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Thread: Desktop Dungeons

  1. #1

    Default Desktop Dungeons

    DUN DUN DUNNNN! NEW VERSION RELEASED ON 15 JUNE 2010! Have a lookie here!


    Being a huuuuge fan of Crawl (my favourite of all the roguelikes), I identify but one minor flaw in my timesink of choice: it's a timesink. Even though I consider the game to be fully worth cutting back on sleep, work and showers for, the reality is that I need the first, get paid for the second and require the third to avoid social ostracisation. And sometimes I just wanna play something for ten minutes before going to bed, y'know? Beginning to end.

    "WELL HOLY CRAP," I one day thought. "What if I truly had the power to play a roguelike in quick ten-minute bursts like that? I would be likened unto the gods themselves!"

    And so came about an idea for The Perfect Game. By the end of production, it wasn't altogether Perfect or Roguelike (and looked absolutely nothing like Crawl), but I loved my child all the same.

    And that child's name was Desktop Dungeons.

    So, what's the core idea here?

    Desktop Dungeons is a quick-session Roguelike, designed to be played casually and for as little as ten minutes at a time.

    Head on over to QCF Design for download links, a list of changes and all that other stuff that's important to know about when a new version gets released!

    Or you can just grab version 0.15 here (updated 17 Oct 2010, Windows only)

    And give it a score on TIGdb's games database. I'm looking at it for extra feedback. :P

    Also, there's always the Desktop Dungeons Wiki for people who are keen to find or share info about the game's various complexidoodles.

    And check out the new-new Desktop Dungeons ranked scores over here! Start gettin' dem dungeon runs!

    Online leaderboard provided by:

    Additional credits (more details in the readme):
    - Marc Luck and Danny Day (the other two legs of the awesome QCF Design tripod, probably worked more on this version than anyone else)
    - Richard Ramsbottom (dungeon tiles)
    - Derek Yu (moar tile awesomeness)
    - Herman Tulleken (audio)
    - Miktar Dracon (splash screen) and Robbie Fraser (colour)

    Hope y'all enjoy!
    Last edited by dislekcia; 19-10-2010 at 03:13 AM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Desktop Dungeons

    (--NOTE--) This guide applies to version 0.02 of Desktop Dungeons. The game has been updated considerably since then, and while it may be helpful for general tactics, it's no longer an accurate representation of any particular class or game build

    Nandrew's Desktop Dungeons guide for beginners
    (Human Warrior)


    When you're starting out in Desktop Dungeons, you can't go wrong with the Warrior. Gladiators are also cool for beginners, but a warrior often has the extra attack power necessary to topple bosses quickly and his abilities give him enormous advantages against quite a few units. He also rarely uses glyphs, and is thus (somewhat) less complicated to play with compared to other characters.

    Humans and dwarves make good warriors for their attack and health bonuses respectively, but for now we're going to stick with the human.


    In early game, you'll want to make a beeline for the weakest monsters -- this is made easy by your Warrior's ability to sense monster locations. Don't tackle anything higher than your level if at all possible, and try to kill off as many low-level creatures as possible without exploring too much of the map (uncovering dungeon tiles regenerates health and mana, and you'll need this help later).

    In mid-game (from around level 4), you'll want to occasionally attack monsters one or two levels above you. This is usually when you're armed with an appropriate glyph or facing one of the easier opponents: powerups help as well, particularly damage ones. The idea is to gain extra experience and unblock sections of the dungeon that are guarded by the slightly tougher monsters. If you fight enough tough monsters early on, you'll be able to pick off weaker ones later without taking any damage (particularly valuable, as regeneration opportunities from map exploration start to thin out). Remember to only go into combat with a monster if you're prepared to kill it in one sitting -- otherwise, they'll usually regenerate faster than you.

    In late game, you'll want to start assessing the situation more critically: you'll have explored most of the dungeon, so regeneration opportunities will become limited. You'll more than likely not be able to kill every single enemy given your supply of health and mana potions (unless you've been quite lucky) so generally, you'll want to fight the boss after you've reached level 8 and mop up any other monsters you can before retiring. When fighting the boss, try casting spells first (as limited as their use may be for a Warrior): once you've exhausted your supplies of mana, convert your glyphs into attack power and engage in some close-quarters boss-mashing.


    Warriors generally have an easy time with glyphs: they're not very good with most magic, so most of the time you'll just want to right-click and convert stuff into attack bonuses. There are, however, a few glyphs that should usually be held on to:

    First strike (extremely useful for avoiding damage)
    Petrify (use this if the boss is too tough: you'll still get some of the score value)
    Killing blow protection (only affordable after 2 mana upgrades. Keep active whenever possible)
    Poison (allows for regeneration breaks in tough combat without the risk of opponent regenerating too)

    Everything else is either sometimes useful or completely unnecessary.


    As a general rule of thumb, these are the most significant enemies that a Warrior faces:

    Warlock, Dragonspawn, Goat

    (Haha, you're ****ed)
    Goo blob

    Warlocks and Dragonspawn are great because they do magical damage (50% resistance with Warrior), and you can sometimes tackle one that is several levels higher than you. Goats are soft targets which often go down in one hit. Goo blobs, and in particular the Goo blob boss (Tower of Goo) are huge problems for Warriors: they have high physical damage resistance, and usually the Tower of Goo can only be defeated through petrification, early poisoning or heavy magical intervention. Wraiths also have physical resistance, but this is offset by their generally low health.


    - Go pure attack bonus with glyphs and never cast any spells. This will unlock two awards at the end of the session.
    - If you desperately need just a little more damage on your next hit and have a Might glyph handy, cast the spell AND convert the glyph to get a 30% bonus.
    - If you don't fancy using a human, try a dwarf. Their health bonuses will help you tank damage more, (important since you'll be hit quite a lot). You'll also find yourself more effective against zombies and meat men.
    Last edited by Nandrew; 03-02-2010 at 01:43 PM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Desktop Dungeons

    This, I gotta check out. Downloading now.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Desktop Dungeons

    Damn you, this is addictive. Initially I wasn't sure what you were going for, what with the monsters not moving, and the Line Of Sight not being a Roguelike raycast, but after getting into the 'puzzle' vibe of it, making the right sequence of choices, it boils down very nicely in a fun quick experience that requires just the right balance of involvement and alt-tabbing to do other things. Will play more and give feedback if I think of any.

    Personally, if you made this into an 8-bit lookalike (res, sprite size, etc) and devolved the style a little, I'd be sold.

    EDIT: I wonder if you couldn't speed the flow up a little, by having slight colour-coding or overlays indicating which monsters are 'weak', medium and strong versus your current level, kind of how Diablo-likes colour-code the names, though I'd say doing it as an overlay would let you 'at a glance' make your choices a little faster, or at least home in on the monster to attack next instead of mousing over each one again looking for that weak one you just saw.

    I just noticed the level indicators on monsters, doh.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Desktop Dungeons

    Damn, ran out of options, so I had to attack something too strong for me. :P

  6. #6

    Default Re: Desktop Dungeons

    Ah, just crashed:

    ERROR in
    action number 1
    of Step Event
    for object Hero:

    Error in code at line 4:
    if (max_hp/hp>5) global.accolade[A_TANK]=0;

    at position 13: Division by 0.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Desktop Dungeons

    I, my children and my childrens-children will praise your name Nandrew. This must be the most approachable Roguelike I've ever played and because it's so short it's the perfect "quick office break" I've been looking for.

    Are you going to add an online leaderboard? It should also be easy to save the stats screen to a surface and save the surface to an image file so that people can have a "save stats" button.

    Do you also gain more XP for killing a creature a level above you? I ran out of creatures at my level but successfully killed something higher (because it was undead and I was a priest). There should be a +1 for every level above your own you manage to slay.

    I also got an error:

    ERROR in
    action number 1
    of Step Event
    for object Hero:

    Error in code at line 4:
    if (max_hp/hp>5) global.accolade[A_TANK]=0;

    at position 13: Division by 0.
    And finally, would it be possible to get a flashy message when you've defeated the boss (not a gme end, just a little congratulations)? Otherwise, he's just another monster.
    Last edited by Fengol; 07-01-2010 at 10:12 AM.

  8. #8
    Simba Chippit rawrs with flavour.
    Master of Ceremonies.
    Chippit's Avatar
    Gamertag: ChippitSA Steam ID: Chippit Wii Code: 3663 1338 9892 3944

    Default Re: Desktop Dungeons

    Not checking for zeroes in your divisions, Nandrew? Sloppy, very sloppy. I am disappoint.

  9. #9
    Game.Dev Moderator
    and bettar-rar game developer than Wea-sel
    dislekcia's Avatar
    Gamertag: dislekcia

    Default Re: Desktop Dungeons

    Same error as the rest on my second playthrough. Couldn't beat the boss monster the first time around... I'm loving the class perks and the different rune names :)

    And a new one while clicking on a healing potion as a halfling alchemist on 2 health:
    ERROR in
    action number 1
    of Mouse Event for Left Released
    for object PotionBut:
    Error in code at line 13:
    at position 14: Unknown variable bonusDamage
    ... Now I have to figure out what the LEMMISI trick is!
    Last edited by dislekcia; 07-01-2010 at 12:08 PM.

  10. #10
    Simba Chippit rawrs with flavour.
    Master of Ceremonies.
    Chippit's Avatar
    Gamertag: ChippitSA Steam ID: Chippit Wii Code: 3663 1338 9892 3944

    Default Re: Desktop Dungeons

    You need an award for surviving a fight on 1hp, imo.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Desktop Dungeons

    Quote Originally Posted by dislekcia
    Now I have to figure out what the LEMMISI trick is!
    HAHAHAHAHA! It definitely needs more achievements like that one!

    Torwards the end game, it's very difficult to get health and mana; especially for the end boss. Maybe monsters could drop a potion or 2?
    Last edited by Fengol; 07-01-2010 at 12:41 PM.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Desktop Dungeons

    I don't know if there's a reward for killing all the monsters but there should a small one for more than half?

  13. #13

    Default Re: Desktop Dungeons

    I'm quite thoroughly overwhelmed by the response so far! Didn't expect this much involvement in such a short time. In particular, one of Fengol's suggestions just won this thread.

    I've uploaded a very quick update with some bugfixes and gameplay tweaks. Only minimal testing has taken place, but it shouldn't be anything game-breaking.

    Fixes in this version:
    * The alchemist works now, have fun with him plz. I enjoyed designing that character, and went a bit d'oh when I saw that bug: changed a variable name at some point to adhere to naming convention and forgot to update that particular mention.
    * EXTRA EXPERIENCE earned from fighting monsters of a higher level than you (thanks Fengol!)
    * No more universe-breaking division by zero!
    * BURNDAYRAZ can be converted properly (in case any of you were having trouble)
    * Petrifying the boss no longer gives you the boss kill score, only the "BRICK 'EM" achievement. If you want to get full score, you'll have to fight the old-fashioned way.
    * Added an achievement for wiping out every single monster. It carries a chunky score bonus
    * Added the "TOOTH AND FREAKING NAIL" achievement
    * Only one enemy can be poisoned at a time. Poison expires on one enemy when another gets hit with it.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Desktop Dungeons

    As for the rest of your suggestions (because some of them were a little too involved to quick-patch into v0.02):

    @Miktar: glad you "got it", so to speak. :) I must admit, I was a little bit nervous about putting this across as a Roguelike because, as you pointed out, the transition to casual that I decided on has stripped the game of a lot of classic Roguelike traits. I think my changes make this particular game work better, but I wondered if I'd possibly get chewed out for that by long-time genre fans. :P

    With regards to level colour-coding: I'm considering changing the indicator from a "universal colour" (1-3 is green, etc) to a "relative indicator" so that the colours would change based on your character's current level and more elegantly express the "at a glance" thing you're mentioning. Or do people prefer the grouping as it is?

    Also, style devolution ftw! I get thoroughly enthralled by the visual simplicity and elegance of games like this, and it may indeed be quite appropriate direction to go down for this one. I'm kinda liking the "early Windows era" look that I've got going right now, but that's only because I can't really pull off anything proper. :P

    @Fengol: Really cool idea with the XP bonus. Also, leaderboards will be implemented soon enough (it's going to be a fairly score-based game in the end, much like OOTEZ) but for now I'm really still testing the waters and trying to balance things well enough. I've not been able to thoroughly test out every single class (it's a time-consuming process :P) and it's for that reason that I welcome character guides and gameplay hints from people who decide to specialise in one of the more interesting classes. I'm particularly interested in knowing how people deal with classes in the second column, because they were only added later in development.

    Also, I'm looking to do a flashy message for boss defeat, sure! I also want to get a flashy boss introduction message (complete with a badass "boss jingle" that lasts for a few seconds) when you first uncover the boss grid.

    WRT your comment about extra health and mana ... yeeeah, sorry, no dice. :P If it's difficult, it's difficult. I try to encourage players who need more health and mana potions to select a halfling or gnome: it genuinely helps late game when you can stockpile the brew of your choice by converting glyphs. Besides, simply handing all players extra potions from monsters will make their racial advantage far less meaningful.

    In the end, I really just want any given player to say, "ARRGH! I need JUST ONE MORE (insert item/powerup here)!" Race and class choice will determine what aspects of the game will be easiest, but any given character should always have weaknesses. If you're interested in potions, try a Halfling Alchemist. I find it to be a really cool play style, and the version fix ensures that you won't get that horrible error that dis suffered from.

    @dislekcia: when you figure out the LEMMISI technique, you'll **** bricks. Some characters are more effective than others, though.

    @Chippit: ****.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Desktop Dungeons

    Okay now this I like. Very cool little game.

    Just an observation on the balance side of things. I see you've adjusted poison but would it ont be better to make poison wear off if you even attack anything else?

    I just finished a game as an elf rogue (on the original version you posted) and took out the boss before I hit level 5 using the poison glyph (i forget name) and BURNDAYRAZ.

    Anyways, I'll give the new game a shot, it's awesome fun ;)

    - Ulti

  16. #16

    Default Re: Desktop Dungeons

    HA! Figured out LEMMISI trick (i think).

  17. #17

    Default Re: Desktop Dungeons

    Ultixan, nice idea with the poison wearoff! I've been trying to think of ways to make it work properly without taking it out entirely, and I reckon that should balance things very nicely.

    The Dash: Nicely done! You've obviously figured out the trick, now you just need to figure out how to make it useful for you. :)

    (--EDIT--) Also, hey wow, the dungeon screen looks pretty damn neat when it's fully populated/revealed
    Last edited by Nandrew; 07-01-2010 at 04:50 PM.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Desktop Dungeons

    I enjoy playing human diviner
    managed to kill everything except the tower of goo my last attempt

    early game if you manage to find the poison glyph you can take out pretty much anything that
    doesn't one shot you.

  19. #19
    Game.Dev Moderator
    and bettar-rar game developer than Wea-sel
    dislekcia's Avatar
    Gamertag: dislekcia

    Default Re: Desktop Dungeons

    Been playing this all day...

    Finally took Garbad (bwahahahahaha, btw) with a Halfling Rogue by whittling him down with BURNDAYRAZ until I could one shot him. Phew. I like how the regen mechanic forces you to plan ahead where and how you're going to move. Exploring becomes a very tactical decision.

    Wondering if instead of extra experience, monsters of a higher level shouldn't have a chance to drop either potions or glyphs, might make certain strategic choices more valid. Either way, loving the game :)

  20. #20

    Default Re: Desktop Dungeons

    You bastards, I've yet to find the poison glyph! Just remember The Dash, that they're explored now so you don't get healed by walking around. That's an important strategy I use to keep myself alive if I'm too low level to attack the available monsters; and I normally keep a corner unexplored for the boss.

    With regards to graphics, PLEASE DO NOT go the Slot Machine RPG style; I like my retro to be 16bit SNES era. I like the idea of Windows 95 style and I think, with the right artist you can pull something stylish that's not puke inducing. And I prefer the color=level format as supposed to indicating difficulty.

    I would love to do a character guide for you, I've been playing a lot with the Wizard.

    I really think you should get even a rudimentary online leaderboard soon, while everyone is playing it because, as you know, interest drops off rapidly.
    Last edited by Fengol; 07-01-2010 at 06:21 PM.

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