The Frozen Gates I shall tear down.

Seven moons from now I, Shareth, Empress of the Icemark, will ride forth to avenge Doomdark, my beloved Father. The Frozen Gates I shall tear down. Midnight I shall lay waste and through the portals of Xajorkith I will pass, triumphant. All shall adore me and despair! Or, if the Moonprince prefers, let him ride to hammer at my door and find defeat more swiftly!

Last night I took a moment to branch the current Lords of Midnight desktop project, and create the Doomdark’s Revenge source tree. The reason I took the desktop project and not the released 1.6 mobile version, is purely because the Desktop and v1.6 Mobile needs to be merged anyway, and I thought that this separate project would be a good opportunity to find out what I broke for mobile in the desktop version. As it happens, not that much!

Jure had already sent me most of the graphics, so this would also act as a good opportunity to create a list of missing art resources. I plugged all the artwork in and created a ddr.tme file. This is the file that links up data from the backend database to the frontend presentation layer. Once I’d made my first pass through that I built the project and ran it… boom! No surprise really! First issue was the Doomdark’s Revenge database. I last generated this about 2004 I think, so the binary format was a little out of date because of a few changes I made while making the iOS version of the engine. Few changes to the export script, and that was all working ok.

Next thing to resolve was some graphical issues. There are no shields in Doomdark’s Revenge, and I used small versions of the shields for the select icon. Jure and I had not come to a decision on how this was going to work, so I created a temporary solution and quickly cropped the characters faces.

f_dwarff_free f_tarithel f_giant

On the main look screen, then shield needed replacing with the character graphic. So the engine now detects a lack of shield graphic and uses the character graphic instead.

And that was that…

That was just stage one. I can wander around the map using any of the three main characters. It randomly crashes, and obviously there is a distinct lack of AI. But, all in all, not bad for a few hours work.

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15 thoughts on “The Frozen Gates I shall tear down.

  1. Wow! Looks great. Can’t wait to get “behind the wheel” and lose myself in this game once more. See if I can beat the recruitment record of that little boy (who looked so much like me) that managed to recruit 108 lords in an old DDR campaign. I hope my family forgive me when I disappear…..

    Thanks for all your craft and love you’ve obviously put into these projects Chris πŸ™‚

  2. Look’s fantastic, this game is just great, i so loved the fact that every new game of doomdark’s revenge you play usually turns out differently as all the chars are independent, no 2 games are the same, still my fav all time game and so glad you’re doing it justice.
    Thanks Chris

  3. I loved LOM as a kid it was so unique and immersive. But I think it was DDR that I ended up playing the most. Would you call it one of the very first ‘sandbox’ games? I’m not sure if that is the right term but I was amazed at the free and open ended nature of it. So I’m very excited about your progress Chris, thank you very much!

  4. Chris, looks fantastic! Can’t wait to relive the old days once again! Don’t know how you find the time with family and job commitments!

    That said! I’m chuffed to bits! Cheers pal!

  5. This looks really promising! I especially love the new title screen – it really conveys that spirit of adventure and exploration that I became familiar with by playing the first game. I can’t wait πŸ˜‰

  6. I’m looking forward to the remake of Doomdark’s Revenge, even more than I did LoM.
    I found DR more replayable than LoM, but it also had IMO some design flaws. The worst is of course that computer controled characters don’t enter the tunnels, so you can by just parking Luxor in a tunnel until Sharet gets herself killed.
    Another other one is that lords just dies too easily, even while surrounded by soldiers.
    The third one was that the player can never decide to fight another lord; it’s the computer controled lord that decided if there’s a fight or not. If for example Luxor starts a new turn with some Icelord one square away and Luxor attacks, there is no guarantee of a battle, if the Icelord decided to move. Even if there are seven hours until night falls and it’s time for the computer controled lords to move, nothing happens, which is rather annoying.

    For the remake, do you have any plans of adressing these issues.
    The first is not so important, as you can mostly pretend the tunnels don’t exists.
    For the second, I’d like to see some options, like a) Keep it as it is, b) Lords can only be killed if they lose fight, or c) Lords can only be killed if they don’t have an army.
    The third thing I mentioned is the most timportant one though, since much of the strategy of the game flies right out the window when the player can not take the fight to a lord, but needs to second guess the lord’s plans instead and move into his path to provoke a fight.

    • I have no *initial* plans to address these issues. Just like in LoM the warts are laid bare. However with both games, as soon as they are fully out across the formats, then the next step will be to start plugging the holes. Both LoM and DDR will benefit from a number of mechanic tweaks.

  7. So excited to see DDR once more. Though I am very fond of Lord of Midnight it was Doomdark’s Revenge that stole my gaming heart!

  8. Very eager to see this blast from the past come to life again. Hoping new improvements will make it less unwieldy than the original. Keep up the good work! πŸ™‚

  9. Uuuurrgg
    I don’t know what’s worse, waiting for the 50th anniversary special of Who or Doomdark’s Revenge!

    Chris,
    Is there any chance that you feel confident enough to estimate a month in which DR will be released? Pretty please? πŸ™‚

  10. I have been playing LOM on my mobile phone and it is great. the graphics om DR looks excellent expecially the characters and buildings. The sky in DR plays havoc with my eyes because of the stripes. The sky colour in the main menu is much easier on the eye so any chance that could be changed. I know it is keeping with the oringal.

  11. For me LoM was the better more atmospheric game by far, all that snow and bleakness I think. I played DDR more though only stopping when I had to leave home to go to Polytechnic. I never finished either of them, really looking forward to finishing them this time.

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