Thursday, September 6, 2012

Version 1.1 development

The "Steam Engine Thingy" is actually content from WazHack 1.1. Well, maybe not the electrical side of it - I added that for the green light.

Yesterday I finally branched the codebase, primarily so I could try out Unity 4 integration. So far it's looking great. I've even seen a single frame on the game running under Linux (it crashed before the next frame... Unity 4 is still in beta). Certainly I have confirmed that it will be a pretty straight-forward port.

The 1.1 beta will start in a month or two - until then there shouldn't need to be any new updates to 1.0 (but send in bug reports if you find anything nasty!)


Monday, September 3, 2012

WazHack on Steam Greenlight

Steam’s Greenlight service allows players to help decide which content should be released on Valve's Steam platform.

There are hundreds of Indie games up there already, and WazHack is no exception.

Check out:

Just for fun, I put up a new title screen on, or if you're impatient, here is a video:

But it's more fun turning knobs and tooting horns yourself.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

WazHack Android version brings Benefits for All

One of the beauties of multiplatform development is that improvements for one platform usually carry over directly to the other platforms.

While WazHack for Android was being developed, and was really only known to the folks on the wazhack IRC channel, I started getting words of thanks for the improvements to "mouse only play" in the Web version. Personally, I'm a WASD + Mouse guy, so there had been a lot of silly little usability uglies in the Web and Windows version if you tried to play only with the mouse.

Making the Android version forced me to cover every tiny case and to test every nook for ways to make the touch experience better, and all the mousers in the Web and Windows versions got the benefit of that before it even appeared on Android! I love the Web version: I'm sorry if web users feel they're in a constant beta program, but that version is the first place to get all new changes to the game - it only takes me 30 seconds to push an update, as opposed to days for the other platforms - you are my heroes.

WazHack under Unity Profiler with 1.0.13
The release of the first version for Android (WazHack 1.0.12), was admittedly quite jerky on a lot of older devices. With the new release (1.0.13), I can't say I've made it perfect on those old devices, but now I think anyone complaining should really just go get an upgrade - Samsung and Google really need your money ;-).  WazHack, unlike all the cheezy Zynga crap, has a lot going on beneath the visual surface of the game, and I would rather not cut back on game depth just to get 60fps.

I hope players on older Windows computers will enjoy the performance boost in 1.0.13 as much as those playing on an older Android device.

How do you get updates? It depends on the platform:

  • Android: open the Play Store, search for WazHack, and select Update. You can choose to update it automatically: I'll warn well in advance if a new version will lose your save games.
  • Web: nothing - you get the new version automatically! If you're impatient and know a new release just got published, press shift-reload a couple of times. You don't have to worry about losing save games: all old versions are kept on the server and loaded on-demand if you try to play an out-dated savegame.
  • Windows: in the Desura client, click the update button. For other versions, visit the site where you bought it and you'll get a download link. WazHack is currently on Desura and Indievania.

Still to come on the cross-platform front is better support for gamepads (no, I'm not thinking of targeting XBOX any time soon). The original Controls Options in the Web/Windows version was done to facilitate crazy ESDF players (hey, Ted!), but with a few changes it will also allow me to support Joysticks and Gamepads. Maybe this will make Xperia Play users happy?

And yes, I'll be targeting iPhone and Mac as soon as I can get myself a Mac Mini.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

WazHack for Android

How does it play?

The new Android version of WazHack plays very similarly to the Windows version available on Desura. All the same items, all the same monsters, all the same character classes. The UI is adapted to the small screen and "fat finger" touch interface by moving the action buttons to the corners, with most actions within the Inventory button. All game UI is "fattened" to make it easier to use. To make up for the smaller screens Android normally runs on (unless you have an OUYA...), the camera zooms in when enemies are in sight, so fat fingers don't have you picking up a rusty old Orcish chainmail while you're trying to beat on a vampire bat. Because it is built on the same code-base, new features are available for both version - and multiplayer even works between the Android and Windows versions!

Which devices?

Realistically, you'll need a device made in the last year or two, but it certainly works great on a Samsung Galaxy Mini 2 or a Samsung Galaxy Nexus - the two devices Waz tests on. But give it a try on your device and comment below. The game uses the same "demo to 300 feet" model of the Windows version, so it's completely free to test out on your device.

All Thanks to Unity

It is the multiplatform nature of the Unity engine that made it possible to do such a port. So if some of your other favourite Indie games are made using the Unity engine, ask the developer for an Android port!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

WazHack 1.0 released for Windows

For the last 3-months, WazHack has been polished by a web-based beta period, with a total of 9 beta releases, over 200 interim patch releases, and 30,000 games played. The result of that polish is now available for purchase as a stand-alone Windows game on Desura:

  Desura Digital Distribution

The web version will of course continue and help rapidly test the 1.1 release, but already players are reporting that the Windows stand-alone version gives a much more familiar and smoother gameplay.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Beta 9: Anonymous Multiplayer

By popular demand, you can now set a Nickname for your Guild account, so you no longer need to reveal your email address to play multiplayer! Go to your account to set it up.

I'm sorry this feature took so long - I've been looking at integrating with Desura, and I wanted to know more about their user system before making changes to my custom user database server. I'm still working on the Desura packaging, but I know enough, so here is Beta9 for your enjoyment.

BTW, it also looks like I will be able to hand out Desura keys to all Beta Guild members - thanks for all your support so far!

Similar to my warning when Multiplayer was first added, changes like this are inherently hard to test (everyone's network is different), so be sure to let me know if you have problems with multiplayer (or anything else of course).

-- Waz --

Friday, June 8, 2012

Beta 8: Icebergs

No, beta 8 is not set in Antarctica, although it is midwinter here in Australia.

For the last month I have been working on making the UI feel better when used only with the mouse. I usually play with WASD but I've forced myself to play with only the mouse to get a feel for what it's like and fix any quirks. If' you've tried using the mouse previously, have a feel of it now and tell me if I've missed anything. There are lots of little things - from how chests open, to single-item pickups, attacking, etc.

By popular demand, you can now edit your stats during character creation. The range of possible stats had to change to make this reasonable: previously a wider range was possible, just very unlikely, now it's more constrained for each class. The effect of CHA on commerce has been amplified a bit - so be careful choosing big muscles over a good personality. Personally, I still think it's more fun to play a random roll.

Mostly for the last month I have been working on something else for WazHack. Sorry, I don't mean to be mysterious, I just hate vaporware announcements. I do want to assure you that yes, I'm still very much alive and hacking, and to let you all try out the feel of mouse-only play.

In devising a fun title screen, I thought of how what you see in this release is just the tip of the iceberg of what I have been working on. As usual, I got carried away having fun expressing that. I liked the iceberg texture so much that I changed how the Cold wand/spell works: it now freezes the target in ice. Hitting a frozen creature either shatters and kills them (a favourite trope of mine) or does nothing (except critical hits - these work as normal); the chance of shattering is unrelated to the creature's current HP but rather to their max HP (i.e. to their hit dice and hence level). Their armour shatters with them, but other items are dropped (assuming they didn't freeze and shatter when you first zapped them).

Enjoy! Don't forget to share your experiences on /r/WazHack on Reddit.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Leprechauns stealing your text?

There was a strange bug in beta 7 where sometimes all message and floating +/- texts would stop. Thankfully first-time rogueliker and very observant player Dave noticed that Leprechauns were to blame!

The bug is now fixed in build 577 (see the News button in-game for the build number, you may need to Reload the page).

Of course, Leprechauns where not literally stealing the text. But they are the only creatures that I gave no preferred dungeon branch. So once I actually added a branch, that preference kicked in... in the form of an unexpected null.

Anyway, I just thought this was amusing. And thanks, Dave!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Beta 7: Hadrian's Branch

The new release is up on

The dungeon now has a branch! Some fellows seem to have gotten lost while building Hadrian's Wall - they set up camp in the Dungeons of WazHack and have completely missed the fall of the Roman Empire.

The new branch is around 1000 feet (so sorry, guild members only).

There are also 4 new Talents to tweak your character with - Commerce (better prices), Wizardry (faster mana regeneration), Beast Mastery (create tame monsters), and Dweomery (rhymes with "memory" and detects blessings, curses, and enchantments). Now you have 12 ... the choice is getting harder!

Fire isn't quite as deadly now - it doesn't spread from item to item quite so savagely. More foods give fire resistance too.

There are a few new items - an amulet, a scroll, plus the items you'll only find in the side branch.

The rest I'll leave you to discover!

-- Waz --

Stop press: this orcish video made me laugh, so I added Knock/Wizard Lock unlocking/locking of chests.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Beta 6: Staff Entrance

The new release is up on!

There are two major additions. The first is obvious from the title screen (but there are also more advanced ones to be found. Clue: don't sell your best gem...).

The second new feature is mounted creatures - like a goblin riding a giant rat! There are only two mounted creatures this release, just to test it out, but I'll be adding more, including the ability for the player to ride mounts. Not much point riding a rothé, since they can't climb ladders, but don't worry, I have some ideas....

A few things have been rebalanced in this release: wands of polymorph have a shorter range and usually less charges; the dual wielded talent is also toned down a little (see the new percentages).

As always, more bug fixes - keep sending in the great reports! Mostly minor stuff now - is the beta nearly complete?

No more spoilers - go play! Remember to reload if you have played recently: check that you get the beta 6 title screen.

Some changes were added to the live beta5 version that I'll particularly mention: pet inventory management is now much easier: they will not pick up anything, and will not drop anything you give them until they are burdened. They'll also use weapon and armour (previously they usually just dropped them), assuming your pet is a creature that can use them.

Blessed identify scrolls will never identify everything when playing co-op multiplayer, so don't bother with trading loads of stuff back and forth.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Bugs and patches...

I have a pretty "agile" approach to updating the beta release. Mostly you won't realize it unless you check the News page too regularly, but I upload new patches to WazHack far more often than just the larger announced beta versions. Since the first beta release on March 13, there have been over 200 patch releases to the site. Often these just contain bug fixes which you'll hardly notice, but sometimes I push out a little feature or two. Since beta5, patches have gone up adding keyboard configurability and improving the way pets keep and use their inventory (they'll no longer randomly pick up and drop stuff either). Sometimes a little bug finds its way in with these features (eg. key config broke controlled teleport - thanks Kyo), but the same is true for bug fixes (an urgent fix to dog ladder handling broke lots of other monsters, but was quickly fixed).

I'll never take it for granted, but I really appreciate the sometimes near instant bug report I get when I make a mistake!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Beta5: Multiplayer Madness

Beta5 has just been released on!

For years I've said it's impossible to add multiplayer to a roguelike and it still be a roguelike.

A critical factor separates roguelikes from other genre. It is not a grid of ASCII graphics (WazHack proved that on day 1), nor is it a wealth of different items and creatures.

It is the way time passes only as the player plays.

It is this factor of roguelikes - giving the player time to consider their actions - that makes the wealth of items useful. For most non-roguelikes, the main items I seem to use is a pile of hot-keyed health potions (think Torchlight: the almost roguelike).

So consider a multiplayer roguelike. How can multiple players be in the same dungeon with time passing in fits and spurts as each player alternates between running around or staring at their inventory? It would be infuriating waiting for other players to ponder their options. Other games have all "solved" this by putting everyone on the same realtime treadmill. But I say the game is then no longer a roguelike, but just a twitcher with far too many options to be playable. Is there another way?

You be the judge, but I think I've found the solution with WazHack beta 5.

Full details are in the help, but basically, co-op players all play the same random dungeon, and encounter the same creatures, but they work completely independently: all players have to kill the kobold in their instance of the dungeon, and they each get all the different loot in their particular instance.

How is that multiplayer?

Well, again: you've got to play it. The fun really starts when you are trading equipment to help each other out, using voice chat (eg. Skype or Mumble) to warn of nasties and collaborate on developing a balanced "party" of players (one wizard who knows the Identify spell is a powerful ally - give him your spare healing potion!)

Item identification is also shared. If everyone has a scroll labelled BAYOWOKI, only one player needs to read it!

That's all "co-op" mode. There is also a "competition" mode, where everyone also finds the same loot in each room and from room creatures they kill, but there is no trading. Who can get the furthest?

So that's WazHack multiplayer mode. Check it out. To convince you, there is now a 3-pack of accounts for just $5.

This is just the first iteration of multiplayer, and I'm sure there are bugs and sorely needed features. Be sure to report any bugs you find, and post suggestions. One item already on my to-do list is a mage staff that can store spells (and hence be lent to other party members!).

As always, this release include a host of bug fixes. I'm keeping a record of you white-hat hackers who send me bug reports of a "cheat" that makes the game too easy. You'll all get a special badge or achievement or such some day! My policy is to leave crazy wins/scores in the list until I ship a fix for the reported bug.

Friday, March 30, 2012

WazHack beta 4 released - You've got Talent!

Beta 4 is now live on!

The big new feature of this release is the Talent System, which lets you improve your character in many different dimensions as you level up. I looked over all the wishes that the Guild Members have voted up in the Wish Council, and I found a great use for almost all the good ones.

The Talents are:
  • Anatomy - you extract more food from monsters you kill.
  • Battle Magery - metal gear has a reduced affect on spell casting.
  • Dual Wielding - allows you to usefully wield multiple weapons.
  • First Aid - allows you to heal faster.
  • Magic Precision - gives you more critical hits with your magic.
  • Shield Parry - protects you against receiving critical hits.
  • Weapon Knowledge - gives you knowledge, ultimately a Dwarf's knowledge, of weapons.
  • Weapon Precision -  gives you more critical hits with weapons, even more for two-handed weapons.

As you can see, each talent helps in different ways, and which ones you choose will depend on your playing style and what your immediate problems are. If you find that food is the biggest problem you have, get a little Anatomy. If you can never work out which weapon to use, go for Weapon Knowledge. Or if you just plain die a lot from being slowly beaten down, go for First Aid. Some talents are useful generally, while others more so if you want to go for a specific type of character (such as a Battle Mage).

There are 3 levels to each Talent, with the top level being extra potent. For example, if you have Dual Wielding Level 3, you can wield two weapons and each one attacks 60% faster. Of course, you need two good single-handed weapons and no shield, but wow, do you feel like a ninja!

Weapon Knowledge will reveal information about your weapons. This can save you a lot of Identify scrolls and helps you ensure you're fighting with your best weapon. Note that weapon knowledge does not take into account your current skills, merely the intrinsic quality and enchantment of the weapons.

Regardless of your Weapon Knowledge, unique "artifact" weapons now reveal their might as soon as you wield them. A few shopkeepers sent in bitter complaints about that change.

Critical Hits were in the earlier betas, but they were just a guaranteed hit based on a 1 in 20 chance (a "natural 20" on a d20). Now they also do double damage. Watch out though: monsters get them just as much as you do (but they can't get Talents to help them).

Performance of the default "Good" graphics setting has been tuned to work well on lower-end machines, but if you have a more powerful machine, be sure to turn up the graphics to "Fantastic" in Options -> Graphics.

There are many other improvements in beta 4 (like more arrows... but watch out: monsters can use them now too). I hope you enjoy the update - keep sending me bug reports, no matter how minor.

As always, you can play WazHack online at If you've played very recently, you may need to use Ctrl-Reload to clear your browser cache.

-- Waz --

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Chuck some potions!

The third beta of WazHack just went live on!

What is it?

WazHack is a 100% twitch-free relaxing hack and slash single-player dungeon game. Don't understand how that is possible? Play it. You'll see. The idea is that you can spend all the time you need contemplating what you'll do in any situation - and with over 250 different types of items to be found, there is no shortage of solutions to problems. With over 100 different types of monsters, there is no shortage of problems either.

All in a game that loads in just a few seconds.

It's not a game of winning (though it is winnable), it's about experiencing the attempt... and learning lessons that will help your next attempt. Every game is very different. Only 1 out of over 2500 games played over the last week has ended in victory (see the global high score list).

What's new in beta3?
Potions can now be thrown - so now you can toss a potion of paralysis at a big fat ogre to stop him - and  the horde behind him! Or try one of the other potions you thought where only useful for flushing in a fountain and blessing in a temple. To get into the groove, play this video close-up of potions smashing - just some fun I was having while I fine-tuned it.

Hunters have gotten a clean-up with better bow animations and throwing in general. Arrows bundle together like coins do, and they are a bit easier to see. And remember: double-F to pick up quickly - keep your arrows, they are still in short supply.

You can now see your character dice rolls while you're still choosing your character, so you can just keep clicking until you get what you want (no, you will never get all 18s!).

There are also more new items to find and use, but I wont list them - I want to try to add cool new stuff faster than you can find it!

All sorts of weird bugs have been fixed. Seen a dwarf suddenly go bald? Fixed. Wondered why a dwarf wearing a -2 cloak seemed immune to magic? Fixed. Nymphs and Leprechauns don't know when the ladders ends? Fixed.

Seen that a Valkyrie had a better armour class by stripping down to her dainties? Fixed. Sorry.

Half the bugs were reported by players - thanks! Especially to the Guild Members who keep the server running!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

One Kilogame and other factoids

We've now past 1000 games of WazHack played!

In these first four days of the beta, that is more games than was played by the 6 people who played it online during the entire alpha testing period - for nearly a year! Many obscure bugs have been reported (and all the reproducible ones fixed - go Waz!).

7% of players are on a Mac. Wow! I've never even been able to test it on a Mac. I'm happy! (I'll get it to Linux one day too, I promise).

How Bobey managed to score over 100000 points, I have no idea, even though it was me, personally, who prodded the corpse with my fiery greatsword. I've added extra logging to learn more about extreme possibilities (10 artifacts weapons?).

Basalt and his comrades have weeded out all sorts of bugs that the rest of us will never now experience. Basalt was twice as deep as any current player when that Hellhound pup got in a lucky bite, and in fact he used his inventory to teleport around the deepest bug ever reported!

Friday, March 16, 2012

WazHack beta2 is up - Join the Guild!

Whoa! You exceeded my Google App Engine free quota on the first day of the beta1 release.

Beta 2 is now up on, with loads of bug fixes, and some gentle game-balancing.

If you get quite deep in the dungeon (about 800ft), you'll meet someone. He will offer you membership in The Hackers Guild. Take the offer, it's only two bucks during the beta. Or join from the Game Options menu. Thanks!

Thanks also for everyone posting articles, videos, and pictures. Every single one has been truly hilarious (I watched the whole of Etalyx's video, laughing all the time, and not just because he spent 5 levels accidentally fighting barehanded).

I hope no-one is bothered by a $2 price tag. It's about as low as I can go without giving everything to PayPal.

The best thing about this new WazHackers Guild is that now you can play as any character name you like and it will be linked to your guild membership on the global high scores! Anyone on the top-ten today, feel free to email me (waz at this domain), and I'll link your old games up to your Guild account (no cheating, any disputes and I'll pull out my fiery greatsword again! ;-)

I'm off to work on beta3 now - another bug report is already sitting in my mailbox!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Is myself come back!

In the upcoming WazHack I added pets, and so I got to reincarnate the cat I had while at Uni.

I'll be adding more types soon. Cats and dogs are different. Cats are faster, more agile, but not quite as deadly nor as tough. Worst though... dogs can't climb ladders... at least not while you are watching.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Sometimes animations go wrong...

Somehow I've munged up the idle animation and the extra natural body movement code...

I think a Balrog needs to put them out of the excruciating pain they are in!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Game stats online!

Alpha 10 will have game stats, when you die (or if you survive), the result is posted to and the top 5 high scores are listed. When I have enough data, I'll also use this to help identify any game imbalances.

For now, you'll just see my test scores... like a Wizard shooting himself in the foot...

Unity 3.5 seems more stable

I'm now testing WazHack with Unity 3.5 and it seems a lot more stable. I've yet to have an in-game crash, but time will tell if this is just luck...