What’s Next?

The Ground Gives way has been out a little bit over a month now. It seems to be quite a lot of people enjoying the game and that makes me really happy! There are still a few issues of course so I thought I’d let you in on what I am planning to do next.

The plan is to do one or a couple (depending on the amount of work) of releases that fixes some issues that have mainly come from player feedback. The following issues are not in priority order:

The Target System

The target system works quite well in general but have quite a few flaws currently. The most notable is that the target sometimes is lost when a monster moves or that it is hard to navigate among many monsters. I plan to fix this and make it better.

Equipment Comparison

The item panel that shows how equipping an item affects your attributes also works well in general but also have a few flaws: it doesn’t take open/closed melee into account, it has a problem when comparing and upgrading rings, it also have a problem to show your attributes correctly if maxmp is below zero. I plan to rework this system a bit to make it more accurate.

Deadends/Unwinnable Situations

As most players have discovered, it is possible to come into more or less hopeless situations, such as having to get across a lot of water or lava tiles without dying. I have explained in the FAQ and the manual that this is intended by design. This is something that I personally find acceptable due to the short length of the game (and have heard of interesting and creative ways of getting across, such as using a wand of striking!).

However, it seems that this “feature” is generally disliked among players so I think it is worth to make an attempt at eliminating or reducing those situations from the game without necessarily making it easier.

Movement

There are also some issues with the movement system. First of all, there is a conflict between waiting and running in corridors. Running works only when a monster is not visible, and when monsters are visible you will instead wait (if standing on floor). A workaround that currently works is to walk into a wall for waiting. But I might reconsider other options. There have also been a wish for more fast movements in open spaces and not just in corridors. This is also something I will consider including although I am not sure of the mechanics yet.

What else would you like to see?

My main goal with TGGW is of course to make a game that players enjoy as much as possible. So I really welcome any suggestions and ideas for the game. What would you like to see in TGGW? Is there anything you find annoying with it? Please let me know in the comments or by mail!

 

Comments

  1. I really like your game despite the fact that I’m not very successful ;D
    One thing I would suggest is something like a highscore system. It would be motivating to see how much you improved compared to your previous attempts. That is one aspect I especially like about DoomRl, it manages to set goals to the player which are not limited to a single game.
    It was taken very far there and things like detailed statistics, achievements and difficulty were implemented. I know that all these things are violations against the hardcore roguelike codex, but I still liked them.
    A simple highscore system would still satisfy me 😀
    Cheers!

    1. Thank you very much for your input Pux! Glad you like the game!

      Some sort of over-all statistics is a good idea! The game doesn’t have score but maybe remembering maximum number of kills, gold and such could quite easily be recorded. Thank you for this suggestion, I will see what I will do!

  2. First, thanks for your amazing game!! 🙂
    I’ve played many other roguelike (such as URR, dwarf fortress, Brogue, many angband-like,etc…) but your game is easy to play and hard to finish (like a good roguelike) and i really like it. 🙂
    I would like ,for the next realeases and if it’s possible, new items , new ‘events’ (like the ‘event’ when you can “play” with the water in a floor by push a lever (or something else *I forget it*) and more variations in dungeon (why not add really-really-rare themed floor)

    Also, I havn’t found bug except those that have already been said by the other players.

    In any case, your game is awesome like that 😉
    (sorry for mistakes, i’m french and i’ve wrote it with my phone with a bad internet connection 🙂 )

    1. Thank you for your kind words and your suggestions!! Awesome that you like the game!

      New items, events and “stuff” as I call it will no doubt be added in coming releases although I really doubt you have already seen it all (there are actually around 500 different items, not counting enchantments, in the game already)…

      Rare themed floors is also an idea I have been thinking about for a while, so it is likely to be included at some point.

      1. Thanks for your answer 🙂

        Of course I havn’t discovered all of items/stuffs ^^’ there are so many O.o …

        I forgot to talk about a thing I have see in my first play : “ehm… why are you still watching this?” I have laught….a lot…XD

        Just a little rare “display problem” : when the name of the item you want to enchant/upgrade is too long, the cost of it is “cut”.. by exemple:
        /————/
        /sandals of pain -> great sandals of pain/
        /2 /

        but, when you ask to confirm, you realize that it cost 52…
        …I don’t know if I’m understandable sorry ^^’

        1. hehe great 🙂 I guess not that many people see that message!

          Ah, thanks for that display bug, I wasn’t aware of it, will fix it!

  3. I do find myself wanting an easy way to move through open areas–shift-arrow is a common way to handle it, and something I use in my own games.

    I second the desire to see rare themed floors. There are already themed rooms, and these are a lot of fun to find/explore, like grass-filled (snakes!), fog-filled, various liquids, ice chambers, etc. I think the design can go a lot further in this regard.

    Post-game stats are always great for comparison, too. Both with previous runs and even with other players online. It’s nice to have a summary of what you encountered and how you fared.

    1. Yes, I’m leaning towards shift-arrow, it is a quite clean solution.

      Thank you for seconding these suggestions, that really adds to the likelihood of getting them implemented!

  4. Really awesome game! I really look forward to the updates to come! Besides the ones already mentioned, it would be good to see some more robust options such as an integrated ability to re-size the play window and the ability to toggle combat animations (I quite like them, but they do get a little repetitive). Gameplay-wise, investing in an auto-rest and auto-explore function could go a long way as well as some variety of score system. I think your design philosophy is spot-on –easy to learn, difficult to master.

    I did a short review of it on YouTube. You can check it out here if you want. Keep up the good work!

    1. Hey, thank you very much for that review Dewaldo! I’m really grateful!

      As for in-game options to resize the font, I’m afraid it’s not possible with the current implementation. I am using a library (PDCurses) which simply uses Windows console to display the characters. I agree it would be nice to have though.

      I also don’t think I will implement an option to turn off combat animations. I consider them quite central to the game and part of it to prevent sloppy game play. In general monsters are so dangerous that key mashing should never be a strategy anyway. Possibly I might let the player adjust the speed of the animation though.

      I noticed you mention in the review that the only way to rest is to mash the space button? That is not correct, you rest by pressing ‘z’ and then space once. The pressing ‘r’ from the tutorial is wrong as you say but I don’t plan to implement it.

      Again, thank you very much for your input!

  5. I’ll take a different route and suggest that you indirectly reckon some further means and implementations by spending some time unwinding and having fun playing just about the only other at least semi-lively project similar in scope and style to The Ground Gives Way and Brogue—Forays Into Norrendrin.

    1. Thank you very much for the suggestion! I had somehow completely missed this one. It even looks much like TGGW on the screenshots 🙂

      It is indeed a good idea to play other roguelikes for inspiration and I have a few now that I intend to try out.

    2. Yeah! Great idea!

      An another roguelike with good mechanics and features for inspiration is “incursion” that few people know….

      1. I love Incursion. Maybe it’s not immediately obvious, but I have drawn a lot of inspiration from Incursion. For example the resting mechanics, and a lot of the programming design is inspired by the developer’s white paper.

        1. ^^ Incursion is one on my favourite roguelikes 🙂
          A little sad that the dev has closed the project but rmtew on bickbucket have re-open the project! (and fixed a lot of bugs)

          Youre game made me think about this ^^

          It’s true that I would like to see some mechanics and features come to youre game but I think you have already think about this 😉

  6. Hello again. It’s nice to see that you keep up your enthusiasm and continue to improve the game. Many people appreciate it. 🙂

    I have a question about my current run.
    I have nearly died a few times but then got lucky with moneys and merchants, and now I have some really nice gear. I don’t use iron items at all and rely on magic and shooting. So I’ve found a couple of robes with MP boost, and… now I have infinite mana reserves. 😉 I just wear a robe, spend my MP on zapping wands, then take it off and wear it again with my MP restoring, no need of rest – http://i.imgur.com/Ca4TpJh.png This means that I can burn or drown a monster to death regardless of his HP. If it is something quick, I can knock it back with Striking or teleport. And if it is some sort of fighter, I can entangle him in so many layers of web that he will be no trouble.
    So is it cheating, a bug or this is the legit way that magic user shall be played?

    Also is it hard to place exact distance to target somewhere on monster screen? Like “Within fire range (5)” or something. I’ve had situation, when I had not good melee or magic offence, but I was fast and had a bow and high Missile and Range attributes. So I was fighting one scout and tried keep him on a distance of (6) tiles, shoot him and then flee back, when he approach at (5). Kiting, you know. It could be easier if I did not count distance each time but see it on his description.

    1. Hmm… no this is definitely a bug! So you unequip the robe when you’re at 0 mana, right? It should not even be possible to unequip it at 0 mana. Thank you very much for reporting this!

      Writing the number of squares of range is a good idea, I will consider it, thank you!

      1. Why should not it? I thought it is okay to have 0 MP, and it is only forbidden to unequip your gear if it makes your mana negative.
        Well, now I have to terminate this game because of that bug. Thanks a lot. 🙁 And I could finally win this time..

        1. It is like this: your mana reserve is tied to your equipment so if you have used mana because of your equipment it shouldn’t be possible to unequip it. Apparently this is not working correctly.

          I am sorry for the bug and your game. I can probably solve it without the savefile, thanks!

  7. I like that the game is so challenging. Some thoughts
    1) Range stat is kind of useless; effective range is determine more by Missile stat due to accuracy drop off. +Range items are really bad.
    2) Some way to disarm detected traps would make sense
    3) Doesn’t make much sense to me that I need MP to equip items; I get that metal inhibits spells, but why should I need to fill MP again just to wear my ringmail?

    1. Thank you for your thoughts and comments!

      1) The Range attribute is definitely less important than the missile attribute, however, it does matter when you have a high missile attribute, but a low range, for example when equipping flu-flu arrows, you are accurate at short distance but cannot shoot very far. It also has makes large rocks useless unless you have a sling for example.

      2) Right now I consider detect traps and levitation as the main means of avoiding traps. Currently I have no plans of including a means of disarming traps. At most I might include a scroll of disarming all traps on a level or a service providing it, but thank you for your input!

      3) There are only restrictions as long as you use magic: You cannot use up all your wands and THEN equip metal items. If you don’t use magic you can use any equipment without restrictions, that is, you don’t need the extra mana to equip it.

      Edit: To clarify, the reason you cannot equip your ringmail after using some wands is that your mana is used up and it is considered “cheating” to both use the benefit of magic and the benefit of armour within the same “rest” period.

      I hope that helps!

      1. I guess that makes sense, but what if your MP is drained another way, from a trap for example? A pure melee type build that chooses not to use spells, still relies on MP. A bit counter-intuitive.

        1. Yeah, you are right, it may seem a bit counter-intuitive. But since there are no classes or such, all attributes matters for all characters, especially since you dynamically during the game can “rebuild” your character by changing equipment. I like the comment by trillioneyes below that gives a good rationalization.

      2. I like to pretend that the player character is some kind of faerie or ghost or other intrinsically magical being. So your mana reserve represents not just your capacity to cast spells but an aspect of your body every bit as important as your health, and if you use equipment to draw more deeply from your reserve than you’re capable of naturally, you can’t go on without that aid until you’ve recovered some of your natural capacity.

  8. Hi, great to hear you’re further improving the game.
    I really love it and it’s the only game I play right now.

    All of the improvements you talk about sound very good.
    Here are some suggestions I have:
    – shift-arrow to walk fast
    – showing more information when “x”-ing enemies, e.g., melee, block, speed
    – often the boxes are not wide or not long enough to show all of the text, e.g., features. It would be cool if the text would then scroll up and down or left and right, respectively imo

    Also here are some bugs and things I realized:
    – it’s a bit weird that coating identifies a potion before an enemy is hit with the coated weapon
    – shimmering water and mysterious veins are not golden in features window
    – iceblock w/ content not detected by detect object
    – flethcer typo in features
    – auto-run doesn not stop when eg diseased by a fungus along the way
    – waiting in corners will make you move a little
    – died by unequipping an amulet of health, then game hangs after saying “your inventory is overflown” but the dead cant drop stuff 🙂
    – “you manage to break your an rusty iron shortspear”

    Thanks for working on and sharing your game.
    It’s a genius roguelike and will influence others to come imo.

    1. I just realized that the point about water and veins is not true; not sure why I noted that.

    2. Thank you very much for the praise and your feedback! It is very motivating to improve the game when I hear things like this!

      About your suggestions:
      Yes, shift-arrow is the most likely way I’ll implement it.
      Seeing the attributes of the monsters is something I have been considering a long time. I think it would add to the game since there is no good reason to hide them. However, I don’t promise that it will be added.

      The size of the seen panel is a problem yes. I might add scrolling with pgup/pddown.

      About your bugs:
      Some of these are bugs I wasn’t aware of, thank you!
      Other things are actually intended behaviour:
      – I agree that it is not that logical to identify when coating, however, it works well gameplay wise. I plan to let it stay like that.
      – Shimmering water/mysterious veins and other things display in two colours randomly. Sometimes they will match in the features window, sometimes not.
      – detect object doesn’t detect objects inside containers, only on the floor.

      1. Hi, I just thought of two things I’d also really like to have:
        the ability to scroll back in the message log and maybe some type of dead-character-file

        1. Yep, I plan to implement scrolling of messages.

          You already have a dead-character file. Just select “Save & Quit” instead of pressing ‘r’ when you die. This will keep the file with all your attributes, inventory/equipment, maps, discovered items etc.

          1. Oh, I never realized that. Thanks.

            I just encountered a bug in the following situation:

            ###
            ../
            ###
            .@#

            When I go “up”, I will close the door that is not visible to me.

  9. Thanks for producing an awesome game! I really love the way your resting mechanic works; food is a fascinating resource and I love all the different factors in the game that interact the decision of when to take your next rest.

    One issue that I’ve noticed occasionally is that some monsters seem to have a lot of text in the targeting window, especially if they’re under a lot of status effects, and this can sometimes push some of the information off the screen. Is there a way to view this by scrolling the targeting window somehow? If not, I’d love a key to pop up a full screen version of that panel.

    1. Hi! Thank you very much for your feedback, and I’m really happy you like the game! The resting mechanics is one of my favourite things about the game as well.

      I am very aware of the problem of the target window and have been thinking about different solutions (such as being able to scroll them). Your idea is a really interesting one – to bring it up to fullscreen. Thank you very much for this, I will think about if I can make that work!

  10. If you want to translate your game in over language, I can help you (with à friend) to translate it in French (French is my native language)…. 🙂

    1. Oh thank you very much for your kind offer! Are you from France? Do you know if roguelikes are popular in general there? It might be something I want to do in the future.

      1. I live in France (around Dijon) ^^

        In France , there’s no website like “roguebasin” to inform people of new roguelikes, and roguelikes are mostly in english , without tuto , so they are not really accessible to the french community. But, there is a huge community of french roguelike player on the forum : “canard pc” (we play some other roguelike like : Brogue, DCSS, DF…)… I can talk about your game on this forum to inform about it.

    2. It’s done, I made a small presentation of your game on the forum “canard pc”.

      If you want to discuss about the translation , we can talk by email 🙂

  11. Hello again.
    I’ve found minor bug with confusion status –
    http://i.imgur.com/ddOU20G.png
    As you see on screenshot, I have boosted HP, and when I stumble, my Attributes panel shows my original HP. When I press any button, it returns to normal. It can be *confusing* 🙂

    Also I’ve found that Amulet of Magic does that thing with mana restore too, just like robes. But Magic ring works correctly.

    1. Ah yes… I am aware of this one. This one is very hard to fix, it is related to the order effects are handled. I will see what I can do about it. Thank you very much for reporting!

  12. Some french players send me report about playing the game on linux… It is possible to do an another realease of your game without pdcurses? for linux players?

    1. Yes, I am thinking about porting the game to other systems eventually. However, I don’t know when that will be (or if I will even be able to do it). So you can tell them that it might possible some time in the future, but not just yet 🙂

      1. Pdcurses is a multiplatform library. So , I think it’s you can port it 🙂

        1. Indeed, it just might take some time/effort, there are some other Windows dependent things in there too. I have a friend who will help me try to port it to OSX first, if that goes smooth there might be a Linux port soon too!

  13. I’ve just scratched the surface of this game. Pretty cool mechanics and atmosphere…
    Further feedbacks later but conratulations for the moment!

    1. Thank you very much Stornor! Looking forward to any feedback you may have!

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