Archive for the 'dicey dungeons' Category

3: What’s it like working with a team?

Another late one! Things are really ramping up now, with the launch happening in just two days, yikes, is that right? ANYWAY LOADS OF TIME, IT’S FINE.

7 – What’s changed since the last alpha?
6 – How big is this game anyway?
5 – Who are all these enemies you’re fighting anyway?
4 – What inspired Dicey Dungeons?
3 – What’s it like working with a team?
2 – Have you ever made a game like this before?
1 – Launch day

Today’s question:

What’s it like working with a team?

Here’s a big thing that’s new for me about Dicey Dungeons: it’s not a solo effort. For the first time in my life, I put a team together to make a game.

Dicey Dungeons is being made by four full time creators – myself focusing on design, Chipzel on the music, Marlowe Dobbe on art, and Justo Delgado Baudí doing the programming. We’ve also got about a half dozen other people contributing part time – including Holly Gramazio, who wrote the script, and Dana Trebella, who’s helping us with PR and Marketing (we don’t have a publisher!). (The rest: Philippa Warr helped us out with copyediting, Lars Doucet implemented his polymod library into the game, and Niilo, Adriana, Jules and Will did the game’s voices.)

By a lot of people’s standards that’s a pretty tiny team, but from my perspective, after a decade of mostly working on my own or with just one other collaborator, it’s a huge operation, and a huge change, personally.

It’s been an adjustment – I value working on my own a lot! Being in control of every little element of a game is a wonderful thing, and after Dicey Dungeons, I do plan to make more small solo stuff – but gosh, it turns out working with a team is really great as well.

A big part of it is probably who I’ve been lucky enough to work with – everyone on this project really gave it their all, and cared as much as I do about making it into something special. It’s a really amazing thing to be able to just rely on people to do great work – when you have a team like that, you end up with a project that is so much greater than just yourself. It feels like an obvious thing to say, but the version of Dicey Dungeons I would have made on my own would not have been on the same level as the thing that we have now.

So proud of this thing we made. Go team <3

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4: What inspired Dicey Dungeons?

Phew, late one tonight! It’s been a busy week!

7 – What’s changed since the last alpha?
6 – How big is this game anyway?
5 – Who are all these enemies you’re fighting anyway?
4 – What inspired Dicey Dungeons?
3 – What’s it like working with a team?
2 – Have you ever made a game like this before?
1 – Launch day

Today’s question:

What inspired Dicey Dungeons?

Dicey Dungeons started as a game jam game for last year’s 7 day roguelike. I had a pretty simple ambition: I wanted to make a “dreamquestlike”.

I’d been replaying Dream Quest a lot at the time after rediscovering it again, and I was really interested in trying to make something small and different that was a bit like it, but with my own spin on it. I figured it’d just be a tiny 7 day thing, so I didn’t think about it much more than that. I tried using dice instead of cards, just as a random prompt to give me something different to do with the genre, and gosh, it turns out, that was a rabbit-hole that I’m still exploring.

So, Dream Quest! Let me tell you about DREAM QUEST.

Dream Quest is one of my all-time favourite video games, ever. I, uh, may have mentioned this a few times.

Okay, so it looks a bit wonky, I get it. And actually, it plays a bit wonky too. At times, it feels ridiculously unfair and unbalanced! That’s actually a huge part of what I find so refreshing about it.

For me, there’s sort of a galaxy brain meme thing going on with this game – from first impressions to second impressions to still playing it five years later impressions, I feel like I’m always finding something new in it. Dream Quest challenged the way I think about game design, and gave me with a whole new paradigm for thinking about what I actually find fun in what I play, and what a good game “is” for me. I can’t think of another game off-hand that’s had more impact on how I think about what I do.

The closest experience I’ve had to this is discovering pop music in my 20s. As a moody teenager, I’d always been super into rock music and metal and dance music and things like that, and low-key dismissive about pop music. I used to really care about certain concepts that I thought were important: “authenticity”, “auteurism”, that sorta nonsense. Letting go of that? It opens up this whole new dimension of ways to care about music.

What I’m trying to say here is: Dream Quest is the Girls Aloud of videogames.

The thing I love about Dream Quest is that it’s WAY more interested in letting you find cool combos and discover things, and in letting wild and astonishing things happen, than in being fair, or in being neatly designed. It recognises that it’s more fun to understand and master the mechanics of its systems, to learn how to unbalance and break it, than it is to try and balance everything so that it feels broadly the same every time.

I love that Dream Quest just has playstyles and strategies that are clearly better than others. That is has the guts to be so unbalanced! It’s clearly deliberate – it presents you with different choices, all of which sort of work, but some of which really work once you learn the ropes. It also has other choices, which don’t work nearly as well, but if you know what you’re doing you can make them work anyway.

I think this demonstrates a huge amount of respect for the player, and leaves breathing room for them to set their own goals and explore this little universe, in the same way the designer did. It makes the game feel wild and free and playful and open. More than anything else, this is what I loved about Dream Quest, and what I wanted to explore with my own work.

Dream Quest, of course, isn’t my only inspiration for this game – it’s also influenced by gameshows, by the many RPGs I played as a kid, by Undertale, by Adventure Time, probably loads of other stuff that I haven’t even consciously realised yet. If you ask other members of the team they’ll have their own answers for what inspirations they brought to the project too.

I’m a big believer in talking openly about what’s inspired me, and I think more people should do it! Everything anyone *ever* makes is inspired by what’s in their head – what they’ve played or read or encountered or thought a lot about. Creation doesn’t happen in a vacuum – everything is a remix! You start with the ideas you love and obsess about, and go from there to make something that’s uniquely your own.

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5: Who are all these enemies you’re fighting anyway?

Welcome back! The story so far:

7 – What’s changed since the last alpha?
6 – How big is this game anyway?
5 – Who are all these enemies you’re fighting anyway?
4 – What inspired Dicey Dungeons?
3 – What’s it like working with a team?
2 – Have you ever made a game like this before?
1 – Launch day

Today’s post is by our writer, Holly Gramazio, about the process of writing for Dicey Dungeons! Check it out here!

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6: How big is this game anyway?

Hey, welcome back to my daily Dicey Dungeons blog posts, in the run up to next Tuesday’s launch! If you missed yesterday’s, here’s the full list:

7 – What’s changed since the last alpha?
6 – How big is this game anyway?
5 – Who are all these enemies you’re fighting anyway?
4 – What inspired Dicey Dungeons?
3 – What’s it like working with a team?
2 – Have you ever made a game like this before?
1 – Launch day

Today’s question:

How big is this game anyway?

I say this all the time, and I’ll say it again – I think Dicey Dungeons is the best game I’ve ever made. But here’s another thing: Dicey Dungeons is also, by a wide margin, the biggest game I’ve ever made.

It’s only when I actually sat down to figure out how long it was that this fact really hit me. We never set out to make a huge game – it just sort of happened, bit by bit.

My previous two games, VVVVVV and Super Hexagon, are very different here.

VVVVVV takes most players 2-3 hours to complete, a bit longer maybe if you do things like complete the time trials and hunt down all the trinkets.

Super Hexagon, played perfectly, takes six minutes to finish. Many players take… longer. But even then, the game is fundamentally a minimal one. It’s just a very different design – making it was about refining it down until it was right, rather than exploring it and expanding on it, like Dicey Dungeons is. About cutting things out rather than putting them in.

This game is different. It’s taken me about about three times as long to make as either of those – they were six months each, this is gonna be closer to 18. Also: I’m not making Dicey Dungeons alone! VVVVVV and Super Hexagon were just me and a musician; Dicey Dungeons is made by a full team – four full-timers and quite a few others contributing. So, on every axis, this really is the biggest game I’ve ever made.

So, how long, exactly?

Well, let’s do some quick maths! The game has six playable characters. Each of those characters has six “episodes”, which are like levels. There’s also a separate final episode, so that’s 37 episode in total.

A normal player, playing the game for the first time will probably beat the first few episodes in about 20 minutes, but some of the later ones like the Witch episodes take more like 40. On average, I think it probably takes about 30 minutes an episode, give or take.

To “complete” the game, though, you don’t have to do all 37 – you can skip one episode per character, so for a minimum completion, the total is 31.

So, uh, a half hour times 31 is… 15 and a half hours? For a minimum completion. Gosh.

But actually, that’s probably not right. That assumes that players beat every episode they play the first time through, which is… probably not going to happen. But lets be generous, and say that a player wins 2 out of every 3 matches? That brings the estimated minimum playthrough time to, uh, 23.25 hours. And many players will take longer, probably. There are already people with 100s of hours on the alpha.

If this scares you off a bit, that’s really not my intention! I think of the game not as having a lot of content (although, it does!) – but of having a lot of what you I guess you could call “replay value”. In fact, the way the game is paced, I think you’ll see a lot of great stuff even if you don’t bother with the episodes, and just do the introductions for the first five characters.

Dicey Dungeons is what some designers like to call a “stuff” game – a game with lots and lots of atomic stuff in it, all of which plays against each other in interesting ways. A thing about Dicey Dungeons that I’m really proud of is that you really don’t need to see all of that stuff, or even most of it, to have a great time with it.

My hope is that most people’s experience will be much slower, and less focused on trying to “complete” it. Maybe playing a quick episode every few days or so over a long stretch of time! This is how I like to play games, and what I hope Dicey Dungeons is for most players.


7: What’s changed since the last alpha?

Ok, deep breaths! Next Tuesday, I’m launching Dicey Dungeons. This is my third commercial game – my last one, Super Hexagon, was seven years ago. I’m excited, but also: pretty anxious!

I feel like I have a lot on my mind right now, so, I wanna try something this week! I’m going to write little blog posts every day about various things related to the game, to maybe try and explain why this thing turned into such a big project, why I think so much of this game, and why my team and I have been working so hard on it.

So, here we go. I’ll update this with links as they go up!

7 – What’s changed since the last alpha?
6 – How big is this game anyway?
5 – Who are all these enemies you’re fighting anyway?
4 – What inspired Dicey Dungeons?
3 – What’s it like working with a team?
2 – Have you ever made a game like this before?
1 – Launch day

What’s changed since the last alpha?

So, today! What’s changed in Dicey Dungeons since the last alpha?

Well. Kind-of a lot.

A new soundtrack

Niamh felt pretty strongly the the music from the alpha versions of the game was only meant as unfinished placeholders: just early sketches of what she really wanted to do. Which, over the past couple of months, has really come together and developed into something spectacular. You can check out a few clips of the new soundtrack here:

[A new version of “Combat 4”]
[Another new song]
[A new version of “Combat 7”]

We’re also adding voices! These aren’t line readings – they’re more characters sounds, Simlish-style, providing extra personality and inflection for every single character and enemy in the game. We’ve got new sounds too – in general, audio has just *massively* levelled up since the last alpha.

Loads of new art and animation

Thanks to a lot of hard work from Marlowe, things have really come together on the visual side of the game too! All the placeholders in the game are gone now, with every screen given care and attention. There’s new stuff too! More backgrounds, lots of extra polish, more enemies…

More enemies!

Yep! The final version of the game has 11 completely new enemies, and re-adds 3 that were dropped in the v0.16 enemy design audit.

Parallel Universes and Bonus Rounds

Parallel Universes are one of the highlights of the game now: a substantial new episode for every character, with totally new equipment and rule changes to how every status effects works. These might be the best episodes in the game – I really felt I was pushing myself harder as a designer than I ever have before, and I”m so proud of them.

There’s also a new episode 6 for every character: the Bonus Rounds, where you start out with normal rules but as you continue through the dungeons, more and more weird and awkward rules are added to it, different every time. These episodes kind-of take all the best stuff from the game and put it in one place – so Parallel Universe and Vanilla equipment in one episode, along with random rules that widely change how you play. They’re the game’s “infinitely replayable” mode!

The Ending

No spoilers, but: I’m super excited for people to see the game’s ending. It’s a whole extra episode that unlocks once you’ve beaten the Bonus Rounds – big and ambitious and very different from anything else in the game. Honestly we probably all got a bit carried away on this one. I’m super proud of this.

Loads of new writing

The last alpha had three short cut scenes, two of which weren’t animated. The game now has, er, eighteen short cut scenes, plus short outros when you beat an episode, a load more lines that enemies might say when you defeat them, and lines from the shopkeeper characters – none of these are long, often it’s just one sentence at a time, but they really bring the whole game together. I really love where we ended up with our story! (I wrote a little bit more about this last week.)

Lots of other little things

Too many to list, honestly. But as well as all of the above, the final version of the game has:

  • A challenge system: As you progress through the game and complete certain challenges, you unlock a gallery of enemies with tiny profiles for each!
  • Shopkeepers: We’ve had the art for these around for a while now! Finally, they’re implemented and in the game!
  • Improvements to existing episodes: I’ve done a design pass on all of the episodes and tweaked most of them, and made very substantial changes and improvements on a few.
  • Loads of bug fixes: So many fewer bugs. Lots of extra little polish things too!

Nearly there now. I can’t wait to share this with everyone <3


Two weeks to launch, Localisations

Hey everyone! It’s two weeks till we launch Dicey Dungeons, so I thought it was time for a quick update!

I’d expected to be feeling really nervous round about now, but actually I think we’ve all been too busy for that to sink in. It’s kind of a rush right now, seeing all the pieces of this weird game finally come together: sound effects and music and animations and writing and missing chunks of game design, all coming together and fitting into place. I can’t wait to share this with everyone!

One thing that’s changed quite a lot in the couple of months since the last public build is the story – not what the story is about, but just how much of it there is. I originally imagined that Dicey Dungeons would have an almost invisible story – just enough to hang the game together, a line or two here and there explaining why everyone is down here fighting monsters and walking around as giant dice. I never imagined the writing would be a substantial part of the game.

But once we started putting those little moments of story in, it worked so well! Lines for the monsters in the dungeon to say, just occasionally, when you beat them. Introductions to each new episode from Lady Luck. Tiny interviews explaining who the six main characters are and why they came to the Dungeons. Once the writing and the sounds and the animation of the characters all began to fit together, it really helped to make the game feel like one big whole world. So, I asked our writer, Holly to write us some more!

This is all great, but it’s caused a problem: We’re probably not going to have all of the localisations ready on launch day.

I originally got our translators to sign on for a much smaller job – about 4000 words or so – but as the game has been getting bigger and bigger over the past year, the word count got bigger too. Right now, I think it’s closer to 20,000 words, about five times more text than they were expecting.

None of the jokes or incidental lines or cutscenes in the game are actually very long – there’s nothing that runs more than 15 or 20 seconds, and a lot of the key moments are only one sentence long. But there’s a LOT of those – broken up into hundreds of different tiny moments. Also, since v0.17, I’ve more than doubled the amount of equipment in the game too (thanks to the new Parallel Universe episodes).

We’re still hoping to have a couple of languages other than English ready for launch (I should know more about which ones over the next two weeks), and then, after launch, I’ll be updating the game as soon as the remaining translations come in, which I expect will happen over the first couple of weeks. I’ll keep Steam updated with details of when languages are coming as I know more.

Thanks for playing <3 Into the final stretch, now…


Dicey Dungeons is launching on August 13th

Hey everyone! I have some really exciting news. My new game, Dicey Dungeons, is launching on August the 13th on steam and!

Go wishlist us on steam if you wanna get a reminder when the game comes out!

I’m so proud of how far this little dice game has come since it started as a janky prototype for last year’s seven day roguelike. I’ve pushed myself harder as a designer than I ever have before, and worked with an amazing team of talented people to make this the best it can be. I really think it’s the best thing I’ve ever worked on – Super Hexagon and VVVVVV don’t even come close. I’m so excited to finally share the finished thing with everyone <3


Dice Dice Baby

Hey! It’s been a while! Time for a quick news update:

Dicey Dungeons is in Beta
(“Me and the boys going to fight Lady Luck” by mellodillo)

Since the alpha ended, I’ve been busier than ever before. Actually, I’m back doing weekly builds, like I was at the very start of the project! But this time, for a small beta testing group – we’re at beta v0.6 and counting.

Just this week, I’ve finished up the last Parallel Universe episode. Parallel Universe episodes are a game mode where all the status effects do different things, and all the equipment you find is different. They’re easily my favourite part of the game now – the episodes double the amount of equipment in the game, and contain some of my favourite items of all. I’m incredibly proud of these episodes – I seriously can’t wait to share all this new stuff when the game finally launches.

I don’t want to spoil too much, but here are some screenshots of the new episodes:

(click to view)

(click to view)

(click to view)

We were at E3!

A few weeks back, Marlowe and Niamh went to LA to show the game at E3, as part of indiecade’s showcase!

It sounds like it went great! We got a couple of really nice writeups about it (like this one, on hardcoregamer!), and showed the game to lots of new people. This is the very last show we’re planning to do now before launch.

So when’s the game coming out, Terry?

Summer 2019! Yes, in the northern hemisphere! We’re really close now. I can’t wait to share it with everyone <3

If you haven’t already, just a reminder that you can wishlist us on steam or sign up to my mailing list, and you’ll get a reminder when the game comes out!


Let the good times roll

Hey hey! Let’s check in on the latest Dicey Dungeons news!

The alpha is ending real soon

Hey hey hey, listen!

In case you missed it: we’re ending the alpha in a few days! Starting monday, the game will no longer be on sale (until we launch officially later this summer). This is your last chance if you wanna get in early!

If you’ve already picked up the alpha version on itch: thank you so much! I think Dicey Dungeons is by far the best game I’ve ever made, and this whole open development thing has been a big part of that. I hope you’ve enjoyed playing, and enjoyed seeing the game come together one version at a time!

The final alpha version is out now
(drawing by mike // echinodillo)

The final alpha, v0.17, features a big new Warrior episode, Parallel Universe, as well as new updated hard modes, new enemies, and lots of big art improvements. I also uploaded a small bug fix update last night, to v0.17.2, which cleans up a few rough edges and fixes a few bugs.

(If you own the game on itch, you’ll continue to be able to download and play it, even when the game is removed from sale on Monday!)

We’re in Indiecade!

I am super proud to say that the game’s gonna be part of this year’s Indiecade E3 showcase! If you’re at the show, come say hi at the Indiecade booth!

This is the very last show we’re gonna do before the game launches, gosh. Nearly there now.

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AGALLAMH: Terry Cavanagh – forbróir cluichí ríomhaireachta Gaeilge

Recently, I talked to, in Irish, about Dicey Dungeons and its Irish translation by Ríomhacadamh! For anyone who’s interested, here’s the interview in English – (thanks to Mícheál Ó Meachair for all of his help with this!)

Bhí an t-ádh liom labhairt leis an bhforbróir ríomhchluicí Terry Cavanagh le déanaí. Bhí Terry ar a bhealach go San Francisco agus sinn ag caint ar líne toisc gur ainmníodh a chluiche nua Dicey Dungeons do ghradam dearaidh Independent Games Festival an domhain.

I was very lucky to have the opportunity to speak to the games developer Terry Cavanagh lately. Terry was on his way to San Francisco while we were talking because his new game Dicey Dungeons was nominated for a design award at the global Independent Games Festival.

Bhíomar ag caint le chéile mar gheall ar an gcluiche céanna toisc gur seoladh leagan Gaeilge de Dicey Dungeon ag tús mhí an Mhárta, ach ní bhí neart rudaí spéisiúla eile le rá ag Terry.

We discussed this very game because an Irish-language version of Dicey Dungeons was released at the beginning of March, and Terry had loads of other interesting things to share with us too.

NOS.IE: Conas atá agat, Terry. Ar dtús báire, ar fhaitíos nach bhfuil aithne ag léitheoir éigin ort, cé chomh fada atá tú forbairt ríomhchluichí agus cén sórt ríomhchluichí a chruthaíonn tú?

How’s it going, Terry. First of all, in case any of the readers don’t know you yet, how long have you been developing games and what sort of games do you make?

    TERRY: Tá spéis agam i bhforbairt cluichí le fada fada ach is 10 mbliana ó shin, nó mar sin, a bheartaíos triail a bhaint as cluichí a fhorbairt go profisiúnta. Jab a dhéanamh den spéis. Bím ag obair ar an-chuid rudaí beaga de ghnáth dáiríre. Is é sin, gur maith liom cluichí íosta a bhfuil coincheap láidir iontu a chruthú. Anois is arís, déanaim rud éigin níos mó as na hiarrachtaí beaga nuair atá cuma na maitheasa orthu.

    Tá an-chuid cluichí foilsithe agam ach is iad an dhá chluiche tráchtála a d’fhoilsíos ná VVVVVV, ar litir ghrá é do na cluichí a d’imríos agus mé ag fás aníos, agus Super Hexagon, cluiche sciobtha íosta agus lán le haicsean atá AN-dheacair!

    I’ve always been interested in making games, but about 10 years ago, I decided to have a go at doing it professionally! I tend to work on lots of different small things – I like minimal, concept driven games. Sometimes, I try making something bigger out of the ones that seem most promising.

    My two commercial games so far are VVVVVV, which is kind of a love letter to the games I grew up playing, and Super Hexagon, a fast paced, hard as hell, minimal action game.

NOS.IE: Ar fheabhas! Agus cén sórt cluiche a d’imir tú agus tú ag fás aníos? Cé acu ab fhearr leat?

Excellent! And what sort of games did you play when you were growing up? What was your favourite?

    TERRY: An-chuid rudaí éagsúla! Bhíodh Commodore 64 again sa mbaile nuair a bhíos óg. D’imreoinn na cluichí téipe a mbíodh greamaithe le clúdach Commodore Format arís agus arís agus arís eile! Dá bharr seo, d’fhéadfá rá gur chaitheas an-chuid de m’óige ag imirt cluichí aisteacha mar seo a cruthaíodh ar bhuiséad beag. Ceann acu a ritheann liom anois agus sinn ag caint ná an cluiche tiomána seo ina raibh ort carranna eile a sheachaint agus cloí le rialacha an bhóthair! Ní cuimhin liom cén t-ainm atá air, ach bhí sé thar barr!

    Lots of different things! We had a Commodore 64 at home when I was very young, and I used to play the games on the monthly Commodore Format covertapes over and over again. That basically meant that most of the games I played growing up were these kind of weird budget platformers. The one that springs to mind right now that I remember really liking was this driving game where you literally just had to dodge other cards and obey the rules of the road – I forget what it was called.

NOS.IE: Is é Dicey Dungeons an cluiche is déanaí uait, agus tá sé ar fáil as Gaeilge. Abair, cén sórt cluiche é Dicey Dungeons?

Dicey Dungeons is your latest game, and it’s available in Irish. Tell us, what kind of game is Dicey Dungeons?

    TERRY: Is cluiche ról-imeartha é Dicey Dungeons, cineál cosúil le Pokémon nó Final Fantasy. Roghnaítear ceann den sé charachtar, arrachtaí troda, agus téann tú sa tóir ar sheoda éagsúla a dheinfeas níos láidre agus níos láidre thú! Tá na haoinne den seisear carachtar ag imirt le mian a gcroí a fháil; áit ar sheó cluichí leis an mbandia Lady Luck.

    Tá an cluiche sciobtha spraíúil agus cé go bhfuil sé éasca ar dtús, tá doimhneacht leis na meicnicí bunúsacha a chuireann an-éagsúlacht leis an imirt. Caithfear gach carachtar a imirt ar bhealach iomlán éagsúil le go n-éireoidh leat, mar shampla. Cruthaíodh an cluiche ar phionsabal sách bunúsach, is é sin tús simplí agus an-chuid féidearthachtaí éagsúla ag fás as an tús sin.

    So, Dicey Dungeons is a roleplaying game, a bit like Pokemon or Final Fantasy! You pick from one of six characters and explore a dungeon, fighting monsters, finding treasure and getting more and more powerful! Each of the six characters is playing to win their hearts desire on a game show hosted by the goddess Lady Luck.

    The game’s fast, fun, and easy to get into, but below the surface there’s a huge amount of variety and depth to the basic mechanics – each character plays the same game in radically different ways. The game’s all about taking a really basic premise, and going in as many different directions as possible.

NOS.IE: Is breá liom sin – Simplíocht agus doimhneacht leis! Ar lean tú cur chuige nua le Dicey Dungeons, nó an bhfuil sé cosúil leis na cluichí eile a d’fhoilsigh tú?

I love that about it – simplicity and depth too! Did you take a new approach when developing Dicey Dungeons, or is it similar to the other games you’ve released?

    TERRY: Tá sé sách éagsúil leis an ndá cluiche tráchtála eile uaim. Bhí spéis agam riamh sna RPGs ach ní dóigh liom gur éirigh le m’iarrachtaí eile roimhe seo dáiríre. D’fhéadfá rá go bhfuil breis agus scór samhail RPG cruthaithe agam le himeacht na mblianta, ach ní rabhas sásta leo. Cé nár sheolas cluiche mar seo cheana, táim ag spraoi leis an smaoineamh agus leis na meicnicí le fada.

    It’s pretty different from my other two commercial games. RPGs like this are something I’ve always been very interested in, but until now, my attempts to make one have never worked out. I must have made dozens and dozens of half-working RPG prototypes over the years. Although I’ve not released any games like this before, I’ve been playing around with these mechanics for a very long time.

NOS.IE: Dochreidte! Tá tú á fhorbairt le fada, ar bhealach. Tuigim gur comhtharlúint atá ann gur sheol tú Dicey Dungeons as Gaeilge thart ar thréimhse Sheacthain na Gaeilge, comhtharlúint iontach dála scéil, ach abair linn canathaobh gur roghnaigh tú Dicey Dungeons a logánú don Ghaeilge?

Unreal! In a sense, you’re developing it a long time, then. I know it was a coincidence that Dicey Dungeons was launched in Irish around the Seachtain na Gaeilge period, a fantastic coincidence by the way, but tell us why you decided to localize Dicey Dungeons into Irish.

    TERRY: Bhí sé i gceist agam rud éigin mar seo a dhéanamh le fada. Níl mo chuidse Gaeilge go maith in aon chur – níor chuireas aon spéis inti ar scoil agus níl mórán agam anois dá bharr. Ach caithfidh mé rá go gcruirim an-spéis in aistriúchán profisiúnta cluichí toisc go gceapaim go ndéanfaidh sé difear don teanga. Dá mbeadh cluichí a thaitin liom ar fáil as Gaeilge agus mé i mo dhéagóir, cuirim i gcás, measaim go gcabhródh sé go mór liom féin an teanga a fhoghlaim agus a úsáid.

    It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. My own Irish is pretty terrible – I didn’t take much of an interest in it in secondary school, and I don’t have much of it now. But I’m really interested in getting my games translated to Irish professionally because I think having this kinda thing available in Irish can make a difference. I know when I was a teenager, if games that I liked were available in Irish, I think I might have taken more of an interest.

NOS.IE: Aontaím go hiomlán leat. Bhí áthas an domhain orm nuair a chuala mé go raibh tú ag obair linn sa Ríomhacadamh ar logánú do chluichí. Labhair Kevin Scannell i gCaisleán Bhaile Átha Cliath cúpla bliain ó shin faoi sprioc a bhí aige bunchruach ríomhaireachta iomlán Gaelach a bheith ar fáil don phobal. Tá sé ag obair air seo le fada dar ndóigh, ach bhunaíomar an Ríomhacadamh tamall gairid ina dhiaidh na cainte seo leis na hiarrachtaí logánaithe ar fad a thabhairt le chéile agus is é logánú cluichí an chéad chéim eile sa phróiseas seo measaim. Measaim go dtagann ár bplean leis an méid atá á rá agatsa ansin.

Agus léitheoirí Nós ag imirt do chluichí amach anseo, cén chomhairle a gcuirfeá orthu lena gcuid cluichí féin a fhorbairt?

I totally agree with you. I was over the moon when I heard that you wanted to work with us at An Ríomhacadamh on this localization. Kevin Scannell spoke in Dublin Castle a few years ago about his goal to provide a complete base-stack for computing in Irish. Of course he has been working on this for a while now, but it wasn’t long after this talk that we established An Ríomhacadamh in order to centralize these localization efforts and I believe localizing games is the next step in this process. That’s basically why I think our plan agrees with what you’re saying.

Anyway, after Nós’s readers playing your games in future, is there any advice you’d give them if they wanted to develop their own games?

    TERRY: Is tús maith tús beag! Ní gá go mbeadh gach cluiche ollmhór agus casta cosúil leis na cluichí a dhéanann na stiúideonna. Is féidir leo bheith beag bídeach, pearsanta, greannmhar, agus éadrom. Cosúil le píosa ceoil nó píosa scríbhneoireachta, nó aon sórt léiriú cruthaitheach.

    Ní gá duit a bheith i do ríomhchláraí ach oiread. Tá an t-uafás uirlisí ann anois le cluiche beag a chruthú san aon tráthnóna amháin agus na bunscileanna cruthaitheacha a fhoghlaim. Molaim féin Twine, Bitsy agus Puzzlescript mar phointí tosnaithe cuardaigh.

    Rud eile a luafainn ná Game Jams, ócáidí dhá nó trí lá ag a ndéantar cluichí beaga gioblacha. Is bealach iontach iad preab a chur le do chuid foghlama, mholfainn go mór iad. Cuardaigh “Ludum Dare”, sin ceann na samplaí is clúití rathúla díbh.

    Start small! Games don’t have to be huge, involved things made by big studios – they can by tiny, and personal, and funny, and slight, just like music or writing or anything other form of creative expression.

    You don’t necessarily need to learn to program, either! There are loads of great tools for making tiny games in an afternoon and learning the basics. I recommend searching for Twine, Bitsy, and Puzzlescript as good starting points.

    Finally, Game Jams, which are short 2-3 day events where people make quick, scrappy games, are a great way to jump in and get started, and I’d recommend them to anyone who’s curious. Search for “Ludum Dare”, which is one of the big ones.

NOS.IE: Ar fheabhas! Bainfidh mé féin triail as sin! Is tusa an saineolaí sa réimse seo, ar mhaith leat aon rud a chur leis an méid atá pléite againn?

Excellent! I’ll try that myself! You’re the expert here, is there anything else you’d like to add to what we’ve discussed so far?

    TERRY: Cinnte, cúpla rud faoi Dicey Dungeons agus an ceangal idir é agus Éirinn. Seans go gcuirfeadh daoine spéis sna Finscéalta agus sna Miotais a cuireadh le Dicey Dungeons. Is í Scáthach duine de na basanna, agus is í Aoife duine eile acu. Nuair a bhíos níos óige d’imríos an-chuid RPGs, an-chuid cinn Sheapánacha, agus caithfidh mé rá gur fhoghlaim mé an-chuid faoin tSeapáin uathu agus an oiread sin tagairtí iontu do mhiotais na Seapáine. Ní insítear scéal mór fada sna cluichí seo ná gar leis, agus a scéalta comhaimseartha féin sna cluichí, ach déantar tagairt do na miotais iontu agus bíonn siad ina dtúsphointí nó ina mbunús do scéalta na gcluichí. Go bunúsach, is cuid de dhomhan na ríomhchluichí na finscéalta agus na miotais, agus is breá liomsa sin!

    Mar Éireannach ag cruthú RPG, bhíos i gcónaí ag iarraidh tagairtí do scéalta m’óige agus m’oidhreachta féin a chur le RPG. Ba bhreá liom é dá gcuirfeadh daoine spéis sna scéalta faoi Scáthach agus Aoife tar éis Dicey Dungeons a imirt, agus go n-aimseofaí scéal Thochmharc Eimhire na Rúraíochta dá bharr sin nó scéalta eile mar é má thuigeann tú mé!

    An rud deireanacha a déarfaidh mé na go mba bhreá liom ceann de na scéalta seo a ath-insint trí ríomhchluiche lá éigin.

    So, a thing that might be of interest to Irish audiences: the game lightly touches on Irish myths and legends in several places – one of the bosses is Scáthach, and another is Aoife. When I was younger, I played a lot of RPGs, many of them Japanese, and I came away with this kind of background understanding of Japanese mythology, because these games were so full of references to those old stories. Those games don’t have a huge, deep retelling of these myths or anything, that’s not what they’re going for – but they name drop, make reference, have it in the background. They’re just kind of part of the universe, and I think that’s great.

    As an Irishman making an RPG, something I always wanted to do when making an RPG of my own to fill it with allusions to the stories of my own childhood. I would love it if people came away from playing this game wondering who Scáthach and Aoife are, and ended up discovering Tochmarc Emire.

    Someday I’d love to do a real retelling of one of these stories as a videogame.

NOS.IE: An-spéisiúil – d’imreoinn an cluiche sin agus imreoidh mé féin Dicey Dungeons! Go raibh míle maith agat as labhairt liom faoi seo, slán tamall!

Very interesting – I’d play that game and I’ll be playing Dicey Dungeons! Thanks a million for speaking to me about all this. Chat to you later!

    TERRY: GRM, slán tamall!

    Thx, cya!

Is féidir Dicey Dungeons a íoslódáil anseo: Faoi mar a dheintear le cluichí indy an t-am ar fad, tá lascaine ar fáil dóibh siúd a cheannaíonn leagan den chluiche go luath! Tapaigh an deis go tapa!

Dicey Dungeons can be downloaded here: or As is the way with Indie Games a lot of the time, if you buy an early version of the game you can get it at a discount! Don’t hesitate to take advantage of this opportunity!

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