The Digital Antiquarian offers a potted history of 1990s-era dungeon crawlers: the first-person kind that plays out in real time, but restricts players to movement on a grid to keeps things doable on the era's limited hardware. They were soon outmoded by free movement in three dimensions, but have become a cult subgenre that thrives to this day.
It was easy and natural in these games to control a whole party of characters moving in lockstep from square to square, thus retaining another of the foremost pleasures of turn-based games like Wizardry: that of building up not just a single character but a balanced team of them. In a free-scrolling, free-moving game, with its much more precise sense of embodied positioning, such a conceit would have been impossible to maintain. And much of the emergent interactivity of Dungeon Master‘s environment would also have been impossible without the grid. Many of us still recall the eureka moment when we realized that we could kill monsters by luring them into a gate square and pushing a button to bash them on the heads with the thing as it tried to descend, over and over again. Without the neat order of the grid, where a gate occupying a square fills all of that square as it descends, there could have been no eureka.
Pictured here is of one of the Ishar series, missing from TDA's roundup, perhaps due to its obscurity outside of Britain and France. It was the high point of the genre's golden age, the best and worst of it, and I fancy you can tell from just one screenshot.
As anyone that’s been kicking around here for the past few years knows, I love the Nintendo Switch—not so much for its new games, although I do dig a number of those too. For me, the Switch is the ultimate port machine. As I do the majority of my work on a slowly dying early […]
I have been loving Shieldwall, a strategy game where you and your Roman legion attempt to kick the crap out of other Roman legions! This game reminds me of a 3D Starcraft, with (thus far) a lot less complexity. You start with one base and attempt to take others from other CG teams! More bases […]
This cat sure appears to be having a fun time.
If your sleep has been somewhat troubled recently, you’ve got plenty of company. With so much uncertainty, millions of people everywhere are laying in their beds, wrestling with huge life problems while unsuccessfully trying to also get eight hours of rest…or six…or heck, even 30 minutes. If that hits a little close to home, you […]
Believe it or not, you can still score a new job in the midst of the pandemic. There are a bunch of industries under more demand stress than ever that have an immediate need to grow. Regardless of the specific role needed or company that’s hiring, one skill that can only help you score an […]
If you’ve ever tried to shoot your own videos, you know the equipment costs to do it right can mount up quickly. Even if you’re fine with capturing video on your trusty smartphone, you still need a mount to keep your phone in place. And you’ll need a mic to augment your smartphone’s not so […]