What We Have Been Working On In April!
April has been quite a busy month on the development of Dice Legacy. At the beginning of the month we launched our Closed Alpha and we started gathering some valuable feedback from our testers.
Applications for the Closed Alpha are still open! To join us follow the instructions in our Discord server.
The first thing we focused on was providing more feedback to the player. Despite the absence of any hints or tutorial, our testers had no problem figuring out how the game works, which is a testament to how intuitive the core mechanic is. What was lacking was more information about the in-game elements and especially notifications for important game events.
Firstly we added a sort of “Minimap” to the right of the screen which shows where you are in the world as well as showing icons for important events such as Ravagers attacks or Fires.
We accompanied our Minimap with a good amount of new notifications for important events related to Buildings and Dice. Also, Dice now have a tooltip that can be summoned by hovering over them that will communicate to the player what faces a Die has as well as effects and Traits.
We also worked on improving the overall user experience and controls. Firstly we changed the way we prioritize inputs of locations so that we’ll always select the closest one to the mouse cursor. This makes controlling the game a lot better especially in parts of the map where for instance Forests are very tightly tied together.
Additionally, we introduced a system that hides Locations that are directly in front of the currently selected one. This allows to always see which Dice are present or required in a Location even if it is obstructed by something else. We also tweaked a bit our scrolling controls and introduced an Options Menu where players can alter various settings such as the sensitivity of scrolling.
The procedural generation algorithm of the map has been changed quite a lot. Following some feedback we got from our testers we decided to space out locations a lot more, especially Exiled Villages, and we switched to a system that is a lot more reliable in terms of which and how many locations can be found on the map. This new system allows us to, for example, determine that we need a certain amount of Mines on the map and will proceed to space them out accordingly so that they can be found at more or less regular intervals. This will especially come in handy when it comes to balancing.
Also, now Ruins can be found on the map. Ruins are ancient structures that can be explored by the player and that will provide not only potential rewards such as Resources or Knowledge Points but also hints at the Lore of Dice Legacy and useful pieces to understand the story of the game.
Ruins have some cool foliage which we couldn’t possibly leave still so now we introduced some Material effects that make leaves and plants wave with the wind.
As we push for more visual fidelity, we’re also working to improve the visual variety. Now, portions of the Ring have different trees, such as Pines and we introduced some randomization in the Mines that can be found. Even though we’re quite happy with the looks of the game, we’re gonna keep working to improve the graphics up until release.
Lastly, this month we worked on our dynamic soundtrack system. We’re very lucky to be working again with a wonderful composer: Micheal G. Shapiro. Together, we’re building a system that dynamically adapts to what’s happening in the game in various ways. First, we have separate tracks for Summer and Winter which greatly contribute to the mood of the game. Secondly, these tracks are divided in various layers that fade in and out depending on different factors. At the base we have what we call an “Ambient” layer, which accompanies gameplay and will be heard especially in the early portions of a playthrough. Then we have a “Melodic” layer, which kicks in when the settlement has reached a certain size. This way a more busy city is accompanied by a more complex and grandiose sound. Thirdly we have a “Battle” layer that plays when the tension of the game rises up.
We’re also planning to alter the soundtrack in interesting and eery ways for when The Others are on screen. Overall it’s a fairly simple system which goes a long way in providing a great atmosphere to the game.
There is probably a billion other things we forgot to mention here but we plan to keep the informations about the development flowing so make sure to follow Dice Legacy on Twitter, Facebook and our development blog right here. Lastly, the quickest way to reach out to us is our Discord server, where you can also apply to become an Alpha tester.