Kept you waiting, huh?

So… it’s been a while! It’s safe to say I’ve had one hell of a year. I focused a lot on the game’s announcement at Halloween. (Well, in fact I had to learn how to even *do* a game announcement in the first place!)

After that I dove pretty hard into learning all about marketing. It turns out it’s all true, what they say about indie game marketing. It’s incredibly important but it’s also incredibly time consuming (not to mention hard). I basically got stuck in for the entire first half of 2022.

Then we moved house, twice. The second time to a new country (well, I guess technically it’s not old, it’s where I’m originally from!). And I became a full-time parent for a spell.

I was still able to put some visible improvements into the game though! And got around to doing a fair amount of bug fixing and camera control improvements.

The Expanse

The first change I’d like to talk about is the castle canvas and how the rooms are built. Originally I had a pretty static rectangle canvas to build rooms on. A bit like what you see in Fallout: Shelter if you are familiar with that game.

But I wanted something that engages the player a lot more and really promotes expression of self. So now, you can basically unlock castle rows as you play. It’s neat in that it also sort of reflects the increase in Dracula’s power in the region (one of the concepts I really want to explore in the game).

Animation of castle expansion.
To the moon! The circle of the moon!

You’ll be able to build out to the sides too and then up from any given “branch”. This way I’m hoping people can come up with really cool designs and try to do things like build an accurate reflection of the castle from Castlevania III for example!

Division of Labor

The other thing I’ve done with the NPCs, is to separate what I call minions (comee mes buddies!) and laborers/workers, and build two new room types for them to “sleep” in.

So, basically the rooms serve a similar purpose; they determine the maximum number of minions (the tomb) and workers (the sleeping quarters) that the player can have.

  • Number of workers and minions is limited by number of these rooms built.
  • You can assign workers and minions to most castle rooms. Although not all rooms will take workers and not all rooms will take minions, you probably shouldn’t be able to assign a skeleton to the kitchen for example… altough… A skeleton with a chef’s hat does sound fun. We’ll see. 🙂
  • Passive bonuses. Having more tombs will give a bonus to undead type minions, having more wolf kennels gives passive bonuses to wolves, etc… – Not only that but the number of rooms built will also confer passive bonuses to Dracula! (Depending on the spec)

That’s most of it I think. As development progresses we’ll start to see more interesting rooms that draw power and have special functions. Here’s a peak at the new rooms!

Can’t look at this without hearing draugr.
It’s a bit dark but hey, at least they have a bucket.

The Little Things

Actually, the last thing I wanted to show are some small improvements to the UI and player experience. The first gif shows the new tooltip in effect alongside the new notification system. The second shows off the tutorial system a bit more.

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