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Claustrophobia: The Downward Struggle
14. August 2013 - The Indie Forge

Hello Greenlight Users! It's been a very long time since I posted an update on Claustrophobia's progress over here, so I thought it would be good idea to create a post highlighting the best updates and additions to the game to show all the progress that's taken place over the last few months. Claustrophobia is going very well, and I want to thank everyone who has supported my project so far!

Terrain Generation Redesign

Over the last few patches, terrain generation has come on a long way from the original array of square rooms that made up the dungeon floors. However, while the last version of the terrain generation was one of the most advanced so far, it was lacking in design. Dead ends, corridors that looped back on themselves, rooms disconnected from the main dungeon, and illogically placed rooms made exploring increasingly difficult. Adding to that the massive size of the floors meant an awful lot of backtracking, and that is not what Claustrophobia should be about. Below, you can see a floor generated with the old system, compared to a floor generated with the new system. Both use the same parameters to generate. Black tiles are walls, white tiles rooms, pink tiles doors, and green tiles corridors.



As you can see, the size of the floors has been reduced (item and enemy spawning has been changed to reflect this), and corridors and rooms are now laid out in a logical connected fashion. Rooms now spawn right up to the edges of the map, which removes the outer corridor that bordered all old maps. Corridors will pretty much always lead you somewhere, and will not backtrack or curl inwards on themselves.

Skill Engine Redesign

I have redesigned the skill engine so as to encourage the player to make decisions and craft their own class as they play. Below is a description as to how this new system works (it’s actually super simple to use):



Potions and Scrolls

The next change/addition is to how potions and scrolls work. Sticking true to the original Rogue formula, all potions and scrolls now start out both randomized and unidentified, leaving the player to identify its use. This can be done either by using a Scroll of Identification (which initially, it is unlikely you will have a huge supply of) or by biting the bullet and using them. This can of course be very risky, as there are an equal number of good and bad effects, but once identified, you will know what that specific scroll or potion does for the rest of your current game. Once you die, all potion and scroll effects will be randomized again.



I will be adding to the number of potions and scrolls steadily each patch, and certain ones will be rarer than others. Health potions and Scrolls of Identification are more likely to be identified since they are more useful. You never know though. Since you will be needing scrolls and potions a lot more post 1.1.0, scrolls can now be crafted by using a bottle of Enchanted Ink on a sheet of Paper, and Empty Potion Bottles remain after the contents have been drunk. Alchemy remains the same, just with mushrooms corresponding to potion colour, as seen above.

UI and Graphic Redesign

A lot of polish has gone into making the UI and game screen more appealing and user friendly, as well as adding as much functionality as possible within a small space. Features like crafting and equipping have been streamlined to be as easy to use as possible.



Full Resolution and Audio Support

One of the most questioned things over here on Greenlight was how small the game/ui/text appeared, and why the game's window/resolution was so small. Well, now a full options menu has been implemented, which allows you to properly set your resolution, and scale the ui and game screen to a size which best suits you.



Closing Comment

So, once again, thank you for your support thus far. I've added a new, up to date batch of screenshots to the main page. You can check out all updates, buy into the on going alpha, and follow me on twitter for the most up to date development, and my general ramblings, here:

Dev Blog[claustrophobiagame.tumblr.com]
Buy Now![www.desura.com]
@TheIndieForge

Thank you!
~TheIndieForge

5. Januar 2013 - The Indie Forge

Claustrophobia: The Downward Struggle Alpha v0.1 is now live!

Play Claustrophobia: The Downward Struggle on Desura[www.desura.com]

Head on over to Desura if you wish to both buy into the early alpha, and support the game's future development! And if you do, I thank you greatly in advance.

Controls

  • Left Click: Move
  • Right Click: Interact / Attack
  • Tab: Skill Tree
  • Q,W,E,R,T,Y: Skill Keys (Press in Skill Tree to assign)
  • Shift + Right Click: Sell (In Shop)
  • Shift + Right Click: Pick up (From Floor)
  • Esc: Pause Menu

The alpha includes (despite what I said in the last update):

  • Fully randomly generated content for the whole first level
  • 10 enemy types
  • Randomly generated gear and gear progression
  • Visual Equipment
  • Full Strength and Agility Skill Trees
  • No Level Cap

From this point on, all game content will be added in the form of (hopefully) monthly Major Patches, and smaller, more regular Minor Patches, until all the planned content is added. This includes:

  • 50+ Enemy types
  • 5 Dungeon levels
  • 10 bosses
  • Intelligence Skill Tree
  • Visual Character Customization
  • Difficulty and Spawning Controls

Of course, I would like majority of the new features to be suggested by you, the players. So whatever criticism or ideas you have for the game, please, send my way, either on the Forums, or by email to theindieforge@gmail.com

Happy Playing!

(and please try not to break it, it's delicate)

~TheIndieForge

27. Dezember 2012 - The Indie Forge

Oops, so it’s been almost a month since the last update, and not to mention I missed the deadline I was aiming for for the alpha release. Apologies. I blame Christmas, work, (*cough* the Steam Winter sale *cough*), and all sorts of other things that are all probably my fault in the long run. Sigh.

Anyway, time for a much needed update I think. And it is rather a large update really.

Skill Tree Progress

So yes, this is the big progress. As I said weeks ago, the skill tree is the most complicated and time consuming part of the game so far, so I’m pleased to say that 2/3 of it is now complete! I give you, the agility and strength trees:



The agility tree took much longer than anticipated, mostly down to the addition of a number of utility skills (like traps and invisibility), which were not originally programmed into the main engine, and required a rework of the whole skill system. But the game definitely benefits from them.

Due to the time it took to complete the agility tree, and the fact that I missed the alpha deadline, I’ve decided that the alpha will be launching without the Intelligence Tree, in order to not delay any further. It is, after all, an alpha, and is meant to give a taste of how the game will be running once it is complete. There is more than enough content already to keep agility and strength builds interesting. Intelligence will be making an appearance in the first major patch after launch.

Alpha Release Info

The alpha will hopefully now be launching in the first week of January, over on Desura. The alpha will include:

  • The first randomly generating level of the dungeon, including 15 enemy types, and over 100 pieces of loot (these numbers will increase massively with the introduction of randomly generated enemies and gear, which isn’t quite ready for the initial release)
  • The strength and agility skill trees shown above.
  • Content up to around level 10 (the game will not end at level 10, but gear stops around that level for now)
  • Lairs (only 1 boss is currently implemented)
  • Client-side leaderboards (online leaderboards will be making an appearance later in development, but for now highscores are personal)
  • Majority of the Official Soundtrack.

After launch, major patches will be released hopefully once a month, possibly more frequently. I will be looking to you guys (the players), for what you want to see changed, added, removed, or amended each patch on the forums for the game, which will also launch at the same time as the alpha.

Official Soundtrack

Claustrophobia’s composer, Chris, has now completed two of the main tracks for the game, which are sounding brilliant. Both pieces fit the atmosphere of the game extremely well, so keep an ear out for music as you venture through the dungeon.

Finally

It’s getting very close to alpha release now. Everything is now falling into place nicely, so keep an eye on my Blog, Steam, and Desura for more information leading up to the launch. I’m looking forward to sharing Claustrophobia with everyone.

~TheIndieForge

29. November 2012 - The Indie Forge

Hey guys. Since posting the Skill tree design a week or so back, I have begun the massive task of creating, testing, and balancing all of the skills. Since there happen to be a fair few skills planned for the game, this process is taking quite a while. So, after a week and a bit of work, I present, the Strength Tree!



And that is pretty much everything I’ve been working on. Every skill there is fully functional, and quite a few of them actually change your style of play rather than just giving you new abilities.

You should know now that the planned release date of the paid Alpha is 20th December. Make a note, and a quiet prayer that I make that deadline.

And with that, I return to skill coding. To the Agility Tree!

~TheIndieForge

17. November 2012 - The Indie Forge

Just a quick passing update, as there's not that much to report this week. Just continual tweaks and changes to the combat system to try and get the balance between medium early level and harder late game content. Once the alpha is released, there will be a lot of changes to balance (as with any alpha), so I will hopefully get some forums online somewhere for bug reporting and the like. So anyway, on to the only real piece of news:

Skill Tree Concept Complete

For the past couple of months I have been trying to bring myself to work on the skill tree, and a month or so back I posted an image of it in its first state (i.e. with no skills). But I finally got myself to work on it, and after about 4 hours of work this morning, I have completed the layout of skills, and exactly what they all do.



OK, so it's an Excel document at the moment. So you can keep guessing at what everything does, but that's what it will look like. And this is a massive step towards the release of the alpha.

~TheIndieForge

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