March 3, 2010 12:00 AM |
['@ Play' is a monthly column by John Harris which discusses the history, present and future of the Roguelike dungeon exploring genre. Check out previous columns for other entries in this series on breakout Roguelike variant Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup.]
One thing new players to Crawl may find dismaying is the sheer size of the dungeon. Rogue, Nethack and ADOM have dungeon levels that fit on a single screen, but Crawl's maps are much larger, many more screens in size both vertically and horizontally. They aren't as large as Angband's, but Angband has transient levels anyway; once you leave a level, it is completely forgotten and cannot be returned to, so in a sense they are disposable.
Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup's levels are big enough that they pose challenges of information management for the player. And if a player has a good enough memory to handle them, or a pad and paper for writing things down, that works well, for a while at least. The game did little to help the player to keep track of it all for a while. In fact, the addition of the Travel Patch marks the root of the Crawl code fork that would become Stone Soup. (The Travel Patch and its role in Stone Soup's origins are detailed in a post at crawl.develz.org.)Since its introduction, Crawl has acquired an amazing array of automated play aids, far beyond the call of duty and unique in the roguelike world.
Categories: Column: At Play