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Author Topic: Zorbus (D&D inspired roguelike)  (Read 1485 times)

zorbus_overdose

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Zorbus (D&D inspired roguelike)
« on: April 20, 2019, 10:37:54 am »



First post on this forum and I'm advertising my own game... well, at least the game is freeware and it's a traditional roguelike.

Zorbus

Zorbus is a fantasy-themed, graphical, turn-based, role-playing roguelike game. Your goal is to delve deep into a dungeon, find a portal to a mythical place called the Zorbus where a mere mortal can ascend to demigodhood.

Thematically Zorbus draws influence from the late 70s and early 80s tabletop D&D campaigns, adventures and lore.

The goal is to create a tight, streamlined dungeon crawling experience where the dungeon feels alive, eventful and rich in content. Something more than just boring empty rooms and corridors! Diversely shaped levels with themed content (throne rooms, prisons, lots of hidden treasure caches etc.) with good connectivity between the areas.

Zorbus is already a stable game but development still continues: more content, more polishing.

Requirements / Technical stuff

Zorbus needs Windows XP or newer but works also in Linux with Wine.

The display size can be configured. You can play in windowed mode or fullscreen with 32x32- or 64x64-pixel tile graphics. Text size can also be adjusted. There is no audio.

The game can be controlled only with the keyboard (the number of needed keys to play is kept low). The keybindings are configurable. The game has a targeting system making it very easy to use ranged attacks or talents. Usable items and talents can be assigned to quickslots.

More information

More info, manual and download: http://www.zorbus.net

Gameplay screenshots: http://www.zorbus.net/gameplay.html

Sample of randomly created dungeon maps: http://www.zorbus.net/dungeon.html
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Flying Carcass

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Re: Zorbus (D&D inspired roguelike)
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2019, 10:51:52 pm »

I gave it a go the other day after seeing it linked on a discord channel. It's a really solid roguelike (though for the life of me I can't figure out how to talk to NPCs, i.e. recruit the other adventurers running around the dungeon). I like how the enemies have different behaviors, like at one point I had chased down an orc shaman only to have him drink a potion to teleport away.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2019, 10:53:31 pm by Flying Carcass »
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IWishIWereSarah

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Re: Zorbus (D&D inspired roguelike)
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2019, 01:17:35 am »

Hello, and welcome to the forums ! :)

I have a question about this part :
Quote
The goal is to create a tight, streamlined dungeon crawling experience where the dungeon feels alive, eventful and rich in content.
I like this idea, but I wonder whether it's the best way to go about it.

I haven't tried your game yet, but I'll compare to one of the most known rogue-like : DCSS.
As you may know, in DCSS, the dungeon is made of branches with a theme, and inside a branch, most rooms are randomly generated, with some hand-made rooms that can be selected by the algorithm.
It makes most of the rooms boringly normal, but the whole series of levels has a theme, and the player known what to expect when taking stairs to change level.

Looking at the screenshots from your randomly created dungeon maps, it looks like your levels have a "base theme" that will be used for the corridors and some rooms, but some hand-crafted rooms from other themes will be used inside the same map. It can be cool from a mapping and looking around point of view, but if the player does not really know about it before entering the rooms, it may not be great from a "should I go there" point of view.

As far as I am concerned, the DCSS way of doing it, with thematic branches and choices between "which one should I go in first" means that the player has more agency, because they can decide the branch they visit first based on their build and their equipment.
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zorbus_overdose

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Re: Zorbus (D&D inspired roguelike)
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2019, 06:19:08 am »

(though for the life of me I can't figure out how to talk to NPCs, i.e. recruit the other adventurers running around the dungeon).
You can interact with friendly NPCs by pressing control + direction. This opens a menu from where you can recruit them. Only works in cardinal directions. The manual explains the bump actions and lots of other stuff.

I haven't tried your game yet, but I'll compare to one of the most known rogue-like : DCSS.

Looking at the screenshots from your randomly created dungeon maps, it looks like your levels have a "base theme" that will be used for the corridors and some rooms, but some hand-crafted rooms from other themes will be used inside the same map. It can be cool from a mapping and looking around point of view, but if the player does not really know about it before entering the rooms, it may not be great from a "should I go there" point of view.
Most roguelikes seem to have a prefab format that has the prefab's map layout and the content of it binded together. I separated the handcrafted maps and the content altogether so a "goblin throne room" may be created into a rectangular, procedurally generated room or into a prefab vault or any other of the possible area types that's set in the content's description. So if you see a differently colored area in the map, it's just randomly colored for variation and the contents are randomly picked from the theme's content list.

I'm not trying to compete with DCSS and from the few comments I've got it seems that most DCSS players won't enjoy this game at all which is perfectly fine. The lack of autoexplore seems to be the biggest complaint but some have also commented that they didn't really miss autoexplore after actually trying the game.
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IWishIWereSarah

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Re: Zorbus (D&D inspired roguelike)
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2019, 06:23:47 am »

DCSS need the auto explore because most of the rooms and corridors are boring and long. Your game may not need that :)
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Frumple

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Re: Zorbus (D&D inspired roguelike)
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2019, 07:38:29 am »

Mind, people have, like. Got pretty used to auto-explore since it started cropping up. Even with high interest design it helps a fair bit if you're using anything except nothing but a straight line of rooms or something. One button to move you to "place I haven't been yet" does a lot to save effort and what amounts to rote thinking/busy work. You can get by without it, sure, and it's increasingly less of a major thing as your design gets more engaging, but it's a decently high priority convenience feature. "Take me somewhere interesting" is just about always going to win out over "let me figure out where to go next and then walk my way over to it".
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Mephansteras

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Re: Zorbus (D&D inspired roguelike)
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2019, 12:20:40 pm »

Looks interesting. I'll keep an eye on this!
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zorbus_overdose

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Re: Zorbus (D&D inspired roguelike)
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2019, 06:51:40 am »

Currently the game has map points which can be set automatically or by hand. You can then autopilot to these points or any other explored location on the map. Makes navigating a bit easier but I guess I'll have to rethink about adding autoexplore at some point.

Release 9 is out, changelog: http://www.zorbus.net/Zorbus.txt
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Retropunch

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Re: Zorbus (D&D inspired roguelike)
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2019, 11:12:53 am »

Mind, people have, like. Got pretty used to auto-explore since it started cropping up. Even with high interest design it helps a fair bit if you're using anything except nothing but a straight line of rooms or something. One button to move you to "place I haven't been yet" does a lot to save effort and what amounts to rote thinking/busy work. You can get by without it, sure, and it's increasingly less of a major thing as your design gets more engaging, but it's a decently high priority convenience feature. "Take me somewhere interesting" is just about always going to win out over "let me figure out where to go next and then walk my way over to it".

Agreed, but I think it's a problem with roguelikes rather than something that should be emulated if possible. I really like the idea of a roguelike which is so engaging that you just don't need it. If there's constantly stuff going on so 50%+ of your moves need to be planned then I think that'd be way better thing to go for. I got tired of constantly auto-explore+tabbing enemies out of the way in DCSS and it's one of the reasons I stopped playing.

That said, things like 'auto go to stairs down' and 'auto-pickup' can be very useful.

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Frumple

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Re: Zorbus (D&D inspired roguelike)
« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2019, 01:28:52 pm »

Not just roguelikes, mind. Just about anything with fog of war et al concerns, anything that isn't strictly linear. I'd kill for an equivalent for something like grim dawn or diablo or something, and plenty of RTS or other strategy stuff have implemented roughly equivalent features (automated scouting, press button to go to event, etc.). It's just an issue with stuff that has things to explore and isn't willing to drown you in unrelenting hell. Eventually you're going to need to go through territory you've already cleared out, and being able to one-button press your way through it is just... nice.
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Retropunch

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Re: Zorbus (D&D inspired roguelike)
« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2019, 01:40:26 pm »

Not just roguelikes, mind. Just about anything with fog of war et al concerns, anything that isn't strictly linear. I'd kill for an equivalent for something like grim dawn or diablo or something, and plenty of RTS or other strategy stuff have implemented roughly equivalent features (automated scouting, press button to go to event, etc.). It's just an issue with stuff that has things to explore and isn't willing to drown you in unrelenting hell. Eventually you're going to need to go through territory you've already cleared out, and being able to one-button press your way through it is just... nice.

Yeah, it's great for backtracking (things like auto going to stairs/end of levels) but I dislike that a lot of RLs have gone for 'auto-explore away the boringness' rather than trying to get rid of the bits that are boring. Really, it all comes down to smaller, more interesting levels with less chaff.

If it's too much trouble to put in auto-pathfinding, you could implement a automatic 'hop to past stairs when nothing bad around' button along with a 'pick up everything on screen' button.
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zorbus_overdose

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Re: Zorbus (D&D inspired roguelike)
« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2019, 12:01:55 pm »

Release 10 is out at http://www.zorbus.net

The easiest way to update is to set "Check for updates on start" in the settings and restart the game.
  • You can loot items from explored floor tiles and checked containers by pressing SPACE. By selecting an item from the list and pressing SPACE or ENTER you will be autopiloted to the item and the item will be picked up. If an item is in a container it will be listed only if you have at least once checked the contents of the container.
  • Containers are marked with green corner lines if you haven't yet explored their contents.
  • When selecting an autopilot target you can cycle still locked doors and unlooted containers with F.
  • In the autopilot mode portals can be cycled with A or TAB so you can press A to start the autopilot mode and then the same key to cycle through the portals and ENTER to pilot to the target location.
  • Autopilot is no longer interrupted so easily with neutral creatures or closed doors.
  • Duration of the True Seeing -talent increased.
  • Obituary file now shows game release number.
  • Fixed a bug where a creature could be indefinitely displaced without it getting angry.
  • Manual reorganized and info on the new features added.
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zorbus_overdose

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Re: Zorbus (D&D inspired roguelike)
« Reply #12 on: May 04, 2019, 08:23:14 am »

Release 11:
  • Removed the limit of saving the game only once per dungeon level. You still can't save the game on the endgame level though.
  • Pressing A in the autopilot mode cycles through unexplored areas. T cycles through known traps. Autopilot is stopped when a secret door or a trap is found.
  • Pressing E autopilots you to the nearest unexplored location directly without going into autopilot mode. The autopilot takes you just to the unexplored tile and does not explore further. As your line of sight and possible lightsource reveals new areas you can press E again to move to one of these. You will be missing a lot of secret doors if you constantly use this command as autopilot does not walk near all walls. It's best to be used in short bursts of movement or for backtracking or finalizing the level exploration.
  • Pressing H opens a keyboard image that shows the current keybindings. This can be opened from the main game view and from the keybindings screen. You can press ALT, CONTROL or SHIFT to show bindings that require one of those keys to be pressed.
  • If you walk near a furniture container that is opened (chests etc.) or is lidless (altars etc.), it is assumed that you have peeked into it and can then use target mode from any distance to see the container's contents. The items are not shown in the level loot list until you actually loot (bump) the container at least once.
  • You can press C in the target mode to cycle through seen containers. Known empty containers are skipped.
  • If all 9 map points are set, setting a new one replaces the nearest one.
  • "Auto use key" setting. If disabled, you won't automatically use a key on a lock but the dialog that pops up when bumping a locked furniture has the option to use a key among the normal options.
  • If you dualwield two throwable items and only the other one has the "returning"-property then the one that doesn't have the property is not thrown.
http://www.zorbus.net
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zorbus_overdose

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Re: Zorbus (D&D inspired roguelike)
« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2019, 04:40:03 pm »

Kyzrati (Cogmind developer) streamed the game:
https://www.twitch.tv/videos/425931154

There's a feedback friday going on at reddit's r/roguelikedev:
https://www.reddit.com/r/roguelikedev/comments/bpmwgs/feedback_friday_45_zorbus/
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FakerFangirl

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Re: Zorbus (D&D inspired roguelike)
« Reply #14 on: May 18, 2019, 12:57:30 pm »

Nice tileset and minimap. Very DCSS reminiscent. As for auto-explore... Most roguelikes could use one.
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Will definitely give Zorbus a go after my current TOME and DCSS chars die. I think summoner mobs add a lot of excitement to roguelikes.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2019, 01:02:53 pm by FakerFangirl »
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