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Lone Spelunker

A member registered Mar 05, 2016 · View creator page →

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Oh, cool!  This is great to see. Love the little displays you have to make clear what adventure elements are in play - that's a really nice touch.

This looks great. Any chance for a Mac build?

Great read.  Haven't seen someone referencing Moebius in quite a while - that was a great game! I actually met the developer who made it at a gamedev meetup once in Albuquerque when he gave a presentation there. Seemed like a nice guy.

Hmm.  I'm not sure. I've licensed the game to Button Shy for use as their AdvanceQuest line. They're fine with me leaving Dungeon Hero up for the community, but I'm less sure about things like translations. If it were solely up to me, I'd be fine with it, but there are other people involved.  You're free to send me your translation of course either way.  I just can't guarantee I'll do anything with it!

Either way, I hope you enjoy the game! Good luck on your adventures.

Just had a pretty amazing run with:

  • Base attack 20
  • Max Health 123
  • Max Heat 136
  • Surplus Gold 456
  • 9x glasses
  • 5x magic feather
  • 4x water bottle
  • 8x dynamite boy
  • 5x amm bush
  • 7x snowman
  • 4x bonker
  • 3x wild berries
  • 7x big pocket
  • 5x magic hat
  • 2x pirate hook
  • 3x hot flame
  • 2x lance
  • 1x lemon

Nice!  I just watched through all three episodes. You did a great job evoking the spirit of the game, telling a story with the trait prompts, inventing your own unique character to take on the challenges, and you even survived to the end and scored some treasure (and some Pringles!).

Thanks for making a video about it. I hope your viewers enjoyed watching you play it.

I've created a devlog post about TLAP day, because it turns out I have a fair amount of stuff that supports piratical adventures, and I included a link to your video in it, so people who follow me might check it out.

Fun little diversion. Love the presentation of it and the UI. Hope to see this fleshed out even further.  Some recommendations:

  • Keyboard commands for navigating the UI.  I suspect arrow keys, space bar, and maybe tab/alt-tab would be sufficient.
  • When playing on a widescreen monitor, the game gets cut off on the left and right. I suspect you just need to set some constraints on the presentation size to fix this issue.
  • Right-clicking can be kind of a pain on some laptops, like with trackpads. It would be handy to have option/alt-clicking as another alternative to right-clicking to mark locations.

Overall, some nice work. Love the presentation and the easy-to-get-into progression. Thanks for making this available.

Glad you enjoy the game!  And thanks for taking the time to say so – it made my day!

If you like this system, check out Button Shy's AdvanceQuest, which is the same system with a few new adventures, and Welcome Aboard, Captain which is a sci-fi solo RPG that uses a similar system with a procedural mission generator to create a Star Trek like experience of being a starship captain. 

There are also some people who have made fan expansions for Dungeon Hero. Check the devlogs or search itch to find them. People have contributed some fun stuff!

Okay, glad you got it working.

What browser are you using?  Any error messages in the Javascript console window?

Glad you like the game. Thanks for playing!

Great - hope you and your players enjoy it!

I've uploaded an Example of Play document that describes a playthrough of a scene challenge. Hopefully, it will give an idea of how the game plays in practice.

Thanks for checking out the game.

As for how much dice rolling it is, I imagine that's a personal preference whether it's too much or too little, but either way it shouldn't be a lot of die rolling.  It's less than one roll per player per narrative beat, and the GM doesn't roll at all, so it's rather on the light side of die rolls for RPG's (at least from my own experience).

(I do have an example of play that I kept during some playtesting, but it's from the draft version of the rules and a few important things were changed, so I'm not sure it's a good read for people looking to get a feel for the game. I should probably work up a new one.)

Anyway, if you do manage to get the game to the table, I'd love to hear how it goes.

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It would be impossible (outside of lucky guesswork) to solve the mystery without the clue he gives you, because you fill out the grid with everything to figure out who was in which room with which weapon with which motive, but none of them implicate the murderer until you get the lab results saying which weapon actually killed the victim – that's the last clue he gives you.

Note that he doesn't give you the clue until you've found all the other clues.

If you have other clues to find, he should say he's still waiting on the lab results and suggests you go look in the mansion some more.

I worked pretty hard to try to make sure that doesn't happen, but it's a complex generator and bugs do happen. If you believe you've encountered a bad generator, you can send me the clues and I'll review them (make sure you found them all though - see below for how to do that).

Not sure how familiar you are with puzzles like this, but there are a couple of tricky clue types to watch out for that give more information than they seem. For instance, if it says that Eustace was neither the person with the straight razor nor the person in the master bedroom, you know three things, not two things:

  • Eustace didn't have the straight razor.
  • Eustace wasn't in the master bedroom.
  • AND the person with the straight razor was not the person in the master bedroom.

A lot of people miss that third deduction, but it will be key to solving the mystery.

Similarly, the clue that shows a photo with a bunch of people, some named, some with a weapon, some being in a room, or some with a motive, can be a gold mine of deductions, but you have to go through all the individual pairings to make notes that each person is distinct. It can be easy to miss a pairing, so doing it methodically helps.

And I personally still struggle with using the grid itself to do the deductions. When I have checkmarks that line up, it's easy, but I always have to double-check my logic when I use the grid to discover more cross-outs. It's easy to miss opportunities to cross out cells from grid deductions!

Finally, you can visit the inspector on the front porch to find out whether you've found all the clues in the mansion. If you're missing something, he'll give you a suggestion where to look.  And he's always got one last clue to give you which only comes to light once you find all the other clues – the one that determines the murder weapon from the lab.

Anyway, thanks for playing. Hope this helps.

Yeah, that would have been a good addition. It didn't make it into the game in the seven days (this was a game jam entry), but maybe I could add that with a future update. Great suggestion.

Ah, sorry. Thanks for clarifying.

The settings I'm referring to aren't game settings, they're browser settings. Like, most browsers have keyboard and menu commands you can use to "zoom" text in and out.  Since the mind castle is rendered with HTML, "zooming" the text will allow more of it to be displayed in your browser window.

Sorry you’re having trouble. I’m not sure what you mean by “on tangled mode”, can you elaborate?

In the mean time you can try reducing the font size in your browser using the standard font size controls to see if it can resize things to fit for you.

Thanks, glad you liked it.

And thanks for taking the time to leave feedback!

Fun little game. I played it and defeated the Kraken. 

A few comments:

  • I think you have a typo in the combat section. It says that you compare your attack roll to the creature's heath, but I strongly suspect you mean to compare it to the creature's strength.
  • How is artifact #1 different than just getting +1 max hull?  Similarly, how is artifact #3 different than just getting +1 weapon?  I get that you can't acquire it twice, but seems like it would be easier to just say +1 max hull and +1 weapon as the description.
  • It would be cool to give names to the artifacts.  What is it, exactly, that I found that gives me a better attack?
  • I feel like the Kraken needs a higher strength. By the time I reached it, I already had an 8 weapon and defeated it trivially.
  • I really liked that you couldn't actually lose the game, but instead could just keep playing. Gave it a real cozy, relaxed feel. It was simply a fun little activity to roll dice, advance the sub, and eventually you get the payoff by flipping the sheet and reading the ending (which was a nice touch).
  • I'd love to see this expanded to the back of the page with more stuff to explore, if you are interested in adding more to it!

Anyway, great job. Enjoyed my time with it. Thanks for making it and sharing it.

Love the idea of the stacked dice gathering as you roll 1's.  Well, the way I roll, I'd be dead in the first scene.  But I love the idea of how it would play for people with normal dice providence.

Love the layout. Looks like a fun system.

Ah, good catch! Thanks for bringing it to my attention. I've updated the rules with the change.

I was seeing it on Safari on Mac. Near as I could tell it was all the option buttons, including the catch button.

Wow, impressive for 13k!

Seems there might be a bug. After I catch a monster, when I go back to the map view, I see extra copies of a lot of buttons.

Also a suggestion: make the movement buttons always in the same place, and organized like a compass rose. It's frustrating when you mouse over the "West" button, and click twice, but suddenly it's an "East" button so you end up going back the way you came accidentally.

An option to speed up the AP would be nice, because it's dreadfully slow. (I get that you might intend it to be a long-form idle game, but in that case it needs to more robustly save your progress. It keeps resetting my progress.)

Anyway, the monster designs are pretty amazing for 13k. It's impressive how varied and different you were able to make them!

Great little game. Well done. I barely managed to make it to the end, but it was a fairly harrowing trip.

If I had a suggestion, it would be that it would be nice to have a pixel-art progress map showing the journey in addition to the hours estimate. That would really drive home a sense of how far you've gone and how far you have left to go, building nicely on what you've already got here. I'd especially like to see little icons for things you encounter or accomplish along the way - might be something people would want to screenshot and share.

Anyway, great job. Hope to see more cool games from you in the future!

I haven't set up community copies, but I'm happy to comp you a copy. DM me your email address - I'm

Wow, I just read through the article linked from that github repo.  That's the article I wish I had found when I started Battle Weary a few years ago – it has all the things I encountered and had to stumble through myself. Thanks for linking to that.

Thanks! I think I have the ARIA live region working, but I'm not sure it's ideal.  I'd love to see your code examples.  Also a link to your game would be appreciated so I can check out how the UI is handled, because I haven't found a lot of screen-reader-friendly games and so I'm not well-versed in best practices for UI design in that space.

So I'm considering entering, but I'm still investigating technologies to use.  Right now, I have it narrowed down to two possibilities that I'm interested in working with, and I'm not sure which to go with.  Both are HTML and Javascript browser-based options, but I'd like to hear some feedback on the two approaches to see which would be more viable for blind players.

Here are the two technologies I am considering:

  • ARIA-Enabled Live Regions – This would use standard screen-reader capabilities to talk back and forth with the user by emitting content to an ARIA live region interactively. Players would essentially be navigating a keyboard-driven experience; they would select options using tab, arrow keys, or keyboard shortcuts, and it would respond by updating the game state and emitting the new game state and available options to the ARIA live region, which would read them aloud if the user is running a screen reader. This is how Battle Weary works; I would just be iterating on that design to maybe make a framework that would let others make similar blind-accessible games. The down side to this is that the ARIA Live regions and interaction focus are difficult to control if you're doing something other than navigating a web form, and it would require players to learn, memorize, and successfully use keyboard commands to play (although you'd be able to tap "H" to get a refresher of the keyboard commands at any time).
  • SpeechRecognition and SpeechSynthesis – This would use browser-based speech recognition and synthesis API's to listen for speech commands and respond with synthesized speech to describe the outcomes. This would not use the screen reader at all, and would instead be using direct browser API's to speak and listen. The upside to this is that it would require very little in the way of interface; you just talk. The down side is that I don't know how this would interact with things like screen readers or whether the blind community would reliably be using browsers that have these API's available; the API's are not universally adopted yet.

Of the two, I'm a little more interested in the latter approach, just because I've already dabbled with the first approach.  But if the latter approach is not viable for some reason or the former would get vastly more interest and adoption, I'd of course prefer to go the other way.

So, any thoughts or opinions on which approach would be more blind-friendly for designing web games?

Okay.  What was tripping me up was the part of the FAQ which says, "The game can be spread across both sides, but keep the core rules onto a single side. Use the 'back page' for ancillary info such as GM tools."

The things I'm thinking of putting on the back are definitely "GM tools", not intended for the players and helpful for running the game, but they're not exactly "ancillary" either.

If it's fair game to put "player stuff" on one side and "GM stuff" on the other, then I'm good.

I'm thinking about how to organize my game document, and wanted to make sure the way I'm thinking of structuring it would fit the rules criteria. Here's what I'm currently planning:

One side of the page would be the "Player's Guide".  It contains everything the players need to know to play the game.

The other side of the page would be the "GM's Guide". Only the GM would need to read that side; it would include all the GM support material, adventure creation advice, etc., but it would also include two tables needed for running the game that only the GM sees and uses.

So, the "core rules" for players fits all on one side. The GM would read both sides (since the GM should be aware of the rules from the players' perspective), but they would be mainly be using the GM side during play because it has the tables they use.

Would this setup be allowable?  Or do all the rules for both players and the GM need to be on the same side of the sheet, even if some of it isn't intended for the players?

Nice, glad to hear it's fixed.  Thanks for taking the time to bring it to my attention and go back and forth on it. It was a little elusive since I wasn't initially able to replicate it on my end - those are always the toughest bugs to fix!

Okay, I went into the game, and I think I know what happened.  There's an inconsistency in the way different browsers handle the sort() functionality of arrays, apparently, which was causing problems with displaying the cohorts based on their names as opposed to their mystery status.  That might explain why I saw it working on my end but you were seeing issues – the sort was working for me but not for you.

I've gone in and updated the sort functions to a format that should work more universally.

So, try it now!  (You might need to clear your cache.)  And thanks for letting me know twice!

Hmm.  I was getting this, too, for one page of my game library and came here to see what was up. It seems suspicious, since I wasn't spamming anything, or even getting much in the way of site page loads or purchases or any kind of unusual traffic. But in the time it took me to type this, it seems to have disappeared, so I guess the itch devs are on it. Might be someone who figured out how to do an injection attack with comments or something, and the devs have managed to filter it.

Glad you like the game, and thanks for taking the time to say so!  Made my day.

As for the predictability of the solution, I think you may simply be running up against the vagaries of the RNG. It should be randomizing the positions, but just to check on your report, I played a 3-suspect mystery over lunch today, and only the motive was in the first slot in the mind map for that game; the other three aspects were in the second and third slots.

So while it doesn't mean that there's not something else that might be causing it, I wasn't able to reproduce the issue you described on my end. I'll give it a few more goes tonight, just to dig in a little more, but on the surface anyway, it seems to be successfully randomizing the positions.

How many suspects do you use when you play? In a three-suspect game, you'd expect fully a third of the time for the correct element to be first, so it's not super unlikely that the RNG could spit out a stretch of consecutive games with the mind map positions of the solution being fairly similar.

Love it.  Creepy, with some good tension.  Fun to explore the house. Some nice storytelling. Great visuals.  Great job!

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Glad you like the system!

Button Shy has picked up the system for publication as AdvanceQuest, so right now they are the ones who have the license.  However, Button Shy and I agree that it's fine for fans to create their own adventures and content as long as people are just sharing it as personal work, it's offered for free if shared, it includes a credit linking it back to me and the system, and it does not include any racist or otherwise offensive content.

If you do end up creating something, message me so I can check it out and send a message out to my followers.

Heh. Okay! Glad you liked the game.