Legend of Grimrock: New Dungeon Master?

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Anderon
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Polish

Matt, I agree about the polishing; but the thing is, the original had all the same rough spots. Chaos Strikes Back (the sequel) had the same automap, and journal. All the same weaknesses that were in the original. Which is kind of strange - you would have thought that they would have fixed up the weak spots. Was their goal to have a perfect copy, but with their own puzzles?

Matt Barton
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I'm just glad they stuck with

I'm just glad they stuck with the basics and didn't try to turn it into YAFPS. The limitations of the movement offer some interesting gameplay mechanics, such as the turn shuffle step kind of combat. It also is a scramble trying to do that and get some runes lined up...Frustrating, perhaps, but also exhilarating when you're able to pull it off. We all like to bitch and moan when we die or feel like we're playing terribly--easier to blame the game, of course--but it can make the victories sweeter.

My pattern with this game was initially impressed, then turned off, then warmed up--hotter, hotter, really getting into it--and the floor fell out from under me with that stupid hallway puzzle. Now I'm back down to "meh" and they'll have to "work hard" to warm me back up to the prior level. I did a little checking and it seems a lot of people are upset about the puzzles. I've enjoyed most of them and am able to bypass ones that I can't figure out...For Pete's sake, though, if I run into a few more of those "pillaried hall" puzzles I'm done. I enjoy tough puzzles, but I want the toughness to be in solving the puzzle, not reverse engineering a bad puzzle design.

AS to Bill's more general topic, I'm somewhere in the middle. It wouldn't bother me to see Grimrock bring back this niche, and spawning a few different series of similar games. Why not? I might not get into them as much as I have Grimrock, but I'd at least like to have the option. I know it's a lot easier for most folks to copy and innovate a little bit than to come up with a bold new game all on their own. That's why we hold up people like Arnold Hendrick and Jon Hare as geniuses around here. ;)

My thing is, I hate playing games that aren't properly polished. There are several spots that badly, badly needed polishing in Grimrock. A good example is quest items. I just got burned twice by having to backtrack wayyyy back to recover some "useless" items I in fact needed for a puzzle. I'm generally pretty good at detecting these, but these really did seem useless--a skull and a bone necklace. You find multiple ones during the game, and the weight restrictions keep me from lugging around junk. WOW and others long ago solved this problem by having a category of "quest item" that is weightless and asks you "Are you SURE you want to delete this?" before getting rid of it. It certainly wouldn't hurt a game like Grimrock to have a "quest item" category and make it clear to you that you should hold on to it. At least the items you drop on the ground seem to stay there indefinitely; otherwise, it'd be a complete disaster.

Other spots that need polishing are the map and the journal. There are plenty of games like this that have more detail on their automaps. Would it kill them to track your crystals, room names, etc.? I know you can enter your own notes, but that's just a nice little touch that I appreciate in other games. I'd really like for it to track the spells I've learned, too, so that I can pull up a screen and see the runes. Even if I agreed that I should have to click on the runes for each cast (which I don't), I don't see how anybody could disagree that the game should at least keep track of the spells you've discovered for you, without forcing you to refer to notes or the scrolls you find.

On the other hand, I agree with Bill heartily that it's a shame to see people reinventing the wheel. Why use all those resources duplicating an existing game when you could do something new? Grimrock is a nice homage to DM, obviously, but I have a hard time seeing it as anything really groundbreaking. DM wasn't a clone or homage of anything. Why not pay homage to that spirit rather than the game itself? That's what I'd love to see.

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clok1966
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Joined: 01/21/2009
DM 2012, very good way to put

DM 2012, very good way to put it. Quite honestly this style of game has not been done since? Lands of Lore III... so, what about 10-12 years. Tile based RPG's (several still made), RTS's still many made, FPS (do i need to say more), Kings quest style adventure games (the indies are doing many updats of these). Pretty much every type of game from the past has been updated.. except.. our beloved dungeon crawlers that where everywhere in the early 90's. I'm sure there are others that could use the old school style with new school graphics..

i think it gets down to how its implemented. I think they had the right mindset.. Dont try to re-do a working game. You just shine it up, and I hate to say that as it implys they didnt do something great, but just spiffed it up (but in some wasys thats what they did). part of making somthing Great is also knowing when, and how.. And these guys got it right. Just the right game, right update, right time.. and most importaly.. the enhancements they did where the CORRECT ones.. they didnt get a case of "we can, we will" like so many other updated games do. I love the addition of freelook, so far it has NO game value (you cant see down a pit, you wont miss a button without it.. but it just adds a tiny bit of something). The lighting.. wow.. see the shadow of a spider on a wall.. and I get hives, look for a door i can close and panic..

its so simple, its not NEW, we all get deja vue playing it ( if you played DM or EOB or LOL or all the hundreds that copied this style) but its the right time, the right way. We have seen it time and time again.. a classic Updated, but somehow you start to understand these guys dont seem to understand why some games where great. I Look at the new Dues Ex game.. while I'm not the fan most are of the old one.. the new one doesnt make me feel anything for the old game. there is no point whre i go.. AHA! like i do when in Grim and a throw a rock on a presure plate, or teleport back to where i started, ..

its just so hard to explain.. the fact that there are not 100's of clones of the orginal style in the last 10 years.. tha fact they new not to throw the kitchen sink into the new game, the fact that they took a awsome old gem that had been sitting on a shelf dusty, and they didnt put it in a new case with motina activated lighting, a holographic nararator, a Behind the MUSIC clip.. a light show.. now they took that old gem.. cleaned i up and said.. "remeber how nice this was?" it still is.. if its shined up and put out there for people to see again.

Bill Loguidice
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No, David, that's not what

No, David, that's not what I'm saying. I'm saying I don't want to see more Dungeon Master-styled updates. We got our fix and I don't think it can be done better other than taking it in a completely new direction, which would be fine, but I really don't want more of the same. Now I'm saying I'd like to see the same TLC that essentially made Dungeon Master 2012 - that energy - turned to other classic game updates that apply modern sensibilities to classic game mechanics that still work. Dungeon Master to Grimrock is just one example. The bar is now raised for Wasteland to Wasteland 2013 to have a similar type of success--update without breaking what made the original a classic.

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Matt Barton
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Joined: 01/16/2006
Ugh

Ugh...Okay, my respect for this game just dropped from a 10 to a 6. I had the clue, figured it out on my own, but the design of the puzzle was just plain stupid. Instead of starting in the hallway, you're supposed to start in front of it. HUH??? I wouldn't never gotten this right in a million years.

I am really disappointed, because from now on, every time I hit a bump, I'll have to worry that it's another bad design from the developers rather than just something I haven't figured out.

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Anderon
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Joined: 01/01/2012
Remakes for the sake of Remakes?
Bill Loguidice wrote:

In other words, Grimrock might have felt a bit less special and sold rather less well had there been other games approximately as good and in this style out already. I know I'm less interested in another Grimrock-type game, no matter who it's from, simply because this one is already so good. To put it simply, now that this has been accomplished (and I'm looking forward to add-ons/expansions), time for me to be impressed by another re-imagining of a great classic game style... As I said in the Avernum thread, Wasteland 2 needs to follow Grimrock's model and wow us with Wasteland 2013. The bar has been set...

So what you are saying is, you want to see a long series of remakes of classic games, rather than bring a segment of the industry around to making great games made using classic game design?

I'm sorry, but I disagree.

I like Grimrock because it represents the go-ahead for other companies to make great games much like it - which gives me more great games to play. Now that one company has done it, other companies will follow suit. And before long, maybe the industry will turn away from the great "dumbing down" of the video game market to achieve mass appeal, and turn back to making really interesting, challenging games.

David Jackson
http://www.starhelm.org

Bill Loguidice
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Would more be better? Maybe, maybe not...
Anderon wrote:

Overall, it certainly is a welcome blast to the past, and I can honestly say I would play more just like this one.

David Jackson

This is something that a few of us have hinted at in this thread, including me and something worth discussing a bit further... For all intents and purposes, Legend of Grimrock is Dungeon Master 2012. That's incredibly fresh right now because so many years have passed since the last good, similar dungeon crawler, least of all one this thoughtful and polished. With that said, part of what makes this game so special for us is that there have been so few examples of late that have gotten this right. More of this type of game, no matter how good, arguably would start to diminish the positive feelings with each new game released and we'd be in a similar situation as we were when this style of game took a commercial tumble.

In other words, Grimrock might have felt a bit less special and sold rather less well had there been other games approximately as good and in this style out already. I know I'm less interested in another Grimrock-type game, no matter who it's from, simply because this one is already so good. To put it simply, now that this has been accomplished (and I'm looking forward to add-ons/expansions), time for me to be impressed by another re-imagining of a great classic game style... As I said in the Avernum thread, Wasteland 2 needs to follow Grimrock's model and wow us with Wasteland 2013. The bar has been set...

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Anderon
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Joined: 01/01/2012
The Pillared Hallway (SPOILER)

Matt,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y8_rFd5Pd90

For the record, this is just the solution for this puzzle...

David Jackson
http://www.starhelm.org

Anderon
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Joined: 01/01/2012
Old School Goodness

I played both Dungeon Master and Chaos Strikes Back! back in the 80's - my friends and I spent ...literally... months of game time mapping out every corner of the place, noting every trap and making extensive notes on the spells (we were even convinced that there were some rune combinations that would have produced an effect, but fizzled on us. Many hours went into banging out these combinations). We had all kinds of theorycraft on the monsters and their damage, etc. and the various "undocumented" effects of the magic items.

I still count Dungeon Master / Chaos as the greatest dungeon crawl of them all. The traps are hard, the combats terribly un-even, but the sense of accomplishment is amazing.

On to the game...

It is identical to DM/CSB, almost down to the nuance of timing. It is exactly what my nostalgia remembers it to be, but updated and better.

The Rune Magic System - I can understand the complaints - although I do love the system. It's a bit cumbersome to use, but I'm of the notion that any game that requires me to write things down in the real world, is probably a game I'm going to become immersed in.

The Automap - I like being forced to hand-map things, because I think it's a good real-world analog for an ingame activity. This kind of thing draws me in, but I have to admit that automaps are handy.

Uneven Combat - The combats are uneven. Some seem too easy, some seem nightmarishly hard. There's no way to get through this game without dying (several times).

Overall, it certainly is a welcome blast to the past, and I can honestly say I would play more just like this one.

David Jackson
http://www.starhelm.org

Matt Barton
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Joined: 01/16/2006
Well, I'm Stuck

I guess it had to happen eventually. I got to level 9 and just can't figure out what else to do...There's a "Pillored Hallway" that goes infinitely--when you get to the westernmost part, it just zaps you back to the start. I've looked all over twice and can't find any clues, hints, buttons, nothing.

There's also a "Hall of the Demantler" or some such above it...Two iron gates with some kind of lightning. I can't quite see what's going on in there. Again, searched all over repeatedly, can't get any clue.

So I guess that's it for Grimrock unless you guys can give me some hints. I know I just won't enjoy the game anymore if I have to go to a walkthrough.

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