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Jacob
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icon Re: DROD on steam (+3)  
I just posted this review on Steam, but can't view it for some reason. Can anyone see it?

Disclaimer: I was involved in puzzle/level and story design in this game.

For that reason in this review I will mainly be discussing the DROD series of games as a whole (there are 5 in total and the underlying game mechanics and gameplay remain the same throughout for the most part)

In short, DROD is the most ingenious, fun, and diverse puzzle game I have played and is by far my favourite game of all time.

Good points:

- Fantastic and varied puzzles. These are turn-based, logical puzzles that don't depend on randomness or reflexes - all the information required to solve each room is available and all elements are fully deterministic, but this doesn't stop the puzzles from being fiendishly hard in some cases. In addition to playing to solve the puzzles themselves, there are often many additional challenges and secrets included, and the potential to play competitively (via an online highscore system)

- Clever and flexible puzzle elements: it would be possible to create a ton of puzzles based around a single element alone (for example, trapdoors, tar, mirrors or bombs) and many other puzzle games out there may indeed be based around similar individual mechanics (cf. Sokoban). However, with over 30 elements/enemies (including serpents, goblins, pressure plates, firetraps, spikes, rock golems, time travel tokens...) the number of potential puzzles and their complexity feels almost unlimited. The fact that user-made levels are still being made after over 12 years and fresh ideas are still coming out is a testament to this. This leads me on to:

- Level editor and user-made levels: I love playing DROD but perhaps get even more enjoyment from creating my own DROD levels, posting them on the forum and seeing how people respond to them. It's always rewarding to make a puzzle that others enjoy, or that stumps DROD veterans. When download DROD, you're not just getting the official levels that come with the engine, but the ability to play over 500 other usermade levelsets (called Holds in DROD terminology), some of which actually surpass the official levels in terms of challenge, if not quality in some cases.

- Story: Over the course of 5 games, and in-canon additional Holds ("Smitemasters' Selections", which will also be available on Steam in future) DROD has built up a fantastic story involving the adventures of the Smitemaster, Beethro Budkin, as he explores an underground world and encounters the mysterious Empire (a bureaucracy gone mad). It's a great, and ultimately pretty epic story, complemented by quirky humour and artwork.

- DROD community - The DROD forum (forum.caravelgames.com) is fantastic. As well as a place to share discussions of DROD and get help with tricky puzzles (there is a "Hints and Solutions" board), and to share usermade holds, there's a lot of interesting activity that takes place outside this, including monthly Contests.

Bad/Not-so-good points:

- This particular set of levels ("Gunthro and the Epic Blunder") was specifically designed for newcomers to DROD. As such, it's a lot easier than the others (so may not be as much of a challenge for DROD veterans), introduces fewer puzzles elements than some of the other entries in the series and doesn't really add much to the storyline as a whole (which is concerned more with Gunthro's grandson, Beethro). It's also a bit a shorter than some of the others in the series. However, if you are new to DROD, I would say it's a great place to start.

- Voice acting - this is generally pretty good and humorous, but can be a bit amateurish at times. I don't really find this a problem myself, but others have commented on this before.

- Graphics - these obviously aren't as good as a lot of games out there. However, I think they suit the game well and I don't think AAA graphics are really required for a puzzle game like this.

- While I've complimented the puzzles, there is occasionally a tendency for some level designers to use less interesting designs. For example, "hack-and-slash" rooms, where you are simply tasked with killing hordes of monsters in the room without having to solve any actual puzzles. I prefer the more "linchpin-style" rooms, where there is a trick you need to figure out to solve the room. This is more of an issue in the first official DROD game (King Dugan's Dungeon) and less so in the later ones, including this one (Guntho and the Epic Blunder), but is also an issue in some of the user-made holds. Some user-made holds will also take advantage of more esoteric puzzle mechanics (cf. the subtleties of serpent movement) and base puzzles around these - if you're not familiar with the more indepth mechanics this can be frustrating, but again this isn't such an issue in the official holds.

- Difficulties getting into DROD: As alluded to above, there are 5 main games (each release with a different engine), a number of official additional levelsets, and a plethora of usermade levels, so it can be hard to know where to start. Added to this, the very first set of levels (King Dugan's Dungeon) is nowhere near as fun or polished as the later ones. That said, Gunthro and the Epic Blunder is probably the best place to start.

TL;DR - get DROD, it's great.

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09-27-2016 at 09:31 PM
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Kargaros
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icon Re: DROD on steam (0)  
quote:
Jacob wrote:
I just posted this review on Steam, but can't view it for some reason. Can anyone see it?

I can't see your review in the Steam store either.

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09-28-2016 at 05:43 AM
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Xindaris
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icon Re: DROD on steam (+1)  
I'm not sure if this would cause it, but you might check whether your steam profile is set to private?

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09-28-2016 at 02:14 PM
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Hikari
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icon Re: DROD on steam (0)  
Just going to throw this out there...

Why the heck isn't Flood Warning attached to GatEB Steam? The credit scroll even mentions it by name, specifically says it's included with GatEB, and yet... it's not there.

Given that, unless I'm mistaken, Steam DLC requires you to purchase the main game first, surely it's doable to put it up as a free DLC package?

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09-29-2016 at 09:12 AM
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Jacob
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icon Re: DROD on steam (0)  
Mike's said steam releases of SmSes are planned and assume this will be one of them. I agree that it should be free DLC for buyers of GATEB though.

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09-29-2016 at 02:54 PM
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mrimer
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icon Re: DROD on steam (0)  
quote:
Jacob wrote:
I agree that it should be free DLC for buyers of GATEB though.
Sorry for any confusion. I admit I'm probably feeling a bit defensive about this. I know people like to get stuff for free, but to clarify, "Flood Warning" is currently free when purchasing GatEB directly from Caravel Games only, as a promotional deal, which could change at any point. Gunthro+FW is not an eternal package deal, and we haven't always offered them together on all gaming portals. On Steam, as Jacob said, Flood Warning will be available soon as DLC, as part of an SmS bundle.

I recall we do mention work TFMurphy did on Flood Warning in the GatEB credits, but I don't think we should conclude just because it's mentioned it's automatically free.

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[Last edited by mrimer at 09-29-2016 06:57 PM]
09-29-2016 at 06:56 PM
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Jacob
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icon Re: DROD on steam (0)  
Fair enough. I don't think it has to be included with GATEB, and trust your judgement.
I had assumed this as it has been the case for the caravel release. I now see that the steam release is cheaper than the one on caravel games, so can't see a problem with this.

(btw, my steam review still doesn't come up even though I made it public)

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09-29-2016 at 09:00 PM
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Hikari
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icon Re: DROD on steam (+2)  
I'd be careful about pricing on Flood Warning, in that case. It doesn't just mention the hold in the end credits, after all; it outright states that it's bundled with GatEB. That's the main reason I brought it up; you don't want people to assume based on the statement in the ending that it's free if, y'know, it's *not*.

Not that I know if it's possible to change the ending feed to reflect that or not, mind. Just adding the word 'originally' in there might be all it takes to fix the issue, just it seems like if it's not going to be free, there shouldn't be anything that says it *is*.

[thanks, fixed -- mrimer]

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[Last edited by mrimer at 10-22-2016 10:44 PM]
09-30-2016 at 12:44 AM
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Coscott
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icon Re: DROD on steam (+1)  
Will we get steam keys for all the games we bought though Caravel?

I still have a few SmS that I have not beaten, and was very excited by the steam release, and planned to start playing again, but was disappointed by not being able to transfer the SmS over yet.
09-30-2016 at 04:47 AM
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Zeispharn
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icon Re: DROD on steam (0)  
Hi,

Could I import on the Steam version a demo recorded on the CD version?

Actually every demo I D/L from the forum don't charge on the steam version using F6.
It says that I don't possess the hold.



10-06-2016 at 10:54 AM
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YungVenuz
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icon Re: DROD on steam (+2)  
Here's a soundtrack question: with GatEB being updated to use Second Sky music and art assets for the last hub's levels, does the soundtrack dlc include those tracks as well? If not, are there plans to incorporate those tracks into the GatEB soundtrack later, or will I have to wait for the full release of Second Sky?
10-08-2016 at 10:59 PM
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Fang
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icon Re: DROD on steam (+1)  
The games page on the main website lists GatEB as "coming soon to Steam", so you might want to correct that, since it's already out.

[fixed -- mrimer]

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[Last edited by mrimer at 10-22-2016 10:44 PM]
10-09-2016 at 05:21 PM
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ttzop
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icon Re: DROD on steam (+1)  
Just checking if there's any update on when the prior holds/smitemaster stuff is gonna be on steam. I finished GatEB a couple of weeks ago and loved it, thanks all.
10-20-2016 at 08:35 PM
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Jacob
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icon Re: DROD on steam (+1)  
You probably already know this but there are tons of great usermade holds to play while you wait (some I think are bundled with the game).

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My Holds and Levels:
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10-20-2016 at 09:40 PM
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mrimer
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quote:
Zeispharn wrote:
Hi,

Could I import on the Steam version a demo recorded on the CD version?

Actually every demo I D/L from the forum don't charge on the steam version using F6.
It says that I don't possess the hold.
No, unfortunately, demos from GatEB 4.0 don't import into GatEB 5.0.

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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.
10-22-2016 at 10:46 PM
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Camwoodstock
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icon Re: DROD on steam (0)  
There was an update patch today; can anyone verify what it does?

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Mastered all of GatEB, KDD 2.0, JtRH, and TCB! | Saw The Second Sky! (lots of secrets left!)

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10-23-2016 at 04:54 AM
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uncopy2002
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icon Re: DROD on steam (+1)  
quote:
Camwoodstock wrote:
There was an update patch today; can anyone verify what it does?

It's for updating SDL2 library used by the game to 2.0.5 stable.
10-23-2016 at 05:32 AM
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RabidChild
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quote:
mrimer wrote:
No, unfortunately, demos from GatEB 4.0 don't import into GatEB 5.0.
That... doesn't sound right. As long as it's the same hold, the demos should import with no problem regardless of engine version. Isn't that how things have always worked before?
10-23-2016 at 04:10 PM
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mrimer
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icon Re: DROD on steam (0)  
quote:
RabidChild wrote:
quote:
mrimer wrote:
No, unfortunately, demos from GatEB 4.0 don't import into GatEB 5.0.
That... doesn't sound right. As long as it's the same hold, the demos should import with no problem regardless of engine version. Isn't that how things have always worked before?
You're right. This should actually work. I'll look into this further.

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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.
10-23-2016 at 05:46 PM
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Jacob
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icon Re: DROD on steam (0)  
quote:
RabidChild wrote:
quote:
mrimer wrote:
No, unfortunately, demos from GatEB 4.0 don't import into GatEB 5.0.
That... doesn't sound right. As long as it's the same hold, the demos should import with no problem regardless of engine version. Isn't that how things have always worked before?


But isn' t the point that, in this case, it isn' t the same hold? (I.e. steam version of gateb is a different hold to all the preceded it)

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10-23-2016 at 08:36 PM
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mrimer
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Am I correct in assuming that demos from KDD 2.0 can be imported into KDD 5.0, and same for JtRH 2.0 and 5.0, respectively?

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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.
10-24-2016 at 03:07 PM
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Dragon Fogel
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Yes, I've been able to look at my demos from previous versions of KDD, JtRH, and TCB with no problems. I've also been able to download older demos off CaravelNet and had them work.
10-24-2016 at 08:31 PM
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mrimer
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Thanks for confirming. Okay, looks like we have a glitch in the hold configuration. We'll investigate.

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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.
10-25-2016 at 02:47 PM
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mrimer
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DROD:KDD is now available on Steam for $4.99 as DLC for Gunthro. Get it this week for 10% off!

JtRH and TCB are coming soon. Look for them in the next 2-4 weeks. :thumbsup

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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 10-25-2016 03:17 PM]
10-25-2016 at 03:17 PM
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DezzTech
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icon Re: DROD on steam (+1)  
What's up with the screenshots? Two of them are from the old KDD 2.0 in an old engine, one is from The Choice, which isn't included in the DLC, so that's a bit misleading, and two last are... not really screenshots. I'll go make some myself, I guess... BRB in a few minutes.

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10-25-2016 at 03:36 PM
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uncopy2002
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Currently the Steam/GOG keys to KDD/JtRH/TCB are not available at our Profile->Purchase page yet.

I'm pretty sure if we have already purchased KDD on Caravel we should also get a steam key to the DLC for free, right? At least that's how the 5.0 version of all the holds had been done.
10-25-2016 at 03:38 PM
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mrimer
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quote:
uncopy2002 wrote:
Currently the Steam/GOG keys to KDD/JtRH/TCB are not available at our Profile->Purchase page yet.

I'm pretty sure if we have already purchased KDD on Caravel we should also get a steam key to the DLC for free, right? At least that's how the 5.0 version of all the holds had been done.
That's correct. Schik I will hook these up asap.

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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 10-25-2016 08:55 PM]
10-25-2016 at 03:45 PM
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DezzTech
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icon Re: DROD on steam (+5)  
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/2o6scpom7boehhn/AADYbJtx_kG1L2PhTW3T6EJJa?dl=0

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10-25-2016 at 04:01 PM
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mrimer
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You're amazing! Thank you. Updated!

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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.
10-25-2016 at 04:37 PM
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averagemoe
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The screenshots for the KDD DLC include the chalkboard from "Hallholder Bombus Defeats the Eyeball Pudding." Did you adapt the "Beethro the Delver" stories into cutscenes that were added to this build?

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10-25-2016 at 08:28 PM
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