Demons of Dex (roguelike)

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petri
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Demons of Dex (roguelike)

Post by petri » Sat Sep 26, 2015 5:59 pm

Hi!

My new game Demons of Dex - Eino's Quest has been released today for the Commodore VIC-20. Why on earth? VIC-20, released in 1980, a precursor to C64 was my first computer and to my shame I never released anything on it. Well, I got to fix that today :-) The game has been written completely in tightly optimized 6502 assembler code. The machine has only 3583 bytes available for program code so I had to use a huge number of tricks to get everything I wanted in the game.

Don't have a VIC-20? No problem, you can play the game online at http://tinyurl.com/DemonsOfDex

Game manual (including the source code): https://github.com/petrihakkinen/demons ... /README.md
Be sure to read the manual if you're going to play. There was no bytes left for any instructions!

Features:
- 15 randomly generated levels
- 10 kinds of monsters
- 5 kinds of usable items including a magical artifact
- themed levels
- scoring
- music and sound effects (Music by Mikko Kallinen)
- written in highly optimized assembly code

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minmay
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Re: Demons of Dex (roguelike)

Post by minmay » Sat Sep 26, 2015 7:06 pm

I think the game is a little too generous with items (won first try despite being really dumb and getting surrounded once), but the ending is awesome!
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petri
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Re: Demons of Dex (roguelike)

Post by petri » Sat Sep 26, 2015 8:39 pm

Yeah, you are right. I'll tweak loot drops and also adjust combat difficulty a bit. Thanks for the feedback!

EDIT: new version is out

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Komag
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Re: Demons of Dex (roguelike)

Post by Komag » Sun Sep 27, 2015 1:00 pm

I love it!

Good:
- I immediately loved the old school music, took me back 30 years just-like-that, well done Mikko
- I like the large amorphous rooms MUCH better than Rogue's basic rectangle small rooms
- I love the line-of-sight dungeon revealing system, very well done!
- Very clever for the demon to turn into the stairs down! (I suppose it might block player, but that's not a real problem)
- Oh my goodness, the Stalkers! Yes!
- I like the color themed rooms, it sparked my imagination to think of a new environment, like lava caverns or ice dungeons or moss filled tunnels, etc
- The big destructive screen shake was unexpected and cool!
- The staff duration seemed good, a little longer than I was expecting which made me happy and not afraid to have fun and use it, ZAP!
- Holy crap, the SLIMES!

Improve:
- Document that "any" other key will wait/skip a turn
- Document that white letter monsters are full health, red ones are hurt, green ? (perhaps you intend player to discover this info through experience, if so that's fine)(I never figured out what green monsters means)
- When I level up I get healed (good), but anything else besides health max? I can't see any indication of what level my character is. Am I stronger?
- I see the pathfinding is very rudimentary (but I'm sure it's because of the hardware/memory limitations, so it's okay)
- Why call Z's "Undead"? I think of "Undead" as more of an adjective usually, like "an undead rat". But anyway, I just expected to read "You hit the Zombie"
- Would be nice to see what dungeon level I was on

I died two times (once was simply forgetting to heal), and had a couple times where I just barely leveled up or found a potion right before dying which was tense in a good way. I would say the difficulty is spot-on right now (not stupidly impossible like original Rogue). It was a blast!

This little game is absolute proof that you are a programmer at heart! 8-) If you had released this in 1980 you'd probably make a ton of money, haha! Of course, back then you'd have to ramp up the difficulty to keep people coming back for more fun punishment until they manage to luckily beat it 100 times later :lol:
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petri
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Re: Demons of Dex (roguelike)

Post by petri » Sun Sep 27, 2015 1:41 pm

Wow, thanks a lot Komag for the kind words and feedback!

I had really hard time trying to fit this into memory so even rudimentary things like printing the current player and dungeon level had to be left out. The funny thing is that even before I had ranged attacks and the staff implemented I had run out of memory, so I had to squeeze code hard and use every crazy trick I could come up to have that feature. I even shortened monster names where possible to save bytes. For example, I had to rename Wizard which I prefer over Mage because it's more old shool. Likewise Undeads were Skeletons at first. 'z' is the letter usually used for all kinds of undeads in roguelikes so that's why.

In the end the program uses all 3583 bytes that are available for program code on the vic-20. Out of 3583 bytes about 250 bytes are taken by text and 510 bytes by music and the playback routine.

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petri
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Re: Demons of Dex (roguelike)

Post by petri » Sun Sep 27, 2015 1:51 pm

One more anecdote about crunching code size: Did you notice that if you press 'z' without the staff, you get "No staff.." (with double '.')? I had a routine for printing "No %s." where % is replaced by "potion", "gem" whatever when you press a function key. Now the routine automatically adds an 'S' so it would print "No staffs." which is clearly incorrect (there's only one staff). So I made a kludge that first uses the routine to print the incorrect message and then immediately just poke extra '.' into the screen memory where the 'S' is located :-)

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Komag
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Re: Demons of Dex (roguelike)

Post by Komag » Sun Sep 27, 2015 1:58 pm

Wow, talk about tight limitations and hackey workarounds! I've been working on a Grimrock-inspired 2D game for Roku and I thought THAT platform was limited, I had no idea!
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Sir Tawmis
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Re: Demons of Dex (roguelike)

Post by Sir Tawmis » Wed Sep 30, 2015 9:50 pm

I need to check this out, as I loved the original ROGUE game back in the day!

As a side note, totally unrelated to the actual game - I made mention of the game title "Demons of Dex" in the Grimrock fanfiction I have. :)
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FeMaiden
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Re: Demons of Dex (roguelike)

Post by FeMaiden » Mon Oct 26, 2015 5:16 am

my favorite C64 game of all time was gateway to apshai.

you might say it's an "action roguelike?"
I dunno, i played it way back before I even knew what a roguelike was...

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FeMaiden
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Re: Demons of Dex (roguelike)

Post by FeMaiden » Mon Oct 26, 2015 5:20 am

Komag wrote: Improve:
-
- Why call Z's "Undead"? I think of "Undead" as more of an adjective usually, like "an undead rat". But anyway, I just expected to read "You hit the Zombie"
the funny thing...in the legend of grimrock 2, those ghoul enemies are called "Undeads" instead of ghouls.

I agree with you about the adjective use. when I think undead, I think of it as a catch all term for all the different skeletons, the mummies and the ghouls,

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