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A RESET64 4kb 2022 competition entry
Programming, Gameplay and Design: Ant Stiller
Art and Design: Cal Skuthorpe
Additional Art: Anthony Stiller
For Puddlesoft

DELVE! is a procedurally-generated action rogue-like with a tiny smattering of Eye of the Beholder (if the Beholder was a pack of nasty goblins).

Hunt your prey through the dungeon by using:

W = step forward/attack a goblin directly in front of you
A = strafe one step left
S = step backwards
D = strafe one step right
Q = rotate 90 degrees left
E = rotate 90 degrees right

<RETURN> = restart the game (can be used at any time. Handy if trapped or dead)

IMPORTANT!: When you arrive on a new level you automatically drop a special GROUNDING BOTTLE that you will then later pick up (well, walk in to, as you cant move the BOTTLE) to instantly teleport you to the next level. Unfortunately, due to poor planning on your part, it looks exactly like all of the other potion bottles scattered around the dungeon.

You can only activate the GROUNDING BOTTLE once you've taken care of at least HALF of the goblins on the current level. You'll know when you can use the BOTTLE as you'll see your portrait shouting a battle cry when he thins out the evil denizens of a level. (You've remembered how to get back to the room you started in where the BOTTLE is, right?)

BEWARE!: The GROUNDING BOTTLE will be destroyed if you kill a goblin while it's standing over the BOTTLE, leaving you trapped forever (until you hit <RETURN>).

Stabbing goblins is easy! Simply move forward into them to attack. If you hit you will see the goblin flash briefly (no, not like that) and it will either spontaneously evaporate (goblins not being renowned for their constitution) or possibly stab you back.

Getting stabbed back is bothersome and often fatal. You'll note your dropping Heath bar with some alarm, I'm sure.

Fortunately the many, many potion bottles (goblins are tricksy little thieves and aren't shy about it) found in the dungeon will restore some health if you walk into one. You ALWAYS drink a potion if you walk into it. I mean, we can't even stop you snar (hint: this is a good way to differentiate a normal potion from your GROUNDING BOTTLE), however even if your health is full, potions won't go to waste. Every second potion you pick up increases the magical enchanment on your sword! Kaloo-kalay! Magical swords are handy for defence and offence, and for waving about at your favourite royalty.

The main window on the left is your view of the dungeon, with your compass bearing at the top centre of the border, and the current dungeon level at the bottom centre of the border.

The smaller window on the right shows your portrait and your sword and below those are your HEALTH bar and your EXPERIENCE bar.

As you pick up potions you will see your sword change colours as it becomes more enchanted. An enchanted sword makes you harder to hit, improves your chance to hit, and also helps you deal more damage. However when you land the finishing blow on a goblin you lose some of the sword's enchantment.

You've probably guessed that your Health Bar is vital for your, errr, health. Going up a level gives you more Health. Losing all of your Health often ends up in death or ... ummm ... no actually that's it.

Killing monsters gives you experience. When your Experience Bar fills the helmet ridge on your portrait changes colour as your level increases. Going up in levels means you get tougher and more "goblin-friendly", as they say in the biz.

As you fight your way down to dungeon level 9 your gobbo adversaries also get tougher, so stay on your toes!

It's a shame that this was only ever a one way trip. Of course feel free to grab your GROUNDING BOTTLE when you've met your quota on level 9, if you want. It's a free realm. I'm not your burgermeister.

Colour progression in the Goblin Grotto (as standarised by Mister Gob, Master of Gobton-on-Meadows, CY4095):

Orange > Dark Grey > Grey > Red > Blue > Yellow.


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Hi, looks great and the game dynamics are very interesting! Do you have a release date in mind for the full version?

Keep up the great work!

Looks awesome. I'm wondering if the source code is available so I can learn a bit more about programming on the C64.

Hi! Thank you for your feedback! Given this game was specifically tailored to fit into 4kb it's probably not the best place to start for learning C64 coding. I'd highly recommend taking a look at https://codebase64.org/doku.php (it's where I first started).

Thanks for your quick reply! I've been looking at codebase64 and was hoping to see extra examples.

I'll tidy the code up and will release it with the next version of the game. I'm happy to share it but it's too much of a mess at the moment. :)

That's awesome!

As a Leftie, WASD is a big nope. No cursor key navigation means not playable for me. Ciao

Hi! Thanks for your feedback. This project was created for the RESET64 4kb competition so squeezing this game into only 4096 bytes meant that unfortunately some features had to be cut. I'd like to include alternate controls in the full release though (I was even thinking about how to get joystick control in there).

Great atmosphere and lovely looking PETSCII Goblins. Made it to level 3 but finding the way back to the Grounding Bottle IS a challenge. Auto mapping of the explored path would be nice, but on the other hand it is fun to do some old school pen and paper work to not lose orientation. Very very cool game.

Hi Roman, thank you so much for your comments. I really appreciate honest feedback. The automapping feature unfortunately had to be cut from the 4kb version of the game as I had to be under this size limit for the competition. However automapping (which I have already mostly written) will definitely be in the full version of the game (whenever that is finished).

Lovely game !

Thank you

Awesome game!

Thanks, Saberman!

Very good job! :-)



Thanks so much for the write-up! :D

Lovely stuff Ant. Quite the ambitious entry! I love the goblins. Well done, my top hatted antipodean friend.

Pssst..... you know what I'm gonna say, don't ya?

Check yer DMs :P

Thank you, Roy me old cobber! A little too ambitious, I think, but I am happy with the end result.