Untitled Dungeon Game - For the B+128/Master

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ChrisB
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Untitled Dungeon Game - For the B+128/Master

Post by ChrisB »

Announcing the release of the Untitled Dungeon Game. A new game for the BBC B+ 128K and Master. (Other platforms may follow).
udgbanner.png
Will you dare brave the dungeons in search of excitement, adventure and a serious amount of coin? Can you defeat the seven Dungeon Lords before the King’s Royal Banquet and restore your reputation?

Build a deck from over 80 cards to fight 40 different monsters. Upgrade your equipment with more than 60 treasures to find and improve your skills in town to take on even greater challenges!

Do you have what it takes to wield a magical sword, wear the paladin’s armour, or cast the legendary cataclysm spell?
Find out in the Untitled Dungeon Game!

I hope you have fun and please report any bugs, issues or comments here.

Important:
  • The game requires 4 banks of sideways RAM and use the 4 lowest numbered banks it finds.
  • If you enable saving the game will attempt to write the disk every so often so the disk needs to not be write protected.
  • If copying to a real floppy is it recommended that you ensure saving is enabled and that the “PLEB” file is copied to the floppy disk first. This will make the save operations quicker. The rest of the files ideally should go in the same order as the disk image but this only affects game loading.
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Re: Untitled Dungeon Game - For the B+128/Master

Post by lurkio »

Congrats, Chris! An incredibly well put-together game! The graphics are excellent, very different from anything else I've seen on the Beeb/Master before: really polished and charming.

Can't wait to get properly stuck into it!

=D> =D> =D>
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Re: Untitled Dungeon Game - For the B+128/Master

Post by joachim »

This is an amazing quality of implementation of a genre of game which really didn't exist back in the day. The graphics are superb, the interface is smooth and fast, the game balance I haven't fully explored but it's at the very least sane and engaging.

Some questions about a few things which might be logic bugs, or might just be where I didn't pay attention in the instructions:

* When I lose a battle I seem to end up in town with less gold than I had immediately before. For example just now I had over 900 before the battle but ended up in town with 711. Is the loss of gold intentional?

* I started being able to dodge some attacks after I upgraded my acuity, even though I had never upgraded my agility. Is that intentional?

* I got stuck in an interminable battle with a zombie, whereby I had lots of healing and defence cards and so neither of us could make an impact on the other. Due to my limited hand size I didn't have enough choices to even be able to force myself to lose. Is there a way to quit the battle under such circumstances?
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Re: Untitled Dungeon Game - For the B+128/Master

Post by ChrisB »

Thanks for the feedback.

Loss of gold - Yes. This in intentional (and mentioned in the instructions ;) ). You lose a proportion (dependent on difficulty level) on losing a battle.

Dodge on acuity. No - that is not intentional. Can you tell me your levels of abilities at the time?

Stuck on a battle. Hmm. Not something I have experienced. Presumably the best option here would be to conceded the battle as though you had lost? I will have to look at what's possible here.
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Re: Untitled Dungeon Game - For the B+128/Master

Post by joachim »

ChrisB wrote:
Sun Feb 28, 2021 11:03 am
Dodge on acuity. No - that is not intentional. Can you tell me your levels of abilities at the time?
Not 100% sure but it was probably around strength: 2 acuity: 2 agility: 0 vitality: 0. I'll make a note if I see the same on my next game.
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Re: Untitled Dungeon Game - For the B+128/Master

Post by ChrisB »

It seems you've found an exploit :D

This is a logic problem. If you select the dexterity house but choose NOT to take the upgrade then the dodge percentage is increased in any case. Easy fix but given it's not game breaking I'll give it a bit before I release an update if that's ok.
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Re: Untitled Dungeon Game - For the B+128/Master

Post by tricky »

I love the game.

I didn't read any instructions!

I often hear people say (on podcasts) that a game would have blown my mind back in the day, but I think this would have!

I've been playing for nearly four hours without a bug AFAIK.

I would like RETURN to confirm a selection, like Y but maybe that is just me.

I have two days left to restore my honor and I'm not going to make it :lol: but I have visited each dungeon, just to see how badly I would do - very badly! I haven't beaten a Trent or a Blob yet, let alone monsters from the later dungeons.

Is the Trent a non copyright infringing Treant ;)

I was expecting "reanimate" to restore my health, even if I was killed that round, not just be a slightly better stabilize.
It seemed a little unfair that stabilize reduced my health (and reanimate ?).

I'm not sure if I have just experienced a bug:
I got a Vampiric Dagger and seemed to have a permanent -1 shield bonus, but after dying, I no longer have the -1 shield.
I may have been attacked at the beginning of a fight and acquired the -1 shield, I don't remember.
... I've just got to the Earth Lord and have -1 shield again, so I guess it is the enemy applying it.

I was also expecting the Vampiric Dagger to do the damage listed and then suck another point, but I don't think it does, it just heals you - not that this isn't powerful enough ;)

I swapped my hobnail boots for Elven ones and didn't realise that I now have hardly any normal attack cards - oops!
Maybe someone will write a desk listing program that can work on a save game, like Exile - not that I have tried saving yet.

Oh, I just remembered, the bear looks a little like a badger, I think it is the bright stripe on the top of the head.
I love all the art work as well as the way it gets scaled just before a battle.

I think that it is a beautifully balanced game and I think my lack of progress was caused by me being overly cautious as well as trying to clear each dungeon before moving on to the next.

I still keep missing the ignores armour icon and I don't think that I have lost a battle that I didn't make a mistake in after about the first 30 minutes.

... and finally, I defeated the Earth Lord, but as it was my last day, I failed :(
Days: 35, Gold collected: 2596, Enemies killed: 1179 Attrs improved: 7 (Str, Str, Str, Vit, Dex, Dex, Acu+ I think).

This is going on my phone with beebx for when we can go out again.
Thanks for a great game.

One more thing, would it be possible to colour object in your choice of plunder based on whether you already have them.

PS I'm still listening to the music, it is doing a great job of driving my Rally-X music out of my head ;)
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Re: Untitled Dungeon Game - For the B+128/Master

Post by ChrisB »

Thanks very much for your kind words Tricky.
I didn't read any instructions!
How very .. courageous. :wink: But seriously the last page of instructions lists the card symbols and is probably worth a look.

Reading through your experiences the behaviour you describe is as designed. It's nice to see people playing around with the combinations and seeing what works - or doesn't work - for them.

I would suggest enabling saving as this will simply store your progress each time you leave the dungeon. Makes it easy to stop and pick up where you left off. I've not made any attempt to stop you "cheating" with the save file - but it does rather ruin the point.
One more thing, would it be possible to colour object in your choice of plunder based on whether you already have them.
Will have to think about that. You inventory is listed on that screen and you do have the option to go back. I did wonder about limiting you to only one of each item but didn't go with it in the end.
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Re: Untitled Dungeon Game - For the B+128/Master

Post by joachim »

(contains spoilers: late-game equipment and monsters, strategy)

.

.

.

.

.

Ok, on my second attempt I won the game in 32 days. Even with my "final" gear and attributes it took me five or six tries to complete dungeon 7, as I lost once to the Lord and lost several times to the Krakens and Cacodemons. My winning gear: Round Helmet, Leather Jacket, Amulet of Winter, Boots of Speed, Viking Axe, Viking Axe, Scroll of Doom, Scroll of Doom, Scroll of Doom. The observant will notice that I like physical attacks and the missed-turn attack most, magical attacks less and defence not at all. I believe that even the good defence cards aren't good enough to justify taking up a turn, and therefore I'd rather have a one-card Leather Jacket that isn't worth playing, than a three- or four-card armour that comes up more often and still isn't worth playing. And physical is better than magical (in the later game) because of the large strength bonus to physical, enough that you can even hack through the monsters with physical resist. (In retrospect, even Spiky Boots might have been better than my Boots of Speed, because it's only 2 cards and both of them trigger my +3 physical attack bonus.)

Feature requests (as others have pointed out, there are basically no bugs):

Typo: (on the win screen) "You breath a sigh" -> "You breathe a sigh"

Typo: (Demon attack) "Swot" -> "Swat", unless you mean that the demon is attacking me by revising for its exams

Feature request: The Demon re-occurs on level 7 but the gold and objects it drops still seem to be about level-4 standard, maybe they could be improved a little?

Feature request: When a player or monster is stunned, currently they can still dodge. I think it would make sense if they couldn't.

Feature request: When a monster has attributes like "ethereal", "resists magic" etc., these should be shown as icons on the battle screen somehow. Currently (I think?) they're only consistently on the pre-battle page and you instantly forget what they were and can't go back to check them. And the ones that are currently shown as icons on the battle screen are confusing: the "+(shield)" on the monster doesn't work the same way as "+(shield)" on the player (because it comes into effect even when the monster didn't play a shield); and the "-(shield)" on the player is confusing at first because it's shown on the player side of the screen and there is no obvious connection to the fact that the monster was "very strong". (It also doesn't help that the effect of the monster attributes is not described in the instructions anyway, but perhaps that is intentionally left as a surprise.)

Feature request: More navigation between pages outside the dungeon. Be able to navigate from the map screen back to the town, and from the town to the instruction pages.

Feature request: Allow the player to take armour off without replacing it with anything. Maybe? As in the strategy discussion above I really think the player is better off without it in a lot of cases. It's weird/annoying to be in the situation "I was bare-headed at the start of the game, but now that I've put on a helmet once I can never be helmetless again even though I would like to be". On the other hand I respect the obvious intention that the Leather Jacket is worse than useless and you can't take it off until you have something else. And, hmm, I suppose you carefully planned the starting equipment so the player can't have a deck smaller than their hand size. Maybe allow removing other gear but not the body piece? Maybe rebalance the game so that armour is definitely worthwhile? Maybe I'm making too much of a fuss about nothing?
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Re: Untitled Dungeon Game - For the B+128/Master

Post by ChrisB »

Thanks again for taking the time to provide feed back. Can I just start by saying
Ok, on my second attempt I won the game in 32 days.
Wow :shock: That's less than 48 hours! =D>

I will try to keep this generic and not spoilery.

As to your comments about late game strategy - This game is the first time I've done something like this and in terms of your comments this more or less my experience. I did a pass at the balance late in development to try and make some late game items more attractive but it seems it may not have worked. I did also considered modifying some of the skills and bonuses etc. I might take another look at the balance but anything will be tweaks rather than a wholesale rebalancing. I find your body choice interesting and have never attempted it that way - but I can understand why you did it.

Typos - thank you.

Feature requests:

Demon. Yes - this is a reused enemy (as the Spider is) with associated drops. Given the drops and gold is from a lookup table I'll have to think about how/whether it's worth distinguishing them.

Stunned. Yes I did think about this - this works for both player and enemy so it's "fair". Without it it's quite easy to get caught in a "stun lock" - especially with later monsters. And it makes a dexterity upgrade more important.

Monster Attributes. I did think about this during development but didn't have a good solution to displaying it. The omission from the instructions was deliberate in that I didn't want to lay everything out up front. Having said that I now have some ideas to display these. Will need to check my memory space!

Page navigation. I'll have a look at map to town. Instructions are a separate program so that's not going to be possible.

Removal of equipment. Early in my plans I was thinking about a "sell kit at town" mechanic but never progressed it. Certainly it would only be something that you should only do in town. I understand your comments around equipment choice and I've rewritten this paragraph several times without coming to a conclusion. I'll think some more about it and what might work as a mechanic here (if at all).
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Re: Untitled Dungeon Game - For the B+128/Master

Post by sbadger »

That's a really nice game Chris.
Very polished and would have been a big hit back in the day. I imagine Ultima style packaging with a map and pack of cards feelies etc!

I found it brutal on Normal mode (I guess I've got used to 21st Century casual gaming) and after a couple of defeats opted for an Easy attempt and as a result I managed to complete it. Not without challenge though! Seems there really is an element of luck with how the cards are dealt.

Easy Mode : Days taken 36, Gold Collected 17051, Enemies Killed 1295, Attributes improved 20.

I found the vampire a very difficult foe, in fact I managed to complete the higher dungeon before being able to kill him.
The only improvement that would be nice is what Tricky proposed with a colour pixel on the map if the resident monster is still alive.

Great work. I'll have a go at Normal again now.
So many projects, so little time...
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Re: Untitled Dungeon Game - For the B+128/Master

Post by ChrisB »

Following the feedback after release I have produced an update and attached it to the original post.

This release is mostly a quality of life release with no changes to gameplay and only one minor change to balance.

You can copy the “Pleb” file which contains your save from the old version over to this one to preserve progress.

I am intending to do another balance pass shortly that may result is significant changes to the mid/late game.

Changes in version 1.1:
  • Dexterity dodge benefit will no longer be added even if not purchased.
  • The leather jacket now gives two blank cards.
  • Display of additional damage etc. below the cards was seen as confusing by people (especially the negative armour). This has been changed to a symbol and a number total (with exclamation mark for greater than 9) which should be clearer. Negative armour effect simply reduces your armour total.
  • New icons displayed above the enemy name indicating it’s special abilities. (There is a new instruction page listing these.)
  • Dungeon map has rooms filled in with a coloured dot when they contain an enemy.
  • Option added to concede from a fight (which counts as a loss) and return to town by pressing “C” at card choice.
  • Option added to return to town from the map screen. (As this is now possible the confirmation prompt on leaving town has been removed).
  • Yet more typos fixed. (If there is a next game it’s going to have almost no text in it!)
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Re: Untitled Dungeon Game - For the B+128/Master

Post by Lardo Boffin »

Loving this! I have spent the afternoon playing this with my kids (4 and 7 years old) and with a few tactical nudges on easy they have just got to level 4 before tea was ready.
This is pretty much the first beeb game I have managed to get them interested in. Great fun thanks!
The music is certainly an ear worm. If you have a few spares bytes it would be cool to have the Honeywood music from Epic NPC Man in the town. :D
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Re: Untitled Dungeon Game - For the B+128/Master

Post by Dave Footitt »

This is excellent and very addictive! I also struggled a bit to get going on "normal" so am currently playing on "easy", I failed many times in the first dungeon and popped into the second one to get some better kit. No problems so far with the game, really nicely done =D>
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Re: Untitled Dungeon Game - For the B+128/Master

Post by Lardo Boffin »

The kids keep on asking to play ‘that dungeon game’!

They did want to know ‘Why is the Angry Monk angry?’
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Re: Untitled Dungeon Game - For the B+128/Master

Post by ChrisB »

:D
I apologise for starting you children on to the slippery slope of gaming addiction a promising career in IT.

My daughter (13 - who shows no interest in playing) suggests that maybe someone stole the Monk's spaghetti...
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Re: Untitled Dungeon Game - For the B+128/Master

Post by ChrisB »

OK - In what I really hope is the final version (so I can get on with the BBC B version ;) ) I'm releasing version 1.2. Changes are as follows:

Bugfixes:
Display of negative armour values corrected to show -1 instead of G

Rebalancing:
A balance pass has been made to the mid/late game. This is designed to reduce the reliance on physical damage.

Additional magic damage added for acuity levels 4 and 5.
Magic shield benefit increased to 2 shields.
Various enemies have damage output increased and specials changed.
Many changes to cards to make magic and armour and shields more attractive.
Wizards cloak renamed to Storm Cloak and reallocated.
Allocation of some other treasures changed.
Number of enemies generated per dungeon made more predictable (will prevent later dungeons with very low numbers of enemies).

Because of the changes of treasures odd things may happen if you use a pleb file from the previous version with treasures from level 4 onwards. Along with the balance changes it is therefore not recommended to copy the pleb file across from the previous version.
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Re: Untitled Dungeon Game - For the B+128/Master

Post by Lardo Boffin »

Is there any chance of this game getting this sort of treatment?

14C9EF1E-B1BC-434A-B827-24CB9C3ED519.jpeg

I’d buy a copy.
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Re: Untitled Dungeon Game - For the B+128/Master

Post by ChrisB »

I believe that is the plan. It's the reason it's under the "Retro Software" branding.

Hopefully by the time it happens there will be a BBC B version and possibly even an Electron version (no promises).
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Re: Untitled Dungeon Game - For the B+128/Master

Post by tricky »

Is it generally much harder, or maybe just me being crap?
I tried 15 days and after a few items, didn't win enough money to level up.
I then tried Easy and it still took another 16 days to level up health once and that was only because I went to level 2 and got lucky with centipedes (milli?).
I'm still enjoying it and find it hard to put down!
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Re: Untitled Dungeon Game - For the B+128/Master

Post by ChrisB »

Is it generally much harder,
I haven't significantly changed the balance on the early levels (might be some minor tweaks). There is obviously a random number generator in play here and sometimes it goes against you but finding the right equipment combination will help minimise the risk. Also you don't need to complete the first level before moving on to the second (or third or fourth...). And returning to town to upgrade skills is far better than losing your gold by fighting something you are unlikely to win against.
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Re: Untitled Dungeon Game - For the B+128/Master

Post by tricky »

That is basically my strategy.
I started again on Easy (Just one more game)!
I'm on day 20+ and dungeon 4 after not getting killed all the time at the beginning, but!
The game seems to have got stuck in a loop :(
The bits circled in green are flashing once or twice a second, there may be more, but I haven't noticed and I have just accidentally quit! :oops:
UntitledDungeonGameLockup.png
UntitledDungeonGameLockup.png (11.82 KiB) Viewed 2905 times
And it isn't because I was about to be beaten again ;)
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Re: Untitled Dungeon Game - For the B+128/Master

Post by ChrisB »

Ouch - Going to have to look at that. Obviously - I've never seen it before. So much for it being the final version....

Looks like it's redrawing the screen without letting you choose a card. Did you just lose a card last time? Or do you remember what card you/the Vampire just played?
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Re: Untitled Dungeon Game - For the B+128/Master

Post by ChrisB »

OK - Believe I've found it and uploaded a correction. Please use this is preference to the previous version.

If you are stunned and have only one in your hand you get stuck in a loop. :(

The issue was the logic to reduce the player hand size. If you've just played a card then that card is removed from your hand and the other cards are shuffled up. However if you are stunned then you haven't chosen a card from your hand and the game was supposed to remove the last card in your hand. It does this by selecting the last card in your hand as "chosen" when you are stunned so if the enemy plays a remove card we have one to remove.

Due to thinking the index was zero offset and not one offset it was choosing the second to last card. Hence if you have a hand size of one it selects card zero which is also used to flag that we have not selected a card (condition of choosing to concede then saying "no") so goes back to the selection routine with the player still stunned and chooses card zero again.
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Re: Untitled Dungeon Game - For the B+128/Master

Post by tricky »

Well found.
If it hadn't got stuck, I was off to town with less gold than I had on the previous day, so no biggie, but obviously nice to have fixed :)
I guess that is the point, but once the vampire gets its teeth into you, its all down hill, but I guess that is the point ;)
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