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Claustrophobia: The Downward Struggle
Claustrophobia Development Log #13
July 4, 2014 - The Indie Forge

Hello to you all! Welcome to Claustrophobia Development Log #13. The last two weeks have marked some of the largest leaps forward in development yet, with the completion of a number of different systems and also some rather large changes to core game concepts. As such, a lot of this week's log is going to be words. Apologies!

New Status Effects

But first, something to look at. Here's some of the new status effects that I have been working on. From left to right; Bleeding, Asleep, Blind, Stunned, Frozen.

More of these to come! Off the top of my head, the major ones left are Fear, Silence, Confuse, and Charm. This time around, a lot more player and enemy abilities will cause status effects of some description.

Storyline & Game Structure

Those of you who have played V1, or, in fact, anyone who has followed development reasonably closely thus far, will have noticed a distinct lack of any sort of plot. You were simply plonked into a dungeon to fight your way downwards until you eventually met your demise. The name of the game itself was even partly based on that fact.

However, as Claustrophobia has grown, the lack of plot direction has become more and more of an issue in terms of designing interesting dungeon scenarios. The world just feels a little meaningless and without purpose. So, alongside development, I have also been working on writing a proper (all be it somewhat tounge-in-cheek) storyline, which also means some alteration to the overall structure of the game.

While I'm not ready to reveal the overall plot just yet (which is entirely optional and can be ignored if all you want is a dungeon crawling experience), I can talk about the plans for the new structure.

Instead of one massive dungeon, Claustrophobia will soon be split into a certain number of different dungeons, each with their own enemies, rooms, and design themes. Each dungeon will have a number of floors, and feature a couple of mini bosses and one final boss. On completing a dungeon (assuming you didn't perish horribly), you will be given a choice of two different dungeons to enter next. Dungeons will be tiered in levels of difficulty, with a selection of dungeons which can be randomly selected for each tier. On completing a Tier 1 dungeon, you will move on to a Tier 2 dungeon, and so on.

After fighting your way through a number of dungeons, which varies depending on the length of game you wish to play, you will be presented with the last dungeon, the lair of the final boss. If you succeed in bringing him down, then not only have you completed the core game, but you unlock New Game+, and the ability to continue journeying through increasingly more challenging content.

Stat Changes & Balancing

Two weeks ago I discussed my plans to have armour and weapons require a certain mastery stat before that type of gear could be used. Partially through testing and partially through feedback, this feature has now been removed. All gear now requires a certain amount of points in their Primary Stat: Heavy Armour requires Strength, Bows require Dexterity, Cloth Armour requires Intelligence, etc. The requirement values are fairly low, meaning a hybrid class can use a range of different equipment, providing his/her stats are well balanced.

For this reason, and a few others relating to balance, I've altered a lot of stats' uses, as well as how they effect your character. The Primary Stats are now as follows:

  • Strength: Increases Physical and Critical Damage
  • Dexterity: Increases Ranged Damage, Hit Rating, Defence Rating, and Critical Chance
  • Intelligence: Increases Magical Damage, and Magic Resist
  • Wisdom: Increases Max Mana, Mana Regen, and Resist Efficiency
  • Constitution: Increases Max Health, Health Regen, and Armour Efficiency

The changes made to Secondary Stats are as follows:

Armour and Magic Resist now represent exact values of damage that can be mitigated. The amount of damage that they actually negate is capped at a percentage of damage shown by your Armour/Resist Efficiency, which can be increased by putting points into Constitution/Wisdom.
The chance a unit has to hit and be hit is now calculated as a ratio between the attacker's Hit Rating and the defender's Defence Rating. Both values are effected by Dexterity, but Defence Rating less so.
Since Armour negates damage taken, and Defence reduces the chance to be hit in the first place, squishy units such as mages benefit greater from Defence than they do Armour. As such, Light Armour gives high Defence Rating, but little to no Armour Rating. Medium Armour gives more Armour but less Defence, and Heavy Armour gives large amounts of Armour, and small amounts of Defence.
Luck has been introduced as a secondary stat, which offers small bonuses to Hit Rating and Critical Rating, as well as increased Gold & Rare Item Drop.

Game Options

One of the things that I have been asked the most about since first discussing V2's turn based mechanics, is how long each unit takes to have a turn. A lot of people were concerned that the new mechanics would make gameplay too slow in comparison to V1, and yet more people wanted instant, high speed gameplay, akin to non-graphical roguelikes. Instead of choosing one way or the other, the choice is now yours. With the addition of a Turn Mode option, you can choose to play:

  • Sequential (Default): Each unit takes their turns one after the other.
  • Instantaneous: Every unit takes their turn at the same time as the player.
  • True Instantaneous: Every turn is taken at the same time, regardless of graphical effects.

Full key rebinding is also supported, along with a host of other gameplay options.

Everything Else

Finally, alongside everything else, I've also:

  • Added Options menu.
  • Added all of Chris' current music to the game.
  • Started adding sound effects for all major actions.
  • Added Line of Sight detection to enemies, and rewrote path finding so that enemies who lose sight of you search the area that you were last seen.
  • Rewrote enemy AI to enter formation on entering a bottleneck.
  • Added Spellbooks.
  • Added skill targeting for line-based abilities.
  • Fixed a number of bugs.
  • ...and then fixed yet more bugs.

And I believe that's just about everything. As always, all your comments are greatly appreciated!

Until next time,


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Bork Jul 10, 2014 @ 6:43am 
Great, I remember asking about the speed thing on Desura a while ago and Im glad my questions have been answered. And choises are always a good thing.
Saphion Jul 4, 2014 @ 1:28pm 
Further to the above comment, how about a sleep mask or blindfold? This way it would also be compatible with a variety of potentially eye-obscuring (partial or otherwise) headwear the player might be wearing.
[= ClayMeow =] Jul 4, 2014 @ 12:50pm 
All looks awesome. My only suggestion: the Sleep animation should have its eyes closed! It just looks weird with open eyes.