I have just released a BETA of my Windows version of the classic board game Dungeon!, and I could use some feedback on the general gameplay experience.
Dungeon! was originally developed by TSR, creators of the Dungeons & Dragons RPG system back in the 70's. The board game Dungeon! was developed in order to bring a simplified D&D experience to the masses, via a board game. The basic premise of the game is this: players move their character pieces through the many rooms and levels of the dungeon, battling monsters and collecting treasure, while trying not to get killed themselves. The first player to aquire a certain amount of treasure and return to the starting area, wins. A complete copy of the game rules can be found here:
My version remains mostly faithful to the 1981 version of the board game rules. The BETA runs on Windows XP and up, and requires a video card that can handle XNA games. The game is also currently running as a Windows Phone 7 app, but I have not released it with this beta, as I still need to make some adjustments to make the game easier to play on a smaller screen. I also plan to port this game to Android at some point.
The Dungeon! BETA installer can be found here:
(EDIT: link removed while re-theming app)
The game is functional, but is certainly in need of polishing. The BETA version is currently fixed to 2 players of the Elf class (the other classes will be added soon). Also, there are no sound effects in the game yet.
If you are not familiar with the board game version, I would suggest reading the game rules before attempting to play the game (link given above). After reading the rules, gameplay should seem fairly straightforward. However, I should explain the method of moving the characters about the dungeon. At the beginning of each players turn, you will see the Player Info Dialog, showing the players name and image, the list of treasure the player has found, and how many spells remain (for Wizards, not avilable in this BETA). After closing this dialog, it will be time for the player to move his character. The player will begin at the Start (Main Staircase) area. The player can move anywhere from 0 to 5 spaces each turn. The player starts moving by clicking an area next to his current position. A small black square will show the beginning of this 'move path'. Continue building your 'move path' by clicking on area next to the first area you clicked, and a second black square will appear. You may clear your move path and start over at anytime by right-clicking the mouse and choosing 'Clear' from the pop-up menu. Once you are satisfied with your move path, right-click and choose 'Commit'. Your player will then be moved to the end of your move path. What happens next depends on where your move ended....if you are in an uncleared room or chamber, a combat sequence will start. If you finished in a corridor next to a secret door, the a secret door sequence will start. If you ended your move in an area with no monsters or secret doors, it will become the next player's turn.
Enjoy the game, and please feel free to send me any feedback on Facebook or Twitter:
Fuzzy, thanks for trying the game out. My guess is, you were clicking on places that were not legal moves. In the beginning, your character will be at the Start area...so your first move has to be an area adjoining that Start space (there is only one space adjoining the Start area, and that is the Main Gallery). After that, you may again select an adjoining space to the Main Gallery (five options now....Start and 4 corridor spaces radiating out from the Main Gallery).
Movement phase continues in this fashion until you mark up to 5 spaces (can be less if desired)....when you have chosen your final move position, right-click and choose Commit from the pop-up menu.
As I said, the game is not very polished yet. You are right, some interactive messages would be helpful here....maybe a brief pop-up message saying when you have clicked on a space that is not a legal move would help, along with a suggestion to click on a adjoining area.
A cue to identify legal moves (highlighting a space on hover) would be better than a popup, and might be just enough to allow somebody who hasn't played stumble through a game and enjoy it anyway. In place of a windows XP dialog I would suggest using a simple flat pane, maybe with some gradients or a hint of transparency (think XBox 360 UI), a small change that I think would make a big aesthetic difference.
My honest opinion is that it needs quite a bit of work. I had no idea what I was doing. Are the grey lines cell divisions? If so, why are the cells so random in size and shape? When I click on a cell (?), a black square shows up. Why? Is that my character? I clicked on multiple adjacent cells (?) in sequence and had a black square show up in each cell (?) I clicked on. I then accidentally right clicked (I think, anyway) and a dialog box popped up asking if I wanted to make this my move. I thought I could only move one cell at a time? Did I only move one cell? Again, what constitutes a cell?
If you are going to make this graphical, you need to provide user feedback. Given the nature of the game, I would say real time user feedback. That being said, just looking at the instructions you posted screamed text adventure.