Release 1.0 Targets

What to Expect

As previously stated, the goal I am attempting to achieve is a series of releases that add full features in to the game as a whole. As such the previous post showed a list of features that I would like to see in the final game, however this is not practical for me to attempt in a first release. I would like to see gamers playing the game and giving feedback as the next release is in production.

So I thought I would outline what I am trying for in the first release.

Release 1.0

  • Basic Level Generation
  • Physical Combat Mechanics - Melee and Range
  • Victory Condition
  • Initial Monster Catalogue
  • Basic Itinerary and Equipment
  • Basic Survival Mechanics

Why These Features

Simply put, I believe if I achieve these then the set of features that comprise a Rogue-Like will be meet.

When I look at the market and the Rogue-Likes out there, I understand the amount of effort that have been put into them. I also understand the long term stayers (e.g. nethack, adom) have been around for a long time and are under continuous development. This is were I am aiming to be. The only problem is that the road is very long.

Take Adom, was started in 1994 and was released on steam in 17 November 2015. However from their change log a long story can be seen( and . But if you look through the site's articles 6th of August, 2001 was when the first release was published. 7 years of tears and joy that is the torture of developing a game part-time.

I hope to be a little more focused in terms of my milestones. Therefore I aim for the above set.

Anyway, would love to here your comments.


Dwarf Survival Feature Set

Dwarf Survival Features

The intention of the title is to cover the following list of feature. I intend to incrementally focus on groups to inject value into the games as each new feature set is made available to the gamers.

The order of development will be determine by firstly the overall benefit for the title and then by the communities voting.

I know it is a long-ist list, but I would rather everyone have a chance to look at it and give their opinions.

Maps Generators

  1. Cave Map
  2. Dungeon Map
  3. Fortress Map
  4. Village Map

Map Features

  1. Doors
    1. Simply Door
    2. Locked Door - Craft + Stealth Skills
    3. Jammed Door - Manhandle Skill
    4. False Door
    5. Trapped Door - Craft + Stealth + Perception Skills
      1. Wounding
      2. Over-Time - e.g. Burning
      3. Stunning
      4. Translocation
    6. Portal Door
  2. Food Sources - Perception Skill
    1. Simple Food
    2. Health Food
    3. Skill-Boost Food
      1. Temporary
      2. Permanent
    4. Poison Food
  3. Altars
    1. 1 Blessed Altar - Spirit Skill
    2. 2 Cursed Altar - Spirit Skill
    3. 3 Dead Altar
  4. Traps - Craft + Stealth + Perception Skills
    1. Health/Wounding Trap
    2. Stunning Trap
    3. Translocation Trap
    4. Self-Arming Trap
    5. Setting of Traps by Actors
  5. Portals
    1. Inter-Level Translocation
    2. Intra-Levels Translocation
    3. Wounding Portal
    4. Healing Portal
    5. Death Portal
    6. Cursing Portal - negative adjustment of actor's attributes or skills
    7. Traveling Point Portal - allows travelling between to polls (e.g. Home/Base->Mobile Point)
  6. Chests / Bags
    1. Simple Chest
    2. Locked Chest
    3. Manhandle-Skill Chests
    4. False Chest
    5. Translocation Chest
    6. Transmuter Chest - transmutes an item into another item
  7. Spawners
    1. Food Spawner
    2. Actor Spawner
  8. Feature - Skill interactions
    1. Anvil
    2. Medical Station
  9. Safety Zones
    1. Friendly Huts
    2. Home/Base
    3. Farms


  1. Defensive
  2. Offensive
  3. Magical
  4. Blessed/Cursed
  5. Item Obscurity
  6. Crafting
  7. Charging of things like wands


  1. Humaniods
    1. Dwarfkind
    2. Elfkind
    3. Humankind
    4. Gobliniods
      1. Orc
      2. Troll
      3. Goblin
      4. Hobgoblin
    5. The Undead
      1. Skeleton
      2. Goul
      3. Wight
      4. Leach
    6. Ratkind
    7. Lizardkind
  2. Beasts
    1. Land Creatures
      1. Cats
      2. Dogs
      3. Snakes
      4. Scorpions
    2. Flying Creatures
      1. Bats
      2. Birds
      3. Dragonkind

Actor Traits

  1. Attributes
    1. Strength
    2. Dexerity
    3. Agility
    4. Intellect
    5. Spirit
  2. Combat Skills
    1. Fighting
    2. Defense
    3. Shooting
    4. Knowledge
    5. Toughness
  3. Passive Skills
    1. Crafting
    2. Persuasion
    3. Perception
    4. Stealth
    5. Mobility
    6. Manhandling

Actor Skills

  1. Combat Skills
  2. Passive Skills

Actor Spells

  1. Combat Spells
  2. Passive Spells

Actor Traits

  1. Combat Traits
    1. Fighter
    2. Ranger
    3. Magician
    4. Priest
    5. Thief
  2. Passive Traits
    1. Thief
    2. Scout
    3. Priest
    4. Magician
    5. Survivalist
    6. Blacksmith
    7. Alchemist
  3. Trait Interactions - The idea is how one trait adversely/beneficially affects another trait
    1. Fighter - Magician
    2. Fighter - Priest
    3. Fighter - Thief

Actor Progression

  1. Skill Advancement
  2. Spell Acquire
  3. Item Knowledge

Actor NPCs

  1. Villagers
  2. Guilds
  3. Hirelings

Actor Interactions

  1. Combat
    1. Melee
    2. Range
    3. Magic
    4. Death/Victory Loot Generation
    5. Ransoming of the captured
    6. Bribing
    7. Divine Intervention
  2. Trading
  3. Studying
    1. Attributes
    2. Skill
    3. Items
  4. Turning Attitudes - aggression neutral friendly
  5. Persuasion / Charm
  6. Assassination
    1. via stealth & backstab
    2. via poisoning
    3. via range
  7. Guilds
  8. Race Interactions


  1. Primary Quests
  2. Sub Quests
  3. Divine Quests

First Glance at the Actor


Every game have actors had interact to enable the game to play out. Dwarf Survival is no different.

One of the most difficult thing to do in a game is to balance theses actor interactions, especially when it comes to combat.

However everything must start from some point of comparision. Therefore here is what we are using.



Attributes are the set of physical and mental qualities that effect in discrete ways the set of skill possessed by the actor.

Actor Influences

  1. D&D - Dungeon and Dragons (visit)
  2. Dead Simple Fantasy (visit)
  3. War Hammer (visit)

Over time I've played many rpg/fantasy games and most if not all have the same set of attributes for each actor. However the skill sections change from game to game. In my case, I love the thoughts of Dead Simple Fantasy and hence I mimic their skill set but plan to expand these to allow for more control latter.  However I taken the skill and apply them more in line with the D&D approach. In terms of health / hit points I've love the Dead Simple Fantasy thought of limited Wounds but I favour the thoughts of the War Hammer universe instead.

Base Value 5

I've chosen to use the value 5 as the common value as it allows for actors for be below average and also allow for above average to be achieved. I find when starting from a zero base it is difficult to make a level zero(0) monster. This is more like the D&D skill system where 10 is used.

Actor's Future

Although I like the Dead Simple Fantasy Skill set, I'm planning on expanding these to provide more "Profession" skill types. For example, a Burglary skill set would include Lock Picking, Poisoning, Trap Detection, Trap Setting, etc. A Healing skill send would include mending of wounds, curing of poison, etc. I see the "Professional" Skills as somethings that a master really needs to impart to a student in order for skill to be improved past a certain point.

"Survival" Skills I see as the set of skills that are employed when interacting with the environment around us. I see these as the name suggests, skill that allow the actor to survive in the world. So questions like, how easily can I move an object, how much food can I find around me, do I even notice the trap in front of me, all obtain answers from this set of skills.

Overlapping skills are difficult as many different profession have these are focal points. Stealth for example is separate as Hunters and Thieves share it. Likewise Craft is separate as Thieves and Blacksmiths share it. Therefore for these I'm currently favouring including them as individual skills.

The trick I have is that I wish every actor to be able to learn any skill from any class. After all, I can learn to run and swim and swing and axe. But I can also learn to perform magic tricks. I want this sort of freedom for my actors. So my challenge is to introduce a balancing mechanism into the game to allow every choice to balance out evenly.

To be completely honest, most of these are fluid at the moment as I'm going through balancing the game play with the evolving features of the game continues.

I intend to start posting Race/Class card in the future but I thought this would be a good place to start. I would love to know what you think.

Until next time..

Our Vision for Dwarf Survival

The Whole Point Of It

Every game title should have a point beyond the "just because I can" statement. For me "Dwarf Survival" is an attempt to create a game that I'm both proud of and others will love to play. But in order to do this I believe I should outline what I'm aiming for and why. After all how will others be able to judge the success or failure of the endeavour.

The Cheat Sheet Version

  1. A Rogue-Like Game.
  2. Evolving feature through incremental releases.
  3. To create a community of players and developers.
  4. The Long Game.

Sounds simple enough but here is what I really mean.

A Rogue-Like Game

The Rogue-Like is a game with some basic features that all true Rogue-Likes must have. So the following are a must have list:

  1. Randomly Generate Levels - every level should be random and nearly unique in the sense that player the same level in multiple attempts should not lead a player to be able to produce a best path to success plan. Essentially every time the level is generate it differs from others generated before hand.
  2. Permadeath of characters - every time we make a mistake we pay for it. Love it or hate it, this mechanism makes the game.
  3. Turn-Based time system - every dog gets it's day. A single actor should not be able to perform multiple actions before other actors can react to the preceding actions. Likewise the game should not simply be about who has the best reaction time. I also love this being able to think before acting.
  4. Feature Interactions - doors, chests, traps, etc should cause different play possibilities to unfold as the player choose between options. Ideally this should then present it self in solving problems different ways.
  5. Combat - Hack and Slash, Fire and Run like a baby or Grind them to bones should all be valid combat styles for different situation. The player should be forced to decide based upon the enemies and environment they find themselves in. Combat should always be challenging and should evolve with the player's decisions. Every fight should be a choice between life and death. Using the same combat style should be a quick way to get you killed.
  6. Resource Management - this for me is the difficult one. Although I love the "hunger can kill" process of other rogues, I don't really know how I want this to function. More to come on this.
  7. Plotless / Freedom of Play - Not collecting the princess's slipper should not stop me from reaching the end. Enough said.

Evolving feature through incremental releases.

To me as a gamer, a game should be fun playing in the current state that is before me. I think we all agree on that. But as a developer, a game should be able to evolve as ideas come and go. Therefore a game needs to be able to updated. 

I'm going to attempt a release cycle where features are added and then released for the gamers to enjoy as the developers go on to craft more features. 

To this end I'm going to create a series of releases that build upon the one before them. 

To create a community of players and developers.

I want a community where every voice is heard and considered. The community of players that feel free to suggest features and then as a whole vote upon ideas. We all have had things in games that either we felt were left out or simply didn't really work for us. I've stopped playing more than a few games because of this. Some caused a slightly bitter taste in my mouth where something just felt wrong and soured the whole experience for me.

The problem I see is how do we as the developers help the community navigate the balance of what we really want with what the community wants. I think the best approach is to suggest a set of feature that the game will eventually have but then listen to the community in terms of what they want first.

The Long Game

If we look at the whole gambit of Rogue-Likes there are two main game life times.

The first is a gradual refinement of the game over many years, hoping for a long and happy relationship with loyal fans of the game. The second is simply throwing money into a development team and release a nearly feature complete produce and then don't develop anymore unless it is another complete separate release.

Quite frankly, I don't have the money for it so I'm not going for the second option. This leaves me with the long road ahead.

Next Time

Anyway goals for next time are:

  1. I'll list the were I'm at with the project.
  2. I'll try to get a video together of where I'm up to title.
  3. A first draft of title features.

 See-ya next time.

A Dungeon of the Mind

In a virtual Dungeon somewhere...

Ever wondered why you always speak to a low level tech person when you call for support? I think it is normally because they don't want "normal people" speaking to programmers. After being a "professional programmer" for over 10 years, this is probably the best policy. But given you are here, then you probably want to know what we are doing at Coslen Gaming.

I thought for my first developer blog post I'll start with the basics of who, what and why.

The Who:

I'm professional programmer with many years of experience being paid for the work I do. But unfortunately this never involve one of the first loves of my life, Computer Games.

I started my love of computer games playing Zork, a text based game. Yeah they really did exist. I fell completely in love with it. Years passed with me growing increasing in love with a couple of styles of games, normally rpg / fantasy. It was only after my university days were gone and I needed to get serious, did I find that I no longer played. I found not playing games completely unacceptable and sort to rectify this.

Since then a few games have come and gone. Some I found, that although I loved many of them, most had become too complicated to just sit down and play for ten minutes. Most I could not even begin to think of introducing my 10 year old to. Then a bolt of lightning, why not make a game my self. 

As so Coslen Gaming was born.

The What:

Enter "Dwarf Survival" a rouge-like game, just because i love them. I love the concept of a person walking into a labyrinth for the fun of it. I love the concept of perma-death, after all, when you stuff up you really pay the price. I love the never really be sure of what I'm doing tension.

The Why:

I want a game that will captivate the player and engage their mind and not just their reflexes. I wanted a game that would allow my children and my older friends to play at their own level and love it equally.


Anyway, that's maybe enough for now. I'll plan to post about the concept next and then follow that up with my basic feature set of the game. Would love to have your comments and feedback.