Back in March we posted early details of ChronoSoft's upcoming roguelike / dungeon crawler (with a dash of Zelda) Spirit Hunter Mineko: Demon's Reach. As the title is coming from the developer of the excellent Rogue Touch [App Store], we've been quite anxious to get our hands on the game.

Author Kevin Hill has just posted a new gameplay video along with further details surrounding Spirit Hunter Mineko, which has been in development for six months, now. Says, Kevin:

This video gives a brief highlight of areas that Mineko will travel through in her journey to find out the mystery of the castle "Demon's Reach". Starting from her house, part of a small village on a mountian, she sneaks out of her room through a trap door, she traverses the village "cellars". From there she continues making her way down into caves in the mountain until she reaches the exit to the valley floor and daylight! Mineko will make her way through the forests on the valley floor, experiencing a variety of environmental effects, including a day/night cycle, until she reaches the castle. Finally you must explore the castle, working your way up to the top!

New details from the author:

  • At least the 4 major environments will be seen in your primary game. There are a few secret bonus lands I have ideas for that may or may not make the initial cut. Each of the major environments has its own random generator for unique look and feel. Most importantly, each environment provides new exploration tactics, new combat tactics, and new room features to interact with, in addition to looking pretty!
  • At least 30 types of monster will be found in the game, each monster species is fully animated and has unique attributes and special abilities to keep you on your toes!
  • Lots of varied equipment and items. I'm going to remain hushed about this and the magic system for a while longer
  • The "main" game will be between 30 and 40 levels long, depending on how the gameplay balance feels. A "post-game" scenario is planned for people who need more Mineko while awaiting a sequel

Stay tuned for further coverage of ChronoSoft'sĀ Spirit Hunter Mineko: Demon's Reach as additional details emerge.

  • http://www.artfoundry.com Artfoundry

    Engine looks pretty good. Would be nicer I think if the shadow lines were soft instead of hard edged, but that's a minor quibble. Looking forward to seeing combat, etc. Is this going to be turn-based or real time?

  • David

    Good. Wake me when its ready- next year some time.

    • Mindfield

      Ooh, your cynicism makes you so _edgy_.

      I think Kev's doing an awesome job on this so far, and while I'm sure it's far from done I'm quite looking forward to it.

      • David

        Your sarcasm bores me

    • Wabaam

      David you truly are a special person

      • David

        uh huh... burp

  • Lord Gek

    Ewww cool!

  • http://www.silentrocco.com Silent Rocco

    Still a long way to go.
    But I can't wait for this (100) Rogue(s) killer ;)

  • Cookies

    Looks like a top down dark cloud, which is by no means a bad thing. I like the graphics and the apparent flow of the game, but I must say thos shadow lines would be nicer if they were a bit, perhaps shorter.

  • MrMuesli

    NIce! I like the 3D wall effects. *Prepare for Blasphemy* I think this would look very cool on the upcoming DS 3D.

    • Tunawrap

      I CALL BLASPHEMY

  • http://www.ChronoSoft.com CommanderData

    Hey everybody! Just got back in on this sunny Memorial Day afternoon (well, minus the looming smoke clouds coming down from Canada!) and saw this on the front page :)

    Artfoundry: Shadows will likely remain "hard edged" as it is meant to shade out areas that your character is unable to see. Fuzzing those edges will give you an advantage of seeing into the shadows further. The combat is roguelike, turn based in the main game world, no switching out to a "combat screen".

    David: Despite working roughly 60 hours a week running my consulting business on top of trying to make games in my spare time, I've made a LOT of progress on Mineko this spring. She will not be out next month, but definitely this year. How hard do you work every week? ;)

    Mindfield: Thanks for the vote of confidence! And yes, there's a fair ways to go, but now that the new graphic system is nearly complete I'm getting into known territory: Magic systems, monsters, objects, AI, and so forth. That means progress will move at a more rapid pace...

    LordGek: Ewww thanks! :)

    Cookies: When you realize the way shadows, blind corners and other elements like doors affect your field of vision, it makes sense to draw the shadow lines out to "infinity", as a representation of what Mineko is actually able to see, so it also affects what you can see... You see? :)

    MrMuesli/Tunawrap: Glad that you like the effects, and I certainly wouldn't rule out the DS or another system someday if the game is well received... But first, let's see how she turns out on the iPhone and iPod!

    ---

    I'll toss out a few other bits of info here: expect to see as much or MORE magic and equipment than found in Rogue Touch, and even things like unique artifact/"epic" items... monsters will be smarter too, and some of them will be wielding magic items against you!

    If anyone else has questions or comments please fire away here or in the thread. I'll be responding to people over there shortly. Thanks for your interest and support, I really appreciate it!

    • http://www.artfoundry.com Artfoundry

      Re: shadows - I didn't really mean a thick area of transparency - something that starts out hard at the corner, and then gets fuzzier the farther from the light source you go. But the fuzziest would maybe be, eh, 1/2 cm?
      Hmm, something just occurred to me though - those lines represent two different things - shadows cast by a light source and field of vision. For shadows, I think the fuzziness I described above would make sense and look better, but for field of vision, how you have it now makes more sense.

      Is the game going to be as challenging as Rogue? I've played the hardcore rogue-likes so many times and never finished. A modified rogue-like though like Sword of Fargoal I can (and have, on Hero difficulty level anyway) win. That's the main reason I don't play Rogue anymore. I like a challenge, but not to the extent that I can't complete the game.

      • http://www.ChronoSoft.com CommanderData

        Yes, you've got it. Note that the lines always lead from your character's position, even if there's another light source present. That was a conscious design decision to make things hidden if Mineko could not see them, even if due to the perspective overhead that you as the player might have seen it... and it makes the already crazy math a bit easier to swallow :)

        The way Spirit Hunter Mineko will work is more like Shiren the Wanderer: eventually things get a bit easier as you improve and store great equipment to use in the next run through. There will be hardcore difficulty levels for those who do not want the game to get any easier with time of course.

        Fargoal did a good job with catering to a variety of player skill levels, and I'll try to do the same!

    • David

      Hey- good on you- keep up the good work at your consulting job- - :) At 60 hours I guess I am at work about 12 hours longer than that :) ... civilians lol

      Glad to hear things are chugging right along for you

      • http://www.ChronoSoft.com CommanderData

        David, thanks for the response! Military man huh? For a career or just for the college money? Still good on you for serving your country, whichever one you happen to live in!

        Are you a major roguelike player, or just popping in because this one has an RPG slant to it? Hopefully you'll be pleasantly surprised either way when I release Spirit Hunter Mineko.

        PS- 60 hours is just for the consulting business, not including the 20-40 per week on Mineko, or occasional weekend fishing-chartering. Oh, and dealing with a wife during all that. I'll bet you get more sleep than I do ;)

      • GronchoMax

        Civilians? you mean, tax-paying citizens from where even your boots come from? those? oh yes, Civilians.

      • David

        You are assuming too much GronchoMax- but its worth spelling out for you... the reason some of your tax dollars go to the military is so you don't have to bleed yourself :) ! Its so you can play Call of Duty for pretend!

        But its neither here nor there, no my point was that it is sometimes amusing to hear what passes as an uber long work week. Its just a different world.

    • http://www.twitter.com/thewindburn Peter Lettieri

      Really loving the top-down shadow-edge effect CD, I've not seen anything like it before (you need to come up with a coined-term for that and trademark it!).

      A little bit of feedback on it, I'm not sure it works so well in the outdoor, tree levels (I know it's trying to simulate night-time). It looks a bit out of place there, but I'm not sure how you could do it better either (the artist in me amounts solely to working with words :P).

      I've had Mineko on my radar for TA for a while, so it's great to see we've publicized it now that it's nearing completion!

      • http://www.ChronoSoft.com CommanderData

        Peter,
        Thank you very much! I've seen things somewhat like this shadow casting before, but never in a roguelike game. I ended up coming up with the math and specialized tile layout needed to accompany it all by myself, so maybe it's worth coining a phrase and publishing a small article on it sometime! After the game is complete of course, not enough hours in the day for me as it is :)

        You're right that the shadows are used to simulate nighttime in the forest (so you can have a day and night cycle). I think the "out of place" part is the hard-edge line that draws down the center of a tree. This looks better on man-made structures that obviously should be straight edged. It's grown on me though- this is the second attempt at a forest, and it is MILES better than the first one. Had to throw out all that graphic work and start over!

        I'm continuously improving things, so you never know what I could come up with. Since that video was filmed I've already added flowing animation to the rivers in the forest and a pre-generated "special room" system to insert occasional hand-designed rooms into the random castle floors. That will handle things like throne rooms, barracks, treasure caches, devious traps, and so on. Fun stuff :)

  • Jindo Fox

    CommanderData, it's people like you who keep me coming back to this site every single day. I like the way you graciously accept praise, take no crap from hecklers, and most importantly, work hard to ship great, polished stuff!

    • http://www.ChronoSoft.com CommanderData

      Jindo Fox, it's people like you that help spur me on to work harder! Hopefully everyone will appreciate the game and world I've poured so much of my own money and time into creating.

      I love the the readers and staff at TouchArcade, some of the best and most friendly you can find on the internet! You can be sure to find new details about Spirit Hunter Mineko right here as they unfold :)

      Thanks again!

  • Jorlen

    Looking good man! Can't wait to play the final product, take all the time you need!

  • Wes Paugh

    It's looking great! Way to tease the magic system; I'm on the edge of my seat!

    • http://www.ChronoSoft.com CommanderData

      Haha Wes, sorry to keep you and everyone else in suspense on the magic! I've got some neat ideas here that are really detailed, they just need a bit more time to simmer... Some people close to me think I'm giving away too many secrets already with the tech demos and forum posts. I certainly don't think that's true, but I am a firm believer in having some surprises :D

      Maybe I'll slip up and give the surprise away before release, maybe I wont ;)

  • Dwight

    i heard this game is on permanent hiatus

    • Ninlil35

      not at all. I'm on the development team and it is still movin right along.

  • http://twitter.com/pdSlooper pdSlooper

    I wonder how far along this has gotten...