This is Andrew Eagle, lead designer for Rabid Troll Studios and for Dwindle! I’ll be posting updates weekly about how our progress is coming and some of the actual design work we’ve been doing.
This past week I’ve been focusing almost all of my efforts working with one of our engineers and our lead writer in order to develop an incredibly responsive dialog system. We want our players to really develop a connection with their miners, and in order to make that happen we needed our miner’s to have compelling personalities and for those personalities to come through in the dialog.
We’ve gone through several dialog templates at this point, and each one was a step closer to what we wanted, but this past week, we really hammered out the problems from the last template and arrived at what we believe to be the solution! It took three of us about twenty hours over a few days to design the tree that we are implementing right now, and without bragging too much, I’d like to say how awesome that tree really is.
We really wanted to break down how people talk to one another, how conversations flow, and emulate that as much as possible. In that effort we wanted the player to never feel like the dialog was getting clunky or that it didn’t flow correctly, so everything has been made as realistic as possible for dialog. We are releasing an Alpha version of Dwindle next week that you’ll be able to download and check out on Kickstarter and Steam Greenlight, that will include about a sixth of the dialog tree that will be in the full game, and already it’s over a thousand nodes of dialog per miner in the game. From the design perspective, getting a solid understanding between all parties that would be working on the tree (that is mainly the writers and the engineers) was critical, and a huge part of our discussion was what the template would look like when handed off to the other writers, and what the engineers could expect from the exported trees so they could begin implementing the incredible systems that handle all of the dialog system.
Since those meetings took place, I’ve been turning my attention to developing the list of Traits that impact the miners behavior throughout the game, and are part of their personality. These traits have a direct impact on how the NPCs respond to the player and the player’s actions.
We’re very excited to release our updated demo, an official Alpha version on July 1st, and we’re making huge strides on the features that will be coming down the pipe after that demo is done and released.
That’s all for now, I’ll be doing a post every week to keep you all up to date on all the goings-ons here at Rabid Troll as we rapidly approach the completion of Dwindle!
Thanks for reading!