Dev Log


Underrail released on Desura and GamersGate!
Thursday, 06 December 2012 00:49


Underrail alpha version has just been released on Desura and GamersGate!

and

If you want to know what's new in this release (since the demo) you can go check out the dev log posts from the last couple of months, but let me just quickly recap the highlights:

  • Huge new urban zone consisting of 8 areas
  • Big new 'dungeon' consisting of 6 areas (twice as much as the last one)
  • A couple of 'mini-dungeons'
  • New quests
  • New feats
  • Traps skill
  • Some updated game mechanics
  • Re-balanced economy
  • Food
  • More weapons and armors
  • Updated crossbows (feats, special bolts, damage boost)
  • Various other smaller stuff



 
Alpha Release in Testing
Thursday, 29 November 2012 12:19

Finally it's complete. All the content I wanted to put in for the first commercial alpha release is in and we're now doing last bits of testing (getting our faces melted in the needlessly hard dungeons and toning the stuff down)

Underrail - Junkyard Docks

If you want to know what's new in this release you can go check out the dev log posts from the last couple of months, but let me just quickly recap the highlights:

  • Huge new urban zone consisting of 8 areas
  • Big new 'dungeon' consisting of 6 areas (twice as much as the last one)
  • A couple of 'mini-dungeons'
  • New quests
  • New feats
  • Traps skill
  • Some updated game mechanics
  • Re-balanced economy
  • Food
  • More weapons and armors
  • Updated crossbows (feats, special bolts, damage boost)
  • Various other smaller stuff
Also very recently I've changed pickpocketing mechanics a bit. It's not quite where I want it to be yet, so I'm going to revisit it sometime after the alpha release for sure, but I think this goes a long way in making it not completely useless. Namely, pickpocketing doesn't require stealth anymore and is just directly checked versus the target's detection. So you don't have to invest into two skills anymore and you won't be always detected because pickpocketing takes so long and stealth works terribly when you're too close to the target. In any case I'll be keeping an eye out for it, so let me know what you guys thought of this change.
Anyway, the testing is underway and after that I'll be sending the build to distributors for publishing and hopefully it won't take too long before it will be available for purchase.

 
More Quests and Feats
Saturday, 10 November 2012 13:15

I'm almost done with quest implementation for the new areas. There's still a couple smaller ones to go, as well as some support scripting and dialog to do, but that shouldn't take more than couple of days. After that I'm going to start the work on the next 'dungeon' area and that will be the last bit of content for this release.

I do intend to revisit these areas post-release and add more quests, but for now this will do.

Underrail - Junkyard Docks

I've also added some new weapons and armors:

  • One new model of each firearm type: pistol, SMG, assault and sniper rifle
  • One new crossbow type
  • Knives and sledgehammers made of tungsten steel
  • Tungsteen steel armor
  • Regenerative vest that slowly restores health but consumes energy (can be used in creation of tactical vests or steel armors)
  • Acid resistant leather armor (this will be useful in the upcoming dungeon)
Then there are couple of new feats I got to implement. It's not much because this release I'm more focused on new areas, so expect a lot more in the future updates. I implemented a couple of melee feats because they were sorely missing in the demo:
  • Pummel - sledgehammer attack that takes the target off balance, negating dodge and evasion for 2 turns
  • Crippling Strike - unarmed or knife attack that deals 125% damage and reduces target's strength by 2 (stacks 3 times).
  • Dirty Kick - Unarmed attack that deals damage and stuns the target for 1 turn (double that if the target is human male)
  • Hit and Run - After you kill an enemy, your movement points are restored to 25 (or your maximum, whichever is lower)
  • Yell - You attempt to reduce offensive skills (guns, corssbows, melee and grenades skills) of all surrounding enemies by 20% of your intimidation skill
  • Shroomhead - You regenerate psi points in presence of mindshrooms when below 35% of your maximum psi
All in all, this version is nearing completion and it will be done by the end of this month for sure. Can't say exactly when it will be release for alpha purchase, as I don't know what the process for that will be, but it can't be far off now.

 
Food and Balance Changes
Thursday, 25 October 2012 08:47

I'm currently mostly working on area designs for the new release. By the end of the week I should have most of it in place (except the new dungeon which I'll tackle later) and then it's time for quests implementation.

Underrail - Junkyard Underrail - Junkyard Underrail - Junkyard

 

I've added food to the game. You can consume different meals to gain (and sometimes also lose) different base stats for 5 minutes. You can only have one type of food buff on your character at any given time. Here are the meals I've prepared so far:

  • Rathound Barbecue: +1 strength
  • Cave Hopper Steak: +2 agility
  • Burrower Burger: +2 constitution
  • Eel Sandwich: +2 dexterity
  • Junkyard Surprise: +(1-3) random stat, -(0-3) random stat

 

* * * * *


I've also added a couple easy but important changes to game balance and mechanics.

 

First of all I changed a bit how stealth works. You'll still be detected over time depending on your stealth skill, enemy's detection, lightning and positioning like before, unless your stealth skill is too far behind the enemy's detection in which case you won't be able to hide from them at all. This will be indicated with a silver eye above the detecting character and the true-sight is now represented by a golden eye (previously silver). The problem was that even the non-stealthy characters were using stealth excessively to move around undetected (and have guaranteed combat initiation) and it worked as long as they didn't stay too close too long because of the way the revealing speed is capped. This change should prevent that while not changing how stealth mechanics work for stealthy characters (those who invest in stealth skill and wear light armors).

 

Also another minor tweak to stealth - I've added a notification when you bump into other characters and fall out of stealth for that reason. Some people were confused as to what was happening, but keep in mind that if they can't see you their pathfinding won't tell them to go around you.

 

I increased health scaling with levels, for both the player and non-player characters. Previously, the damage from weapons and other sources was far out-scaling the character health as you progressed in levels which ended up in very volatile fights. This change should ease that up a bit while keeping the early game unchanged. Keep in mind, though, that damage is meant to out-scale health to a certain degree because characters also have access to tougher armors and other protective stuff as the game progresses. Because of this change I've also increased the amount of health that hypos and bandages restore.

 

I've also doubled the psi point pool as well as psi restoration from psi boosters (also psi boosters now require three mindshrooms to make). This will allow the player focusing on psi abilities to have more sustain in combat. Some people felt like psi points need to regenerate over time, but I want it to be a resource you have to manage just like ammo and batteries. I'm considering adding other ways to restore limited amounts of psi outside of using boosters, though. We'll see.

 

I've significantly increased based damage multiplier of snipe ability so it should now be more powerful than aimed shot in the early game as intended (since it's a one time opening ability requiring stealth). This attack can no longer critically hit, though.

 

Keep in mind that none of this is set to stone. These are the changes I've arrived at by watching other people play and from hearing the feedback on the forums. Once the new version is released I will continue to keep an eye out and make changes for the sake of fun and balanced gameplay as best as I can.

 
Improving Crossbow Play
Thursday, 11 October 2012 01:08

One of the common complaints in the demo, and one of the things that I personally wasn't very happy with, is how the crossbows were playing out. Using crossbows as primary damage source was practically impossible, so I've taken some steps to bringing the crossbows up to par with firearms and making them a viable alternative.

First of all I've increased base damage of crossbows, so their straight up damage per turn potential is now about the same as 7.62mm pistols (which is another weapon class with 2 attacks per turn). Originally I kept the crossbow damage lower as I wanted to emphasize their special bolt attack strengths, but I went a bit too far there and they ended up being too weak, especially in the early game before the player could pick up any special bolts. Also, because crossbow attacks already incur more of mechanical damage resistance (125%) and have no way of overcoming that in regular attacks (no armor piercing rounds) there is no need to penalize them further by assigning them lower base damage.

The second problem was a lack of multi-target special bolts, so now I've added two of those. They fulfill similar roles but in different ways.

  • Shock Bolts - These bolts inflict additional electrical damage to the primary target, stun it (works on machines as well) and then jump to nearby targets dealing smaller chunks of damage (no stun on secondary targets) in similar fashion as strikes from Shock Sledgehammer.
  • Incendiary Bolts - These bolts deal heat damage to the target and have a chance to set it on fire, dealing more heat damage over next couple of turns (and, of course, panicking the living targets), but the bolt also burns everything it comes near on its flight to the primary target, dealing smaller chunks of heat damage. Keep in mind that this bolt is doubly useful against enemies that fear fire (such as rathounds).
As for the price and drop rate of these bolts, that's something I'll have to fine tune through testing.
Both of these type of bolts can also be crafted if you have enough skill points in electronics or chemistry respectively.
And the last thing I've added is the Special Tactics feat which gives you the ability that you can activate while you're out of combat to make your next special bolt attack cost no action points. The point of this is to give crossbows some burst potential in fights that you initiate.

I hope you guys like these changes and that they'll get more of you trying out crossbows in the future.

 
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