Dev Log


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 0.1.6.0. released
Sunday, 13 January 2013 23:54

The game is updated to version 0.1.6.0 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.

 
Importing Characters and More Crafting
Tuesday, 18 December 2012 21:39

Alrighty, now that the stuff around alpha release finally settled down a bit I was able to get some real work done again.

Underrail -Character Importing

I've added export/import character options so that you can restart the game with an existing character (and all their equipment) in the future updates. This ties up to what a lot of you have been asking about - the saved game compatibility between releases. Well, the saves usually won't be 100% compatible. I won't prevent you from loading your old saves, but your saved state might miss a dialog/quest flag, an object you should have picked up earlier, a new NPC that have been added to an area you already visited, etc. So in short, you can load an outdated save game and mess around with it (it shouldn't crash or anything), but if you for some reason can't progress with the quests, I won't be able to help you with that.

 

Next, I've added an option to autosave on transitions for those who sometimes forget to save for a long time and die 5 areas later, losing all of the progress. I don't advise you to use this feature at the moment, because saving is a bit slow right now, especially when you get later into the game and you'll be changing areas frequently. But if you want it it's there. Also, you'll now have the option of using 'rolling saves' which means that the game will retain your (one) previous quicksave and autosave instead of overwriting it.

 

Now some gameplay changes.

 

I've changed the way the lockpicks and haxxors work. Lockpicks are now spent on successful lockpicking, so they work as a resource. They have distinct power levels and icons (+0, +5, +10) and are stackable. Haxxors work similarly like they did before, but also have distinct power levels and icons and require energy (batteries) to use.

 

Next up is the blueprint for chemical pistols that you'll be able to use to craft guns that fire various chemicals in various forms, if you have sufficient chemistry skill that is. A chemical pistol has two major components - collector, which determines the type of substance you can load into the weapon, and dispenser, which determines the way the gun fires the substance. For now you'll only be able to create Acid Blob Pistols, but there will be more in the future. There's also "Chemical Ammo" blueprint to accompany this. If you have sufficient biology and chemistry skills you'll be able to extract acid from acid mutants and make ammo from it.

 

* * * * *

 

I'm aiming for a new release somewhere around New Year. Not sure if it's going to be before or just after though, we'll see. It'll focus mainly on crafting. I'll be adding blueprints for new interesting gadgets as well as some existing stuff that you can't craft at the moment, such as health hypos.

 

Another major change will be adding respawn timers on creatures in certain areas. This will serve two purposes. First, if you ever find the yourself too weak to progress further with the quests, you can spend some time and hunt through the lower level areas. Now, I'm not saying this is something you'll have to do. The game won't ever require you to grind anything. However, the combat in this game tends to be a bit hard at times, so if you're not that good at it, you'll have this option. And secondly, you'll be able to return to previously visited areas to obtain crafting materials if you're missing on some of them (like you already can with the mushrooms).

 

That's it for now. Let me know what you think of these changes.

 
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