely. Since you are the one who places objects, like in Evil Genius, designs are not limited to "Square or die". HOWEVER, even in Evil Genius i often ended up remaking the room designs i had created and was very happy with, so you know, That said, you only have 2 levels to build in Evil Genius so its hard to tell.

YourMaster
November 13th, 2017, 11:19
This is exactly the reason why I said I didn't care if I get lair enemies back or not, but felt it important to mention it is not a micro-mechanic but a mechanic that causes (a tiny bit) of dungeon construction complexity. I'm perfectly happy with alternatives.

And yes, dungeon keeper has quite a few mechanics that are not obvious to players. Some of them are mentioned in one of the millions of messages that show up, but that hardly helps of course. Such mechanics are always nice if they can be discovered by the player, and angry researchers and lair-enemies to some extend are. If fights break out they can follow the creatures and easily find out why. First they learn they should have separate lairs and should not send in bad researchers along with their warlocks, and after that if you notice you still have some but fewer issues you can observe your rooms to see what happens and you'll find out that traffic through the room causes those issues. The player can now think for himself to decide that another dungeon layout will help with these issues, or using different creatures, and he does not need to get the solution spoiled.

Having alternatives for traffic is difficult, as you want to make it obvious there is a problem and how to quantify it. You don't want something like the DK room efficiency, where I believe over 90% of players have no idea what their room effectiveness is, why it is not 100%, and that a 50% efficient room really slows down training/work/storage by 50%. When you look at the tiny room flag, those 3 little bars communicate very little unless you really know what to look for. This went so far as that even the WftO developers did not now it existed or that why such a system is crucial to have and they released their game in a state where the optimal dungeon had no walls at all and all rooms build right up against each other.
So if traffic has a detrimental effect, think of a way for the player to discover this. Say what you want, but in DK the creatures starting fights or shooting at each other is at least a very clear tell that something's up.

DBlac
November 13th, 2017, 11:55
Oh yeah, it will be hinted at by the Overseer to begin with and there will be messages if things are getting upset, as well as animations for some things probably. Im actually heavily amused by the idea of a warlock turning from his giant tome in an annoyed fashion and zapping an annoying creature with his lightning. That could actually work well haha. But yeah, theyre interesting mechanics and i will make sure to create and balance as much as possible as well as make it clear to players why things are happening hopefullu without any handholding

YourMaster
November 13th, 2017, 15:05
That's exactly why they did that in the original games 2 decades ago.

And when at all possible, when you can find ways to make stuff obvious without requiring messages that would always be better of course.

mishko
November 14th, 2017, 00:09
Another thing I want to mention is that I found the voice acting and writing in wfto hard to listen to. I feel bad for saying it since they hired Richard Ridings and all but I just did not like it it was annoying. Do you plan to have voice acting? Also the creature noises and same quotes the creatures would say was way too frequent and annoying. The creatures should have more subtle noises they make when they are idle. I personally think it would be cool to have little speech bubbles for conversing creatures and thought bubbles when they are roaming your dungeon. Like you hear a little "pop" and your werewolf has a little thought bubble that reads "Need Flesh..." or a succubus thinking "These men are boring...". I know you don't have a succubus I'm just using it as an example.

Metal Gear Rex
November 14th, 2017, 05:10
Another thing I want to mention is that I found the voice acting and writing in wfto hard to listen to. I feel bad for saying it since they hired Richard Ridings and all but I just did not like it it was annoying. Do you plan to have voice acting? Also the creature noises and same quotes the creatures would say was way too frequent and annoying. The creatures should have more subtle noises they make when they are idle.

Well the thing about WftO is that it's just straight up bad about aspects like this. There's a sheer lack of creativity in all of WftO, so any characterization is done via really bad one-liners and part of the reason why there's so much frequency in use is to make it feel like there's more substance / life to the game than there actually is. It was actually a lot worse with the frequent voice clips when it came out, but it's still much more frequent than DK2.

I wouldn't worry about it at all. WftO is just really bad in so many ways, and that's why there's many things like this that are wrong with it. Like even DK2 got this stuff right.


I personally think it would be cool to have little speech bubbles for conversing creatures and thought bubbles when they are roaming your dungeon. Like you hear a little "pop" and your werewolf has a little thought bubble that reads "Need Flesh..." or a succubus thinking "These men are boring...". I know you don't have a succubus I'm just using it as an example.

I'd argue that's a downgrade. A pop up speech bubble requiring reading would be very distracting and get in the way, while also requiring the player to deviate focus away from whatever they're doing in order to read the text. As annoying as WftO speech is, you can hear it in the background while you do other things while for text you have to focus on it more to read it properly, and even if you don't want to read it, the pop up bubble would get in the way. In either case, creatures I presume would be fairly mobile, so reading the text / ignoring an actively moving speech bubble would become more difficult. This is all assuming that the speech bubbles don't appear excessively, even.


This went so far as that even the WftO developers did not now it existed or that why such a system is crucial to have and they released their game in a state where the optimal dungeon had no walls at all and all rooms build right up against each other.

Minor correction since it's totally and crucially important. WftO devs should have known about the efficiency system in DK1, but it wouldn't surprise me if they didn't. It was a topic of discussion, at least when I was on the team, but then so was the balance between offensive / defensive players and WftO sure screwed that up. For whatever reason, Josh referred to DK2's way of having room efficiency with wall furniture but it was too hard for him to balance so that's why they trashed it and walls are pointless.

mishko
November 14th, 2017, 11:03
I wasn't talking about the thought bubbles being the method of showing their needs I just meant as an occassional thing that pops up that shows you what is on their mind at the moment every once in awhile. I didnt mean it in a way where they are constantly popping up and in the way

DBlac
November 14th, 2017, 11:40
Ok soo, yes, we will have voice acting, but out of cinematics it will only be the Overseer saying things with messages and story related stuff, and sometimes other characters when the story/script calls for it, but no idle chatter from creatures. I actually have to say i found the WftO chatter very distracting and unpleasant, at least if it was some gibberish language you wouldnt hone in on it, but the fact that it is sometimes audiable english just completely breaks things for me and i have to force myself to ignore it. No our creatures will indeed just have some noise clips etc, far more subtle like you said. As for displaying their thoughts, if we do that at all, it will probably be the DK2 way where their level icon flashes between the level and their predominant thought at the point for a short time. This will obviously be food, sleep, training etc.

As for Wall efficiency, i do want to have that, but there will be varying degrees of how visible it is. First of all, if everything is encased by thick walls (those that have a solid tile behind them) and doors, the efficiency will be maxed, but the border walls as we call them, or the thin ones, they will slightly decrease efficiency. This -will- be a relatively slight change though, as it will be harder to see than the other bit (mostly through tooltips if you rest your mouse on the room. The other, more overt and more natural way room efficiency (not the stat but the REAL efficiency) will be affected by walls is that some rooms, like the treasury and library, require thick walls to spawn what i suppose you could call wall props, but not quite. Basically our treasury does not function like in DK where workers just dump gold on the floor. Rather they have to do so on designated "props" you place, such as the Hoard, or the Chest, but more importantly, if a treasury has thick walls it spawns Alcoves naturally, which you do not need to build and workers can deposit gold in without the pressing need for you to build hoards or chests. Things like that happen in a few other rooms as well.

Endrix
December 9th, 2017, 12:54
Don´t forget giant insects or/and arachnids ;)

DBlac
December 9th, 2017, 17:24
Don´t forget giant insects or/and arachnids ;)

That has been discussed previously in a different thread. In short, those types of things will be beasts you encounter and some of them may be tamable. Tamed beasts will serve more or less as a form of guard dog as you will be able to exert nearly no control over them.

damedog
January 22nd, 2018, 14:26
I have a few suggestions maybe you can think over as you continue developing:

- 1st person possession. I know this would be a lot of work to implement, but imo it's one of the best features of the game. Possession runs where I try to fight most battles through grouping, exploring, and battling in 1st person rather than top down control of all units kept the game interesting and fresh for me for many years.

- How do the creatures interact with rooms/each other? It doesn't have to be anything major or affect gameplay, even small things can add a lot to a creatures personality.

- Keep the level system, learned abilities, and other pseudo RPG mechanics. But I doubt you would change that :)

DBlac
January 22nd, 2018, 14:52
I have a few suggestions maybe you can think over as you continue developing:

- 1st person possession. I know this would be a lot of work to implement, but imo it's one of the best features of the game. Possession runs where I try to fight most battles through grouping, exploring, and battling in 1st person rather than top down control of all units kept the game interesting and fresh for me for many years.

- How do the creatures interact with rooms/each other? It doesn't have to be anything major or affect gameplay, even small things can add a lot to a creatures personality.

- Keep the level system, learned abilities, and other pseudo RPG mechanics. But I doubt you would change that :)

Hey DD, first of all, Possession is an extremely difficult thing to add especially considering the different framework of our game and engine vs what DK was built on. With us possession would essentially equate to building an entirely new game in code, maybe even certain assets like animations, sound etc, depending on various thing. Furthermore given our game is closer to an RTS by allowing you direct control over creatures, Possession will likely be a bit of a balancing issue at the very least, if it doesnt mess with the core systems in general. Ultimately we also want possession or something like it at the very least, but it has the potential of entirely killing our project unless we have copious amounts of time and funding to spend on figuring it out. If we do find ourselves in a good place as development on the main game progresses, we will further consider how to implement it or a feature similar to it though.

Theres plenty of creature interaction with environments or other characters planned, all that is needed is the time to create and implement it but it will come eventually! Things like minions reading books to entertain themselves even if there is no research active, certain creatures mocking prisoners etc.

Naturally, we still keep the lvl 1-10 and ability unlock systems, we think they are integral to this type of game!

damedog
January 22nd, 2018, 16:33
I completely understand your points about how much time and energy it would take to implement first person mode, I do realize it's asking for almost an entirely new game. And I also realize that for the good of the project this would be, and should be, one of the first things cut so that the rest of the game systems can come out polished, workable, and fun. But, maybe way later down the road, when the game is completed, keep it in mind for a potential update maybe ;)

thanks for listening!

DBlac
January 22nd, 2018, 21:13
We're certainly keeping it in mind already, no worries :)