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s0c7

Dungeon (2600 Release Candidate)

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Report any bugs or screen rolls you may come across.

Edited by s0c7
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Thanks guys!

 

I advise anybody who hasn't been following development in my blog to download the dungeon_doc.txt file. It may save you some frustration.

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How much of the 32k are you actually using for this game?

I think it clocks in at just over 20k ROM-wise. RAM is the big killer for this sort of game. It just does fit and I've had to optimize it a few times to weed out screen rolls. Didn't want to have to resort to using a SuperChip.

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Added this game to the list of 32k 2600 games. How much of the 32k are you actually using for this game?

 

Not to take things on a tangent, but:

- Is Cave In really Cancelled? I thought it's still in progress.

- Juno First should be moved from WIP to Beta

- Eventually, Steam Tunnel Bob should join this list. But, if anything, it's a WIP.

 

-John

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Not to take things on a tangent, but:

- Is Cave In really Cancelled? I thought it's still in progress.

 

-John

Cave-In is cancelled for now (stalled?), it's waiting for batari to make a cartridge chip so that Superchip games don't really have to have a Superchip. Cave-In was made with the Superchip in mind and is required unless batari can complete this project.

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Very cool game! I admit I'm not really a fan of those complex, boring, turn-based RPGs but this really strips away a lot of that boring number crunching stuff and keeps just the basics to enhance the gameplay. I only played it a couple times so I apologize if any of this is already covered someplace in the game but a few observations and suggestions:

 

The game reminds me a lot of an old C-64 game called Alcazar: The Forgotten Fortress. It featured the same kind of one room per screen scrolling maze and had similar goals.

 

One cool feature I remember about that game was the sound effects that tipped you off if you were near a monster. For example, you're in a room that has connecting rooms in all directions and you hear a tinkling noise. This was the noise of a nearby guard's keys rattling. It gave you a clue that an enemy was in a connecting room but didn't give a direction, causing you to stop and carefully pick. Sometimes graphical clues also gave a heads-up that a monster was nearby. A pool of oil in your room indicated that a fire demon was in an adjacent room, again no direction was given. This added a bit of suspense to an otherwise straightforward maze game. Especially in your game where both the graphics and sound are minimal it could enhance the eerie suspense of the dark, empty room and prevent people from plowing straight through.

 

The graphics are really excellent especially considering it's a 2600 game but I wonder if some more ambiance could be added? The premise of walking blindly into unknown, silent rooms could potentially get quite boring. But the addition of some minor elements to enhance the dungeon-like atmosphere could be welcome touches. I don't know what's possible from a technical standpoint but the addition of some random skulls lying on the floors, cracks in the walls, spiderwebs in the corners, could really help enhance the mood and give the repetitive maze some personality.

 

It's a great start though and I look forward to seeing how this progresses!

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... a few observations and suggestions:

I'll consider those. I am kind of up against the wall from a technical standpoint as to making major additions. As simple as the game plays, it is pretty complex behind the scenes.

 

I don't want to lock people into a particular style of playing if I can help it. If you want to plow through quickly, so be it. If you want to complete all the optional side quests, so be it. To complete the game, you only have to kill the demon. Getting Excalibur, the Holy Grail, and even the princess are all optional and the game doesn't judge, it just shows the end results. It's up to you to decide whether or not you "won".

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An exceptional game s0c7! I just played it all the way through. The monster graphics look great. You made good use of multicolor. The difficulty level is just right. It took several attempts to get through the game. I also liked the quirky yet menacing title music. Well done.

Edited by TROGDOR

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An exceptional game s0c7! I just played it all the way through. The monster graphics look great. You made good use of multicolor. The difficulty level is just right. It took several attempts to get through the game. I also liked the quirky yet menacing title music. Well done.

Many thanks! This is what I was expecting when I first heard of the Swordquest games (imagine my profound disappointment).

 

Any chance of Master of Arcturus seeing a cart release one day? The 2600 library needs a few more computer-style games IMO.

 

I'm going through one more round of optimization to see if I can shoehorn anything else in. I'm also not too happy with the PAL colors (in emulation everything looks murky and flat compared to the NTSC). I may turn on the high intensity bit on everything and see if that helps.

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Not to take things on a tangent, but:

- Is Cave In really Cancelled? I thought it's still in progress.

 

-John

Cave-In is cancelled for now (stalled?), it's waiting for batari to make a cartridge chip so that Superchip games don't really have to have a Superchip. Cave-In was made with the Superchip in mind and is required unless batari can complete this project.

Cave-In is not canceled, and I have a prototype board that it does run on. :)

 

..Al

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Not quite a Release Candidate yet, but getting close. There was quite a bit of code restructuring this time out, so the likelihood of bugs is high. Please report any you come across or if you notice any screen rolls. Sorry, no PAL60 version this time out. I need to rework it and will probably wait until the RC.

 

What's new:

A few background objects – torches, spider webs.

 

The standard game is the same as last time (set both difficulty switches to B). Two new options have been added for the A settings. These make the game more difficult. Switches can be toggled mid-game.

 

Left difficulty switch:

B = Player always gets first move in an encounter.

A = Maybe you see the monster first, or maybe he sees you first and acts accordingly (the odds will shift to your favor as you level up). The one exception to this are rooms with a torch. You always get first move since they are well lit and there is no place for the monster to hide to ambush you.

 

Right difficulty switch:

B = Only useful things are in chests.

A = A faerie has been added to the mix of possible chest items. She is infatuated with you and wants to prevent you from rescuing the princess or endangering yourself by fighting the demon (sort of like being dropped into a “I Dream of Jeannie” episode). Her method of accomplishing this is to hide in a chest you are about to open and “helping” you (teleporting you backward through the dungeon 1 – 3 levels). Like all other chest items, she will cease to exist in the game world if a chest she is in is destroyed.

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I've played this version through farther than the previous ones and found a few more of the surprises. Those surprises act as checkpoints and really make the game. Like getting to the Black Knight, removing the sword in the stone, and additional monsters. Very fun, great job!

 

I know you mentioned you worked on the webs for awhile to get them to work. I know what they are because we discussed them several times but I wonder if they're not coming across as webs. Maybe something as complex as a web is just beyond the 2600's limitations. It comes across more as a fluffy blob. At the very least I wonder if you made them a gray instead of white. They might look a little less fluffy and fat that way. The addition of the torches works great. Nice touch.

 

Overall I wonder if the game is a tad too easy? I was able to get through pretty far with not much effort or strategizing. Spell points seemed to be pretty common and I was able to dip into spells to get me out of almost any trouble. Maybe making them a bit more scarce, forcing you to strategize more and conserve?

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Terrific game! I enjoyed 0.28 very much but haven't tried 0.42 yet, so I'm looking forward to that. My one criticism was the perhaps-too-easy difficulty level -- I made it through the whole game on my third attempt or so, collecting all the items mentioned in the manual -- so the fact that it's been tweaked a little is good news. Very nice, intuitive, playable feel, and effective graphics.

 

Is there any room for a screen that would appear when you're moving between levels, a la Dungeon of Doom? (Probably not.)

Edited by thegoldenband

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Maybe something as complex as a web is just beyond the 2600's limitations.
It may go, especially since it is only for background purposes.

 

Overall I wonder if the game is a tad too easy?
I've had A LOT of differing views on this with the bulk thinking it falls into the "just right" category. Given some of the most recent feedback I may introduce additional versions selectable from the title screen. The game is headed into its final stages, so everybody speak up now.
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Is there any room for a screen that would appear when you're moving between levels, a la Dungeon of Doom? (Probably not.)
Unfortunately graphic space is at a premium at this time.
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I enjoyed the new version! I liked the webs and torches, and the faerie appears just often enough -- any more would be too much.

 

I did notice a possible bug -- I found the area that had the Grail (at least in the previous .bin), but the Grail itself was nowhere to be found. Is there something I need to do to trigger it, or...?

 

EDIT: Also, Excalibur has shown up on Level 1 on multiple occasions, and on one of those, I was able to pull it out of the stone after only 1-2 battles. That seems a little premature to me.

Edited by thegoldenband

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