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Default Underrail, formerly known as Timelapse Vertigo

March 23rd, 2013, 02:34
Version 0.1.7.0. released

The game is updated to version 0.1.7.0 on Desura, soon to be updated in other places as well (GamersGate and Groupees). You'll find all the new stuff listed here and in the previous three dev logs.



The new patch is ready. As mentioned in previous dev logs, I focused on re-balancing the economy and area of effect attacks (primarily grenades). But I've also added new quests and areas, mostly in the vicinity of the Junkyard.

These quests should hopefully paint a clearer picture of the Underrail politics and tell you a bit more about some of the major factions, while still leaving many questions to be answered later in the game. They will also allow you to actively take part in faction struggles.

Without wanting to spoil too much for the players, I'll just say that one of the quests results in a larger scale combat encounter. I'm not particularly happy with this event for a number of reasons. First, the AI isn't very good in handling multiple enemies, it's been written so far to simply fight the one character that is the player and not to coordinate group fights. So you will see your companions and enemies alike to stupid things from time to time. Secondly, waiting time are just too long because I control only one characters in a fight with many participants. And lastly, in the real time sections before and after the fight there's too much pathfinding calculations going on that it can stagger the game a bit.

But despite all of this, I'm still including the encounter because it's a nice change of pace and because omitting it, or automatically resolving it somehow, would be very anti-climatic. But don't expect these sort of fights to be common in the future. The game was built with single character in mind and it shows.

Anyway, here's the full list of changes since the last dev log:
  • General
    • More quests added to Junkyard areas
    • Two new mini dungeons added
  • Economy
    • Toned down item degradation a bit
    • Melee weapons no longer degrade faster than ranged weapons
    • Reduced the base merchant price modifier from 425% to 350% to better suit the other changes to the economy; so basically everything will be a bit cheaper
  • Mechanics
    • Caltrops have a chance to miss the targeted tile in the same way the granades do
  • Balance
    • Change the mutants and mutated dog health up, down and all around; can't tell if it's more or less than what it used to be but it's balanced now I think
    • NPC natural dodge/evasion changed to 1 per level
    • Off-balanced, stunned, frozen and incapacitated enemies have their dodge and evasion reduced to zero
    • Rooted enemies have their evasion reduced to zero
    • Increased the damage of crippling strike and reduced the AP cost
    • Critical crippling strike applies 2 stacks of the debuff
    • Restored health modifier to all commoners to 100% (up from 50%/80%)
  • Fixes
    • High-density foam padding price now scales with quality and quality is also made relevant in all its crafting recipes
    • Fixed Telekinetic Punch to scale off of Psychokinesis instead of Metathermics
  • UI
    • Disabled Trade button when nothing is set to be traded
    • Turn-based combat path visualization should now work properly in all cases
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March 29th, 2013, 06:20
So how close is this to playable? I mean if you play it now is the game mostly done, or are they adding quests to it all the time so it make you have to replay it?

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March 29th, 2013, 16:06
Originally Posted by rune_74 View Post
So how close is this to playable? I mean if you play it now is the game mostly done, or are they adding quests to it all the time so it make you have to replay it?
The latter.
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April 17th, 2013, 19:21
Pickpocketing and Feats Changes

Hey, guys, sorry for the delayed update. I was out of country for a while on a vacation of sort. I'm back in the development chair now and here's what I've been doing.



First of all I revamped the pickpocketing mechanics as I promised. The way it works now is that when you are stealing items from an NPC you are filling up their permanent "suspicion meter". If you fill up this meter to the max you will be detected and the combat will ensue. The game will indicate how much stealing a certain item will raise the suspicion meter.

The rate at which you fill this meter will depend on the ratio between your pickpocketing skill and the victim's detection. Since the detection scales off of character's level and perception, this basically means that you'll have to continue investing points in the pickpocketing skill (and ideally dexterity as well) in order to be able to steal (or steal more) from progressively higher level NPCs. Also, some items are harder to steal than others (e.g. heavy weapons and armors in comparison to smaller stuff like ammo and hypos).

The way this system is set up it means that, unlike lockpicking and hacking, the outcome is not binary. Depending on your skill-to-detection ration and the difficulty modifier of the item, you may be able to steal zero, one or more items from a given target. So investing more skill into pickpocketing will always be useful. Because there's no dice involved in the calculations, this will also eliminate the need for save scumming.

Pickpocketing does not require stealth, unless of course you're trying to steal from a hostile NPC.

* * * * *

The other major change I made is reducing the frequency of acquiring feats from one every level to one every two levels. The reason for this is that when I originally decided that you should get a feat every level I was planning on having the max character level set to 20, which would put you at 22 feats (+ some story extras), and since the total number of feats will be around a hundred having 22/100 feats seemed about right. It would mean you wouldn't be able to get every feat in the game you wanted/needed in one playthrough and the number of feats per character to the total number of feats ratio seemed like it would allow for a variety of different builds.

However, since I've increased the leveling rate a bit and decided to eventually change the max character level to 30, that would put the character at the max level up to 32+ feats. Now this is no longer a comfortable ratio, especially considering there might be expansion packs and the like that could raise the max character level. You'd be practically able to take every third feat in the game.

So now you get two feats at the start like before and one more feat each even level, which will put you at 17 leveling feats which is much closer to what I originally intended. I've also went back and buffed/reworked existing feats that were somewhat lackluster in order to make them a more desirable choice in this new feat economy:
  • Burglar - Reduces the time it takes to pick and hack locks by 75%, but also add +10 bonus to stealth when in controlled areas
  • Nimble - Reduces encumbrance by 15%, but also grants 15% bonus to dodge and evasion when on zero encumbrance
  • Ninja Looter - Reduces pickpocketing time by 50% and also reduces suspicion raised when pickpocketing by 25% when hidden from the target
  • Conditioning - Increased the damage reduction to 10% + 1% per constitution above 5, but also added requirement of having at least 5 points in constitution
  • Opportunist - Upped the damage bonus agains slowed targets to 20% (up from 15%)
  • Recklessness - Grants 10% increased critical chance with all weapons, but also increases the chance of you getting critically hit by 3% (up from 3%/2% I think)
  • Yell - Reduces enemy offensive skills by 35% of your intimidation skill (up from 25% I think)
  • Snipe - Increased the base damage bonus from 100% to 125%

* * * * *

And here are some other smaller, but not necessarily less significant changes I've made:
  • Bugs
    • Fixed the game crashing when loading 0.1.6.0 saves. It's still not recommended to play the old saves, but it shouldn't crash now hopefully.
    • Fixed the problems with Cliff's quest when he would die at inopportune times
  • Tweaks
    • Reduced weapon degradation significantly. The starting pistol should now be good for over 100 shots
    • Melee weapons no longer degrade on missed attacks
    • Reduced the cost of energy pistols
    • Dexterity now increases critical chance of melee attacks by 1% for each point above 5
    • Added "Already known" label to blueprints you… already know
    • Added more items to the SGS commoners to be stolen!
    • Reduced the pickpocketing cooldown to 5 seconds (down from 10)

Let me know what changes you guys like and disliked and why.
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April 20th, 2013, 10:31
Thanks for the update. Game's looking better and better every update.

Originally Posted by Styg View Post
I revamped the pickpocketing mechanics as I promised. The way it works now is that when you are stealing items from an NPC you are filling up their permanent "suspicion meter". If you fill up this meter to the max you will be detected and the combat will ensue. The game will indicate how much stealing a certain item will raise the suspicion meter.
This sounds very good and quite unique (at least I can't recall a game which used a similar mechanic). It makes perfect sense too. If you get pickpocketed, it sure makes you a lot more cautious and suspicious from there on. This is also good way of keeping pickpocketing from getting completely out of hand in the game.

Originally Posted by Styg View Post
Also, some items are harder to steal than others (e.g. heavy weapons and armors in comparison to smaller stuff like ammo and hypos).
This is all well and good, especially for smaller items and the like, but heavy weapons and armor? Well, maybe it's just me, but I've always found it silly how in games you can practically "pickpocket" the clothes off someone's back and their weapon right from their hands without them noticing anything. ("Poof, you're naked!")

Originally Posted by Styg View Post
Reduced weapon degradation significantly. The starting pistol should now be good for over 100 shots
Very good, too fast weapon degradation is annoying (e.g. the only thing I have to complain about System Shock 2 was the ridiculously fast weapon degradation in it).

Originally Posted by Styg View Post
Melee weapons no longer degrade on missed attacks
Excellent, good fix.

Keep up the good work!

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April 20th, 2013, 14:20
Originally Posted by Lurking Grue View Post
This is all well and good, especially for smaller items and the like, but heavy weapons and armor? Well, maybe it's just me, but I've always found it silly how in games you can practically "pickpocket" the clothes off someone's back and their weapon right from their hands without them noticing anything. ("Poof, you're naked!")
I don't think this will be a problem because the heavier armors and weapons do have high difficulty modifiers plus not many enemies carry spare weapons that can be stolen (you can't steal equipped gear).
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April 20th, 2013, 17:08
Awesome update! Thanks for continuing to keep us informed!

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May 7th, 2013, 21:15
Version 0.1.8.0 released

The game is updated to version 0.1.8.0 on Desura and GamersGate, soon to be updated on Groupees as well. You'll find all the new stuff listed here and in the previous dev log.



As promised, I've added a number of new feats and psi abilities. With feats I mostly focused on melee combat and grenades, both of which were sorely lacking in that department.

In regards to new psi abilities you'll notice I've added an extra thought control ability. This means that there's now an equal number of psi abilities across all psi schools. You can learn most of the new psi abilities from the existing teachers (this might change in the future), with the exception of Bilocation for which you must look elsewhere (those who played through the whole game before will have a good idea where to go ).

So without further ado, here's the list of changes since the last dev log:
  • New feats
    • Heavy Punch - Unarmed attack that deals 200% for 250% AP
    • Bone Breaker - Critical hits from your blunt melee attacks break ribs if they deal at least 4% of target's maximal health through mechanical damage. Targets with broken ribs receive additional 25% mechanical damage from all sources. This effect stacks up 2 times.
    • Cheap Shots - Increases critical damage bonus of your melee attacks by 50% and gives your unarmed attacks 15% chance to incapacitate the target for 1 turn.
    • Paranoia - Detection increased by 20% and chance to get critically hit reduced by 3%. Also your weapon damage is increased by 20% against stealthed targets (will be useful at one point).
    • Uncanny Dodge - Grants you an ability that when activated will cause you to dodge the next regular or special melee attack targeted against you.
    • Evasive Maneuvers - Converts all remaining movement points into twice the evasion for 2 turns.
    • Grenadier - Reduces the cooldown of fragmentation and high explosive greandes by 1 turn and special grenades by 2 turns.
    • Three-Pointer - Gives your damage dealing grenades 10% chance to critically hit. This chance is increased by 2% for each point in dexterity above 7.
    • Trap Expert - Reduces time required to arm traps by 70% and increases the detection difficulty of the traps you set by 25%.
  • New psi abilities
    • Pyrokinetic Stream (metathermics) - Creates a stream of fire towards the targeted location, damaging everything in its path for X heat damage every tick. The stream lasts for three ticks plus an additional tick for every 10 spare action and psi points remaining after the initial invocation.
    • Electrokinesis (psychokinesis) - Deals X electrical damage to the primary target and stuns it for 1 turn before jumping to a nearby target. It can jump up to four times, but the damage decreases by 15% of the original amount with every jump. It can strike the same target multiple times, but it needs at least two targets to jump between. Only the primary target is stunned.
    • Bilocation (thought control) - Creates a doppelganger of a human target bent on their destruction. The doppelganger is immune to all physical attacks and deals X mental damage that bypasses all shields and resistances. Last for 4 turns.
    • Mental Breakdown (thought control) - Incapacitates the target for up to 3 turns and reduces its resolve by 50%. If a detrimental thought control psi ability is invoked against the target during this period it will have double the effect, but will end the mental breakdown.
  • Changes
    • Game generates a crash log now in Documents\My Games\Underrail folder when it crashes.
    • Increased the amount of health hypos, bandages and ammo the player receives at the start of the game. Player can also find a mechanical repair kit in its room at the start.
  • Fixes
    • No longer possible to place the fishing rod on top of yourself
    • Game will no longer crash when attempting to disarm triggered traps
    • Game should work properly with windows on-screen keyboard now
    • Junkayrd gambling house staff and nearby Black Eels will no longer turn hostile after the attack on Scrappers

Let me know how you liked these changes and the new stuff.
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May 8th, 2013, 01:02
Can we update from our already installed version, or do we need to delete and re-download? I assume we start a new game.

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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May 8th, 2013, 14:36
Originally Posted by Corwin View Post
Can we update from our already installed version, or do we need to delete and re-download? I assume we start a new game.
If you got it through Desura you can use their updater, otherwise you have to reinstall.

It's recommended you start a new game due to all the mechanics changes, but I don't think any quests will get messed up if you continue from 0.1.7.0.
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May 9th, 2013, 00:50
I think I did get get my copy through Desura, but I'm not sure; it's been quite awhile. Don't know if I'll have time to play this update, but I've certainly enjoyed my previous play-throughs. I really like what you are doing.

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May 9th, 2013, 01:46
Crap … I'm on GamersGate … full re-download …

But as Corwin said, well worth it!

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May 14th, 2013, 15:26
Styg, once the game is finished, will you release a version with no DRM on it as well (maybe via GoG)? This might have been answered already, but I can't recall how it is. (Note: I've never used Desura, so I have no idea how it works, but I take it is somewhat like Steam with its required own client etc.)

Also, if a DRM-less version will be released, will those with either a Desura or GG version of the game be able to change to it too, or are they "stuck" with their originally purchased versions only?

Thanks for the info.

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May 14th, 2013, 17:15
Originally Posted by Lurking Grue View Post
Styg, once the game is finished, will you release a version with no DRM on it as well (maybe via GoG)? This might have been answered already, but I can't recall how it is. (Note: I've never used Desura, so I have no idea how it works, but I take it is somewhat like Steam with its required own client etc.)

Also, if a DRM-less version will be released, will those with either a Desura or GG version of the game be able to change to it too, or are they "stuck" with their originally purchased versions only?

Thanks for the info.
When you purchase through Desura you can download a stand-alone installer. You don't need to use their client at all.

GOG release once the game is complete is also likely.

As for redeeming the game on other platforms, I can't guarantee anything. One thing that I'll be working on is allowing those who purchased game elsewhere to redeemed their game on Steam when it's out there.
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May 28th, 2013, 00:14
Lower Underrail and Mad Hattering

I'm currently in the process of building the Lower Underrail.



For those who don't know the Lower Underrail was the industrial/military zone of the big underground metro system before things went to hell, as opposed to the Upper Underrail which was the residential zone.

I have it mapped out on paper and am now going through each zone and constructing it in the editor. It's a lot of work without much to report so bear with me as I grind through it. At first, there won't be any quests or special points of interest (just containers, monsters, bandits, traps, and that stuff), until later I start adding the stations, dungeons and occasional random encounter. The metro train is also on the way. It will be connecting the aforementioned stations.

In other news, I've added psionic headbands to the game along with blueprint and components required to make them (creating them will require electronics and a bit of biology). These headbands can enhance one of the three psionic schools, but there are also universal ones that enhance all three (though those are generally weaker). Depending on what components are used, they can increase skill levels, critical chances, critical modifiers, and psi costs. I will add more components in the future that will have other effects or have greater effects (per quality) but with certain drawbacks.
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June 4th, 2013, 16:50
I'm really enjoying Underrail. The atmosphere, interface, dialog, etc. Great job so far!

Any chance of being able to rotate the camera? Or have walls go transparent?

As you mentioned the possibility, I do hope that those who purchased the Alpha can get Steam keys later. I would prefer to have my games through Steam and GoG.
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June 5th, 2013, 01:50
I want to know when to jump in on this

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June 5th, 2013, 02:16
Originally Posted by Nezran View Post
Any chance of being able to rotate the camera? Or have walls go transparent?
There's no reasonable way to implement this. If you hold TAB you can highlight things behind walls, though.
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June 6th, 2013, 18:46
Ah, good to know!Thanks!
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July 15th, 2013, 02:43
New Armor Type

Hi guys, I'm still down in the cellar working on the Lower Underrail. Things have been a bit quiet and slow recently, but these times come and go and are nothing to worry about. To break the monotony of working on barren hostile areas all the time, I've added a new armor type.



Riot Gear armor is a medium encumbrance armor that specializes against firearms and melee attacks (+100% damage threshold vs. firearms and +50% damage resistance and threshold vs. melee attacks). Like the tactical vest, it's crafted from a carrier vest and a ballistic panel and an optional overcoat fabric. You can also add metal plates to include a shield as well (will add other materials for this purpose at some point) which will increase encumbrance, but will give you a 20% chance to block certain amount of mechanical melee damage (depending on the quality of the material used). While using a riot gear armor that includes a shield you can only wield one handed weapons though (pistols, knives, crowbars).

Also here's a couple of minor changes and bug fixes:
  • Increased duration of thermodinamicity to 2 turns
  • Reduced damage of spikes and blades when mounted on a metal armor suit, but increased their damage when mounted on boots
  • Fixed spikes of doom bug
  • It's no longer possible to refresh the duration of stun, fear and short-circuit effects
  • Fixed the scaling of Bilocation psi ability

In the next couple of weeks I'll add few more items and creatures and probably do some AI work. After that I plan to release a new version. The Lower Underrail is not fully ready yet, but it should be fun to snoop around nevertheless.
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