Diehard Dungeon
JiePie Mar 15, 2014 @ 8:22pm
My thoughts about the gameplay
Here are a couple of things that keep going through my mind while I'm playing the game:

- Sword guys usually block sword hits from the front. And with a couple of exceptions, they're always facing you so you end up hitting 2/3 times just pushing them away a bit rather than doing damage and killing.
When entering a new room, I often find myself surrounded by multiple sword guys with very little room to work with. Not being able to damage one, let alone kill one, before I get closed in from the other sides can be aggravating and feels unfair.

- When your sidekick chest is dazed/stunned, it starts blocking your path as well. In an often hectic situation where you are frantically watching all enemies, traps and projectiles, this is often a contributing factor to your doom. It's near impossible to babysit your chest if you're barely surviving yourself. This as well, tends to feel unfair.

- I remember in my very first playthrough I read and saw something about 10 golden keys. After that I've never ever seen them appear again and I simply get a couple of free tokens after every escape. I feel this is a missed opportunity.

- The champion mode is 'unlocked' every single time I escape. Even if I escape with champion mode on, it still notifies me it's unlocked again. I really don't need to be reminded of this after the 10th playthrough.

- Is it possible to beat every single boss on hard mode without losing a heart and without any upgrades?
Personally I have the impression it isn't. Even with the speed upgrade, I get outrun by the zombie chest for example (despite knowing its chess-like horse movement pattern), or the floating head+projectiles combo.
I get the feeling that because of this, the game tends to be luck related, your win is dependant on the drops you might or might not get, rather than your own personal capabilities.
If I compare this game to say Binding of Isaac of the same genre, if I died there I would always be sure it was my own fault and I could improve myself. When I die in Diehard Dungeon I'm more like "Well, that was an impossible situation. Unlucky."

- Not a gameplay note per se, but it's been said that leaving chests and hearts behind increases your score. Giving you points for leaving hearts behind because you don't need them, is rewarding you for good performance.
Though the concept of leaving chests behind is a very double sided one. Obtaining loot and upgrades is half the fun of the game. And may in fact be necessary to complete the dungeon. Now no matter if you choose to leave it or take it, you feel like you're missing out on something. Potential points or potential upgrades. There's no clear goal to work to.

Now that I've written this load off my shoulders I can rest at ease :)
Oh and please don't get the impression I'm hating on the game, I'm actually enjoying it a lot.
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Tricktale  [developer] Mar 16, 2014 @ 3:31am 
Thanks JiePie, you bring up some very valid points.

1. The sword guys are currently undergoing a change to their behavior. Instead of just constantly walking towards you, they will back off and even attempt to strafe around you a bit. The last update saw a slight change to the way they take damage as well. I don't know if you noticed, but whereas before they could continually block attacks in quick succession, now if they are blocking, they will take damage from the next attack. Try really laying into them with the sword.

2. This was a tough design decision. I wanted the chest to have a physical presence when not following the player. I'll play around and see what I can come up with.

3. The ten gold keys to open the gold chest was only ever designed to be a one time thing, mostly to encourage new players to explore a bit and not just run through rooms. I've got some ideas for unlocks based on a key system though that I may implement at some point. I.e. finding a secret key somewhere in the dungeon to unlock more chests at the end of the game. Could be used to unlock permanent upgrades.

4. Oops! This shouldn't happen. It should be saving the fact that it's already been shown and not show it again.

5. I'm re-balancing the bosses to ensure that it's always possible, even with a single life. Part of the problem is the arena you fight them in. If the ground is predominantly water, you will move slower (unless you have Lightfoot, of course). I'm thinking of changing the ground to always dry.
The Binding of Isaac didn't have dynamic difficulty to contend with (normal/hard route and rank), which makes Diehard Dungeon much harder to balance.

6. The choice is yours: Possibly receive an ability, or receive a heart / token for destroying it, or increase your difficulty / Diehard leaderboard ranking by leaving it. The "leaving a chest behind" for points isn't a major game mechanic, just a bonus.

Thanks for the feedback! I'm really glad you're enjoying the game. It's feedback like yours that really helps me to improve it.
Last edited by Tricktale; Mar 16, 2014 @ 3:33am
Proteome Mar 19, 2014 @ 2:49pm 
I feel the same aggavation upon entering a tight room facing hard tier enemies in close proximity. I understand this is for ramping difficulty purposes but to me it feels like a cheap way of scaling difficulty.
Though classic pointng out of problem and offering no solution.....perhaps higher difficulty rank, faster enemy speeds?
Tricktale  [developer] Mar 20, 2014 @ 2:10am 
Hi Proteome,

The harder enemies spawning close to the entrance isn't intentional to increase difficulty (I'm not that evil ;) ). Unfortunately, it's a byproduct of the randomness. Because the rooms are all random shapes/sizes, it's very difficult to generate something that always feels completely fair. That being said though, I have a few ideas to combat this issue and will keep working at it.

Thanks for the feedback!
Proteome Mar 20, 2014 @ 7:10pm 
Wow! That is kinda creepy...talk about Ghost in the machine!
You are doing a great job responding to feedback Tricktale, commendable!
Really look forward to the updates.
Derboburba Jul 29, 2014 @ 7:57pm 
I find it somewhat troubling that you can clutter a room with debris and the traps become less noticeable because of this.
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