A Deeper Dungeon: Dungeon KeeperFX

By Alec Meer on September 28th, 2010 at 8:30 pm.

This I want to try. I want it try it bad. Oh, so bad, baby. Unfortunately I’m currently making zombies wear hats made of spinning drills in Dead Rising 2, but this fan-made fountain of youth for my beloved Dungeon Keeper is very much next on the agenda.

As its creator observes, a lot of game remakes never get off the ground – so instead Polish engineer Tomasz Lis has elected to update what already exists.

Keeper FX’s main purpose is simply to get the original DK – which had a whole lot of DOS in its blood – run without pain on modern Windowses.

There’s an issue, and that’s that, well, this is all you need to play Dungeon Keeper. You don’t need the original. KeeperFX is a hybrid of remade files and original code, and as such… well, I worry for it. I worry about drawing attention to it too, but it’s cool and you lot like Dungeon Keeper, so it’d be remiss of me not to.

And here’s the really good bit: it supports a whole bunch of modern resolutions. You have to tweak the config file to do it, however, like so:

INGAME_RES
Allows you to select up to five in-game resolutions.
Resolution has the form of WIDTHxHEIGHTxBPP. Standard modes are: 320x200x8, 320x240x8, 512x384x8, 640x400x8, 640x480x8, 800x600x8, 1024x768x8, 1280x1024x8, 1600x1200x8. Different modes (ie.widescreen) may be used too, if only they are supported by your graphics card and video driver. You can switch between those resolutions during the gameplay by pressing Alt+R. Modes over 640×480 are experimental, and not completely stable.

I had a quick look, immediately and arrogantly tried to set the res as high as it would go and got duly met with a black screen, so I advise caution and reading the ReadMe more thoroughly than I did. I’ll look at this in earnest next week, though.

Grab it from here. But be quiet about it.

Thanks to Cooper, who kindly told me about this weeks back.

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76 Comments »

  1. Deston says:

    @Alec: Let’s get married.

  2. Spinoza says:

    Ah main dungeon, I’ve miss you so much.

  3. abigbat says:

    This makes me worryingly happy. Setting up now – let’s see what it’s all aboot!

  4. CMaster says:

    Minecraft + Dungeon Keeper.

    The possibilites keep opening up.

  5. frenz0rz says:

    :O :O :O :O

  6. Vague-rant says:

    I fear, that if you were trying to keep this quiet you’ve failed by posting it on RPS. (But thanks)

  7. 7rigger says:

    I’m sorry Alec, I already told all my friends.

    I told them to keep quiet about it though…

  8. frenz0rz says:

    Hmm, having trouble with this one, seems to crash after the splash screens regardless of compatibility options, -nointro etc. Will persevere I think.

    • abigbat says:

      I’m having the same issues. Grr. We must work for our food.

    • Kazz says:

      Oooh, I got as far as the in-game menus. Load up a map and bleh, it dies.

    • Mudface says:

      Same here. Doesn’t play the intro movie either. I think I’ll dig out my old DK CD and see if it works on 64 bit Win 7.

    • Tacroy says:

      Did you try -nocrash? It might help :)

  9. Xan says:

    Awesome now I won’t need to use DosBox anymore!

  10. mlaskus says:

    Oooh, downloading now.

  11. Dougal McFrugal says:

    I really can’t decide whether this makes me giddy with joy or soul crushingly sad.

    There should be a word for that.

    ah yes

    Ambivalent

  12. Simon says:

    Mirrored here:
    (BitTorrent, 2 x 100mbit seeds)
    http://ns366662.ovh.net/keeperfx/keeperfx_ccp_0_37_complete.7z.torrent

    • Simon says:

      This is version 0.37, you’ll probably want to grab one of the patches (0.37c, 1.5MB) from the site… Or just use the full 0.37c Setup.exe torrent linked a few comments down.

  13. Torgen says:

    Hmm, wonder why this downloaded to my C:\ temp folder instead of E:\Downloads as it was supposed to?

    paranoia mode ACTIVATED!

  14. Tetragrammaton says:

    Enter formation!

  15. Cabbs says:

    You cannot afford to train creatures!

    A prisoner has died… and risen as a SKELETON.
    A prisoner has died… and risen as a SKELETON.
    A prisoner has died… and risen as a SKELETON.

    This is how I played dungeon keeper. Skeletons everywhere, always.

  16. DosFreak says:

    You’ll still need to use DOSBox for multiplayer

  17. Simon says:

    And for those who want the Setup (.exe) file, here is a mirror for that! (took longer to dl, that server was slooow)

    http://ns366662.ovh.net/keeperfx/Setup.exe.torrent (BitTorrent 2 x 100mbit seeds)

  18. Premium User Badge

    Jerricho says:

    ok, I won’t shout about it, but I will download it… I have the original disc here so its ok, right?

    For extra caution I read all of this in a whisper.

  19. Navagon says:

    Yays! Hey, you never know, maybe EA will consider releasing this one for free anyway? You never know!

  20. Chris D says:

    I had this. Fixed it by changing screen resolution.

    From the readme:

    Q: Game stops when loading a map. LOG file says:
    Error: setup_screen_mode: Unable to setup screen resolution
    MODE_640_400_8 (mode 10)
    A: The problem is that your drivers can’t support 640×400 mode.
    Change the resolution config lines in KEEPERFX.CFG into:
    FRONTEND_RES=MODE_640_480_8 MODE_640_480_8 MODE_640_480_8
    INGAME_RES=MODE_640_480_8

    My problem now is that it says press space to finish the level but nothing happens when I do.

    • Chris D says:

      That was supposed to be a reply to Frenorz and the others. Curse you reply system!.

    • frenz0rz says:

      Cheers for that mate, although I am now stuck on exactly the same bit as you. Hopefully someone will find the answer, since despite people mentioning it on their forums nobody seems to know a solution.

  21. Mike says:

    Is DosBox really that hard for people to set up? Seriously, spend 30 minutes tops to learn the thing and your good to go with almost every DOS-based game in your collection.

    Only benefit here is higher resolution but i can’t imagine the tiny textures helping matters much. Its all the same textures and whatnot yes?

    • zuzia says:

      Does DosBox have any setup at all? I mean, come on, you may might want to tweak a thing or two in dosbox.conf, but you don’t really need to. The real DOS had all the hassle of config.sys, autoexec.bat, loading things in right order, or even replacing EMM386 with QEMM (more memory! but it crashes!). Compared to that, there’s nothing to setup in DosBox, you’re good to go just after installing it.

    • Premium User Badge

      P7uen says:

      We are lazy, lazy people.

  22. archonsod says:

    Ironically, the original runs without problems for me in Vista. This crashes.

  23. august says:

    Is today classic gaming Christmas? Somebody pinch me.

  24. Tupimus says:

    The DK announcer is teh sex, especially the graveyard/prison/torture room announcements.

  25. DosFreak says:

    Gamers are very very very lazy (like most people).

    Even though DOSBox is vastly simpler than a real PC it’s still more involved than just downloading a winblows game and installing it.

    but in this case people really shouldn’t play the DOS ver of DK anyway (at least for single player)

    There’s an AI issue with the DOS ver whereas KeeperFX uses the Windows executable.

    • Klaus says:

      It’s because people just want to install games and play them as opposed to fiddling around and learning something along the way. And I don’t blame them.

    • Mike says:

      @Klaus

      Lazyness =D

    • Klaus says:

      Indeed, but a type I understand and support.

    • Cooper says:

      The main attraction for me was the freedom to change resolutions. I’ve no problem with DosBox, but often running DosBox games on tiny resolutions scaled up just looks ugly…

  26. Premium User Badge

    Andy_Panthro says:

    Very interesting, downloading now (as quiet as I can manage).

  27. Eclipse says:

    it just crash D: damn it, it doesn’t even start

  28. TCM says:

    This uses no code for Dungeon Keeper whatsoever. In fact, it’s not even the game! It will just delete your whole hard drive and steal your identity. It is probably a virus that affects only the PCs of overly litigious copyright holders. Mirite?

  29. Dean says:

    Works for me on Windows 7 64-bit at 1920×1080. Took some fiddling: if you try and run the menus in anything over 640×480 it’ll crash on loading the map for the original campaign. However, keep the menu/movie res low and you can bump up the in-game res to whatever you want.

    • Mudface says:

      Care to post your config file? I’m getting exactly nowhere with this, sadly.

    • Frye says:

      Here’s mine with working widescreen:

      ; Path to the DK files. Usually leaving it as “./” will work.
      INSTALL_PATH=./
      ; How many of the game files are on disk; irrelevant option.
      INSTALL_TYPE=MAX
      ; Language definition; sets options for displaying texts.
      LANGUAGE=ENG
      ; Keyboard definition; irrelevant.
      KEYBOARD=101
      ; File format in which screenshots are written; BMP or HSI.
      SCREENSHOT=BMP
      ; Three frontend resolutions: failsafe, movies and menu resolution.
      FRONTEND_RES=640x480x8 640x480x8 640x480x8
      ; List of in-game resolutions. ALT+R will switch between them.
      INGAME_RES=1024x768x8 640x480x8 1920x1080x8
      ; Censorship – originally was ON only if language is german.
      CENSORSHIP = OFF

      I’m guessing INGAME_RES only requires one resolution so delete the low ones.

    • Mudface says:

      Smashing- that worked perfectly. God knows what I was doing…

  30. BBQ says:

    I got this working by adding a DEP exception on windows 7 x64 http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-vista/Change-Data-Execution-Prevention-settings

  31. Jahkaivah says:

    @CMaster

    Isn’t that called Dwarf Fortress?

  32. Ghede says:

    I told my friends, They were REALLY happy about it for some reason. Guess lawyers at EA like a good game too.

    … wait…

  33. pipman3000 says:

    you can’t fool me this is new way of advertising a game where you say things like “don’t tell too many people about this delicious forbidden fruit that might just go away forever!” and like everyone tells their friends because the temptation is just too great and they want their friends to get it too before it disappears.

    • pipman3000 says:

      oh god so many campaigns. oh god no there’s free-play mode, oh my god skirmish mode with over a hundred maps, a good guy campaign! oh god no my life is gone

      these guys are conspiring with fireaxis to keep me up late

    • thebigJ_A says:

      Punctuation and capitalization are our friends. We should be kind, and invite them to all of our sentences.

    • pipman3000 says:

      hi. you must be new here!

  34. Jakkar says:

    Oh excitement!

    I found an original big-boxed copy of DK and Deeper Dungeons a few weeks ago in Oxfam, perfect condition =D Now I MIGHT ACTUALLY GET TO PLAY IT..

    Hells, I bought it just because I would feel like a fucking heretic not to. I didn’t think I’d actually get to finally play the original, which people have been telling me for so many years is even better than DKII..

    .. but don’t you dare suggest this could be better than Startopia. Some things you just don’t think too loud o.O

  35. Kromeh says:

    I grew up on DK, I still have the original jewel case and perfect condition CD. This brings back so many good memories. I played DK II when it came out aswell, but I wasn’t as intouch with it as I was with DK I.

    This + Lords of Magic = all the Strategy you’ll ever need.

  36. Matzerath says:

    This got it working for me (from the ReadMe):

    Q: Game stops when loading a map.

    A: The problem is that your drivers can’t support 640×400 mode.
    Change the resolution config lines in KEEPERFX.CFG into:
    FRONTEND_RES=640x480x8 640x480x8 640x480x8
    INGAME_RES=640x480x8

    A host of other config tips in there as well.

    • TCM says:

      Also got it to work for me, so…yeah, Readmes are just that.

    • Matzerath says:

      Well, with all the trouble you can get into with EAT ME and DRINK ME, I can understand why people are wary.

  37. mipiro says:

    This has been out for a while, but it deserved more attention. I don’t advise widescreen resolutions, 4:3 is the way to go. Or use 680×400 if you wanna go old school (and your graphics card supports it).

  38. Frankie The Patrician[PF] says:

    *slaps an imp*

    L37P? Cool captcha :)

  39. Tetragrammaton says:

    Simply amazing, id forgotten quite how addictive this game actually is. The only issue ive run into is the inability to change key mapping. (Also – anyone know if its possible to bind the zoom to a mouse wheel?)

  40. Danny says:

    One of you fine people is obliged to post some Youtube footage, whilst I’m at work.

  41. DizzyDoo says:

    I’ve got it running, hurrah. Any ideas on getting it running in Windowed mode though? Or is that being too picky.

  42. Cooper says:

    I was particularly chuffed about the ENORMOUS amount of extra campaigns and maps bundled into this. I haven’t done much else but play this for some time now…

  43. Butler` says:

    One of my favs of all time, so pretty excited about this.

    I bet Molyneux et al are quietly happy about this tbh.

  44. misterk says:

    YOUR CREATURES ARE UNDER ATTACK
    YOUR CREATURES ARE ATTACKING EACH OTHER!
    YOUR DUNGEON HEART IS UNDER ATTACK!

  45. Kast says:

    This makes my evil heart glad. Dungeon Keeper with only a minimum of dicking about (used Matzerath’s config text, added -nointro and exempted it from DEP like BBQ suggested).

  46. DaGleese says:

    or better yet, EA will stop hitting themselves with hammers, and finally make a DK3

  47. Chainsaws says:

    I kept getting that, just mash CTRL, SHIFT and ALT until the keyboard responds again.