Plans for the future

I have been thinking about how to proceed with Knights development. For me the next priority is to try to get a bit more publicity for the game, as it really deserves to have more players. However before I do that I’d like to make one new version with a few interface improvements. Specifically:

  • Pop the window to the front when lobby activity is detected. This is a high priority because it might encourage more people to sit in the lobby waiting for players to show up.
  • Save player name when the program exits.
  • Confirmation when Esc key is pressed.
  • Initial work on reducing CPU usage. I’ll see what can be done without needing too much work. I think reducing CPU usage while in the lobby is the most important thing, as otherwise people might be discouraged from waiting around on the lobby screen. Reducing in-game CPU usage is less of a priority at the moment.
  • There is a bug where the game can sometimes (rarely) generate an “impossible” dungeon, because all the keys and lock picks are behind locked iron doors. Should fix this.

After those are done I think the game will be ready to be taken to a wider audience, so I’ll try submitting it to a few indie game review sites and see if any of them want to cover it. That should hopefully bring in a few new players.

If we get enough players, I’d also like to run an online Knights tournament sometime. (As of right now it doesn’t look like there would be enough people for a very interesting tournament.)

Looking further forward, there are still some further interface type improvements that could be made. For the record these are:

  • Improving the game’s handling of network lag.
  • Pausing for network games.
  • Finish “observer” support.
  • In game “Quest Requirements” display.
  • Random Quest button.
  • Further improvements to CPU time usage.

Then there is the question of gameplay changes. I think the most promising suggestion so far is to allow more than two players at once. This would probably need new quest types (and plenty of play testing) but it could be quite an interesting direction to go in.

Finally, as I’ve said before, I’m working on a room editor – however this is a lower priority as I’d like to focus on the main game, at least for now.

I’m going away for a week from the 18th, so work on the next version won’t start until I get back (on the 25th). This will probably take around a month (depending on how much free time I get) so look out for a new version sometime in August.

New monster ideas

It’s about time I wrote some sort of update I suppose 🙂

I’ve been taking a bit of a break from Knights development recently, but I hope to start work on it again soon. The first task will be to do a new release (version 011) which will just fix one or two minor bugs that are still outstanding.

After that, I thought it would be fun to try to add some new features to the game. Someone suggested new monster types. I’m not sure exactly what monsters I would add right now, but I tried to think up some ideas, and, well, here they are. (Disclaimer: these are really just random initial ideas – not to be taken too seriously at the moment…)

  • Orcs. Like zombies, but a bit more intelligent. Will sometimes pick up weapons that they find in the Dungeon and use them against you. Maybe could have different types (e.g. plain orcs vs. orcish warriors who are more heavily armoured).
  • Gnomish Crossbowmen. These annoying critters will run away, and try to shoot at you from a distance.
  • Kobolds. Like to group together into “packs”. If in a large group, will attack and try to surround a knight. If on their own, will run away.
  • Necromancers. Can use their magic to raise nearby corpses into Zombies.
  • Skeletons. (similar to zombies but perhaps faster and less tough?)
  • Demons of some sort. (Perhaps associated with pentagrams in some way…)

What do you think? Good? Bad? You have other ideas? Please post them in the comments 🙂

Another point is that I am no good at graphics, so before I could add any monsters, I would need someone to knock up a few sprites for me. If there are any artists out there reading this, who would be willing to help, then please feel free to contact me…

New blog, and new Knights version released

Welcome to the new Knights development blog. I will be keeping this up to date with announcements of new Knights releases, and other news of interest to Knights players. I also plan to discuss future Knights developments here, so if you’d like to see what’s going into the next version then please do keep an eye on this blog.

I also plan to use the blog as a means of getting feedback from users, so if you have any comments – whether they are bug reports, ideas for new features, or just general comments – then please do post them here (or drop me an email if you prefer).

Today also sees the release of version 010 of Knights. This is a bug fix release containing the following improvements:

  • Fixed bug where controls would sometimes not work properly when playing online.
  • Fixed error “writeUbyte: out of range” when non-ASCII characters were typed into the chat box.
  • It’s now possible to join a game that already has two players in it. You won’t be able to play or watch the game, but you will be able to chat with the existing players.

Download it from the Knights home page.