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The Drop - Version 1.32! New character!

Happy almost-April-1st! If you're reading this, The Drop Version 1.32 is now available for download! Why is this one so special? Well, an idea I've had for some time has finally come to fruition, and hopefully you can wring a few more hours out of The Drop while I'm still working on How Far. Maybe. Anyway, here are the change notes:

-Here comes a new challenger! Dehl Sikohlon is now a playable character! You can choose him from the second page of the "Special Characters" screen at any time.
-Magic Stitch now correctly heals Body health.
-Fixed an issue where it's possible to walk outside of the map in a certain area.
-Fixed a crash bug (again) that can occur after defeating the final boss.
-The final secret character now begins with some Soul-damaging magic as well.
-Removed all floor elements from the final boss' lair. Beware: it's an actual fight now!
-The spell "Calamity" now correctly inflicts Mind damage.
-The spell "Snowstorm" now correctly inflicts Soul damage.
-The spells "Thunderclash" and "Jolt" now has the correct icon.
-Hints should no longer get stuck on the screen after being defeated in Hardcore mode.

Dehl is a challenging character; if Xopi is defeated, he will fall too! Good luck!


Trivia + Other Stuff

Hello, adventurers!

It's been a good month! We broke 2000 downloads, and I've set my sights on my next game (with screenshots and a game page still to come).

I've posted some spoiler-laden trivia for The Drop at my site here: Link. Spoilers. Seriously.

Lastly, updates to The Drop may be infrequent from now on. I updated my version of RM Ace, and now most events in the project give me an unending stream of "Unspecified error" dialog boxes, meaning my mission to break RPG Maker over my knee is finally a success.

Thanks again for your time and dedication, players and contributors both!


Version 1.3 Now Available!

Version 1.3 of The Drop is now up for download! There are only a few changes this time around - I've been distracted by other things lately. Here is a full list of changes:

-You can now rest for several turns by pressing the 'R' key. You will regenerate normally during this time. You cannot rest while an enemy is after you, and if an enemy surprises you while you are resting, its attack will do additional damage and wake you up!
-There is now a cap on the duration of stun, paralysis, blind, and confuse effects on enemies.
-Area-of-effect spells will no longer reach through walls.
-The custom human trait "Brave" now correctly modifies Soul and Mind defenses.
-Shortened the size of the verb list ("THROWABLE", etc.) on the inventory screen to keep them from running off the window.
-Fixed myriad typos and cut-off text pieces.
-"Stalker Fang" now has a proper equipping message.
-"Sea Crystals" now correctly grant Soul Essence instead of Mind.
-Added a handful of new hints to the rotation.


(Updated: 1.21) Version 1.2 is Live!

Version 1.21 is now available! Check the thread below for details!

Version 1.2 has been uploaded! Here is a list of changes:

-There is now a brief tutorial available at the start of the game. You can also view it any time by speaking to Yacatec.
-The penalty for using a same-element attack on an enemy is now harsher. These attacks now deal 25% damage instead of 50%.
-Adjusted the Favor reward on several items and drops.
-Reduced throwing damage for some environmental spawns.
-"Dead Grass" is now "Dead Plantlife" and is no longer considered "Grass."
-Removed the Stun effect from "Shiverleaves".
-Changed up some properties on several naturally-spawning items.
-Reduced the trigger rate for several spells that inflicted Stun or Paralysis.
-Reduced the range of a few spells with ranges of 5 to 4.
-Added a Glorious Weapon trigger effect to secret character #4, minus the downside.

-When quick-casting a spell with a number key, you are now given an indicator about how much health it will consume. This is shown as a white "piece" of the health bar.
-The attack stat on the UI to denote the equipped weapon now shows a highlight instead of an enlargement. Hopefully this stands out better and will prevent clipping issues when 3-digit stats are involved.
-Innate player properties (such as "CHARISMA" for Asarik) will now be listed on the character's detail screen.
-You now receive short hints about playing the game on the loading screen.

-Fixed a bizarre issue where several spells had "target target" in the description that apparently no one else noticed either.
-Fixed a glitch in the description of "Sponge Moss".
-"Violet Moss" now has a proper throwing range.
-Lani's skill "Check, Mate" now correctly inflicts Stun.
-Fixed a few more instances where there was a discrepancy between "NOSCENT" and "DESCENT".
-Fixed an issue with a "phantom" item with no graphic or stats spawning.
-Fixed an issue where an NPC in the main camp would sporadically refuse to talk.

That's it for now! Thanks for all your continued support and input.


Version 1.1 Now Available!

Ahoyhoy! Due to the discovery of a crash bug, I moved up the release of version 1.1 to RIGHT NOW ACTUALLY. You can get it from the downloads page, if you so desire. Here is a list of what's changed:

-Enemy stats now curve upward slightly as you gain levels to give a more consistent challenge.
-Enemy 117 can now be encountered in the post-game of any character.
-Spells on your hotbar that cannot be cast due to insufficient health will now glow red.
-Fixed a crash bug that could occur if the first item slot in your inventory held an unidentified item.
-Tweaked costs and damage for a few specialty spells.
-"Judgment" now inflicts Wither instead of Stun.
-Reduced the amount of essense gained from eating items. The reward still scales with level, but not as greatly.
-Smoke and fog effects no longer block the sound made by thrown items.
-Matterfiends have had their stats and rewards balanced.
-The Sap Tapper now correctly trusts "NOSCENT" instead of "DESCENT".
-"Armageddon" now correctly deals soul damage.

To normalize some balance issues, I've implemented the following changes. Please leave feedback on how it plays out for you:
-Adjusted the bonuses for several Challenge Traits:
---"Sacrifice" now bestows +1 Regen instead of 0.1 to all growth.
---"Burdened" now bestows +1 Regen and 0.1 growth instead of 0.2 to all growth.
---"Ascetic" now bestows +2 Regen and 0.1 growth instead of 0.3 to all growth.
---"Enlightened" now bestows +2 Regen and +0.2 growth instead of 0.5 to all growth.
---Note that these changes are NOT retroactive, and will only affect newly-created characters.

-For custom characters, growth rates are now capped at 1.5x.
-Bonuses to stats at level-up are now limited to one point assigned randomly (instead of one for each stat). However, the minimum chance to gain a bonus stat is now 10%, even if your growth rate is below 1.0.


Release Day! Full Version Available!

Today is the day! The Drop version 1.0 is now available for download!

A big thank you, once again, to all my testers, and my character artist Daigerus, for volunteering several quality hours of their lives to help me make this game the best I could. You guys are still the best!

This download includes all the original music. If you played the demo, do not just overwrite the demo folder with the new one - you can't load demo-saved characters anyway, and your playlist will be missing music.

More music is available in the "classic" track pack, also on the download page. It includes a selection of music from The Reconstruction and I Miss the Sunrise. See the instructions on the download page for how to add these songs to your playlist.

Thanks again for your continued support, dear reader. I will probably take a month or so of break time from game designing before I jump into my next project, but don't hesitate to send in any bugs or glitches you come across!


Call for Testers, and a Status Update!

It's been almost a year since The Drop was first announced, and I'm proud to proclaim that the beta is finally here! As such, I am looking for a handful of volunteers to test out the full game before I release it into the wild. If you've got several hours of free time coming up and a hankering for some merciless dungeon crawling, then read on!

I will make the beta available this Friday, July 26th. I am intending to release the full game in the middle of August, which is a pretty short time frame, so don't be shy about messaging me any issues as they arise, as opposed to collecting them and sending them all at once! (My free time thanks you for this.)

Here is a list of everything that's changed since the demo, including additions, fixes, and tweaks. In other words, these are the things to really watch out for:

-All 8 playable characters (4 original, 4 returning from The Reconstruction) are available from the start. There are several more characters that must be unlocked.
-All playable characters have an introduction and an ending sequence (upon reaching floor 30). Player-made characters have a generic ending sequence.
-Post-game play is available: Enemies and rewards will scale up as you go beyond floor 30.
-Character creation is 100% functional.
-Completely randomized characters are available.
-Overworld "safe area" with merchants and other friendly NPCs is now available.
-Approximately 18 spells of each element are available to be learned.
-Floors can be one of 8 different "themes," each with their own graphic set, flora, and pools of items and enemies.
-"Regular" and "Hardcore" modes available. In the demo, it was a combination, where you could save your character at any staircase, but being defeated was a game over. In Regular mode, being defeated sends you back to the safe area with no items and half your Favor, and you can only save in the safe area. In Hardcore, your character is deleted when you load your game, and you can only save & quit on the stairs.
-Accomplishments can be earned for reaching certain milestones and unlocking certain characters.
-There is now a Bestiary that you can fill out. It's shared between characters, and gives some basic information about each enemy you've defeated. Visit the statue on the overworld to get rewards for collecting lots of entries.

-The targeting cursor will now "snap" to the nearest enemy automatically when casting a spell, throwing an item, or inspecting.
-You can now purchase a mini-map in the safe area. It is treated like an item in your inventory. Press the '9' key to open/close it inside a dungeon. You can also "use" it from your inventory window if you are without a keyboard.
-You can no longer convert items to Favor when you're under attack. This is to prevent "pump and dump" scenarios where you know you're going to die and want to ditch your inventory for Favor before it's lost. *whipcrack*
-You can now throw items to distract enemies. Any non-deaf enemies within earshot will turn to face where the item landed.
-You can now play in "interpolating" fullscreen mode by pressing the F5 key. This is a must for Windows 8 users, as the standard fullscreen mode is unplayable.
-The "lag" experienced when using a FORCE ability has been fixed.

-You can now break through certain walls by using a spell/item with either the FORCE or WARP property! These breakable walls have a unique appearance and are scattered around every floor.
-Enemies distracted by an item they LIKE will return to their normal behavior after around 10 or so turns, instead of being permanently distracted.
-Added a "LOVES _____" property to some enemies. For instance, the hatchling enemy "LOVES GRASS", and throwing it a GRASS-type item will cause it to become friendly. (no weed jokes thx)
-Added a "TRUST _____" property to some enemies. If your player character has that property innately, then an otherwise-aggressive enemy will be docile.
-Enemies can now be befriended by using a "LURE" item, an item they "LOVE", or by having an innate property they LIKE.
-Friendly enemies will now fight for you. They will melee attack any hostile enemies in an adjacent square; note that they will not actively seek out fights. Also note than an enemy attacked by another enemy will give dimished rewards, and a defeated friendly enemy will give no essence at all. Hostile enemies will fight them back as long as your character is not within range of their special attack. Lastly, friendly enemies will not attack hostiles of types that they "like" (for instance, a friendly human might not attack other humans).
-Friendly enemies can be nudged out of your way by walking into them.
-Fleeing enemies will now make more of an effort to escape (as opposed to getting stuck in a corner).
-Some enemies' skills will create noise, causing other enemies nearby to look in your direction and potentially spot you.
-Some enemies are "social" and will seek revenge on you if you defeat one of their friends in their presence.
-"Restricted" line-of-sight mode is now available as a challenge trait for custom characters. You'll get a little bonus to growth rates if you take it. You cannot use the mini-map, however.

-Enemies will no longer "twitch" when coming out of their "damaged" animation.
-Enemy names are color-coded according to how powerful they are (Blue-Yellow-Orange-Red-Purple).
-Item healing/harming icons on the inventory screen now show the multiplier amounts as well.
-Enemies who "BLOCK" a property will now give a warning message when the damage is resisted.
-New music for random floors and some special situations.


I'll take the first half-dozen or so volunteers before Friday! Thanks for your continued support!


Feedback Appreciated - Item Identification Methods

With over 400 items in the game - several of them being unique drops from certain enemies - it has occurred to me that it's a very real possibility that, on your average playthrough, you may find an item, use/eat it to identify it, and then never see another one again for the rest of that run. You can take unidentified items to the safe floor to get them identified, but this is not always convenient and is downright impossible on "hardcore" runs.

So, I would like to implement a method of identifying items "on the fly" while maintaining the idea of risk or some associated cost. I don't want to have "scrolls of identify" like other games use, as that is nonsense from a narrative standpoint and is exactly the sort of easy-out mechanic I'm trying to avoid.

Therefore, I'd like to go with some combination of these ideas:

  • A Favor cost. Makes Favor more valuable and useful, but I'll have to find some way to make sense of it in the world's logic.

  • Cooldown. Maybe I choose to "study" an item from the menu, and 50 turns later, it becomes identified and I can choose another to study.

  • Some chance of failure/item loss. Not a high priority; I'm trying to maintain challenge without frustration.

  • Make identification a spell. Or, more likely, two different elemental versions of the same spell, so anyone could learn at least one version. Might make things really, really easy, though.

  • "Taste" and "touch" options. Thanks to Fool for suggesting this one way back at the beginning. Instead of outright using the item, you experience a diminished effect (for instance, very minor healing or damage) to help make an educated guess about what the item does. There would need to be some way to limit this, though; otherwise, it could be a free and unlimited source of healing. Either a flag (which may be a technical nightmare this late in the production) or a chance of losing the item outright? Or perhaps just flavor text with no actual healing involved?

Those are just some ideas I've been stirring around. I'd love to hear any input you all might have.

Trailer video coming next week, too!


Minimap - Looking for Feedback

I scrawled out a little minimap script today and would like to get some feedback on how to go about implementing it, if at all. You can see it here: http://rpgmaker.net/games/4395/images/34963/

Right now, it shows the portion of the current floor that's been uncovered (walls and floors). Floor elements like grass and water are marked in blue. The player is marked white, and any staircases that have been revealed are green. I am not including enemies or items on the map to make it more of a map and less of a convenient method of clairvoyance.

My current plan is to have it toggled on and off with a keypress in order to conserve screen real estate and performance on lower-end machines. My real concern is how to implement it with some cost to the player, if needed. For those who played the demo: Would it make the game too easy to have a floor map available?

I was thinking of having a purchasable/collectible item that would let the player have access to the map just for the current floor when used, but the item would be used up and the map would disappear once the floor is exited. Does this sound like a reasonable trade-off? Or should the map be available all the time, as with many dungeon crawlers? Or does anybody have any better ideas for implementing a trade-off? I'm open to suggestions!


Demo version 0.3 Available!

The newest update to the demo version is now available for download. Here is a list of all the fixes and major changes. (SPOILER: There are a lot.) Chances are, if you requested it or encountered it at any point, it's on here.
Note: If you've got a custom playlist, be sure to back it up first or it will be overwritten by the default one in the zip file! (I'm working on a way to get around this.)

In the meantime, here are things I haven't nailed down yet that you can look out for:

-Whether it's possible to spawn on top of an enemy
-Missing stairs on a floor
-Missing boss on a floor that should have it
-Items/enemies that are either invisible or disappear unexpectedly
-Enemies being able to use special attacks through solid walls


-You can now use the Cycle Keys to quickly page through your memorized spell list.
-Removed the ability to accidentally kill yourself using certain items.
-You can now gather and use natural elements like grass from the inventory window. The element will appear in one of the floor spots.
-There are now icons describing a known item's healing or damage effects when eating, using, or throwing it.
-Blessed Wail's icon now properly denotes the area-of-effect.
-Forced Purification's description has been altered. It was describing effects not in-game yet.
-Pressing the 7 and 8 keys together should no longer open two windows at once.
-Enemies that move into a shadow area should no longer be invisible if they move back out without the player moving/turning.
-Items in a shadow area should no longer prevent enemies from moving.
-The Firefiend no longer creates fire with its special attack. However, it can still ignite grass at your feet.
-The special boss has gained some new defensive properties.
-Footfall Elixir now contributes toward "Cold" elemental experience.
-Text menus now have a new highlighting effect that is easier to see.
-Hopefully fixed an issue where the "boss" monster would fail to spawn.
-Converting an item into Favor now correctly frees up a spot so you can pick up an item without having to re-enter the inventory screen.
-Many items have had their damage when thrown increased, making them a viable combat option.
-"Stoneslide" now has a proper animation.
-You should no longer receive elemental experience for casting healing spells, or for casting without damaging an enemy target. Please test this out. Alternative ways to gain elemental experience are still in the works.
-The "claustrophic" map option has been toned down to avoid the chance that a staircase can't spawn in a free tile.
-Stuff like grass should spawn a bit more frequently now.
-Enemies are now easier to sneak by/up on.
-"Backstab" damage has been increased.
-The numerical stats along the bottom of the Status screen should no longer turn unreadable.
-Throwing "water" type items should no longer cause a very long pause.
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