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.

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