27
Jul
18

Dungeons of Noudar 3D for DOS

Today I’m looking at another homebrew game, Dungeons of Noudar 3d made by Daniel Montiero. It’s a simple dungeon crawler game with a similar visual design to something like Eye of the Beholder. After playing with it a while I think it’s in need of some polish, but is really quite impressive from a technical standpoint.

Hardware support is VGA only for the graphics. The main 3d landscape is rendered in a large window and it features fairly detailed geometry. Compared to the basic 3d dungeons that many RPGs had, it offers quite a bit more visual detail. Whilst it doesn’t render fast enough to be comparable to any FPS games, it works quite well for this style of game, which typically doesn’t update the screen as often. The sprite artwork is nice at a distance, but when enemies or items are up close it can be very blocky.

Hardware support for basic sound is included for PC speaker, Adlib and the OPL2LPT. I tried both the PC speaker and Adlib whilst playing using Dosbox. I found that the sounds varied in pitch and length a little, perhaps because of the emulation, it usually coincided with a delayed screen update. The sound effects are fairly basic, and although they sound fine you don’t miss anything by having them turned off. Unfortunately you can only select the sound support with a command line parameter.

The game play consists of some basic puzzles and some bad guys to fight, both within relatively small levels. Puzzles basically involve finding ropes to cut that open doors. Generally this just requires you to explore the level. Enemies roam the levels, the first ones you encounter don’t seem to be very active, but after a few levels they will chase and attack you. Later enemies require you to use specific weapons in order to damage them. If you encounter them without the weapon required you’re generally boned. Luckily you will find the right weapons if you explore the levels thoroughly.

There are some issues which make it more difficult to enjoy. I got stuck on the 3rd level, the prison, and even though I had cut all the ropes I couldn’t find where I had to go next. In a few other instances I reached the level end without having the chance to fully explore the level and find all the items. I think some kind of visual indication on the exit door/location would help greatly, both so you know when you’ve found it and so you don’t accidentally finish a level before you’re done exploring.

I think it could also use the capability to save and load a game in progress, or continue from a check point after death. Not having these features really limited how far I could progress as I’d have to start from scratch each time I started to play. I’d have liked to get further into it, as it was getting more interesting at the point I got up to.

Issues aside Dungeons of Noudar 3d whilst a bit slow to start is an enjoyable experience. The 3d renderer is fairly impressive in it’s capability, even if it’s not fast and the basic game mechanics do work and play quite well. It’s not a deep experience by any means, but it you enjoy dungeon crawlers this might be worth a download. You can get it from his website here.

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2 Responses to “Dungeons of Noudar 3D for DOS”


  1. 1 Daniel Monteiro
    August 14, 2018 at 3:01 am

    Thank you for the very earnest review!
    I will take into consideration your points as I work on my next game.

    To be honest, with this game, I was much more worried about actually shipping something that resembled a game and performed well on a 486. If you strip out the 3D graphics, it’s a pretty basic RPG (casual?).

    The sound fluctuations are less noticeable but still present at the real hardware; it’s due to how late this was tacked on the game engine and my general inability to properly handle IBM PC interrupts. Hopefully, the next project will also perform this better =)

    • August 14, 2018 at 10:24 pm

      Thanks for taking the time to read my review.

      I understand having trouble with interrupts, it can be hard to get hardware interface code right. I tried writing a VESA graphics library once but ran into trouble with the DOS extender and some BIOS calls I had to make. No interrupts involved, but I got bitten by having to give a real mode address to a VESA BIOS call. That didn’t work out well.

      Good luck with your next project


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