Archive for October, 2011

Never On Steam Update

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

A big thanks to everybody who has sent me supportive emails since I went public with my Steam rejection.  I’ve also gotten a few angry emails with opinions supportive of Steam’s decision to deny me a money hat fitting.  🙂 I’m just trying to have a little fun with this and make some lemonade out of lemons….and hopefully get some more exposure for my games and set the groundwork for a successful launch of my next game The Occult Chronicles.  The response to my Never On Steam sale has been surprisingly good and I appreciate everybody spreading the word.  I’m going to try and get something put up on my main web page soon.

In the meantime the code is NEVERONSTEAM

50% off all my games except for the AE & SI bundle which is already discounted so you should just buy them separately.

Here is a link to check out Armageddon Empires if you want to take a look.  With the 50% discount the price is $12.50.

Never On Steam Sale

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

Over the years I’ve gotten quite a few emails asking if or when my games will be on Steam.  I have to admit that I have felt very ambivalent about the whole thing because on the one hand I really like selling direct and cutting out the middle man but on the other hand I know a lot of devs who have had the mon$y hat put on their heads via selling on Steam.  The only thing Steam has ever given me so far is that empty feeling in the gut as I have watched them deflate indie software prices almost single handed.  But today I got the ubiquitous “Not a good fit” rejection letter that I so richly deserved for my moment of weakness last week when I submitted Armageddon Empires for consideration on Steam thinking that I too might look good in a money hat. Oh Well.

But it inspired me to try and make something out of this and burn my ships just like Cortez did and set off for the interior and fortune and glory.  So I am going to fight fire with fire and launch a preemptive strike on Steam’s Xmas sale and do a 50% off all my games NEVER GOING TO BE ON STEAM sale.  You can get the discount by entering this code when you check out

NEVERONSTEAM

The Sale is going to last 2 weeks. Please spread this news around on any board or watering hole that you frequent that might have a musty old turn based grog hanging out in close proximity.

NOTE: The 50% discount only applies to the individual games and not the already discounted bundle of SI & AE.

Check out Armageddon Empires here

The Occult Chronicles

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

Halloween is approaching and it’s a suitable time for me to reveal what I have been working on for a while. This is the time of year that I break out Betrayal at House on the Hill and more recently Mansions of Madness. So I’ve set my occult adventure strategy game in a lovecraftian mansion replete with ghosts, monsters, cursed items of all kinds and any other haunted mansion trope that I can come up with. You start a game by creating a character in a surprisingly similar way to which Archfiends were created in Solium Infernum. In addition to health and sanity you also have four other attributes; Swords represent your martial ability, Cups represent your physical robustness and agility, Wands represent your mental acumen and finally Pentacles represent any arcane power that might be coursing through your veins. If it sounds like some Tarot cards might be involved in this game you might correct in your assumption.

Where is the Adventure? The whole game is basically one big map exploration. You play an agent of the O.D.D (Occult Defense Directorate) who has been assigned to check out some bumps in the night at an ancient estate out in the country. Before each game you choose a mission (or ask for a random one). This will determine who the final boss is and what clues you need to collect to find it and take care of it. You start in the main entrance hall and commence your exploration from there. Each mansion is randomly constructed but follows one of several architectural frameworks i.e. central hub, wings, T shaped etc. There are multiple floors, attics, basements and even things lying deeper under ground. Rooms are divided up into smaller 100 by 100 pixel areas with circular movement locations that you click on to move your character’s icon about the map. When you encounter something you must complete a challenge based on a trick taking game with Tarot cards to figure out whether you win or lose, run way or deliver a shot gun blast to the thing’s torso etc. I’ll have a lot more to say on the mechanics as I reveal more about the game. Which brings me to the next talking point.

Where is the Strategy? The strategy is in the challenge mechanics for the most part. There are some decisions to be made in exploring the map of course. The main floor is the safest. Venture up or especially down and you are increasing both your risk and your rewards. You’ll also need to decide how many clues you’ll want to gather before you confront the mission’s goal (i.e boss etc.). Clues have special bonuses that apply to the challenges that are directly related to the mission. So there is a risk reward calculus that has to be made. But most of the strategy revolves around deciding on how and when to use your items, skills, spells, heroic feats during the many challenges that you will have to beat. The mechanics center on manipulating the Tarot cards that you must use to take tricks to score points. Your abilities help determine how many points you’ll need to take as well as how many cards are laid out for tricks and how many cards go into your hand. From there you can use all your resources to manipulate and change the rules to ensure you win the challenge…but you’ll need to decide which challenges are must win and which ones can be accepted as a failure if the cards don’t break your way.

I’ll have a lot more to say about the design as I move forward with development. I’m pretty far along at this point. The engine is done for the most part. The art is being completed and all the encounters have been mapped out and the data entry has begun. I’d wager that it should be ready this Spring but I’ve been proven a liar every time so we’ll have to see about that. The game is room tile based and this is one of the start tiles.

Main Entry

Netbook Mod for SI:R 1.07c Beta

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

Here is an update for the netbook mod for the latest version of the SI:R beta. It will force the screen resolution to 800 by 600 just like the previous version but the gameEngine file has all the latest 1.07c fixes as well.

SI: Rectification 1.07c Beta

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

I’ve finally caught up with the weekends bug reports. A big thanks to everyone who has contacted me with bugs and feedback.

Download the Update Here

Instructions:
Download the .zip file and then overwrite 3 files and the GameData folder in the Program Files\Cryptic Comet\Solium Infernum folder.

Changes:
Ambition now only triggers an automatic upgrade if you defeat your opponent in battle. If it is a draw you get a +10% increase in the level up chance instead.
Curse of Wrath can now randomly target the personal guard legion
Curse of Prophecy can now randomly target your stronghold

Major Fixes:
Fixed major bug with phantom bonuses to player attributes due to change in code to accommodate curse effects
Problems with assertion have been fixed for the AI choosing target hexes
Fixed bug with Curse of Prophecy execution
Fixed issues with prestige drains for curses
Lots of display fixes for special abilities
Fixed Hell Sculpt ritual script error when destroying bridges
Improved AI use of support rituals when defending the Assertion hex

SI: Rectifiaction 1.07b Beta

Friday, October 14th, 2011

You can download it here

Note: Make sure you actually do replace the GameData folder. Sometimes just copying it to the folder it is in does not actually update the files. You might want to first delete it and then unzip the GameData folder there.

Some good fixes in this including:

Private messages in multiplayer now working again
Vasdranai carpet now works
Fixed bug where Tournament Event would cause script error when it checked to see if the Conclave had the Wheel of Misfortune
Grammar errors

SI:Rectification Update 1.07a Beta

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

Update: Should be fixed now for players having problems with loading multi-player games. The correct version to have is 1.07a Beta which is up right now at the link below. If you update and run into problems loading a multi-player game please let me know. Thanks.

Here is a download link for the beta version of the free mini expansion pack. If you are thinking of getting a new game started and want to try out the new content all you have to do is download the .zip file and then overwrite 3 files and the GameData folder in the Program Files\Cryptic Comet\Solium Infernum folder. All players that are playing in the new game need to update to 1.07aBeta as well. All old saves are compatible. If you come across any bugs, script errors etc. or just want to give me feedback on the new game items/content then send me an email at my support address. I can’t promise to respond to everyone but I do appreciate the help. Save games are also always very appreciated as they can help me quickly identify problems. I plan on running this beta for about a month if everything goes smoothly. I should also have some news soon about my next game which is what I am calling a turn based adventure strategy game with a rogue like influence.

NOTE: You can get a version of the notebook mod 1.07a Beta here that will force the resolution to 800 by 600. Make sure that you FIRST install the SIUpdate1_07aBeta Update.

Solium Infernum: Rectification Rules

Monday, October 10th, 2011

Here is a rough draft of the new rules for the free mini expansion pack. My intent is to shortly (tomorrow if all goes as planned) put up the beta files on this blog and encourage any players who so wish to give the new rules and content a spin. Hopefully there will be some interest in starting new multi player games and those can seek out any bugs, abuses or lack of vision on my part and give me some feedback. I don’t anticipate a plague of bugs as I have tested out the new elements but you never know. I’d also like to get some feedback on how they work in a real competitive environment.

So this should run at least a month and I will release updates along the way. The good news is that you can update to this version and STILL CONTINUE ANY GAMES IN WHICH YOU ARE ALREADY PARTICIPATING. The only non-electable changes to the base game are detailed below and I think would be essential enough for inclusion like a regular update.

Solium Infernum: Rectification is a free mini expansion pack that brings new rules, mechanics and play elements to the game that pits you as an Archfiend with the ambition of ruling Hell.

Installation: First download the installation .zip file. You then install the mini expansion pack by unzipping the contents and overwriting the three files AIScripts.cxt, MainIFace.cxt and GameEngine.cxt in the Solium Infernum game directory which is usually Program Files\Cryptic Comet\Solium Infernum. You must also overwrite the data folder called “GameData” which is also located at Program Files\Cryptic Comet\Solium Infernum. If the install has been completed correctly you will see that “ v. 1.07 Beta” is displayed on the bottom left corner of the main menu screen.

General Improvements:
Prompt for unused order slots
Prompt for insufficient tribute allocated when creating orders
Simple Auto Sort of manuscripts via mouse right click on tray
New Map Theme: Infernal Divide (map is divided by river in one direction and a chain of bottomless chasms in the other and then filled in with terrain)
Numerous Bug Fixes

General New Rule : Framing For Excommunication
If a player attempts to frame another player for a ritual that will result in excommunication i.e. a ritual targeted against Pandemonium, then challenge results that end up in detection are followed not only by excommunication of the player attempting the frame but also prevention of that player from successfully framing the target ever again. Should a player attempt to frame that same player again, he will receive a turn log message that the Infernal Conclave is not so easily fooled and the resources spent to attempt the framing will be lost. The ritual itself is however not affected.

Optional Rule: Infernal Census
There is a check box on start game menu adding a new rule that every 10 turns players (not excommunicated) are awarded 1 prestige point per Canton that they control.

How To Activate Rectification Expansion Content:
There is a Check box on the start game menu to include rectification content. The rectification content can only be accessed by creating a new game in any of the player modes i.e. single player, PBEM or hotseat.

______________________________________________
New Content For Solium Infernum Rectification

New Rule: Excommunication Tribute
If a player is excommunicated, any time that he requests tribute, there is a chance that the tribute will not be delivered. The chance is 50% minus 5% for each level the Archfiend has achieved in the Diabolism discipline (power). Membership in the Infernal Conclave conveys certain advantages after all and the timely delivery of tribute is one of them.

Lava Fields Terrain :
Any legion defending in a Lava Field canton gets a +1/2/3 bonus (depending on the legions level) in a random challenge phase during the battle i.e. Ranged, Melee or Infernal. The bonus appears like a Combat Card bonus.

New Diplomatic Option: Assertion of Weakness
Use this action to lodge an Assertion of Weakness against your opponent in front of the Infernal Conclave. You will be required to wager prestige and designate a canton that you will seize from your opponent and hold for a certain number of turns. The prestige amount and the number of turns that you must hold the canton are based on your difference in Infernal Rank with the minimum number of turns being 3. Your opponent must reclaim the canton or lose it and prestige equal to that which you wagered. If you keep the canton until the end of the designated turn then you gain it and the prestige your opponent lost.

Prerequisite: You must have forced your target opponent to have accepted at least one insult before this option will appear. A Vendetta or a claim of an Assertion of Weakness between you and the target resets the existing Insult requirement.

Note for Asserter: The canton is selected by left clicking on the map when prompted. You can only choose cantons that are ADJACENT to your territory and NOT occupied by a legion or place of power.

Note for Asserter: You must occupy the canton immediately on the turn following your assertion or you will fail in the Assertion of Weakness. Once the first turn of occupation is complete and control has been established then you may leave the canton but you must keep control of the canton until the end of the turn limit or you will fail in the Assertion of Weakness. Failure happens if at the end of any game turn before the end of the turn limit, you do not control the canton.

Note for Asserter: You may not move into any other cantons controlled by the target of your Assertion of Weakness. You may not use any rituals against targets that you would not otherwise be able to use if your diplomatic stance with that target was neutral.

Note for Player Defending against the Assertion: You may not move into any cantons controlled by the player who has made the Assertion of Weakness against you OTHER than the Canton occupied or now controlled by the asserter. You may not use any rituals against targets that you would not otherwise be able to use if your diplomatic stance with that target was neutral EXCEPT for the targeting of a legion in the occupied canton. i.e. you MAY use Destruction rituals against any legion occupying the canton that is the object of the Assertion of Weakness.

New Manuscripts: Curses
Curses are acquired by possessing new Unholy Relics (and some Praetors). The Relics have special abilities that are triggered by game situations that yield the possibility of a curse manuscript being created for your use. If the condition triggers the creation of a manuscript, you will receive a turn log message and the manuscript will appear in your tribute tray. There are 5 curses that can be invoked.

Note: In order for the special ability of a praetor or relic to trigger and provide the generation of a curse manuscript, the praetor or relic cannot be in the player’s vault. A relic CAN be in a ritual chamber slot to be active for curse manuscript generation.

Curse of Wrath
Prestige Loss: Target legion’s level
Duration: Level Invoker has achieved in Wrath Discipline (min 3)
There is a chance of receiving a manuscript any time there is a battle involving a legion in hell. The curse targets opponent’s legion (randomly chosen NOT a personal guard) and drains prestige points every turn for a set duration. Cursed legions have their total combat attributes (i.e. including praetors and artifacts) halved and cannot use any special abilities including those from attachments like Praetors or Artifacts.

Curse of Deceit
Prestige Loss: Target’s level
Duration: Level Invoker has achieved in Deceit Discipline (min 3)
There is a chance of receiving a manuscript any time any player performs a deceit ritual. The curse targets opponent’s praetors, artifacts and relics (randomly chosen) and drains prestige points every turn for a set duration. Cursed praetors, artifacts and relics are not able to use or contribute their special abilities until the curse is lifted. This includes special combat moves for praetors. During single combat a cursed praetor will use a “Pass” combat move instead of a special combat move if the orders have already been given and the praetor is subsequently cursed.

Curse of Prophecy
Prestige Loss: Target Place of Power’s level
Duration: Level Invoker has achieved in Prophecy Discipline (min 3)
There is a chance of receiving a manuscript any time any player performs a prophecy ritual. The curse targets opponent’s Places of Power (randomly chosen but NOT strongholds) and drains prestige points every turn for a set duration. Cursed Places of Power have their total combat attributes (i.e. including praetors and relics) halved and cannot use any special abilities including those from attachments like Praetors or Artifacts.

Curse of Destruction
Prestige Loss: Level Invoker has achieved in Destruction Discipline x3 (min 9 points)
There is a chance of receiving a manuscript any time any player performs a destruction ritual. Curse targets opponent directly and immediately forces the loss of prestige points.

Curse of Diabolism
Prestige Loss: Half the level Invoker has achieved in Diabolism Discipline (min 2 points)
Duration: Level Invoker has achieved in Diabolism Discipline (min 3)
There is a chance of receiving a manuscript any time any player requests tribute. Curse targets opponent directly and drains prestige points from player any time he requests tribute for a set duration.

New Rituals used via Unholy Relics:

Hell Sculpt Ritual
Select a valid target Canton that does not contain a legion or Place of Power and change the terrain type to a different terrain type. The controlling player may only use this ritual once every 5 turns.

Options include:
Build Bridge – must select valid river hex
Destroy Bridge – must select valid bridge hex
Raise Mountains – must select Infernal Plains
Create Swamp – must select Infernal Plains
Create Infernal Plains – must select Mountain, Swamp or Lava Flow
Create Lava Flow – must select Infernal Plains

Shadow Binding Ritual
Select a legion controlled by any opponent regardless of diplomatic stance (perforned as a deceit ritual) and if the challenge roll is successful, temporarily remove all special abilities and attachment bonuses for a set number of turns.

Summon The Devourer
Select a canton that you control that does not contain a legion or place of power and summon “The Devourer.” The Devourer requires upkeep every turn but has a special ability that drains prestige from all opponents (except those who are excommunicated or in a Blood Vassal/Lord relationship with the controlling player). In addition another special ability gives The Devourer a chance to destroy Places of Power (except for Pandemonium) that lose a battle against it i.e. hit points for the Place of Power are reduced to 0. The Devourer must however survive the battle in order for it to have a chance to devour the Place of Power. While it is summoned, The Devourer does NOT count towards the controlling Archfiend’s legion Command Rating limit. If The Devourer is ever destroyed it CANNOT be summoned again. The Devourer heals all hit point losses between summonings. Attachments (except combat cards) placed on The Devourer are returned to the vault if The Devourer has left the game board because upkeep was not paid. Attachments placed on The Devourer are permanently lost if The Devourer is destroyed.

New Special Abilities:

Evil Artifacts:

Extended Support: When attached to a legion, this artifact allows that legion to lend battle support to friendly legions fighting up to two hexes away regardless of the intervening terrain

Resonance: Half the infernal attribute is added to any ranged or melee damage that is inflicted

Dismissal: When melee damage is dealt to an enemy, the enemy has all attachments IMMEDIATELY sent to its Archfiend’s vault

Ambition: When attached to a legion, this artifact ensures that it is promoted a level after any victorious battle where it inflicts more hp damage than its opponent

Unholy Relics:

Font of Evil: When placed in an attachment slot it doubles the Prestige generated by control of that Place of Power including attached relics

Curse of Chains: Curses of Wrath, Deceit and Prophecy invoked by the Archfiend who controls this relic receive +4 turns in duration. The Curse of Destruction and Curse of Diabolism receive +4 in prestige loss.

Shadow Shield: When placed in an attachment slot of a Place of Power (except Pandemonium), that Place of Power can never be captured by an opponent

Misfortune: When an opponent’s praetor battles a praetor that you control in single combat, all luck rolls for the opponent’s praetor will equal zero

+ X% Curse of Wrath: The Archfiend who controls this relic has a +X% chance of receiving a Curse of Wrath manuscript any time there is a battle involving a legion in hell

+X% Curse of Deceit: The Archfiend who controls this relic has a +X% chance of receiving a Curse of Deceit manuscript any time a Deceit ritual is performed

+X% Curse of Prophecy: The Archfiend who controls this relic has a +X% chance of receiving a Curse of Prophecy manuscript any time a Prophecy ritual is performed

+X% Curse of Destruction: The Archfiend who controls this relic has a +X% chance of receiving a Curse of Destruction manuscript any time a Destruction ritual is performed

+X% Curse of Diabolism: The Archfiend who controls this relic has a +X% chance of receiving a Curse of Diabolism manuscript any time a request for tribute is made

Praetors:

+ X% Curse of Wrath: The Archfiend who controls this praetor has a +X% chance of receiving a Curse of Wrath manuscript any time there is a battle involving a legion in hell

+X% Curse of Deceit: The Archfiend who controls this praetor has a +X% chance of receiving a Curse of Deceit manuscript any time a Deceit ritual is performed

+X% Curse of Prophecy: The Archfiend who controls this praetor has a +X% chance of receiving a Curse of Prophecy manuscript any time a Prophecy ritual is performed

Legions:

Demon Envy: Every non-excommunicated, non-blood vassal/lord opponent loses 2 Prestige Points each turn

Devour: When The Devourer survives a battle and defeats a Place of Power (except Pandemonium), the Place of Power must roll a d6 and add its level. If the number is less than 10 then it is destroyed and removed from the map

Reinforce: When this legion is purchased in the Infernal Bazaar, on the following turn the controlling player has the option to send the legion to Pandemonium as a gift or choose one of his own Places of Power increasing its combat stats by the legion’s values (ranged, melee, infernal and hit points). The legion is then removed from the game.