27 September 2018

LoSt Polls: an Interface Inquiry

Land of Strangers has gotten an official poll, located on the right hand side of this page. It's intended as a simple way for anyone who might have tried the game to offer their opinion. I have my own plans and hunches going ahead, of course, but am glad for any outside influence. The plan is to use this informal poll to inform further development. The result will be made public when I close the poll. If the process feels like a success, there will probably come follow-ups.

So if you have tried the game and have any opinions either way (you can also pick multiple options), please take the chance to exert a little influence on the developer. There are a few options I anticipate will get the most votes, but I'm also interested to see what may be the most popular fringe choices. And hope I haven't missed any options :P

As always,

17 September 2018

Released: Lost #13 (One Crawled out of the Foxhole)

Get it here or from, or click to download the game directly:

Windows binary
Linux deb installer
Linux binary
Python sources

This is mostly a bugfix release for Windows users, who reported frequent crashing with the previous version. With a bit of luck, number 13 will work better for everyone ;)

I also fixed some minor issues and rebalanced some items and shticks. I think the biggest addition is that NPCs now can accept generic gifts. If you get a green speech scroll in reply to giving a gift, it means your favor with the individual in question has increased, which may in turn increase your long term reputation with that NPC's factions. Once I can confirm that the game is working as expected, I'll get on with the plans for the next release.

As always,


Grid view generated too big for screen (crashed in Windows)
Trying to give/drop props crashed in Windows
Typo in data files sometimes caused game to (region hogging ai)
Plants sometimes marked as dead (when not)
Newly dead corpses no longer curse at you for killing them
Sprites in upper left corner vanished between turns
Speech bubbles flicker less in this release
Some speech bubbles were getting supressed
Drifting smoke wasn't spawning/working properly
Dilettante didn't have access to "shooting" shtick tree
Skills with direct damage (eg. Butt whipping) weren't working
Spawning corpses could cause game to crash
Game sometimes crashed when sightblocking objects were destroyed
Shtick T.Y.T. didn't show up during character generation
Removed msg "You stand in uffish thought" when passing a turn
Removed "Trick shot" shtick (not very interesting)
Sledgepick damage set to 1♥
Modified critical hit of knifes (always inflict 1☠ extra)
Nerfed shtick Feel no Pain
Removed shtick Iron Mind (obsolete)
Renamed shtick The Breathing Way to The Blood Way
Shtick Burro is back in the game :)
New critters: Traveling saleskid
Added more cash to the game world
Description of shtick Skillful -> "Gain a random skill."
Scissors now tagged as a blade
NPC AI can use distance measuring in more varied situations
NPCs now accept gifts (and are pleased at getting things they like)
Autopickup no longer works on items marked as corpses or trash
(chargen) Random choice won't pick 3 point foibles (most severe)
Skip repeating messages in log
Crashlog now includes python traceback, when applicable

11 September 2018

LoSt this month: Night Errands

The big news in LoSt in August was of course the release of LoSt #12 «Night Errands». I tried to cast the net a bit wider with this release, creating an page for LoSt as well as mentioning it in one or two forums. Interest in the project remains steady, but limited ;) The entry at generated 20 downloads the first week, which is less than I get at the blog, but probably not bad for a project that's young and quite niche. If anything, the niche part is why there's a potential target group for the game at all. If you're looking for a turn based, hexagonal RL about slightly trippy cowboys and cowgirls, the field isn't very crowded.

For a final note on statistics, the biggest chunk of traffic is directed from the «New Releases» section at the front page of RogueBasin. So there's at least a hot tip to other fledgling developers.

Off to err another night

I got a decent yield of bug reports, in particular of LoSt crashing under Windows. Most have had quite simple fixes, though I'll admit to slapping on the occasional dirty hack, when the deeper issue is something I want to come back and fix, ahem, but not just yet.

In the meantime, I'm making sketches for more encounters and places of the same scope/kind as Arken Town and the bandit lair, that can get a marker on the world map, may be connected to boons/missions, etc. The kinds of places could include anything from a ranch, to renegade soldier laying in ambush, to a really big fish in the river. I'm currently doing some work on an encounter with random marauders. The system is reminiscent of how random fauna is generated (adj+noun to give templates like «cannibalistic amazons» and «shotgun-totin' killer monks»), to be expanded later. I'm still defining the mechanics to dynamically generate, place and link these sites, which is probably about where the interesting stuff will start to happen. The general idea is that, as I get more and more varied templates for sites, each game world will pick its limited number of important places from a vast pool, and then randomize and generate relations between different factions, locations and so forth, hopefully yielding a unique mix for each playthrough. Even if the string of events is just so many fetch quests, it would be fantastic if you could play one game running errands for a mountain monastery, and the next aiding an infamous bandit in trying to take down a certain banker.

This level of realization isn't just around the corner, but I live in ambiguous hope ;) Reviewing old notes, I come across some long-term plans that correspond okay to how the game evolved in the years following. And most planned features on the official roadmap have expected dates set to «trop tard! jamais peut-ĂȘtre!» («too late! never, perhaps!»), as Baudelaire put it in his masterly poem «To some hot tail who passed in excruciatingly short skirts one midsummer eve» (or what it was called).

Anyway, given the buggy Windows version of #12, I should rather make haste to release #13, but careful not to deliver another broken package. Once I have a working, hopefully not too ugly release with the latest improvements, I can start sinking some work into these sites as I see them, and hopefully get the game world to shape up a bit in the coming time.

As always,