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Damage Reduction

So far in Apprentice, we have DR for each elemental/damage type, as well as DR(all) and DR(spells).

That last one is an awkward one. What counts as spell damage? Do psionics or ninjutsu, which say they are treated as spells for “feats and abilities”? In that case, inventor’s grenades have that wording too. Do normal grenades? What about dragon’s breath, since they are magical in nature?

One elegant design is to replace DR(spells) with DR(elements) with the physical equivalent being DR(weapons). This makes it perfectly clear which DR to use. Fire damage? Fire>Elements>All. Piercing? Piercing>Weapons>All. It even makes choices like using a flaming sword or a bashing spell stand out more. 

One big problem with this is actually sources. I give DR(spells) to Drow because they are resistant to magic. If we use DR(elements) then they are resistant to castorguns(fire damage) and dragon breath, but not magic water hitting them(usually bashing)?

If I take Spellbreaker armor, it feels weird to protect against non-spell sources of elemental damage, and not all spells. 

I am still undecided about which method I prefer. Any thoughts?

DevLog #28 Learning

Today was spent learning. My skills with GML are still rudimentary at best, so I spent a lot of time going through tutorials and learning new tricks to help my projects grow. 

Apprentice also received some incredibly valuable feedback while playtesting a modular version of Cave of the Goblin King. We hadn’t really had static adventures that were so linear before, and it highlighted some weaknesses in regards to treasure drops we had. Since the average monster is worth 1/10th of an adventurer’s XP pool to level, I was giving them 1/10th of the gold differences between levels. However, a level 2 new character didn’t have to spend the money on consumables and level 1 gear that they may end up reselling for half price. So we increased gold drops by 50% across the board.

I’m still implementing many of the changes to Apprentice right now, and plan on pushing the updates, including three new classes, to the PDF by Friday. 

DevLog #21

The Kickstarter for Sentia Arena is at 125%! Go team!

I started early on Feburary’s Free Game. This time it is going to be a digital version of Apprentice called Cave of the Goblin King! It will be a simple simulator with premade party of paladin, rogue and wizard against a team of goblins. Of course, CotGK will be just a first step in a game I’d love to keep expanding on. Right now, I’ve gotten dice roll, movement and bursts programmed. This may sound easy, but the bursts took me a couple days to program correctly. But the primary purpose of this Free Games project is to help me get back into programming, so tackling difficult code is what I needed.

Once I get a bit more work done, I’ll start posting screen shots.

If you are curious about our Kickstarter:

iOS Game Reviews: Part 1: Currently Playing

I’ve decided to start doing some game reviews of iOS games as I play them. I’m going to be listing their current price, but many I have picked up on sale. I’ll be linking to AppShopper, where you can save games to be notified of when they are on sale, and see their historic prices.


Currently Playing:

Plants Vs Zombies 2 (Free): This is the Free to play(F2P) sequel to the widely successful Plants Vs Zombies($1). If you are a fan of the first one, the sequel adds tons of new tactics and plants. Since it is F2P, they expect to gain their money from micro-transactions. However, PopCap did well in making these micro-transactions options or speed boosts. Zombies have a chance to drop keys, which you can use to unlock new plants or abilities(like keeping sun from digging up plants), or you can pay $2 to unlock them automatically. For $3 a pop, you can get some of the special plants like the Mimic, Jalepeno, or the new Power Lilly(who creates Plant Food, which gives big temporary powerups for your plants). These  plants are optional, but you cannot unlock them without paying. The only one I have is the Squash(which I bought for $3.99 as a bundle), and I honestly don’t feel like I need them.

Overall: 5/5. One of the best F2P models out there, and completing a zone unlocks additional challenge-mode stars in each level, which exponentially increases gameplay, which the first one lacked.


Infinity Blade 2 ($6.99): This is another sequal, this time to the beautiful game Infinity Blade($5.99). Note that I spent $2 and $1 respectively on each. I’d definitely wait for a sale on these two. That being said, they really push the iOS gaming in terms of graphics. The actual gameplay can be repetitive at times(the main mechanic of the game is if you die, you start back at first boss again with all your stuff and grind out lives). But if you like action games, knowing when to parry, dodge, or block gives you a huge advantage. (I typically spam parry, but I’m not terribly good at the game).

Overall: 3/5. Great if you can get it on sale. Though this may be heavily skewed by my love of Tactics/RPGs over action games.


Bad Piggies($1): This not-a-sequel to Angry Birds($1) is a contraption racing game. You build your insane contraption using set parts, and try to get your piggie across the finish line. That is a generalization, but that is the core of the game. The game is more engineering than archery like Angry Birds, however, and I love it for that. I particularly like the end levels, where you get the whole lego box to work with and can make insane contraptions to try to beat your previous time.

Overall: 4/5. Priced right, good time-wasting, enough strategy to keep me involved.


Neuroshima Hex($2.99): This is my mobile equivalent to solitaire. There IS strategy in this board-game adaptation, but overall the involvement you have to do is lowered, and closing your phone doesn’t make a difference in this turn-based strategy. You choose one of your races(extra races can be unlocked for more money) which have a different deck of hexes. The symbols on the Hexes can be hard to learn at first, but use the ? button a lot to learn that +tall triangle means +1 ranged damage. Overall, players play their Hexes until either someone plays a Combat Hex, or the board is filled up. During combat, all of the same initiative tiles  fire at the same time, either hitting melee or range for 1-2 damage. Placing pieces on the board almost has a Go-like quality of trying to outmaneuver your opponent. He placed a 2 damage 1 initiative person attacking your base? Make sure to get something with higher initiative before combat starts!

Overall: 3.5/5. Price is a bit high(especially if you buy the extra races), but it provides solid pick-up-and-play strategy for when you have a few moments of boredom.

Combat Kickstarter

I just wanted to say thank you to all my backers and the encouraging messages! I am planning on refining some of the art, refilming the video, and relaunching with just the Ultimate Box. I was surprised how popular the Box was, and I will be focusing on it to cut production costs. I think I have a strong product in a good niche, and I am not giving up on this dream.

Thank you all again for your support! Daniel R Richmond