27th July 2019 – Martyn
“When we set out to develop this game, one of our main objectives was making sure that players felt a connection to their dwarves.”
Hey everyone, whilst we are knee-deep in QA and bug fixing, I thought I’d take some time to expand on one of TDoG’s core features, in this case, the dwarves themselves. And what it means to create your own clan of tunnel digging dirt slingers.
Whether you’re playing the main campaign or a random skirmish map, players will be able to create their own clan of dwarves. In the campaign, you begin with three dwarves who are essentially the founding members of your clan. The image above is the first screen you are presented with. Here you give your clan it’s name, choose a style of flag and what emblem you want displayed on it. These flags are essentially what you build in game to capture springs. (More on this later.) The colour you pick from the palette in the centre will not only determine the colour of the flag but also the colour of your dwarves outfits.
After you have chosen your clan name, flag, emblem and colour you are presented with your three starting dwarves (generated at random). Here you can see each dwarf’s name, appearance, and what personality and traits they have. You can always re-roll any of these dwarves by clicking the dice button adjacent to that dwarf.
Traits are split up into 4 different types. From left to right you have: Personality, Positive, Neutral & Negative. A dwarf’s personality trait will determine what they say in dialogue, a positive trait will grant a dwarf with a positive ability, a neutral trait will grant a dwarf with an ability which is both a boon and a bane. Finally a negative trait is, as you might have guessed, an ability which will have a negative effect on that dwarf. With randomised traits, both when starting a new game and when spawned from springs, every dwarf has unique character and charm, and ensures players never get the same experience twice.
When you select a Dwarf in-game you will be presented with the above interface. From this image we can see all the information about a particular dwarf.
1) This icon indicates what class our dwarf is.
2) Hit points, Stamina, and hunger are indicated by the red, yellow and green bars.
3) The dwarves combat stats shows the chances of success for hit, parry & dodging. The units attack and defense values are also shown.
4) Indicates what stance our unit is in. These can be changed at will but are given to a dwarf based on their traits.
5) A dwarf’s meal and equipment slots. Meals are related to a tech, and equipment will be developed in a later chapter.
6) Command buttons are used to tell a dwarf to sleep, eat, hold or drop items.
7) Indicates a dwarf’s class level and abilities. Dwarves gain abilities when they level up. This not only increases their efficiency within they job role but also grants them a perk unique to that class.
(Note: Traits are locked in the campaign behind a 1st tier tech. In skirmish mode however you can choose which techs you start with, so if you did want to see your dwarves traits from the start you can.)
During the game, whether you are playing the campaign or a skirmish map you will encounter springs.
Springs are points of contention on a map. When you place your clans claim (flag) on a spring, your clan then owns that spring unless your claim is destroyed. Claiming a spring increases your population cap by 3, so the more springs you claim, the more units you can create.
When we set out to develop this game, one of our main objectives was making sure that players felt a connection to their dwarves. We believe we have achieved this by making each dwarf feel unique through their personalities, traits and abilities. In turn, making the player feel like they have come on a journey with their dwarves is all part of the integral experience we have set out to create.
When we release in early access we will continue to build upon and refine the many features within TDoG and do our best to ensure that we are delivering a fun and engaging experience. I wish you all the best leading you own clan of dwarves. The big question is how will you lead them?
“May mushrooms spring from your beards & braids!”
Martyn Hinson – Lead Designer.