We are hard at work getting a version of Dredmor (beta 0.4 for those of you keeping track at home) in fighting shape for entry in the Penny Arcade Expo PAX 10 competition. I think it’s looking pretty good. AT the very least, the judges will never have seen anything like it. (Hi, judges!)
In the process of doing this, we went through and did some playtesting this evening. Daniel and I decided to start the game with starting skills, and we’d see who would get the furthest down into the dungeon before we were slaughtered. I will let Daniel discuss his experiences (he beat me), but I had a pretty good early head start owing to the discovery on level 1 (the Crypts) of a sword that shot fireballs and put enemies to sleep. Both at once. That helped me carve my way through the dungeon, leaving a trail of flaming, spurting, asleep monster corpses in my wake, until I encountered a monster zoo on the Moonbase level. Panic and chaos ensued; heck, I thought to myself, my default weapon instantly fireballs anything around me (including myself), how bad can it be? Well, pretty bad.
I made my way to the lower corner of the dungeon (“The Oozing Hole of Lusts” – nobody’s beating that room name any time soon), working my way through a pile of Blobbies, Octos, Diggles, and Djinns. A few Deth monsters – scary looking grim reaper things with scythes – menaced me, and soon I realized that having cleared out much of the room, I was rapidly running out of hit points. Perhaps this was because my weapon tended to hit me as well as the monsters. And now Deths – who cast spells – had started to notice my presence. Trouble! I quickly decided to use some unused skill points and maybe find a skill in my skill tree that could get me out of here so I could regroup. I picked the Frenetic Teleportation spell – an early air spell that I had accumulated enough experience points to learn. I clicked – and ended up landing right next to a Zomby, who one-hit KO’ed me.
RIP Mordred, the Axemaster. His tombstone read, “He Crushed Like a Vomit.”
I am satisfied with this playthrough, in that it represents some of my goals (and the team’s goals, for that matter) with Dredmor. I had a unique experience, I enjoyed myself, and yet I still died because of my own hubris and stupidity. It makes for a quick, nasty little amusing story to tell you so that you can enjoy my experience. Next time I play the game, it will be different. What’s not to like?