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OnlyLuck Interactive

Dungeons of Desolation - Dev Update July 19th

It has been a while since I have posted an update, but I was not idle. Tons of stuff has been completed on Dungeons of Desolation over the last month.

A lot of work has been done on balancing and the random level creation algorithms. I made it so the game could loop continuously through the levels with the player killing 75% of the monsters on each level. All of the level items, monsters stats and the player's stats were saved out to a CSV file that I could easily view in Excel. Also looping through the levels a couple thousand times allowed me to fix a couple very rare bugs that crashed the game.
On the feature side:- Added a basic quest system. NPC's in town might give you some items if you meet a specific condition like finding an item in the dungeon or reaching a certain level without dying.
- Added in additional item enchants for stats for Concentration Points (CP - The resource pool that allows to use skills and spells) and CP Regen. Also these stats now show on the equipment screen.
- Added a healer NPC in town that will restore HP, CP and rebuff most negative effects.
- Added a NPC in town that will identify your items for gold. This is cheaper than identify scrolls.
- The skill tree now shows the Skill Point cost of skills that you can purchase and they will flash slightly too.
- Torches are now a stackable item, but will only stack with torches that have the same number of turns left on them.
- Added a help system to the pause menu that shows the stat legend, controls and some basic game play instructions/tips.
- Reduced the cost of almost all of the Grey Magic spells so they are more attractive to purchase.
- Added pointer arrows for the Detect Monster/Items/Traps spells that will point to things detected off screen.
- Changed the White Magic Buffs back to be sustained. Meaning they will always be active, but while active they reduce the maximum CP pool.- Equipping leather armor now requires a skill, but it is early in the combat tree and only costs 1 SP.- Low health warning based on percent HP that can be set in the options.- Using unidentified items how will grant experience if you discover its use.

If everything stays on track the Xbox Live Indie Games version will be released in a couple weeks. Also I should have the trailer created and posted soon.


Dungeons of Desolation Dev Update - May 16th

All of the game screens have been updated graphically so they look at least half decent.   Meaning at least there is a background and the controls are displayed.  I have also started to adding different fonts so the text looks better.  Previously there was only one font and it looked terrible when it was scaled up significantly.

I have also updated the town level so the player can enter the buildings.  I still need to implement the player town storage system, but that wouldn’t be difficult.   The town look has been updated a bit too.  The paths now connect the buildings and there are symbols on the buildings to show what type of shop is inside.

Another addition is the Dungeon Codex.  This is available from the pause menu.  The Dungeon Codex will allow you to see what monsters, items and enchants you have discovered so far.  I am trying to decide if this should be common across all characters or just for the specific character you are playing.  Meaning if you discovered a monster in on one character would show up in the Codex of a new character?   Some rogue like record monsters across characters, but not items.



Dungeons of Desolation - Dev Update May 4th

I have updated the game so the tile set of the dungeon can change at different depths.   I was avoiding this thinking it would have been a lot of work (in hind sight I should have programmed it that way from the beginning, live and learn!), but it turned out it was a lot easier to change than I thought.  I also fixed a couple programming hacks I did with the door tiles that were referencing the location of the tiles in the sprite sheet which was a terrible idea.I was thinking what I could use a different floor tile for the dungeon and then I remembered the dirt tile for the town level.  I also changed the wall tiles and added the feature to select different tiles so the walls are a bit more interesting.  I think this tile set looks really good.  It is going to be used in the beginning levels.  Along with the new floor and wall tiles I updated the open door tile so it looks more like an open door.

Another major update is the addition of light source items.  Torches, lanterns and the rumour is that there are rare and powerful light sources items that will never burn out!  When a torch burns out there is nothing left of it, but lanterns can be refilled with flasks of oil can be purchased at your local general store.  Diffrent light sources have different light radiuses and some of the rare lights have other stats as well.

Some changes have been made to the HUD too.  I decided to get rid of the coloured squares behind the skill/items since all the skills will have a background representing their type.  To compensate for this I made the buttons much larger.  With the addition of light source items I added a bar that shows you what light you have equipped and how many turns are left on it.  Along with that I added a hunger bar that shows how full you are.  The player still will get warning in the log about light and hunger.

Here's a screen shot showing the new tile set and HUD changes.

This is a screen of the updated Stats and Equipment Page (the image behind the player now updates depending what level you are on):

Here's a video showing some of the items talked about above:


Dungeons of Desolation - Dev Update April 28th

It has been a long time since the last update.  I have been having some issues with the game design, but I finally worked them out.

The original design was way too complex.  Not just from creation perspective, but also from the player’s.  Trying to explain the mechanics would have required a dozen page help system.   I liked the character creation system, but felt it was too limiting for a single character game.  The idea of being locked into a set of skills before you get to play the game doesn’t seem fun.   If you didn’t enjoy that style of character or found it lacking in an area you would have no choice but to reroll.

I have settled on a skill tree system consisting of four trees:

Combat – Skills involving weapons and armor
Black Magic – Spells that negatively affect enemies. Examples:  Fireball, Sleep, Poison Cloud
White Magic – Spells that positively affect the player. Examples:  Heal, Shielding, Strengthen
Grey Magic – Spells that manipulate matter or reveal what is hidden.  Examples:  Detect Monsters, Create Food, Enchant Armor

A skill tree system will allow the player to change focus while leveling if something is not working and will allow for large variety of player builds.  At maximum level the player will have enough points to max out two of the trees.  At normal end game level the player will have most likely have one and half of the skill trees maxed out.

To plan out the trees I printed out all the skills and cut them out into individual rectangles.  I found being able to move them around on a table allowed me easily play around with them until I got the layout to something that felt right.  It is weird but doing this seemed like a breakthrough.  Looking at all the skills in a spreadsheet is overwhelming, but having physical objects I could move around made it manageable.

Simplifying the skills system will hopefully allow me to complete the game in time for the Microsoft Dream.Build.Play contest which has a submission deadline of June 15th.


Dungeons of Desolation - Dev Update Feb 29th

A bunch of changes and new features have been made since the last update.

The biggest change is has been to the lighting system. Instead of selecting  individual tiles to be lit now certain tiles are the light sources and light up a radius around them like the player.   The tiles that provide light are shown in game as animated torches.  Additionally, spell projectiles such as firebolts can light up tiles as well.  It can be useful to cast a firebolt down an unexplored hallway to find out what is down it.  Another change to spells like firebolt and magic missile is that they now explode with a particle effect when they hit an enemy.  Another addition is the blood spray effects when the player or a monster is damaged (it can be turned off in the options if players prefer not to see it). 

The hidden doors, a roguelike staple, have also been added.  Moving into a wall tile that contains a hidden door with discover and open it.  The player will have a chance to discover hidden doors while walking by them and certain spells will reveal them too.

The skills system might be getting over haul.  I am considering a skill tree system instead of the current system where you pick all of your skills during character creation.  Changing this would give a player the chance to shift direction if they didn't like the current play style without needing to start over.

Here is a video showing some of these updates:


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