Expanded Details: Modes, Replay, Tech, Mods
Now that you’ve all had time to read the campaign, we thought you would be ready for even more info. So we wrote this update to give a better explanation of:
- Gameplay Modes
- Game Length & Replay
- Compatibility & System Requirements
- Technical Features
This one might get a little technical toward the end, but the next update will (probably!) be all about the fun stuff — gameplay mechanics!
Some of these modes can be chosen through the pre-game menu system, while others can be uncovered or experienced in the midst of normal campaign play. Some of them will be in the base game, and some will only be developed if we attain our Stretch Goals (see our main Kickstarter page for more details on that).
Campaign (Story Mode)
The primary mode of play in Delver’s Drop. Players will embark on an epic dive into the dungeons of the Drop, uncovering its secrets and revealing the true story behind their characters’ imprisonment. As you play, you will progress to deeper levels of the dungeon and open the Drop to even lower floors. But each time you die, you have to start the current level over, with a totally new and random floor layout. With our unique “semi-permadeath” you’ll keep your class’s level and perks, but lose any items you were carrying. As you progress, you’ll reveal more and more about each individual class’s story – how they came to be imprisoned, the history of their guild, and how they fit into the story and world of the Drop.
Endless Drop Mode (Survival / Fast Play)
Only have a few minutes to kill? Don’t want to mess with the story or level navigation? In this mode, you’ll complete one random self-contained room after another. Then you’ll drop through a hole into the next totally random room, which could contain puzzles, loot, or tons of enemies. The game will track the highest number of rooms you’ve survived in one go. This mode has 100% PERMADEATH! Survival and an endless variety of puzzles and enemies is what it’s about. You can also use this mode to hone your skills for the main campaign.
A set of several combat arenas, which spawn waves of enemies with increasing frequency and difficulty. Manipulate the environment and grab randomly dropped weapons and items to give yourself the advantage against the hordes! This mode will have a near-infinite number of waves, and will track your highest achieved wave as well as kill counts. Score multiplier power-ups and timed combo kill counts make this our true high-score power mode.
4-Player Co-op Horde Mode [STRETCH GOAL!]
This expands the above Horde Mode so that up to 4 players (local only) can cooperate to slay the waves of baddies. Difficulty and numbers of monsters will be tightly balanced for the number of players present.
4-Player Competitive Deathmatch [STRETCH GOAL!]
Ready to slay your friends? In this mode, up to 4 players (local only) can bash and slash each other in a set of gladiatorial arenas. Think of it this way:
Super Smash Brothers and Zelda: Four Swords have a little Delver lovechild!
You and your friends will each pick a character class, choose a deadly arena, then duke it out until only one player remains! The environments contain deadly traps — use them to your advantage. Enemies will periodically spawn — lure them toward your opponents. Power-ups will drop at random — grab them as a wild-card for victory. We hope this will be your new go-to party game!
Drop-in Co-op Companion Mode [STRETCH GOAL!]
We want to offer a way for players to experience the main campaign with 2nd player co-op, so your friend, significant other, child, or pet can experience the game with you without just having to watch. The primary player will have the ability to summon a menagerie of mystical pets, familiars, and phantoms that the 2nd player can control. The companion player’s abilities will be somewhat limited because we don’t want this to become a “cheat mode” that makes combat or puzzles too easy. Summoning a companion will require some cooldown or replenishment of energy before it can be used again to keep the game balance solid. Try taking turns with your companion so you can both experiment with our variety of summoned creatures!
100 Room Labyrinth Puzzle Mode [STRETCH GOAL!]
We’re really excited to create difficult puzzles, but we wouldn’t want to randomly generate rooms that mercilessly kill anyone who isn’t a puzzle-solving genius. That would suck in a game with permadeath. So this mode is designed to let you beat your brains against each gordian knot of a room over and over until you master it... all without having to worry about getting sent back to the beginning of the dungeon. This is separate from the main campaign, so try try again! You can jump back to your farthest point of progress at any time, or choose to replay any previously played room in convenient puzzle game style.
Game Length & Replay:
In such an early state of development, it’s difficult to determine what the game length will be. We would also have to factor in player skill, deaths, restarts, and so on. But our target is for the game to basically be near the length of one of the 2D Zelda games on your first playthrough.
But because of the randomization elements, you won’t be able memorize levels — meaning it’s a challenge every time, allowing for a high degree of replayability. Our unique “semi-permadeath” should also increase the time investment, while making sure the game isn’t brutally punishing. And with our random secrets, if one wanted to complete every objective and find every single item, it will take much longer than a "normal" playthrough. The game will also encourage players to replay levels (or the entire game) with different character classes in order to experience all facets of the story from their different viewpoints!
So in short... we promise it will be a lengthy and satisfying experience, and our Alpha Access backers ($25 and above) can help us track play times to make sure that is the case! With randomization and multiple character classes, and tons of secrets and collectibles, we are striving for infinite replayability.
Compatibility & System Requirements
The following are our currently estimated minimum system requirements. These are subject to change slightly based on play-testing, quality assurance, and optimization.
Desktops & Laptops
- Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, or Mac OSX 10.7+
- 1 Ghz or better processor
- 512+ MB RAM
- 64+ MB Graphics Memory (VRAM)
- iPhone 4, 4S, or 5
- iPod Touch 4th or 5th generation
- iPad 1, 2, 3 or 4
- iPad Mini
- 1 Ghz or better processor
- 512+ MB RAM
- Android 2.3.3+
Incredible HD Visuals
We create all of the art as high-resolution hand-painted images, usually 4-8x the resolution we plan to display it. These images are then animated and/or exported for use in the game at two texture resolutions for different devices, in order to optimize memory and performance against resolution. Combined with our highly custom graphics engine, this allows us to natively support resolutions up to 2880 x 1800 (encompasses Retina for the newest MacBook Pro), or as small as 480 x 320. We slightly crop and/or down-scale the graphics to suit your device, for every standard aspect ratio.
We can display at any resolution in that range with absolutely no stretching, no up-scaling, and no letterboxing!
This means that no matter what device or monitor you use, you get Delver’s Drop full-screen in as much crisp HD glory as your device can handle.
In addition to fully customizable keyboard controls, we will support a variety of controllers, including XBox 360 and PS3 controllers. Here is an example of our current control scheme for the 360 gamepad:
- Movement — Left Analog Stick / D-Pad
- Primary Weapon Attack — A Button
- Special Class Ability — Y Button
- Equipped Sub-Item — X Button
- Sub-Item Quick-Swap — B Button
- Cycle Sub-Items — L/R Bumpers or Triggers
Mobile Touch Controls
We also have a working prototype of our controls for touch devices (iOS, Android), and we’re confident that Delver’s Drop already has amazing touch controls. Honestly we still have some fine-tuning to do, but we think you’ll be surprised at how great and intuitive it feels when you play it. No clunky on-screen virtual sticks; just slide your finger a tiny bit and your Delver is off and running. You’ll cycle your sub-items just by swiping, and tap anywhere on the right side of the screen to attack. You’ll never have to worry about “missing” the attack button in the heat of battle!
Craig Kaufman brought to our attention the need for more information about accessibility, in reference to http://www.ablegamers.com. For differently abled gamers, we’re working on the following options:
- Remappable Keys / Custom Controller Mapping will be completely supported.
- Changeable Font Visibility — We will attempt to offer another version of text display (possibly more like subtitles) so that the text can be displayed larger and with higher contrast for improved visibility.
- Color-Blind Usability — We have no plans to use color exclusively as the indicator for puzzles, so the game should be playable to those with limited color differentiation. We will attempt to further distinguish any color-coded objects by shape as well. Palette swaps are lame!
- Mouse-only Controls — We have talked about ways to implement mouse controls that might work similarly to our touch controls, where a simple mouse movement translates into character movement. This is still under consideration, but we feel that we will be able to find a comfortable solution to perform all of the game’s functions for mouse-only users, provided their mouse has at least 3 buttons and a scroll wheel.
The game features a custom scripting and database system based on XML, which uses both internally developed tools, as well as some free tools like Tiled, and commercially available tools like Spine. Everything in the game is moddable, from character properties to map layouts. We use these systems to quickly create new content, and we’re excited to see what the community can do once we release these features.
Modding documentation may be available shortly after the game’s release, though we will make efforts to have this information available at launch.
Thanks for making it all the way through our (lengthy) second update!
And don't hesitate to let us know how we can keep improving this Kickstarter campaign with your comments and direct messages!
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