Author Archive | Ash Blue

Improved CMS for ADNC

One of our biggest frustrations with building the pre-alpha 1.0 demo for A Dragon Named Coal was rapidly rolling out content. We were using a combination of Excel Spreadsheets and some pre-built tools from the Unity Asset Store. While this might not sound like a bad thing. Importing the Excel data was a nightmare that resulted in difficult to solve errors. The assets we used weren’t scaling very well either. For example it severely limited our questing system and didn’t allow for advanced concepts such as quest tracking. To create systems capable of handling our game’s complex logic, we decided to roll a few new custom tools.

Our old Excel Spreadsheet for entering in data.

Our old Excel Spreadsheet for entering in data.

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A Dragon Named Coal Demo Available

If you haven’t had a chance to play it yet, the demo for A Dragon Named Coal is publicly available on Mac, Windows, and Linux. Currently we hold a 4.6 out of 5 rating on GameJolt with over 34,000 plays. If you have a minute go play the demo and vote for us.

Play On GameJolt

A Dragon Named Coal GameJolt Releases


ADNC Dev Blog: Early Playable Level

We’ve been working hard on tons of new mechanics to get our game into a playable state. See the video below for a sneak peak at an early playable level.

New Features

Rough Early Gameplay

We encourage you the check out the above video which demos our new features through the first couple minutes of gameplay. We haven’t had too much time to tune things, but we’re happy with what we have.

Gravity Based Pathfinding

AI is now capable of following basic paths. If you’re interested in the technical side of how we did this, check out this gravity based pathfinding demo we created. Next step will be making companions follow and defend you. We also have some really cool debugging utilities for pathfinding that we might share a video on (if people are interested).

Screen Shot 2014-02-25 at 10.25.53 AM

Menu System

Because of memory complications for mobile, controller support, and our bizarre UI needs. We’ve rolled a custom menu API from scratch.


Controller Support

Almost any controller you plug into your computer (XBox, PS, ect) will work with a A Dragon Named Coal. Our first two priorities for input are controllers and mouse / keyboard. We’re keeping touch in mind, but that will be implemented later with the mobile version of A Dragon Named Coal.

New Tile Sets

We have a couple new tilesets not seen in the video. House ruins, vanity house pieces (tables, book shelves, ect), a dungeon, and several other tile sheets are done. While not in the game yet, these will be viewable in the initial demo.


Next Steps

We’re approaching the coming month with an ambitious mindset to finish a minimal implementation of all game mechanics. That and have about several minutes of finely tuned gameplay. Here is a quick overview of what we’re hoping for.

  • Additional menus (questing, skills, ect)
  • Dedicated A Dragon Named Coal website
  • Massive rework on Coal’s animations and abilities
  • Improved enemy AI
  • Completion of first map area
  • Experience / skill system
  • New tilesheets and characters

A quick sketch of an early NPC we’ll be adding into the demo soon.



Every indie game developers battle of getting started

When building your first full length video game its easy to think everything will go over smoothly. You’ll role various features, complete design documents, and program a fully polished game. WRONG! That isn’t ever how it works. A large portion of the game creation process is trying something, realizing it was a terrible idea, then reworking it. To set expectations, expect to rework your game over and over until it feels right (or as I hate saying “fun”).


When starting a game the dips in progress are enough to make most people quit working on it. A lot of days you feel like no progress is being made.

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