Author Topic: I Am Overburdened, a silly roguelike (now at 1.2.5)  (Read 2068 times)

Spidi

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I Am Overburdened, a silly roguelike (now at 1.2.5)
« on: December 29, 2017, 08:17:40 PM »


Hello everyone!

I'm Tamás Karsai (Spidi) a solo game developer from Hungary, forming Magic Item Tech. I'm new to this community, but I thought many of you may be interested in checking out my latest game called I Am Overburdened. I released it a little over a month ago and I just pushed the first major update (v1.1) for it online a few days ago.

Gameplay Trailer:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7H_zHxgYzz4

So I Am Overburdened is a silly roguelike full of crazy magical items and a "hero" who has 20 inventory slots.

The player takes the role of an artifact hunter, who has a surprisingly large carrying capacity, embarking on a quest to search through dungeon after dungeon for mystical artifacts and answers, in a world where magic has long been forgotten...


  • Turn based rogue-like with permanent death.
  • Run focused campaign, playable in short bursts.
  • Fill a huge inventory having 20 slots.
  • Find more than 100 crazy artifacts, all of them unique.
  • Learn the ins and outs of an RPG system which feels approachable and fresh, but familiar and deep at the same time.
  • Crawl in procedural dungeons generated from hand authored layouts.
  • Collect details about monsters and artifacts in your journal.
  • Unfold a funny story, packed with vicious evils, puns and jokes.
  • Immortalize your best playthroughs in the "Hall of Fame".

What is this 20 slots, 100+ unique artifacts RPG nonsense?
Simple, your "hero" does not get more powerful magically by beating some orcs to death and he is not a wizard either. In the world of I Am Overburdened the art of magic wielding was lost, but legendary artifacts and relics retained their power. If you equip these you become stronger, sometimes immeasurably, and you may even learn reactive skills and otherworldly abilities, but no sane person wears two pants...

List of games inspiring the development (just to give you a better idea what to expect from the game):
Tower of the Sorcerer, Enchanted Cave, Desktop Dungeons, DungeonUp, Dungeons of Dredmor









You can buy it for Windows PC for 4.99$ (may vary based on region) at Steam or at itch.io.



Another aspect that might be interesting and I like to share about it is the "Documentary". I made a thorough video log (and an accompanying written version) showing how the game was made, a.k.a the journey of a lone game developer :) :



The game may not be everyone's cup of tea, but I thought many of you might be interested in it.
I hope you check it out and it will be to your liking :) !

Thanks for taking the time to read my post.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2019, 08:05:35 AM by Spidi »

getter77

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Re: I Am Overburdened, a silly roguelike (now at 1.1)
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2017, 08:39:38 PM »
Neat~  8)

Definitely keep folks in the loop as the adventure continues as it does.
Brian Emre Jeffears
Aspiring Designer/Programmer/Composer
In Training

Spidi

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Re: I Am Overburdened, a silly roguelike (now at 1.1)
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2017, 08:48:11 PM »
Hi getter77,

Thanks, will do for sure ;) .

Cheers!

Spidi

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Re: I Am Overburdened, a silly roguelike (now at 1.1)
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2018, 09:49:47 AM »
Happy new year dungeon crawlers :) !

Two "minor" ;) updates were released for I Am Overburdened recently.

2017 Dec 31 - 1.1.1:

Mainly contained bug-fixes and tweaks only:
  • The keyboard based selection (enter/space) on treasury menu screen was broken by the mouse update and items could only be selected with the mouse. Back to normal again.
  • Multi-monitor setups and some Intel GPU-s had problems with broderless full-screen modes. I was limited a bit by hardware variety when testing, but hopefully this works properly now!

Full release notes on Steam

2018 Jan 01 - 1.1.2:

This was a relatively big update containing a new game "mode" and many fixes and fine-tuning:
  • The inn has a new "member". There is a stash from which you can take one blue (tragic) artifact with you into the dungeon as a "starter" item from the ones you previously unlocked in the Tome of Artifacts.
  • The stash game mode affected the balance/difficulty of the game significantly so some items and monsters had to be tweaked.
  • The mouse sprite graphic hiding logic had a problematic design. Some fixes and new setting under the options/mouse menu to fully disable the mouse graphic hiding were introduced if you only prefer to play with the mouse!

Full release notes on Steam

Thanks for reading.
Take care!

Spidi

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Re: I Am Overburdened, a silly roguelike (now at 1.1.2)
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2018, 09:10:34 PM »


Hi there!

I've just released another update for I Am Overburdened.
It is now at 1.1.4. and received quite a few enhancements since the first major update ;) .

And a big +

Currently it is 35% off for a week as a special promotion so you can get it for 3.25$ (may vary based on region).

You can buy it at Steam or at itch.io.

   

Latest additions

Elite variant



There is a new "decoration" in the inn. If you complete the game twice on normal or on nightmare difficulty you unlock the skull candle. Once lit, there will be one tougher "elite" monster on each dungeon level. If you completed it before the candle will be unlocked automatically.



I don't consider this a new difficulty as it is a variant working on both levels, but if someone finds nightmare too easy :P or too painful :( with normal not being a challenge any longer it can spice them up ;) .

Ease-of-use



The most requested UI enhancement was inventory screen access through the in-game inventory bar. Plenty other UI and mouse control enhancement found their way into the game (e.g.: the handling of speech bubble fade-out effects are not instantaneous when using the mouse).

Effects beef-up



Both the battle effects and the level entry (player spawn) got a little more love. The later one especially got many complaints. Hopefully from now on the player will be instantly recognizable when reaching a new dungeon level.

Fixes & fine-tuning

There were some annoying problems which were fixed with this build. Rendering and input handling works correctly when the application is not in focus and there was a more serious item skill problem too (dodge wasn't canceling some penalties & de-buffs even though at the end not suffering the hit causing them) which is history now :) !

The future

As always I have quite a few plans for the future of the game! I would like to add more variants (like the Elite or the Treasury) in the near future and for the next big update: saving. Don't worry no save scamming, this is a roguelike after all :D . This feature would only allow you to suspend and close the game any time and be able to continue later on where you left off. I already started work on this major addition.

Sadly I don't have the capital to pay for professional localization yet, but who knows how this promotional week turns out, fingers crossed ;) !

Thanks for taking the time for reading my post and for checking the game.
Take care!

Spidi

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Re: I Am Overburdened, a silly roguelike (now at 1.1.4)
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2018, 01:29:46 PM »
Hello there dungeon crawlers!

I know it's been a while since the last update, but the latest one 1.1.6 is relatively small regardless :( . I'll go into why this is the case but lets start with the list of changes and additions first ;) !

Changes

  • Now the game supports a much wider range of controller devices. With older joysticks and game-pads it tries to emulate the mapping of the Xbox 360 controller automatically. In the "Controls" menu you can re-map your buttons if the game fails to capture a sensible layout. If you had to use x360ce before you probably don't need it anymore :) !

  • Pressing Left Ctrl + R in the dungeon restarts the run immediately without confirmation now. I forgot about this modification, but many of you requested it multiple times so I finally added this hot-key.

  • A little balance fix: the skill of the Zombie was tweaked heavily. Their regeneration now only triggers if you can damage them for a given minimum amount (5), so you won't hit a wall going against these monsters regardless of your build having high defense/health/dodge but low damage. I hope this is another step in the right direction for making the game feel challenging, but fair.

Another tiny extra is the InputGuide. It's an official documentation containing all the relevant information about possible control mechanisms, hot-keys and default button mappings. I'll do my best to keep it up-to-date if something changes and I'll provide localized versions too in the future!

So as I mentioned it is not a huge list, but took some time to deliver. The reasons behind this are the larger features I'm working on. I'm currently juggling between several longer-term projects and they take up all my time. These are: organizing and delivering official localizations, more robust tools and guidelines for translators, the "save and continue later" feature, porting the game to other desktop operating systems (Mac & Linux) and I'm also working on a "secret" big update, but that is all I can tell about this as I want it to be a surprise plus I'm super unsure when I will be able to finish and release it.

I'm hiding in my room, working in silence, but development on I Am Overburdened is still going strong :) !
You can check the Trello board or follow me on Twitter for more frequent updates.

Thanks for taking the time for reading my post and for checking the game.
Stay tuned!

Spidi

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Re: I Am Overburdened, a silly roguelike (now at 1.1.6)
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2018, 11:57:25 AM »
Hello everyone!

It's been a while since my last I Am Overburdened update, but finally it is that time again, so in this post I'll showcase the changes in the latest version which went live yesterday.

Update

So I uploaded version 1.1.7. It does not contain many new features or new content, but has some nice additions.



The game has been localized to French ( ...), Danish ( ...) and Romanian ( ...)! These are the first bunch of official translations besides English and Hungarian. I'm hoping the game will reach more players with new languages added. Of course I would like to add even more in the near future and I already started talking to translators to make this happen.

Special thanks to the translators for their work:
Nicolas Fourcroy (French), Victor Fisker (Danish), Fazekas Sándor-Imre and Vezsenyi Ákos (Romanian)



Another addition is the "developer" tools for localization and QA. In the latest build of the game three debug screens can be accessed. Of course these were developed for internal use, primarily to test translations, but I thought they could help anyone who would like to localize the game.

So I cleaned them up and added an option to access them in the release builds too. I also created an official guide how these tools can be used and how new languages can be added to the game.

P.S.: I guess using them could be considered cheating :P (spoiler alert!), since you can see all the items and monsters the game has to offer even if you have not unlocked or seen them previously.

Sale







To promote the new languages and the game itself a bit, currently it is 40% off for two weeks, so you can get it for 2.99$ (may vary based on region).

You can buy it at Steam or at itch.io.

   

Thanks everyone for reading my change-lists. I'm not sure when, but sooner or later more posts will follow ;)
Take care!

Spidi

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Re: I Am Overburdened, a silly roguelike (now at 1.1.7)
« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2018, 10:37:45 PM »
Hi there!

Lately I had less free time to post updates about about my games, but I just released a tiny new update for I Am Overburdened and I have some news/plans to share so here comes a short entry ;)

Update

Version 1.1.8 is online, featuring mostly fixes and fine-tunings, but lets see in detail what it has to offer!

Achievement bug fixed



Due to some timing and file-reading mistakes in rare cases some achievements were not unlocked. The boss, monsters and the four artifact unlocking related trophies may have been affected for some players.
Now the problem is solved and I added an extra step to the startup logic of the game so that achievements missed by previous versions will be unlocked automatically (e.g.: if you unlocked all the monsters, but the achievement is missing).

My apologies for each of you who run into this problem.

Item pickup and shop enhancements

Item pickups (especially buying one in the shop) bugged quite a few people, due to not knowing what kind of item one receives. I wanted to leave item collection as a "mystery" and unlocking artifacts being both a reward and a learning process, but I understand the inconvenience of this. To alleviate it a little I added a simple item slot notification when the player moves next to an artifact.



Another hopefully useful addition is the "same item speech" in the shop, which triggered before when you tried to pick up an item you already own, but now it triggers before buying items you have equipped too.



What's next?

Finally the Mac and Linux ports are getting closer to the finish line and the save-game feature is already functional :) ! It will still take a week or two to stabilize and complete them, but they are next in line and will be out later this month ;)

Anything longer term?

I'm also working on a bigger update. I may have mentioned it before, but it is still too early to show anything in action, however it will see the light of day by the end of summer.

My long term plans are a bit vague at the moment. I think I have clear goals in my mind, but no exact plans on how I could reach them. I want to deliver more updates for I Am Overburdened and I would love to port it to multiple platforms (console and mobile to be exact), but I don't really have the resources nor the contacts to really do it. Will see what the future holds...

As always if you have useful tips for me, any suggestions or critique, I'm all ears.
Drop me a comment or a mail !

Thanks for reading my post and for your continued support.
Take care!

Spidi

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Re: I Am Overburdened, a silly roguelike (now at 1.1.8)
« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2018, 06:49:02 PM »
Hello everyone,

So much time has passed. I've been away from my online life and making games for months. Thanks to some new opportunities it looks like the time has come for me to return to active development again :)

And what better way to restart my venture than putting out new updates for my games ;)
I will share some details about my short term plans soon, but I'm devoting this entry to a long-overdue I Am Overburdened update!

Update

Version 1.2.0 is live and the highlight of it is the save-game feature! Besides this one major addition, it is mostly a bug-fix and tweak build.

Save & Exit

Finally the game can be suspended in the dungeon and continued later. Since a full play-through is relatively short plus I Am Overburdened is primarily a rogue-like and save-scumming would undermine this core idea so only one save slot exists. Of course more could be added with slots only having a continue option if there are genuine requests for it, but I think the game works well this way.

This is more like a convenience feature to be able to stop playing at any point you wish and finish the run when you have the time to spare.



The pause menu had to be reorganized a bit, since it was already crammed. As you can see it's cleaner now and the last option saves and closes the game.

I would like to create a more technical post too about this specific feature. Kind of like a tutorial about aspects of save systems. Let me know if you are interested!

Immediate (Save &) Exit

The immediate exit hot-key was remapped from F10 to F9. Sorry about this change, it was a necessity (os/platform reasons), but as a bright side it also supports saving the game. So now if you hit F9 during play and the game could be continued (e.g.: the player is not dead :) ), the state will be saved just like when saving and exiting using the pause menu. This change is already reflected in the input guide.

Pesky bugs

I've been working on the game on and off in short bursts in the last months and alongside with the community I discovered some problems too. I fixed quite a few things so I'm simply going to list them:

  • Few items and their related skills could cause a crash under super specific circumstances. It's not likely many of you run into these issues, but if your play was interrupted by a crash I'm sorry.
  • Certain item skills with persisting effects (e.g.: Fear, Cripple) could get stuck or be triggered on freshly summoned/resurrected monsters in rare cases. These were not visible, but could affect how well you did, so my apologies for the occasional unfair (de-)buffs.
  • The positioning of hallucinations from toxicity effects (e.g.: Toad monsters, poison in potion) were not correctly randomized. These hallucinated monsters were always placed in the upper-left quarter of the map, breaking the illusion. Now this is fixed.
  • A while ago I added item-slot notifications to item pickups and chests when standing nearby. It did not occur to me though, that with this modification the treasury pickups and chests triggered unnecessary ones too. Oops, fixed!

In balance

With this update balance tweaks found their way into the game too. There were still some complaints regarding this aspect, so I made normal mode a tad bit harder and nightmare difficulty a tiny bit more forgiving. These are not substantial changes, only slightly affecting the pickup and chest spawn rates. Another extra is "near death" detection. Simply put if you end up in a really bad situation at some point, the game tries not to punish you even harder on the next dungeon level :giggle:
These changes are subtle, so they keep the game challenging, but they were introduced to make it more fair at the same time.



Boss confusion

Some people found the boss level corpses confusing. I don't know if the new version will work out better (this is not the first time I change this :S ), but now the number of corpses (below the one serving as the story hint) are tied to the unlock progress of the boss entry in the monster book.



I know some other unlocks still need more and better hints too. I'm going to work on these problems in the near future...

Am I still alive?

Yes, pretty much. Due to personal and financial reasons I had to put full-time game development on hold for a long while, but I'm back now and I will be working on my projects in the upcoming months. Before I vanished from the face of the INTERNETZ I teased possible ports and a bigger content update for I Am Overburdened. These are not forgotten and progressing well ;) In a week or two I will reveal more details about my plans.

Until then, have a fun-filled time.
Thanks for reading and take care!

Spidi

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Re: I Am Overburdened, a silly roguelike (now at 1.2.0)
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2019, 06:18:10 PM »
Hi there!

Maybe I should start with some rambling about why I've been dormant for so long, but I want to jump right into the details of the latest I Am Overburdened update I've just released. I'm leaving the boring bits to the end ;) !

Update

Version 1.2.1. has a plethora of changes, but most of these are fixes, tunings and other tiny additions. All in all it is not THE huge content update I've been teasing, but it has a bunch of nice things I hope many will appreciate.



The game has been localized to German ( ...) and Spanish ( ...). With this second set of official translations the game now supports 7 languages :o ! Hopefully this way even more players will be able to enjoy the wacky descriptions and dialogues :) I would love to add even more in the future, but I can't make promises yet as these take time and money. Will try my best.

Special thanks to the translators for their work:
Nico Weiß (canemus): German, Juan Buleo (PsychoKurt): Spanish

Mouse and UI

When I Am Overburdened launched it lacked proper mouse support. I patched-in this feature shortly after and I tried upgrading it ever since, but there are still a few ideas left worth pursuing.

Book graphics and controls



The menu book graphics were improved with a simple trick and all the screens received separate "Back" and "Close" buttons. This way it is way easier to navigate them (some menu "stacks" were quite deep) + now it is possible to move around with only the left mouse button easily.

In-game UI



There is a new book icon under the health-bar for opening the menus. Again this allows left mouse button only navigation during play.

Inn renovation



The same way the user interface needed some changes to better support controlling the game with mouse only, the inn had to be updated a bit to accommodate. I added a journal next to the innkeeper which can be used to access the main menu.

Stash confusion



Many players claimed that they did not notice the "Stash" in the inn and had no idea about collecting starting items. Mea culpa, this was a big design error on my end. Now when it has items in it there is a smoke effect triggered when entering the inn similar to the ones accompanying other unlocks and play variants. Hope this helps in discovering the unlocked starter items.

Bug-fixes and tweaks

Besides adding new languages a lot of localization fixes found their way into the game. Layouts of the menus were changed a little to make translated content better fit them. I also increased the item pickups notification time for longer fluff texts as translators suggested.



A small balance change was applied too. The luck penalty on nightmare difficulty has been decreased to 3 from 5. It is not a heavy impact modification, but it does make nightmare an itsy-bitsy less luck based.

Path-finding



I made a mistake in the underlying path-finding system which caused a rare but weird issue when controlling the player with the mouse. Fixed!

That is all for this update, but soon more will follow!

So what's up?

Sadly In the last six months I had to face a lot of difficulties (financial, personal and housing/moving related). Due to this I left the game hibernated and as a result its community dwindled :(

I really wish to do a 180 on this. I'm going to have free time for making updates in the upcoming months and I already re-organized my TODO list and plans. I'm also working on a somewhat "new" project pretty closely related to I Am Overburdened ;)

To sum it up, I really had neither time, nor money or energy to work on the game. Thankfully it looks like now I'm on track to complete updates I've been dying to deliver for months now :)

Thanks for taking the time to read my post.
Stay tuned!
« Last Edit: May 17, 2019, 07:13:05 AM by Spidi »

Spidi

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Re: I Am Overburdened, a silly roguelike (now at 1.2.1)
« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2019, 10:21:25 PM »
Hello everyone!

New I Am Overburdened update, new entry ;)
This time instead of launching new content or features I'm upgrading the graphics of the game a little.

Graphical facelift

As I hinted before on social media I've been working on multiple graphics related changes. This is the first update for I Am Overburdened focusing only on the visual aspect. If the response is good I may create another similar one :)
Let me know what you think!

Auto-Tiling

The biggest graphical improvement is the auto-tiling feature of the dungeon levels. In short, it is a technique to (dynamically) change tiles based on their neighbors to achieve a much less "blocky" look and to add depth to the scenes.



To me, the difference is night and day. It does make the grid structure of the levels less readable (functionally may be a bit of a downgrade), but it makes the dungeons feel much more claustrophobic so all in all, I feel like it is a big win :)

Some technical details:



The most flexible and well-established method is the "blob" or 8-way auto-tiling where you create special tile graphics with the required corners for all the relevant neighbor combinations (47 exist, the first part of the image). Each neighbor is represented by a bit (power of 2 value, the second part of the image) and by combining the flags of the ~important matching neighbors you get a unique value identifying the required tile.

Even though I coded a system like this long ago I decided to go with a different technique because of the amount of graphical work required...



So I switched to the "sub-tile" approach. It is super simple to implement and requires much less sprite work while still achieving a similar result. The idea here is to split tiles which require special corner graphics and check the relevant neighbors for each corner. To cover each situation 4 variants are required so 16 sub-tiles. Based on the horizontal, vertical and diagonal neighbors of a given corner the appropriate sub-tile graphic can be selected and voila. Auto-tiling.

Crystal clear

The looks of the last episode in the game received some valid criticism. My original goal was to make the "Crystalline Cavern" a bit confusing. Almost like a place full of mirrors. I think I went a little overboard and visual clarity suffered a lot.



I've redrawn parts of the tile-set, recolored the rest and a new walking effect was introduced to preserve the reflecting and mirror-like feeling.

Rain

The ambient sounds in the inn just weren't doing it justice. I added some splash effects outside of the building to set a more convincing mood.



Bugs & Performance

The fixes and optimizations are graphics related too. The biggest enhancement is the introduction of multiple (rendering) layers within the effect system and overall improved effect handling performance.

Effect layers

This problem probably did not bother many players, but some environment effects looked funny before the introduction of multi-layer spell effects.
Fixed!



Mouse control sprites

There was a tiny sprite state related bug which could only occur when controlling the game with the mouse. Not anymore.



Spell performance

Although the game could always run on a "toaster" hitches and frame-spikes during spell heavy moments weren't uncommon. This is now a thing of the past.



Next stop?

Work continues on I Am Overburdened. The planned content expansion pack is shaping up nicely. So far, I deliberately kept concrete info about it to the minimum since I'm still really bad at estimating the work left and I would like it to be a surprising and bigger release. This means the upcoming few updates will be similar to this and the last one (just a bunch of tiny changes), but I'm going to start teasing the new features in the following weeks ;)

Thanks for taking the time to read my post.
Take care!

Spidi

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Re: I Am Overburdened, a silly roguelike (now at 1.2.2)
« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2019, 06:45:28 AM »
Hi there!

So it came to pass, that only a tiny update gets completed within two weeks while working on another way bigger project :giggle:
Hopefully, the user interface enhancements in I Am Overburdened version 1.2.3. will be appreciated still.

The book of monsters

The biggest (albeit functionally neglectable) change is the new "Book of Monsters" layout. Now the unlocked monsters can be explored using a scrollable grid just like in the case of the "Tome of Artifacts". It looks much less crammed + this was a necessary change for the future ;)



Yep, this also means new monsters will join the party with the upcoming bigger content update (currently it looks like 4 to be more exact) and for this to happen the presentation had to be changed beforehand to accommodate.

Scroll madness

All the scroll-bars (not just the new monsters book one) were updated to handle up/down clicks too + screens where scrolling grids reacted to mouse movement (Stash, Treasury), were fixed since they could produce horrible noises with the quickly changing focused artifacts.



Nearby beasts

How could I forget about this feature?! The same thing was implemented for the "Tome of Artifacts" with nearby items long ago, but somehow I missed this one. Opening the "Book of Monsters" next to an enemy now selects it immediately.



Tome hot-keys

I also added hot-keys for accessing the tomes (Left Ctrl + A for the "Tome of Artifacts", Left Ctrl + M for the "Book of Monsters") with only one press as they may be opened semi-frequently during play. The input guide was updated to reflect these changes.



In-game inventory on steroids!

A real nemesis of mine. I could not find a good way to notify the player about nearby items so far. I tried multiple things in the past (some even made it into the game), but I was never satisfied.
I think I got it now? I really like the current version. Let me know what you think!



Little development history

One thing I tried long ago was changing the color palette of the slots which may be affected by a neighbor item pickup. Empty slots became lighter and used slots became red. I scrapped this approach because I could not find good enough color variants and it generally did not look that useful.



To give at least some help to the players I decided to add in-world slot notifications. I liked them quite a lot so I released this feature a while ago, but I admit that functionally it was not best (e.g.: with a full inventory the slot icons don't help too much :-\ )...



Then it hit me! Don't change the slots I have to focus on, change the ones I don't have to focus on. May sound counter-intuitive, but it worked way better than my first color based attempt :)



It wasn't a ~perfect solution though. I just could not pinpoint the best time when to fade in and out unrelated slots. It looked a bit chaotic. With some iteration, I worked it out though. If there is a rapid change just forget the whole thing (disable the feature) so it doesn't bother the player and only fade out the unneeded slots if the player stays still a little nearby an item (or items).

Summer Sale

In the meantime I Am Overburdened also joined the Summer Sale!



You can buy it at Steam or at itch.io for dirt cheap (50% Off - 2.49$, may vary based on region).

   

What's next?

This is the first "teaser" update where changes related to the expansion pack crawled into the official build of the game and I shared tiny but concrete info about what is to come. Expect a few more updates like this in the upcoming weeks, but soon (hopefully really soon) I will unleash a bigger and better I Am Overburdened upon the world :)

Thank you very much for following my progress and for all your support.
Stay tuned!

Spidi

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Re: I Am Overburdened, a silly roguelike (now at 1.2.3)
« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2019, 11:36:34 PM »
Hello everyone!

This entry will be a bit more personal and full of rambling about game development in real life and how come making a tiny bug-fix update for a game takes a whole month. Stay awhile, because if you can put up with my whining, you are going to read some real advice ;)

The unexpected



Around a month ago severe cartilage damage and bone wear (arthrosis) was diagnosed in my right wrist-bone(s). This is a permanent change. One that quite possibly will heavily affect my future :(

I always had problems with my hand, we could call it chronic pain I guess, but it never was so frequent or so drastic that I thought something could be really wrong...
In middle school, I thought it must be my hobbies. A lot of Diablo :) and other games plus art (both classical and digital).
In university, I thought it must be my studies. My hobbies stayed with me and I started programming multiple hours daily.
As an employed programmer, software became my full-time job and I thought it must be my life-style. I started pouring hours after work into game development and art daily because I really wanted to make games, not just business software.



Probably you are rolling your eyes by now, that I must be crazy for not taking care of myself, but I'm pretty sure if you are reading this you may have a similar history and of course I always did everything I could to heal. I always took sufficient rest, sometimes totally stopping these activities for a few days taking medicinal products to recover, plus in the last few years, I used various supporters to help my hands during work.
I never experienced wild long-lasting pains.

Except for 5 weeks ago.



I heard it called pianist disease by a Doc and it is fairly common amongst musicians, artists, programmers, essentially anyone using their fingers and wrists excessively for work.

I've been doing physiotherapy and taking medication during the last month besides keeping my hand in a splint and barely using it at all. It is better now. I only experience pain if I disobey the "try not to use your right hand!" rule :P
Doctors told me that the pain will become manageable, but surgery seems to be necessary if I want to use it again for work...

Yep, you guessed it well. Even though I'm right-handed (was?) and relatively fast at typing (was!) writing this entry took me a while because I used my left hand only. That is how a tiny bug-fix update takes a month ;D

Now onto the advice part:
Life will throw unexpected things at you. Even if you are at a point where everything seems to click and nothing can stop you, I'm pretty sure there is something that can. Take care of yourself and if you happen to experience similar things consult with a doctor to see if you can prevent bigger problems down the line.

The update

Since players discovered some glaring issues lately and I just managed to repair a few long-standing problems, I decided to put out a build with important fixes in it ASAP as version 1.2.4.

Not saved



Sadly the path was not "ensured" (existence of directories) in all cases when saving the game. I estimate, that this could affect quite a few people, but not many reported it so far on any of the channels for the game. I hope this means it worked for most people and not many run into it :-\

If you did lose a save I'm really sorry. Please accept my apology and know that now it is fixed and works as intended.

Hallucinated boss



Some items in the game are totally insane and their combinations, well let just say they can lead to weird outcomes :P
One of these is the "Carnival Mask" which can turn monsters into hallucinations. It cannot be triggered on the boss level, as there are no other monsters around the boss itself. Except when you have an item on you which can summon monsters in certain situations. Mix in some chemical X and bang! The boss can easily turn into a hallucination, preventing the player from completing the run. Funny thing is that I already had a configuration coded for items to optionally disable them against certain enemy types (e.g.: the boss), but I probably thought this could not happen.
Fixed!

Left-handed



Due to the underlying technology I used the game could not support left-handed mouse usage (left and right buttons switched in the operating system). I swapped out parts of the tech and fixed this problem. As you can guess I only realized the existence of the issue when I myself started using my mouse in this mode :-\
To all the left-handed people in the world who would have loved playing I Am Overburdened with a mouse: I'm sorry for not realizing this before!

Focus on what you are doing!



There were some reports about the game occasionally capturing mouse input even if its window is not in focus. I tried fixing this before, but I never had the complete picture about what is going wrong. I'm still not sure if it is fully fixed, but I could reproduce a case when it occurred and with the input tech change, I could correct this problem too.

Special thanks to all the community members who reported and helped in the diagnostics of these issues.

Is this the end?!

This slowed me to a crawl (no pun intended), but there is no way I'm stopping game development :)
I just wasn't prepared for it. Neither physically nor mentally. It will take some time getting used to it, but my left-hand dexterity is getting better each day and hopefully, surgery will further improve the state of things later on.
It is uncertain now how long it will take, but I will follow through my plans and deliver the content expansion pack for I Am Overburdened.

Thank you very much for reading my post and for all your support.
Take care!

Spidi

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Re: I Am Overburdened, a silly roguelike (now at 1.2.4)
« Reply #13 on: August 17, 2019, 08:05:20 AM »
Hi everyone!

Here comes a not so spectacular, but hopefully funny update for I Am Overburdened. As the name suggest version 1.2.5. is way more swift than the previous one, plus it is equipped with a nasty new trick to terrorize artifact hunters ;)

Hallucination 2.0

Please welcome "positive" hallucinations. Previously when you accidentally drank poison or a venomous creature attacked you, monster phantasms (non-existent hallucinated creatures) would be placed randomly on the following dungeon level.



This feature always felt fun, but a bit insignificant. Its impact was quite low because if you played a lot you could figure out in many cases which of the monsters are hallucinated and you never feared extra monsters when in a good shape (health and loot wise).



Now other entities (chests, pickup, etc...) can be hallucinated and their placements are influenced by the level templates and the dungeon generator. The new version is way more effective, a.k.a. confusing :giggle:

If you have an existing save-game no worries. The new save files may be a tiny bit bigger (due to the more complex hallucinations), but the game is backward compatible.

Inventory triviality

A tiny ease of use feature. Now when opening your inventory while standing next to an item or opened chest the relevant item slot will be focused. The slot of the last picked up item still has priority though!



Optimization

I keep saying that I Am Overburdened runs on a toaster, but what does this mean and is it really true? Well, for the most part, it IS true. I have a 10+ years old laptop on which I test the game from time to time (1st gen 1.5Ghz Atom CPU, 1Gb RAM :o for real) and the game is able to run at 60 fps (not that it matters a lot with a turn-based game :giggle: but still). My work desktop is also quite modest so a performance mistake surfaces easily. The more taxing parts where the real problems lie are switching between screens and launching the game.

Checking loot

Sadly the inventory screen had a blatantly unoptimized implementation. Opening it could cause almost a second long halt on my older machine. It was still my original prototype implementation. Silly me, sorry for the inconvenience. I simplified the layout data of the screen, remade the loading algorithm and voila. Now it can load within the same frame of the press/click even on a simple computer.


A bit slowed down recording of opening the inventory in the old and the new version for comparison.

Parts of these changes got into the previous version so you may have experienced the speedup to an extent already.

Startup



So on the before mentioned toaster, it took 5+ seconds to show the title screen after launching the game. This was mainly due to pre-loading almost all the assets and saved data so that handling the content while the game is running can be simple. I postponed tiny parts of this, but the logic largely stayed the same and instead I choose to simplify the majority of the game data to speed-up load times. Still not lightning fast, but I measured a hefty 40-50% win which is really nice :)

Was all this work worth it for faster startup and inventory opening? Yes, absolutely! Besides improving the user experience, I always had plans of porting the game to mobile platforms. In the last few months with all the optimizations I've done I believe it is going to run flawlessly without sucking the batteries dry ;)

Tech talk

So I wrote a lengthy tips & tricks technobabble about how specifically I optimized I Am Overburdened.
I did not include it here, because it is full of technical jargon (code samples, profiling, data formats, and other generally boring stuff  :| ).  You can find it on my blog in this post if you are interested in the nitty-gritty parts or if you think it should be here as well, just drop a comment and I make it happen ;)
Don't say I did not warn you though :P

Upcoming?

My hand is only a tiny bit better, but at least it is not killing me nowadays. I'm slowly and carefully working towards finishing the expansion for I Am Overburdened. Sorry for not sharing new details about it with this entry. To make up for it I'm going to post images and gifs showcasing some of the new monsters and items with the following update ;) For next time I'm planning to release another tiny graphical enhancement.

Thanks for reading my post and much love for your support.
Stay tuned!