Thursday, October 30, 2014

Vacation in the Shaols

Today I had the chance to visit the Shoals - the entrance was in the Lair
and I was on a winning streak with my deep dwarf artificers follower of Elyvilon

As you can see this level has pretty colors and a whole new design - I don't know who has done the graphics for the Shaols, but it is really great looking, water especially - it somehow remind me of Wesnoth.

Some tips - as an artificer being a deep dwarf has many benefits - because the character starts with 2 wands (because of the class) and 1 wand of healing because of the race.

Deep dwarf don't heal naturally, so the healing wand is very important - at least at the beginning, but once my character started to follow Elyvilon - and has 2 stars I could use the 'ab' feature and heal myself.

Now the only thing that is still troublesome is not having an Amulet of the Gourmand (yep French in the text) - otherwise armor class is pretty good, and  I specialized in the axe and mace - prioritizing the invocations to at least 70% until it reach level 15 or more.

I also had an unfortunate visit to the maze - here also the graphics are pretty nice and colorful.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Crawl - dcss

This above was my first discovery of the game crawl (back in July 2014) - a text based rogue like game, since then ... I've discovered the graphical version (see below) and I'm sorry to say I've been addicted to this game, ever since...

So far that's how many characters I've played :
  33 Troll Healer
  32 Vine Stalker Monk
  25 Human Berserker
  24 Gargoyle Fighter
  13 Troll Hunter
   9 Troll Berserker
   6 Kobold Arcane Marksman
   5 Ogre Berserker
   5 Gargoyle Monk
   4 Troll Monk
   4 Spriggan Warper
   4 Mummy Wizard
   4 Gargoyle Wizard
   4 Gargoyle Hunter
   4 Deep Elf Wizard
   4 Deep Dwarf Hunter
   3 Vine Stalker Necromancer
   3 Troll Wizard
   3 Spriggan Conjurer
   3 Spriggan Air Elementalist
   3 Mummy Summoner
   3 Minotaur Hunter
   3 Formicid Fighter
   3 Deep Dwarf Healer
   2 Vine Stalker Air Elementalist
   2 Spriggan Venom Mage
   2 Minotaur Healer
   2 Minotaur Berserker
   2 Kobold Summoner
   2 Kobold Assassin
   2 Hill Orc Summoner
   2 Hill Orc Healer
   2 High Elf Wizard
   2 Formicid Earth Elementalist
   2 Draconian Wizard
   2 Deep Dwarf Artificer
   1 Yellow Draconian Venom Mage
   1 Vine Stalker Conjurer
   1 Troll Fighter
   1 Tengu Air Elementalist
   1 Spriggan Wizard
   1 Spriggan Ice Elementalist
   1 Spriggan Hunter
   1 Spriggan Healer
   1 Ogre Wizard
   1 Mummy Necromancer
   1 Minotaur Fighter
   1 Minotaur Death Knight
   1 Kobold Ice Elementalist
   1 Kobold Hunter
   1 Kobold Fire Elementalist
   1 Human Wizard
   1 Human Fire Elementalist
   1 Human Death Knight
   1 Hill Orc Fighter
   1 High Elf Warper
   1 Halfling Hunter
   1 Gargoyle Summoner
   1 Gargoyle Gladiator
   1 Gargoyle Fire Elementalist
   1 Formicid Hunter
   1 Formicid Healer
   1 Felid Healer
   1 Felid Conjurer
   1 Draconian Warper
   1 Draconian Wanderer
   1 Draconian Venom Mage
   1 Draconian Healer
   1 Draconian Berserker
   1 Draconian Abyssal Knight
   1 Demigod Fire Elementalist
   1 Deep Elf Conjurer
   1 Deep Elf Air Elementalist
   1 Deep Dwarf Warper
   1 Centaur Hunter

Which is ... 267 dead characters - and I'm still "mid game" (I have reached level 15 and seen the entrance to the vault or the depths) - like I said in a previous post my best luck was a gargoyle hunter follower of Elyvilon - because of the resistance to poison, and a good skill with a long range weapons, and the healing and capacity on top of it.

This game is very very (very) hard - I've seen a player finishing and escaping with the orb.  It is possible ...

But my experience so far, is not so glorious : 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Crawl stone soup

Monsters and Maze (M&M)

I used to play Advanced Dungeon & Dragons, I was reading and was quite familiar with the player handbook and the dungeon master guide, and many other manuals in English - since then I've (unfortunately) tossed away (or lost most of these materials) but I always find fascinating to play in a fantasy world.

Now like I wrote previously on this blog, I wanted to create a different kind of game where the player wouldn't be rewarded with experience when monsters where killed, but instead would gain bonus when applying other peaceful methods (such a game didn't exist, or so I thought).

Now obviously while I was writing the code of my python game - I looked for similar roguelike game and quickly found DCSS (Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup) - and in this game I found an interesting class the 'healer' - which basically does this pacifying technique on monster that will then turn neutrals. But this game is amazingly more complicated than any other game I have played so far - like Starcraft, or Warcraft II and III (mainly).

Making an artwork

Because I liked the game so much, I had the inspiration of creating a splash art of one of their monster - the infamous “Eye of draining” - which is now in the game (release 0.15 and above).

Here's how I submitted my artwork

For the record the green background was chosen for contrast with the red color of the Eye of draining - the green color was not kept, but a purple variant was made for the game. Which is perfectly fine, the work is officially published here under a "Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)" license

I tried to make another splash art with a huge minotaur, but it is still not very satisfying - maybe I'll finish it someday.

Addictive gameplay

I don't really know why I like this game so much, because it is a lot of trials and errors that end up in permadeath(*) (so far I have played more than a hundred characters) finding some kind of winning combinations of starting as a gargoyle hunter and then choosing Elyvilon later (when above level 5). The Troll hunter is good too, or the spriggan venom mage ... but definitely not a summoner (I've tried many times, and couldn't go past level 3).

(*) DCSS doesn't allow the load and save - like in the usual sense. It is possible to save and continue from this saving - but if the characters dies, you can't load the previous game, he is dead for good - this is permadeath.

I like in this game the flexibility of being able to start as a fighter, and gain some spells or divine abilities later in the game. The mechanisms are pretty good, and the game is very well balanced (there is always a downside to every benefits the characters get).

Official link to the game (currently in version 0.15)
It is possible to play online or to download the game and install it locally.
The benefits of playing online is the capacity to play the latest version (trunk) and to watch how other players are doing. While they maybe some lags during the game.

Now the installed version is faster, and the interface is a little nicer and more compact.