Summer Summary

04 Jul 2021

Back in March I was just starting to flesh out the combat system, applying injuries to body parts and describing the fight from each actor’s perspective. Weapons cause slashing, piercing and/or bludgeoning damage, reduced according to the type of armour on the impacted body-part. Injuries affect characteristics depending on the body-part injured and this in turn affects skills. The effects of injuries can be seen on the Dwerg details panel. Ganging up on enemies gives significant bonuses and each Dwerg’s story lets the player know who is fighting whom.

Injury Indicators

Part research and part entertainment, I’ve been watching series of “Let’s Play Dwarf Fortress” videos by Nookrium and the comically illustrated Dwarf Fortress stories by Kruggsmash. Nook’s videos are unedited and so help me understand where he finds difficulties achieving his goals. Kruggsmash’s videos highlight the story-aspect of Dwarf Fortress giving me insight into what story beats he finds significant.

Through most of April I practiced my pixel-art with #pixel_dailies. It was fun to do and I feel like I improved so I’ll be having another bash at it again soon.

Wood Forge

After adding the wood forge and inventories I was able to equip a group of Dwergs with full bronze armour and break into a cavern filled with chittering Copperpedes. Unfortunately my Dwergs were slaughtered so there’s a bit of balancing to be done.

Slaughtered :-(

With the addition of hazard warnings when mining into caverns I’ve added a minesweeper-like mechanic which I like. By mining around an area the player can figure out how big a cavern is and so make an informed decision about whether or not to break into it.

Mining Hazards video Mining Hazards

In May and June I was fixing bugs and revisited path-finding in combat so actors can’t stack on top of each other. This adds a bit of tactics; holding doorways with a single strong Dwerg when outnumbered, and drawing enemies out to surround them are now meaningful choices.

The last piece of work before the next release is to add tutorials on workshops, caverns, hunting, tanning and the inventory. I did hope to hire some professional QA in August but that looks unlikely now. I keep finding very obvious bugs and the tutorials will probably not be done until the end of August.

Thank you for taking an interest in Dwerg Saga and for reading this summary. If you have any feedback on Dwerg Saga I’d love to hear from you.

- Jock

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