Artificial Adventurers: Guild Of Dungeoneering

By Adam Smith on February 5th, 2014 at 1:00 pm.

The freely available alpha for Guild of Dungeoneering feels a little like a concept in search of some content, which isn’t necessarily a bad place to be at this stage in development. Each dungeon dive plays out like the kind of boardgame that would have me laying out tiles on my bedroom floor, forced to alter the rules of play whenever furniture or a wall blocked a path. The player constructs the dungeon, placing corridors, rooms and monsters, and attempting to guide an adventurer through safely. Whenever the adventurer defeats a monster, points are earned and these can be spent to place treasure. It’s a neat idea and the alpha is worth a look but the adventurers themselves are empty vessels, in need of character and development.

Hopefully the ‘Guild’ of the title will eventually offer some form of persistence, with adventurers gathering loot and equipment, returning home and improving their stats and that of their base. There’s a huge amount of potential in the concept and the alpha is a fine proof of that concept. I’m glad to have the guild on my radar.

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15 Comments »

  1. Loque says:

    It’s VERY cool, in my opinion. I love the art style and the gameplay. But… it’s made in Flash. And that’s a no-no for a title that comes out in 2014. It should have been conded in HTML5/Javascript, for example, allowing an easier porting on other platfroms (mobile included).

    The concept is pretty good, too bad that being in Flash it’s a bit slow and not very responsive (mouse lag, map dragging, …).

    • Sam says:

      The mouse cursor lagging slightly can be fixed by using a custom hardware cursor image, rather than having a sprite that follows the mouse.
      I didn’t notice any particular lag when dragging stuff around. Although it is set to run at 30 FPS currently, and the Scout profiling tool suggests that even on my feeble laptop it could easily be doing 60. So just turning up the frame rate should make things feel smoother.
      Flash can be ported to a mobile app using AIR quite easily. Although HTML5 could – depending on what features you use – work on a mobile device, if you want to release on mobile it’s really a better idea to do it as an app rather than a browser-based thing. I’m sure it’s possible to do some kind of wrapping of an HTML5 game into an app, but that’ll surely be adding a bunch of performance overheads.

      Adobe really need to get around to paying me for this.

      • Loque says:

        You can easily port HTML5 + Jquery apps to mobile. Provided they’re not extremely heavy/complicate apps, they will run pretty good. Phonegap build by Adobe, for example, allows to do so: you just upload the code and you get the android/ios apps in return (I use that tool but there are many others to try).

        If you need a lot of features (and you need to extensively use the device’s tools) maybe native coding is better. But this game in particular would perfectly fit the HTML5 environment. And with any modern device it would run flawlessly. Also, by doing so he would add 2 mobile platforms to his pool (iOS + Android) at the cost of one. Not to mention how cool it would look on a tablet, for example. Native coding requires a very good knowledge of Java (Android) and xCode (iOS) …. that would require a LOT of time. No way, for a single-man project.

        What I mean is… right now Flash is not eactly the way to go, in my opinion. It’s an old “tech” that will die sooner than later. Being in alpha stage I would seriously consider to focus on something else.

    • mouton says:

      As a person who has spent five thousand years playing Binding of Isaac, I could not care less.

  2. gambrinous says:

    Thanks for writing about the game! I think you hit the nail on the head with your analysis. I have a lot of work to do to make this interesting and fun, but I feel it’s really coming together (though of course – much of it still in my head!). If anyone has any ideas or feedback on the alpha I’d love to hear about them in this devlog thread:
    http://forums.tigsource.com/index.php?topic=36421

    There’s also plenty of stuff in there about what’s coming – Adam is 100% correct about the Guild / persistent side of the game ;)

    • Martel says:

      That’s really cool and creative, hopefully this all works out for you. I dig the art style.

      I’d follow the same suggestion that Loque made above, if it’s possible since you’re relatively early in development, that moving to something like HTML5 might be better for you in the long run.

    • Loque says:

      Hi gambrinous! Why did you choose Flash for your game? I loved the idea/concept but you’re screwing yourself by choosing Flash.

      • gambrinous says:

        It’s made with AS3 + Flixel, which compiles into flash. As for why, it boils down to
        - familiarity & speed of development (I’ve made a bunch of games with it before).
        - easy multiplatform via AIR (pc/mac/mobile/web)
        - performance good enough for the kind of game I’m making (turn-based). Note: I haven’t done any optimisation yet in the alpha, perhaps even the opposite (horrible shortcuts marked with a TODO comment ;) ).

        That said, I’m hoping the platform/engine I’m using to make the game will matter less to gamers than how good the finished game is!

        • Loque says:

          I see. Well, different points of view then. Good luck, I loved it so far.

      • The First Door says:

        As someone who works quite a bit in AS3, I can say it is actually very fast if you steer away from a few of the heavy-duty layers Adobe placed in (i.e. Flex). It’s also excellent when using Flixel to prototype ideas quickly. It really shouldn’t matter what you use to make a game as long as the game is good, as gambrinous said!

        Anyway, the concept looks really interesting, good luck with it!

  3. Tallim says:

    Reminds me of an old Gamesworkshop boardgame called Dungeonquest

    • gambrinous says:

      I used play DungeonQuest with my siblings in the 90s, it’s definitely part of the inspiration ;)

  4. LionsPhil says:

    Neat little concept. Managed a score of 23 treasure before the eventual no-healing wore him down.

    The little guy could do with being less inclined to visit recently-visited squares; he oscillated back a forth down a corridor for a bit that last game.

  5. Phasma Felis says:

    Am I right in thinking that there’s not an actual game here yet? As far as I can tell, there’s no way to ever boost your stats or restore health, the second-weakest monster knocks 30% off of your health, and there’s actually negative incentive to expand the dungeon since it just gives the little asshole more places to wander that aren’t where you want him to. Also his random movement seems biased towards avoiding enemies, which just prolongs the inevitable. On the other hand, you can pretty much rack up infinite treasure if you only ever play treasure and rubber duckies and discard everything else.

    I know it’s just a proof of concept, but I assumed there would be at least a basic sense of forward progress…