Version 1.05 and game play changes

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With the release of version 1.05, there are a number of game play changes that will have a major affect on the outcome of the game, so I wanted to discuss them in a little detail.

If you have already completed the game, then firstly, well done, but secondly, you might want to play the game through again to see how the changes affect the outcome.

Android users can start playing this version now, Amazon, iOS and Blackberry will need to wait until next weekend when they make it out of review.

Lords are now displaced correctly after losing a battle.

This is really about escaping. When a lord finally loses a battle and all his armies have been destroyed, if he is still alive he should have been displaced randomly to an adjoining location. This is important because that movement is free. Which means when you decide to retreat you have a one location head start from the enemy.

The affect of the Ice Fear on courage – not reducing it correctly.

Low courage characters like Lord Lothoril were gaining a massive courage boost when they were in the same location as Morkin. It means that they would have had a better outcome in battle or even the ability to attack when they shouldn’t have been able to so. This was caused by a negative courage being turned into positve.

Armies no longer recovery too quickly

Armies were regenerating their energy too quickly. Which means movement around the map without the need to rest, could be over a longer period, and more importantly, the armies were not suffering so much during long battles. The knock on affect during a battle would be that your armies would fair much better than they should have.

Doomdark’s armies no longer ignore lords on plains in front of their very eyes

There is code in the original Lords of Midnight that is used to look up to 3 locations in front for something of importance. This is just looking for something that is not plains. It is used when you are looking across plains to a location, so even though that keep in the distance is not directly in front of you, your view will be described as look toward the keep. This code is also used in the decision making process for the Doomguard wandering around the map. However, the bit I missed is that the original code didn’t actually use this function to check up to 3 locations in front; it was only using it to work out the location directly in front for the direction looking. So the Doomguard would scan a full 360 around themselves, and had they found a lord in one of those locations they would move into it. However, my implementation had two problems, the Doomguard would look a full 360 around themselves, and if they found a none plain terrain up to 3 locations away, they would start to move in that direction. Not only that, they would get there in one move. It means they could be distracted easily, and move too quickly.

Alteration to what you are allowed to do when Doomguard are at the same location

The options available to you when at the same location as the Doomguard have been brought in-line with the original. I made a mistake when interpreting these. Importantly, it means you can now exploit a quirk of the original which means you can attack the Doomguard at night with a single lone lord, and then immediately hide. This means that you affectively can get a free move at the end of the day. I will address this as a “quirk/bug” in a later version in that I will remove it as a difficulty option.

Now allowed to fight critters at night, as long as no Doomguard there

You should have been able to fight critters even though it is night. This is important just in case you get attacked during the night. Had you not killed the critters while you had an army could cause you a problem if you lose your army overnight.

Daytime game completion scenarios being triggered by Ice Crown destruction

This is purely an issue of the Ice Crown bring destroyed when Morkin is at the same location as one of the characters that can destroy it. The completion was being triggered on returning from the THINK screen. All this means is that it would have been difficult to achieve a complete victory without keeping Morkin away from those characters. And even then you would have to have brought the characters together and press NIGHT without having pressed THINK.

Removed left over AI difficulty code that would have Doomdark generating new armies that track down Morkin, Luxor, or head to Xajorkith

This was changed in the previous version. This was a problem that made the game a little more difficult because new armies were being re-generated when old armies were destroyed and these armies would often go after Luxor or Morkin. A version of this will be added back under difficulty levels at a later date.

 

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A Map Editor

lom_mapLooking for a coder who fancies writing a Map / Campaign /Scenario Editor for Lords of Midnight and Doomdark’s Revenge… and anything else that might follow.

I’m afraid it’s not a paid gig, nothing more than a bit of respect and possibly some penny whistles and moon pie…

It can be Mac OSX only or preferably cross platform. It can’t be windows only.

If you are interested, give me a shout.

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The Compass

Something I was working on tonight…

Work in progress on a new feature in Lords of Midnight. Hold the screen for a second and the compass pops up, then slide left or right to look around and let go.
This is the initial version, I may later release it with full animation, either revolve to the new direction or maybe even revolve as you move your finger. It basically gives you access to the full 360 without multiple presses and drags.

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Next set of features…

dragon_redI have identified the new features that will be in the next version.

Next version should bring Android, iOS, Playbook, and BB10 all into sync.

 

 

The features are…

1. Change Swipe up on look screen for showing map to be two finger swipe.
2. Add two finger swipe down on map screen to return to look.
3. Save game Meta Data for identifying stories – “Day 5 – Luxor – Tower of the Moon”
4. Option – Auto Unhide on move, or prompt
5. Option – Auto fight critters on move, or prompt
6. Option – Show movement indicator, On/Off
7. Hold down on main screen for compass, and then choose direction to look.
8. Tweak button sizes for small devices
9. Fix undo storage!
10. Tighten hit box on shield.
11. Fix stray line on certain images ( Android )
12. Fix Select screen shields being under Look Icon.
13. Option – Screen Transitions off

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To pay or not to pay….

After uploading an update to the Android store at 1am last night, and then waking at 7am to see a tweet showing the location of the cracked version of said upload. It made me think about the issue of piracy.

Now I don’t think that £2.99 is too much to ask for an app, but some do. I’ve seen many comments since the release of the iOS version stating the the price was steep. I understand that nowadays some people might find it a high price to punt on a game, despite the large number of high rating reviews for the game. And I do need to find a way to allow people to experience the game for the first time. Now I don’t like the idea of Ad backed games, it’s not really a direction I want to follow. I also don’t want to reduce the price of the game. I think £2.99 is more than fair and reasonable, despite the prices of Apps in general.

I was thinking about doing a price promotion in Feb, around Mike’s birthday. But I was also thinking about releasing a Lite version. However, part of me is thinking about releasing a Free version.

The idea being, Free version and Paid version. Free version just has a nag screen pointing at the Paid version, and the free version will not get updates and new features. I’m kind of thinking almost like an honesty box version. You like it you buy it. But if you don’t buy it you miss out on any new features I add in the future. I’m sure others have tried this to varying success. But if anyone can cite some examples, that would be great.

I did wonder a little about should I remove a few items from the original free version, like. Remove a couple of the ways of destroying the ice-crown, or remove the quest entirely. Remove the grouping functionality. Remove the last undo. Remove the multiple stories. Should I remove more from a Lite version? Restrict the number of game days you can play it?

Anyway, thoughts…

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Doomdark’s Revenge

Tarithel the FeyI know that I am a little way off this. But as I’ve seen the question raised so many times recently, I thought it better to officially post something.

Lords of Midnight is currently moving through its project life cycle. The Android version should be live tomorrow and I will be focusing on the Desktop versions for Windows and Mac, and any other possible mobile variants like Kindle Fire, and Windows Phone. As well as this I will be adding new features and rolling them out over the coming months. This I see as being an ongoing project. I don’t see any real reason to put an end date on it.

This brings us to Doomdark’s Revenge. Let me say this very clearly, and to be beyond a question of doubt. I WILL be releasing Doomdark’s Revenge. That was always the intention. It is important for me on two levels. Firstly, it’s only right that the tribute to Mike be both games. Secondly, it is important for me to finish this thing I started so long ago; I never did manage to get a Windows release of the The Midnight Engine that included Revenge. So, aside from everything mentioned above, it will be the very next thing I do. I have spoken with Jure and he is completely on board to produce the graphics in the same faithful retro style. See Tarithel sitting pretty in the corner!

The intention is to get Doomdark’s Revenge out before the end of the year. The hope is that it will be much earlier.

The current status is…

Art: We know all the graphics required, and Jure can just work his way through them. All things considered, we know it should take less than 6 weeks for that to happen. That would then free Jure up to get back to his other commitments. Worse case, we can have the game running with original graphics again until his work is finished. But I think I will be bottleneck, not him.

Code: The Midnight Engine, which powers Lords of Midnight now, covers most of Revenge, and the database is all in place. I have once already, to show Mike, run the engine and walked around the Icemark, with all the lords in place etc… The tunnels work. The Mist works. You can recruit characters. What is missing is the Revenge specific enemy AI. The data to drive the AI is in place. So I just need to do a full evaluation of the missing features, and work my way through it.

That is my total commitment for this year. I would like at some stage in the future to address The Citadel, and I need to give consideration for Eye of the Moon. Also, Jure and I have talked about the potential for an updated version of LoM with none-retro graphics etc… And then of course, there is 2014. However, all that will have to wait and be thought about with clear hearts and minds.

But, my commitment to myself, and therefore to you, is to release Doomdark’s Revenge. In the meantime, I hope you are enjoying Lords of Midnight.

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