Posts tagged ‘dcss’

A better form of Dungeon Crawl!

Most of my friends know that I really like the roguelike game Linley’s Dungeon Crawl and play it often (it’s similar to NetHack and Angband, if you’re familiar with those). In it, you wander around an (ASCII art) dungeon fighting monsters and getting equipment and treasures. The object of the game is to get the fabled Orb of Zot, which is in the Realm of Zot. You can get there from the dungeon by opening the Portal of Zot using three Runes of Zot (see, there’s a theme here…). It has a wonderfully detailed play structure, and provides hours of entertainment.

The only problem, in my opinion, is that it’s impossibly hard: not only have I never won in my 6 years of playing, but I’ve never gotten a single Rune. There are also a few bugs (most notably, it seems to lock up if you’re controlling your teleport destination). I had thought that development stopped in 2003, but it turns out I was wrong: Linley and his friends stopped developing, but there is a branch called Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup that continues on. It has some really nice extra stuff added in. For instance, if there are no monsters around, you automatically pick up gold, food, potions, and certain other objects that you almost certainly want to get. This turns off if you can see a monster. The targeting for ranged weapons/spells is much more automatic. It now has a path planning algorithm in it so that you can walk to any location in the level (and it automatically stops if you encounter a monster along the way). The morgue files (summaries of your character after you die) are much more detailed. Event messages, stats screens, and your inventory are more detailed. It’s still impossibly hard, but DCSS makes some of the basic mechanics much simpler. This is great!

If you’re interested in a fun, easy-to-learn game that offers literally unlimited play, give DCSS a try.