Dec 16, 2019
Dredgers - Pirate-Rob
It's finally the end of the year, and as much as I'd love to keep working on Dredgers, I know I'll burn myself out if I don't take a holiday, as I've been working about 13 months on end without much in the way of holidays. (In all honestly, I'm quite burnt out already, but the hype from launch has kept me going) So after the next small patch, game development will be paused for about 2-3 weeks.

So my plans for next year are not 100% set in stone, but I have an idea of what I'd like to do:

The first and major thing is rewriting the item system. The way the system currently works is that each item has values that are loaded from code when the item is created. This means that, unless I create an item, I cannot get any info about it. Obviously this is quite bad, but I never realised it'd be an issue when I first coded items. Items are fairly complicated and a big part of dredgers, so re-coding them is going to be possibly the biggest batch of work I've done so far. However, once items are moved to a database format, it'll greatly improve my ability to work with them, allowing things like translations, saving, better craft/prefixes, etc.

Secondly, speaking of crafting, I'd like to work on crafting after items are rewritten. I have a few ideas on how to make it far more interesting, rather than a generic 'select item from list and craft it'. The idea is to make crafting a process, and depending on what you do during the process, the quality of the item is changed. So for instance using extra metal during crafting will make the item reinforced, or taking a break to save hunger may result in the quality being worse. I have other ideas for cooking, enchanting, scribing, etc, but those aren't quite as fleshed out yet.

Thirdly, translations. Translations are sort of a problem for me, while I'd like to add a translation system so the game can be translated, I can't particularly afford translation fees due to how much text the game has. Not only that, but officially supporting translations would terribly slow down the game's development, since I have to wait for the newest update to get translated before pushing every update. So as a result, while I want to add a translation system, I simply cannot imagine supporting official translations. I'm thinking of adding workshop support for language files, that way people could download player made translations for their language.

Fourth, Saves. Saves have been heavily requested by a lot of players. I must admit, I feel saves are a lot more work than they are worth. Thankfully, the item rewrite will make it easier. Saves will probably only be possible in between levels, since having to completely save level data would be a nightmare.

These are the major plans I have, and since they are plans they may change, naturally.

You may also notice I haven't mentioned what I talked about in the previous news post: memory/mind, classes and themed content update.
Specifically for memory/mind, I was not happy with how the system was shaping out so I've put it back for now. I do still want to add it, but I need to figure out a better/non-clunky way of doing it.
Rank 2 and 3 Classes is still a goal, but it's long term and will happen over time. The class HUD and learning screen rewrite over the last few updates has brought me closer to getting there.
A themed content update is still being planned, but I feel like I should be nailing down fundamental systems like items first before adding more content. This is just a smarter way of doing things so that I don't waste time redoing work that I could have done after.

Overall my goal is to work on Dredgers and keep improving it. While I do make plans, I like being able to change them on the fly as I find things with higher priority, rather than sticking with a plan for the sake of it. I also know people have been asking for new content, and while I really want to add it myself, I know it'll be smarter to get the game systems into a better state before I start diving into new content.

Thanks for reading and playing the game, hope you've enjoyed, See ya next year!
Dec 10, 2019
Dredgers - Pirate-Rob
Been wanting to put out this update for a few days now, but many events sort of came together so I was only able to put out the game last night.

The main feature of this update is the improved class menu, which has been requested by many people. You can now see exactly which classes lead into others, and see what each ability does in each class. The graphics look somewhat better as well as a result:


And, as you can see in the image above, the three classes previously after cultist are now in shiner. This was for a few reasons:
  • Players would like to go priest+solar abilities, but couldn't before due to priest and cultist incompatibility. (the AI priests were already doing this which was extra painful)
  • The class abilities were often times more like incantations rather than skills, so by moving them to shiner I can make them actually be incantations.
  • Thematically shiner makes far more sense as a lead in for these 3 class, while cultist made 0 sense. I'd like to make cultist lad into more darker classes in the future, like void/corruption/aberration/eldritch based stuff.
  • Allows me to merge blinding flash with Solar's version, letting me give Solar a new awesome ability, solar laser.
  • I want to try and move away from CHM being a damage stat, so the abilities becoming incantations (and thus scaling off of INT) works out quite well. There is still some CHM scaling though, so don't worry, priest+solar shiner will be viable.
I also took the time to work on the various skills and make them less janky, so they should hopefully be more fun to play with!

Changelog for V41 and previous patches:
  • Cold night is now a passive.
  • AI can now walk through locked doors again, but will not walk through mechanical doors.
  • Enemy dash attacks are now delayed and show a attack warning/marker.
  • More fire damage tweaks, again.
  • Stardust is now affected by scythe
  • The is now a flash-blind status effect used by light abilities, rather than the regular blind. From the player point of view, this is basically just like a flashbang from other games. AI act during flashes as if their target is in the same spot as the moment the flash went off.
  • Cultist mask now just straight up inverts CHM.
  • You can now wear charms on antlers!
  • Dashes have been reworked! The main point to know about this is that most dashes now merge together as one ability when used. You can also slightly turn/drift during dashes.
  • Crabmen now always have their armour restored over 4 seconds, rather than it taking longer the more DEF they have.
  • Quooz now have their SPD set to 0 permanently. Whatever the SPD value would be is added as a bonus to DEF. I'm aware this causes some flipflopping with heavy armours, so looking to fix that.
  • You can now get multiple scrolls/potions in chests.
  • Dismantle is no longer prevented from being silenced.

Once again, sorry for writing this update post late! Just had quite a bit on my plate recently. The next big patch will probably handle items, since those need to be rewritten. No idea how long that will be since it's a lot of work, as I effectively need to rewrite every item in the game. But it'll come with quite a few improvements, such as being able to see what items do before you craft them :D
Nov 22, 2019
Dredgers - Pirate-Rob

After quite a while working on it, the game finally has it's first boss fight! This brings with it a few new things that should probably all be explained separately:

The King
As you may have guessed by looking at the images and title, the boss fight takes place in the castle, against the King and his aide. To reach the boss battle, simply all you need to do is go into the castle via the dungeon as usual, and descend into a trapdoor with a golden handle. Naturally you may just pass through if you do not actually intend to fight the boss, so don't worry about the castle now being a death sentence if you are not prepared.

After the battle
Once you defeat the boss battle, you get the chance to end the game as a victory if you wish, or just simply head back down into the dungeon. The boss battle can only be fought once during a run, so no rematches. This may seem strange at first but will make sense when you discover certain strategies. If you do decide to continue playing, you'll have a few rewards from the fight, hopefully you brought a golden key however.

Ending the game
If you decide to end the game, your completion time will be scored on one of two leader boards. Currently these leader boards are only available to view on steam community and during the in-game victory screen. During another update I'll be adding a proper leaderboard option to the menu.

The first leader board is the speed run leader board: All it requires is defeating the boss in the quickest time possible and ending the game. Standard stuff.

The second leader board is the 'complete' run leader board: As it implies, this leader board actually requires going through the entire game before defeating the boss and ending. For those competitive people who wanna focus more on having a good run to do well rather than relying on hyper optimising their times. For your run to count as a complete run, you must visit 6 areas:
  • Dungeon
  • Castle
  • Sewers
  • Caverns
  • Melt
  • Labs
I'm quite excited to see everyone's scores!


So, since I've been working on this a week or two without much feedback, there may be some minor issues like 'imbalance' and 'completely breaking the game'. So I'll be working this weekend to fix anything that crops up. Sorry if anyone's experience is negatively affected due to this :(
But hopefully none of that happens, so I hope you enjoy this update, and till the next one!
Oct 31, 2019
Dredgers - Pirate-Rob
Another day, another patch!

So as stated in the future plans post, I plan to rework majority of classes to improve them all. As part of that I really needed to update the class and race HUD, since while it was working and serving it's purpose, it really wasn't good enough.

The empty black bar on the left is reserved space for buttons later.

So a major change was made that certain classes combine when learnt, allowing you to splash points from the second class into the first class. While this is mainly for the rank 1, 2 and 3 of each class, it's also being temporarily used by some classes now. Other changes are scrolling being smoother and mouse-wheel support. You can now see how many skill points are remaining, and you now just click anywhere on the skill in order to level it up, rather than the tiny green button. Ability frames are now coloured based on rank, and some now have various frames, so you can easily tell at a glance what they are.
Square Frame - Skill
Round Square - Mastery
Circle - Passive
'Leaf' - Song
'Star/Shield' - Incantation

Similarly, races now evolve differently. Previously you had to reach level 10, then you could evolve your race. Now you simply need to put 3 points into your race (assuming the race can actually evolve, which is only slime->slimegirl at this point). Once you have, you get the option to evolve, which now adds skills to your race rather than replace it completely.

In short, I can start doing class reworks now!

Other Changes:
- Fixed race essays not being scrollable in race select.
- You can now see ability cooldowns in the top left of the screen. (the entire cooldowns system was actually rewritten as well as a bonus, and a lot of old code from months ago updated)
- Since the game runs decently now, multi-paths have been opened up again for the first time in months. If it lags too much, will turn it off.
- Armour now scales with max Armour. So if your max Armour raises, your Armour will raise to match. This was mostly due to monk not benefiting from DEF during the fight he was gaining it. Also buffs fizshrum
- Armour SPD reduction can now be countered by STR. While this is inherent in armours currently, it might be shifted to knight's armour passive at a later date.
- Imbue: Skeleton now works on dead bodies and doesn't require explosive rot first.
- Slimes can now rank up their race passives to Rank 2, once they do this to all three they can evolve into Slimegirls, keeping their current skills and gaining 3 new ones.
- Slime girls have gotten a third passive, due 'losing' total omnivore (since slime already has total omnivore, it would be a useless passive). The passive is "Voluptuous Curves: Gain 1 CHM per 4 CON"
- Incantations are no longer on a single cooldown. Incantations now generate flux on body parts capable of casting. So if you have 2 arms, you can cast 2 incantations before you have to wait for flux to dissipate. This finally allows bloodfallen and seemujh to use their antlers again.
- Fixed every ability with no cost using 1 energy for no reason. How did no one notice this one?
- Tooltips have been tweaked again and no longer cover the inv, should make things far more manageable.
- Various other QoL and Fixes

Nothing big has changed gameplay wise this patch, but it was an important step for the game, and I'm glad to have it done.

If you've been following the forums or watching discord, you may have read that I plan to add the first boss in the next patch, V40. This'll be a king in the castle. After the boss fight you'll have the option to finish the run or continue on. This is meant to be a way to give people a way to finish long runs if they so desire. Other than that, you can mostly expect fixes and more QoL changes next patch
Oct 28, 2019
Dredgers - Pirate-Rob
Another version is here! This time we have a new primary class, the leader! Leader is a CHM based class that focuses primarily on followers and commanding them.



Changelog:
- Added the Leader primary class, leads into Summoner, Necro and Seducer and Healer.
- Bard now only leads into Cultist, Seducer, Healer and Priest.
- Non-Leaders are restricted to 1 follower at a time.
- Primary classes are now 3 levels long instead of 2. This is preparing for class rework, along with making non-advance player mode players feel less disappointed.
- Added a randomize button.
- Tooltips are now semi-transparent, so you don't feel blinded when they pop-up.
- Blocking damage with [shields] (armour) and {CHM} now used different brackets surrounded the numbers so you can tell which is which easier.
- Updated Hunger, EXP and armour tooltips to explain more.
- You can now hover stats to get a rough idea where you are getting bonuses from.
- Water has been optimised a bit.
- Fixed a major bug causing the occasional memory leak and slow down over long runs. Coincidentally this also fixed the huge amount of lag rats and crabs caused! The game should remain playable even on super long runs, rejoice!
- Spring onion's no longer super-self-stack :(
- Blood Fallen's passive has been updating to be more interesting. They now have CHM equal to level, but after death it's converted to CON equal to level.
- Songs and Chant are far larger in size now at rank 2, easily covering entire rooms.
- Temper Morale's range has been increased to match chant's new range
- Dwarves and Bogrisen no longer gib themselves when under stronger enough negative CHM effects from Chant or Song of Might.
- Inhumans will actually lose CON after their first death now.
- Fixed Sprites not shooting more than once.
- Most critters can now open doors.
- Thimbles have been beaten with a nerf hammer. Thimbles can no longer dodge self-harm effects. Thimbles now can only heal for 1 at a time.
- Related to thimbles getting nerfed, outlaw hood and cloak no longer provide armour based on DEX, since in retrospect, that's broken as hell. Giving archers armour for their damage stat is really bad. This also nerfs thimbles reaching obscene levels of armour.
- Skulltist and energy-for-health races now have proper red/blood flash effects when getting hurt.
- Deathly pale can no longer be used by races which do not have health.
- Various other fixes and QoL stuff.
- Enemies move around randomly and aim randomly while blinded now rather than just accepting their fate. This should make blinding less of a stun and more of a status effect that's interesting and dangerous to play around.

Big list of stuff today! While I don't specifically like nerfing some strategies, sometimes they can go too far and make the game boring, in which case I'll step in. Becoming invincible on thimbles was far too easy, ruining the game since nothing would be a challenge.

Thanks for reading, hope you enjoy the patch!
If you're liking the game so far, be sure to tell other friends who may be interested in rogue-likes or leave a review :D
Oct 24, 2019
Dredgers - Pirate-Rob
Greetings all, I hope you've been having fun playing Dredgers, I can't say how excited I am to finally have it out and about in the world.

I'd like to babble a bit about what's coming up and where I'd like to go with the game.

Firstly, things that should be coming shortly in the next few days:
- More fixes and QoL changes
- Discord integration
- Some minor polish

Most of this is self explanatory, these next few days will mostly be "look and react" for me as I get feedback.

Longer term goals I'd like to accomplish soon:
- Add a 'Memory/Mind' System
- Rework Dashes
- Rework Classes
- Release the first themed content update

Big fore-warning: What I have here are just plans and ideas, I cannot promise any of them will be added, but these are things I would really like to do for the game.

Memory/Mind
The Mind/Memory system I'd like to add is a way for me to better control what each character knows. This offers a few benefits to players and makes things simpler code-side.
Everything the player knows, from incantations, to skills, to potions and scrolls to even how many enemies they have killed with be readable in the memory panel. Of course this isn't just for information, this system will allow me to add ways for players to learn abilities and incantations without needing to gain a class to do it. Primarily this will be in the form of learning incantations from books assuming you have enough INT. This will also allow me to make amnesia potions, which will make you randomly lose memories, either permanently or temporary depending if the memories can be re-learnt.

Dashes
An issue I have with the game currently is how there are 5-10 different dashes, and none of them work well together. As a result, with the new memory system, once you get any of the dash skills, you will unlock a single generic "dash" move. However, each dash skill will become a passive which affects this generic dash. That way you could potentially combine all the dashes in the game so you have a sort of super deadly dash.

Classes
The class rework is something I've had in mind to do for the last month or so. As it stands, you are required to invest 6 levels in pretty much every class other than the primaries. I find primary classes feel rather satisfying at 2 levels long, since one can quickly move onto the next class, allowing combinations easier than before.
The general goal of the class rework is to accomplish 3 things:
- Make each class only 3 levels long, allowing people to switch classes at a faster pace
- Get rid of the extra rank for most abilities. Often times, most abilities have a useless rank which simply increases the damage or does something boring.
- Allow for class ranks.
The last goal is a bit ambiguous, but in short, class ranks are when you decide to level into a class again, in order to gain 3 new skill points for it and to gain 3 new skills. Each class will have 3 ranks, meaning if you spend 9 levels in it, you'll have a choice of 9 skills, with 9 skills points to spend between them.
If you've understood this and are capable of basic math, you will realise this means the amount of skills in the game will practically triple. And since each rank of class is effectively/functionally a new class, this basically triples the amount of classes too.
As you can imagine, tripling the amount of classes and skills available and reworking all the current ones will take a long time, and definitely won't be happening in one version. Once I have the new class system in place, I intend to convert each class over to it slowly while adding their new skills.

First themed content update
I would like to release a themed content update in the near future, I don't have exact plans for this first one, but I do have a general idea. You can expect one new race at least, the proper implementation of the evolution mechanic and 2 new ways to accidentally kill yourself horribly.

In conclusion
I must stress again, these points listed above are things I would really like to do for the game, but I cannot predict or promise how the future will go and plans may change as I work on the game more.

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed my rambling!
Oct 24, 2019
Dredgers - Pirate-Rob
Day 2 since the game was launched, and I've had tons of feedback on the game thus far. Majority of this update was to fix things players have found either confusing or frustrating, along with actual bug fixes and some QoL things.

Changelog:
- Items can now be sold for 50% off! Quooz sell for 25% of the original value.
- Passives and Skills can now be seen from the race select screen
- Interact-able objects in the world are highlighted green
- Visual improvements to stats and skills, so it's easier to know remaining points
- Various Fixes
- Various other QoL things

In a few moments I'll be writing up a news post to talk a bit about my plans for the near future. So check that out as well!
Oct 19, 2019
Dredgers - Pirate-Rob
A new version has been released for Dredgers and will be the final version before the game launches on Steam! Barring any last minute fixes of course!

This version of the game adds two new classes, which are available after you go athlete:



A change has been made to how the game loads data, loading some of the more intense stuff at the start of the game. This will increase the game's starting load time, but reduces level generation time to near instant. This also removes the stutters that would occasionally happen during gameplay.

And finally, the dungeon area has been given some love and been made far more interesting, on top of getting new rooms added.

As for future updates: the after launch period will be mostly fixes and QoL, after which I have a lot of ideas for new content and larger additions/changes I'd like to make if I can afford to.

Thanks for reading, I've come quite far on this project, and I'm excited to see what people think of it once it releases!
...

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