Hey everyone! What an absolutely crazy month it's been for myself and the team. Most of March and April was spent on crunching an ungodly amount of man hours getting the build ready for the three big events that we attended: EGX Rezzed, Update and Insomnia 51. But now it's time to settle down and get back into the full swing of development again - there's a huge amount of content still left to add in the next four months.
Multiplay's Insomnia Gaming Festival was a blast, very different to the consumer focused Rezzed as it was more about playing games and having fun rather than selling and announcing stuff. We managed to set up two machines this time and actually got over three hundred people to play the demo. As usual we gave out some of our lovely Kickstarter mugs to those determined punters who actually managed to beat the first level!
I also managed to get the guys running the event to let me have 15 minutes or so on the Expo stage showing off and explaining the game on the big screen. Hopefully a few people managed to steal themselves away from all the Minecraft stuff and catch a glimpse of TinyKeep in action!
Since the slight shift of focus towards more roguelike/permadeath gameplay elements I've so far been getting mostly positive feedback from the pre-alpha and pre-order testers, gaming press and from people attending the live events. However there have been a handful of people who have messaged me their concerns, in particular the level of difficulty in the current build and also whether I'd still be including more relaxed modes of gameplay focusing on character progression. I'll try and answer these as best I can in the following points below.
The extreme level of difficulty for the current pre-alpha version was intentional as it was part of a live challenge we set up for the events we attended in April. However, the full version of the game will include a tutorial and a much gentler difficulty curve to ease you into the experience. As with most games of this genre, completing the game will still require a lot of practice but we definitely do not want to drop the player into the deep end right at the very beginning!
Someone asked me if I could include a more "relaxed" mode that would allow the player to explore the dungeon at a more sedate pace. While the current build obviously does not represent what the game will eventually feel like, I will still be adding a sandbox/practice mode to allow the player to choose the dungeon seed as well as set a number of environment and monster spawning parameters. So you will be able to set up a custom scenario to best match your playing styles.
Procedurally generated swords from this old post - yep this is still planned!
Character progression and inventory. Okay, this one is a biggie. Traditional roguelikes of course focus on permadeath, which means if you die you lose everything, and I understand why this would be a major concern for some of our backers. However with TinyKeep we have always wanted to blur the lines between roguelikes and RPGs. So we will be including a few elements of permanence in the form of unlocking legendary swords (see the procedurally generated swords post above). I don't want to give too much away at this point as it is basically our unique selling point that Ben and I have been discussing for years, but essentially you'll be able to save some of your items from the inventory between games, even between roguelike and sandbox/practice modes. It's a solution that I hope will strike a balance between tense permadeath and classic RPG progression, without including any elements of tedious grinding. I know it's a little vague right now but I ask you all to please trust us in our vision to make TinyKeep different from the so many other similar themed games out there!
That's it for now! Time to get my head down and continue working on the game...