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The elves are really chatty

(26/01/2011)
The different modes of the video game

Now François, can you tell us more about the game content and specifically the different modes of play?


I told you last time that the game content evolved a lot since the last time you saw the game running. This is the subject of this post… There are 2 main game modes: solo and multi-player.

The solo mode is more dedicated to the learning of the game. Yes indeed, the video game is going to bring a lot of new Dungeon Twister players… and they will have to be able to get started easily with the game to appreciate it and go on playing with it. The solo mode is for that matter really focused on that. In the solo mode, there is the “Training mode”, which is a tutorial composed of 20 missions. In each mission, the player learns a new gameplay mechanic. He begins with a 4*4 dungeon to end up with a normal dungeon size with the placement phase… the whole game stuff! When he achieves a mission, a new ability / object / character is unlocked. He then learns how it works in the following mission. In all the solo game modes, the player plays against the AI. More news on the AI later on.


The « Training mode » is the first step in discovering DT. Well, now that the new player begins to catch the richness of the game, the time has come to practice. This is the objective of the other solo modes: “Simplified game” and “Advanced game”. In the “Simplified game” mode, the player starts a game directly in the dungeon in which the rooms are already revealed and the objects placed. The scenarios of this mode come from the Dungeon Twister community. All the contributors are listed in the game credits! Thanks again to all of them! In the “Advanced game” mode, the players develops himself his strategy, then applies it, as in a classical game of Dungeon Twister.


We then added a « Challenge mode » to add spice to the game. In this mode, the player has to face 12 difficulty levels. The more the difficulty level is, the more the player is disadvantaged: less characters, less combat cards… It seems familiar to you? Well, this is quite normal: it is directly inspired from the Dungeon Twister board game handicaps. Our friend Christophe is really a brilliant game designer! The cool stuff in this mode is that each time the player wins a game, he scores points that are added to a solo leaderboard. A leaderboard is a table in which all the results of all the players all around the world are taken into account. The more the difficulty level is, the more points brings a victory. A worldwide ranking is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


All this require an efficient AI to compete against our brain?


So let’s talk about it. First of all, the AI was really tricky to develop. The game is so rich and there are so many possibilities each turn that the number of combinations rapidly skyrockets. The PS3 circuits are heating! And there is one more huge constraints: the AI has to think and decide what to do in a reasonable timeframe… no more than 3 minutes, in order that the player does not have to wait for days, like in the old good time of the chess on the Intellevision console.


We spent a lot of efforts on the AI. Then, when the AI revealed to be interesting, we had to decide what to do next: go on developing it to get an even better AI or enhance globally the whole game experience – notably by integrating many of the comments that you, the DT players, expressed during the world championship that happened at Hydravision.
The choice was obvious!
Besides, we knew that for the IA to be able to beat some of you, there were probably still many years of research before obtaining a Deep Blue dedicated to DT. We indeed kept our first decision: the solo mode is dedicated to the discovery and the mastering of the game, and the multi-player mode is there to confront to real human players all over the world. And finally, the real challenge is there for you, specialists of Dungeon Twister: being able to confront to a huge amount of human players worldwide located. We are counting a lot on the solo mode to bring you new cannon fodder… and some really good players. Remember to be cool with new players… at the beginning!


And here comes the multi-player mode: the game mode developed by thinking at you. In this game mode, you will be able to play friendly games or ranked games that are taken into account into the leaderboard. Can you imagine a permanent leaderboard of the best players in the world? Can you imagine waking up in the night and being always able, any time, to find an opponent ready to confront with you? This is the multi-player mode! It is the world championship power 100 every day! Again, this worldwide ranking is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


OK, so I am talking a lot, and I would like to know what you are thinking about all that. Should you want to talk about a precise subject, then ask for it on the forum!


By the way, our testers became real masters of the game. Would you like one day or another to confront with them?