Quick Update for November

Hello! I know it’s Sunday, which means I’m a day late on this Saturday DotO Update. Sorry about that, things have been very busy. But enough about that, we have important DotO news to talk about.

This week we welcomed Josh to the Knob Cat team. His job title is Universe Architect. He’s going to be helping build our servers and get all the social functions working! We’ll be adding his bio to the site as soon as I get around to it.

Testo chats with a shopkeeper.

In game news, we can now chat with NPCs. They roam around town and comment on the Obelisk, adventurers, and their general lives. I wrote all ( well, most of…) the random dialogue for them but it’s still fun to walk up and see what they have to say.

Testo spends some time in the sewer dungeon.

I need to start remembering to take more screenshots. Above we see Testo in the finished sewer dungeon. It’s really exciting to finally have one section of the game feel so complicated. Ben’s artwork makes a sewer seem like a beautiful place to be. We still plan on having Nyka animate several aspects of the maps and battlefield. But we have a few other mobs and companions to get moving first…

For those who are wondering, the maps aren’t procedurally generated. We chose to make six large maps and then randomize the positions of mobs and chests. This saved us a lot of development time that would have been taken up making more random or procedural maps.

I think this approach has turned out really well and makes things so much easier. It allows us to focus on more important aspects of the game.

Anyway, I’m at my crappy day job and should probably get back to the grind. If you have questions about DotO that you’d like to see answered in future blog updates, send them to me on Discord. Talk to you again in two weeks!

Cheers,
Joe
Executive Prime

Maps and Artifacts and …

Hello and welcome back to my (every other) Saturday DotO update blog! Development has been moving along great recently and each week feels like we’ve accomplished so much.

With each update, the list of bugs shrinks, then grows again. Little things keep popping up, as they always do. But overall, the game has been feeling like its really coming together.

The biggest new thing is that our dungeons no longer have placeholder artwork! I’ve been talking about this for a while now, and it has been an incredible amount of work for Ben to draw. But now that they’re in, they look fantastic.

Testo hangs out by a slime pool.

As you can see from the screenshot, there’s an alarming amount of “slime” flowing everywhere. We’re definitely in a sewer, but is that stuff supposed to glow green?!

There’s also been a lot more work done that is more difficult to show. Inventory sorting has been improved greatly. And Tiori, the Blacksmith, now has almost all of her abilities working properly. It’s great to finally be able to see how Reforging and Leveling Up changes the balance of the game. Now loot with the wrong Stat for your build is no longer useless!

Testo hangs out in town.

Another thing that has really been exciting to me is that Ben started the rough, preliminary sketch for the town map. As you can see in the screenshot it is still bare bones, but has been great to finally start testing where things should be situated in the town.

Artifacts and Companions are starting to get their functionality added to the game too. They’re shaping up to be really cool items that are available in the shop once you’ve saved up enough Crystals.

The legendary Mask of Taku-Ra and the also legendary Mr Doughnut.

These still have placeholder art (Ben really has sooo much to draw… ) but having them function correctly in the shop is fun. Here is a little about how they work. Each artifact and companion has a Power Level from 1 to 30. When you buy one at the shop you get a random Power Level. You can then use materials that you get from salvaging other artifacts or companions to Imbue them at the Blacksmith, which increases their Power Level.

I think this is a fairer way to handle loot boxes than what I’ve seen in other games. This way, you know what you’ll get and then you can choose to try again for a higher Power Level or to head to the Blacksmith. This keeps you from being screwed by the RNG of a loot box, but still provides a challenge if you want that maximum Power Level.

So I hope that was an interesting look into how things are going here at Knob Cat. Hope you have a great week and don’t forget to check out our podcast for even more DotO updates!

Cheers,
Joe
Executive Prime

Success and all that…

We’ve hit fifteen months since I officially started Knob Cat Games and a lot has happened in that time. Almost all of it has been incredible.

I always say this to the other Devs, but I’m so amazed at every little update we do. Maybe I’m easily impressed? But looking back, I feel like everything just keeps getting more and more exciting. Each step brings us closer to a finished game.

We still have a long way to go and a lot to accomplish before we can launch DotO. But, I have a lot of faith in the success of this game because of how excited I feel. Each update is more fun to play and test. Fifteen months in I could really see a possibility for the shiny, newness to wear off. But that really isn’t happening.

The crew at Knob Cat just continues to amaze me with the quality they can put out. Each new image, animation, or build update just feels so thoughtful. No one can say we aren’t putting everything we have into this game. And I really hope that shows in the small updates that we’re able to give you.

Since the start, I’ve really wanted to create an open community where players will know that the Devs care about what they’re doing. I want everyone to know that once this game goes live that they can enjoy the game without worrying that the company will leave them hanging when issues arise. There will of course be bugs, server issues, broken updates… that stuff comes with making and playing games these days. What makes the difference is how the Devs respond and how they value their players.

But yes, I continue to have faith in the team and continue to be amazed at each little update. And to me that feels like a really good thing. I’m also thankful for everyone that joined our Discord, listens to the podcast, watches the update videos, and reads these updates. Thank you all so much!

Cheers,
Joe
Executive Prime

A random screenshot of Testo at the blacksmith.

P.S. I’ll throw this up here in case you’d like to get a jump on it. But, im going to start looking for a backend programmer / server administrator pretty soon. You can send your application, CV, or resume to me at joe@knobcat.com

What’s happening?

Happy Saturday everyone! I don’t have any specific topic to talk about today, so I’m just going to let you know what everyone is working on this week.

A very rough map of the sewer system.

Now that we’ve verified that the rough sketch works well on the game, Ben has buckled down to adding all the details to the stone, planks, and of course slime that fills the sewers under Topia. There’s lots of rooms, but also lots of smaller elements too. Slime puddles, trash, pipes, and crates will fill the mob’s dungeon home.

Nyka has turned her attention to a top secret project. Well, moderately secret. She’s animating the Level 10 dungeon boss. This terrifying creature is going to be kept hidden for as long as we can. Hopefully, you’ll be as excited as I was the first time you see them in the game.

Tj is always crushing bugs and polishing little details on our to-do list. Currently, all known bugs have been fixed which I think is an impressive achievement on its own. Nice work Tj!

Besides the bug fixing, he has also started working on our store. This was the next logical step for us since adding functionality to consumable items. Now we need the place to actually get those items! It’s looking really good so far, but I don’t want to show any pictures yet. There’s things that still need worked out, like the prices for things, that I’m not fully comfortable sharing yet.

Lastly, I made an update video that’s now on my YouTube channel. You can check it out here:

Dungeons of the Obelisk: Preview Video 7

I hope that’s enough of an update for you today! We’re hard at work and can’t wait till the day that everyone can enjoy this game. See you on the next Saturday update blog!

Cheers,
Joe
Executive Prime

Paragon and how it works

Hello and happy Saturday! I’ve kinda switched to doing these DotO Blog updates every other Saturday. It’s a lot to do the podcast editing and a blog on the same day.

Today is all about the game’s Paragon system. All the information in this post is subject to tweaking and balancing and may change before launch and in the future. But right now, this is how it works…

The Paragon Screen

There’s a Max Level that your character can hit. At launch that will be Level 10. This level determines a lot of things, like what gear you can equip and your base Movement Speed bonus.

But after you hit Max Level you don’t stop gaining Experience! You start earning towards levels of Paragon. Your character can gain Paragon infinitely, but the Experience requirement does increase exponentially.

When you gain a level of Paragon you receive a Paragon Runestone that can summon 1 of 6 runes. The summoned Rune determines how many Major Stat Points you can assign. In order from 1 to 6 the Runes are Hound, Cross, River, Soul, Torch, and Terrapin.

For a small cost you can always reassign your Paragon Points. For a cost, you can also summon all your lower Runes again. Terrapins always lock, since they’re the max summon. But you can try for more Points by summoning your other Runestones.

It’s a little hard to explain, but makes a lot of sense in the game. Summoning all Terrapin Runes is definitely going to be some bragging rights.

Right now the artwork for the runes is still just placeholder. It’s going to look so cool once Ben draws them and Nyka animates them!

I think that’s pretty much everything about Paragon for now. I hope you enjoyed this more in-depth post about some game mechanics. Feel free to ask any questions or chat in our Discord.

Cheers,
Joe
Executive Prime

Just a regular DotO update :)

How’s it going? Hope you’re having a great Saturday! Today is just a quick blog to let you know what everyone is working on. We’ve made so much progress in the past month that it’s hard to keep track of everything that has changed.

Testo hitting critical damage on a Blub.

Nyka has been working on swapping out some assets from old grayscale ones to updated color ones. We were originally going to color mobs in engine, but decided that Ben is much better at coloring. So Nyka just has to catch up the animations to the new versions.

Also, sometime soon, Nyka will have updated our player character animations so that they blink! No more dead stares for Testo.

Ben has turned his attention to dungeons and is creating preliminary sketches so that we can test some new layouts and make sure everything is to scale. I’m so excited to finally be rid of the placeholder dungeon tiles! I plan on making the next update video when that gets done.

Tj has been hard at work updating a lot of menus and windows with our new assets. It’s really pulling the game together visually.

Also in programming and math, Tj and I have sorted out an issue with experience. Our old formula scaled too hard and literally broke our sheet when we projected it to our expected endgame ideas. Now the experience rate is much lower and things scale as they should with the future of the game in mind.

We also made an unexpected change to how our Paragon system works. You can now get between one and six Major Stat points to assign when you gain a level in Paragon. There’s a whole new system and a bit of math and luck to it. Next week I think I’ll do an in-depth Paragon update to explain the system.

For now, I should get back to work. Hope you all have a great day!

Cheers,
Joe
Executive Prime

Doing Inventory…

Hey everyone! Happy Saturday to you. Time for a new DotO Update Blog. A lot has happened in the last week, most of it has to do with our game’s inventory system.

There’s a lot of items in this game and you’re going to get a lot of them, so you’ll naturally be spending a lot of time in your inventory. Naturally we want to make it work as good as it can. Things need to be streamlined so that you can easily tell what you have and what you can do with it.

Things are coming along well, but there is a current issue where our system can’t quite handle the massive amount of items that you can accumulate in the Dungeons. We don’t have a Blacksmith yet, but we have a preliminary way to scrap items and clean out your inventory. But, it tends to freeze up when you try to scrap too many things. Don’t worry though, Tj is setting to work to figure out some solutions to make everything run smooth in the future.

Enough about the problems though, we have so much new stuff that IS working! First off, our inventory no longer just displays item names. Now you can actually see all the items that you can get!

New inventory icons!

Another new improvement has been with the item tooltips. They’re now looking a lot better and have almost all the information you need, presented in a clear way. Below, you can see the tooltip for the legendary head, Discarded Crown. In the yellow text, you can see it’s legendary power is a lot of Gold Find, as well as it’s other 2 modifiers and some flavor text.

A Discarded Crown tooltip.

Eventually, your equipped item will also pop up so you can compare new things to see if they’re an upgrade or more trash for the crafting material pile.

Speaking of Crafting Materials, those can now stack! Instead of taking up thousands of inventory slots, you can now easily see how many you have. Once again, it’s another small thing, but another great step towards the final product!

Stacks of crafting material.

We’ve got a lot going on and the code is improving everyday now. Those are the major updates to inventory, but we are still far from the finished product. Anyway, I better get back to work. Have a great day!

Cheers,
Joe
Executive Prime

More New Things!

Hey, hello, and happy Saturday!

I’m struggling a bit on what today’s topic should be. (Sorry, I skipped last week because of writer’s block too.) I think my brain wants to make these blogs more important and grandiose than they need to be, then I just end up overloading myself and not getting them done.

This is not to say that there isn’t stuff happening. In fact, we’ve been moving at a new breakneck pace. Tj, our Digital Alchemist here at Knob Cat Games, has been adding in features and crushing bugs non-stop. If you want to actually SEE some of the new stuff, I posted a video to my YouTube yesterday, so go check that out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qlNcQsi8i6E

Testo takes on a whole crew of enemies.

Some of the most exciting new things to me is finally having all of the Tier 1 mobs in the game. Dungeons 1 through 10 are now packed with enemies and things are starting to scale properly in testing. It’s awesome to see things begin to fall into place. We’ve moved from calling new builds “Prototype” and have now settled on “Version”.

Dungeons, while still having placeholder art, are now huge and have the full amount of Mobs. It’s hard to take a screenshot of how big the dungeon actually is, since we can’t zoom out, but trust me. I can’t wait to see the final dungeon artwork from Ben.

This place is huge!

Tj has also started laying the groundwork for a few new systems. While far from being the final Blacksmith, you can now scrap unwanted items and get crafting materials from them. You can’t craft anything with those materials, but you know, we’re getting there.

Another new thing that we started is the energy system. While hated by some players, it’s a requirement in games like this, otherwise I would never stop grinding for that sweet loot…

Speaking of sweet loot, here’s a little peek at the legendary body…

Testo is wearing Protection of the Hills.

Mobs can now be Elites, which means they can drop that good loot! They’ll have a little skull icon by their health bar to let you know.

Oops, all Elites!

And I think that’s all the major new stuff, I’m going to get back to some game testing! I’m also going to try to make sure I write down topics for future blog updates, and I really want to stick to this Saturday schedule. Something that would really help me out is if you have any questions or topics you’d like me to cover, hit me up in Discord and let me know!

Cheers,
Joe
Executive Prime

Dungeons of the Obelisk: Version 6

Holy crap, I finally got it done. Here’s a new video of our current build of DotO. Lots of new stuff to see since the last one.

Here it is, Version 6!
Published
Categorized as Video

More Mobs…

Ben and Nyka have been working for a while designing all of the mobs for Dungeons of the Obelisk. We have quite a few drawn, some animated, and only two in the actual game.

Until now! Our resident Digital Alchemist, Tj, has turned his attention to getting more mobs into the actual game. Starting with the big boy tank mob, Blub, and everybody’s sure to be favorite clever girl, Sludgesaurus.

It looks like Testo has some new enemies to fight.

Both of these mobs are considered “specialists” as they fill a certain roll on the enemy team. Blub is a tank and focuses almost entirely on having as much Health as possible. Blub can still pack a good punch, but they’re also very slow so you should have time to see it coming.

Sludgesaurus on the other hand is all about doing damage. Their “Spit” attack hits hard, but they can also “Anticipate” your movements and increase their Critical Hit Chance.

If you’re looking at the image above and wondering why Puke Rats and Blubs are still in black and white, well that’s something we had planned early on. We were going to allow the code to color the mobs with shaders to allow for different colors and recycling mobs. For example, maybe a blue Glub would show up and have different abilities.

We pretty quickly decided against this idea. Ben’s skills at coloring would go to waste and shaders just cant color as good as Ben can. So we just need to get the Puke Rat and Blub animations re-skinned with the updated colored versions. This should happen as soon as Nyka wraps up work on the current batch of mob animations.

Building a game like this is lots of small steps that keep adding up. There is always something new to do and some new challenge to overcome. Each decision can impact the future look, feel, and direction of the game.

Now that Blub and Sludgesaurus have joined up with Glub and Puke Rat, we just have the healer mob, Rot Bat, and the Dungeon Boss, who still goes unnamed…

Hope that gives you some fun info about the new mobs. I hope to share the Rot Bat details with you all soon! Talk to you next week!

Cheers,
Joe
Executive Prime