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From the mouth of Wesley:

Greeting to all my fellow DRODers; I’m Wesley Chua (agaricus5), long-time player, and first-time Illuminator. In this edition, we revert back to the more classic Illumination style and bring you a bumper selection of the finest stuff from around the Forum, catching up on the stuff you might have missed over the past few months.

So please, don't be shy: come on down to the Eighth for your daily mind-enhancement. Backwards-incompatibility with reality guaranteed, or the next session's free! (See the following for more details):

The Eighth's Latest Infestations

It’s been a productive few months for DROD architecture; the Dungeon Architects’ Association has reported an increase in output, while over at the Smitemasters’ Guild, meeting attendance appears to have fallen significantly. Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to get any reviews for the most recent holds released (clearly our runner system appears to have malfunctioned somewhere), but that’s not a problem, right? Get in there and report back to us on the double!

The Great Adventure by DyRsOfDh14

Token Effort by Jacob

If, however, you’d prefer to get some advice from surviving explorers before recklessly going in yourself, then why not take a look at some of these older holds, reviewed courtesy of CuriousShyRabbit.

El Dorado by BoyBlue

El Dorado is a full-length, rather difficult hold. In some clever lynchpin puzzles, BoyBlue tricks the player into trying and trying to do the impossible. Other movement order and horde rooms might better be described as strategy puzzles. These have multiple solutions, and it’s up to the player to develop an effective approach.

Grud’s Dungeon by mxvladi

With every hold he builds, mxvladi becomes more creative in his use of game elements. Grud’s Dungeon is a short, fairly difficult set of player role stalwart puzzles. It includes some races against timers, some slayer and snake manipulation rooms, and some puzzles where trapdoors limit the path you can take.

The Old School by calamarain

Calamarain’s latest offering is a one-level Architect’s Edition hold of medium difficulty. Each room involves a different combination of two or three classic AE elements. The puzzles are not too complicated, but not too easy either. Some optional challenges are included for those so inclined .

Further Up and Further In by Dischorran

Here’s a set of medium difficulty efficiency puzzles. The player races east across every room, through different monsters and obstacles, with briar growing close behind. Secret rooms are accessed by solving puzzles “the hard way.” Dischorran has added a deliciously surrealistic story on level entrance screens that appear between puzzles.

Missing Pieces by Jacob

In April, Jacob posted a set of impossible rooms and challenged contestants to find game elements that would make each room possible. Missing Pieces is the resulting “theme and variations” set of possible rooms with the various game elements added in. Overall medium difficulty, with some very challenging variations added in a secret level.

The Ice Caverns Part -I-: The Cleaning by DyRsOfDh14

DyRsOfDh14 has created a short, easy hold based on JtRH game elements. Each room has a very simple trick to it.

In-progress DROD Architecture

In addition to the completed holds above, a number of architects are also busy at work on a number of in-progress works down at the Architecture board. Why not drop by and lend a hand in testing them and poking the authors to completion?

Homeward Adventure by Jeff_Ray...

This rather expansive construction features an interesting storyline and quite a number of lynchpin puzzles. In particular, Jeff needs some help reordering the levels and rooms to get a more even difficulty gradient.

Gigantic Jewel Lost by Zch

Apparently in the making for some time, this nearly-finished hold features custom room styles, difficult rooms and a quest to return a jewel. If you’re interested, why not join the beta-testing to find and fix the hold’s unintended solutions?

Gobrid’s Dungeon by 12th Archivist

A Kangaroo’s Dungeon by HEROACE

Delving Time by 13th Slayer

Directions of the Compass 2 by brian_s

Aurelia Keep by Pinnacle

The Puzzle Catacombs by NoahT

High Path Journey by Melvin

These works may only be small now, but with your help, who knows what these fledgling holds might become one day?

DROD: RPG - Quests and Adventures

Architects working on DROD: RPG continue to excavate ever larger and more mysterious constructions. Dare you enter to seek the truth? Or at least whatever lies at their end? Sure you do; here is a selection of the latest adventures on offer, courtesy of a mysterious adventurer.

Fetch the Pie by Chaco
An excellent, if more or less orthodox, RPG hold, complete with an interlude containing more DROD-like puzzles, a silly story, and (it's built by Chaco, so what do you expect?) simply gorgeous use of lighting and room design to make this a very enjoyable all-round hold.

Einar by Fang
A novel idea with the experience level system, but what really makes this hold stand out is the variety of its levels, including a water level in which you move around on platforms, and one in which your player-character is caught in an earthquake!

Invasion of the Critters by Jeff_Ray...
If you like your DROD:RPG brain-numbingly tough, then this is the hold for you! You don't even get a sword until well into the second level. After this, you'll never think of roach queens and evil eyes as "easy" monsters again.

Four Rooms by budja
This began as a puzzle with just four rooms: no more having to explore a wide area and restart so you know where everything is! It's tricky and great fun to solve, but not frustratingly difficult. There is now a second level with another four rooms, continuing the theme, and if you encourage the author, there may be more coming soon!

You can find these in-progress works and more over on the RPG Architecture board.

Our Contest for June - The Suicidal Beethro

Are you a budding creator? Do you feel your works are some of the most groundbreaking and novel? Are you architect enough to enter this month’s contest? Sure you are – it’s time to get out your hard hat for some DROD architecture with a twist!

In this month’s contest, by NiroZ your aim is to build a hold where the purpose is to die. It must be enjoyable, stylish and straightforward. But you must die! In a twisted take on the DROD puzzle, one must build rooms that require one to commit suicide but at the same time make this task difficult. Prepare yourself and start building; do you have the courage to take on this challenge?

Contests Galore!

Since the last DRODistic Illumination, we have completed four forum contests. All were varied, interesting, amusing at times, and most importantly, good fun to take part in. If you missed them, now’s your chance to catch up on all the action, courtesy of NiroZ!

Paper Scissors Rock, run by NiroZ (February 2009)

Paper, Scissors, Rock. You know what to do, right? Okay: 1...2...3...

Paper! Did you win?

This was a contest about prediction and a bit of strategy. Each contestant challenged every other contestant over several rounds; the goal was to win as many points as possible. In the end, randomness prevailed over strategy somewhat, since it got a bit tedious to try to predict the moves of so many people. However, it was nonetheless quite fun; the contest winners were:

1st – Dischorran with 153 points.
2nd – Lopsidation with 147 points.
3rd – DanielFishman and Nuntar tied with 144 points.

Also, big thanks to Jutt, who created a program during the contest that worked out all the scoring for us. If it wasn’t for that, the contest would have flopped, since scoring manually was pretty tedious work.

Limited Room RPG Contest, run by Nuntar (March 2009)

This contest reuses an old (unofficial) DROD contest idea, this time making use of the superior scripting and new gameplay in DROD: RPG, at the expense of room size. The holds built were varied, many contained some original concepts, and even the holds with little or no scripting were still pretty impressive. The only downside was that combination of the rooms into a single compilation hold introduced a number of bugs. Fortunately, these were quickly fixed. The winners were:

1st – mxvladi, taking both #1 and #2 in the poll with Sand Trap, rated 7.84, and One room, rated 7.68!
2nd – Mazer, taking #3 in the poll with The Dungeon, rated 7.21
3rd – Rheb, taking #4 in the poll with Tomb of the Zombie King, rated 7.10.

If you’d like to do some exploring yourself, you can find the entries here:

Bluffhanger, run by noma (April 2009)

Your challenge this month, if you accept it, is to write fiction that “is so bad, it's good”.

In Bluffhanger, participants were asked to write two sentences, one setting the scene for a story but leaving a cliffhanger, and the second resolving said cliffhanger. The winners would be badly written, suspenseful, amusing and with surprising conclusions.

This contest had a good turnout, with 24 groan-inducing entries demonstrating the humorously bad creativity skills possessed by various forumites. You can find them in the following thread.

Warning! The consequences of viewing the entries while drinking or eating may be as amusing as the entries themselves.

In the end, the winners were:

1st - Tahnan taking #1 and #2 in the poll with entry 15, “As he felt his life draining...”, rated 7.89, and entry 10, “So when Jackson threw his harpoon”, rated 7.72.
2nd – Lamkin, taking #3 and #4 in the poll with entry 19, “Time works wonders...”, rated 7.44 and entry 2, “The resonant rumblings of methane...”, rated 7.39.
3rd – Mouse, taking #4 in the poll with entry 7, “As Jane looked at her baby...”, rated 7.39.

Flags of the Eighth, run by Nuntar (May 2009)

For the month of May, we decided to delve into the culture of the Eighth; way, way deep into its culture. And how better to do that than by creating some fictional flags to fit with the backstory of the nations of the Eighth? Besides, flags also make good souvenirs to have with you when you regale your fellow smitemasters with your tales of adventure and daring in far-off lands.

The contest turned out rather well, with some really breathtaking flags on display. The winners were as follows:

1st – Jutt’s flag for Sun Island, rated 9.0625
2nd – Mikko’s flag for Akandia, rated 8.6875
3rd – brian_s’s flag for Oyst, rated 8.3125
All of these were of very high calibre; I'd also recommend... actually, why not take a look at the entries and decide for yourself?

Updates From Beyond the Eighth

If you feel you’ve been smiting too many monsters, or have finally succumbed to the Mothingness, why not take a break and have a look at some of the other games hosted on the Caravel Forum?

Crystal Shard Games

According to their main webpage, Crystal Shard is described as “a team of hobbyists participating over the internet to bring the challenge to your mouse”. Indeed, you will find your mouse will be challenged even to decide where to start playing; with quite a varied selection of games on offer, you’re sure to find something you’ll like.

In particular, both Subterra 1 and 2 were updated in April and a monthly level design contest is currently being run, involving the designing of levels based on a template. If you’re interested in getting those creative juices flowing in a somewhat different subterranean context, then why not give it a go?


This DROD-like RPG and its sequel are the creations of googa, part time programmer and musician. If you’re interested in a different take on the DROD:RPG theme, the Wonderquest games are definitely worth a play.

I got in touch with him just before May, and although his work on Wonderquest is more-or-less complete, he is currently recording a new album. According to our brief correspondence, this was how he described his music: “Rock and Roll, Soft rock, blues, jazz, alternative. My main goal is always to create something new rather than trying to fit in a genre. I'm very eclectic.”

So, Gustav, if you still receive our Illuminations, and are reading this, please do drop by the Forum some time to tell us about your music. It sounds pretty cool!

Topic Picks for May/June

Finally, if you’ve still got room for afters, why not check out some of the more interesting discussions on the forum, courtesy of RoboBob3000?

What is your DROD playing style?

PurpleKoopa asks: How do you tackle a newly discovered room? Do you reach for the pen and paper, or do you just rush in with your sword swinging? Do you optimize first, later, or never?

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Dischorran, in an apparent effort to destroy the community from the inside out, has proposed an unofficial contest wherein competitors compete to design the ugliest room possible. What a lunatic!


Weird gets weirder as forumites attempt to understand the enigma that is the user prrringles. Is he a spambot without a purpose? Is he part of a bigger conspiracy? Can we be reasonably certain that he'll post on 11/11/2011? What kind of soup is he making?

DROD Survivor 2 Finale

After months of competition, fourteen forumites eliminated each other one-by-one, all hoping to earn the coveted title of DROD Survivor. True drama unfolded as the three finalists - noma, TripleM, and Dex Stewart - each made their final pitch for victory. Witness the finale of one of the greatest forum games ever played!

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 06-19-2009 05:32 PM]
06-19-2009 at 05:31 PM
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Nuntar wrote:
Also, Flags of the Eighth was NiroZ's contest, not mine; I just made the first post on his behalf. The converse of what happened with Limited Room RPG, so if I got the participation credit for that one, it's only fair that he gets it for this.

Oops. I guess I didn't read the contest threads very closely; you're right that NiroZ was the person doing the behind-the scenes organising. Thanks for pointing it out.

Resident Medic/Mycologist
06-20-2009 at 08:47 PM
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Yay! I was mentionned twice!

I AM indeed seeking help for the level re-arrangement process of Homeward Adventure. However, I might not be getting many responses due to the topic being about 4 months old...

As for IotC, I am indeed not dropping this one down, but I'm stuck with testing my current build of level 4... and I keep procrastinating.

Currently, I might not be very active, because I am working on other projects, which are unrelated to DROD. But with school clearing out now, I might have more opportunities to revisit the community.

See ya 'round!


I make Let's Plays too!
Click here to find out my LPs' progress, and find out what I plan to tackle next!

Currently playing:
Click here to view the secret text

My Holds:
Click here to view the secret text

-Work in Progress:
Click here to view the secret text

06-21-2009 at 06:56 PM
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Small Announcement:

Since both Mike and Wesley seems to be pretty busy this month, Mike asked me to see if I can make something.

If anyone has something important to say (like contests info, or a hold that is worth replaying), PM me with some text and I might include it in the next Illumination.

Since this is supposed to be the July Illumination, you have exactly two days to PM me. ;)

The best way to lose customers is to let little kids running loose on a forum with too many mod points.
07-28-2009 at 02:31 PM
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