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mrimer
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Hello everyone! The name's Patrick Fisher (pay no attention to the mrimer icon behind the curtain), and I'm the guy temporarily responsible for Caravel Games' monthly newsletter in order to alleviate some of Mike's workload. For those of you who don't know me, I'm known as "gamer_extreme_101" on the forums. I've been around since early 2004, and have been responsible for such things as the hold "Delver's Demise", the redesign of the Drod.net website, and pretty much any support request since March.

When the Orange Box came out for the PC last year, I was initially in love with the concept of achievements. Maybe it's the little bit of OCD in my personality, or maybe it's the ability to be able to show off online that you beat a gigantic robot up a hill, it just gives you reason to throw a little extra effort into a game. And believe me, if you can squeeze an extra hour or two into a game, it's usually worth it (as most games nowadays are too short to begin with).

But as time went on, and additional updates brought new achievements, I started to see the downside to the whole achievement phenomenon. Achievements are a cheap way to tack on extra time and extra content to a game that clearly cannot be expanded onto any other way. Yes, killing every single creature in a game with a broken chair leg might be entertaining for the first fifteen minutes, but after an hour you'd be ready to gnaw your arm off!

This is what makes DROD such a wonderful game. We don't need achievements to lengthen the game or enhance the gameplay in any form. We have over 320 additional level sets, and the amount of rooms that can be constructed in the engine are almost infinite. Who needs achievements when you can spend a lifetime creating and playtesting the various additional levels that can be made in the editor.

But achievements aren't always bad. This whole newsletter is intended to show appreciation to all the people in our community who go out of their way to make the extra difference. So, I bring you the following achievements that should be handed out this month.

Achievement: Be the new Voice of Beethro

By his excellent audition, unanimously acclaimed by forum-goers who responded, our dynamic Snacko has been chosen to be the new voice of Beethro Budkin, fifth generation smitemaster. You'll hear him in the upcoming Smitemaster's Selection by Calamarain called "Devilishly Dangerous Dungeons of Doom".

Achievement: Start beta testing of DROD RPG: Tendry's Tale

Yes, that's right. Mike and the rest of the Caravel team put the final smack-down on level design, voice recording, selected some beta testers and started slashing all those bugs hiding inside the game's code. Are you one of them? Well, you would would most certainly know if you were? Odds are high you may not need to wait that long, as at the time of posting, we're sitting at 94.5% completion. (Have you heard the song yet?)
http://forum.caravelgames.com/viewtopic.php?TopicID=21722

Achievement: Publish a hold without ripping your hair out

In June, we had four holds released: Door Master, Desert Plateau, 39th Guard -1- Silent Cliff, and Floor 33. Right now, three out of four of those holds are rated over 8.4, so give them a look!
http://forum.caravelgames.com/holds.php

Achievement: Bite and claw your way to a contest victory

I kid, really, but the voting for June's contest, Frankenstein's Wanderer, ended today. Of the six entries that were submitted, Rheb's entry took the gold! He was followed up closely by mxvladi and VIPCOOL, respectively. Congratulations to the three of you! As well, congrats to techant, hyperme, and eb0ny for submitting entries. At the very least, they're adding on to their eight-timer prize!
http://forum.caravelgames.com/viewtopic.php?TopicID=21867

July's contest, Puzzles Galore, has been released, and it's about showing off your own cool puzzle. Read about it here:
http://forum.caravelgames.com/viewtopic.php?TopicID=21952

Jatopian's Topic Picks

Once again, our brave forum reporter spent day and night, braving the elements, scouring the forum for the best topics worthy of this newsletter.

Cartographical Theory
A discussion with fine points and examples of fantastical and strange map-making.
http://forum.caravelgames.com/viewtopic.php?TopicID=21811

Philosophical Smokescreens
We answer the unanswerable.
http://forum.caravelgames.com/viewtopic.php?TopicID=21346

Snake Tangle
A simple puzzle for your enjoyment.
http://forum.caravelgames.com/viewtopic.php?TopicID=21504

Subforum report: Quest for Yrolg
Crystal Shard releases its novel new adventure game, in which you play the force of evil attempting to bring the adventurers to their demise.
http://forum.caravelgames.com/viewtopic.php?TopicID=21891

Thanks, Jatopian!

And on that note, have a wonderful July! Enjoy the warm weather by installing DROD onto your laptop and playing it on your patio in the blissful summer heat. If you're in the southern hemisphere, come on up and join us!

-Patrick

____________________________
Gandalf? Yes... That's what they
used to call me.
Gandalf the Grey. That was my name.
I am Gandalf the White.
And I come back to you now at the
turn of the tide.

[Last edited by mrimer at 07-09-2008 05:33 AM]
07-09-2008 at 05:12 AM
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Jatopian
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You're welcome, Patrick! And on that note I'm officially resigning as Forum Reporter. No real reason - I just didn't want to do it forever, and it's not like the job matters much with the forum becoming ever more inactive, right? Hopefully the advent of Tendry's Tale will cause a surge in topics and make easier pickings for the next person.
quote:
mrimer wrote:
temporarily responsible for Caravel Games' monthly newsletter in order to alleviate some of Mike's workload.
I thought Mike was temporarily alleviating Erik's workload... where is that guy, anyway?

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Make your pressure plates 3.0 style!
DROD architecture idea generator
07-09-2008 at 05:44 AM
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slimm tom
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quote:
Jatopian wrote:
I thought Mike was temporarily alleviating Erik's workload... where is that guy, anyway?


Mr. Imer locked him up in the basement to work on the RPG full-time.
07-09-2008 at 08:57 AM
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Tuttle
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quote:
Jatopian wrote:
You're welcome, Patrick! And on that note I'm officially resigning as Forum Reporter. No real reason - I just didn't want to do it forever, and it's not like the job matters much with the forum becoming ever more inactive, right? Hopefully the advent of Tendry's Tale will cause a surge in topics and make easier pickings for the next person.
You realise you get to name that next person (after asking them first), right? So sayeth the Meta-Rules.
07-09-2008 at 09:29 AM
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slimm tom
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quote:
mrimer wrote:
You'll hear him in the upcoming Smitemaster's Selection by Calamarain called "Devilishly Dangerous Dungeons of Doom".



I just ordered my way into the shiny CD version of the SMS! :thumbsup When will more info on the SMS be available? Next Illumination maybe?
07-15-2008 at 04:36 PM
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Tim
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Questions about the next SmS:

Can you tell us more about it? When does it take place? Is Beethro in it? How hard is it?

Is there going to be a boxed CD version? If so, what other interesting stuff is on it (in addition to the hold(s))? Is the CD version pre-order only?

Any release dates, or screenshots?

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The best way to lose customers is to let little kids running loose on a forum with too many mod points.

[Last edited by Tim at 07-16-2008 07:00 PM]
07-16-2008 at 06:59 PM
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slimm tom
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quote:
Tim wrote:
Is there going to be a boxed CD version? If so, what other interesting stuff is on it (in addition to the hold(s))? Is the CD version pre-order only?



I hope so, because I already pre-ordered the next SMS CD, with the upcoming SMS in mind.
07-16-2008 at 08:15 PM
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