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Caravel Forum : Caravel Boards : General : Swordplay (Proto-DROD, or Prehistory of DROD)
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icon Swordplay (+2)  
After reading the history of DROD this particular passage caught my attention:

"1993 - I wrote the first computer-based version of Deadly Rooms of Death (called "Swordplay" at that time) using Visual Basic for DOS. "

I won't lie, I am curious how it looked like. Apparently it used ASCII style. Obviously it probably wasn't marvel to look at, but still, it's sort of important piece of history.

I doubt that The Mighty Creator of DROD has the original files, and I doubt that they would be shared anyway, but I certainly am interested in how the concept looked like and developed long before DROD happened.

Why do I care? From the historical perspective. It's always fun to observe how your favorite media evolved over time.
And very often, the history that leads to what we all know and love can be epic and worth telling in its own way (like when I've read about the pre-Marvel Comics era)

Call it The Prehistory of Deadly Rooms of Death, or Pre-DROD for short.

One thing for sure, after googling about what BBS were, I've found some website with archives, but apparently none of them had a copy of Swordplay there. Still a pretty cool history lesson I wasn't aware of.

I hope that this is not a dumb idea for a thread :blush

[Last edited by Illusionist at 09-21-2020 12:44 PM]
07-24-2020 at 09:22 PM
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Well, I don't have it anymore, but let me give you a little info.

It had a rotating sword and swordsman that worked just like Beethro.

There were orcs that were lower case 'o's. They worked the same as roaches.

There were capitol 'O' orc mother's that worked the same as roach queens.

In the 90s I had an infestation of cockroaches in my Seattle apartment, and it made me happy to kill them in my game. Plus, the Tolkien stuff seemed like it didn't belong to me. So DROD got roaches instead of orcs.

Yet, goblins made it over from Swordplay. Lower-case 'g's.

That's it! Just 3 monsters in Swordplay. And maybe a dozen rooms, none of them proper puzzles.

I think I might have had one more element that was a randomly spreading obstacle. A lesser version of tar.

And this game shared ideas from games I made as a 13-year-old. And DROD has ideas that are in the game I'm making now as a 47-year-old. Everything you do at each point in your life is connected.


The Godkiller on Steam. Chapter 1 coming 1/1/22. It's a DROD-like puzzle adventure game.
dev journals | twitch stream | youtube archive (NSFW)
07-25-2020 at 05:45 AM
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icon Re: Swordplay (+3)  
That's actually good enough for me, to be honest.

I didn't expect you to still have it. If by some miracle I find it on the internet (doubtful), I will... share it here? I do promise that I will look for it, and maybe try to ask some people I know that might have it, because they were bootlegging... I mean, legally downloading everything that was legal to download. That's the word I wanted to choose... I don't want to promise anything, nor give any hopes. If it's somewhere, I will try to find it on my own.

I think that the history should be respected and that the credit should be given when credit is due.

Thank you for sharing this with us, please do not be afraid of sharing such stories, because they are important, and shouldn't be forgotten. I hope that going through such memory lane wasn't painful :D

And I appreciated the trivia. I always find the development part to be the most interesting thing about the game. The influence, the ideas, and the inspiration. I don't want to start threads asking about how the development looked like for other games, because that would be an abuse, and very disrespectful, but please consider doing such retrospective project in future for some anniversary as an extra. Or even documentary, through kickstarter, or patreon. I think that people will enjoy that. And I think that you are underrating your games.

DROD was indeed The Project of your life, and as a matter of fact, I also have a project that I'm still working on, and that will probably take my whole life to complete. But I enjoy working on it.

My story with DROD is like that: I knew the shareware version in the 90s (if you want I can look through my CDs to find the shareware unregistered demo of the game, and maybe upload that version somewhere, because it's nowhere to find on the internet as well). I remember that back then, I was a simple kid, and I didn't like it, because you couldn't mindlessly roam the levels, you had to think and plan your moves, it was too much for me then.

But I do remember that the game was very popular among gamers to the point that it got some accolades for the best of '96 or '97. I was surprised to see a remastered version years later, and I was surprised to see the perseverance in continuing the project. I literally thought that you were all crazy, and didn't understand the hype. But I gave this game another chance, and it... well, changed my life for the better. I believe that the game will have a renaissance somewhere in the future. Far future. When everyone will be an AI

Sorry for such a long post, I prefer to have it contained here, in order to avoid posting too much, and I still didn't say everything I wanted to say, I try to stay on-topic.

There is also a crazy idea to recreate the game the way it was, but it's too crazy to even suggest.

Tl;dr thank you for creating this game

[Last edited by Illusionist at 09-21-2020 12:44 PM]
07-25-2020 at 10:12 PM
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