Happy New Year!

Just wanted to say a big Thank You and Happy New Year to all Knights players.

Looking back, I am amazed at how far this little game has come. I first started working on the project back in 2002, although at that point, the plan was not to make an exact remake of Amiga Knights, but instead to make my own game which was “based on” the concepts of the original. However, I wasn’t having much success with that so in about 2004 I decided to change course and just do a remake of the original Knights; I figured I could always add my own new features later if I wanted.

Coding began in earnest in 2005 and the first actual release was right at the end of 2006. About two years after that, the game was complete enough that I decided to announce it on a couple of Amiga forums. At this point it was still fairly basic, with only 2 player support and no central Knights server yet, but it still generated some interest and I was soon getting emails like “why can’t I compile this game on Linux” and “why doesn’t the network support work properly” (LOL). By mid 2009 I had the central server up and running and at the end of 2009 the Multiplayer support (i.e. more than 2 knights in the dungeon) was in place. It was at this point that we discovered that Knights is actually a lot more fun in multiplayer than the original 2 player game, and we even got the original creator (Kalle Marjola) along for a few games 🙂

2010 saw somewhat slower progress — although a couple new features (including a tutorial) were added, along with lots of bug fixing. This year (2011) the most important development was the addition of the “Knights game listing” on the Server List page. With this, I feel that the final piece of the puzzle is now in place: it is now possible to actually meet other players online (something that was surprisingly difficult beforehand) and indeed we are now regularly having 4 or 5 player games every week. (Thanks to K9 for suggesting this feature!)

So, what will the new year bring? With the basic Knights gameplay now in place, and an active (albeit small) community of players, I suppose the next logical step would be to add new gameplay features: new quest types, new room designs, new monsters and items, and so on. At this point I could use some input from players: if you have any new gameplay ideas, please throw them my way 🙂

In the meantime, best wishes to everyone for the new year and may the games continue into 2012 and beyond.

Coming soon: Knights version 019

So this is just a quick update to let you all know what I’ve been working on recently.

Apart from general bug fixing I have so far added two new features to the next version of Knights. These are:

  1. Improvements to team games. I’ve fixed the glitches we found recently and disabled friendly fire for team games. I’ve also added a team chat feature (send chat messages only to your team mates) and allowed more than two teams in a game.
  2. I made a change to the dungeon generator to allow it to reflect and/or rotate the predefined dungeon rooms. This is a “cheap” way of adding a bit more variety into the generated dungeons. It effectively means there are now eight different versions of each room (for the mathematicians, this is the D8 symmetry group…) Here is an example:

A familiar gnome book room... or is it?
A familiar gnome book room... or is it?

In addition I will try to add the following if I get time:

  1. Deathmatch quest type. This has been suggested a couple of times now. Here’s my proposal for how it should work:
    • Knights will spawn at a random entry point (i.e. it’s a different point each time you respawn; knights don’t have a fixed “base” location in this game type).
    • You get one point for a kill, and lose one point for a suicide (e.g. falling down a hole or zombifying yourself).
    • There is a time limit and the player with the highest number of points when the time runs out is the winner.
  2. I also wanted to have a go at implementing Loki’s suggested ogre quest (see previous post). This means importing the ogre graphics into the game, defining how the ogre behaves and designing a room layout for the ogre’s lair.

The plan currently is to release this either later in December, or early January.