Author Topic: Kerkerkruip 7  (Read 14060 times)

VictorGijsbers

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Kerkerkruip 7
« on: December 29, 2012, 10:53:58 AM »
Hi everyone -- I'm announcing release 7 of Kerkerkruip. Since it is the first release I'm announcing on this forum, perhaps a few words of introduction are in order. Kerkerkruip is a roguelike in the medium of interactive fiction: you'll see prose and type commands just like when you're playing a text adventure, but the gameplay is pure roguelike (random dungeon, RPG-style combat, permadeath, and so on). A lot of design work has been spent on devising a game system that plays to the strengths of the medium, and I do believe that we have some interesting and innovative mechanics.

The current home of the game is my website, which explains where to download the game file and the needed interpreter. I highly recommend reading the beginner's guide PDF (or reading through the, more detailed, in-game help menu).

Kerkerkruip is free software published under the GPL version 3+. It is programmed in the Inform 7 interactive fiction programming language, and the source code lives at github.


Kerkerkruip 7 release notes

In these final days of 2012, we are happy to announce the release of Kerkerkruip 7! It brings you new enemies, new and improved items, a better unlocking system, and bug fixes. Among the highlights are:

* All uninteresting or useless items have been redesigned (or, in a few cases, removed). Your enemies will no longer leave behind identical swords; flash grenades will no longer permanently blind you; and much more! Veteran players will want to examine every item anew to see whether it has changed.
* Several new cursed items have been added, including the singing sword and the fearful axe. And there are rumours that the demon lord's diadem isn't as harmless as it seems either.
* New items have been added, including the gauntlets of grip, the psychedelic cloak, and the epic periapt of prophecy.
* Level 1 and 2 monsters now have more health. This rebalances the early game, which had become a bit too easy over the last few releases.
* Three new enemies will appear: the undead mummified priest; the demonic mistress; and a new level 1 creature, the wisps of pain, which will empower you in a very peculiar way.
* Some fixes and improvements have been made to the unlocking system. Which monsters, rooms and items will appear no longer depends on the difficulty, but only on the number of victories you have won. (More complicated stuff gets unlocked as you win the game more often.) It is also possible to get access to all the goods immediately. From the title screen, go to the options menu and choose the unlock everything option -- this is recommended for Kerkerkruip veterans.

Have fun, and the Kerkerkruip team wishes you a great 2013!

getter77

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Re: Kerkerkruip 7
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2012, 12:58:57 PM »
Welcome and congrats on the new release to round out the year!   8)
Brian Emre Jeffears
Aspiring Designer/Programmer/Composer
In Training

VictorGijsbers

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Re: Kerkerkruip 7
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2012, 01:55:03 PM »
Welcome and congrats on the new release to round out the year!   8)
Thanks. :)

One thing about the game I perhaps shouldn't have left out of the original post: in terms of length, an individual game takes about 30 minutes, so Kerkerkruip perhaps qualifies as a coffee break roguelike (if you take very long coffee breaks).

Legend

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Re: Kerkerkruip 7
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2012, 07:46:19 PM »

Looks pretty cool. The descriptions in the praise section have my interest piqued.

Is there a score system?

And where does the name come from?

VictorGijsbers

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Re: Kerkerkruip 7
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2012, 08:29:39 PM »
There is a score in the sense that every time you win, the difficulty of the game is increased; and every time you lose, it is decreased. (Except when you're playing on the already-pretty-tough lowest difficulty level.) The game remembers the maximum difficulty you have managed to achieve, so that should count as a kind of score.

"Kerker" is Dutch for "dungeon", and "kruip" is Dutch for "crawl". Now you can't really put them together to form a single word in this way, but hey, it sounds and looks cool.  ;)

Legend

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Re: Kerkerkruip 7
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2012, 11:20:16 PM »
Sounds interesting. Does it only remember every time you beat it in a single session or between sessions too? Some sort of actual scoring system with a high score table would be nice though. I'm pretty familiar with interactive fiction, but not sure if that would actually be possible in Inform.

I'll definitely give it a try later tonight.

VictorGijsbers

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Re: Kerkerkruip 7
« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2012, 11:42:11 PM »
Sounds interesting. Does it only remember every time you beat it in a single session or between sessions too? Some sort of actual scoring system with a high score table would be nice though. I'm pretty familiar with interactive fiction, but not sure if that would actually be possible in Inform.
Yeah, the data are persistent between sessions. (Inform supports external files.)

Legend

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Re: Kerkerkruip 7
« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2012, 05:02:59 AM »
How do you use the attack code and load it exactly? Do I need both files? The one that says "core" as well as the other?

Legend

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Re: Kerkerkruip 7
« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2012, 06:24:44 AM »
First game was interesting. The Phantasmagoria room was a trip. Some nice visuals.

Although when I ran into Fafhrd and Grey Mouser there, I really thought they were going to be friendly and we could have joined forces. :p (Nice to see the Leiber reference)

Combat could be a bit more interesting. I was trying to fend off 3 foes at once and mostly had to dodge/parry before I could take an action. This was early on so I could only really attack or concentrate.

It would be nice if there were more combat actions like different moves. Like roll, side-step, bash, slash, overhead swing, thrust, back-step, etc. I think this would make combat more interesting and add more flavor to it to make it more engrossing.

It would be nice if there was an option to turn off the roll results during combat. It's a bit distracting and takes away from the immersion in my opinion. I much prefer flavorful descriptions of whether the strike landed or missed instead.

I really like the whole concept and I will definitely be following this one.

***EDIT***
Had a couple more plays. I see now that there are eventually more move options, but it seems as though there is only ever one extra option besides the basic ones. So it would still be nice to have some more varied basic combat options.

Also, it would be nice if there was a choice of whether or not you wanted to take on the new ability presented when defeating enemies. Every time I got a new ability by defeating an enemy, it was essentially only useful for the next combat after that because I would get a new one to replace the old one after every combat.

As much as I have tried to, it seems none of the characters will actually talk to me and only end up attacking me.

Even with the somewhat sparse descriptions, the game seems to paint a pretty nice mental visual for the rooms and events.

What's with the branches that kept growing, thorns, then fruit, then brambles, then another type of fruit, etc? Couldn't really figure out what was going on with that as I was fighting a druidess. Could I have picked the fruit?

If I can't use the ment during combat, how long will it last if I take it in an empty room before I find someone I need to fight?
« Last Edit: December 30, 2012, 07:29:41 AM by Legend »

VictorGijsbers

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Re: Kerkerkruip 7
« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2012, 09:06:17 AM »
Although when I ran into Fafhrd and Grey Mouser there, I really thought they were going to be friendly and we could have joined forces. :p (Nice to see the Leiber reference)
They are friendly. Unfortunately, they're also under the enslaving influence of the mindslug. But they won't be when it dies (hint, hint ;) ).

Quote
It would be nice if there were more combat actions like different moves. Like roll, side-step, bash, slash, overhead swing, thrust, back-step, etc. I think this would make combat more interesting and add more flavor to it to make it more engrossing.
The basic idea is that there is a simple set of combat moves (based on the two tactical decisions "attack or concentrate?" and "defend or concentrate?"), and then the powers, grenades, scrolls, other items, room features, enemy's abilities, and so on, add the needed diversity and flavour. A tried-and-true recipe, of course: in most roguelikes, you'll have the basic decision between "attack enemy" and "move one square away from enemy", and then it's all the skills and items and terrain features and other monsters that make this interesting.

That said, I'm open to any and all concrete ideas.  :)

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It would be nice if there was an option to turn off the roll results during combat. It's a bit distracting and takes away from the immersion in my opinion. I much prefer flavorful descriptions of whether the strike landed or missed instead.
I thought about that for a long time (the option is actually standard in my ATTACK combat system, but I specifically turned it off for Kerkerkruip), and decided against it. There is so much important information in those numbers, that playing without them is like playing the game blindfolded. ("Why does the mummified priest keep hitting me? Oh wait, it's getting a bonus from those unholy runes on the walls of this room!") While I find -- and I believe others as well -- that they stop being distracting after you've played a few games. You can just have eyes skip over them whenever you're not interested in the details, but it'll all be there when you are.

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Had a couple more plays. I see now that there are eventually more move options, but it seems as though there is only ever one extra option besides the basic ones.
Ah, no! Understanding how powers work is crucial to winning the game, so let me explain. The dungeon always contains two level 1 monsters, two level 2 monsters, a level 3 monster, a level 4 monster, and the final boss Malygris, who is level 5. (Some of these monsters may be groups of monsters, and there can also be level 0 monsters like undead.) Whenever you kill a monster, you will get a power related to that monster; and you will lose all powers of the same or a lower level. But you will keep all powers of a higher level.

Example: you kill the blood ape (level 1), and now have a level 1 power. You then kill the demon of rage (level 2); you'll get his level 2 power, but you'll lose the ape's power. You then kill Miranda (level 1); you will get her power, and because the demon of rage's power has a power level higher than 1, you'll get to keep that as well. So you now have two powers.

So if you managed to kill, in that order, a level 4, level 3, level 2 and level 1 monster, you'd end up with four powers.

(And it's not just the powers in the sense of the special abilities that work that way, but also the attack, defence and health bonuses you receive from destroying enemies.)

So it is always good to kill high level monsters first! But, unfortunately, it is also most difficult to kill high level monsters first.  ;)

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As much as I have tried to, it seems none of the characters will actually talk to me and only end up attacking me.
Yeah, there's not a lot of talk. Though there are several ways to gain allies.

Quote
What's with the branches that kept growing, thorns, then fruit, then brambles, then another type of fruit, etc? Couldn't really figure out what was going on with that as I was fighting a druidess. Could I have picked the fruit?
Nope, you can't pick the fruit. The druidess has a special power to summon brambles, which then randomly grow thorns and fruit. She can launch these whenever she wants to. If you manage to kill her, you will get this same power -- the power to summon brambles, and launch whatever thorns and fruit happen to grow on them. There is a wide variety of fruits, ranging from the slightly to the very useful, but, alas, nature is unpredictable. :)

Quote
If I can't use the ment during combat, how long will it last if I take it in an empty room before I find someone I need to fight?
I'd have to look at the source code, but it is a random number around 15 turns, I think. (Defensive turns don't count.) Long enough that you have a fair chance to finish the fight before it wears off, but short enough that you're not guaranteed to finish the fight.

Legend

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Re: Kerkerkruip 7
« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2012, 08:22:13 PM »
personally, I think at least two more basic combat choices would be optimal to keep things interesting. Like a different kind of attack and a different kind of defensive maneuver. When you don't have any items to use and only one add more variety, it gets a bit stale. At least be able to choose to attack during a reaction phase or move during an act phase.

The idea of only being able to keep the powers you have by defeating lower level enemies is a bit rough. Especially since, as far as I can tell, there is no way to know what level the enemy is. And if you gain 3 powers then defeat a higher level enemy, you lose all 3? Or just the last?

While this system is interesting, it takes away the feeling of progression and character building.

As a player, I would still appreciate the option to turn the combat roll results on/off. To me, I don't feel the need to know why the enemy hit or missed me from a statistical standpoint. To me, it takes away from the experience and the visual imaging you create in your head from interactive fiction. If the enemy hit or missed, I can picture the character maneuvering swiftly out of the way, or stepping in the wrong direction as the enemy anticipated my move and struck the blow. Otherwise, the numbers and rolls just make me picture chucking dice.

It's still enjoyable and it is your game to craft as you see fit, but I think these few things could really make it stand out better and add a bit more needed depth.

VictorGijsbers

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Re: Kerkerkruip 7
« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2012, 11:01:47 PM »
The idea of only being able to keep the powers you have by defeating lower level enemies is a bit rough. Especially since, as far as I can tell, there is no way to know what level the enemy is.
If you examine the enemy ("x ..."), it will tell you what level it is! You can also scout out (some of) the dungeon using the retreat option, and then plan the order in which you want to take on your enemies to optimise your build. In fact, this is one of the main strategic challenges. If you do it right, you can end up with a very powerful character. So it shouldn't be taking away the feeling of progression; it just make progression non-automatic, but a strategic challenge. Which, in my book, is a good thing. :) (Of course, if you didn't find out how to check the levels of the enemies, I can imagine it didn't feel that way!)

I'm taking note of the other things you said, and will be thinking about them. Thanks!

Legend

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Re: Kerkerkruip 7
« Reply #12 on: December 31, 2012, 10:59:46 AM »
There is no traditional score system currently. I really hope there will be though.

I would say that it is definitely worth your time though otherwise.

VictorGijsbers

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Re: Kerkerkruip 7
« Reply #13 on: December 31, 2012, 11:56:22 AM »
(Legend, I think that's a spammer who has just copied one of your earlier messages in order to generate a link to the website in his signature!)

Rabiat

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Re: Kerkerkruip 7
« Reply #14 on: January 02, 2013, 09:59:07 PM »
Mooi stukje werk, Victor! ;) Thanks for announcing your game here. I'm a fan of both RLs and IF, so this is right up my alley. The tactics and replayability remind me of Desktop Dungeons (a Good Thing™).

I suspect I'll be needing a couple hundred runs to finally beat Malygris. Now if only I had a Glulx interpreter for Android, this would make a great time killer on my daily train rides. Has anyone got it to run on Android? I tried compiling the source to Z8 (to play it in ZMPP), but that fails on some Glulx-only extensions. >:(

Also, I appreciate the RL/IF mix, but I find the single text stream a bit unwieldy. I'm typing status, inventory and remember all the time, then having to type look because the room description is off screen. Have you considered displaying game text/status/memory/inventory in separate screen sections?