@Charles_Parkes yes, power to the GIF. They are also used for the title.
UPDATE: The title is now styled using CSS.
@Loudbeat was commenting that the maze was a little disorienting and we needed a way to show progress. That’s when we came up with the compass and the glare (kudos to @loudbeat to draw and render each idea in real time). It took some playing with timing to get a nice effect, I’m happy it’s doing the job.
For the second skin by @PlumBeast (in the game, click 7) instead we have different shading for North-South vs East-West. Let me have your thoughts.
By the way, the themes are created by carefully slicing and reassembling a few reference images. The whole maze, all configurations of open/closed gates, with all exits images, is rendered by combining less than 50 small images.
I was considering also some animation for the sky, or flickering torches in the maze, but we decided to start with this. I’m open to suggestions.
@ClaimedMinotaur the wrong rendering on mobile is revealing all my layout tricks!
This is amazing! I love what you’re doing, pushing at the limits of the format. It reminds me of this similar experiment in analogue gamebooks from a few decades back: https://www.projectaon.org/en/Main/WhiteWarlord
Damn! This is some pretty advanced stuff!
We’re on the way to rebuilding Might & Magic in CS…
I was thinking of all the old AD&D licensed games made by Strategic Simulations way back in the 80s and 90s.
I still remember their sweet manuals. Those were the days.
I was definitely getting a Castle Wolfenstein sense of deja vu. Showing my age.
Very nice. Game played flawlessly for me. Just love to see MORE interactive elements!
Hi there. Thanks for your enthusiasm. We had fun building it. I really enjoy seeing how far we can push CS.
@Wiwyums happy you like it. Those books had some really creative tricks: I remember a Dracula story where you could be either Dracula or the hunter. It would be incredible to have a multi-player story like White Warlord/Red Baron - two people playing a COG game in parallel. BTW, does the PDF link work for you? I’m sent back to the list of books.
Thanks @sam! If you want to see some of my other interactive experiments, look here:
Simon: Game of Simon: another proof of concept
Lights off: Lights off! Puzzle
Walking lights: New puzzle: Walking lights
Interactive power setup: 3-way Power Setup
The first maze (2d): Randomized maze - now with graphical map!
Dracula’s Castle! I haven’t thought about that one for years. Just looked it up on Amazon and it seems the cheapest used copy is selling for £143 so I probably won’t be reading it again any time soon…
Is there any way currently you could set up a multi-player ChoiceScript game? I’m guessing you’ll know if anyone does.
You’re quite right - the PDF link didn’t work. I’ve edited it to link to the page from which the PDF can be accessed.
By multiplayer, did you guys mean something like this?
I’ve had the fortune to own (and play) this game book before, and can attest to its fun…so long as you play it blind.
The major downside was that anyone playing often enough would eventually memorise the codewords whether they wanted to or not, but that’s something that going digital will solve easily enough.
I loved those Duel Master books. I never played the first one but I still have a battered set of the fourth - Arena of Death. I played it a lot with my brother when we were kids and I remember we did have the issue you mention - he was especially good at remembering the codes!
I had a look at the White Warlord/Black Baron pair. Wow. I thought I had it hard, with precomputing the maze but… they had to do it in paper. It would be a lot of work, but if one wanted they could redo the pictures and rebuild the rules in CS.
Is Duel Master similar? What are the codes?
Duelmaster is kind of similar but without the visuals and the emphasis on positioning. You don’t get to change facing but whenever you enter a new area there’s a 3-letter code and you read it aloud to your opponent. If they have the same, you’ve met and can fight a battle according to the game’s combat rules. Also, you’re sometimes given a specific codeword because you’ve opened a chest, laid a trap or otherwise affected an area in a way that might later make it different for the other player. They’ll be prompted to ask if you have this codeword when they enter the relevant area.
They were great fun to play but, as @Pheriannath said, you would eventually begin to remember the layout and the codes, meaning you could get the jump on your opponent…
Challenge of the Magi (which I played) had a particular genius in exercising these mechanics. I’m going to ramble on a little bit, because I’ve been jogged down memory lane.
Both players take on the role of sorcerers in their prime. Magic is classified into several colour types (e.g. Black for death magic, Blue for illusion magic, Red for fire magic etc); each player would choose a limited number of spells and select a colour to specialise in, which would grant them access to the ‘Ultimate Spell‘ of that colour - powerful enough to instakill if cast successfully, yet so complex that each Ultimate Spell needed a rare, unique catalyst ingredient which the sorcerer would have to find somewhere out there.
The sorcerers would free roam over the myriad realms of the Rainbow Land. Something like Planescape, where you could teleport into any realm/plane and each would be unique: maybe a bustling market, or a raging sea of fire, or a sea of glass. Each realm would be either neutral or else share an affinity with a certain colour (which would often have certain effects over the sorcerers’ spells if they did battle in such a location). This introduced a tactical element over the course of the game; if you managed to find out what your opponent’s spells and magical specialty was, you could literally attempt to corral the fight to a battlefield in your favour.
Sorcerers were free to do whatever they wished; earn money, hire allies, hunt for loot, or just try to find their opponent to beat the snot out of them if they felt strong enough.
There were many ways to win, die or otherwise harass your opponent; you could find yourself caught in your opponent’s cunningly laid trap, be attacked by mercenaries and assassins that your opponent hired, find one of your belongings stolen by your opponent’s hired cutpurse (and woe betide if it turns out to be your Ultimate Spell catalyst), be cursed, poisoned, etc etc. Many sorcerers have won without facing their opponent even once.
I really miss playing this. It’s kinda like the first ‘open world’ game I‘ve ever played, if that makes sense.
… and all this was just in a small paperback book?
That sounds really cool. Arena of Death was fun too but seems like a step down from that. It had lots of atmosphere and a good, Colosseum-style setting, but I don’t remember there being much in the way of tactics other than setting traps for each other.
I often think it was a shame that gamebooks were more or less shunted aside by videogames in the early 90s, just when authors were starting to get really creative with the medium…
Oh no, those books were meaty novels. Over 800 sections each, I think.
Ok, first step toward a 2-player game. I added a small change so the map is repeatable if you specify the random seed in the URL. (You can also set the size, rows and columns, with r - c).
If you change the URL, add a seed (here, “ultima”, but could be any word or number), and share it with another person, they will get the same map. This link will give you the map below.
(Note that the server seems to be very slow at the moment.)
You should edit your ‘2-player’ post to be clearer to people that you are using the url to transfer the same game to two or more players they may not have followed the other threads
Wow, that was quick! I look forward to seeing how it develops. (Btw “ultima” was a good choice! )