Combat Initiative
Sunday, 01 December 2013 15:51

Hey, guys. We're still hard at work at producing new content for the next version. And while I'm not ready to show the new areas yet (except the attached teaser screenshot), there are a couple of smaller changes I wanted to talk about.

Underrail - Surprise Attack

The most significant change to the combat mechanics is the addition of initiative. Character's base initiative is determined like this: 5 + agility + dexterity. At the start of the combat, each combat participant randomly adds 1-15 points to the base initiative and the modified value is used when sorting the turn order. The only exception is when the player initiates combat manually (by pressing ENTER) or by simply attacking. In this case the player will always act first, but because of this, the AP cost of the opening attack/action will be deducted from his first turn. Additionally, this also applies to some other non-combat action performed just before entering combat, such as opening doors.

Also, player will no longer be able to quickly initiated combat manually when exiting a dialog to get a jump on their enemies, but I will be going through all situations that involve dialog initiated combat to make sure the player receives appropriate initiative bonus depending on the situation. That is, if you are having a dialog with someone who is already wary of you (such as GMS hostage situation) you do not get any initiative bonus (though you still "roll" standard initiative and may in fact play first), while in situation in which you surprise attack someone through a dialog you will get a substantial initiative bonus, effectively granting you first strike.

I think it's pretty clear what the purpose of this change is - I want to remove the ability (and the need) to "cheese" your way into attacking first, while providing a game mechanic that will allow you to do this in a more meaningful way instead using your reflexes. I think these changes will particularly benefit non-stealth characters who are often hard pressed to survive when ambushed by multiple attackers. For now the initiative is only dependent on the start mentioned above, but later on I plan to add feats/abilities/psi that will allow you to increase this base value. I'm also considering adding initiative modifiers to weapons.

In other news:


  • UI
    • Added a confirmation box when changing video settings
    • Added an option to scroll with mouse while holding the right button
    • Added an option to lock the mouse to screen in fullscreen mode (doesn't work perfectly though, sorry)
    • You can double click on your (non-existing) portrait to center back to your character
    • Game window will no longer process input while inactive
  • Tweaks
    • Shroomhead feat now restores 15 psi points each time you pick a mindshroom
    • Reduced base trap arming time to 7 seconds
    • Reduced the range at which the traps trigger when you step into their tile (should be more consistent with visual collision now)
  • Items
    • Added electrical knives (same crafting mechanics like with sledgehammers and gloves)
    • Added more belts (belts have fixed stats and are not craftable)
    • Added bear trap - a cheap early game trap that deals mechanical damage, roots the target and inflicts a bleeding wound; like caltrops, it can be envenomed
    • Added serrated crossbow bolt that deals additional 100% of original damage dealt through a bleeding wound over 3 turns, but incurs even greater damage threshold penalty than a regular bolt
    • Weapons can now have varying base critical damage bonuses (for now only depending on the weapon base type, but in the future modifiable through enhancements)
Let me know what you think about the balance changes and the new mechanics. Sorry that I can't give you guys a date of the next update, but what I can say is that development speed is picking up again and we're planning to release a new town in the next update as well as bunch of new enemy types.


Expanding the Business; Balance Changes
Thursday, 24 October 2013 23:06

Hey guys, here's an update on what's been happening since the Steam release.

It will be a while longer before a new version is ready, sorry. The reason for that is that I've been somewhat busy with trying to expand the business. The game did well enough on its Steam (pre-)release that I can now afford to hire some people now that will assist with content creation. Unfortunately, this means interviewing, office space hunting, taxes, logistics, and other stuff that's cutting into my development time. So while development is a bit slow until all this settles down, it will pick up pace and go even faster afterwards.

However, I did manage to add some more Lower Underrail areas and I also made a number of balance tweaks, bug fixes and the like:


  • Changes
    • Players will receive better armor at the start
    • Added more meds, ammo and such to the starting areas
    • Reduced explosive barrel health to 1
    • AP cost of using light weapons (knives, pistols, SMGs or fist weapons) or unarmed attacks is reduced by 4% for every dexterity point above 5. This is very much subject to change depending on how it works out. I want to make high dexterity builds feel more rewarding and this is just the first step.
    • Dogs now have 50% chance to apply Tackle effect on hit (down from 100%)
    • Skill requirements for recycling items reduced
    • Item durability increased, particularly for higher level items. This will make it less profitable (hopefully not profitable in most cases) to repair them for sole purpose of selling them. Also, crafters will be able to recycle them for more scraps them previously since the amount of scraps gained is based on current and max durability of an item. Rate of item degradation should remain about the same
    • Mark 2 repair kits now fix 500 durability points (up from 400). Cost increased accordingly; repair kit crafting requirements and components remain the same
    • Durability span of items looted from slain enemies increased to 5%-50% (up from 5%-20%)
    • Bandits in the "package delivery quest" nerfed
    • Minimal stealth requirements (below which player is automatically spotted) reduced
    • Increased the amount of special ammo that can be found as loot
    • Reduced the cost of amuples and syringes
    • Reduced the amount of explosive required to craft traps (it's now same as grenade recipe)
    • Increased chemistry requirements of Hexogen explosive to 50 (up from 22). Secondary explosives difficulty modifier in grenade and mine blueprint increased to 125% (up from 100%). Mark 3 grenades/mines are now crafted from 1 hexogen and mark 2 are crafted from 2 x TNT instead of vice versa. Reasoning behind these changes is that crafting high level explosives was way too easy and allowed you to obtain grenades that were meant to be used against level 20 enemies as soon as level 7 if not earlier.
    • Player character will no longer obscure targets behind them when issuing offensive commands (such as attacking or invoking offensive abilities)
  • Bug fixes
    • Exporting a character while trading window is open will no longer crash the game
    • Save/load window will no longer lose focus after deletion confirmation pop-up
    • Fixed the bug that would cause optional components to give different crafting requirements depending on order they are placed in
    • Galvanic vest added to random loot table (and hence the stores too)
    • Added missing female riot gear spritesheets (sorry ladies)
    • Fixed the bug that would cause the old man in GMS level 3 to repeatedly initiate dialog with you
    • Fixed the bug in Abram's questline where you could give Garren information you didn't actually receive
    • AP should now correctly be deducted when stacking up utility items during combat
  • Other
    • Added transition error log; it will be generated in Documents\My Games\Underrail every time there's a transition error. This should help us pinpoint any remaining transition problems
    • Removed Media Player requirement by popular demand (you will no longer have to have media player windows feature installed in the next version of the game)
That's all for now. Be sure to let me know what you thought of the balance changes so far.


Steam Achievements
Saturday, 14 September 2013 23:02

In the last two weeks I've been working on Steam integration, primarily implementing the achievements.

There will be 50 of them initially, but I plan to keep on adding more bit by bit with each future update. A lot of them are your usual "do something X times", but there are a number of more interesting ones and I'll also be focusing on those more in the future. Kinda wanted to get the basics done first. For those of you who are interested in Steam trading cards, I do hope to implement those at a later stage, once the character and creatures portraits are done and I have more graphical assets to work with as those require a lot.

In other news, I've also fixed a couple of bugs (along with some spelling errors, per usual):

  • TNT blueprint will no longer consume excess components
  • Tungsten steel boots icons added
  • New lens types will now be correctly generated with quality (all the current ones in the game are base quality; I'm sorry about that, but hey, at least their crafting requirements are low :P)
  • Crafting window will now remember what blueprint you had selected when you last closed it
Next I need to take care of some technical stuff and finish Steam release preparations. I'll let you guys know when it's coming out as soon as I have a confirmed date.

Version released; also Greenlit!
Thursday, 29 August 2013 18:46

The long overdue update is finally ready. Also, in other news the game got greenlit for Steam distribution!

Underrail - Brawling

Okay let's cover the update first. It's currently up on Desura and GamersGate (soon to be available on Groupees website as well). Here's the list of what I've done since the last dev log, also be sure to also check out the previous three dev logs for other stuff that's new in this version.


  • Added TNT explosive charge that can be used to clear rocks. Many passages still don't lead anywhere even if you clear them just so you know though
  • Did bunch of AI work, enemies can now do the following
    • Use more special attacks: kneecap shot, pummel, crippling strike, execute, heavy punch, dirty kick
    • Use "yell" special ability
    • Use more drugs: adrenaline, morphine
    • Throw grenades: frag, HE and flashbang
    • Use more special bolts: acid, shock, incendiary
    • Use offensive and utility psi abilities
    • Kite their target (like psi beetles do)


Here's a summary of what I focused on in this update: I've added a bunch of areas to Lower Underrail (the place where the SGS metro station is). These are just "wilderness" areas right now so there are any new quests, but monsters to fight, traps to step, loot to collect and that sort of stuff. I also add a number of items and blueprints (gloves, riot armor) which should give you more options in building your character, as well as improved the arsenal and the AI of the existing enemies.

In the next couple of weeks I'll mostly focus on Steam integration and fixing some technical issues with the game before I move back to building content.

* * * * * *

Which brings us to other topic of this dev log. So the game has finally been greenlit. It's been up there just two days short of a whole year which is longer than I've hoped, but shorter than I feared. I want to send out a sincere thank you to everyone who voted for the game and helped spread the word. With the Steam distribution secured, the future of the game is looking brighter than ever. :)

Anyway, to answer the questions that a lot of you have been asking me:


  1. I am aiming to release the game for Early Access on Steam. When exactly - I don't know. It depends on how long it will take me to integrate it and what the rest of release process is like. What I can say for sure is that this will be my priority in the coming weeks.
  2. If you've purchased the game through Desura I would very much like to give you a Steam key as well, but I'm not 100% sure what the rule on this are and I'll have to consult both distributors involved before I can commit to anything. Please be patient and I'll let you guys know as soon as possible. Same goes for those that purchased the game through the Groupees bundle.


Combat Gloves
Saturday, 10 August 2013 20:17

As promised I've added a new combat option to the game for people who want to focus on brawling in form of combat gloves.

Underrail - Combat Gloves Crafting

Combat gloves can be crafting from leather or metal. The type of material used will determine the AP cost / damage payload, while the quality will determine the overall damage. You can also attach spikes, blades or more metal plating which will add extra damage in different ways.

Gloves can also have power modules, which will drain energy while performing a special on hit effect. The two modules currently available are electroshock generator (which functions in the same manner as when attached to a sledgehammer) and pneumatic hammer which, when combined with heavy punch or similar feats, can dish out quite a bit of burst damage.

When it comes to unarmed feat bonuses, some will transfer to fist weapons, while others won't. I think that currently going for gloves as opposed to pure unarmed will always be better, but I plan to change that in the future by adding more stuff for the pure martial artist type of character through feats and psi. Gloves/fist weapons should not make the pure unarmed obsolete, but rather provide an alternative path and also allow unarmed characters to overcome some of their big weaknesses such as lack of AoE and burst damage.

Other minor changes:

  • Added more lens types for goggles (+crit chance, +special attack damage, +detection)
  • Damage from spikes and blades from boots and armor should now apply on special attacks
  • Reduced the damage of electrokinesis (it will still do more damage than pyrokinesis against smaller number of targets, but less single target damage other single target nukes)
  • Changed the way shock sledgehammer is made, will now require a power core
  • Junkyard surprise nerfed (+1/2 to a stat, -1/2 to a stat) and made consumable on use
  • Repairing broken equipment while worn or getting the worn equipment broken will now always correctly update armor and special effects penalties
  • Fixed bunch of spelling errors

Next I have one more item to add and bunch of AI stuff to do before I can release this version.

New Armor Type
Monday, 15 July 2013 00:16

Hi guys, I'm still down in the cellar working on the Lower Underrail. Things have been a bit quiet and slow recently, but these times come and go and are nothing to worry about. To break the monotony of working on barren hostile areas all the time, I've added a new armor type.

Underrail - Riot Gear Armor

Riot Gear armor is a medium encumbrance armor that specializes against firearms and melee attacks (+100% damage threshold vs. firearms and +50% damage resistance and threshold vs. melee attacks). Like the tactical vest, it's crafted from a carrier vest and a ballistic panel and an optional overcoat fabric. You can also add metal plates to include a shield as well (will add other materials for this purpose at some point) which will increase encumbrance, but will give you a 20% chance to block certain amount of mechanical melee damage (depending on the quality of the material used). While using a riot gear armor that includes a shield you can only wield one handed weapons though (pistols, knives, crowbars).

Also here's a couple of minor changes and bug fixes:

  • Increased duration of thermodinamicity to 2 turns
  • Reduced damage of spikes and blades when mounted on a metal armor suit, but increased their damage when mounted on boots
  • Fixed spikes of doom bug
  • It's no longer possible to refresh the duration of stun, fear and short-circuit effects
  • Fixed the scaling of Bilocation psi ability
In the next couple of weeks I'll add few more items and creatures and probably do some AI work. After that I plan to release a new version. The Lower Underrail is not fully ready yet, but it should be fun to snoop around nevertheless.

Lower Underrail and Mad Hattering
Monday, 27 May 2013 21:53

I'm currently in the process of building the Lower Underrail.

Underrail - Lower Underrail

For those who don't know the Lower Underrail was the industrial/military zone of the big underground metro system before things went to hell, as opposed to the Upper Underrail which was the residential zone.

I have it mapped out on paper and am now going through each zone and constructing it in the editor. It's a lot of work without much to report so bear with me as I grind through it. At first, there won't be any quests or special points of interest (just containers, monsters, bandits, traps, and that stuff), until later I start adding the stations, dungeons and occasional random encounter. The metro train is also on the way. It will be connecting the aforementioned stations.

In other news, I've added psionic headbands to the game along with blueprint and components required to make them (creating them will require electronics and a bit of biology). These headbands can enhance one of the three psionic schools, but there are also universal ones that enhance all three (though those are generally weaker). Depending on what components are used, they can increase skill levels, critical chances, critical modifiers, and psi costs. I will add more components in the future that will have other effects or have greater effects (per quality) but with certain drawbacks.

Version released
Tuesday, 07 May 2013 00:36

The game is updated to version on Desura and GamersGate, soon to be updated on Groupees as well. You'll find all the new stuff listed here and in the previous dev log.

Underrail - Pyrokinetic Stream

As promised, I've added a number of new feats and psi abilities. With feats I mostly focused on melee combat and grenades, both of which were sorely lacking in that department.

In regards to new psi abilities you'll notice I've added an extra thought control ability. This means that there's now an equal number of psi abilities across all psi schools. You can learn most of the new psi abilities from the existing teachers (this might change in the future), with the exception of Bilocation for which you must look elsewhere (those who played through the whole game before will have a good idea where to go ;) ).

So without further ado, here's the list of changes since the last dev log:


  • New feats
    • Heavy Punch - Unarmed attack that deals 200% for 250% AP
    • Bone Breaker - Critical hits from your blunt melee attacks break ribs if they deal at least 4% of target's maximal health through mechanical damage. Targets with broken ribs receive additional 25% mechanical damage from all sources. This effect stacks up 2 times.
    • Cheap Shots - Increases critical damage bonus of your melee attacks by 50% and gives your unarmed attacks 15% chance to incapacitate the target for 1 turn.
    • Paranoia - Detection increased by 20% and chance to get critically hit reduced by 3%. Also your weapon damage is increased by 20% against stealthed targets (will be useful at one point).
    • Uncanny Dodge - Grants you an ability that when activated will cause you to dodge the next regular or special melee attack targeted against you.
    • Evasive Maneuvers - Converts all remaining movement points into twice the evasion for 2 turns.
    • Grenadier - Reduces the cooldown of fragmentation and high explosive greandes by 1 turn and special grenades by 2 turns.
    • Three-Pointer - Gives your damage dealing grenades 10% chance to critically hit. This chance is increased by 2% for each point in dexterity above 7.
    • Trap Expert - Reduces time required to arm traps by 70% and increases the detection difficulty of the traps you set by 25%.
  • New psi abilities
    • Pyrokinetic Stream (metathermics) - Creates a stream of fire towards the targeted location, damaging everything in its path for X heat damage every tick. The stream lasts for three ticks plus an additional tick for every 10 spare action and psi points remaining after the initial invocation.
    • Electrokinesis (psychokinesis) - Deals X electrical damage to the primary target and stuns it for 1 turn before jumping to a nearby target. It can jump up to four times, but the damage decreases by 15% of the original amount with every jump. It can strike the same target multiple times, but it needs at least two targets to jump between. Only the primary target is stunned.
    • Bilocation (thought control) - Creates a doppelganger of a human target bent on their destruction. The doppelganger is immune to all physical attacks and deals X mental damage that bypasses all shields and resistances. Last for 4 turns.
    • Mental Breakdown (thought control) - Incapacitates the target for up to 3 turns and reduces its resolve by 50%. If a detrimental thought control psi ability is invoked against the target during this period it will have double the effect, but will end the mental breakdown.
  • Changes
    • Game generates a crash log now in Documents\My Games\Underrail folder when it crashes.
    • Increased the amount of health hypos, bandages and ammo the player receives at the start of the game. Player can also find a mechanical repair kit in its room at the start.
  • Fixes
    • No longer possible to place the fishing rod on top of yourself
    • Game will no longer crash when attempting to disarm triggered traps
    • Game should work properly with windows on-screen keyboard now
    • Junkayrd gambling house staff and nearby Black Eels will no longer turn hostile after the attack on Scrappers
Let me know how you liked these changes and the new stuff.


Pickpocketing and Feats Changes
Wednesday, 17 April 2013 16:27

Hey, guys, sorry for the delayed update. I was out of country for a while on a vacation of sort. I'm back in the development chair now and here's what I've been doing.

Underrail - Pickpocketing

First of all I revamped the pickpocketing mechanics as I promised. The way it works now is that when you are stealing items from an NPC you are filling up their permanent "suspicion meter". If you fill up this meter to the max you will be detected and the combat will ensue. The game will indicate how much stealing a certain item will raise the suspicion meter.

The rate at which you fill this meter will depend on the ratio between your pickpocketing skill and the victim's detection. Since the detection scales off of character's level and perception, this basically means that you'll have to continue investing points in the pickpocketing skill (and ideally dexterity as well) in order to be able to steal (or steal more) from progressively higher level NPCs. Also, some items are harder to steal than others (e.g. heavy weapons and armors in comparison to smaller stuff like ammo and hypos).

The way this system is set up it means that, unlike lockpicking and hacking, the outcome is not binary. Depending on your skill-to-detection ration and the difficulty modifier of the item, you may be able to steal zero, one or more items from a given target. So investing more skill into pickpocketing will always be useful. Because there's no dice involved in the calculations, this will also eliminate the need for save scumming.

Pickpocketing does not require stealth, unless of course you're trying to steal from a hostile NPC.

* * * * *

The other major change I made is reducing the frequency of acquiring feats from one every level to one every two levels. The reason for this is that when I originally decided that you should get a feat every level I was planning on having the max character level set to 20, which would put you at 22 feats (+ some story extras), and since the total number of feats will be around a hundred having 22/100 feats seemed about right. It would mean you wouldn't be able to get every feat in the game you wanted/needed in one playthrough and the number of feats per character to the total number of feats ratio seemed like it would allow for a variety of different builds.

However, since I've increased the leveling rate a bit and decided to eventually change the max character level to 30, that would put the character at the max level up to 32+ feats. Now this is no longer a comfortable ratio, especially considering there might be expansion packs and the like that could raise the max character level. You'd be practically able to take every third feat in the game.

So now you get two feats at the start like before and one more feat each even level, which will put you at 17 leveling feats which is much closer to what I originally intended. I've also went back and buffed/reworked existing feats that were somewhat lackluster in order to make them a more desirable choice in this new feat economy:


  • Burglar - Reduces the time it takes to pick and hack locks by 75%, but also add +10 bonus to stealth when in controlled areas
  • Nimble - Reduces encumbrance by 15%, but also grants 15% bonus to dodge and evasion when on zero encumbrance
  • Ninja Looter - Reduces pickpocketing time by 50% and also reduces suspicion raised when pickpocketing by 25% when hidden from the target
  • Conditioning - Increased the damage reduction to 10% + 1% per constitution above 5, but also added requirement of having at least 5 points in constitution
  • Opportunist - Upped the damage bonus agains slowed targets to 20% (up from 15%)
  • Recklessness - Grants 10% increased critical chance with all weapons, but also increases the chance of you getting critically hit by 3% (up from 3%/2% I think)
  • Yell - Reduces enemy offensive skills by 35% of your intimidation skill (up from 25% I think)
  • Snipe - Increased the base damage bonus from 100% to 125%
* * * * *
And here are some other smaller, but not necessarily less significant changes I've made:
  • Bugs
    • Fixed the game crashing when loading saves. It's still not recommended to play the old saves, but it shouldn't crash now hopefully.
    • Fixed the problems with Cliff's quest when he would die at inopportune times
  • Tweaks
    • Reduced weapon degradation significantly. The starting pistol should now be good for over 100 shots
    • Melee weapons no longer degrade on missed attacks
    • Reduced the cost of energy pistols
    • Dexterity now increases critical chance of melee attacks by 1% for each point above 5
    • Added "Already known" label to blueprints you... already know
    • Added more items to the SGS commoners to be stolen!
    • Reduced the pickpocketing cooldown to 5 seconds (down from 10)
Let me know what changes you guys like and disliked and why.


Version released
Friday, 22 March 2013 21:37

The game is updated to version on Desura, soon to be updated in other places as well (GamersGate and Groupees). You'll find all the new stuff listed here and in the previous three dev logs.

Underrail - Cave Bandits

The new patch is ready. As mentioned in previous dev logs, I focused on re-balancing the economy and area of effect attacks (primarily grenades). But I've also added new quests and areas, mostly in the vicinity of the Junkyard.

These quests should hopefully paint a clearer picture of the Underrail politics and tell you a bit more about some of the major factions, while still leaving many questions to be answered later in the game. They will also allow you to actively take part in faction struggles.

Without wanting to spoil too much for the players, I'll just say that one of the quests results in a larger scale combat encounter. I'm not particularly happy with this event for a number of reasons. First, the AI isn't very good in handling multiple enemies, it's been written so far to simply fight the one character that is the player and not to coordinate group fights. So you will see your companions and enemies alike to stupid things from time to time. Secondly, waiting time are just too long because I control only one characters in a fight with many participants. And lastly, in the real time sections before and after the fight there's too much pathfinding calculations going on that it can stagger the game a bit.

But despite all of this, I'm still including the encounter because it's a nice change of pace and because omitting it, or automatically resolving it somehow, would be very anti-climatic. But don't expect these sort of fights to be common in the future. The game was built with single character in mind and it shows.

Anyway, here's the full list of changes since the last dev log:


  • General
    • More quests added to Junkyard areas
    • Two new mini dungeons added
  • Economy
    • Toned down item degradation a bit
    • Melee weapons no longer degrade faster than ranged weapons
    • Reduced the base merchant price modifier from 425% to 350% to better suit the other changes to the economy; so basically everything will be a bit cheaper
  • Mechanics
    • Caltrops have a chance to miss the targeted tile in the same way the granades do
  • Balance
    • Change the mutants and mutated dog health up, down and all around; can't tell if it's more or less than what it used to be but it's balanced now I think
    • NPC natural dodge/evasion changed to 1 per level
    • Off-balanced, stunned, frozen and incapacitated enemies have their dodge and evasion reduced to zero
    • Rooted enemies have their evasion reduced to zero
    • Increased the damage of crippling strike and reduced the AP cost
    • Critical crippling strike applies 2 stacks of the debuff
    • Restored health modifier to all commoners to 100% (up from 50%/80%)
  • Fixes
    • High-density foam padding price now scales with quality and quality is also made relevant in all its crafting recipes
    • Fixed Telekinetic Punch to scale off of Psychokinesis instead of Metathermics
  • UI
    • Disabled Trade button when nothing is set to be traded
    • Turn-based combat path visualization should now work properly in all cases


Taking from the Rich
Thursday, 28 February 2013 23:17

Underrail - Blood sucking frogs

I'm still working on the new content for next release (v0.1.7.0), but I also took a break from that to address more balance issues.

Now, before I hit you with a big list of changes, let me give you a brief intro about the subject at hand.

Looking at the current release version, the biggest issue with the game currently mechanics-wise is that it gets increasingly easier once the player gets past the early stages. One of the main reasons for that, which I've already addressed in the previous dev logs, is the (over)power of grenades and other AoE attacks. The biggest issue, however, is the game's economy. Namely, that the player quickly gets rich from the insane amount of loot that he can acquire. This dev log focuses primarily on that, as well as on re-balancing some other abilities/items that I've found to be a bit too good.

The biggest change here is that I've reduced the amount of loot that is available through scavenging significantly. The biggest offenders were mid-late game dungeons (I didn't mess with the starting areas, they are fine) and also somewhat corners of urban areas that were way to easy to plunder with impunity. For the most part I haven't removed any stuff from the loot table, but have rather reduced the amount of items you get (ammo, weapons/armor and especially components) and significantly reduced the chance. So basically most places that you've looted before still have some chance of holding loot in future games (very few containers are fixed to be empty), but they won't give you large amounts of loot every time like they do now.

This, coupled with item durability cost penalty should make the game more challenging and force you to manage your resources more carefully as you should no longer have unlimited amounts of grenades, special blots/ammo, psi points, batteries, etc. When it comes the time to release the new version, I'll have to test this new economy carefully with a couple of playthroughs, though, to ensure that I haven't gone too far or not far enough. After that, I'll be very interested to hear from you guys as to what your experience was in this new economy.

Also, I've increased the difficulty of some encounters in the Old Junkyard (Depot A) and also did some bug fixing. In any case, here's the full list:


  • Economy
    • Reduced the amount of loot significantly (mainly from dungeon areas and lightly guarded urban areas)
    • Wheeled bots and turrets leave loot now (ammo, scraps and sometimes more valuable things)
    • Reduce leather drop chances across the board
    • Reduced the value multiplier for certain crafted items (e.g. leather armor) in relation to their components; purchasing components from vendors and crafting them into finished items and reselling them should not be profitable (this would either force me to reduce the amount of components the merchants have or to reduce the restocking frequency and I don't want to do either); finding components and crafting them into items before selling them is profitable
    • Increased the cost of special bolts
    • Item cost penalty based on durability changed from linear function to power function; meaning that lower less and less durability and item has, the faster its value drops
    • Psi boosters now cost 5 mindshrooms to make
    • Increased deterioration rate of melee weapons by 50% to somewhat balance out them not requiring ammo
  • Misc
    • Added more mutated dogs to Old Junkyard because why not
    • Player now leaves a corpse after dying instead of turning into a backpack
  • Balance
    • Reduced the amount of skill points the player gets (-15 at the start, -5 per level)
    • Added activation cost to night vision goggles
    • Increased value of distance factor when calculating weapon to-hit chance
    • Weapon precision penalties (melee, on move) will now correctly be deducted at the end of to-hit chance calculation (it's no longer possible to mitigate these penalties through skill)
    • NPCs now have natural dodge and evasion bonus equal to twice their level (factor subject to change pending testing)
    • Reduced damage of shock, incendiary and acid bolts across the board; they should still be good but won't 2-shot most things in the game anymore
    • Precision bonus with special bolts removed from Marksman feat
    • Increased Pyrokinesis cooldown to 3 turns (up from 2) and reduced damage slightly
    • Premeditation now reduces the cost of your next psi ability by 50% instead of 100%
    • Increased the health of Mutated humans and restored them their normal movement points (was too easy to kite them)
    • Mutated human's AI tweaked to correctly use acid spray even when close to player if something is preventing them from engaging in melee
    • Increased mutant dog health
    • Resist chance calculations for everything (stun, entangle, etc) was previously bugged and couldn't drop below 20% no matter how powerful the attack/ability was and how bad the defense was. Also capped all resist chance at 65% (down from 80%), might change pending testing.
    • Reduced Neural Overload the damage that can be mitigated through resolve. It's also capped at ~40%.
    • Increased base psionic power of psi beetles and their synergy bonus; also their armor and health a bit (hopefully I get to watch them actually kill someone now)
    • Added some acid resistance to wheeled bots and turrets
    • Change trap detection mechanics to favor players investing in Traps skill in addition to having good perception; traps are also not revealed automatically if you beat the skill check but instead have a chance to be revealed every "tick" in real time / end of turn in turn-based mode; this will make traps a bit more dangerous than they are now for all characters
    • Changed stealth detection indicator colors for NPCs again: slowly fading in-and-out silver eye again means true-seeing again, while slowly fading in-and-out red eye means "stealth too low to hide from this NPC"; should be more intutive this way. If you don't know what I'm talking about, check out the stealth changes I made a while back (
    • You can no longer set traps, disarm traps, lockpick or hack in turn-based mode
  • UI
    • When placing traps with AoE effect, their range will also be displayed; this should make it easier for players to prevent chaining their own traps and blowing themselves up Wile E. Coyote style.
    • Toggling between all feats and only available ones should now correctly update the scroll bar
  • Bug fixes
    • Fixed the bug that caused players to die during transition and return as vengeful undead if they transitioned in turn-based mode with a damage over time effect that is about to kill them
    • Fixed lightning in some areas (GMS, Elwood's house)
    • Killing someone in a single turn will now correctly propagate hostilities to their nearby friends
Alright, this is about all the major balancing, bug fixing, etc, I was planning to do for this update. Unless I come across something major, of course. The economy will probably need more balancing closer to new version release, but until them I'll be focusing on new content.


Blood Sucking Frogs
Tuesday, 12 February 2013 02:45

Underrail - Blood sucking frogs

Right now I have 3 more creature models ready to be programmed into the game, but with everything else that needs to be done first they'll have to wait. For now you guys will have to settle with "Siphoners", which are essentially blood sucking frog-like creatures that can be found in the underground lakes and streams, waiting for their unsuspecting victims to come close to the water before pouncing on them. Their basic attack applies anticoagulation which reduces all healing effects, prolongs bleeds and increases the effectiveness of their blood sucking attack which, as you might have guessed, transfers your health to them. They also have head ramming attack that imbalances you and has a chance to stun you as well.


I've also implemented fishing. Actually, this was functional long time ago but due to some major changes to the game I had to disable it for a time. For now you'll only be able to fish for blue eels for a quest, but I'll add more fishing goodies later and probably some blueprints that make use of those. You also have a chance to fish out other random (and some not so random) stuff in certain places.


I've added a couple of new areas, a couple of new quests and a mini-dungeon with burrowers in it.


I've also made more some changes to other mechanics (I know I said I wouldn't for a while, but I lied):

  • Grenades and pyrokinesis will now deal their full damage near the center of the detonation and less and less damage the further you move from it. Something like this was already in place with frag grenade shrapnel (you'd get hit with more shrapnel the closer you are to the detonation), but now it affects all grenade damage
  • Pyrokinesis has a chance to miss the targeted tile in the same way as grenade do; the targeting precision is derived from metathermics skill


Next on the agenda: more quests and a couple more areas.

Grenade Changes and Item Durability
Friday, 25 January 2013 22:25

Two important changes to game mechanics in this update.


Underrail - Throwing a grenade

A lot of you have been complaining of how overpowered and game changing the grenades are due to how easy it currently is to deploy them exactly where you want even with no points invested in the skill, so I made some long overdue changes:

  • "Grenades" skill has been renamed to "Throwing". It will now be used when calculating precision of all throwing actions (such as tossing flares and using throwing nets).
  • Grenade cooldown no longer decreases with skill. A cooldown reduction feat will probably be introduced in the future.
  • Grenade range no longer increases with skill.
  • Throwing precision now increases with skill and decreases with throwing distance. The less precise you throw the farther the grenade will land from the targeted location (up to 3 tiles away).


Underrail - Mechanical Repair Kit


I've introduced item durability for weapons and armor pieces (helmet, torso armor and boots). Now, some of you might not like this but hear me out first.


My main motivation for introducing degradable equipment is to reduce the amount of money the player can accumulate past the early game. As you start delving into "dungeon" areas of the game, you start finding more and more loot. And there has to be plenty of loot because different characters need different things and you have to give every type of character a decent chance to find a weapon/armor that he can use. Furthermore, whenever you kill an armed NPC (or a bunch of them) you get to loot their weapons and armor.


So very quickly you find yourself with a bunch of spare weapons and armors sets that you can just trade for a heap of money and whatever your heart desires. It's not supposed to be that easy. So now whenever you find a weapon or armor in a dungeon or loot it from a corpse it will have reduced durability and hence the cost. You can then repair the item and use it yourself, you can sell it for a percentage of its total value depending on how damaged it currently is, or, if you are crafty enough, you can recycle it for "scraps" that you can then use to create repair kits. You can also purchase repair kits from merchants, they will be plentiful.


There are three types of durability - mechanical (firearms, crossbows, metal armors, etc), electrical (energy and electroshock weapons) and fabric (leather armors, tactical vests). Depending on the item's durability type, the skills used to recycle the item (and then create repair kit from scraps) are mechanics, electronics and tailoring respectively.


* * * * *


And now I'm done messing with game mechanics for a while. Next up, new areas and quests.

Version released
Sunday, 13 January 2013 23:54

The game is updated to version on Desura, soon to be updated in other places as well (GamersGate and Groupees). You'll find all the new stuff listed here and in the previous two dev logs.


Underrail - Len's Shop


  • Added creature respawning. Creatures in most places will respawn every two hours. Some bandits will also respawn, but most of the human enemies in the current areas will not respawn (since it wouldn't make sense in the context of these areas).
  • Merchants will now refresh their inventories every 90 minutes.
  • Reduced the frequency of base stat point gain. Player character will now gain an extra base stat point every four levels, instead of every two.
  • Fixed the problem with indirect kills not giving the player XP - all damage over time effects, ground effects and explosive barrels will now properly credit the player with XP.
  • Experience gains are now calculated against character's "potential level" which takes into account all XP gained to that point even if you stayed off leveling up.
  • Opening and closing doors in combat now cost 25 action points (up from 10) so no more open-shoot-close tactics!
  • Locked doors and containers will now display the difficulty rating on attempted use. Lockpicks and haxxors will display the max. lock difficulty they can handle in hands of the player character.
  • SGS merchants will now accept stygian coins (charons).
That's it for this patch. Be sure to drop by the forums and let me know what you think of the changes and the new stuff once you get the chance to check it out.
Wrapping up the Crafting Stuff
Monday, 31 December 2012 16:17

I've finished all the crafting updates for the next release:

Underrail - Health Hypo Blueprint

  • Renamed the "Extract Toxin" blueprint into "Extract Humour". It can now be used to extract various bodily fluids from organs of dead animals
  • Creatures will now drop organs when killed. Different types of creatures (animals, insectoids) drop different organs. Harder to kill creatures have greater chance of dropping organs (e.g. rathound alpha has a better chance of dropping adrenal gland than the regular rathound)
  • Added health hypo blueprint. You'll need to extract substances from both animal (cave hopper, rathounds, dogs) and insectoid (psi beetle, burrower) organs in order to create those.
  • Added adrenaline shot blueprint. You can extract adrenaline from adrenal glands which are a rare drop on most creatures.

Underrail - Acid Blob Trap & Caltrops

  • Added chemical blob trap blueprint you can use to create acid blob traps which entangle the victim causing high damage spread over a couple of turns.
  • Added acid bolts that you can create from the existing chemical bolt blueprint.
  • Added caltrops blueprint. When deployed caltrops deal small amount of damage to anyone who moves over them and drain additional movement/action points. They can also be coated in poison.

  • Added plasma pistol. It can be created from the existing energy pistol blueprint. Plasma pistols are high-damage energy weapons, but consume a lot of AP and energy when used which makes them a good power attack weapons (aimed shot /execute), but not the best damage per turn weapons. They deal equal amounts of energy and heat damage.


* * * * *


I've also added Morphine Shot to the game. It reduces damage taken from any source by 50% for 3 turns, but after it expires the user will take damage equal to 50% of their missing health. Basically, you can use it to absorb good amount of damage over 3 turns, but you better make sure to stabilize before it expires. It's also a good way to survive between health hypo usages in difficult fights.


* * * * *


I will be tackling the creature respawning feature next, and then I'll fix the problem with certain kills not giving XP to the player (damage over time effects, explosive barrels, etc). After that there's a couple minor tweaks and bug fixes to handle and the next release will be ready.


Happy New Year everyone and see you in 2013.

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