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Dungeonmans: The Heroic Adventure Roguelike [PC]

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Crush monsters and get loot in a persistent world full of gorgeous 2D sprite work with a sweeping throwback soundtrack!

Play the Summer Preview build right now!
dungeonmans.com or IndieDB

Requires XNA 4.0 Runtime: Download from Microsoft

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Excellence in Monster Crushing

Dungeonmans is a lighthearted 2D roguelike set in a persistent world of high adventure that grows and evolves as you play. Explore untamed wilds, delve the deepest dungeons, defeat terrible and remorseless monsters, and roll around in piles of shiny loot. Currently in development for Windows, the Dungeonmans Summer Preview is available right now for you to play!

Combat in Dungeonmans is about tactics, positioning, and clever use of skills. Even melee fighters get lines, cones, dashes, and other area effect attacks that reward players who think ahead and seize opportunity. Hero development is free form as you can pick from a variety of Masteries to build exactly the character you want. Start with a base class to get your settled in, or just grab a handful of points and a backpack of loot and build a class yourself.

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The Dungeonmans Academy

Every Dungeonmans is a graduate from the Dungeonmans Academy, an ever growing bastion of learning and knowledge. As your hero adventures, you might find old artifacts, lost knowledge, or trophies ripped out of the toughest monsters. These items can be used to upgrade the Academy and provide you with bonuses to your existing character and future graduates as well! Each heroically slain Dungeonmans can add power and knowledge to the Academy, giving the next graduate a leg up on the monsters.

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What Dungeonmans Delivers

- A wide world of adventure, generated just for you! Explore forests and badlands, smash through bandit barricades on the roads, visit peaceful hamlets, and plunder many different types of dungeons.

- Excellent character development variety! Use one of the starter classes to get yourself going, or go entirely classless and build however you like. There's always enough rope to hang yourself in Dungeonmans!

- Tense, tactical combat that challenges you to make the most of your items and abilities to pull off upset victories against hordes of foes.

- The Dungeonmans Academy, which grows according to your heroics and serves as a home base for the great adventures to come. Pass knowledge forward from graduate to graduate and grow ever stronger!

- A roguelike experience for everyone! Use the Academy to carry progress forward and soften the blow of permadeath, or cut your teeth on the rock-hard Ironmans mode.

- A huge collection of powerful loot and unique foes rendered with colorful, high-quality 2D art. Explore multiple and varied environments built with detailed tile sets from an era where gaming meant high adventure!

- Outstanding music from veteran composer Andrew Aversa aka zircon, inspired by the very best RPG soundtracks of the 16 bit era.

The Academy Theme on Soundcloud!

After almost 9 years in the AAA space, Dungeonmans is my first shot at indie development. It's been a labor of love for a long time, and only started going into true, full-time production last year. The Summer Preview is designed to give you a great taste of Dungeonmans and earn your support as I drive toward finishing the game. Over the course of July 2013, new builds of Dungeonmans will become available based on the feedback of its players; both the data from killscreens as well as your thoughts, opinions, critiques, or other ideas. Thank you for your time and please go die in a dungeon!

Learn more

Website: dungeonmans.com

Facebook: Help get the word out!

Twitter: @dungeonmans

Greenlight: You want to play Dungeonmans on Steam, right?


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Posts

  • WyvernWyvern Registered User regular
    edited July 2013
    Wow, another new roguelike? I love this sudden resurgence the genre has been seeing lately.

    Anyway, I spent an hour or two checking out the preview build. These days, when I check out a new roguelike for the first time, the main question in my head is generally, "What am I getting out of this game that I wasn't already getting from Dungeon Crawl?" Well, I guess in this case I really should be using Tales of Maj'eyal as a barometer instead. So what am I getting out of Dungeonmans that I couldn't also be getting out of ToME? In the preview build, I'm not sure it's a whole lot.

    Obviously that's a ludicrously unfair comparison. ToME has been in development in some form or another for over a decade and Dungeonmans is in pre-alpha with loads of cool stuff that hasn't been implemented yet. But still, it's a comparison you can probably expect to see a lot of, because Dungeonmans is pretty ToME-like in its basic construction (heavy focus on active abilities for all classes, non-linear overworld, etc.). You really don't want to end up in a position where the most common way people describe the game is "it's like ToME except it costs money", as that would probably make it a bit hard to find a large audience. It's important to have some thoroughly unique design choices to ensure that the game stands out as a distinct entity.

    One thing that you definitely have going for you in that regard is the stamina system, which is brilliant. One of my least favorite things about ToME is its over-reliance on cooldowns as a balancing tool. It makes it easier to have a lot of varied and interesting abilities, but I always just end up mindlessly spamming every spell I have in sequence while I wait for the others to come off cooldown because I have nothing better to do, more or less regardless of the tactical situation. The scaling stamina costs in Dungeonmans accomplishes basically the same end goal while leaving the player with massively more short-term tactical flexibility, which is just perfect. At the moment you get too few spam-worthy abilities and too much stamina for it to amount to a whole lot, but in principle it's an excellent mechanic.

    I assume the Academy is meant to develop into something that helps to distinguish the game against the competition, but at the moment it doesn't really amount to anything. Everything you get from the Academy could just as easily been given to you passively without anything being lost. Of course, I have no way of knowing what the long-term goals for it are.

    A few more minor and specific observations:

    -The fact that your character's field of vision is larger than what's actually shown on the screen is super-frustrating, especially in an open area like the scrobold cave. Definitely try to do something about that, whether it's expanding the the viewport, fixing the camera on the character, adding a minimap, or at least putting in some kind of indicators for offscreen enemies and items.

    -The map is oversaturated with low-level areas. If you're serious about maximizing your odds of survival, the optimal playstyle is to grind through every single one of them for chances at books, consumables, and maybe some stat points from the end boss long after everything else is long past the point of being trivial and obsolete, which is very tedious. You could just skip them, of course, but when I die I want to feel like it's because I made a mistake, not because I was lazy about my preparations two hours ago. ToME has this same problem in the early-game; you have to loot like eight newbie zones for artifacts even though they stop providing any semblance of challenge after the first or second.

    -I think defensive stats might be a little out of whack. My most successful character went for leather armor and shields and it was like I never got hit. The only reason I died is because I got so used to never taking a hit from anyone ever that I accidentally suicided myself against some worm thing because I forgot to look at my health bar. Also, heavy armor always looked like downgrades at that point, costing me enormous chunks of dodge for a single point of armor. I haven't actually gotten all that far, though, so that's a fairly uneducated perspective.

    -I really don't like how Proofs of Stremf carry over to new characters. There's no ceiling on it that I can see, so if you play long enough, even if you never get very far you'll eventually be getting new characters with 100 free stat points who trivialize most of the game.

    -Efficient is about a hundred times better than every other trait combined.

    -I had a dual-wielding character once where every time I changed any piece of my equipment (or even attempted to, like if I clicked on an item I wasn't actually qualified to use), the melee stats listed on the inventory screen would randomly reroll themselves. Not sure if it was a display bug or if my physical power was actually changing.

    -I'm not sure which part of this (if any) is a bug, but you can manually uniquip a staff from just the ranged or just the melee slots and use them for something else instead. You only get the spellpower bonus if it's in the melee slot, though.

    -For beam and AoE spells like Lava Lance and Rhombos of Rime, there's a bug where spell targeting reticles will sometimes be centered on some square other than where the character actually is.

    Wyvern on
    Switch: SW-2431-2728-9604 || 3DS: 0817-4948-1650
  • DungeonmansDungeonmans Gameplay Proframmer. That's right. Registered User new member
    That is an awesome collection of feedback, thank you so much! I appreciate the time you put into the game and this post. On the whole you make a lot of good points, and this is exactly the sort of critique I need to help make sure Dungeonmans improves with future builds. Maybe we could discuss some of your points?
    Everything you get from the Academy could just as easily been given to you passively without anything being lost.
    I don't know if I understand what you mean. If the player just starts with all potions and scrolls pre-identified, along with four free skill points from Library books, that seems like a big change from having to earn those bonuses and build the Academy yourself. I'm of the mindset that the progression matters, and so far it seems like players enjoy it too. I am certainly looking for new ways to meaningfully grow and expand the Academy!
    your character's field of vision is larger than what's actually shown on the screen is super-frustrating,
    I agree, and an option to lock the camera to the hero will be available in the very next build.
    -The map is oversaturated with low-level areas. If you're serious about maximizing your odds of survival, the optimal playstyle is to grind through every single one of them for chances at books, consumables, and maybe some stat points from the end boss long after everything else is long past the point of being trivial and obsolete, which is very tedious.
    Completely true. I was aware that this might happen, but I've been watching player behavior to see how prevalent it is. My plan currently is to warn the player when they are about to enter a trivial area and give them the option to decline, as well as remove all loot and treasure drops from a trivial dungeon. It should be clear that it is time to move on.
    -I think defensive stats might be a little out of whack.
    Dodge is a little strong early on. Eventually, armor matters more than dodge, and Heavy Armor is intended to be an upgrade since you have to spend the extra point to master it. However, I'm leaning toward scrubbing how that works and instead making per-armor styles, such as a mastery for Light Armor that makes wearing cloth worthwhile for players who want to have more mana available to them as well as better elemental resistances. It's a difficult task. I don't want to be heavy handed and force people to choose an armor type by doing something like making spellcasting fail in Heavy Armor.
    -I really don't like how Proofs of Stremf carry over to new characters. There's no ceiling on it that I can see, so if you play long enough, even if you never get very far you'll eventually be getting new characters with 100 free stat points who trivialize most of the game.
    There's something interesting in that statement though. Having lots of stat points will indeed make the early game easier, but you only get that through playing lots of heroes. So for one particular hero some things might feel trivial, but the player only got to that point through lots of play, which is non-trivial. I do want to make sure that Proofs aren't too easy to grind out, and I've seen some small exploits involving overworld encounters that make them too easy to collect.

    I think the Proof of Stremf system gives players a good way to feel progression in strength from one hero to the next, but there's certainly other ways. I'm on the lookout for them!
    -Efficient is about a hundred times better than every other trait combined.
    100x is a lot, you don't think you'd take +1000% elemental damage delivered over one extra action ever four rounds? :) I see your point though. I'm keeping track of the perks chosen by players who get the farthest, and Efficient might be up for a nerf.
    Your UI is buggier than the floor of a rainforest
    Yes, it is. I've got to better, but UI is one of my personal weak points and it might not get the love it deserves during the summer preview. We'll see.

    Again, thanks for this awesome feedback. I hope you had some fun playing the game! There will be a new build shortly, and I'm aiming for one per week if not more. We'll see how that goes.

    Elvenshae
  • WyvernWyvern Registered User regular
    Everything you get from the Academy could just as easily been given to you passively without anything being lost.
    I don't know if I understand what you mean. If the player just starts with all potions and scrolls pre-identified, along with four free skill points from Library books, that seems like a big change from having to earn those bonuses and build the Academy yourself. I'm of the mindset that the progression matters, and so far it seems like players enjoy it too. I am certainly looking for new ways to meaningfully grow and expand the Academy!
    What I mean is that, at present, you could make it so killing champions gives you stat points directly, picking up an alchemical majigger caused you to automatically ID scrolls and potions for the rest of a run, and remove the Academy proper entirely without losing anything substantial.

    When I heard the word "academy", I was initially imagining a scenario where interactions with professors and decisions made in the academy would be the primary determinant of how your character develops. Right now it's basically just a trunk where you drop off maguffins and bonuses come out, which isn't all that interesting. The only choice to be made is sacrificing skill books for other bonuses, which I suppose is an idea that has potential (but the fact that it's a one-time persistent progression across all characters makes it less interesting for me).

    Actually, the first thing that popped into my head was PrincessRL, which is probably kind of a crazy example.
    -The map is oversaturated with low-level areas. If you're serious about maximizing your odds of survival, the optimal playstyle is to grind through every single one of them for chances at books, consumables, and maybe some stat points from the end boss long after everything else is long past the point of being trivial and obsolete, which is very tedious.
    Completely true. I was aware that this might happen, but I've been watching player behavior to see how prevalent it is. My plan currently is to warn the player when they are about to enter a trivial area and give them the option to decline, as well as remove all loot and treasure drops from a trivial dungeon. It should be clear that it is time to move on.
    I knew that they were trivial and would give me no experience, but I did them anyway, because the odds of dying are zero and the odds of getting something which will tangibly improve your odds of survival in a future dungeon (books and the stat points from the end boss, mostly) are non-zero, thus there's no reason not to do them except the tedium. Tedium should never be a balancing factor in a game, by which I mean optimal play shouldn't be tedious. I think this is pretty much always likely to be a problem if a game provides more content than a player "needs". It's the tyranny of non-linear game design, really. I'm not sure what the best solution is. Really I'm not sure if the open world is earning its keep right now, but I don't doubt there's tons of unimplemented stuff there.
    -I think defensive stats might be a little out of whack.
    Dodge is a little strong early on. Eventually, armor matters more than dodge, and Heavy Armor is intended to be an upgrade since you have to spend the extra point to master it. However, I'm leaning toward scrubbing how that works and instead making per-armor styles, such as a mastery for Light Armor that makes wearing cloth worthwhile for players who want to have more mana available to them as well as better elemental resistances. It's a difficult task. I don't want to be heavy handed and force people to choose an armor type by doing something like making spellcasting fail in Heavy Armor.
    Yeah, right now you're trying to make heavy armor objectively better than medium armor, but are simultaneously trying to make evasion a thing that's different from mitigation, which is probably going to come back to bite you. You can just look at the history of Dungeon Crawl to see how much of a goddamn mess trying to balance dodge and armor against each other is. Giving each armor level fully independent skill trees would probably serve you better than trying to balance on stats alone, seeing as how the whole game is kind of built around having interesting skill trees anyway.
    -I really don't like how Proofs of Stremf carry over to new characters. There's no ceiling on it that I can see, so if you play long enough, even if you never get very far you'll eventually be getting new characters with 100 free stat points who trivialize most of the game.
    There's something interesting in that statement though. Having lots of stat points will indeed make the early game easier, but you only get that through playing lots of heroes. So for one particular hero some things might feel trivial, but the player only got to that point through lots of play, which is non-trivial. I do want to make sure that Proofs aren't too easy to grind out, and I've seen some small exploits involving overworld encounters that make them too easy to collect.

    I think the Proof of Stremf system gives players a good way to feel progression in strength from one hero to the next, but there's certainly other ways. I'm on the lookout for them!
    If I was designing a Dungeonmans-playing bot, I would have it generate characters, clear the scrobold caves, commit suicide, and then repeat the process twenty thousand times for infinite stats. No human player would ever do this, but I think that the fact that they hypothetically could, and be rewarded for it, is dumb. I find this kind of thought experiment a good way to search for the aforementioned "optimal play shouldn't be tedious" problems. In a perfectly designed game, I should have no goddamn clue what a bot should be doing.

    Personally, I'm kind of opposed to this sort of cross-generational power creep in roguelikes in general. If my character gets further than the last one, I want it to be because I got smarter and played better, not because this one had free bonuses than the last one didn't. That's just personal preference, though, not some objective truth of design. If you haven't played Rogue Legacy yet you should, because it goes all-in on this kind of system and works it pretty well. The fact that it's an action-platformer with short character runs kind of muddies the waters a whole bunch, but there's still probably something to be learned there.
    -Efficient is about a hundred times better than every other trait combined.
    100x is a lot, you don't think you'd take +1000% elemental damage delivered over one extra action ever four rounds? :) I see your point though. I'm keeping track of the perks chosen by players who get the farthest, and Efficient might be up for a nerf.
    Obviously I'm exaggerating a bit, but speed is pretty much never not the most important stat in a roguelike. And the fewer things there are that deviate from the baseline speed, the more important it gets. Efficient is the difference between being the same speed as everything and being faster than everything. Which is the difference between being able to pillar-dance and not being able to. It is, as far as I can tell, the ONLY thing that makes you faster than anything (unless you count stuff like the dash skill, which can replace movement speed in certain circumstances). You could take it from 25% down to 10% or even 5% and this would still be true. Variable speed systems are hard to balance. There's a reason why a game like Shiren the Wanderer only has normal speed, double speed, and half speed (and even then it's mostly for monsters).

    Switch: SW-2431-2728-9604 || 3DS: 0817-4948-1650
  • DungeonmansDungeonmans Gameplay Proframmer. That's right. Registered User new member
    Things have continued to update for the Summer Preview. There's a new build available (the links above still work) as well as some information on what's coming down the road! Two updates are below:

    See what sort of dungeon changes are in store:
    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/56637190/dungeonmans-the-heroic-adventure-roguelike/posts/537004

    And check out the Feedback Mailbag collected from players!
    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/56637190/dungeonmans-the-heroic-adventure-roguelike/posts/540863

    Feedback has been coming in many forms. From long, bullet-pointed treatises like Wyvern's above, to short messages sent in game. A couple of accidentally OP rings slipped into the game in 1.06, get 'em while they're hot!


  • ConstrictorConstrictor The Dork Knight SuburbialandRegistered User regular
    Semi dead thread here but I picked up Dungeonmans a few days ago and it's doing a really good job of consuming all of my free time so far. Very fun roguelike with a great sense of humor.

    There are still some bugs and I expect it to continue to improve but if you like roguelike games this deserves recognition.

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