Devlog #000

Devlog #000: We Haven’t Died

Die there! Dice to see you again! It’s been a, uh… die-le.

Wait, no. Come back.

Sorry about that. Hello! Yes, it’s been a while since we released pre-alpha, and we wanted to break the silence. While a good portion of this time was, in fact, spent making dice puns, we were also continuing work on the game. In particular, we’ve made some really good progress in the last few months, and wanted to start up a devlog to keep track of everything that’s been going on. We’re hoping to make these updates at least somewhat regular as we approach alpha and move into beta.

Devlog #000
You, uh… probably won’t have this much stuff in your runs.

Pre-alpha feedback

First up, and more than a little overdue: a big thanks to everyone who played the pre-alpha and submitted feedback and run data. Over the last 10 months, we’ve been adding features through the lens of all of your comments. There were a couple of big ones that popped up a few times, so we’ll address them now:

  1. The game is complicated! We knew this one going in, but we got this feedback almost universally. While we’re not making the game simpler by any means, we’re taking a multitude of measures to ease new players in more smoothly, as well as making the information we do convey more concise. The balance we’re trying to hit is making the need-to-know stuff more obvious, without completely hiding the nitty-gritty. To accomplish this, we’re improving tooltips, indicators, and, of course, we’ll be adding a tutorial (several, actually).
  2. There’s a lot of turns where I can’t do anything! Naturally, a roguelike is bound to invoke misfortune from time to time, but having all these dang dice really exacerbates the problem in our case. One major mechanic we’re introducing is largely based around alleviating this: gambits. We mention them in the planned features page, but to those who haven’t read it: they’re basically spell cards you’ll collect on a run, and you can slot your dice into them to produce a variety of effects. These range from attacking multiple enemies, to increasing your block, and a multitude of other things. Specifically, the dice slots on these cards will generally require things such as odd or even numbers, or numbers above/below a certain value, and other stuff like that, hopefully offsetting a lot of dud rounds. While not all gambits are designed around rescuing bad rolls, once we heard this feedback from a lot of people, we decided to really keep it in mind with gambits in particular.
There’s more where that came from…

We also had a few reports of poor performance on certain PCs, particularly those with integrated graphics. We’ve made several improvements in this regard, meaning the game should actually hit around 60fps on lower-end machines now. However, until we’re nearer release, we’ll hold off on declaring that Diceheart can be run on literal potatoes.

So, what else is new?

Major new features

New levels!

The beautiful, popcorny archipelago of Capsitoa. What? This is definitely an archipelago.

At the moment, we’ve got the first fork in the road mostly done. After beating the Barrier, you get a choice between the computer virus-infected metropolis of Blockdown City and the spicy volcanic island range of Capsitoa Archipelago. If you couldn’t guess, Blockdown is based around poison dice, and Capsitoa is based around fire dice. We’re not completely sure whether we’ll add the next stage just yet, but time will tell. Oh, and in between levels, you can now level up your character’s health and resistance, and – finally – get another die!

More tricks!

Oh god there’s a scrollbar

The pre-alpha had 73 of them (well, sort of). That number has now increased to, uh… One second, let me get my calculator… 276. Yeah. Two-hundred and seventy-six tricks. That’s more than we had planned for the final release of the game, and we’re only at alpha. It’s… an addiction, to be honest. Additionally, trick offers are now much smarter, with overhauled prerequisites that subtly cater trick offers to your current build. Helping out with this is the introduction of trick groups, which basically divide the tricks into various categories, meaning you won’t be offered two tricks of a similar flavour in one go. With a nearly fourfold increase in the number of tricks comes orders of magnitude more crazy combinations that we’re really looking forward to people discovering.


What are ya buyin’?

For too long have the denizens of the Quantum Realm sat idly by and let the weight of your gems be a burden – but for no longer! There’s now a slightly dodgy shopkeeper who’ll follow you around and sell you tat. Pretty good tat at that. You can buy a wide selection of tricks and gambits, and (if you’re particularly frugal), a brand new shiny die to add to your collection.

New dice types!

Stable, transient, and quantum dice. Very dice.

As you know, you’re able to upgrade dice and change their element in the forge, but this doesn’t cover everything a die can do – or be. As teased in a few pre-alpha trick descriptions, we’ve added two new types of die: transient and quantum. These are temporary dice that you can generate from tricks to help you out in sticky situations. Transient dice disappear as soon as you use them, but quantum dice will stick around for an entire battle. Despite the unstable randinium that makes up these dice being so fleeting, these dice are much easier to manipulate and modify via the the art of dicecraft. Speaking of which…


“I rolled… 5.” “Ok, well, the DC was–” “+9, so 14.” “?!?”

What good is a dice-based game without dice modifiers? Taking some obvious inspiration from tabletop games here, many tricks and gambits can give your dice numerical modifiers, like +1, or +2, or x2, or all three, and more! There’s a lot to play around with here, so we hope it tickles all you D&D players out there.

New character!

I, Mixigilly, have an Interdimensional Daydream…

Mixigilly has appeared in the multiverse! They’re a mysterious homunculus formed from radinium, whose origins and motivations are entirely unclear. Unlike every other character, they don’t specialise in any element: instead, they start with two D8s of random elements. Not too special, but the kicker is those dice are quantum, and every other die they pick up will become quantum as well. As a result, Mixigilly is able to utilise the highly malleable nature of quantum dice much more readily than any other character. They also have another spicy starting trick, which we aren’t quite ready to reveal…

Innumerable other features!

These are just the big’ns we’ve got so far. We’ve made many other improvements to the UI, graphics, map, and general flow of the game. We had a lot to catch up on in this inaugural devlog, so please forgive the lack of exhaustive detail. As these become more regular, we’ll be able to go a bit more in-depth on specific features we’ve been working on.

The future

Our current goal is to continue to flesh out gambits, as they’re currently still in their infancy. After that, we’re going to finish off Blockdown and Capsitoa, at which point we’ll assess whether we add stage 3 levels. Then we’ve got the inventory and the tutorial, and possibly a few other things we’ll keep under wraps for now.

So, what are we talking in terms of a timeframe? Barring catastrophe, we’re aiming to release the alpha in December of this year. Just like pre-alpha, this will also be a closed test, but seeing as there’s a lot more to this release, we’ll potentially make it a bit more sharable through everyone involved. Hope you look forward to it!


I do the game design, UI design, music, sound, tricks programming, and lore.

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