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Old 01-13-2012, 07:44 AM
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DylanNagel DylanNagel is offline
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Default Dwarf Quest: casual dungeon crawler


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Original post:

Hi everyone!

My name is Dylan, I'm an indie game developer. Currently I'm working on a dungeon crawler called 'Dwarf Quest'. A few screenshots:







It's still in early stages (most of the art is placeholder), but I'd love to get some feedback from you guys to find out in which direction I should be headed.

So far there's exploration, finding treasure chests with gold, simple monster combat and proceeding to the next dungeon level. It would be great to reach a nice look and feel reminiscent of board games such as HeroQuest and keep it accessible. In that respect I was quite impressed with Deep Deep Dungeon.

Maybe you can help me out! What I'd like to know especially is the following:

1. Controls: point and click, swipe or virtual joystick?
As the game is tile-based, the 'click where you want to go' approach works pretty well at the moment. Still, I know a lot of us appreciate a virtual joystick too.

2. Combat: real-time or turn-based?
This will be at the heart of the game, so it better be good! At the moment I'm envisioning a system with various skills that you can unlock and improve. Still, it should stay as simple as the special skill buttons in Battlehearts, I'd say. Of course, monsters should have a few skills too, so that you need to use a healthy combo of dexterity and tactics.

3. Scope: one big game or expansion packs?
Maybe I'm getting ahead of myself, but this one's been puzzling me for a while. I've been reading a lot about free games that offer In-App Purchases to unlock extra content such as levels and characters. To me personally, this sounds great, but generally speaking, a lot of the Touch Arcade forum members seem to object to it. I'd hate to get this one wrong.

Thanks a lot in advance for taking the time to read all this. I do hope you'll share your thoughts, and maybe even sign up for the TestFlight list. Cheers!

Dylan

Last edited by DylanNagel; 08-20-2012 at 05:20 AM.. Reason: Added trailer!
  #2  
Old 01-13-2012, 08:14 AM
LazyGamer LazyGamer is offline
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Looks nice already, has a 'Cadaver'ish look.

1. Point & Click for me

2. Turn based. Tap a tile 3 units away and 3 rounds pass. Click a monster, get options to go there or attack by ranged weapon. When fighting, just give some nice quickmenus for next action or tap a door to run. If you do not act, nothing happens, or maybe some automated fight option you can stop at any time.

3. With all the (bad) freemium stuff around IAP has a bad name, but if you make it clear what is to pay, why not? But it must be clear that the paid parts really offer something (new dungeons, new monsters, new items, new story).

If you want to avoid IAP, maybe make it episodic and use Cloud to carry over characters to new episodes (if that is possible).
  #3  
Old 01-13-2012, 08:20 AM
Dave in the basement Dave in the basement is offline
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This looks interesting and I'll keep an eye on it. Thanks for posting!

Dave
  #4  
Old 01-13-2012, 08:22 AM
slewis7 slewis7 is offline
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LazyGamer: thanks for mentioning Cadaver. As soon as I saw the screen shot I knew it reminded me of a beloved Amiga game, but I could not remember the title.

This game looks very cool. I hope I get selected for the beta.
  #5  
Old 01-13-2012, 08:51 AM
Gaz Gaz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DylanNagel View Post
Hi everyone!

1. Controls: point and click, swipe or virtual joystick?
As the game is tile-based, the 'click where you want to go' approach works pretty well at the moment. Still, I know a lot of us appreciate a virtual joystick too.
If touch based movement works, I'd rather use that over a virtual joystick.

Quote:
2. Combat: real-time or turn-based?
This will be at the heart of the game, so it better be good! At the moment I'm envisioning a system with various skills that you can unlock and improve.
Tough one, both work well and appeal to different players. For games that have a lot more strategy or tactics about them though I like turn based play.

Quote:
3. Scope: one big game or expansion packs?
Maybe I'm getting ahead of myself, but this one's been puzzling me for a while.
I think it's worth doing for expansion packs. If you're selling the game and have IAP though, I'd make sure what you sell stands on its own as a good game and the IAP can come later as additional material.

IAP just has a bit of a bad rep at the moment because of "free" games that require boat loads of cash be spent on buying pots of gold (and other named variations) to really play the game.

However, expansion packs really sounds like an ideal use of the system.
  #6  
Old 01-13-2012, 04:59 PM
venasque venasque is offline
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I just wanted to say that if you're going for a HeroQuest art style you totally succeeded. That is exactly what I thought of when I looked at your screenshots before reading your post.

I have to admit that after being reminded of HeroQuest I was kinda hoping the game might play out in a similar fashion. Explore a dungeon, "seeing" more and more of it as you do so. Taking an adventure card, playing out the encounter, things like that. HeroQuest was a lot of fun with a lot of light RPG "quests" to accomplish. But nowadays you can have the computer be your DM and have more interesting goals while still maintaining a boardgame feel.

Anyway I'm just dreaming outloud and I'll go back to your questions.

1) Point and click (tap).

2) Turn based

3) Not a big fan of IAP. Like others they have a bad rep and people sort of get their backs up right away. You end up having to talk them off the ledge each time.
  #7  
Old 01-13-2012, 05:20 PM
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DylanNagel DylanNagel is offline
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Wow, thanks a lot for your replies, guys! Great stuff indeed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LazyGamer View Post
Looks nice already, has a 'Cadaver'ish look.
I hadn't seen that game before, but it is a fantastic reference with loads of gameplay ideas. Thanks for mentioning it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LazyGamer View Post
Tap a tile 3 units away and 3 rounds pass. Click a monster, get options to go there or attack by ranged weapon. When fighting, just give some nice quickmenus for next action or tap a door to run. If you do not act, nothing happens, or maybe some automated fight option you can stop at any time.
Nice, I like those suggestions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LazyGamer View Post
With all the (bad) freemium stuff around IAP has a bad name, but if you make it clear what is to pay, why not? But it must be clear that the paid parts really offer something (new dungeons, new monsters, new items, new story).

If you want to avoid IAP, maybe make it episodic and use Cloud to carry over characters to new episodes (if that is possible).
That makes sense, and good to hear there's room for such an approach. I'll give it some more thought.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave in the basement View Post
This looks interesting and I'll keep an eye on it. Thanks for posting!
Thank you for your interest, Dave!


Quote:
Originally Posted by slewis7 View Post
This game looks very cool. I hope I get selected for the beta.
Cheers, and I just added you on TestFlight. I expect to send a new version out this weekend.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaz View Post
I think it's worth doing for expansion packs. If you're selling the game and have IAP though, I'd make sure what you sell stands on its own as a good game and the IAP can come later as additional material.

IAP just has a bit of a bad rep at the moment because of "free" games that require boat loads of cash be spent on buying pots of gold (and other named variations) to really play the game.

However, expansion packs really sounds like an ideal use of the system.
Excellent points, I'll take all of that into consideration.


Quote:
Originally Posted by venasque View Post
I just wanted to say that if you're going for a HeroQuest art style you totally succeeded. That is exactly what I thought of when I looked at your screenshots before reading your post.
That's really great to hear! As a matter of fact, when I started working on the game in December, I was reminded of HeroQuest so much that I called up a bunch of friends to play it again. So yes, definitely a source of inspiration.


Quote:
Originally Posted by venasque View Post
I have to admit that after being reminded of HeroQuest I was kinda hoping the game might play out in a similar fashion. Explore a dungeon, "seeing" more and more of it as you do so. Taking an adventure card, playing out the encounter, things like that. HeroQuest was a lot of fun with a lot of light RPG "quests" to accomplish. But nowadays you can have the computer be your DM and have more interesting goals while still maintaining a boardgame feel.
Even though I'd love to have HeroQuest on my iPad too, I do want to create something original. Then again, my current ideas on combat might actually come close to 'playing out the encounter'. I'll definitely think about having adventure / treasure cards, because that's always a lot of fun. In that respect I'm a big fan of the upgrade system in Solomon's Keep: super easy, and highly randomized. You never know what you're going to get but it always feels like a reward.


Thanks again for all your input, gents! I will post updates in this thread as the game progresses.
  #8  
Old 01-16-2012, 03:22 AM
LazyGamer LazyGamer is offline
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Impressive if you pull this off with enough content to make it diverse enough.
  #9  
Old 01-16-2012, 04:36 PM
Defard Defard is offline
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Wow hero quest...that takes me back! Touch & turn based is my preference.

I buy a lot of apps and when I see iap think it's going to be mafia wars type rubbish so I stay away. I suggest expansion packs / new monster / character types as a way to generate extra revenue!
  #10  
Old 01-17-2012, 01:23 PM
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DylanNagel DylanNagel is offline
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Thanks for your vote, Defard.

In the past few days I've been working on the game, and I have another question for you guys.

Q: Action bar like in World of WarCraft or context sensitive icons close to their target?



A seperate action bar keeps the rest of the screen clear. However, you'll have to move around your fingers between the bar and the center of the screen to walk around and selecting monster.

The drawback of context sensitive of course is that the buttons could obscure all the action. Might be difficult to see the monsters and click on the floor to walk around.

Thanks in advance for your input!

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