Posted by & filed under Blog.

MAIN MENU

The main menu located on the top bar is where you will access all the definitions for the map you’re about to work on. Most of these are self-explanatory, but I’ll gloss over em’ regardless.
 
NEW
 
The new menu opens up a list of options for setting up a new map. Here you can enter a name, a description and use the sliders to set other statistics. Every map requires a minimum height and width, I’ve found that you’ll want at least 100 hexes or so for a 2-player map and can go upwards of 400 for a reasonable length 4-player game. The 3 depths are the height (row) from the bottom at which the definitions between our 3 layer types will fall.
 
Start counting the bottom row as 1 (ie: depth deep = 3 and depth stone = 7 will result in 3 rows of deep tiles at the bottom followed by 4 rows of stone depth) and all rows above the set stone depth will be defaulted as your dirt depths. You have to have a minimum of one dirt layer to be considered a vaild map, but if you choose to not put any valid hexes on that row, you can avoid having any dirt tiles on your map at all!
 
The final option will set the background type behind your level to give it some added parallax charm. Be warned! If you change the width, height, or depths mid-edit, your map will be cleared! So try and figure out these scalars before you delve into making your creation.
 
SAVE
 
Hit the save button to save the current map. The map will be saved as mapname.map in the maps directory off the local application data as aforementioned in structure and storage. Maps of the same name will be overwritten, so again, be careful.
 
LOAD
 
This will read the local application map directory and populate a list of maps for loading, click on one of em to load it, or use the arrows to scroll.
 
QUIT
 
Exits the editor back to the main menu, the current map will not be saved, so make sure to save before quitting if you want the changes to persist.
 
MONSTER PARTIES
 
Ahh my wonderful quirky spawn system, allow me to take you on a quick aside into the inner workings of the Delve Deeper monster spawn algorithms. In the game, every time the EVVIL turn begins, before monster movement, we attempt to spawn some creeps. Here’s exactly how that works so that you can min/max and tweak the levels to unleash hordes even I couldn’t think of upon your friends!
 
First, the game will attempt to spawn a depth-related party. The game searches for a random, unlit, dirt hex, and if one exists, randomly selects one of the groupings of monsters in the dirt party listing to spawn on that hex. It randomly selects from these lists with equal distribution, so if you want a party to be more frequent, just include it 2 or more times in the list! If the game fails to find any unlit, dirt hexes, it repeats the same process with all the stone hexes. Failing that, it attempts the same with deep. In this manner, as more of the map is lit, the general trend of the game is to spawn parties deeper in the mine (which is more likely where the players will be at this time). So once per round, you’re going to get a dirt party, if possible, failing that, a stone party, and failing that a deep party. If all hexes are lit, we spawn nothing.
 
The “bonus party” section is a bit more frequent, and a bit more complicated. These are attempts to spawn ANYWHERE in the mine that is currently unlit. Being more frequent, it usually behooves you to keep these parties smaller and with weaker enemies. The amount of times the game attempts to spawn a bonus party process is based on 3 factors: 1) the current turn / 8 (a full day/night cycle) , 2) the monster saturation scalar, which is set in the game options menu, 3) the number of players. The later into the game and the higher that saturation is set, the more times the game will try to spawn these parties (min 1). The equation: there is a 3/(12 – monster saturation) % chance of attempting a bonus party spawn, player count + current turn / 8 times per evil turn. Everybody got that?
 
Now that we know what the heck these monster parties are, let me explain this menu:

Right clicking on any of the party listings will remove them, left clicking on an empty spot will allow you to add a new party to the list. To make a new party, simply click on the icons for the proper monsters on the following menu and then click accept. You will notice that you cannot delete all the parties in a specific depth, this is a hack fix and if you somehow manage to avoid it, you will break the game. The monster party menu is key to balancing a level, and to give them their unique charms. Feel free to open some of the included maps to check out how I made the included game levels for some ideas and balance!