Do You Remember Dungeon Crawlers?

Legend of Grimrock

I used to love the CRPG’s (Computer Role Playing Games, it WAS a genre!) that were developed in the late 80’s and early 90’s. The greats by SSI and US Gold, likes Pools of Radiance and Curse of the Azure Bonds set in the Fogotten Realms, Heroes of the Lance and Dragons of Flame set in the Dragonlance ‘verse. These are the games that took me from the P&P world of Dungeons and Dragons, to the computer, and where my gaming addiction started, and from them an awesome sub-genre arose, the dungeon crawler, so named because you spent the entire game crawling through a dungeon, going deeper and deeper to your goal.

One of my all time favourite games was (and still is) Eye of the Beholder on the Amiga (I loved the entire EoB series). There was also Dungeon Master and Dungeon Master II. Then the genre seemed to die, and was quickly overtaken by what I’d consider the 2nd gen dungeon crawler, games like Diablo.

It seems that a Finnish indie developer called Almost Human Ltd. is trying their hand at reviving the original dungeon crawler genre, and the game looks fantastic. They are working towards an alpha release at the moment. With a beta planned to begin in a few months. I’m personally looking forward to this game, nostalgia nostalgia nostalgia!

“It’s a Scam!” “It’s Not a Scam!”

In his two latest Tumblr posts, Notch talks about a graphics engine called Unlimited Detail, first calling it a scam (and more then likely unintentionally coming across like he believes the actual technology was faked), then clarifies his statement by saying the technology is real but the way it’s promoted as “the next step in graphics development” is the scam part. He accuses Euclideon of being “snake oil salesmen” trying to over hype their technology to hopefully attract funding. He also mentions a handful of other similar engines currently under development (like Atomontage and Voxlap).

In his second post on Tumblr, Notch goes into a little more detail behind his reasoning for calling out Euclideon. This is where his argument tends to fall apart in my eyes. His whole argument is based on his assumption the Unlimited Detail uses voxels instead of point cloud data, and he bases this information on the sketchy details given in Euclideon’s presentation video.

So, yeah, other people are working on similar technologies, but that doesn’t mean the technologies are identical. We don’t know that Euclideon have discovered some completely revolutionary way of handing point cloud data. I’m guessing all the other automakers in 1908 were scoffing at Henry Ford’s claim he could turn out 50 cars a day.

It now seems the Unlimited Detail video is being swamped by Notch “fanbois” who are basically incapable of independent thought and are mindlessly calling the video a fake.

I certainly hope Notch is right for his own sake, because he’s generating quite a lot of negative publicity for Euclideon. I’d hate to think his assumptions based on basically zero information could cost Euclideon their chance to further develop what could be a breakthrough in the way worlds are rendered in video games. I wonder if he could live with that on his conscience?

See the video and read the Tumblr posts for yourself at the following links, judge for yourself.

Unlimited Detail Video

It’s a Scam! – Tumblr

“But Notch, it’s NOT a scam.” – Tumblr

Blizzard Announce Diablo III Beta

Diablo III is one of the top games on my “waiting for” list.

Blizzard have just officially announced that there is going to be a beta test.

It’s been stated that the game will contain no offline mode, in an attempt to stop players using hacked singleplayer characters in multiplayer. This is also probably due to the fact that Blizzard are implementing an ingame auction system that allows players to sell items gained in the game for real money. Most of the feedback on the announced auction system has been negative, the reasoning being that people will have to ability to purchase power, making any chance of a balanced PvP system non-existent. The auction system seems to me to be a way for Blizzard to cash in on the huge (illegal?) RMT market that already exists, and generates huge revenues for 3rd parties from games like World of Warcraft.

Check out the link below for more (ambiguous) information about the upcoming beta release.

Blizzard Entertainment: Diablo III Beta Announcement