Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Indie Cred Follow-up: QCF Design's Desktop Dungeons, in 3D!

Hey guys. It being E3 week and all, strange things are bound to bound around. This is one of them. Also, this game is available to play online during the entirety of E3, and can be found here!

Our favorite bite-sized roguelike, Desktop Dungeons, has gone mainstream! If you can't see the picture or just want a text description of what's going on here:
  • It uses the Unity Engine now. This is a browser-based platform that allows for some pretty fancy-pants effects not available in other platforms like flash and html5.
  • It seems to have a full-blown menu and start screen. While cluttered, it looks like there are a lot more options to the game besides characters and game modes.
  • Is there now more "game" to the game? Keep reading to find out.

Kind of yes, and Kind of no
Rather verbose, no? Also, sweet art!
really fancy-shmancy art now, eh
Nice little psychological evaluation at the end, too
So, I'm going to put the transcript of a Buzzchat I'm having with some of my friends impressions here to give you a sense of what's changed and what's stayed the same, partly because I'm at work and I don't have the luxury of writing something too lengthy right now and mostly because it's pretty spot on so far. Try it for yourself, and leave your impressions in the comments!

----------------------------------------COMMENTARY, BEGIN!-------------------------------------------------------

SY: a bit confusing at first...the process of starting up an 'adventure' goes a bit unexplained. The boxes inside the tabs doesn't really explain much. It just looks like the game messed up or something. Weird choice.

TH (me!): its just the demo. there's no persistence so its just randomly generated level after randomly generated level. i imagine they're making it into more of an RPG so it has progression and persistence through each adventure.

but for now, all your stats and records get reset.

they did a good job updating the visuals, but the "game design" has changed so drastically, i don't really feel comfortable calling it the same game. or even endorsing it. if they updated the visuals but maintained the previous design i would say it's worth maybe $2-5.

i guess they're just trying to justify the cost by making it a meatier experience (but it looks like they are just taking that steep learning curve and dragging it out to make it less steep)
SY: Yeah, who knows, maybe it's because of the demo. All the classes that used to be locked in the original are now unlocked. The game just does not have the same feel as it used to. It's...too much like the other flash games now. That pixelated design really gave it some personality. And yes, the game play, really weird. Choosing your gear before hand and having all those perks at the beginning of the game. I don't know, sort of ruins the experience of being lucky and having to find those things in the dungeon.

CY: so i've been playing this game for about an hour now. i went through the tutorials, figured out what you do with the pre-purchase gear, and beat all of the easy level dungeons.

I personally don't like the new art, i thought it was nice at first, but it just made me miss the pixelly ones from before.

The gameplay is much worse than the alpha version. I know it's just a demo, but many things were made less convenient. I liked the "physical" bonuses being automatic and not having a slot designated to them. i found myself losing glyphs sometimes when i bought an item that would go under the "physical/magical" slots. and i liked pressing "1, 2, 3, H, M" to access the glyphs and potions.

I think they made the tutorials more helpful, but the main menu became much more complicating.

The progression is better and worse. In the alpha, progression meant beating the special dungeons to gain more maximum gold capacity or better items in the shops, but now you can get these powerups from the start (and maybe accumulate gold?). Not sure how I feel about this particular change right now.

Those are my thoughts from the last hour!

-------------------------------------COMMENTARY, END!---------------------------------------------------------

 more to come! if this story develops any, of course.