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noiseredux
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Re: I am Overburdened [devlog]

by noiseredux Wed Jul 24, 2019 9:42 am

oh wow, best of luck with everything. You know I've enjoyed following your devlog. Try to stick around even if you need a break from working on the game!
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Spidi777
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Re: I am Overburdened [devlog]

by Spidi777 Wed Jul 24, 2019 12:20 pm

Everyone, thank you very much for your kind wishes and encouragement. It means a lot!

@marurun:
Yep, I did :) I have to get used to voice control though because it feels, I don't know how else to describe it: WEIRD :D
But it isn't bad at all. I actually found a voice command extension for my development environment software too.

@Rydon:
Sorry to hear you are suffering from similar repercussions for pursuing your artistic goals :( I wish you the very best!
Thanks for the awesome story. I liked the comic, but never knew this about the author!
Not giving it up, I will soldier through it. Hopefully, I'll be able to make even more ;)
Sidenote: hows your gamedev venture progressing?

@noiseredux:
Yes, and seeing your questions, ideas and overall support made me really happy :)
Thanks, will lurk around for a long long while for sure ;)

Cheers!
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Spidi777
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Re: I am Overburdened [devlog]

by Spidi777 Sat Aug 17, 2019 3:59 am

Hi everyone!

Here comes a not so spectacular, but hopefully funny update for I Am Overburdened. As the name suggest version 1.2.5. is way more swift than the previous one, plus it is equipped with a nasty new trick to terrorize artifact hunters ;)

Hallucination 2.0

Please welcome "positive" hallucinations. Previously when you accidentally drank poison or a venomous creature attacked you, monster phantasms (non-existent hallucinated creatures) would be placed randomly on the following dungeon level.

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This feature always felt fun, but a bit insignificant. Its impact was quite low because if you played a lot you could figure out in many cases which of the monsters are hallucinated and you never feared extra monsters when in a good shape (health and loot wise).

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Now other entities (chests, pickup, etc...) can be hallucinated and their placements are influenced by the level templates and the dungeon generator. The new version is way more effective, a.k.a. confusing :D

If you have an existing save-game no worries. The new save files may be a tiny bit bigger (due to the more complex hallucinations), but the game is backward compatible.

Inventory triviality

A tiny ease of use feature. Now when opening your inventory while standing next to an item or opened chest the relevant item slot will be focused. The slot of the last picked up item still has priority though!

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Optimization

I keep saying that I Am Overburdened runs on a toaster, but what does this mean and is it really true? Well, for the most part, it IS true. I have a 10+ years old laptop on which I test the game from time to time (1st gen 1.5Ghz Atom CPU, 1Gb RAM :O for real) and the game is able to run at 60 fps (not that it matters a lot with a turn-based game :D but still). My work desktop is also quite modest so a performance mistake surfaces easily. The more taxing parts where the real problems lie are switching between screens and launching the game.

Checking loot

Sadly the inventory screen had a blatantly unoptimized implementation. Opening it could cause almost a second long halt on my older machine. It was still my original prototype implementation. Silly me, sorry for the inconvenience. I simplified the layout data of the screen, remade the loading algorithm and voila. Now it can load within the same frame of the press/click even on a simple computer.

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A bit slowed down recording of opening the inventory in the old and the new version for comparison.

Parts of these changes got into the previous version so you may have experienced the speedup to an extent already.

Startup

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So on the before mentioned toaster, it took 5+ seconds to show the title screen after launching the game. This was mainly due to pre-loading almost all the assets and saved data so that handling the content while the game is running can be simple. I postponed tiny parts of this, but the logic largely stayed the same and instead I choose to simplify the majority of the game data to speed-up load times. Still not lightning fast, but I measured a hefty 40-50% win which is really nice :)

Was all this work worth it for faster startup and inventory opening? Yes, absolutely! Besides improving the user experience, I always had plans of porting the game to mobile platforms. In the last few months with all the optimizations I've done I believe it is going to run flawlessly without sucking the batteries dry ;)

Tech talk

So I wrote a lengthy tips & tricks technobabble about how specifically I optimized I Am Overburdened.
I did not include it here, because it is full of technical jargon (code samples, profiling, data formats, and other generally boring stuff :| ). You can find it on my blog in this post if you are interested in the nitty-gritty parts or if you think it should be here as well, just drop a comment and I make it happen ;)
Don't say I did not warn you though :P

Upcoming?

My hand is only a tiny bit better, but at least it is not killing me nowadays. I'm slowly and carefully working towards finishing the expansion for I Am Overburdened. Sorry for not sharing new details about it with this entry. To make up for it I'm going to post images and gifs showcasing some of the new monsters and items with the following update ;) For next time I'm planning to release another tiny graphical enhancement.

Thanks for reading my post and much love for your support.
Stay tuned!
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Rydon
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Re: I am Overburdened [devlog]

by Rydon Sat Aug 17, 2019 10:38 pm

Good to hear you are still progressing on things Spidii. Keep up the good work. The game has a lot of polish to it now. I'll be checking out the technobabble for optimization. Maybe there is some stuff in there I can use to help with my game.
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Spidi777
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Re: I am Overburdened [devlog]

by Spidi777 Mon Sep 16, 2019 9:19 am

Hello there!

Time for one last small update before I go into full promotion mode regarding the new I Am Overburdened expansion pack ;)

Update

The new 1.2.6. version is more of a refinement over the existing stuff, but it packs a lovely change which I hope receives a warm welcome.

Screen transition

I've been fighting with level change for a long while to make it look good and readable. I always wanted to help the player instantly recognize where Joey is when entering a new dungeon floor. Finally what I have now feels really good :)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=juvf24hARWY

I should have looked into cartoons for inspiration long ago.

Bug-fixes

While testing the new content I made for the expansion I've stumbled into a few issues :(

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A huge error found its way into the game code with the previous update. Wearing the "Wizard Hat" item could cause a crash in certain cases upon reaching a dungeon level with a number of hallucinations in it. Now it's fixed!
Please accept my apology if any of your runs came to an unexpected end due to this mistake. I'm really sorry.

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As you can see on this gif some item combinations could mess up the boss fight scene. Not a major problem, but it looked pretty weird.

Bad karma (balance)

I constantly tweak difficulty related things with each update and this one is no exception. With luck and a few right choices early on you could become too overpowered and I tried to address this "problem". Now the game tries to push back a little if you are shredding everything in your path with ease. It isn't drastic but affects your luck and the pickup and chest spawn rates a bit.

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The second half of the gameplay was affected mostly so the change focuses on later dungeon levels as well.

Upcoming

The time has come to start showing some real footage from the expansion pack!
The first official reveal is one (or two in this case?) of the new enemies: the Ooze.
You can expect the same level of functional diversity. All new beasts are going to have their own special "thing" ;)

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The expansion will focus on replay value first and foremost and will NOT extend the story. The new monsters will be introduced as part of the existing dungeons as "variants" at certain sections, randomly selected for each run. That is why the Ooze is encountered in the caves.

I made good progress in the last month and it looks like I'm only going to release one more update before I complete the enhanced edition of the game. This also means I'm going to reveal a lot more details about the new stuff in the next few weeks!

Shopping

When I posted about the condition of my hand, I got a lot of suggestions for what to upgrade on my desk. My right got a tad bit better lately (I'm able to use it as "support"), so I decided to buy and try out some ergonomics stuff.

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The first thing I tried is a vertical mouse and I have to say I'm really impressed so far. It does feel way more comfortable to use than a conventional one and I got the hang of it almost right away. So if you are using your wrists/hands (and a mouse) extensively for work or your hobbies (art, music, design, etc...) do yourself a favor and get one.

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Since I was shopping I also got a new mug with my favorite comic book characters :)

Thanks for taking the time to read my post and thank you very much for your support.
Take care!
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noiseredux
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Re: I am Overburdened [devlog]

by noiseredux Mon Sep 16, 2019 9:38 am

Glad to see you persevering - and nice mugs. :D
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Rydon
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Re: I am Overburdened [devlog]

by Rydon Wed Sep 18, 2019 5:06 pm

Nice! I like the updates. I recently upgraded my PC rig for better Game Dev stuff, and I got my steam account re setup, so I need to start playing through your game some more. Also, thanks for the Vertical Mouse tip. I had no idea about those.
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Spidi777
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Re: I am Overburdened [devlog]

by Spidi777 Sat Nov 23, 2019 4:51 pm

Hi there!

Been pretty much out of touch with the online world in the last month. So I guess it is time to break the silence with an I Am Overburdened update and some news about the expansion :) ?!

The update

Showcasing version 1.2.7. will be short as it is a refinement build. Nothing spectacular, just a bunch of fixes and tunings.

DPI/mouse issue bug-fix

There was a problem limiting the mouse movement which occurred on non-default DPI settings and/or high desktop resolutions. Now it is fixed and there is no need for using the workaround posted on the community forums of the game.

Book of monsters enhancements

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To fix the confusion around the monster unlocks I've added progress visualization. You just have to kill a single monster from a given kind and then you can check how much more of it you have to fight to successfully open detailed information about them. As a tiny addition mouse-wheel scrolling is also supported in the book (forgot to add it in the last update).

Treasury and stash upgrades

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To make the item selection more streamlined in treasury mode I moved the "Random artifact" option to the first slot and implemented in-game inventory highlights based on the currently focused item. It works the same way as with other pickups (e.g.: in the shop).

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Repositioned the random stash item selection too mainly for consistency.

The expansion pack

It's almost at the finish line, but not properly baked yet. Let see what it already brings to the table!

Warning, spoilers ahead...

New boss fights

The original boss fight feels underwhelming to me mechanically. I like how the story, the characters, and the outcomes turned out, but the fight itself is a bit lame. More like a randomized stronger special enemy and less like a boss :|
I decided to introduce 3 new completely different scenarios, to keep you on your toes while battling the Buzzard wizard.

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As you can imagine the new fights will not only make the conclusion of a run more varied, but new strategies will be possible and the value of many existing items will be altered.

New artifacts

More than a dozen new items will find their way into the expanded version. I haven't settled on the final number yet, but at the moment it is close to 140 artifacts total :o ! They will introduce new skills and allow way different strategies especially on the early levels (e.g.: stash choices) and in the end game (e.g.: boss fights).

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Another goal with the new set is to introduce more synergies and heavier focus on "neglected" attributes (vitality and defense) too.

New monsters

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All the 5 new creatures planed for the update pack are ready to be released. They will work as "variations" of certain enemies. Kind of like mobs in many other dungeon crawlers. In some runs you may encounter the "Leach", in others, you will have to fight the new "Ooze" in the sewers instead. Of course, you'll be able to unlock info about these variants the same way.
This system besides making the existing game more varied will be the foundation for adding even more monsters in the future ;)

New features

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These changes are still a bit WIP and subject to change, but they are now in a shape where I can reveal them:
  • Attribute redesign! "Defense" will get a bigger boost and both "Vitality" and "Speed" will receive a little reinforcement.
  • The help menus will get more detailed information on certain topics (attributes & pickups).
  • A new game mode affecting pickups is under development.
  • Enhancements on the unlocks and statistics front.
  • Re-balancing some of the existing items and obviously the boss battle(s).
  • Plus a big secret I'm keeping to myself until release :P

The release?

All that is left is the when and how!
I really wanted to let this package loose this year as a Christmas present latest, but I'm not 100% sure I can do it. Will try my best and in the worst case, it will be an early new year's gift :)
I settled on the pricing though. Essentially it will be a free DLC. But! I'm going to charge more for the game once it is out in the wild. Only raising it by a few bucks, since charging 10$ for it would not be reasonable.

Thank you very much for taking the time to read my post and thanks for your continued support.
Stay tuned!
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udkultimate
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Re: I am Overburdened [devlog]

by udkultimate Fri Dec 06, 2019 11:10 am

I loved your game's graphics. They look as 16bit retro pixel art, just like Super Nintendo Games. Congratulations!
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