Thursday, November 10, 2011

Dweller - the quest for more content

I am now fairly happy with the changes made to the UI and I feel that I can finally focus on adding more content to Dweller. There are several things I'd like to improve:

The map
The maps need a lot more variation. On the top of my list: More variation to the rooms, room features that can be used tactically in combat and rooms with puzzles. The caves and sewers need a lot more love as they are pretty dull levels at the moment.

I really need to improve the repertoire of spells and the way spells work. It is pretty boring to play a Wizard at the moment. Some spell ideas:

  • Leaping flames - fire spell that leaps from the target to a chain of adjacent targets
  • Blink - teleport in a straight line
  • Tornado - knocks back opponents
  • Icetomb - encase and paralyze target in ice
  • Mass sleep
  • Summon elemental

Character advancement - perks/abilities
I would like to provide the player with more choices on level up. I'm thinking along the lines of passive perks/abilities/talents to chose from. Some of the perks that may make it into the game:

  • Silent Death: Increased damage against sleeping monsters
  • Light Step: Reduced chance to trigger unseen trap or waking up monsters
  • Sewer child: Increased poison resistance
  • Shield wall: Increased chance to parry if wielding a shield
  • Marksman: Reduced penalty for missile attacks at a large distance
  • Magic insulation: Increased chance to resist magic attacks
  • Lock-pick: Automatically pick locks
  • Pack mule: Increased carrying capacity
  • Eagle eyes: Increased sight radius (the Ranger already got this one)
  • Conserve magic: Wands deplete slower
  • Barter: Merchant buy price increased and sell prices decreased
  • Piety: Increased healing by your god
  • Steady hands: Reduced chance of triggering traps when disarming them
  • Increased effectiveness of healing, decreased penalty when using heavy weapons, increased effectiveness of scrolls and wands etc etc
If you have ideas on how to improve Dweller, then please don't hesitate to share them with me! I really appreciate all the feedback I get from players.


  1. As a small improvement, the help texts could be a bit more hintful on some things, for example which stats affect ranged weapon attack and defense.

    One other thing I thought of: why do I have to start on level 2 dungeon again after recall, and have to redo all levels - could there not be a possibility of entering a portal or something to return to the level I came from before recalling?

    Otherwise just one major suggestion: don't make Dweller too complicated. One major reason it is so playable as a coffe break rougelike is it's beautiful simplicity. The above lists seem to be okay, as long as care is taken to implement it in a way which does not add too much complexity.

  2. You can read another Scroll of Recall to get down to the furthest depth you've been at. I think the description of Scrolls of Recall mention this.

    I agree about the complexity. Dweller must be easy to pick up and play. It is a game geared for mobile devices, and as such it should be fast to get a game going while waiting for the bus or a train or when you have 5 minutes in between meetings.

  3. Great work so far. I love the new ideas.

    J2ME version is running far better now then it ever has.

  4. Ah I wish you could make this something more than a coffe break roguelike!

    There should be two versions, dweller as it is right now for people who want to play a few minutes when doing something and a continued version where you would add all the content you wrote up there.

    I would also like to suggest, religion (you can please gods or they can get angry at you), simple crafting (eg. 2x iron = small sword), or something like ( fish + fire = cooked fish that gives more hp ).

    Also, if it's possible add more to the wilderness too !

    Add areas like mountains, hills, abandoned castles, towers, forests, and so on each with their specific monsters and loot.

    And yes, more dungeon variation could improve the game a lot, as another suggestion here is, the thing is that it doesn't feel truly random when beginning a new game. I know what I will encounter, slimes, rats, poisoned rats....

    Add more monsters, each with their own attribute, one should have a weakness to arrows while one should have a weakness to fire for example.

    Add a option to eat corpses, you may get poisoned, sick or get some special attributes!

    I am so happy to hear that you want to add more content to the game! Please consider adding more stuff like this if it's possible!

    Not only dweller will be for mobile but it will be a pretty nice PC roguelike game too.

  5. Also, enchant spell still does nothing...

  6. @Anonymous: I'm working on a new release. It should be done later this week. The Enchant Scrolls will be fixed in that release. There will also be some changes to the dungeon generator to get a bit more variation into the maps.

    I'll address the coffebreak vs big game in a separate blog post I think.

  7. Thanks for the reply!

    You have potential for making this into a big game, I'm watching the blog to see the new stuff you add!.