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.

7 thoughts on “Plans for the future”

  1. I appreciate your updates – and glad to know you’re going to be taking a break – hopefully having a nice, well-earned vacation. I know Knights is not your only purpose for existance – but I beg of you, take care and come back safe – I really can’t wait to see all those things you mentioned in version 11.

    When you get back, open a new blog for potions & spells – I have quite a few ideas, would love to add that topic on this blog when you’re ready. Those things are what I call low-hanging fruit, probably easy to code and quickly enjoyable options.

    See you back here soon.

  2. I wanted to say thanks for doing this. I am still stunned that it is actually real. I played this game a LOT when I was a kid – books separating the screen and everything.

    I submitted it to Reddit, so perhaps some more players will pop up –

    Support for more than two players per dungeon would be amazing. Also, would it be possible to get an OS X port? That’s not such a huge priority since it runs perfectly well in CrossOver.

    Keep up the excellent work!

  3. Thanks for that… I would not have thought of posting it on Reddit myself. Seems to have had the desired effect – there has been a burst of downloads and server activity in the last few hours!

    An OS X port would be awesome, but unfortunately I don’t have a Mac so I wouldn’t be able to do it myself. It should be fairly easy to port though, and the source is available of course, so maybe some OS X developer reading this is feeling up for the challenge…

    BTW – if people are wondering why there haven’t been any updates recently, well, I’ve been a bit distracted and haven’t got much done on Knights recently. I have a week off work coming up soon though, so hopefully that will give me a bit of time to work on the game.

  4. Have you given any thought to refining the control system? Specifically, things like firing crossbows and throwing knifes could easily have a dedicated key, instead of holding down Action and then selecting from the +.

    I rarely use them due to the hassle factor. You’d probably need a delay to prevent knife spamming. With knives, a moment taken to stand still and throw would be good too, to keep some excitement in those long chases when you’re juuuust behind your opponent and trying to hit them with the zombie wand so you can steal their book and escape.

  5. You do know you can fire a crossbow by pressing fire + direction (just like swinging the sword)? No need to go into the menu.

    Agreed that daggers are a bit pointless in their current form. A special key to fire them sounds like a nice idea – I’ll consider it.

    More generally I have thought about supporting other input devices (joysticks/joypads or perhaps even some form of mouse control), however, that could easily turn into a big project so it probably won’t get looked at for a while yet.

  6. I like daggers the way they are now.. Takes a little time to set up, yes, but they are ranged, and with the high fire rate, basically deadly.. Unlike the crossbow which I do find useless..
    I think if it were easier to use the daggers, no one would bother using the melee weapons..

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