In Which I Finally Get Around To Mentioning Delver (Updated!)

This project, inspired by Markus “Notch” Persson’s Prelude of the Chambered, aims to combine “combine the mechanics of games like Ultima Underworld with the depth and replayability of a roguelike.” Thus far, the game supports basic physics, melee combat, rough NPC pathfinding, moving between levels of a dungeon and loading levels from static files, saving and loading, character permadeath, and sports a basic inventory system. Interrupt plans on building character sheets next, incorporating ranged combat, adding support for randomly-generated dungeon levels, and is even toying around with the idea of adding an overworld.

I was first informed about it last week by Zephaniah Grey — and by others since then — but I haven’t found time to actually put up a post about it until now. I have also set up a project entry for Delver at the Inspired Works subdomain, at which can be found (for download) the most recent available JAR file for the game.

The First Age of Update: Delver is now available on Google Play!

12 Responses

  1. Andy_Panthro says:

    I like the look of it, but can’t help but feel the items and characters should be slightly more detailed.

    I don’t mind a pixel-art look, but it can be difficult to make things look distinct enough, as was shown in the video when he switches from a dagger to a short sword.

    Will look forward to more updates though!

  2. Thepal says:

    I’m a bit surprised about the lack of detail too. All I can think is he is trying to get the MineCraft audience.

    Y’know, I start making a first-person RPG ala Ultima Underworld, and suddenly everyone else is making/releasing them too :-P Oh well, mine has higher-quality graphics than this, and isn’t grid-based like Grimrock. So… it is still unique… for now.

    • WtF Dragon says:

      Heh…I don’t think we’ve seen any media from that, have we?

      • Thepal says:

        Nope. And you won’t for a while yet. Considering the visuals is the last thing I’ll be working on, showing it off doesn’t really work at this stage.

    • Higher-quality graphics will not make your game unique, the gameplay of it will.

      • Thepal says:

        Don’t worry. Gameplay is my main concern. Since I’m doing it as a one man team (since that seems to work for me), I’m focussing on Programming first (making everything work), then creating the maps/story etc. Once I have a good game, I’ll be doing the graphics/music.

        I recently had a similar discussion with my brother, who is making a game that he plans on having the best graphics of any game ever (plus good gameplay)… at least for the genre it is for. I said I was focussing more on gameplay (you will notice I didn’t say I will have better graphics than Grimrock… I’m not that insane). But if my brother does manage both, that is the best option I guess.

      • Sanctimonia says:

        “I’m [focusing] on Programming first”

        One of the smartest and wisest things one could say making a game. If you plan, do it well-informed but move into programming quickly and according to plan after the base gameplay goals have been laid out.

        Next best quote is, “Higher-quality graphics will not make your game unique, the gameplay of it will”.

        Reasonable (well thought out) gameplay goals and efficient, logical and readable (well commented and non-redundant) code create a strong foundation for a game, however you plan to present the graphics. Which begs the question, why would any FP-style game intentionally use unnaturally low-resolution textures if not to directly emulate the textures of old CRPG’s?

        In any case, this is Delver:

        And @Thepal I’m extremely interested in your mentioned project. Unless of course you were jesting and are on team Delver. Either way, the idea of an engine that recreates the gameplay and creepy level style of UU is awesome. A -real- dungeon crawler, bouncing skulls off walls and such. I’m pretty excited by all these recent cool projects.

      • Thepal says:

        No, I’m not working on Delver. I’m initially making the game for Windows Phone (weird choice, I know, but there are reasons behind that). Which actually limits me to being able to do basically what UW could do (Phone’s are too slow to do anything too amazing, or have graphics that are too good). It would technically only take me a couple of hours to convert to PC (my map editor is on PC obviously already), and I’ve been saving higher-quality versions of textures as I go for when I convert to save me some time later on.

        Working for the Windows Phone is probably helping me focus on gameplay, and also make sure my code is relatively neat (though I’m actually cutting a lot of corners to speed up production). I’ve only really worked on it for a week all up, but I already have lighting, collisions, water, lava, items, inventory, automap (with ability to add notes to it), ranged weapons and spells, basic enemy AI and a map editor. Along with some random things I decided to add in like torches, left/right handedness and male/female options (which basically just change what your hand looks like).

        I’m currently trying to teach myself bones/skins for models since I’ve never actually done that so I can add animated NPCs into the game… That is proving a challenge. I might take a break from it and do saving/loading, the quest/journal system and add some more usable objects in the game (levers, buttons, moving platforms, etc). I have a few hours this weekend, so I should be able to get them done.

      • Sanctimonia says:

        That you’ve implemented that many features in a week is disturbingly awesome, as in “I’ve sold my soul to the Devil” awesome. Damn, man. If I weren’t as broke as a frisbee dipped in liquid nitrogen I’d fly you out here to help out with my project. Keep up the good work and I’m greatly looking forward to seeing the results.

  3. Interrupt says:

    I’ve done projects before where I spent all of my time on graphics and none on gameplay, I finally realized that spending my time rigging and animating models or making a normal map for a sword does not make it any funner to play.

    This game is basically me going with the exact opposite approach, it’s much easier to add a new feature when you only need to spend ten minutes on the art for it instead of a whole day.

    • Thepal says:

      I think that is definately a good choice. I’m doing the same at the moment (throwing together a model in a couple of minutes when I need something in order to get the programming right).

      Are you planning on upgrading the graphics once the programming is done?

    • Sanctimonia says:

      Agreed all around. It’s a time:impact ratio. If you can do five gameplay features in the same amount of time as creating a 3D model, do the model later and use placeholder graphics if necessary. Freaking awesome progress Interrupt. I’m stoked. :)

Speak thy Mind!