AuthorTopic: EOB, Dungeon Master, Black Crypt..  (Read 27531 times)

Offline JJ Naas

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Re: EOB, Dungeon Master, Black Crypt..

Reply #10 on: July 22, 2008, 09:19:50 pm
Lackey: Interesting points about the perspective.

Aren't we talking about two different genres here though? At least in terms of real time / turn based?

 EOB, BC and DM take place in real time, the fighting and using the inventory happening in real time on the screen (although less so in EOB where the action stops while the enemies animate whereas in DM and BC it is not so). In games like Buck Rogers, the AD&D Gold Box games, old Ultima games (and Akalabeth, which I think started the genre) we have a 1st person dungeon view, but we move into a different turn based view when bumping into enemies. And then there's the Might and Magic series, where the view remains the same when fighting an enemy, but once you start the fight the foe glues on to the screen until the fight is over.

A challenge sounds absolutely awesome, I'm all for it but I'd like to do it based on the real time version of this genre.

(Oh, Lands of Lore is missing from my list. And Knightmare as well, which was pretty good once you cleared the annoying starting area in the garden and got into the dungeons.)

« Last Edit: July 22, 2008, 09:26:25 pm by JJ Naas »

Offline Lackey

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Re: EOB, Dungeon Master, Black Crypt..

Reply #11 on: July 22, 2008, 11:33:13 pm
I thought Dungeon Master was still step based right?  I haven't played it in a long time.

for the tile setup the genre of the actual game shouldn't really make a difference though, it just means you need to draw more frames for the monsters :)

I'd like to do real-time challenge as well, really.

Another question because I haven't looked at enough Dungeon Master art: does it seem to use floor and ceiling tiles or is something like that trap just an overlay?

Hired Guns for Amiga seems to use a somewhat more complicated system.  Note the two-level building and the variation in the floor tiles.  It's not just walls on top of a backdrop.

Knightmare looks awesome, thanks for pointing it out.  Maybe it's a lot of layered objects or something?  That's what it looks like to me.  Anyway, there wouldn't be any set way of doing this type of game, it really just depends on how you want to make it, I guess.

Offline Helm

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Re: EOB, Dungeon Master, Black Crypt..

Reply #12 on: July 22, 2008, 11:45:44 pm
I'm pretty certain dungeon master has a top screen single bitmap ceiling an a bottom single bitmap floor and you get to see as much of it as the specific screen geometry allows and stuff is overlayed on top of it. That's how Black Crypt and EOB and probably all the other stuff besides Unlimited Adventures work too

Offline JJ Naas

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Re: EOB, Dungeon Master, Black Crypt..

Reply #13 on: July 23, 2008, 09:01:45 am
I thought Dungeon Master was still step based right?  I haven't played it in a long time.

No, DM was the one that introduced real time in 1987.

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for the tile setup the genre of the actual game shouldn't really make a difference though, it just means you need to draw more frames for the monsters :)

No, I guess it doesn't make a difference.. in turn based games the 1st person view window is usually a bit smaller and for some reason square, where as in real time games it's a rectangle.

...

On a curious side note, see how the graphs flip around horizontally:



Offline ptoing

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Re: EOB, Dungeon Master, Black Crypt..

Reply #14 on: July 23, 2008, 10:12:51 am
Is there a confusion between step based movement and turn based combat vs realtime combat going on?
There are no ugly colours, only ugly combinations of colours.

Offline Helm

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Re: EOB, Dungeon Master, Black Crypt..

Reply #15 on: July 23, 2008, 12:30:06 pm
Yes. Let's be clearer:

Most of these games are real-time. In that the engine doesn't pause for turns in combat, although the combat is still pretty turn-based. Some of them (like Phantasy Star for the Master System) pause when you enter a fight and you get turns in the oldschool fashion, or even a whole tactical screen like gold box SSI games. Historically the latter stuff predates the 'real time' that came later. This is why the dungeon screens in older games are smaller (check Bard's Tale series or Wizardry or old Ultima games, that's where this sort of graph representation starts anyway).

On the other hand in most of these games stepping in the dungeon is usually done from teleporting from one 3d tile to the next one, no smooth movement. Some games like Anvil of Dawn (more recent) or Phantasy Star have drawn animations for the inbetweens. This doesn't change whether a game is real-time or not. Anvil of Dawn has real-time combat, Phantasy Star not.

What we should do I propose for the challenge is go for that 'sweet spot' where the tiled 3d dungeon was at is graphical peak (Lands of Lore, EOB2-3, Anvil of Dawn, etc) but just before they started using actual 3d engines (Ultima Underworld, Ravenloft games, Menzoberanzan etc). Of course if someone wants to make a CGA dungeon be my guest.

Offline Lackey

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Re: EOB, Dungeon Master, Black Crypt..

Reply #16 on: July 23, 2008, 05:41:16 pm
Yeah, sorry for the confusion.  I meant step-based because you move whole tiles at a time.  A step-based game can be either real time or turn-based and have real-time or turn-based combat, they are not exclusive features.

A turn-based game with real time combat would be something  ???

As for the mirroring.  I figure they do what you've illustrated so that the walls don't repeat so visibly.  Think of it this way: if the walls on either side or identical, and you're in a long tunnel with no features on the walls, you would have no visual indicator that you'd moved a step forward.  You could make a different left and right wall and just flip them every step.  Although I'm not sure how they're doing it there.

Offline Cow

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Re: EOB, Dungeon Master, Black Crypt..

Reply #17 on: July 23, 2008, 10:30:31 pm
Of course if someone wants to make a CGA dungeon be my guest.


Amazing game.

Also an activity based on this sounds really fun, I've always been into these sort of games and also have always secretly wanted to make one. So, please.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2008, 10:35:33 pm by Cow »

Offline JJ Naas

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Re: EOB, Dungeon Master, Black Crypt..

Reply #18 on: July 24, 2008, 07:00:19 pm
I put EOB2 in Dosbox to see if I'd still be able to enjoy it..  I was, even now I'm itching to get back to playing it.

Thanks for clearing out the confusion about the genres btw. :)

EOB2 is step based but slightly less real time than Dungeon Master because the game occasionally freezes for a tiny moment to animate. I don't understand really why they had to put the direction arrows to be clicked on the screen, that just encourages people to use them which is less enjoyable than playing with one hand on the keyboard for movement and the other hand on the mouse controlling fighting and inventory. One thing I found playing it to be very refreshing was its relentlessness. Dying a lot (for the sake of your own mistakes) and loading again was indeed once a way how you played games, and EOB2 really punishes you for not paying attention to what goes on on the screen. Grinding is possible, but it'll only get you so far. You can grind all you like, but one mistake in a wrong place and you're dead. Still, it's too difficult only if you don't pay attention or pay any mind to tactics within the limits that the game mechanics allow.

The sounds are a bit flat and midi-ish. By the time EOB2 was released PC games were still lagging far behind in terms of how sounds and music were dealt with on other platforms. I wish I could bash the enemies in the head with a portcullis or drop them into a pit, like in DM. Randomly spawning enemies are also sometimes an annoyance, although it may be a matter of taste. I've never ever liked randomly spawning enemies. Once you've cleared an area it should bloody well remain cleared. In Zelda games I always got fed up with that after a while and in the end just ran past enemies. And FF's random encounters.. don't even talk to me about it. I don't remember how it was in Oblivion.. Anyway, in DM areas remained cleaned after you'd killed all the enemies, except in places where their random spawning was a puzzle element. One thing I like about these games is that they are so compact. No randomly generated dungeons or any crap like that. There's so much fighting and puzzles packed per each square meter. No huge landscapes where it takes forever to get from one end to the other, just a relatively small play area in today's standars, full of action. That's what I'd like to see more in games. Advancing a mere ten meters in a dungeon requires a lot of fighting and puzzle solving. (And dying and loading.)

The grapics are just awesome. The level design is much better than in EOB1, where you spent most of the time being completely lost in a labyrinth.



« Last Edit: July 24, 2008, 07:04:39 pm by JJ Naas »

Offline Lackey

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Re: EOB, Dungeon Master, Black Crypt..

Reply #19 on: July 24, 2008, 08:33:33 pm
I approve of your taste, sir, and would enjoy continuing this conversation  :)
Quote
EOB2 is step based but slightly less real time than Dungeon Master because the game occasionally freezes for a tiny moment to animate. I don't understand really why they had to put the direction arrows to be clicked on the screen, that just encourages people to use them which is less enjoyable than playing with one hand on the keyboard for movement and the other hand on the mouse controlling fighting and inventory.
It's also that much slower which is bad for a real-time game, no?  See this policy crashed when they ported some of the genre features over to early real-time 3D games like Menzoberranzan and Ravenloft which have gorgeous pixel art for the sprites sprites, some of the most charming character portraits I know, and me and Helm would argue the best looking paper dolls in an RPG.  The thing is the games feel like controlling a tank because they really didn't tweak the controls for the whole real-time 3d thing.  It feels really cludgy and awful.

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I've never ever liked randomly spawning enemies. Once you've cleared an area it should bloody well remain cleared. In Zelda games I always got fed up with that after a while and in the end just ran past enemies. And FF's random encounters.. don't even talk to me about it. I don't remember how it was in Oblivion..
Much agreement about randomly spawning enemies.  Oblivion didn't have randomly spawning enemies, and you could clear dungeons.  They would come back after a matter of days, though.

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One thing I like about these games is that they are so compact. No randomly generated dungeons or any crap like that. There's so much fighting and puzzles packed per each square meter.
Funny you mention this as I was going to mention Dungeon Hack which is basically Eye of the Beholder...with randomly generated dungeons.

Dungeon Master is really a pretty clever game though, ahead of it's time in a lot of ways, and well, one of those games where it looks like the developers didn't feel too hindered by what other RPGs were doing.  They just went ahead and made their dungeon game!

There was another game I wanted to mention on the subect of graphics, because I couldn't think of the name earlier, and that's this old Psygnosis game Obitus.  It's not a very good game, not much of a dungeon crawler, and the levels are seperated by awful sidescrolling sections (oh, Psygnosis :powl:) but it's notable because the tiles use 8 directional movement.  This is a cool idea, and it makes the forests seem a lot less mechanical (even when you're running into impassible bush walls all over).

Anyway, about for the challenge.  I'm glad you mention Eye of the Beholder because that's what I've been building my template on.  I started free-handing it in the same 176x200 sized viewport as is common to the Eye of the Beholder games (and a few others, oddly) but when I overlayed what I had drawn on an actual screenshot it lined up almost exactly :wah: I guess a lot of these decisions are kind of intuitive when you're looking at how to assemble the tiles on that black canvas.  For example: making the lower edge of the walls a 45 degree angle to the horizon is pretty convenient.  After that I pretty much just traced the wall sizes as accurately as I could.

So this is bascially how everything lines up, but it's kind of hard to look at (in my image file it's all layered, thankfully):


This is it seperated into the different image files you'd need to build a wall set:


"E", "F", and "G" were a little surprising because I hadn't considered them, but of course walls parallel to the player should be visible off to the sides as well and the perspective is notably different.  In EoB games they usually fade to black by "D."

So tenative restrictions are to do this: a wall set (16 colours, image size...variable), a background (same colours as wall set), 4 character portraits (16 colours for all, 32x32 pixels each), an interface (16 colours again, basically a full 320x200 screen that this viewport and the portraits would fit into somewhere), and maybe a monster set (4 directions at 3 sizes, or whatever).  Or maybe do a few wall sets (wall, door, ruined wall, etc.) and some overlay objects like torches or grates or what-have.  Roll the palette for the overlays into the one for the monster set.

Anyway, this is very flexible and I'm just describing it so you have something to chew on.  I very much want people's input on this if they're interested in participating.  Colour restrictions are just theoretical.  The games are actually 256 colours and it looks like often they use a global palette, but I usually find it more difficult to be clever with virtually no restrictions like that, so I think it's a good idea to make it something a bit challenging.