Because Grimrock doesn't have the fiddly bullshit so endemic to old games like DM?
And also because we're fucking old and don't have the patience anymore.
Plus presumably when games appear to be moving in a direction you like, you buy those games to demonstrate support, and encourage future games to also move in that direction.
Dungeon Master 2 is a bit shit compared to the original though. That's why I wouldn't play DM2 instead of Grimrock.
I also fired up a Return to Chaos game immediately after finishing Grimrock, and fiddly shit? Original DM plays in very much the same way as Grimrock, and I'd go so far as to say that from a user interface perspective it works almost identically, and even better when it comes to spellcasting. Having separate interface elements for spellcasting and combat allows you to pre-cast spells on all 4 characters before getting in to combat.
I used to use dmweb too, until someone pointed me at Return to Chaos, which has all of the DM games built in; you choose which you want to play when you launch the application, no DOSbox needed.
Get it here.
Uh, the clone I linked is also 100% Windows based.
(Though admittely it doesn't contain DM2 and there's some framerate issues)
Return to Chaos does seem to be the best current means of giving the original Dungeon Master a spin, so there really is no excuse to not play it for those looking for the original 3D dungeon experience.
As for the "why play Grimrock and not Dungeon Master?" question: first of all, Grimrock simply presents an awesome dungeon, one that provides a far better proper sequel to Dungeon Master than DM II ever did. The game is well worth playing in its own right, either as "more Dungeon Master" or as a stand-alone experience.
And secondly--sidestepping the larger issue of hurdles many encounter with legacy gaming in general--I'd argue that Dungeon Master partially succeeded due to an atmosphere to which the passing of time has not been kind. Dungeon Master wasn't just a cool game with a neat magic system and fun gameplay, it was the first realtime 3D "you-are-fucking-there" role playing video game. The game world wasn't just thick boxes demarcating rooms and icons representing threats and treasures, but long chambers that disappeared off into darkness and monsters that could creep up from behind and scare the shit out of you if you weren't paying attention. It was a groundbreaking experience of unparalleled virtual dungeon crawling.
And now it looks like exactly what it is: a relic from a bygone age. Oh, it will still work its charms if you give it the space, and the gameplay (mostly) hasn't aged a day, but the experience the game provided that initially drew in me and countless others hasn't exactly survived these 20-something years intact. The game is still as fun as it ever was, but the core reason Dungeon Master hangs so heavily over my childhood simply isn't there anymore.
Which is pretty common with games that use cutting edge technology to provide a previously unknown level of immersion, but we're lucky enough to have a new game called Grimrock that manages to update the formula for the modern age. Grimrock isn't going to revolutionize its genre and create a legion of converts the way Dungeon Master did in the day, but it comes far closer in 2012 to the feel of playing Dungeon Master circa 1988.
Not that Dungeon Master isn't worth playing now, but Grimrock does justice to its forefathers while easily justifying its own existence.
fuck those running out torches and any levels infested with spiders
I find managing food to be a much bigger pain in the ass than the torches, which I have a massive stockpile of.
So far, I have avoided the food problem by avoiding sleeping (and even forget there was an option for it). Characters don't get hungry so fast this way, and the game has no rules for insomnia.
Screw you guys, I'm playing Dungeon Master.
The system in this game is fucking amazing.
What system Koki? Experience? Magic? Combat? Food? Water?
Overall, Grimrock works mostly in the same way, but isn't quite as refined. I think that's from necessity, as they've imposed a feat system and locked spells and abilities based on points invested in skill lines. This leaves it feeling a lot less open than DM's system.
To be honest, I'd love to see an open-world game like Skyrim with DM's systems. I think it could work really well.
And the spell system in DM? Probably best ever.
Now DM is a pretty simple game so despite an advanced system - there's relatively few skills, spells and even stats. But the framework is there. I mean shit, there's 216 possible spell combinations(not counting the power runes) and the game uses like 20.
It would be orgasmic.To be honest, I'd love to see an open-world game like Skyrim with DM's systems. I think it could work really well.
Funny you mention Skyrim because it's kind of a similar idea(do thing, get better at it, get better overall from doing it) but much more primitive in execution and more limiting because of the perk system which forces you to spec.
As usual, in the videogame industry you go backwards the more you go forwards
It's difficult to be objective about DM's system however, as I'm a total fanboy and it's probably my favourite CRPG system ever.
But yeah, even when you have a complete magical black hole like Halk the Barbarian in your party, when you first discover you can turn him in to a mage by giving him a piece of equipment that artificially gives him some mana? Man, that's fucking AWESOME. It's this flexibility that first gained my admiration, and while other games attempted to mimic it, nothing has done it as well.
Sure, given a big enough world and enough time you end up with a situation where eventually your characters will be Mon masters in every discipline, but the beauty there is that even at such levels of expertise, monsters in DM could still take you by surprise and ruin your day.
Last edited by Malf; 19th Apr 2012 at 10:04.
Koki, did you recently inherit some money? You seem very agreeable and chipper of late.
I mean, in Morrowind or oblivion you can start out as pretty much whatever you like, but by the end you'll always be a super magical-archer-barbarian-assassin-rogue, unless you deliberately enforce class restriction on yourself. And I think people objected to that (for some reason).
I personally still think SOME class restriction is good, just because it adds variety to a system that is otherwise likely to produce a lot of homegeneity: so something like, say...guild wars, where every skill was availble to every class, so you could be a warrior with straight necro skills if you wanted, but a necro would always be better at utilising those skills.
So you could still have your barbarian mages, but they'd be outmatched by actual dedicated mages in anything not involving muscle.
Or maybe that's how DM works? I never played it when I was younger.
It's a bit more difficult to enforce in an open-ended game like Skyrim or Morrowind, but I do think that having a finite amount of advancement realistically possible could discourage "masters of all" in a truly classless game. Level up a plethora of skills via use, fine, but don't expect to achieve great heights in anything unless you focus a bit.
Kind of like life.
But not at all like Grimrock, a game in which such a system would have actually worked incredibly well. I fall increasingly in love with Grimrock with each deeper level of dungeon, but I do think that the game's strictly class-based leveling system isn't one of its strengths.
I think the Chaos Strikes Back changes it for some skills in that they only work if you actually do damage with them. I remember you could stand in an empty room swinging a sword and gain Fighter levels in vanilla DM, something that doesn't seem to work anymore in CSB. Throwing a scroll at a closed door 9000 times still works though, as does casting spells that don't do damage(like light, or create stamina potion for some extra throwing).
But even in the original DM the limit you're talking about was implemented simply by the XP tables*. The XP required to get a new level doubles every time, so it quickly reaches really really high values. If you're playing with a four-person party and don't grind you can consider it a success if you reach a Master level in Fighter/Ninja/Mage/Priest on any char, and there are six different levels of "Master" with Archmaster ON TOP OF THAT AND it doesn't stop there because (*) the game doesn't use a table but just a simple "double" alghoritm to calculate the XP requirements. Theoretically it would go on forever.
Bottom line is, it's easy to be a mediocre or even devent at everything, but to be a real Master/Archmaster would take idiotic amounts of time or some sort of cheating/exploit. So a fighter/mage who played same amount of time as a pure fighter or a pure mage would be worse than both at the respective roles.
And so after a good sixteen hours of in-game dungeon navigation (and 24 or so according to Steam--apparently I'm one reload-happy sonofabitch) I have managed to plumb the lowest depths of Grimrock, and then climb back up a couple of levels, and then head back down again before heading back up and then down. Anyway, bottom line: I've bested (huge spoiler) the giant mechanical cube of evil.
More about that spoiler: yes, that's right: a game with thirteen levels of dinosaurs and ogres and squid-faced monks has an end boss that is a giant mechanical cube of evil. Complete with gears. That you have to remove in order to beat him.
You remove gears from a mechanical cube.
Anyway, wtflol end boss aside--and even that sorta kinda makes sideways sense in a way--Grimrock easily lived up to my heightened expectations. It satisfies that ol' Dungeon Master craving while still forging its own unique identity, and it provided (mild spoiler) thirteen excellent level of solid dungeoneering.
Yes, the magic system is kind of shitty, and yes, the game lacks compelling upper level character development, and yes, the end boss is a giant mechanical cube of evil, but Grimrock is still an incredibly fun entry in a long-dormant genre, and it easily ranks up there among its better peers.
It has also apparently been an overwhelming financial success, which is both well-earned and something of a guarantee that Almost Human will be following up Grimrock with more. But where can they go from here?
Most successful sequels, I think, tend to expand upon the strengths of the predecessor and generally take things to a new level while staying true to the franchise. Some growth is generally desired, or else a sequel can be little more than more of the same. But how feasible is growth in a franchise that hinges on its defining characteristic of purposeful primitivism?
It somehow reminded me of Arx Fatalis, especially inventory
Excellent game, I'm actually surprised it's that enjoyable, really hard to put it down once you start to play it. It's long, its levels are large, but strangely it doesn't bore even though the environment looks the same, probably because it's really challenging (on hard it's really REALLY challenging), combat is fun, and it has lots of varied puzzles, secrets, and stuff.
Same here. I've just started the 5th level and I see that my initially large stock dwindles fast, I guess I'll end up with mo foodby the time I'll start 7th or 8th level, maybe even sooner. As for the second problem - torches (which also eventually started to dwindle), luckily I've just found a solution:I find managing food to be a much bigger pain in the ass than the torches, which I have a massive stockpile of.spoiler:I found a scroll with Magic Light spell.
Last edited by 242; 23rd Apr 2012 at 21:07.