[DSB] Two Lovers dungeon

Custom dungeons for DSB
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boyflea
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[DSB] Two Lovers dungeon

Post by boyflea » 4-Nov-14 22:52

DSB DUNGEON: TWO LOVERS (C)2014
https://www.dropbox.com/s/2eja9rypd7dww ... a.zip?dl=0

(alt link here - b.)

Hi,

19th September 2014, 'Chaos Shaman' pinged me to ask whether I was still making RTC dungeons - I had an old yahoo group:
https://uk.groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/ ... ExMzQyMjI-

I had completely forgotten about this. In fact for RTC, this was my only dungeon.
Chaos Shaman showed me a really cool RTC dungeon where you are Lord Chaos. I was curious...

Delving more into the history of things, I re-visited the old forums to find things very quiet:
RTC was still ongoing, but as GG had ceased support in 2008, it seemed to be at the end of it's life (just my opinion)

DSB did catch my eye, as it's Lua content gave me an idea - having created a couple of things for Grimrock, I thought to compare RTC with DSB.

So as a test, I thought to port my own 'Two Lovers' dungeon form RTC to DSB, see what would be invovled.
here then, are the results:
DSB DUNGEON: TWO LOVERS (C)2014
https://www.dropbox.com/s/2eja9rypd7dww ... a.zip?dl=0

and here's the original (the proper one that does not regenerate your team all the time! suspect now it's too hard to finish!)

RTC DUNGEON: TWO LOVERS (C)2006
https://www.dropbox.com/s/7hm2n7o676t2d ... a.zip?dl=0



####

What did I find?

Well, simple to copy structure, couple of days to flesh out dungeon.

but DSB editor has some drawbacks in comparison with RTC editor - however this is to be expected really - RTC is a 'finished product'
DSB has a notable copy/paste bug ('Cut' anything then 'copy' and it seems to get confused and crash, or even corrupt your work)

I had to modify the dungeon as NPC and friendly monsters are not catered for by-default.

sound FX also seemed to be unituitive to grasp, but I did learn them and once done proliferated my dungeon with them.

in fact the editor is basic, but what you have to do with DSB is think more about the lua files and work with them: so when used in conjunction with a text-editor, it becomes very easy to add graphics and sounds. I know it would be nice to have it all in one package, like RTC does, however lua will offer a wider set of options.

I did try to program some new items but my lua is weak - so instead pushed the editor to see what I could do: triggers and msg-senders seemed to work well: having triggers detect opbjects used and carried by party were lifesavers. delays and trigger-chains were easy to setup with a bit of trial and error: eg DESTROY works best at teh end of a list of triggers, as I foudn sometimes messages were not getting through.

So yes the editor is a bit basic and a bit buggy, but hey - it does offer a great deal of flexibility nontheless. Withint he editor, RTC does offer a lot more however, but by having lua as a wildcard to create any function - DSB has real potential. :)


back in 2007 I did start a RTC sequel dungeon, but found several shortcomings.
DSB could tempt me back for future dungeons, but I would really need to learn a lot more programming first.

conclusion:
this is not a fair test, tbh. Both offer great flexibility and great dungeons-making possibilities. It is a shame RTC is discontinued, but great to see an ongoing community support it. DSB deserves future support as it does have potential to be the next evolution for this community, however it's still getting there I feel.

I think you guys continue to amaze and impress everyone with how much love and dedication goes into your tools and your passions and your dungeons.
You've pulled me back in after 8 years and have thoroughly enjoyed the experience.


thanks

DAVE
Last edited by boyflea on 29-Jan-15 12:32, edited 1 time in total.
The stonework walls were pristine, the floor level, the waterworks and drains complete. The lighting network was in and the Dragon in the basement was grumpily heating the water-pipes: Lord Chaos consulted the blueprints again, looking for the bathroom.

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Re: [DSB] Two Lovers dungeon

Post by Chaos-Shaman » 5-Nov-14 09:29

thanks for coming back, and hopefully you'll begin designing again whether it be DSB or RTC. the fact you put them together is a start.
cheers to you
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Re: [DSB] Two Lovers dungeon

Post by boyflea » 5-Nov-14 10:05

thanks for the inspiration :)

known issues:
1- resume game kills any ambient music - seems to be a DSB thing as restoring a save game from start works fine
2 - music, near the end some loops don't die properly leading to minor audio clashes

Variations from RTC:
RTC doe provide an excellent 'secrets' feature that DSB has not got,
to which the correct answer is 'well then build it Dave! this is a community effort after all!'
and that would be a fair-point. DSB does offer a terrific system, and I found it easier to construct intricate logic-puzzles etc in DSB rather than RTC.

I do like the DSB editor. really do. RTC just has big extra chunks that have been added too.



So instead have put in-game an area to review secrets:

to get perfect ending you have to achieve these goals:
1/ unite two key protagonists
2/ kill the big bad guy
3/ find all 15 secrets - [some are easy - ie, just be in the right place looking at the right thing, some are hidden behind entire sub-quests: fairly close to RTC version in location]


mechanics:
this game is to be played more of a lightning quest rather than a massive grind: so I've crippled the characters at the offset but have massively increased the XP gain. In addition, there are food supply bundles and safe-havens added throughout the dungeon. Too-easy? you be the judge. :) final boos bit flat? it never was that great a boss, however hopefully the secrets and stories help with the sense of victory.

Puzzles:
overall, puzzles remain the same, and layout is similar:
additional content has been added to the lower levels and the ending is much more convoluted now.

Side-quests:
there are too many people in mirrors to save all in one quest, however saving certain ones gives a couple of side-quests: can you find them?


generally lots of fun.
deliberately pixelated everything , adn if I were more patient, more care would have gone into look-and-feel, for consistency.

However, RTC has more glaring incongruities so overall am happier with DSB version.
Audio is deliberately a lower-quality to reflect audio of the era - I'll pretended to use TCB tracker for them :) (go and buy the originals :))


This was an experiment that soon became a passion... again.

Right, that was all fun, but seriously, in the meantime, Grimrock 2 is out! Dammit! :D
The stonework walls were pristine, the floor level, the waterworks and drains complete. The lighting network was in and the Dragon in the basement was grumpily heating the water-pipes: Lord Chaos consulted the blueprints again, looking for the bathroom.

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Re: [DSB] Two Lovers dungeon

Post by Sophia » 5-Nov-14 19:04

Welcome back!
It's nice to see someone designing with DSB, of course. :)

It seems like the DSB issues that I might need to look at are:
:arrow: Resuming a game after dying stops ambient music from playing
:arrow: In ESB, trying to copy right after you cut causes weirdness

I'm not sure what "some loops don't die properly" means but if you can explain that I'd be happy to look into that too.
Edit: I figured out what you meant. I can fix this too.

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Re: [DSB] Two Lovers dungeon

Post by boyflea » 5-Nov-14 20:50

thanks Sophia. 'Loops' not closing - I have 6 ambient music loops in the game.
I did have it working whereby a msg controller turns them all off before starting the next.
but for some reason in the final builds it broke for a couple... why???

I have noticed that sometimes, when cut, copying and pasting: if you delete and then copy and so on, if you have linked triggers or items, they point to ???? values in the editor. now if you then add in new items, it is conceivable that as they are replacing earlier ID numbers, they then fill these gaps.

eg: object 1,2,3,4. triggers in object 1 watch 2,3,4
I delete object 2,3, the logic in object 1 states ???, ???, 4
I then make new objects, these get assigned id 2,3 - and have seen these fill the gaps.

now of course, I should not just delete content that is linked and so on, but there is something odd going on in the copy and paste and creation of new items. sorry this is vague: At it's worst, I have cut items and later found after saving that targets pointed to existing items - eg: items I'd setup at start of map-creation. So.. odd.

~~~

such a ramble...

ok, essentially:
cut - grabs the items and retains their links and info
copy - if pressed after cut option seems to kill editor often

Q- why does this confuse the editor? cut data and then an illogical copy operation applied to it (usually in error tbh)

paste - works all of the time, but seems to re-use low-number ids to 'fill in the numeric gaps'

Q: why, when creating a new item, does it try to assign it the lowest number possible?
can it use 'highest used id'+1 instead? but this is speculation that it even effects some of the logic, but hope this rambling helps.

~~~

to find the loops, you have to reach the end of the game, so if they bug you that much - I'll fix.


EDIT - such a ramble - sorry! I really love DSB editor
The stonework walls were pristine, the floor level, the waterworks and drains complete. The lighting network was in and the Dragon in the basement was grumpily heating the water-pipes: Lord Chaos consulted the blueprints again, looking for the bathroom.

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Re: [DSB] Two Lovers dungeon

Post by Sophia » 5-Nov-14 21:15

It's fine! More information always helps.

After my initial testing, there seem to be two distinct problems. First, trying to copy a blank square tends to crash DSB-- this is just a case I forgot to make allowances for, because there's almost no reason to intentionally do it. Secondly, the flag as to whether something is "cut" or "copied" (to determine whether to drop it directly or make a copy of it and then drop the copy) is sometimes set wrong, which can lead to corruption and crashes.

I'll have a fixed ESB available soon. :mrgreen:

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Re: [DSB] Two Lovers dungeon

Post by Gambit37 » 6-Nov-14 13:45

Nice to see a DSB dungeon finished. I tried to do one but real life just stole my spare time the last couple of years...! Congrats @boyflea on finishing it, I hope to be able to try it out some time. :)

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Re: [DSB] Two Lovers dungeon

Post by boyflea » 6-Nov-14 15:10

Thanks Sophia for the feedback and to Gambit for the support.
@ Sophia - yes, there is no reason to copy an empty cell, however with teh keyboard shortcuts ctrl-x,c,v next to each other, my fat fingers often selected this by mistake. Thanks for idiot-proofing :)

@ Gambit: I would add it helps to have a strong goal to complete these things: converting an original dungeon helps a lot :) Real-life does get in the way for me too - but then a laptop and a daily commute can achieve many things :)

cheers again (non-gender-specific) dudes. :D
The stonework walls were pristine, the floor level, the waterworks and drains complete. The lighting network was in and the Dragon in the basement was grumpily heating the water-pipes: Lord Chaos consulted the blueprints again, looking for the bathroom.

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Re: [DSB] Two Lovers dungeon

Post by boyflea » 7-Nov-14 20:40

SUMMARY

TIME TO CREATE DSB MAP: 17-SEPT-2014 to 5-NOV-2014
I will go with 16MD (man days, @ 8hours per day)
COPYING ORIGINAL MAP – 2MD, layout, doors, basic key logics
ASSET GENERATION – 2MD, to storyboard, create artwork, create 16mhz sfx.
POPULATING MAP – 4MD to add in special items and puzzle updates adapted to DSB version
STORYTELLING – 1MD, implementing and checking music, sfx and image-screens
FINAL CORRIDOR – 1MD, addition to map to showcase all ending screens
LUA EXPERIMENTATION – 2MD, learning DSB basics, trying (but abandoning) 1 minor lua project.
TESTING AND BUGFIXING – 4MD
~~~
WORKAROUNDS
Things RTC has that do not translate to DSB without customisation:

CLIMB UP – function does not exist
MONSTER ATTRACTOR – RTC has a floor logic item that monster types are drawn to
FRIENDLY MONSTERS – RTC facilitates monsters to fight either monsters or party. DSB has n monster-scanning for monsters.
MIRRORS – full mirrors do not show contents 2 squares away, only when user is directly in-front of mirror.
FULLSCREEN IMAGES – DSB provides these, but has no buttons – whereas RTC does.
SECRETS & STATS – RTC provides an end-of-game tally service, DSB does not track or make public any such stats: be interested to know if any stats, like time to complete, are tracked.
(though must say DSB design feels more rewarding, as user is aware of reward immediately, rather than at end of game)
HINTS ORACLE – RTC covers this, but no such provision for DSB.
However, text and image handling are easier to script and deliver in DSB than RTC, so if done in-dungeon, effect can be quite good at providing a strong narrative.
BEHAVIOUR – there are some minor behaviours between RTC and DSB: regnes and drain-rates seem to be slightly different, despite having identical stats during testing. DSB version tweaked to accommodate. Looking at documentation, DSB seems based more on original calculations. Both play well btw, the difference is minor.
ON DEATH logic – could not see a way to add triggers to on-death of monster in DSB.
IN PARTY logic – within editor, could not see a way for trigger to check if certain player is in party.
COMPILING MAP – far-far easier to load-up and test levels in DSB than RTC: spad-up QA cycle enormously on a micro-level.

Some of these, I admit, may be due to my ignorance, and they may be catered for in DSB: as this test partly includes me being new to editor, but hey, that was also part of the mission.
All views are mine and not necessarily definitive.
~~~
VERDICT: DSB is worth the work. It does currently lack some features of RTC, but QA-time is vastly reduced and lua adds incredible versatility, along with future-viability: it is a strong contender to RTC as an alternative. Recommended.
The stonework walls were pristine, the floor level, the waterworks and drains complete. The lighting network was in and the Dragon in the basement was grumpily heating the water-pipes: Lord Chaos consulted the blueprints again, looking for the bathroom.

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Re: [DSB] Two Lovers dungeon

Post by Chaos-Shaman » 8-Nov-14 12:25

16 days!! that would have taken me 16 years :lol: that's incredible. why the long absence with such skills? thank goodness you're back.
so you basically did all of that after I pinged you. wow. you did say RTC was convertible to DSB and here we are. smashingly good Dave, you're the man of interest now :lol: I too love DM.
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Re: [DSB] Two Lovers dungeon

Post by Chaos-Shaman » 12-Nov-14 13:52

finished... was fun. the ending says it all, I thank you for that Dave. I understand the story. the info screens were missing in the RTC version, and that made all the difference. the setup was different but basically the same idea.

best thing I liked about it was the monster attacks when in a group, they'd split every so often and try and corner me, but I'm a sword and axe man and obliterated every monster there was.

I was bothered by the rune icons, felt sticky and slow, took some getting use to.

what was the red floor all about? I thought they might have been tiles the party should not stay on. I didn't care much, I slaughtered everything in my path. didn't use much magic.

I killed Seth with the dragon sword, no magic, no wands, he was a breeze. I noticed that Seth's moves were way faster than in RTC, it was set on high, so was the fireball attacks, I killed him at the doors, was a bit easy.

I have a lot more to say but I think i'll wait for others to finish.

thanks Dave
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Re: [DSB] Two Lovers dungeon

Post by boyflea » 12-Nov-14 22:51

Thanks!
It seems you played it in the way it is meant to be played: hard and fast! :)
The red carpet was my attempt at wallsets: for the big maze level, this was meant to help navigation.

the rune icons - assuming you mean for the magic: I've not touched the UI, so one for the DSB-team.
The 'boss' is nothing special - possibly the weakest part of this gaem, given all that work to setup: well not true; levels 2-4 are really really basic, literally me playing with RTC.

Glad you liked it however. Both versions too! :)
The stonework walls were pristine, the floor level, the waterworks and drains complete. The lighting network was in and the Dragon in the basement was grumpily heating the water-pipes: Lord Chaos consulted the blueprints again, looking for the bathroom.

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Re: [DSB] Two Lovers dungeon

Post by Chaos-Shaman » 13-Nov-14 14:13

yes, I go after them, the worst that can happen is I replay it, no big deal. sometimes I stand there to see what the monsters attacks are because I miss them if I don't concentrate. the attack graphics are quite fast in DM. so the red path was nothing but help, red usually means trouble :lol: hence the red dragon. green might be more readily understood as go that way, non the less I killed everything with ease. I hardly used fireball, too costly, it stayed inconsistent, I never mastered a thing.

there was plenty of food, not like the RTC version. I didn't use fright much, it seemed ineffective, using confuse froze the game with an error message, get charge required. toughest monster was the scorpion and those flying eye's fireballs. I found the monsters speed sped up some, making difficult to anyone who uses blade weapons. the splitting of monsters was cool, but not that helpful, the characters would turn the direction needed so I didn't even have to turn my head, I just chop chop, made it easier in a way if the party is bigger than 1. I watched closely the monster behavior. knowing that each monster was an individual I could see how it worked. happy to see DSB is working on the AI.
what do you have against Mophus? heh, he's a food hog I know, but never in the party? I think i'll give him a special ability, just because nobody wants him.
yes, the rune icon with spell casting needs to be touched up. not sure why there is a delay. the icons should be shown right away, but I am able to click two icons before the first one appears. it slows me up. I just ignored it and it became easier.
I wrote down a bunch of things in comparison to the RTC version, like for one, you switched the vexirks around, you sneak :lol:

when rescuing the vexirks a message was posted, it kept saying 15 out of 15, was that suppose to be a number from 1\15? I was a bit confused because I didn't know how many I had left to rescue. without the end game stats I have no idea what I have left.

lot's more to say, I am waiting to see who else finishes the DSB dungeon, I think there are only a few so someone should be playing it, you should have some reviews coming.

I wonder how much of the RTC ai test dungeon can be converted to DSB. info screen buttons I know can't, but can the ai be transported to DSB, if so i'll be looking to you on that Dave. if I can put together stuff in RTC and then convert it to DSB that would be a cool thing to do. line code is not my bag of fun, just not my cup of tea.

thanks Dave
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Re: [DSB] Two Lovers dungeon

Post by boyflea » 13-Nov-14 15:26

heh - great feedback!

yes, the 15/15 secrets thing could have been imrpoved: I would need to figure out how to create a tracker function, and jsut call it, posting a '#/15' message as a result.
however, needs-must: so instead created a complicated set of 'prison cells' numbered 1-15, to show saved good-guys.

Confuse caused a crash eh? probably worth checking: sounds like one of the horns or wands? (you can tell I never used those! :) )

the red-path, and adding wall-features - and shortcut blocks (with food) really makes the DSB version easier to navigate and you can take more time, if you want.
a good thing? well...

as for AI, etc - I am still learning lots. Be cool to understand how you've been managing to achieve some of those tricks in RTC.
The stonework walls were pristine, the floor level, the waterworks and drains complete. The lighting network was in and the Dragon in the basement was grumpily heating the water-pipes: Lord Chaos consulted the blueprints again, looking for the bathroom.

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Re: [DSB] Two Lovers dungeon

Post by Sophia » 13-Nov-14 22:25

The rune thing is just because DSB flashes the rune for a full tick, which, after comparing it to CSBwin, apparently is too long. It still responds properly, as you saw, but I'll make the visual update feel a little quicker.

As for errors on confuse, right now I'm not sure if it's something wrong with the DSB base code or a bug in the dungeon. Confuse works fine for me, but I don't know the exact circumstances you're running into trouble, of course.

Unfortunately, trying to directly convert complicated RTC mechanics to DSB wouldn't work very well. DSB lacks a lot of the complex "action" functions of RTC because complicated mechanics are intended to be coded directly in Lua.

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Re: [DSB] Two Lovers dungeon

Post by Chaos-Shaman » 14-Nov-14 00:50

yes, the 15/15 secrets thing could have been improved: I would need to figure out how to create a tracker function, and just call it, posting a '#/15' message as a result.
however, needs-must: so instead created a complicated set of 'prison cells' numbered 1-15, to show saved good-guys.
if it's hooked to counter the number can be properly displayed, I am fairly sure of that. you'll need 15 replies though.
Confuse caused a crash eh? probably worth checking: sounds like one of the horns or wands? (you can tell I never used those! :) )
it becomes much more difficult to attack monsters if they can't be frightened. I had Tristin as the sword swinger and the lizard fella to use confuse with. I would confuse and then swing, confuse and then swing again, then the error occurs. in RTC I was doing swing and then warcry which worked quite well, maybe too well. that's what ya do if you're a warrior :twisted:
as for AI, etc - I am still learning lots. Be cool to understand how you've been managing to achieve some of those tricks in RTC.
sure, I don't mind sharing ideas at all, I most likely will learn a lot more from you :) i like to play with stuff, break it, see how it works :lol: if you could help out with figuring how to translate RTC to DSB that'd be great.
Unfortunately, trying to directly convert complicated RTC mechanics to DSB wouldn't work very well. DSB lacks a lot of the complex "action" functions of RTC because complicated mechanics are intended to be coded directly in Lua.
:? :( :idea: maybe Dave can help
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Re: [DSB] Two Lovers dungeon

Post by palyarmerc » 18-Mar-15 17:41

This was fun...I took a look at the RTC version and have to say I prefer this one, I prefer only 'sympathetic' modifications
to the look and feel of DM, either way, this dungeon get my approval

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Re: [DSB] Two Lovers dungeon

Post by boyflea » 23-Mar-15 13:22

thanks for playing! both versions are quite short, and both versions have multiple-endings and secrets etc....
but for this one I wanted to remake it begin as retro as possible. glad it was still fun.

on reflection, I think the DSB version was much more fun to make than the RTC version. For me it's a nicer approach to creating dungeons, but acknowledge that this is not for everyone: was fun to do one of each anyway.

thanks again!
The stonework walls were pristine, the floor level, the waterworks and drains complete. The lighting network was in and the Dragon in the basement was grumpily heating the water-pipes: Lord Chaos consulted the blueprints again, looking for the bathroom.

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Re: [DSB] Two Lovers dungeon

Post by Chaos-Shaman » 23-Mar-15 15:39

16 main days :)

I did not find much of a difference in them, other than the lag on spell runes they felt the same. there were no special wing dings, this dungeon has been around a long time. glad people are playing it, there is life still out there. I imagine you can build a crazy dungeon now.
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Re: [DSB] Two Lovers dungeon

Post by boyflea » 24-Mar-15 07:55

DSB and RTC versions are subtly different and I am proud of them for different reasons. But hey, just glad someone has played them.

In 2007 the online feedback for the RTC version was stronger and more supportive, by 2014 - when the DSB version was written, the community had changed: but I still ended up creating something rewarding.

I think the first time anyone submits something, they like to feel the approval and feedback of others.
This was very much the case with the RTC dungeon: as a story-idea I quite like it, but I really do not like the initial levels, and the final battle is not very epic.

For the DSB version, my expectations were vastly different: initially, I was trying to see objectively the difference between two editors.
From this I re-created the RTC dungeon in the DSB editor and then replicated as many mechanics as I could: but the RTC and DSB engines are different: so then I found that I had to adapt the designs: in theory, if I had committed more time I could have faithfully replicated the original, but truth be told, the original has flaws and I found myself wantign to push some of the DSB elements.

So I went another direction: in the DSB version, there are things in there no-one else but me will ever see: all the images are retro - I found a nice way to make that happen. All the audio was deliberately re-processed into '16-bit'. There are endings and sub-quests in there that are even harder to find, but the use of cut-scenes became a strong narrative driver.

For me: the DSB version tells a far better story than the RTC version. The RTC version perhaps has a better-structured game-engine. Some like the RTC, others like the DSB.
By all means, try both and vote if you like, but there is a difference.
[For discussions on the engines themselves, see the other threads - this is not really the place to discuss as my dungeon did little to advertise either, if truth be told.]

In the end, I just did it to fill the time between home and work, sitting on a train, trying to tell a story inside my head.


I am happy people have taken some of their time to enjoy it too. Thank you all for your lovely feedback.
The stonework walls were pristine, the floor level, the waterworks and drains complete. The lighting network was in and the Dragon in the basement was grumpily heating the water-pipes: Lord Chaos consulted the blueprints again, looking for the bathroom.

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Re: [DSB] Two Lovers dungeon

Post by Chaos-Shaman » 24-Mar-15 15:10

do post the differences in the correct forum thread, I want to compare myself, I know I saw not much special effects as you will with DSB except that I see it has potential to do what RTC can. It will come as a surprise if anyone can get DSB to control monster behavior as well as RTC can, that is with the ease it can be done. it's up to the player to feel that out. if there are any other dungeons that show the two side by side as well as you did then I'd be the first to explore. so far the dungeon designing just wasn't close enough to be called the same apple, but they both performed to do the same task. I have yet to see someone use info screens that have been provided in RTC, and I have yet to see DSB dungeons do it as you have done, I think that is because it takes a long time to code as apposed to pick and click. anyhow, I like them both for what they are. please let us know if you find a dungeon that compares like you have done. I think your story was fun, told better in DSB with the one screen solution you had, if you had done that with RTC I would not have noticed any significant difference. I guess I should be asking, when do we see the next dungeon?
keep your gor coin handy

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