The real world continues to rudely intrude upon my 7yrl’ing time, but that hasn’t stopped a slew of updates over the last few weeks.  In no particular order:

New landscape & PC/Mac UI

The previous UI is optimized for mobile/small screens.  That remains a key target, but I also want a UI that feels more natural on a PC, Mac, or larger tablet.  In that vein, here’s the new UI for those devices:


Particle effect improvement

Particles can now have a bloom effect that can be seen in the picture above.  I also enabled a number of other effects (e.g. custom blend modes).  More impactfully, I also created a particle editor tool which allows me to tweak particle effects on mobs, items, celleffects and more on a very granular level.  This will be hugely helpful later on when I focus energy on fleshing out the game’s universe.  Here’s a pic of the particle and light editing tools:

Screen Shot 2014-02-14 at 9.15.04 PM

Although I haven’t started really leveraging this yet, it’ll make it far quicker to create tons of different effects to help differentiate monsters from each other, items, rarities, and so on.

The particle editor uses the actual game engine to render particles so I can see them as they’ll really look.  The editor loads from and saves to both xlsx and dat (serialized binary, read by the game) so that I can still use Excel to do more complex or bulk editing tasks if I wish.

As another nice touch, I tweaked the game itself to watch the definitions file at runtime and reload it if it changes.  This way if I’m playing the game and see something that doesn’t look quite right, I can fire up the particle editor, tweak it, save it, and a moment later it updates in the game without having to leave/restore it.  Result: much quicker iteration time.


For fun I added particle effects for damage-taken effects; now when a mob (or player) is hit, there’s a chance they’ll spew blood.  Here’s a small example:


Thanks to the particle system, the blood effect sprays out and even bounces a bit on the ground.  The effect isn’t perfect yet, but it’ll do for now.

Vault Editor

I also created a custom editor to allow me to easily create Vaults.  Vaults are pre-created rooms that are used to give a bit more variety to dungeon levels; at dungeon generation time I’ll swap out empty square rooms with these prefab rooms randomly.  To avoid it seeming incredibly repetitive, I’ll need a ton of these vaults – thus, the editor.  Here’s a pic:

Screen Shot 2014-02-14 at 9.44.14 PM

As with the particle editor, this is using the actual rendering engine, so I can click a button and see what it’ll look like with the actual lights, particles, etc:

Screen Shot 2014-02-14 at 9.44.47 PM

Settings UI & Fidelity settings

There are now multiple fidelity settings to support lower-powered devices.  I’ve also added the start of the settings UI along with a few other settings controls (e.g. hide/show blood effects):

Screen Shot 2014-02-14 at 9.46.30 PM

160 mobs added

I took the ~200 mobs I had defined and alloted them out between the 20 dungeon levels, moving some out to ‘v2’.  I also chose about 120 different mob images from the Oryx set and prep’ed them in the spritesheets so the mobs are now ready for balancing, skill-setting, animating, and adding normals in a few months.

Player XP and Leveling

Players now gain XP from killing mobs and can gain levels.  They aren’t given any awards yet however (skills, stats).


Mana is now a part of the game; all classes have 100 MP – skills have mana cost and mana potions can restore them.  No more infinite health skills for you! 🙂

Potions and Scrolls

Potions can now be drunk and scrolls can now be read.  The cool part is that in both cases the effects are defined through the Event/Action system which means that very unique effects can be crated without touching code.  Here’s the Excel definition for a Renew potion:

Screen Shot 2014-02-14 at 10.09.25 PM


Items, mobs, and skills now display info in a tooltip.  On the PC/Mac they appear on mouseover; on phone/tablet they’ll appear on press-and-hold.  Here’s and example:

Screen Shot 2014-02-14 at 10.13.28 PM

Multi-item grid pickup UI

When the user tries to pick up more than one item in a Cell, it now displays a grid with all of the items in it and allows the use to pick up some or all of them. The grid autosizes to the number of items, and has previous/next pagination if there are too many to display on the screen:

Screen Shot 2014-02-14 at 10.15.21 PM

The same grid is also used in the character’s inventory display

Character sheet/inventory redone

I’m still iterating on the best way to display the various panes (character info, inventory, stats, tomes, professions, …).  As an interim step, I’ve combined character stats, inventory, and skills into one pane, and plan to have all cross-game info (tomes, professions, etc) in another.  Here’s the start of the placeholder char/inventory pane:

Screen Shot 2014-02-14 at 10.18.19 PM

And lots more…

Tons of bug fixes, quality-of-life coding updates, and tweaks.  It’s been a busy few weeks!