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Claustrophobia: The Downward Struggle
Claustrophobia Development Log #9
April 23, 2014 - The Indie Forge

Hello all! Welcome to Claustrophobia Dev Log #9! Once again, apologies for the month of absence. My University work is finally done (hooray!), which means Claustrophobia now has my full attention. Since the last update was so long ago, I have a lot to talk about. So I’ll keep this bit short, and here goes!

Gear Generation

Randomly generated gear was a massive part of V1, but it lacked much of the item depth that I really wanted to get into the game. An item was only considered “better” than another piece if it had a higher value for your character’s single base stat, which not only made gear progression fairly boring, but also made Plate armour almost always the best choice, due to the high Armour Rating.

This time, gear generation is much deeper, partly due to the changes and additions to base stats, but mostly due to item properties. Item properties modify all sorts of things, from elemental damage, critical strike chance, increased gold find, lifesteal, chance to cause status effects, etc. The finished game will have a large number of different item properties, ranging from common stat modifiers, to unique passive abilities, such as summons and spell effects. The generator has an already massive selection of rules on how items should be created, based on the item type, spawn level, rarity, and base stat type. Here is an example of a selection of level 10 items:


Stat values are yet to be balanced (that staff for example, has waaaay too much damage. Then again, it is “The Devourer”…), but this gives you an example of the sort of thing to expect. I’ve seen some absolutely ridiculous level 50+ legendaries generated with 10 or more properties, which just made me happy. I have some great ideas for new properties too.

Visual Equipment

Of course, tonnes of gear would not be fun unless your character is running around wearing it! So of course, visual equipment returns:


Once again, graphics pictured here subject to change! While working on this system, I also decided to trial something that was not possible in V1 due to the limitation of the sprite size: visual weapons. While they would not be animated due to lack of time and artistic skill on my behalf, they do, in my opinion, look pretty cool, and they just add a little bit more to character customization as a whole.

I do have one issue however - how they should be displayed. Due to the nature of Claustrophobia’s sprites, the player will always be locked in the “standing” stance pictured above. This causes a couple of problems when it comes to lining the weapons up to the player’s hands. For example:


In option 1, a natural position is used, which unfortunately covers the player’s face when facing right or dual wielding. In option 2, the weapons are kept away from the face, but the positioning is unnatural. So, I’d like to know everyone’s opinion on this. Should I:

  • Not show weapons (easiest, but no weapon graphics :’( )
  • Use Option 1 (natural, obscures face)
  • Use Option 2 (no obstruction, unnatural)
  • Angle the weapons vertically (I also tried this, but I felt the weapons were to close to the body. Also wouldn’t really work with bows…)
  • Something else? (any better ideas?)

Saving and Loading

Finally, the majority of the code for saving and loading the game has been written. Since the new engine is structured in a much nicer way, there shouldn’t be any of the weird loading oddities that V1 suffered (I’m looking at you teleporting doors). Once again I’m using XML, but I’ll need to look into encrypting everything this time. The new system will also allow multiple save files.

Next Steps!

As I said before, these two systems in place represent half of the major systems left to do. Of course, both of these need finalizing (generated items don’t currently save, for example), but they’re in place. Which just leaves the skill system and character creation before I can move on to working on content!

Thanks for reading! Until next time,


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-N- Apr 29, 2014 @ 12:39am 
Just flip the sprite. So the left guy in option 1 would look the same as the right guy, just mirrored. It doesn't matter if the weapon goes from the right hand to the left hand "magically", no one will notice this, it worked well since the beginning of the videogames history. Dual wielding-2 looks better than dw-1.
Ekskafeas Apr 25, 2014 @ 7:55am 
Amazing work dude!
The Indie Forge Apr 25, 2014 @ 7:09am 
No, but I wouldn't want the graphic to be distracting considering it's a big part of the appearance of your character.

Here's an example of the new version:
Jingseng Apr 24, 2014 @ 1:57am 
Not knowing the middle ground, I would say option 2... it's just an icon representation, i don't think there is anything unnatural or natural about it. It's not as if you are actually going to swing your weapon, or hold it in a position to block with or which makes attacking more efficient, etc.
General Chaøs™ Apr 23, 2014 @ 10:32am 
Oh wow awesome you had plans for cursed items already I guess I brought out a bit of a spoiler by mistake heh. Fantastic that you like my idea for them!.I think Set pieces with a permanent place to be found I think many will like. You nailed the very reason why in many arpgs getting them is very grindy. Glad to see there is a developer that understands that,something I for one never understood about since their tend to be lots of set pieces in games. Looking forward to the next dev blog update.
The Indie Forge Apr 23, 2014 @ 9:30am 
After messing around with weapon angles a load more, I think I've reached a good middle ground.

General Chaøs: That's a fantastic idea, I really love that! I was planning on having cursed items, but they would simply bind to you so you couldn't unequip them until a cure was found. Your idea is much better, and in fact, binding on equip could be a possible curse type. Thank you!

I'm looking into sets at the moment. It's something I definitely want to see in the game, but it will need some different spawning rules, due to the low chance of a player being able to complete a set based entirely on random generation. At the moment I'm thinking that set items could be craftable, or drop from mini-bosses, or require some sort of puzzle to get to a piece. Basically something that ensures the set pieces have a permanent place to be found.
General Chaøs™ Apr 23, 2014 @ 9:02am 
Option 1 seems best, Option 2 looks odd,also an input about the item generation, how about a 5th item type : Cursed Items?. These would be items that as you would think have been cursed and have a slu of negetive effects but come with a power postive effect. This could make a person decide to use other items to try to negate some of the negative effects or go full curse armor and use potions or smething to minize some of the negatives to have access to the positive effect.

Also a question, will there be some set armor/weapons that give a special bonus if you have the full set? Progress is looking great, keep it up cannot wait to play.
Maira Apr 23, 2014 @ 6:21am 
Option 1. Covering his face is the lesser of the evils.