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Following last week's official announcement of Iron Tower's AoD follow-up, Dungeon Rats, we're now treated to an FAQ that addresses many important questions while also encouraging the community to ask others that Vince and team will answer as they can. I won't add the spoiler answer, but I'll share the other key points:
What kind of game is it?
Dungeon Rats is a turn-based, party-based RPG focused almost exclusively on combat for players who like turn-based combat in general and AoD combat in particular. So if you like challenging turn-based combat built around trade-offs and featuring different attack types, alchemy, and tons of stats and modifiers, this game might be for you. If not...
Price & length?
$8.99; 50 fights in total; about 10 hours if you know what you’re doing, much longer if you don’t (i.e. a new player).
Anywhere from late Oct to mid Nov. The game is almost ready: fully playable from start to finish, all the content is in, we need 5-6 weeks for polishing and extra art assets (missing portraits, ending slides art, etc).
Why this game? Why not another game like AoD?
Our next full scale RPG is the “colony ship game”, currently in pre-production, which means designing the systems, fleshing out the setting and locations, and defining these locations visually. Basically, we can’t start working on it until we have the “blueprints” to follow.
This gave us a year (10 months development cycle, 2 months of post release support) to put together a combat game using the AoD engine, systems, and assets. Doing anything else (new engine, different systems, non-combat aspects, etc) would have easily doubled or tripled the development time. Considering that party-based combat was the most requested feature, we built a game around it, giving you something different instead of going for more of the same.
At lower difficulty levels your enemies get a THC (to-hit chance) penalty (30% on Easy, 15% on Normal, no penalty on Hard), which makes it harder to hit you and greatly increases your party’s life expectancy. THC also affects the combat AI, so your enemies won’t be using fancier attacks against you.
Your Charisma will determine how many people you can recruit: min 1, max 3, so your party size will range from 2 to 4. Not everyone will be eager to join you; some NPCs will require convincing (Charisma checks). You will have full control over your party members once they join your party. All skill points you earn will be divided between the party members, so a bigger party will level up more slowly.
Can I make my own party?
No. You will create your own character and recruit other convicts. Party members are a resource much like gear and skill points. You acquire it slowly, swapping one party member for another or replacing fallen brethren when an opportunity comes up. This approach fits both the prison setting and Charisma-driven setup. Keep in mind that losing party members is normal on Hard.
Solo Mode? Ironman?
You can select Ironman and/or Solo mode when you start a new game. If you choose the Solo mode your CHA will be lowered to 2 to give you two extra and much needed stat points. You won’t be able to recruit any companions.
Do I need to buy or play AoD first?
No. It’s a stand-alone game that takes place before the events in AoD. However, some comments and stories will make more sense to those who played AoD a couple of times.
Spoilers! Hit the hyperlink above if you want them.
Is there a story?
There is the story of your escape and the prison’s hierarchy. There is also a background story that began long before you were imprisoned. That story and its conclusion will expand the lore of the gameworld.
Dialogues? Text adventures?
There are many talkative characters; each fight has a text intro, so you aren’t just moving from one fight to the next; there is quite a bit of exploration with text-adventure elements and stat-checks.
Whom are we fighting?
Various prisoners (unaffiliated convicts, gang members – we have three gangs running the prison and their overlord who calls himself the Emperor), prison guards, legionaries sent to clean up the mess, which started long before you arrived, mechanical constructs, and various oversized local flora and fauna.
20 new items (weapons, armor, misc).