.: News

Saturday, March 15th, 2014. Version 0.6.9I

I've been approached by someone in e-mail about fixing the bugs in Incursion, and I've put a lot of thought into things recently. I have been working on a tabletop RPG of my own recently, that has nothing to do with Incursion. I'm realizing at this point that I've left it for a negligently long time, so I'm going to open-source the last stable version. (The actual current version, with 1.5+ years extra development, is still in its infancy and not a functional game. Because it has a lot of new RPG-design ideas I'm using elsewhere, I'm keeping it for now. I may try to sort out the source-code portion and give it to the community if people want; honestly I don't think it is very useful.)

This is not an effort to undercut the "Veins of the Earth" clone-project being discussed here -- it looks really interesting, and under the hood the source is probably more stable than Incursion. So, to Zireael and his or her fellow contributers, you have my blessing to take whatever you want from Incursion's design, aesthetic and/or code in your own project. Some people just want to try to do a truly stable (original) Incursion, so that is why I'm releasing it -- I discussed this in e-mail before coming back to the group and seeing your clone-project, and I apologize for the timing.

I will be releasing the source code under the Creative Commons Attribution license, with a polite and non-legally-binding request not to use copyleft or anti-commercial licences for derivative works composed primarily of Incursion unless licensing conflicts make your project unworkable otherwise.

I hope to get the source code up this weekend. That may not happen, depending on how busy I get. I have to get it to compile (into 0.6.9I) again on my own computer first, to make sure I'm even releasing the right version.

There are complications, however. The Incursion compile process is very complicated with a lot of moving parts. There's a custom scripting language involved using an old compiler-generator tool which I hacked to change it's output slightly. There's also a third-party graphics library, and a plugin for a specific version of Visual Studio, and other stuff. It's really tangled because I never expected anyone but me to work with it. I don't have the tools to compile it on my current computer. I may have to get a different computer out of cold storage to get you all the parts you'll need to make it work, and there will be some extensive instructions in terms of settings and such just to get it to compile. You will need to use Visual Studio 2008 if you want to work with this sources as they are -- it may get more platform-independent in the hands of later developers.

Fair warning: Released Incursion's sources are very, very tangled. There's a reason I eventually gave up and moved to a partial rewrite. I'm not sure what others will be able to do that I wasn't about crash-bugs, but some other things can probably be fixed.

I will not be renewing the web hosting for Incursion when it comes up, but I am happy to transfer the website and domain name to anyone interested in maintaining it in the next few months. I will be deleting the private "Incursion-L" mailing list in the next few months as well.

I want to thank everyone who took an interest in Incursion over the years, and apologize for never finishing the revised version. Up until a few weeks ago, I really thought I was always going to get back to it... someday. Now, I have one -- possibly more -- programmers interested in fixing the bugs, I realize I'm done with it and it would be selfish to keep it to myself any longer. So I'm doing this. I hope this works out well for the tiny community that's stayed interested so long.

Getting the source releasable is actually fairly complicated, because there's so many strange hacks. I may get it out this weekend, two weeks from now or four weeks from now, but it is at least coming soon.

Wednesday, April 13th, 2013. Version 0.6.9I

I have some news that I know is going to disappoint people, but I wanted to be honest about it.

Since just before Christmas 2012, I have been working on a different project unrelated to Incursion in either its tabletop RPG or roguelike game forms. My new project is a post-apocalyptic tabletop game; I don't want to talk about too much yet because I have nothing to show, I'm not sure if I'll be releasing it under my real name and it's not especially relevant to this community. It was supposed to be a brief diversion after which I would return to Incursion, but has grown far more substantial at this point (though it is still far more finite and contained than the elaborate design for Incursion had become).

This is something which kind of grabbed my attention and inspired me, and I have neglected to look at this forum as a result. I saw the discussion here about status when I re- approved Thrydon, and I felt obligated to say something as this has gone on too long.

Incursion is a huge, huge project with a vast amount of labor invested. At the same time, it is not currently in a playable state as either a tabletop RPG or a roguelike computer game, and there's a lot of work before it will get there. I'm not "abandoning" it, and I'm not releasing the sources -- but I also haven't been actively developing it for about four months now, and I wanted to be honest with people about that.

When will new Incursion come? I don't know. At this point, maybe some years in the future -- or maybe never. It's far too much an investment of labor for me to want to throw it away, but it's status for now is "shelved". I know that will disappoint people, and I'm sorry. I'm not really able to work in things in my spare time when other, different things have my interest far more strongly, and that's my situation right now.

It would be best for everyone concerned if people considered Incursion dead at this point. It's not precisely true -- I do plan to get back to it someday -- but I don't feel people should be waiting on news for a game that isn't actively being developed at the moment and has had a huge amount of time since the last release.

I want to offer sincere thanks to everyone who supported the game and showed interest, and I'm sorry I don't have anything more appealing to tell you.

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012. Version 0.6.9I

I have removed the Flyspray bug database as it's being abused by spammers and is unlikely to be highly relevant to the rewritten game. I have saved the content on my home system, however, for reference in GUI design and other usability issues.

Still no major news on Incursion. I'm still working, I have other time demands in my life as well and I don't know when the new game will be out, but probably not in 2012 or 2013. Check the Google Group for more; this website is very infrequently updated.

Sunday, October 31st, 2010. Version 0.6.9I

A number of people recently have been asking me for updates about Incursion. The truth is that the last year has not been especially kind to me, with both increased pressure and responsibility at my workplace (though it's a good, challenging kind, in a sense), and some persistant health problems that have left me enervated and took up a fair bit of my spare time -- hopefully those are all resolved now, and without lasting consequences, so honestly I'm grateful rather than bitter.

Progress on the game could be better. It is still being actively developed, but the last 9 months have not been the best period in my life by any means, and I'm glad they're in the past now. There's been a fair few milestones in terms of the engine, as well as a number of setbacks and exposed design flaws -- but they're very hard to explain or illustrate in a way that would be meaningful to gamers. The game is very much still at the 'rebuilding the engine' state, but a lot of the engine technology is very promising. I'm also doing a great deal of design work and brainstorming about the game system -- tactical combat, character classes, feats, spells and so forth -- as well as constantly writing notes about the history and culture of the world the game is set in. I think it will have a very unique setting, yet still ultimately true to it's tabletop gaming roots.

A lot of coding time has been put in recently on a text presentation engine, a module of the overall game which parses and composes text for the player to read. This includes automatically generating manual text for feats, classes, etc. and also displaying prose text and game stats to the player during play. Like everything else about the game, the new text system is very flexible and customizable. I think that the new manual will be a lot more readable and easier to get into other formats than the old game's manual was.

I don't have a release date. I've always said, 'at least a year', and honestly that's overly optimistic. If I had to throw a date out right now, I'd say potentially October 31st, 2012 for the finished new game -- i.e., two years from today. But really that's just random speculation. I have no idea what will happen between now and then. To put this in context, the copyright comment at the top of all my C++ source files all says "Incursion, Copyright Julian Mensch 1999-200X" -- so it apparently took me a full seven years (!) to get the original game to a state where I wanted to release it for the first time. In that context, I guess I'm making good progress?

This web page is actually a substantial nuisance to update for me, which is why it happens so infrequently. In fact, I've decided that I probably won't update it unless I have something concrete to show, and will instead post any news and progress on the game's Google Group, located here:

Google Group: http://groups.google.ca/group/incursion?hl=en

It's going to be a while before the gameplay is anything resembling the complexity of old-Incursion -- and once it is, it will quickly skyrocket past that, since the whole point of the script language and next-gen engine is to allow a lot of d20 content and gameplay detail to be added rapidly in an easily maintainable manner. Apparently implementing and troubleshooting an entire Java-clone programming language complete with bytecode VM, IDE support, symbolic debugger, garbage collection and various game-specific language extensions takes a substantial amount of time to get working and stable. Whoever would have thought? :)

Sometime in the next few months, I may try to post some excerpts from the new manual on the web, including some game mechanics and bits of flavor text about the world of the new game -- both to show off the content and the new typesetting / HTML generation abilities of the text engine, since that's the closest I can come to a demo. It's also likely there will be an Incursion Tabletop RPG at some point -- basically just a variant d20 ruleset combined with a campaign world based on the computer game -- because while the goal of old-Incursion was to (in some areas, at least) mimic the d20 rules set, the goal of new-Incursion is definitely to improve and rebalance as well as simply implement it.

So despite progress not being quite what I might have wanted over the last little while, things are still moving forward and the game is still in active development. More news whenever I have it!

Thursday, January 21st, 2010. Version 0.6.9I

So, as of today per the schedule I set I'm supposed to have been on hiatus from Incursion development for two and a half weeks. Actually, I've been finding it very difficult to stop working in the game (though I will shortly).

In retrospect, despite drastically underestimating some timelines the progress over the last year has been very good. I've completely recoded the script compiler, and implemented a source-level symbolic debugger for it integrated into the game. I've also built support for the scripting language into Visual Studio, to aid in rapid development of scripts, and am largely finished recoding the event backbone of the game as well as the two largest subsystems (combat and effects) to be much more systematic and exposed to the scripting system. I've also added a wide variety of new features to the scripting language, including containers, much stronger type safety, resource hierarchies, garbage collection, text generation, self-validating code and many more. It might be a slight stretch to say I've coded something equivalent to a full Java toolset (IDE, compiler, virtual machine, symbolic debugger, code validation) -- but it honestly wouldn't be by much.

So where now? Well, I've just finished the toolset for this language, and am mostly finished the API the scripts rely upon -- I want to try it out and see what it can do in actual use, despite having run out of time. I'm very eager to start implementing monsters, classes, feats and so forth using the new API, if only to see how it performs and what needs to be changed. I do have other life goals besides Incursion, however, and those can't stay on the backburner for too long any more than Incursion can.

People probably don't want to know about my language geekery, however -- I know everybody wants to know when the next release will be. I... honestly don't have enough information to say at this point at all. What I can say is that all the old scripts for the game need to be rewritten, and I also have a very long list of things I want to add, AND several new features like the 3D dungeons and new monster AI are currently only partially implemented. At this point, working from more realistic timelines, I would say that a *minimum* of 12 months additional development is necessary before the game will be in a state that I'm ready to release it again. Add to that the 8 month hiatus I'm planning to take for projected release date of mid-August 2011.

Ironically, that... will actually be fairly close to the release date of Return of the Forsaken I prognosticated way-back-when. And that's accurate -- while I don't plan to add the wilderness levels and such right away for the next release, they'll flow very organically from the scripting, game engine and mechanics overhaul I'll be working on next -- to the point they might seem almost trivial in comparison. There certainly won't be another year-long delay while I add them. I didn't quite realize that I'd embraced the full transition to my plan for "Return of the Forsaken" when I started this "revision", but I did; that's obvious now.

Anyway, to clarify one point I've been asked about in e-mail recently, I'm not burning out or losing enthusiasm for developing the game. I write down some brainstorming notes nearly every day. My enthusiasm has really never been higher -- I just have other obligations and personal development goals I don't want to neglect. Incursion is not dead or dying -- it's just being reforged, and being a very complex game developed by a guy with a poor grasp of timelines, that's been subject to some substantial delays. Barring a freak bus accident or brain damage induced by overconsumption of diet soda, this game will not be abandoned until it is done and released.

I want to post some concrete signs of progress here, but script engines and language features are rather difficult to illustrate visually. Still, here are some snaps of the dev tools (click to view full-size).

IncursionScript code, shown in Visual studio with syntax highlighting.

Visual Studio's Intellisense working with IncursionScript.

Visual Studio's Intellisense working with IncursionScript.

QuickTips about symbols from hovering the mouse cursor over them.

Visual Studio's error underlining shows errors dynamically based on background parsing. (This only 'mostly' works at the moment -- I'm not great at multi-threaded programming. But it will work fully soon.)

The built-in source-level symbolic debugger.

Still works in bytecode mode, too.

Resource Validators are scripts whose purpose is to validate either other scripts or the correct function of the script language as a whole. This one tests to make sure that the monsters eligable to be generated in an unlit underground area either have the ability to see in the dark, or the ability to hold a torch. These validators are automatically run at script compile time, and specific resources can be exempted from any number of validator rules on a case-by-case basis.

Validator diagnostics show when the game is started if I made a breaking change to the script engine; they provide automated unit testing.

Windows exception and failed ASSERTs alike are now caught and show a source-level stack dump, allowing the user to save the dump to a log file. This will aid in tracking down bugs that only occur for players after substantial gameplay.

My testbed version of the game with a few scripts converted includes humans, warriors, goblins, rats, long swords and some very very plain (albeit topographically 3D, not that you can see it yet) dungeon rooms. You don't want me to release this version. It's boring. :)


The script compiler and virtual machine both seem very stable at this point, as does the new game engine (with what little functionality it has at this point). There are some issues with the Visual Studio language service, but it's functional and usable, and will get refined in the near future.

So I'm technically on hiatus from Incursion development now, for the next eight months, until mid-August 2010. In practice I'm probably keep working on the game in the background a bit, which may extend the "hiatus" a bit as well. I'm not sure; I'll see how things look in August. Having just finished a massive stint of work on the toolset, I'm actually very eager to both see how it performs and to start working on the really "gamelike" bits of Incursion again after such a long time on something more abstract. (As you've probably gathered from this project, I greatly enjoy tinkering with RPG mechanics, which is a fascination I haven't been able to indulge in developing the devtools -- though I've certainly been taking notes!)

It's obviously way too early to make any concrete promises about release dates; I should have a clearer idea in that direction in spring 2011. I will post another progress report here sometime before then, I should think.

Special thanks to everyone who's kept up patience with this game despite the very long delay between releases!

Sunday, August 23rd, 2009. Version 0.6.9I

So, some quite unfortunate news in the Incursion scheduling department. At the end of the Heritage Day long weekend at the start of August, I went back over the schedule and timeline that I made for myself when I began the revision of the game in January, and checked time-allotted versus time spent. I have been pathologically underestimating time requirements of various tasks in my wholesale revision of the game, as well as failing to include prerequisite or "more efficient to do now" tasks, and as a result am yet again unable to meet a stated deadline -- it's basically impossible at this point for me to have anything to release for Halloween this year, as I'm still mired in improving IncursionScript, the event system and the dev tools. I hope this major section of the work will be largely complete soon.

Reviewing my scheduling notes from when I started the revision, it seems that each task I had allotted one week for has taken 4-6 weeks (!) to complete in practice. The good news, here, is that I'm just coming up on being halfway through the revision task list overall, which indicates a constant state of forward progress on the revision of the game engine.

Despite the constant delays, recent devwork on the game has been very productive. Multiple goals have been met, including:

  • A functioning rewrite of the event backbone of the game, allowing much more precise control over event handler timing and data propagation between parent and child events in both directions.
  • A near-complete recoding of the game's combat engine to be much more extensible and to handle the timing of combat events, overrides and modifiers much more precisely, and to document it to the extent that I can at least maintain it effectively.
  • A similar revision and documentation of the "magic effect processing" engine that should make it much easier to keep spells and magic items functioning properly as the list grows longer and longer.
  • A complete rewrite of the IncursionScript compiler in a new compiler-generator tool, ANTLR, as well as adding many features for debugging and troubleshooting to the compiler and bytecode virtual machine.
  • Many new language features added to the IncursionScript language, specifically including:
    • Much better type safety and type checking to prevent very difficult-to-spot bugs.
    • A text-processing facility that will serve to generate better random names, randomized story text for quests and character backgrounds, a much better and easier-to- work with method of building the manual and the in-game descriptions of monsters and items, and so forth.
    • An 'XData' engine, which allows type-safe data to be declared, named by identifier and associated with any specific instance of a game object (creature, item, map) and allocated on demand only as needed.
      This very flexible language subsystem will allow more complex spells and magical effects to be implemented, and will also serve to make existing effects which must store special-case data much more stable and easier to debug.
    • A general quantum leap in richness, moving the language complexity and features significantly upward.
    • A facility for writing "validator" scripts to verify other scripts and test for illegal cases, allowing a sort of automated testing of script code to prevent subtle bugs.
  • I am (largely) finished a side-project which grew very complex and more time-consuming (albiet fun and informative) to integrate the IncursionScript language with Visual Studio, allowing syntax highlighting, background compilation for syntax checking, go-to-definition, autocomplete, etc.
  • The code dealing with the dungeon map has been rewritten and refactored to incorporate the data structures necessary for a truly three-dimensional dungeon, with much greater realism, logic and consistency in handling terrain. While there is still a great deal of work to do here, the metaphorical foundation has been laid and the cement is dry -- it's just waiting to be fleshed out with new dungeon resource scripts and terraforming code.
  • Display code has been modified and augmented to support the use of 256 colors rather than the prior 16.
  • Conversion of character mod calculation, saving throws, skill checks, map generation, encounter generation and area-of-effect calculation into a (more) event-based framework, allowing them to interact more naturally with the scriptcode and to be more customizable.
  • The data structures governing Creature statistics and special abilities have been completely rewritten as well, to conform much more closely to the d20 ruleset. This will allow monsters to choose their own feats, gain levels in classes just as the player does and so forth.
  • Feats and skills are now treated as game resources by the engine instead of being hard-coded as arrays and C++ static data, and are fully in the 'script' section of the game. (Of course, individuals skills and feats will take a lot of work to get working again under this new framework...)
  • Specific, intelligent objects to govern screen glyphs, durations of time, map locations, etc. which both make code cleaner and decrease the chance of subtle errors by self-verification.

The honest truth is, at this point I really don't know when the game will be back to a releasable state. The game currently loads and runs, and is as at stage where you can move the '@' around on the screen and hit-and-kill a few test monsters -- but by and large it's not functional and not playable as a game. I am very reluctant to talk about specific release dates because I've made a huge number of changes to the base data strcuture of the game, and have a very large body of new code that hasn't been (and can't be) properly tested yet. I don't really have a good handle on how long it will take to get all the old features (class abilities, race abilities, monsters, dungeon features, skills, spells, god effects, terrain, social actions, etc. etc.) working correctly with the new engine. Some -- especially those transitioning from hardcode to resources -- will need to be wholly or partially rewritten to work. Most will at least need to be debugged again and tweaked.

It is likely at this point that I will not be able to continue to devote full-time focus to Incursion for the full duration needed to finish the revision without taking another hiatus to work on other projects -- probably a span in the six-month range which isn't fully scheduled yet. Since I'm about 50% through the revision tasks and it took eight months, it seems to be a rational assumption that I need at least another eight months of dev time to get the new game ready for release. I doubt I'll keep up steam to do all that without a hiatus, nor honestly do I want to ignore my other projects for that long a period.

I'm tentatively eyeing Oct 31, 2010 as a possible release date -- moving the prior stated date forward by one year -- in part, honestly, because I find the 'release for Halloween' gimmick attractive. However, I realize at this point that I'm very, very bad at predicting development timeframes, so I'm not making any promises.

I'll post more news about the dev process as it happens, and hopefully by the time I'm ready to take another hiatus, I'll have a firmer idea of the timeframe.

Thursday, May 14th, 2009. Version 0.6.9I

I have decided to adjust and reshape my schedule for Incursion substantially recently. I am setting a fairly firm release date for the new, "next-generation" version of Incursion for October 31st, 2009 -- in part because it seems oddly appropriate to me that a game about goblins should be released on Halloween. This is substantially later than had been previously discussed, and I'm very sorry to disappoint people.

There are a few different reasons for the delay. Real life has been taking more of my time recently, but I hope most of those issues have been resolved. Also, my scheduling the refactoring tasks proved to be overly optimistic, and I'm now taking a more realistic perspective on the timeframe needed. Some of the changes I embarked on involve far more details than initially anticipated.

There is also a recurring theme of "if I don't do this now, it will be much harder to do later." This applies to a lot of different aspects of the game; three of the most prominent are the quest subsystem, monster targeting and the IncursionScript language itself. The latter is particularly notable, as recently I have been focused primarily on improving the language and making it more robust, reliable, typesafe, self-validating and user-friendly -- including developing tools to aid myself (and later, when I release the SDK, others as well) in adding and maintaining Incursion content. I hope that this will reduce the work in the long run, but it's taking a fair amount of time in the short run. (To be fair, I also have a great deal of enthusiasm about computer language design in general right now.)

However, I'm going to have to revise all the scripts anyway, to match the new language rules, so it makes sense that if there are any language changes to be made, they should all be made right now, so the scripts only have to be revised once.

I also have a strong desire to add new content to the game, which motivated the change to a later-than-might-be-expected release date. I've got a lot of designs and mechanical ideas that I want to implement. I'm not going to talk a lot about them for a few reasons -- firstly, because I want them to be a surprise, but more notably because this gives me a buffer of variable time if I need extra to get some difficult features (like the new monster AI) to work correctly. I don't want to continually announce and fail to meet release dates, so I'm choosing one that gives me lots of time to get the basic game rebuilt, and then some extra time to either add content or fix things that take longer than scheduled. Regardless, I'm reasonably sure I can have something impressive to show by 10/31/2009.

I am working on either Incursion or related projects every week these days, and very actively adding and revising code; the game is far from dead or on hiatus. As I've noted in previous posts, the game will be more "Return of the Forsaken" under the hood than it will be "Halls of the Goblin King". The only things missing at that point will be character level 12-20 content, the overland map, towns and cities, and some memory- management things that will support a larger world. Otherwise, though, the new engine will be the same one as in RotF.

Saturday, Feb 21st, 2009. Version 0.6.9I

I am back actively developing Incursion, and have been since the first week of January. Currently I am deeply involved in refactoring the code, to increase stability, fix persistant issues and add new features. The refactoring is expected to take a while longer, with the earliest possible release date being at the end of April 2009. I post news and updates more regularly on the development list, and they often get propagated to Something Awful, so check those places for more up-to-date progress news.

Other news: there was one final release of Incursion, 0.6.9I, that got made and released to the dev list on June 24th, 2008, but never made it to the general public as a result of my being very pressured around that time with other things, and then forgetting completely. It's now up on the website, and the change log is also up to date.

As a further extension of my forgetfulness, 0.6.9I lists on the screen as 0.6.9H, but it's not, and the issues listed in the changelog are fixed.

0.6.9I will probably stay a Win32 release, because there's a totally refactored game coming fairly soon (hopefully), and it just doesn't seem worth the trouble to port. There will definitely be Linux and Mac builds of the April/whenever release, however. :)

Wednesday, July 9th, 2008. Version 0.6.9H4

Very quick patch release to fix three bugs fixable by script code alone. Also, the Mac port is now up!

Thursday, June 26th, 2008. Version 0.6.9H3

There is a new version of Incursion now available on the Download page; this is a forked version off of the 0.6.9A sources made during a period of extended refactoring over which the main sources won't compile -- hence the strange version numbering.

The Win32 and Linux versions are both up; the source is in the hands of the Mac developer. As of now, I am on a development hiatus from Incursion, and am reasonably likely to remain so until early 2009. A tentative guess put the next release sometime in February 2009. I'll still read mail about the game, however, and participate in design discussions on the playtest group.

Since I am working on a heavily altered version of the sources at the moment, please don't send me any buggy saved games, since they won't be very useful to me at the moment; I'll need saves from the new version again in 2009, of course.

I want to give an special thanks to my many playtesters, most notably Frumple, Aaron Lambert, XenoTheMorph, Davzz, purge383, Alik, grdice, Elethiomel and Adam Smith. The game would never have become playable without them!

The newly refactored version of Incursion that I hope to get out early 2009 is going to have a lot of new features. A teaser of things that will show up then or very shortly afterward:

  • Much smarter monsters, with better pathfinding, more intelligent spellcasting and use of special abilities and more customizable strategy.
  • Monster rules that are much more compilant with the SRD, including increased hit dice for monsters by rules similar to the SRD, as opposed to the current template-kludge. Also, monsters using player-character classes, and much more monster-player symmetry overall.
  • A much more three-dimensional dungeon, with more sensible terrain handling and terraforming effects.
  • Several new prestige classes, including the angelic Celestial Initiate and the dark Crimson Adept!
  • A greatly expanded scripting ability in the game, allowing for new feats, races and classes to be added with much less effort and spaghetti code.
  • The skeleton of the psionics system, overland map, quest mechanics and guild system -- implementing these things later is being accounted for now, so this kind of major refactoring won't be needed a second time.

Tuesday, May 27th, 2008. Version 0.6.9A

The Mac port is done, and I've put a link to it on the download page. I'm also putting up a link to an older (0.6.5B) Linux version, since I've had at least one person say 0.6.9A Linux is unstable for them and they wanted to have an older version available.

I am currently in the process of tearing the guts out of Incursion and heavily refactoring the source. The improvements will be substantial, from both 'code maintenance' and 'able to implement features' directions, but it's going to be a while before I get the game working again, so no updates for the next little while.

I'm going to be working on Incursion until the end of June and then be on another hiatus. I really hope to get a new release out by then, but it isn't certain, because I decided it would be the easiest to do a large amount of refactoring at the same time. It really will make development of the game both easier and more fruitful in the long run, I hope. Once the new engine supports such, expect to see features like monsters leveling up and using player character classes, a more '3D' dungeon map, vastly improved monster AI and group dynamics and a much greater degree of customizability via the script engine.

Sunday, May 14th, 2008. Version 0.6.9A

There is a new version of Incursion available for both Win32 and Linux (and the code will be in the Mac maintainer's hands ASAP). This is mostly a bug fix release (with a few new monsters), but playtesters seem to think it's significantly more stable than the crash-prone 0.6.8A. Next on the schedule is prestige classes and refactoring the way the game handles class abilities fairly extensively -- I've had some major strokes of inspiration in terms of design in this area recently.

Sunday, May 4th, 2008. Version 0.6.8A

I have finished a long revision of the encounter generator subsystem and am told the game plays very differently now. The initial version was too hard at points; this version is hopefully better, but may still need revision if it is too difficult.

I am still going to try to get another version of Incursion with more new content (prestige classes, bug fixes) out to the general public by the end of May or early June, before I start my next development hiatus.

Sunday, March 2nd, 2008. Version 0.6.5B

There are new Win32 and Linux versions of Incursion up on the website. The bug list, down for several days, is now fixed. I'm going to be refactoring the Encounter Gen code next, so no updates (other than hopefully a Mac port of 0.6.5B) for a little while.

Saturday, December 8th, 2007. Version 0.6.4E

I've put up the Mac OSX port completed by Steven Hamilton. I'm behind schedule on my other projects, so I'm not sure if I'll be developing Incursion again right away at the start of Feburary 2008, but it shouldn't be long after, and I have a lot of enthusiasm for adding new content and refactoring some of the uglier code!

Wednesday, September 12th, 2007. Version 0.6.4

Incursion development is officially on hiatus. Thank goodness -- I was seriously beginning to burn out. My plan is to return to intensive development mid to late January 2008, but of course this date is tentative and depends on my personal life and progress on other projects. Barring a very quick patch release to fix anything I might have broken in 0.6.4 sometime next week, I won't issue any releases over the hiatus. I will still keep up a web presence related to the game, though it will be more infrequent.

I am actually quite happy with the final, newest release, 0.6.4. (063 never made it out of my playtest group due to scheduling and time issues.) I think that it's fixed most of the serious issues, and implemented a lot of different requests from a lot of different sources. The Win32 version should be up now; the Linux version will be up in a day or two.

Please don't e-mail me bugs or (especially) saved game files while I'm on hiatus. Depending on what computer I check my mail from, I don't necessarily have a good way to sort and catalogue them. Bug reports can still be sent to incursion@shaw.ca, though I'll be checking it infrequently and probably won't have time to respond individually -- though I will read any mail I get there (eventually). Please don't e-mail saved game files to either address -- they fill up my mailboxes very quickly. By far the best way to log bugs and send saved games is to use the buglist on the website, and it ensures that I won't lose or forget about your feedback and suggestions.

Thanks again to everyone whose shown an interest in Incursion. I'm still a little amazed by the magnitude of the response the game has had, and very regretful that I can't develop it full time.

Above all, as always, have fun! That's what games are for, right?

Thursday, September 6th, 2007. Version 0.6.2F

Just a scheduling note: due to next week at my day job being very hectic -- we're having a User's Conference -- my deadline dates will be extended a bit. I will post the final new version of Incursion before my hiatus (barring a possible patch release to fix one or two unexpected new bugs) on the 11th or 12th. To facilitate focusing on debugging as strongly as possible over the next few days, I'm also going to be completely offline from Friday evening until the release.

Wednesday, August 29th, 2007. Version 0.6.2F

Major revisions to the game have strongly improved the way that allies, social actions and alignment function, according to feedback from playtesters on prerelease versions. I'm very happy with this, and think that a functioning social dynamic is very central to the game. The Win32 version is up now; the Linux version will be up by the end of August.

Other good news is that I've made some arrangements in my life allowing me to continue to work on Incursion on a more frequent, albiet still irregular, basis. I'm going to be doing a four-month/two-month cycle rather then letting the game linger for a year or more; I'll be working on my other, more immediately demanding projects for four months, then back to Incursion for two months, then back on hiatus again for four months, and so on for the foreseeable future. I still hope to have a more polished version of the game out just after Sept 10 2007, after which I'll put active development on hiatus and scale back my Incursion-related web presence, though I'll still be here listening and willing to converse about the game more infrequently. Very early in 2008, I'll be coming back to the game for two more months of intensive development, provided that my other project work and research stays on track (which is never certain, but I can hope...)

I want to offer a very sincere thanks to everyone who has contributed comments, ideas and especially bug reports to my roguelike project -- whether by e-mail, using the bug database, or on forums on Usenet, Something Awful or Penny Arcade. The game would be much weaker and less stable without the constant stream of feedback from players, and I'm thankful it has that kind of support. If I haven't had an opportunity to respond to you personally, it isn't because I'm disinterested, just because I'm busy.

Sunday, August 19th, 2007. Version 0.6.1A

There's now a new version of Incursion available for Linux systems; it's on the main download page. Go give it a run and let me know if you have any OS-dependant problems.

I've been sick this weekend, and as a result don't have nearly as much debugging done as I had hoped I would. I'm going to be working intensively on debugging, and on implementing the revisions I've talked about on various forums, over the next few weeks.

There may be a Mac OSX version of Incursion coming soon. I've been in communication with someone who would be willing to work on such a port and will post here as this situation progresses.

I'm not going to be able to support Incursion as intensively in the future as I have been to date. Starting September 10th, I will have a number of other personal concerns in my life that are going to take a fair amount of my time, though I'm certainly not abandoning the game -- just taking a hiatus where it will hibernate for a while, as I have several times in the past over its development cycle. I'm going to try my level best to deliver a version of the game that is stable, roughly balanced and free of severe bugs by the 10th.

Tuesday, August 14th, 2007. Version 0.6.1A

I've put together a new release fixing most of the issues that people have had with the game to date. Also updated the website to remove any references to trademarked terms, to avoid any question of Incursion's legal status. My current plan is to wait a day or two and see if a patch release is needed, and if not try for a Linux build on the 20th.

I've been very flattered by the attention that Incursion has garnered recently, including discussions on the Something Awful, Penny Arcade and Quarter to Three forums and close to three thousand downloads (!). One of my playtesters, Aaron Lambert, has also set up a detailed Wiki for Incursion, with lots of information useful to new players; check it out here. If you have any issues to report with the newest version of the game, don't hesitate to contact me!

Monday, August 6th, 2007. Version 0.6.0.

I've been sick this long weekend, and have also introduced bugs into the game while refactoring the inventory system, so I won't be releasing today or tommorow, as I mentioned I might. However, my current plan is to release 0.6.1 (which should heavily improve on the inventory interface, color scheme and fix many of the bugs noted by the initial rush of players) on August 14th, and then try for a Linux build on August 20th. We will see if reality agrees with my ambitions!

Saturday, July 28th, 2007. Version 0.6.0.

For once in my life I have successfully met a deadline that I set for myself!

Incursion now has its first public release since the unplayable one in 2002. Download Incursion: Halls of the Goblin King, version 0.6.0, on the download page. This is definitely a milestone both for me personally and (obviously) for Incursion itself.

Monday, June 25th, 2007. Version 0.5.7.

I don't seem very adept at keeping websites up to date. Regretably, you can expect that to continue for the forseeable future.

Incursion now has a fairly active mailing list for playtesters, and is coming quite close to public release. My testers have beaten the game a few times; you can check out their successes in the new victory garden. Our targetted public release date is by the end July 2007 at this point. This will be a Windows release; the game has been ported to Linux, but instability issues prevent it from operating correctly there. This issue is still under examination.

You can look at a change log for the playtest versions of Incursion here ( downloads).

Thursday, February 1st, 2007. Version 0.5.0.

Well, it's done. YAY!

The first semi-public alpha release of Incursion is now in the hands of the playtesters. I've updated the list of now over 500 known bugs, found here, and most of those have been fixed. The bug database on this website is now live, and I'm waiting for reports from the testers. I hope for a public release in the next 2-3 months, but of course that all depends on the issues reported by the testers. If you'd like to beta-test Incursion, drop me a line at incursion@shaw.ca.

I'm feeling quite tired out now, actually. I'm really glad this is done.

Sunday, November 26th, 2006. Version 0.4.0.

The Incursion website has been put up to showcase the game, and to establish interest in its forthcoming release. Our sincere hope is that the game will be have its first public release very early in 2007. If you are interested in playtesting an early, likely quite buggy beta of the game, contact the author at incursion@shaw.ca, and we'll send you one likely midway through December.

As of now, there is very little new coding left to be done on the game -- a list of around twelve minor tasks -- but there is a great deal of debugging left to do; a list of the 300+ known bugs in the current build can be found here. Most of these are easy to correct; a few are not. Further updates forthcoming.



















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