Undungeon 1st demo is here!
As always, Ri Ra, the game designer, is speaking. Today, the Shift is one step closer - the 1st Undungeon demo is finally here! But first I would like to convey a few essential things that are important for understanding the current situation with both the demo and the game as a whole.
If you are familiar with one of the previous updates, then you know that we are not satisfied with the current quality of some systems, and also parted with the programmer responsible for most of the project code relatively recently. To remedy the situation, we are planning to rework the combat system and AI (and some related things which are 50% of the game code) from scratch with a new team of programmers. Rework starts right after this update. So after a few months of development, we plan to release a 2nd demo - forged with new tools, reworked & improved. There is a plan to post a roadmap for it in one of the upcoming updates.
The current version is pre-alpha \ tech demo. It is raw, buggy, not very user-friendly, but playable. The main reason for the release of this demo is our desire to show you that the game exists and we are working on it tirelessly. The goal is to show backers the current state of the game, so you can understand our decision to cut&rewrite. Backers have been waiting for a very long time and deserve to see the result. On the other hand, it is too early to show the current version to a wide audience. For this reason, we ask you to keep from streaming and uploading this version of the demo to the Internet. Of course, it's up to you to decide to do so or not.
You may wonder why we didn't wait a little bit longer finalizing the problematic aspects of the game and releasing the demo after that? The answer is simple and again lies in the code aspect - the basis of our current system was written by a single kamikaze (our only member who decided to work remotely), and therefore it is complicated to expand or maintain this Frankenstein in a healthy state. Now, we have a team of 2 programmers (and are actively looking for another one!) who have spent the last two months fixing & improving this demo. The old code slows down the speed of their work essentially and makes it impossible to put a sober estimate on the related tasks. In this situation, we want to move on to the next stage of development as soon as possible and no longer waste time correcting things that will be affected by the upcoming rework anyway. So here is a current (tech) version of Undungeon!
There is also a pleasant side. During the Kickstarter campaign, 4,603 people supported us. And we would like to thank each of them for their confidence in us at the beginning of the journey and for their patience throughout this time. Therefore, this demo will be available to the backers of all levels - not just starting from the Ranger Level. All of you have been waiting long enough and deserve to see the progress. Also, we will be able to collect much more feedback from players this way.
So the demo includes the tutorial and the main part. And if you are unlikely to have problems with training, then it is worth giving a few explanations about the main part. As for the structure, the demo is similar to the planned release version of Undungeon, but very simplified. Local levels are made by hand without procedural interferences in this version (to avoid multiplication of related pathfinding & AI bugs). Also, most of the items that you will collect can be used only to trade and to “feed” your Core. Custom interactions and mechanics for them will come later.
After selecting a character, you will find yourself on a generated global map and be able to choose a location to start your journey. As in the full game, your main goal is to “wake up” the Core to gain the opportunity to do something with the Shift phenomenon. The Herald comes to Earth as a newborn, not knowing anything about the world and surrounding creatures. To “wake up” the Core, the Herald must gradually form its personality, traveling the world and making a variety of difficult decisions.
Undungeon uses the alignment system to represent Herald’s character and his decisions. In the full version, alignments will gain character some bonuses and also affect the available endings. But in the demo, you just need to gain 5 alignment points in total. See what happens!
So our basic advice: just study locations, meet characters, trade, and fight - these actions will bring you closer to the final goal of “activating” the Core. After this, the Core will open the place of the last ceremony. If, nevertheless, you feel lost, talk to the Mysterious Stranger in the hat that awaits the Herald by almost every portal.
A few words about the Core, which every Herald carries, for whom the Core is at the same time the heart, the battery, the engine, and the stomach... By endowing the Herald with powerful abilities, the Core gradually spends the stock of stored energy and starts blocking Herald’s ability slots. If it is completely empty - the Herald dies. Fortunately, the Core can transform matter into energy and absorb it feeding itself. Fortunately, any object encountered in the game can be "fed" to the Core (be careful with quest items!).
And… That's all that we had to tell. This stage was the most difficult for us for all the development time and, to be honest, we are exhausted. Now, the team takes a short respite and then proceeds to the rework. Despite all his harshness, a tremendous amount of effort, time and emotions were invested in this demo. Laughing Machines sincerely hope that all of you will evaluate the result and will wait with us for the next iteration.
P.S. This demo is for Windows\PC only. We still will support Win\Mac\Linux, but we can't waste a month more to make a stable builds for this platforms for now. Because rework is awaits!
P.P.S. We are gathering feedback via the Survey form. Feel free to ask questions and propose suggestions or constructive criticism.
P.P.S. Where is the demo? While you are reading these lines, you might have already received a link via your mail. Or it will come very soon. If you still didn’t receive it - check spam folder or contact us from the email address used on Kickstarter or for pre-order.