Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

Quick Take: VR Dungeon Knight

Posted by Rampant Coyote on October 11, 2017

I saw a game pop up on my list called “VR Dungeon Knight.” I was tempted to ignore it, because it was still early access. But the more I read, the more I realized that it could have been subtitled, “A Game Made for Jay Barnson.” A VR dungeon crawl with procedurally-generated levels? With cooperative multiplayer? Oh, my…

My first impressions in the tutorial weren’t all that exciting. It was kind of silly, actually. I accidentally dropped my weapon on the ground. I didn’t know what purpose climbing vines would be (still don’t, actually).

My first impressions once I passed the tutorial were MUCH better. I mean, it’s VR. You are frickin’ *IN* a dungeon, exploring and fighting monsters!!! And you could do it with friends in cooperative multiplayer! Wow! This is the game I’ve waited for since my very first D&D game on my 12th birthday.  The dungeon was a little cartoony, but creepy. The darkness down the hall was… very dark. Then I saw the two little dots appear in the darkness, and realized they were the eyes of the creature reflecting the light near where I stood. It charged. I fired at it with my flintlock pistol, then swung at it with my sword, killing it. Another orc charged forward, and I desperately shot and stabbed. It, too, fell to my weapons. I explored a bit more, but then I had to call it a night.

My second impressions–actually being able to complete a dungeon–are a little more tempered. I discovered the hall where you could pay to become a class, which gives you bonuses of various kinds. That seems cool. I don’t have a very large play area in my office, so I generally do stand-in-place playing, but I was able to get around fine. I mostly used teleportation to get around (which works well). I still get a little sick using the locomotion system, but with only occasional use I was still able to play for full session.

The exploration covers the basics… wander around a dungeon, find the keys that let you progress, kill the monsters, occasionally find little treasures. The treasure system works a little differently. While you can find things to pick up and use during play, the main reward seems to be a bunch of random weapon upgrades that you unlock. I’m still not sure what leveling up actually MEANS when that happens in the dungeon, but it does happen.

The procedural level generation includes vertical elements (yay!), but it is somewhat limited in the use of room templates. That’s expanding regularly, at least. Hey, I put up with it back in the Daggerfall days just fine… 🙂  I would prefer more interactive elements inside the dungeons… while just moving around and killing monsters and picking up the (rare) key or grabbing treasure is cool, I would love to see more interactions. And, well… no load times between rooms.

But while my list of preferences could go on forever, I’m still having fun delving through dungeons and smacking orcs around in VR.

There is a ton of potential here, and the game is still in early access (yes, I know. I still have a bad taste in my mouth from some “early access” games, and these days that seems like the only kind of new indie games). So… YMMV, and I am looking forward to playing some more and seeing how it evolves. This is still largely a solo indie project here, so I don’t expect massive updates to happen quickly. But while it might be far from perfect, it’s still an example of what I wanted from VR in the first place.

Filed Under: Impressions, Virtual Reality - Comments: 3 Comments to Read

  • Modran said,

    No VR equipment here, but I like the idea of being able, in the future, to go dungeon delving side by side with friends :). I’ve been drooling for a multipalyer Elder Scrolls (a good one, and not an MMORPG one) for years.

  • Rampant Coyote said,

    Agreed! That was my first thought about potential adventures at The Void, too. Let’s get a group of four people to adventure in Dream Park!

    Cooperative multiplayer dungeon-crawling with friends is *still* where it’s at. I expect VR Equipment will get cheaper and more accessible (Facebook just announced the Oculus Go, a stand-alone VR system that should be a bit better than Gear VR, which will retail for $199!) So… the dream is still out there!

  • Darius said,

    Have you played Vanishing Realms? It’s also a dungeon crawler, the levels aren’t procedurally generated though. Still, it’s pretty good. The sword fighting is especially good, you can block enemy attacks with your shield and you have to watch for openings when the enemy lets their guard down.

    I’m definitely going to have to give this a try, it looks great.