Miniview: Spelunky (PC)

I love:
…that, despite looks, it’s essentially a roguelike. It combines the randomly-generated levels, violent shopkeepers and ranking on death with 2D platformer action similar to LA-MULANA. Similar enough that the programmer mentions the game in his description, anyway.
…the music. It sounds very nice and of the three or so pieces I’ve heard, none of them fail to fit the game.
…the intro that changes slightly each time I open the game.

I like:
…the graphics. Yeah, it looks like a cross between Treasure Hunter Man and LA-MULANA. That’s not a bad thing. It does take a few enemy sprites from Cave Story, but… again, not a bad thing. I miss this kind of style; what are people thinking that 3D is the future?
…being able to mess around on the title screen, and how the intro leads to that point. Admittedly, you can’t do much, but it is a nice touch all the same.

I hate:
…the giant two-tile-wide spiders; they’re the sole highest cause of death, with everything else mostly split evenly between ‘jumped without thinking’ and ‘attacked too late’.

Get Spelunky here.

Death and Shiren the Wanderer

Once released in 1995 in Japan for the SNES, Shiren the Wanderer is one of a long line of console roguelikes; unlike ‘normal’ roguelikes, as console roguelikes actually need to be appealing to mainstream gamers, these roguelikes give the players a break, occasionally.

The latest break players get is the ability to be rescued if they die, in the most recent Mystery Dungeon games appearing on the DS (and GBA). Players, once they die, can choose to hand out a four-line password, or use the DS’ wireless capabilities to sidestep having to type or write all that out and have someone else input the sequence in their copy. Alternatively, they could hop online* and put in a request there. Wireless and online methods even allow the rescued player to send a gift back to their rescuer.

Shiren is pretty fun, but my inability to get a Nintendo WiFi widget to play nicely with any computer I use is pretty annoying. Whenever I die, I have to type out the password; four lines of fourteen characters each. Well, I don’t HAVE to do that; I could always accept death and lose my +40~ sword and shield with shiny and/or rare bits attached. I don’t really care about the progress I made that trip (50F, up from… 1F). I just don’t want to lose those two pieces of kit. Replacing them would require finding a suitable weapon, raising the cash for the guaranteed two blacksmith visits possible per trip, and ALSO hunting down various other pieces of gear that can be melded into the chosen pieces for additional qualities, like dealing extra damage to ghosts, flying things, or dragons**.

I don’t really have an amusing death tale to tell this time, unlike the last I needed rescuing. I went down the stairs, it was a monster house, something sent me to sleep and I didn’t wake up as the Tainted Soldier*** wailed on me.

* …provided you have wireless internet access lying around somewhere, or can get the Nintendo widget to not screw with your computer.
** …so that’s 1000G per blacksmith visit. Getting a new weapon to around the level of the one I just lost would take 40000G, if I have absolutely no luck and don’t pick up one with a few plusses naturally, or find a few Air Bless Scrolls, which do the same as a blacksmith for cheaper, and sometimes do better. Replacing qualities is much more expensive, as the Melding Pot – necessary for merging weapon or shields – costs around 6000G to 7000G each, and to even do anything with that you need other weapons or shields with nice qualities; they’re all more rare than common.
*** Tainted Soldier – a bug-like monster that covers either 6 or 9 tiles, looking pretty identical to the main dungeon’s final boss. I haven’t felt like testing its exact size as my +37 Armorward shield brings its damage down to around 36 points per hit, when I have around 160 maximum. I’ve only ever seen two, and both times in whole-floor giant rooms full of monsters. Not good places to mess around.

Glad that’s over + stuff

I’m glad that I now have my DCS250 coursework finished and handed in. I have… maybe a couple of day’s worth of respite before we all get told what our projects are for this and next year, provided nothing went wrong there.


On the side of non-university-related stuff, I’ve a couple of projects of my own to work on.

‘Pet Dragon’ – Tamagotchi-like pet simulation written in Inform 7. This is mostly to have practice designing a game, and for trying to implement it in a language that isn’t quite suited for the purpose, to see how it turns out. This stalled around the

Generic Roguelike #9754 – C++ roguelike thing started just this weekend. I’ve got it pulling and constructing mazes from text files, but it doesn’t have anything relating to user-input yet, unless you count being able to switch the file the maze is pulled from.

Secret RMXP project #1 – this is currently only in the form of a file of notes written as questions and answers, and a couple of test-things in RMXP.

Secret RMXP project #2 – this one’s the main focus at the moment – it has some maps, scenes… well, it has everything that would technically make it an RPG, but it’s nowhere near finished. The majority of work at the moment is taking place in Google Docs, writing scripts and things. This is more epic, but there’s a chance I’ll get somewhere with it.