New Features and Suggestions

I’m first going to start with a list of items that will be added to the next released. This version will go into test in the next few days.

1. Tweaks to the swiping/moving on the small devices. iPhone/Touch etc…
2. Visual indicator that the screen has been pressed for looking/movement has been added.
3. Discovery Map display has been sped up when large portions of the map have been visited.
4. Accuracy of the Discovery map has been tweaked. Lords and Names of places no longer appear just because they are on the map. You have to have looked at them. ( from new gameplay only )
5. Horses, Dragons, Skulkrin, Trolls, and Wolves are now recorded on Discovery Map if you have looked at them. ( from new gameplay only )
6. Filter to turn off item 5!
7. Undo option added. You can perform a single undo of your last command.
8. Undo to dawn has been added for the first day.
9. Night button added to the Select screen.
10. View icon changed to Look – sorry being pedantic!
11. Pressing the choose icon when the choose options is visible, now closes the choose window.
12. Slightly not hitting a choose icon, no longer closes the window.
13. Removed left over AI difficulty code that would have Doomdark generating new armies that track down Morkin, Luxor, or head to Xajorkith.
14. Progress bar added to splash screen for loading assets.
15. Fixed downs map terrain not showing correctly over multiple locations.
16. Removed approach icon from think screen when lord cannot be recruited.

If you have any suggestions for features that you would like to see added in future versions, or changes that you think would make the game better or more accessible, then please leave a comment here…

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61 thoughts on “New Features and Suggestions

  1. I’d like to see a better system for saving / loading incomplete games – it may just be me but I can’t quite get the hang of the current implementation. Ability to name them would be useful rather than the current colour coding system (if I’ve understood it correctly).

    very much enjoying playing it though!

    • I’d really appreciate a message log. Not for everything but certainly for the rumours and news picked up from ruins and towers.

      Even better if they could be crossed off when the relevant lords or characters are encountered.

  2. Falling Snow!!!

    Can we have the option to turn on / off the snow that you showed on a video recently. I apprichate that it was not on the original, but it looked really good.

    Thanks!

  3. Clean up your graffiti! This is not what the citizens of Midnight pay their Council Tax for!

  4. 1) difficulty level.. Normal is standard game, hard 50% more troops for doomdark, extreme = 100% more
    2) random ai tactics based on thinktank of players and how they think doomdark could win the war.. Ie a proper plans of attack
    3) pinch able discovery map ie zoom in and out

  5. I’m rather embarrassed to admit this but when I first got the game for my iPad I just went sightseeing and managed to get Luxor killed by a pack of wolves almost immediately. I went back to the select screen and thought I’d found a bug when only Morkin’s shield was visible.

    Anyway, might be a good idea to make the player aware of the consequences if Luxor or Morkin dies during the quest and how the game changes. For people new to the game you understand, I knew exactly what it meant, I was just tired or sick or something. πŸ˜‰

    I also think the save/load method could be improved. I do like the 8 (ZX) colors but I can imagine it may start to get confusing if you have several games saved. Maybe adding some info on the saves that pops up before you load it- when they were started, how many days have passed, that sort of thing.

  6. Hi Chris. Loving the game. Thank you once again for putting so much heart and soul into this … It clearly shows!

    Sme suggestions for improvements :
    – achievements table I.e. keeping score of how many lords recruited, keeps / citadels held, troops under your command, days taken to finish the game (quest vs wargame) etc. calculated at the end of the game.
    – zoom in / out on discovery map
    – ability to direct characters to move to specific locations I.e. move from Xajorkith to Dawn without having to give daily commands. Movement could be interrupted by encountering enemies / wolves etc
    – display numbers of warriors / riders led by each lord to their icons on the discovery map and the “select” screen I.e. as per Apple iOS interface when you can see number of unread emails in corner or email icon
    – ability to recruit lords when in combat
    – ability to group lords when hidden
    – a few more Easter Eggs! But not too many πŸ˜‰
    – definitely snow
    – agree with suggestion to play as Doomdark and have different difficulty leve s
    – allow players to create, save and share scenarios I.e. able to pre-place lords, armies etc in different places to create different games within the same engine
    – map / terrain editor?
    – explain combat multipliers from fatigue / boldness / terrain features I.e. how much will defending citadel add to defensive power?
    – recommended playlists for listening to whilst playing LOM

    Hope these didn’t sound too crazy and I don’t spark any negative responses about spoiling the original!! Anything that adds to playing life of the game is good I think.

    Best regards

    Richard

  7. I would love to see atmospheric sound effects effects to the game-howling wolves, roaring dragons, village chatter etc. And the option to turn it off of course.

  8. There are some great suggestions here that would change the game away from the original – but that’s fine so long it’s easy to he original ‘classic’ at any time.
    I would add, I like to see an option where it runs in original 8bit graphics (spy vs spy has good implementation of this option) – the current graphics are brilliantly done but I guess am clinging on to nostalgia!

    An auto unhide option ie you can move without having to unhide first (always found that annoying on the spectrum version)

    I realise this will only add cost for you but as mention sound effects could add to the at atmosphere. Eg battles, the crunching sound when walking on snow, wind – perhaps these sorts of effects get more common/louder/complex the further north you go?

    The snow animation is cool as well πŸ™‚

    • The problem with the old graphics is how blocky they are, just look at the you tube video online of the early demo. But, if I can get the size of the graphics down, or make them downloadable, I will look at it as an option.

      • I think that, if a player chooses to play with the old graphics to reproduce the original experience, he/she doesn’t mind their blockiness — much the opposite. πŸ™‚

  9. I haven’t got the iOS version, just the android test app you put up. But…

    …Is there anyway you could make the hit-box for pressing the shield to go to the ‘think’ screen, more shield shaped? I quite often accidentally hit it when I wanted to pan right, as at the moment it’s a rectangular box surrounding the whole shield.

    • I think there would be a problem making the collision boxes smaller for the icons on devices with smaller screens (an iPhone 4’s tiny screen for instance). However, accidental hits are always a problem on any interface.
      Maybe confining the movement collision boxes to a smaller portion of the screen (one that normally has no icons on it) would help, as missing the icon would just do nothing. Making the icons require a press and hold rather than a single tap to activate would also help accidental hits, but may make the interface feel sluggish or unresponsive if tuned too long.

    • I have moved the areas that acts as a move and left and right in the next version, hopefully it will result in less miss hits. Movement area is now from the bottom of the shield up, and from the left of it.

  10. My main suggestion is what I already argued with BK on the other thread: an option for selecting the next lord with hours remaining, leaving the Select screen for when you want to select a specific lord. BK argued it should be some sort of swipe movement, while I think a button would be best (among other things, because swiping is already used for all 4 main directions). Maybe you could offer both as an option?

    Also, about “undo last command”: will it work, say, if you’ve just had your lord killed by wolves? If so, won’t it make all critters in the game trivial?

    • I’m thinking of two finger full screen swipe the drag on the next character… will see how it works.

      The undo last command is a compromise. But it is better than giving full save/load ability. I might make the undo cost time.
      The reason for the 1 undo is – the theory is, you wouldn’t move into a location with nasties on purpose, it is likely to be misjudgement. The undo will move you out of the location. Should you fight, the undo will undo the fight, but you can’t then undo out of the location. The only way to kill the critters is to use gameplay to bring another lord to kill them.

      Moving forward, if I implement game achievements, then undo will have a negative affect…

      • The undo will move you out of the location. Should you fight, the undo will undo the fight, but you can’t then undo out of the location.

        Perfect! Thanks.

  11. Playing both iOS and PlayBook versions. Both are near perfect. However there is one thing that I would like to see and which I have mentioned before :

    Armies DDR / midnight/mu style (as an option). Ie always visible. I find an army of 5k hiding at a lith should really not disappear! πŸ˜€

    But I may be in a minority here.

    • Yes, Yes! You still whining on about that?! πŸ™‚

      I tried it out, but it never looked right. I could easily turn them on for certain terrain, liths being one of them, but they look wrong at citadels, keeps, mountains, and forests.

  12. Thanks so much for resurrecting the greatest c64 game I remember. I have really enjoyed playing it all week. I have only one gripe. It appears that doomdark’s armies are able to sense Morkin and intercept him far too easily. I don’t think that happened in the original. I did finally manage to melt the ice crown but had to escort him all the way from lorgrim surrounded by armies. Just tried it quickly a moment ago to test. I took him up via gloom and magically doomdark appeared with an army there just as I entered the citadel. In all previous goes I’ve taken him up east side to lorgrim and coincidentally doomdark has never once sent an army towards gloom at all. I’m sure doomdark is only supposed to sense The wearer of the moonring. As it is, I can’t see any way that the quest can be completed in the manner of the original. Random patrolling armies and unexpected garrisons would be good but they should not know Morkin is important at all.

    • As Dehumanizer says, there are 3 regiments that know all the time where Morkin is. The only goal is to hunt him down like a dog…!

      However, there is a bigger problem… I’ve just found some code that should have been removed. It was from when I was making the quest harder and tweaking the AI. The game will spawn new regiments and some of them have the same track down morkin goal!

      • Right! That explains why it’s day 168 in my game and Morkin and the fey lords are still being attacked by a steady stream of Doomdark forces (and the same problem for Luxor and the free in Xajorkith).

  13. According to Chris’ LOM site, there were always 3 armies following Morkin in the original, though that page also says they could be distracted (they moved to anything “interesting” they saw, and only if they saw nothing would they resume their original mission).

    My doubt is whether “following” means that they always know where the target is, at any time. I’m guessing they do, but only Chris can answer for certain.

      • Thanks for the reply. It’s interesting, the manual states that the disadvantage of the Moon Ring is that Doomdark can always know the location of its wielder, and that Morkin’s quest is not doable if he wears the ring after Luxor’s death. But we find out that, in fact, Doomdark always knows where Morkin and other characters are, ring or no ring. I’m guessing Mike implemented it this way to offset the fact that the Speccy didn’t allow for a very complex AI.

        A possibility might be, after the AI is improved in other ways (otherwise, the game might become too easy), for Doomdark’s knowledge of the world to actually work as the manual implies: he knows the whole map (citadels, keeps, lords’ starting positions, etc.), but doesn’t know where any character is, except for whoever’s wearing the Moon Ring.

  14. Still loving it!

    Just a few things you could consider as part of your AI for later updates of LOM:

    Would love to see Icelords in Midnight which would link nicely with the upcoming DR. Korkith, Graag, Ushgarak, Vorgath and Kor who all could have 2,400 each at their command. They could either hold positions and rally troops or would have specific targets other than the usual 3.

    Another possibility is a roaming dark wizard who starts off in the Tower of Doom but has similar abilities to Farflame and would be difficult to kill. They would look similar to Rorthron and Lorgrim but in black. Maybe have the ability to turn Lords into Icelords.

    The above two suggestions would also link nicely to playing as Doomdark instead of Luxor.

    As we’ve chatted before, a few more Lords would keep us searching, there are quite a few potential names already on the map and maybe throw in the odd giant, dwarf or barbarian. A secret exit through the Ice for example. We all love an Easter egg.

    Be careful with the use of respawning, this may sound a daft thing to say but for me it takes away some of the realism. I always like the idea of a finite army to deal with. The Icelords and Doomdark armies could always recruit from fallen keeps and citadels to increase numbers.

    Keep up the great work and apologies to all if I am repeating some suggestions already made.

    Ps Chris, don’t forget to create a brand new adventure in the Midnight universe! You could also recreate the Citadel game but with the same graphics as LOM and DR.

  15. Major thing missing is ability to save game at critical stages, keep playing but then be able to return back to that save point. Multiple games in progress isn’t the same especially when you wake up to find morkin was randomly killed last night and have to start all over again. Loving it though!

  16. Chris. I’ve said it before & I’ll say it again. The work you have done is excellent, & it was great to be able to introduce it to my 11 year old. She loves it too, & I’ve lost her for the past 2 days! “The wheel turns”! Great to hear her trying to pronounce some of the names, & she & I now chat in what my wife thinks is a foreign language! She wanted to know why there were no “Ladies” of Midnight? Idea for you? She has already decided that Shadows is a girl! I think he was never confused.
    My only plea, as someone who loved the original so much I would download Specy emulators just to keep playing it, is don’t tinker too much for the sake of it, & keep any new features optional. That said; I have always fancied having a go as Doomdark, as I always battered him on the Specy version! Your AI “issue” has levelled the playing field somewhat! Cheers.

  17. Definitely needs tweaked I think. I just played a game where I put all the lords in xajorkith to soak up all the attacks then finally came north with luxors army of The Lord marshals and thimraths army of fey leaving minor lords behind as garrison. Swept through Kor and despair without a problem then thought I’d pop over to lorgrim and see if I could clear the Morkin seeking troops. Ran into an army of 42000 troops and a second possibly as big was lurking nearby just waiting to find a way to get at Morkin. Needless to say, Doomdark pulled off a surprise change of fortunes this Solstice. Still loving having the game though!!

  18. Now the game is available globally, you may want to look into tweaking the code to support multiple languages, rather than just English. Maybe something to think about for the DDR engine down the line.
    One of the charms of LOM is the way it uses text to convey information rather than numbers/stats. However I suspect this will work against it in non-English speaking regions of the world.
    Got to convert the unconverted! πŸ˜‰

    • Absolutely. I just need people to do the translation… most of the text is separate. And I have a class for some of the more intricate text building that can be replaced per language. We did it for spanish once with TME… however there is a little text that crept back in the last 6 weeks that needs to be placed correctly! πŸ™‚

  19. Hi chris , Thankyou for LOM ,brings back so many memories.a couple of points
    1 Auto unhide great idea
    2 Harder differculty levels would be great, i know there is already an issue but to be honest i can still beat doomdark with the left in code.
    3 Please bring back DDR ,and jumping the gun .if there is one person who could finish Mikes work, it would be you and finally write Eye of The Moon, to complete his trilogy.would love to see how it all ends.
    Once again Thankyou.

    • About Eye of the Moon, while the idea of designing a completely new sequel may sound scary, an idea I find intriguing is this: the game was originally intended to be a ZX Spectrum game, if I remember correctly. Therefore, you can go with that: an HD, modern version of an original that never existed, but that we can imagine / extrapolate from Mike’s original intentions, and that wouldn’t be more different from Doomdark than Doomdark was from LOM.

      I think this is a much more approachable project than, say, something huge, with hundreds of megabytes of content, real-time, almost unrecognizable, and so on (like LOM: The Citadel).

      • I would agree with the possibility of the EotM but I also think The Citadel could also be shoehorned into the same shiny new LOM graphic engine, providing the copyright etc will allow. The story is there as are all the character, place names etc
        I also think Chris is more than capable of producing his own adventure, with ideas taken from the community if necessary.
        As I’ve said to Chris in the past the idea of searching a whole new land looking for Lords is utterly enticing. The buzz I got from discovering the Lord of Midwinter was as close to taking me back to 1984/85 as I have had.
        It is very difficult to recreate those warm feelings you had as a child playing those games in the Golden Age of computers but I really think IOS LOM has been successful at doing this.
        What Chris (and Mike) have done with the new engine is nothing short of astonishing and has opened a whole new world of possibilities.
        We need to encourage Chris as much as possible! Let’s hope this is only a start of things to come.

        • There are a couple of issues come into play here. Firstly Mike and I were always going to do LOM, DDR, CIT, and EOTM with iterations of this engine. It was going to be a trilogy in 4 parts all titled
          Lords of Midnight: War of the Solstice
          Lords of Midnight: Doomdark’s Revenge
          You get the picture…

          Without Mike, I could safely do the first 3. And obviously the intention is to do the first 2. After Revenge, I might need to take a break and do something else before coming back to it.

          Citadel is less of a stretch than Eye because we have a map and characters and story, it just needs a little work to bring it all together.

          With Eye I have pages of Mike’s designs and notes etc, but making a game would really be about me adding a lot of interpretation.

          Another option is Campaigns that can be downloaded. They might be completely new maps, or old maps altered with alterations to characters etc… or the could be scenarios were a setup has been created and you need to complete it. eg. Blood has fallen, you have these lords with these armies in these locations. Doomdark has xzy, you must recapture Blood… go!

          Then there is a final option, where I make the engine and editor available. And either new games can be created or the current ones have the ability to download new user generated content.

          But, I’ve been trying to release a version of Doomdark’s Revenge for the last 10 years… I must complete that task before I think too far ahead! πŸ™‚

          • Chris,

            I love all these ideas but I also appreciate the time constraints, especially when you have a full time job and also a family. What would be a real shame is if these fantastic plans fell by the way side in much the same way as EotM did.

            I couldn’t get in to The Citadel so I’m especially excited about this being a possibility.

            Keep up the great work and my 42nd birthday is on March 4th so DR would be a perfect birthday present! πŸ™‚

  20. i would personally welcome EOTM over a new version of the Citadel ,i still haven’t lost my wonder of , where the story was going , what new exciting things or challenges would lie ahead.i would personally love for you chris to share some of the thoughts and ideas Mike had for the final instalment , maybe comments or thoughts by the Midnight community could sway or help you . if you decide to give this epic trilogy the end , Mike had penned.

  21. How about the Fey being able to recruit warriors/riders from villages in forests? That would give some of the minor Lords more prominence such as Korinel and Lothoril. The villages become Fey equivalent of Keeps.

    • Hey Guys,

      I don’t necessarily disagree with anything being said, but keep in mind that the Fey are to Lords of Midnight what the Elves are to The Lord of the Rings world of Tolkien. They are better fighters, but they are also fewer in number and just at the elves don’t reproduce in great numbers, the Fey don’t recruit very well either!

      So we have to protect our Fey troops from being killed. We have to pick and choose the battles for such a valuable and ltd resource.

      It shouldn’t become too easy to gather extra troops, but maybe there is some wiggle room to make things a little better.

      While on the subject of change. I would like to suggest two things.

      1. Farflame the Dragon Lord should not have to fight other Dragons! Not much of a lord if his subjects turn on him at the slightest provocation!

      2. I wish the lakes would replenish and allow other armies to refresh, a bit like it works for lords seeking amongst wild horses. Any number of lords can do it the same day and keep finding horses for their men. Maybe it would make things too easy to have an unlimited supply of water, but surely it could at least have the lake reset once each day!

  22. Chris,

    Updates are great. I don’t mean to be picky but can the visual movement indicator be toggleable? I totally understand why it’s there but it can be a little distracting keep flashing on and off as you move around Midnight.

    Just a suggestion. The default could be on with maybe an option for off.

    Keep up the great work.

    Ps: I’ll be buying the Android version too (even though I don’t need to), to show my appreciation.

    Cheers

    Andy

  23. I bought LOM, just great, thanks. I recovered Lord of Midwinter with Eye of the Moon. But what is the purpose of this character?

  24. +1 Who is Midwinter??? Love the intrigue there – have really enjoyed the gameplay on my LG-P970 (Android 2.2.2) and is the first app I have ever purchased. Thanks! I see from your recent feature list you have identified many of the quirks I would like to see corrected – and I like the suggested difficulty levels you have outlined. How about also raising the replenishment of villages, and keeps, citadels after retaking from Doomdark from the usual 200/250? (Another difficulty is army attrition during long marches – particularly through mountains…) Doomdark AI does seem different even from your Win98 remake – more cunning somehow. Seems more challenging from the get-go, and I like that. I haven’t read up on your AI tweaks yet but I wonder whether you have some sort of “swarm” function included for Doomdark defence for recent Keep retaking etc? I would like to see a “cluster” function for Lords traveling together as a massed army (reduce command repetition etc) as well as the ability to select individual Lords, when cooped together at a given location – from the beaut map screen. The latter is a particularly nice touch – great idea of yours! I find after several hours of play I still have to hunt through choices on different screens – perhaps there could be a simplified menu structure or shortcut screen? My only other “request” mirrors what I see others have said – it’s really crucial to map your daily movements on the hours you have available to a given Lord – I would appreciate a little hourglass/clock icon to suggest time remaining. This particularly as it seems to me that fighting various riff-raff, restocking at villages etc seems to have a time cost that I wasn’t aware of in previous versions, and time is such an important resource in your new mobile version, it seems to me. Feel free to ignore all thought crumbs – but keep up the great work! Much Appreciated πŸ™‚

  25. So glad no-one has posted “Read the Manual, Dummy!” re my previous suggestion for clustering Lords. Upgraded to 1.04 last night with the various listed improvements and discovered by chance the cool way to group Lords (when sharing a location) – very intuitive method – gee that was well thought out and implemented πŸ™‚

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