A Wizard's Roadmap


  • LDG

    It seems like everyone is eager for AWL updates, and they are coming soon! In the meantime, I’d like to put out some general info about the upcoming changes.

    “Quality of Life” fixes including:

    • Fullscreen
    • Full audio rehaul to fix a number of issues
    • Separate music and sound volume sliders
    • Darkness slider
    • Custom key bindings

    Dungeon Expansion/Layout

    The three major dungeon zones (Cemetery, Sewer, Crypt) have been expanded into three sub-zones each. In addition, the dungeon room layout algorithm has been tweaked to create more interesting layouts instead of simple squares. The expansion of each zone allows us to control the pacing more effectively. For example, in Cemetery 1, you’ll never see werewolves. In Cemetery 3, you’ll be facing everything the Cemetery zone has to throw at you.

    The flow of optional zones has changed as well. Previously, you could skip bosses by entering the Forest or Den of Thieves. Each of these optional zones will now only replace the second sub-zone. For example, your path through the Cemetery could be either:

    • Cemetery 1 -> Cemetery 2 -> Cemetery 3
    • Cemetery 1 -> Forest -> Cemetery 3

    Player Health

    After some thought, we decided that the player health was a bit too high. We’ve reduced the player’s health pool to 50, down from 100.

    Totems

    Totems are a new mechanic which adds another combat ability. In additon to a “weapon” slot, players now have a “totem” slot. Totems are designed to be a long-ish cooldown, powerful ability and have a few common properties:

    • Placed at a specific location and never move
    • Affect entities within a certain radius
    • Persist for some amount of time

    The player can only carry one totem at at time. Some totems that currently exist in the game:

    • Fire Totem: Emits fireballs
    • Earth Totem: Gravity draws enemies towards the totem
    • Wind Totem: Pushes enemies away
    • Poison Totem: Poisons enemies who enter its radius
    • Ice Totem: Freezes enemeies who enter its radius
    • Bomb Totem: Explodes after a certain amount of time

    Additionally, there are a number of new items which affect totem radius, duration, effect and cooldown.

    Soul Blast

    Soul Blast is new combat ability which is designed to have a medium cooldown and requires (and consumes) Soul Orbs. Soul Blast is a powerful, short-range ability that releases trapped souls in all directions, damaging enemies. Soul Orbs will be found throughout the game in various locations, including shops. We may have some interesting tie-ins with RotD as well.

    Boss Tweaks

    We’ve made some changes to Zombie Warlord and Sewer Hag in hope of making their encounters more interesting during repeated play-throughs. We talked a bit about this in another thread: http://forum.lostdecadegames.com/topic/194/don-t-lower-the-zombie-warlord-hp

    Steam Integration

    For the first pass, AWL will integrate with Steam Achievements. Down the road we’re heavily considering Cloud Saving and Trading Cards.

    Bug Fixes

    We’ve also fixed a bunch of bugs, including some excellent work by @richtaur on the “monsters trapped in corners” issue.


  • Patron

    @geoffb said:

    The flow of optional zones has changed as well. Previously, you could skip bosses by entering the Forest or Den of Thieves. Each of these optional zones will now only replace the second sub-zone. For example, your path through the Cemetery could be either:

    • Cemetery 1 -> Cemetery 2 -> Cemetery 3
    • Cemetery 1 -> Forest -> Cemetery 3

    I’m against that change…

    Previously, the way zone flow worked gave a lot of choice power to the player.
    I made a PvP AWL speedrun with @T2norway once, and that made me realize how many options you had.

    So, you might just do it the normal way, like @T2norway did, going through the Cemetery and fighting the Zombie Warlord.
    This strategy is faster but also harder to execute. The Cemetery was kinda easier than the Forest, but you had to fight a boss at the end, which makes your chances of not dying lower.

    Alternatively, you could choose to go through the Forest, as I did. This way, you could skip a big chunk of the Cemetery and the Zombie Warlord.
    On the cons side, the Forest was way bigger than the Cemetery and it was full of owls, so you had to be very careful to take the least damage as possible. That took a lot of time in comparision with going through the Cemetery, which is a big disadvantage in a speedrun.
    But you got the ranger set at the forest, so, although you took more time to get to the Sewer, you would have a slight speed advantage on the other dungeons.

    I think that was a genius design choice!

    Of course, if you’re just playing for fun, it doesn’t matters how much time it will take to complete the dungeon.
    That’s why I think you should have some kind of penalty for taking too long to beat a dungeon. Something like ghosts in Spelunky, perhaps?


  • Tiger Hat

    So… what you are saying is that you reduced the alternate stages, one of the game’s biggest strengths and one of the primary points that contributed to minimizing the game’s singlest biggest drawback (its short length) to nothing more than mere bonus areas?

    … I am skeptical regarding that decision.

    The alternate stages are not shortcuts in the current version. And given they were full stages with their own bosses (werewolf ambush placeholder/dragoneater, zombie merchant) and all, going to the alternate stages was never a matter of skipping anything but rather picking which challenge you wished to attempt.

    Most importantly, this will make the game’s worst drawback (short length) even worse unless you turned the normal route stages into Mario-style big worlds where every sub-area is as bi9 as the stages were in the current version.

    I hope you also realize that this means that going through the extra areas means the player now has to face a boss fight at the end of nearly every sub-area except the first sub-area of each area now and with them no longer being full areas, this means that players have absolutely no incentive to enter them at all (since it means a lot of risks for no reward, since they don’t lengthen the game nor act as alternate paths. All they do is make the player use up a lot more ressources for no reward).

    Unless I’m mistaken and it’s something like Graveyard 1 > Forest 1 > Forest 2 > Forest 3 > Graveyard 3 but even then, that still means two boss fights in a row.

    I can understand that you want people to fight the Zombie Overlord and Sewer Hag at least once but… I really don’t see this particular method as a good decision. (my own suggestion is instead to add in an extra final boss + extra ending for players who go the extra mile to beat every boss in the game in one run. In short, don’t punish players for going to the bonus areas. Reward them. I feel the current method will motivate players to never enter the extra stages instead)

    @Josue :
    I do not agree regarding the time limit, at least not as an always-on feature. A Wizard’s Lizard is noticeably less linear and more puzzle-based than most roguelikes, with some heavy-duty backtracking being necessary ; it takes a significant number of runs before one can start to plan streamlined, ‘point A to point B’ runs and even then, they demand that one buy a significant number of equipment from Amberfall and that one leave most of the game’s puzzles and events unsolved.

    I am not against putting that feature in as an optional difficulty option (I suggested it earlier even) but I do not think it would fit the game in its current form as an always-on feature.


  • Patron

    @Mew said:

    So… what you are saying is that you reduced the alternate stages, one of the game’s biggest strengths and one of the primary points that contributed to minimizing the game’s singlest biggest drawback (its short length) to nothing more than mere bonus areas?

    Yeah, I was worried about that too!

    So, before this update, going through secret zones was a great strategic choice, depending on your goals for that run.

    Now there’s almost no reason to go through a secret zone.

    I do not agree regarding the time limit, at least not as an always-on feature.

    It’s not a hard time limit Mew.

    In Spelunky, you can play a level as long as you want, if you’re good enough.
    However, if you take more than 2 minutes and a half, a ghost appears.
    The ghost is invincible and kills you with one touch, but it moves very slowly so, it’s totally possible to avoid it.

    But the ghost is not just a penalty.
    If you’re good enough, you can wait until the ghost appears, run away from it and make it pass through gems.
    When you do that, the gems turn into highly valuable diamonds.

    So, back to AWL, I was thinking that there could be a small penalty in score for taking too long to beat a dungeon, or perhaps an incentive for finishing the dungeon quickly (maybe an item that only appears if you beat the level in < n minutes).


  • LDG

    @Josue @Mew Thanks for the feedback! We’ll definitely try not to ruin some of these aspects about which you’re concerned.

    Regarding the strategic choice of Forest vs Cemetery: This was always designed as an intentional choice. As @Josue mentions, you can go for the Forest with its larger layout, less densely populated rooms, Ranger drops, and plentiful gold or pick the Cemetery which is the shorter route, but includes more hazardous rooms and a boss. I think this choice will still remain strategic. The Forest will still have its same general properties (larger, sparser, ranger gear, more gold) and will be contrasted against Cemetery 2 which will be shorter and more dense. Additionally, Cemetery 2 and Forest will both have specific rooms which are required for certain objectives, forcing the player to choose. On that note, the current setup actually does not encourage choice (leaving the speed run scenario off the table for a moment). I’ve watched players locate the Forest entrance in the Cemetery, proceed to clear the Cemetery, kill the Zombie Warlord, loot his chest, double-back and hit the Forest. Obviously this method takes some time, but for trying to maximize gold and loot each run it’s almost required. Splitting up the zones as we have allows us to force actual choices on the player, in this case Forest vs Cemetery 2. Once you’ve chosen one or the other, there’s no way to double back and reap the rewards of the other choice.

    To @Mew’s concern about back-to-back bosses: I think this is a legitimate concern. However, the Forest doesn’t currently have a real boss and so we want to funnel the player through a boss in each stage. At the point where there is a Forest boss, I think we’d consider extending the Forest with a parallel stage to Cemetery 3. In that event, the zone flow would be similar to how it works now, but with the added benefit of eliminating excessive back-tracking.

    Regarding game length: Our aim is to have the game session stay around the same length, if not a bit longer. We’ll definitely be tweaking the size of each sub-zone, though.

    Regarding “soft enrage”: We’ve talked about the idea of a time based penalty before, it’s something we’ll probably add at some point to keep the player moving. It’ll definitely be something that is able to be dealt with rather than unavoidable, impending doom.


  • LDG

    Yay roadmap! Really appreciate the thoughts @Josue and @mew. In typical LDG fashion, wanted to add a few MORE things to the list:

    Pressure Plates

    There are two kinds of pressure plates: one that just needs to be stepped on before the room exits will open. This forces players to deal with rooms that they might normally be able to skip, especially in the Den of Thieves, which is mostly comprised of traps.

    The other kind comes in groups, each of which with its own symbol and color. These plates need to be stepped on in order before the exits will open. If the pattern isn’t correctly entered, the plates reset, and sometimes bad things spawn!

    Wind Fans

    At one point we were like “duh let’s add gravitational pull” and after feeling like big idiots we added it and it was in the game making everything more interesting like 5 minutes later. Fans can push or pull the player, and some rooms have been designed around them. Other rooms just have them to make things crazier and more fun!

    Misc improvements

    • Add DEATH BOSS to the list of improved bosses :)
    • Resign poison to have a slowing effect instead of dealing (invisible) damage
    • Unlockable characters turn into skeletons on death
    • Monsters can no longer attack while frozen
    • Lots of new environment graphics (incl. new Cemetery walls! homier Amberfall!)
    • Boss doors are now marked as such
    • MOUSE SUPPORT!
    • Exits that lead to other zones pulse glowing light

    Really looking forward to hearing your thoughts once you’ve spent some time with these changes :D


  • Tiger Hat

    Hey, you guys updated the site! Hopefully this means some more news soon!



  • I’m excited to try these changes!
    Well, I’m excited to try any changes :/ Have been a few month since the latest update.

    I’ld say we try it before we comment.
    Who knows, maybe we all like it?
    At least I am glad to see increased room sizes; totems and abilities sound great aswell! (I’m biased since I suggested something similiar WAY back :P )



  • Sorry for the double post: But can we get an estimated release date? Pwetty please? :>


  • LDG

    Cannot say for sure… it’ll be less than a month before we send it out for playtesting. Thanks for asking, really motivates us :)



  • Here are some suggestions me and a few players have thought of.

    1. allow volume control and fullscreen mode in settings.

    2. multiplayer (online/lan). We feel this game would do amazing if the options are there even if it was hosted by players and not game server.

    3. allow players to mouse over items in map/inventory screen and see what items do. We feel this would be highly benificial so players don’t have to wiki all items.

    4. Varient “Secret Bosses” per “Secret Room/Maps” with more Varients to Special Items that only appear in These Maps/Rooms.

    5. Maybe something like “Special Marked Walls” (By Dead Sign) in which only “Ghost Mode” can walk through making temptation of pushing player skill is more tempting.

    6. Have Tavern NPC’s maybe give a quest every now and then to go somewhere in the floors and complete a quest event like Special bosses or challenge rooms can be completed for a bonus item or blueprint or gold to start next run with.


  • LDG

    @chaoscreature7 said:

    Here are some suggestions me and a few players have thought of.

    Excellent, thanks for these! Replies below:

    allow volume control and fullscreen mode in settings.

    This will be in the next update.

    multiplayer (online/lan). We feel this game would do amazing if the options are there even if it was hosted by players and not game server.

    The best we might do with AWL someday is local multiplayer. Far-future sequels could potentially have online multiplayer, but as a game studio we’re years away from tackling that.

    allow players to mouse over items in map/inventory screen and see what items do. We feel this would be highly benificial so players don’t have to wiki all items.

    An update in the next month or two will include a totally revamped inventory menu which will provide more information about items.

    Varient “Secret Bosses” per “Secret Room/Maps” with more Varients to Special Items that only appear in These Maps/Rooms.

    The next update will have boss variants (varying behaviors for the primary 3 bosses). That’s all we could do for now, but we want to add a Forest Boss and improve the Den of Thieves Boss… and maybe some other areas too ;)

    Maybe something like “Special Marked Walls” (By Dead Sign) in which only “Ghost Mode” can walk through making temptation of pushing player skill is more tempting.

    We might be working on a dungeon that’s only accessible in the Realm of the Dead…!

    Have Tavern NPC’s maybe give a quest every now and then to go somewhere in the floors and complete a quest event like Special bosses or challenge rooms can be completed for a bonus item or blueprint or gold to start next run with.

    That’s a cool idea :)


  • LDG

    Oops, this thread is a bit out of date now! From Steam:

    In the very near term, we’re aiming to push a bug fix patch within a week.
    For the first major update, we’ll be focusing on items which will include some tweaks to existing items (probably buffs to totems, for sure) and a bunch of new items.
    After that, we’ll likely focus on adding another dungeon, and perhaps more boss variety.
    We’ve also got plans for some small holiday updates, such as special items for July 4th and something fun in the Cemetery for Halloween :)
    On the Steam side, we’d like to enable Cloud support, Trading Cards, and more achievements.
    Along the way, we’ll keep fixing stability issues, trying to improve performance, and tweaking gameplay balance.


  • Tiger Hat

    Have you considered using fan art for trading cards like games such as Legend of Dungeon have done?


  • LDG

    That’s an interesting idea! Might just need to get some permission from some folks.


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