Frostfall, Moonbright, and Mon Magma have all gotten their updates! Vortex is about halfway done, so that'll probably be added to the bundle sometime this week.
I'm also working on a new adventure featuring Lord Hawk, tentatively titled "Crypt Shyfter: Overlord." That will be game 29.... and then for game 30 I'm planning to FINALLY finish Shattershard. I hope :p
The series has been changing a lot this year, and it can be confusing to keep up. I'm pretty scatterbrained sometimes, so it's my fault, but I wanted to address the change from free web games to paid downloads.
When I began the series in June 2017 I started out by posting all the games for free on Newgrounds. Since then, I've received just under 400 reviews on the series and have gotten tons of amazing feedback. I know a lot of computer games these days, especially web games, are sort of "launch and forget it" type deals, where you slap a thing on the internet and simply move on with your life.
But Crypt Shyfter has never been that way. From the very beginning I've been taking in the feedback from players and doing my best to keep the series updated and bug-free. I'm very proud of that and I want to keep this series going for a long time!
Over the last couple months I went back through all the feedback, and in my own nerdy way created a spreadsheet of all the most common "I like this" and "I don't like this" reviews and tried to figure out the best direction to take the series.
Aside from things like "Add pictures and music" (which I won't be doing), the most common concerns have been about game balance (bosses are too easy to kill when you're all leveled up), item management (some items are simply too expensive to buy at any point in the game), and combat (we'll get to that).
Here are a list of the changes I've implemented in the first 3 adventures, and which I'll continue to use throughout the series as I move along with the updates:
- Player attacks previously added your Level to the damage you dealt. This has been removed. Damage is now depended upon your Attack statistic only
- Speed was initially used to determine who goes first in a fight, but if a player only had a few HP left after the last fight, that meant the enemy could one-shot them unfairly. Since there are currently no options to heal outside of combat (aside from a few rare instances like seeking out a village priest or getting a blessing from Shergblatt), the player now always goes first
- With the later games, I began adding shops filled with randomly generated items. You may have noticed things like "Evil Staff of the Wizard" or "Magical Longsword of Destiny." These items were created using a string of three random words (a "pre-word" like Ancient, Mystical, or Arcane; a weapon name, like Battle Axe or Warhammer, and an "ending phrase" like "of the Warlock" or "of the King."). I thought it'd be fun to always have random items to buy, but the games don't actually put much focus on shopping or item management. Therefore, I've decided to change the shops. Instead of listing items and weapons in each shop, I'll be making it so that blacksmiths and magic shops allow you to improve your weapon or spells by +1 for $50 per item level. Each time you go back to the shop, the price will increase by an additional 50 gold coins, but there will be no upper limit to how strong you can make your weapon. I think this will not only simplify the store system, but also make it so players don't feel cheated when they can't buy a $200 sword when they only ever get $130 during the adventure. Plus, one of the things I always liked in my IRL Dungeons & Dragons games was getting a really cool sword and just upgrading it instead of tossing it away for the shiny lance simply because it dealt more damage. I hope this method will scratch that itch.
- Combat- the bane of my existence. There are too many conflicting opinions on this one, so I had to make a judgement call. The biggest issue with combat is that players seem to fall into two general mindsets: the first group wants to be challenged with tactical combat. They want to die in fights if they don't manage their inventory properly and they want to know that players who are "worse" than them are "punished for sucking." Not everyone deserves to get to the end if they stink!!! The second group of players could care less about combat. They just want to be entertained by the story, and for them the combat is just a diversion from the real meat and potatoes of the game. So I decided to find a middle ground: I've increased the difficulty of the combat so it's very likely that you'll die if you don't use your items and spells, but it's still easy enough that if you have full HP and magic, you can win any fight. Now every time you die, your death is recorded, but you are immediately revived to retry the fight again with full stats and items. This way, players who don't care for fights can be sure they'll always win Round 2 without needing to frustrate themselves, but hardcore players can use strategies to make sure they never die. At the end of every adventure, I now include a "Final Statistics" page that has a list of how much gold and XP you earned, what level you reached, what your stats ended up being, and how many times you died. Whether or not you care about the number of deaths you had depends on which type of player you are, but if death in games is something you really care about you can continue to feel superior to everyone else knowing that your deaths were 0. (I'm teasing, hardcore death people. I love you guys!! But I have to admit I'm a story gamer myself. Please don't take my lighthearted jests too seriously!)
On top of those changes, I've also been giving each game a new visual overhaul. Ever since the first adventure, I've been trying to make the games look "retro" but I was never satisfied with the overall design. I've finally learned enough coding to give the games the look a want. The screen is now designed to emulate an old CRT monitor so it'll feel like you're playing on a PC from ye olden days of gaming.
These changes have been huge and time consuming, and since I'm rewriting almost all of the games from the ground up (including a few edits and scene changes where appropriate), I felt that the series had changed sufficiently enough to be worth something.
But maybe I'm wrong! It's too hard to tell when you're so close to something for so long.
Crypt Shyfter has been my whole life for the last couple years, so naturally I feel really attached to it. I'm glad to see a few folks have gone on to purchase the bundles (and some of you awesome people left very generous tips - THANK YOU!!) but I'd like to keep this dialogue going. I'm always open to feedback on the series, and especially now that the games are being posted for sale I want to make sure I'm delivering enough to make it worth the price. I'd hate for anyone to feel as though they were ripped off.
I can't promise that every person will love the story of every game I write, but I can promise to give each adventure my all, whether they're a short little 3,000 word quest or a longer 40,000 word epic. And yes- if you bought this bundle, you will have access to all the games that come out in the future!
Thanks for following along on this journey. If you'd like to send your feedback, please shoot me an email: kungfuspacebarbarian [at] gmail [dot] com.