Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

Darklight Dungeon Eternity Released!

Posted by Rampant Coyote on February 8, 2012

The email I received says the game officially releases on the 9th, but from the looks of the website, it’s available now if you cannot wait. I would rather not wait. If I wasn’t in crunch mode, I’d take tomorrow off to play this game:

Darklight Dungeon Eternity.

I’ve played a bit of an early alpha of this game, back when it probably shared a lot more in common with its predecessor than it does now. The new game is a ground-up rewrite of the original engine, and I can attest that even ten months ago it was a lot of fun, and was a bit more interesting than the original game.

And this sucker is BIG. It is FIFTY LEVELS DEEP. Fifty. Levels.  This is a serious dungeon crawler! I spend several hours in just the first three or four levels in the early alpha, so said serious crawling will probably not be resolved in a single, Red Bull-fueled weekend. Zoeller says there are over 200 monster types, 120 mage spells, 600+ items, 24 skills, and several unique combat feats.

The dude is seriously trying to hustle onto Frayed Knights‘ turf here. Though I love him for it. Did I mention that this game is big?

It should be noted that some rooms – like the one pictured above – will span two “levels” (or more) of the dungeon. And the levels aren’t otherwise strictly ordered for linear progression.

There is no concept of character ‘class’ – which is appropriate for a single-character game. It’s a skill-based game, and you will need to share increases between physical skills and magic. Among the many special “zones” in the game – underwater, gas-filled, etc. – there are zones where spellcasting is supressed, and areas where only magic can harm foes. It may not be necessary to defeat enemies in each of these areas – there’s usually an opportunity to dodge monsters while moving around, or escaping a fight – it’s nice to not be totally vulnerable in these situations.

Anyway – this looks to be a really fun, old-school style indie dungeon crawler in the western RPG tradition.  Go download the demo – which offers something like ten hours of gameplay for free to try things out – and see what you think.

Darklight Dungeon Eternity is for Windows only, I’m afraid. You will need .NET 3.5 and the latest version of DirectX to play it.

Filed Under: Game Announcements - Comments: 7 Comments to Read

  • Demiath said,

    Bought this as soon as I read this blog post. Because of the painful activation code system in the first game (which wasn’t very amenable to the mundane realities of having multiple computers, re-installing OSs reasonably often etc.) I never did play much of the first entry in the series, but the larger scale and increased variety of DDE’s dungeon crawling sounds very appealing. Also, since some people (though probably not Rampant Coyote’s target demographic) vocally complain about indie prices going over 0,005$ or something like that 50 levels for 10$ should be great value for just about anyone…

  • Xenovore said,

    Cool that it’s released now; some congratulations are definitely deserved. Unfortunately, I can’t get past those boring 3D graphics, so it’s a no-deal for me. I not saying it needs to be on par with Skyrim or anything, but… sheesh, polish the game bit. If games from the 80’s and 90’s look better than your game from 2012, something is wrong.

  • Anon said,

    I must say I agree with Xenovore on this.

    While I applaud every game designer finishing his own game (including this one) I do not want to run through empty “warehouses” & “pedestrian tunnels” with only the occasional torch at the wall to look at.

    Everything that I see on this particular game confirms my personal opinion: If the resources (time & money) to design or license 3D objects for acceptable 3D graphics simply aren’t there then a game should be made in “easier to fill” 2D, with tiles etc.
    The game world, combat, story, NPCs etc. can all be made well with 2D, too, as many current 2D (or pseudo 3D) titles show.

    I don’t want to sound hateful and I’m certainly not setting Skyrim as a standard for “one man army” game studios but I’m only honest when I say that I personally wouldn’t even play it for free in 2012.

  • MB said,

    Also, there is an endemic problem with some indies. It happens in this game, and others like Underworld and yes, in Frayed Knights.

    Why is the graphic user interface (GUI) so crappy ???

    OK. I can understand that the game graphics are much more simple than AAA games. But, getting a decent user interface (as Eschalon, Avadon,…) is mandatory for any kind of game. A good GUI can take one or two monts of development for an RPG game, but it is a must. Are the authors really aware of that? I don’t know it is a question of lack of taste or skills or time. Anyway I am sure that games like Frayed Knights would rise their sales and could be published in more platforms like Steam if they had a decent GUI.

    Sorry to be so harsh Rampant Coyote. I really love your blog and game ideas, but honestly, if I were you, I would redo all the GUI, re-release the game as Frayed Night Gold Edition and use the new more polished engine for the second part.

  • WhineAboutGames said,

    Getting onto Steam for most indies is a matter of throwing darts and getting lucky, having a nice game or a nice UI is not going to suddenly fix the situation. You can get in with a terrible UI or be rejected with a nice one.

    That’s not to say that having a nice UI isn’t a good thing, of course it is! But it’s endlessly frustrating to hear people claim things like that. 🙂

  • Demiath said,

    This game has a lot more textures than most classic dungeon crawlers combined. I know I’ve mentioned this before, but one of the most immersive first-person RPGs I’ve played (fairly recently, too) is Wizardry 6 which has exactly one texture. Graphics make or break a first impression, true, but they fade away into the background if the mechanics are sound. That was true in 1982 (or so I’m told, I was newborn at the time) and it’s still true in 2012…

  • Karry said,

    More people should play Demise.