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Mattcrampy
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icon Whatever Happened To DROD3D? (+1)  
You may have asked yourself sometime, whatever happened to DROD3D? In case you didn't know, DROD3D is a project headed up by TLK Games, a French games company that specialises in shareware. They've been developing a version of King Dugan's Dungeon (the default dungeon, man, do I have to explain everything?) and rebuilding it in 3D, including Beethro, the 'Neather, and all the monsters.

And it's done.

Yep, done. Quick, eh? You can download it at http://www.tlkgames.com.

I've downloaded it, and I'll try it out and tell you what I think later on in the topic. (E-mail only people, that's the link at the bottom of this message.)

Matt

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04-20-2004 at 11:54 AM
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vniksic
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Will there be a Linux version? The only reason I play this game is because there is a very good Linux version, I really, really don't want to go to windows whenever I want to play DROD3d!
04-20-2004 at 12:27 PM
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Mattcrampy
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I'm honestly not sure... I suspect not, with absolutely nothing to back me up.

It uses OpenGL, at least, so possibly it'll run on Linux. If not, there's always WINE.

If they've derived the game from our source code, we might be able to change those parts still under the GPL so they'll work with Linux and hope they can do the rest. Not promising anything.

Matt

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04-20-2004 at 01:35 PM
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trick
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It doesn't run in WINE. It seems to use SDL, though (a cross-platform library, makes stuff easier to port), and they've actually released a Linux game before, so if you're polite and ask them nicely it's possible they may consider doing a port.

- Gerry

04-20-2004 at 03:20 PM
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Coasty
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Well, I downloaded and took a look at Drod 3D... The result...

It's been deleted and I won't be buying it.

There are 3 primary reasons:

1. Because it is difficult to see the orientation of the sword, especially when it is supposed to be pointed directly in front of you. It doesn't show up against the background very well.

2. The color of the bugs, on the first level anyway, as they too closely match the color of the background. My 60 year old eyes have trouble seeing them. :)

3. The game doesn't properly restore the position of open desktop windows when you exit the game and are using a game display resolution that is different from the desktop resolution. I have my normal set of working software placed at specific desktop positions and it is a distinct pain to have to re-set all of them when I exit the game. The only solution to the problem is to close everything down before I play the game so that the screen positions don't get hosed, and I see no reason why I should have to do that.

Lastly, and more of a complaint rather then a reason not to buy or play the 3D version of the game, there seems to be no way to choose your own keyboard settings. The screen that pops up at the start of the first level says that the A and Z keys swing the sword. In fact the assigned keys are Q and W, which is a rather awkward placement of the keys, especially if you are a touch typist, and make it too easy to swing the sword in the wrong direction. Q and E would have made a lot more sense.

Reasons 1 and 2 are annoying game play UI issues.
Reason 3 is a personal pet peeve I have about many software releases.

All 3 reasons are why I won't be buying the game, and will stick with the older "non-3D" version of the game.


[Edited by Coasty on 04-20-2004 at 04:16 PM GMT]
04-20-2004 at 05:08 PM
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The_Red_Hawk
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There's something wrong with mine...

It seems like everything works fine, but I can't see Beethro or any of the monsters. Wherever Beethro is, he casts a gigantic, weirdly reflected, opaque shadow on the larger part of the room. I can see some parts, but only if he's facing a certain direction.

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04-20-2004 at 05:22 PM
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zex20913
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I think Hawk and I are having the same problem as with the demo. I think it may be the graphics card, but doesn't it seem odd that they wouldn't check a card that common? Anyway, I can't see it and the further I go, the slower it gets.



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04-20-2004 at 09:15 PM
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eytanz
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It runs ok for me, but every so often, the monsters seem to get a double move - in the first slightly hard room, even if I am very careful, I eventually die.

I do really like some of the graphics - especially the roaches on the title screen. Beethro seems way too thin IMO.

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04-20-2004 at 10:14 PM
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I've also downloaded DROD 3D, and it's been a disappointment.

I've awaited the release of this thing for a long time (about 10 months, I guess), and I always had high hopes for it. However, upon inspection of the game, I don't think I will think about it anymore.

Don't get me wrong ~ the game works fine (for me), but it's just too much hassle to play. The graphics look impressive at first, but the objects aren't distinct enough. Also, I've noticed that there doesn't seem to be an 'import' function where you can import your "2D" DROD progress into the 3D game....

Also: afore mentioned, the gameplay is a lot slower, so you don't get that "hack away" feeling.

Go ahead and download it and see... but my advise: don't have too high expectations for it.

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04-20-2004 at 10:30 PM
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DiMono
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I was actually disappointed enough with the DROD3D 3 level demo that I'd already decided to not even check out the finished product. I always sort of figured it was a game that could only work in 2D anyway, so I'm not really very disappointed, and from the general tone of the comments in this thread it seems I made a good decision.

Now, if the monsters were animated when they moved, and Beethro stepped and visibly turned when he did, and the tar didn't reveal rendering errors when I turned the camera, it might have been a different result, so I sincerely hope these particular issues were addressed in the final release.

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04-21-2004 at 04:16 AM
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bandit1200
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Well, it lasted a total of 11 minutes on my computer, which *probably* isn't long enough to try a game out, but I like to be able to see what I am doing. My old eyes aren't *quite* as old as Coasty's, (who probably has the dubious priviledge of being the oldest DROD player on the board), but I have the same problem as others with the monsters being indistinct. (What is it these days with these dark games?) As pointed out, the keys don't map to what it says on screen, which is very sloppy in my opinion, as is not being able to remap the keys. I could go on with negative points, but basically I was very happy to pay for Webfoot DROD, whereas I wouldn't bother with this one even if it was free.
04-21-2004 at 08:39 AM
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Drizzo
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Aren't we supposed to be their target market?

doesn't bode well for a return on their time. So sad. And to think what could have been accomplished if they were just set as Emperor Rimer's lackeys for that time instead... mmmm

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04-21-2004 at 08:51 AM
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leroy00
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quote:
eytanz wrote:
Beethro seems way too thin IMO.

Heh. Only having seen the page Matt Cramp links to, I immediately thought the same thing. As far as the keys being incorrect, it may have something to do with the french keyboard having a different layout, but I'm too lazy to do a search to verify the suspicion. Since the german keyboard layout switches Z and Y relative to the US layout, I often have the same problem.

--leroy

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04-21-2004 at 09:23 AM
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bandit1200
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quote:
leroy00 wrote:
As far as the keys being incorrect, it may have something to do with the french keyboard having a different layout,

Yep, you are spot on there. All the more reason it should be possible to remap the keys.
04-21-2004 at 06:19 PM
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joker5
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I took a look at the shareware. I saw the beta and thought it was tolerable. Keep reading for my opinion of DROD 3d: The Shareware!

I'm serious. They butchered the graphics: Oh, sure, each individual monster was ok but put together on the BLAND levels with the confusing other graphics... I hated it within 5 minutes.
That and the fact that Beethro now looks like a 1337 20-year-old with a sword and a bad complexion. WHERE ARE THE SCARS?
And the minimap got in the way.

They butchered the gameplay: One of the nifty things that makes DROD good is that "your own pace" means you can choose between fast and slow by default, not slow and slower with fast only available if you remove any semblance of 3-d-ness. That and the fact that everything is regular size. Perspective really hurt things here.

They butchered the sound: It doesn't belong there. It really doesn't. I got "nails-scratching-blackboard-shivers" none-too-soon, and had a physiological reason to quit the horror.

Conclusion: This couldn't pass for an ALPHA. 100 bucks wouldn't convince me to play this pile of Licenced ****(TM) for more than 5 minutes. The overall effect is as if the game was created by a malicious sadist with access to the DROD source and too much time on his hands.

Overall score: -665/10.

[Edited by joker5 on 04-22-2004 at 01:15 AM GMT]

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04-22-2004 at 01:48 AM
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ErikH2000
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quote:
joker5 wrote:
The overall effect was created by a malicious sadist with access to the DROD source and too much time on his hands.

That would be Patrice Duhamel. Come on now--he's an okay guy, a good programmer, and he worked hard on DROD3d with what time was available. The release has it's faults and I don't mind a harsh review, but... I dunno, do you feel like e-mailing ***e-mail adress removed*** with this sentence?

-Erik

[Edited by ErikH2000 on 04-23-2004 at 03:54 PM GMT: Patrice asked for his e-mail address not to be listed. drod3d@tlk.fr works for any inquiries.]

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04-22-2004 at 02:09 AM
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joker5
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Ack, forgot an "as if" in there. My bad.

~joker5

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04-22-2004 at 02:14 AM
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Stuwy
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Well I downloaded it, played it for a while, then sighed with shame. Heres some pro's and con's:

The Pro's

- Title screen looks pretty cool.
- Graphics and lighting are pretty neat.
- The pits overall look great
- Fun to play around with the view

The Con's

- Just like everybody else, you can't re-configure your keyboard settings (I use different keys, "A" and "D" )

- On an angle, his sword looks like a toothpick! (If you guys read the original story, Beethro does mention he has a really BIG sword)

- It's so hard to tell whether Beethro's sword is pointing W or WE (on some angles)

- On my keyboard, I have to literally quickly tap the "Q" key to make Beethro's sword move CC, if I press Q or W my regualar way, he moves his sword twice in a result in death. (This is very frusterating on the "first slightly hard room)

- Every time you die you have to always re-configure your camera angle

- The blood looks like gas

- the roaches are tiny (again, if you read the original story Beethro say's that they're huge)


Overall the game still lacks major flaws. (Maybe the real version has re-adjustable keys and more goodies) If this stuff gets fixed I'd enjoy this game and possibly buy it. No hard feelings to Patrice Duhamel as I do give him a pat on the back for great effort, but there are still major and minor bugs to fix.

Overall (out of five stars): **




[Edited by Stuwy on 04-24-2004 at 03:18 PM GMT]

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04-23-2004 at 05:20 AM
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DiMono
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If DROD3D is indeed still a work in progress, might it be worthwhile to assemble the comments from this thread in to one document, and forward it to Patrice so he knows what still needs work?

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04-23-2004 at 05:25 AM
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ErikH2000
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quote:
DiMono wrote:
If DROD3D is indeed still a work in progress, might it be worthwhile to assemble the comments from this thread in to one document, and forward it to Patrice so he knows what still needs work?

I don't know if it still is a work in progress. I'm not sure what they plan to do with it. I feel like I've been bugging those guys too much lately, so if anyone wants to ask questions or make comments about DROD3D, they can e-mail to drod3d@tlk.fr. Be respectful, please.

-Erik

[Edited by ErikH2000 on 04-23-2004 at 03:51 PM GMT: E-mail address updated.]

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04-23-2004 at 06:53 AM
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ErikH2000
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I just got a message from Patrice saying that all DROD3D questions will be answered, but they should go to drod3d@tlkgames.com instead of the e-mail address I showed previously, which he asked us to remove.

-Erik

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04-23-2004 at 04:53 PM
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Mattcrampy
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Yeah, I wasn't going to be the first.

I'm refusing to be nitpicky about DROD3D regarding canon - the game doesn't adhere to the canon material, sure, but it's the developer's right to deviate from the source if they want. Especially if they decide that part of the canon was decided due to hardware limitations, like Beethro's grey skin (which seems to have become much more pink colour as time and video cards have moved on.) Especially since I'm actively making up canon, adhering to it ends up seeming overly trivial. Why, that could be Beethro going through Clearing School, before he got his garish yellow top.

However, there's a few things that seriously detract from the product. For the amount of threat they pose to the player, and to show off the beautiful work done with the roaches on the title screen, the roaches really shouldn't be as small as they are.
Beethro's sword is basically unworkable as it is - it should at the least cast a shadow, and even better, should be horizontal, in order to make it nice and easy to tell which way Beethro is facing.
The keys don't remap as you rotate the camera, so you get the absurd situation of having to press 'down' to move upwards if you rotate the camera around. Other games have used this as a punishment. It would really make the game much more useful to tie control to the camera rather than Beethro.
Some better animation would have been really nice. Beethro always walks forward, no matter which way he seems to be facing. It looks really weird. Beethro's smiting animation is also really distracting, and what would be ideal is two animations - one for swinging and one for stepping, taking into account killing multiple enemies at once. At the moment, it's a downward thrust on the roaches, which doesn't flow well when you run across a room or on large QWQWQWs.
The documentation, in places, will leave sentences hanging. This is most notable in the description of Living Tar - preserving the original descriptions from Webfoot and Caravel probably would have been best.
As noted, you can't remap keys. I lived because I didn't try.

What would have been really good is if TLK had gone into the original DROD gameplay and addressed the weaknesses of a 2D approach - building a new dungeon with 3-dimensional levels, with special rules for going up and down different heights; having more than one room at a time visible, essentially allowing huge rooms; some actual architecture, like underground mountains, stalactites, the roof and so on; the possibilities are endless, and what's even better is that there's room in the DROD canon for all of this. Most of you have seen the ending map for Caravel DROD - Level 24 is in a huge cavern. Dungeon levels don't have to be of uniform height, and a specially built dungeon would have been able to take advantage of that where a 2D version wouldn't. As it turns out, the 2D version ends up being superior because the 3D one had its wings clipped.

Matt

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[Last edited by Mattcrampy at 09-14-2005 06:50 AM : Someone linked to this. I read it and realised I couldn't write. This has been fixed.]
04-24-2004 at 10:42 AM
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Coasty
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What you're really saying Matt is that, when all is said and done, no matter if it's shareware or retail it's the game play that counts and drives sales.

And that, in a nutshell, is Drod3D's main problem. In spite of the 3D and "better" graphics game play took a very noticeable and giant step backwards in comparison to Drod2D.

Somebody fell so much in love with "3D graphics" that they forgot about game play issues and what the game is actually about. I.E. What made the game successful in the first place. Drod3D's developer isn't the first to fall into that trap, and won't be the last, but let's hope he's able to take "constructive" criticism and correct the problems even if it means going back to the drawing board.

04-24-2004 at 04:22 PM
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The same impressions as with demo:

It's unplayable, because I spend most of my time trying to figure out which direction Beethro is facing.

It looks like it received no playtesting. Sure it works, but the graphics are totally unreadable.

Anything else, including animation delays etc. are minor compared to confusing graphics.

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05-31-2004 at 12:30 PM
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Scott
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If the game is a bad as everyone says and a demo then why is it being sold all over the net? A google for drod will find heaps of places that drod3d is being sold.
06-01-2004 at 12:25 AM
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agaricus5
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Well, I think part of the reason is that many Game sites have given it 4 or 5 stars, so it must obviously be attracting people to buy it.

On the related topic of appraeance, have a read of this thread I found on the Dexterity forums:

http://www.dexterity.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=3226

Perhaps this is what the DROD Forum is doing. Having gotten used to how DROD plays, perhaps people are comparing it negatively because in terms of first impression, it's look is not as good as it could be, and so expect more from it.

I'm not criticising, nor am I passing a judgement, for I have never played the demo or the real thing. All I'm doing is throwing an opinion around.

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06-01-2004 at 12:38 AM
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Oneiromancer
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I'd be worried that people would download this 3D version, view it extremely negatively, and then never bother trying 1.6 because of it. I think it could be a not insignificant source of problems to the version we know and love.

Game on,

[Edited by Oneiromancer on 05-31-2004 at 11:46 PM GMT]

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06-01-2004 at 12:45 AM
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DiMono
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Also, just because it's available to be sold doesn't mean it IS getting sold. Has anyone looked at the actual number of units moved?

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06-01-2004 at 01:01 AM
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Insane
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How did yours survive 11 minutes bandit????? mine only survived about 3 or so. My keys are working as it said (E & R German Keyboard)
here are my suggestions:
1. I always die because Beethro moves two turns instead of 1 when i press E/R.
2. Faster movement when just holding down a button
3. You can't see roaches behind walls and there so tiny too.
4. What's up with the darkness?

Besides all that, fairly ok game.

Rating: (of 10) ***** 1/2

I still think 2D is way better though. when i first heard of "3D DROD!" i was like :w00t :yikes but now im like :? :thumbsdown

-Insane

[Last edited by Insane at 09-23-2005 09:08 PM]
09-23-2005 at 09:07 PM
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Bad Dog
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Yeah, you are right. 3D is not always an improvement to gameplay; in fact, I've been disappointed more often than not by the trend of "3D-izing" well made games. Most of the time, as in DROD3D, it sounds pretty cool until you see the hassle it creates for gameplay. I'm just not down with the "3D is always better" crowd.

Some games that have been "improved" with 3D graphics that I don't think have gained anything might be:

Civ 4
Warcraft 3

Ack. I'm sure I could think of more if my brain wasn't tired right now. Oh well. :blush
09-24-2005 at 11:29 PM
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