DUNGEONS & DOOMKNIGHTS: An 8-bit AdventureQuest for the NES
Created by Artix Entertainment, LLC
Battle through a new 8-bit "zeldavania" game in the world of AdventureQuest. Available on a real NES Cartridge and emulators.
Latest Updates from Our Project:
Ebil Dread 3: Army of Dorkness
3 months ago
– Wed, Mar 17, 2021 at 02:30:44 AM
Ebil Dread 3: Army of Dorkness
Greetings and Salutations 8-Bit Undead Slayer,
The push for our April 30th Dungeons & DoomKnights BETA ROM is on!
Here is the latest project progress update on your game. We updated our hud, added "levels", been updating and polishing our overworld, and thanks to the testers in the discord server, exterminated more bugs than a Starship Trooper with a vorpal rabbit. We were also featured in a new retro-magazine!
Let us get started...
We are closing in on the goal, but we still have a lot of wood to chop. Hopefully not the wood from the evil tree monsters in the SouthEast region of our game's world map.
There is an old man who lives there. Supposed to be some sort of Master Woodworker. Asked him if he could build me a boat. Said he only builds chairs. "Chairs?" I said, then asked him if they floated. He raised an eyebrow. I am sure everything will work out just fine.
Because... if you wish to travel to the Pyramids of the Sandsea desert, Ice Lich's Keep, or unlock the Labyrinth of Chaos, you are going to need to get over that water somehow.
Dungeon & DoomKnight's new hud makes it easy to see how much spirit energy you have. It now works exactly like health. Getting a spirit skull upgrade will increase your maximum spirit energy. Some skills had their spirit requirements reduced or eliminated as a result.
The new hud now prominently features your level. You will get a level each time you find and obtain a major powerup. Once you get past town and unlock the Guardian Tower, the true purpose of the levels will become obvious.
We were featured in the latest issue of CoolS#t Magazine. Thanks for the write up! Our game project was also featured in the upcoming titles section along with other retro game maker friends...
Fills my heart with joy... (and increases the pressure 9001%)
There is no one who wants to flash the game on these carts more than I do....
Periodically I test game versions on out the hardware... just to make sure the save feature works and nothing weird breaks.
It always surprises me how much smoother it plays on the actual hardware. Although the colors are totally different depending on which device you play on. I used a composite to HDMI converter here (got it for ~$15 on Amazon) and it shifted some of the colors.
As I post this, there are only two known bugs left in our game engine. (Do not worry, we will surely make more during the next month and a half.) The biggest outstanding one is the visual-only "memory corruption glitch". It happens ~1% of the time after you unlock a door. The other is our rock smash skill sometimes teleports you if you attack while being hit at the exact same time?
But we fixed and added a ton of things...
Daimyo can no longer shoot over water (nor fly)
The “Hey! Cannot collect all the spirit skulls on Pac-Person screen!” bug is fixed
Killing monsters in the sky no longer can cause rewards to fall forever
Fixed One-Way Tile bugs
Adding restore points along the way
New Music/SoundFX pass
Fixed the autotext forever bug
The "Slow monster sparkles" should now be fixed
Frogzards no longer get stage fright after being hit
Not sure which Monsters are new since our last update... but the Rock Golem is fun.
You can no longer kill the guardian dragon (although, man we should re-add that as a funny feature if we have room)
Semi-related... we fixed the animation of AdventureQuest 3D's 8-Bit Daimyo Pet too.
The players on the D&DK testing discord have been absolutely amazing. When new tests are available they dive and bug hunt with a vengeance. A week ago or so we did our first group live-stream while testing the forest North of town. Everyone was on voice, sharing their screen while they played. It was really good when everyone was moving at the same pace through the same screens. Once everyone ran off in different directions it collapsed into chaos and hilarity XD We have made some really good memories in that chat.
These guys are a little young for Discord, but they want to be considered a part of the testing crew too. While my normal schedule is to do my nightly work on D&DK right after they go to bed... sometimes I get the entire weekend to work and will test it and endlessly remind me to make the fixes faster... while I am making the fixes XD.
On the subject of kids... Dale Coop's son's game, Kubo 3, is on Evercade!
(Which also means after we ship our carts, we might be able to do a limited run of Famicom carts for those of you who wanted them too?)
I would also like to give a round of congratulations to FJ for winning 1st place in Best Narrative in the ByteOff 2020 contest for Chaos Between Realms. As you may recall, FJ joined our team to help assemble the dungeons and make some art... including these new killer trees.
A behind the scenes story... the evil tree monster was a must have boss for me. It goes back to my "roots". We have remade these trees 3 times, by three different artists. Well, good things come in trees! I am in absolute love with these new background tiles and decided to put the sneevil box fort area in what was in my original game design.
FJ also updated our NPCs as you may remember from a previous update. I <3 the pixel art.
8-Bit stuff looks really cool no matter how you display it
I pulled the projector that we used to use at conventions out of storage from the lab, and made some "real life" wallpaper...
This week I am focusing on the SouthWest region of the overworld.... Internally we call it the "Ebil Dread Forest".(Because it is an obvious spoof/homage to the movie that inspired and shaped my humor when I was little.) Because I have been putting old Bob Ross painting videos on in the background... every time I make an evil tree I say "And, we will just put an unhappy little tree right here..."
The scariest part of the last two days was deleting about 20 screens. Bob Ross would have called this a "bravery test." The map had a flow that was just not working and I wiped it and put down a better structure. Clarion spent the last two days cleaning the new screens up. It solidly solved the problem we had where there was a lot of confusion on what to do after obtaining the skill that lets you turn into a bat.
I want to have that area and the forest North of town cleaned up by Thursday morning and then start putting some ROMS up for everyone in the Discord. The next two highest priorities are the Vampire Castle interior and the South-middle of the overworld (which is now disconnected because of the other changes.) Getting the entire Overworld polished and locked down by the 1st puts us on target for our goal-- which leaves a month for anything remaining on dungeons and monsters.
Thank you. From here on out, we should do more frequent, smaller update posts.I truly appreciate your amazing support, patience, and encouragement for this 8-bit video game project.
Artix & the D&DK Team
P.S. Do not take investing advice from 8-bit NPCs unless you already have aquired the diamond hands skill. (I already overwrote this with real dialog in the game, but thought you might get a chuckle out of it.)
Hard Days & DoomKnights
4 months ago
– Sun, Mar 07, 2021 at 08:47:46 AM
Greetings and salutations friend,
I hope you are well. Apologies that I have not been able to write to you sooner.
If you follow me on social media, then you may already know my sad news.
I lost my Father three weeks ago. He was my mentor. We were very close. I took time to handle matters, focus on my Mother and the family, and then get my head back in the game.
Originally, I tried writing you this post that same week, on the 35th anniversary of Legend of Zelda. Hindsight being 20/20, it is probably a good thing that I waited so I could tell you the full story of how it ultimately went.
Because.... I went back to work on Dungeons & DoomKnights the following Wednesday with furious conviction.
I really want to thank Dale Coop, Clarion, and the team for jumping into the deep end of hyperproductivity with me that week. My guess is... they knew that burying myself in work is one of the ways I cope when things get rough. Easy to spot your real friends during the tough times.
Of course, the week after, I collapsed like a bad train wreck. (...as if anyone did not see that coming.)
I was overwhelmed, exhausted, frustrated, and just... unable to do anything. All of my projects from D&DK, to AQ3D, to AQW:Mobile felt like giant boulders I did not even want to try lifting. It was one of the least productive weeks of my life. I would open the project every day... but nothing was happening.
Everything fell behind.
I knew I had to do something to get out of this zombie-like rut. Once that voice in your head screams "Enough is enough!"-- you gotta do SOMETHING. And the best way to do a mental reboot is to do something that pushes you out of your comfort zone. So I ran 2 miles in the woods with my son. Dage came over and we oil painted on canvas for the first time ever. I changed my caffeine source and added some vitamins.
I met with the productivity coach and updated the plan to get the project back on track.
Then, in a "why not!?" attempt at jump starting my productivity back to its previous level..... I invited all of the backers in the D&DK discord to participate in a voice chat where we all played, shared our screens and worked through some of the flow problems North of the Town of Battleon. (There is a truly great group of people in there who I enjoy seeing each night.)
But my aggressive, all-in push to have our Dungeons & DoomKnights BETA ROM ready for April 1st is not looking good.
(Although, I am not going to stop working towards it.)
Always being 100% transparent, April 30th is a more realistic date for a testable full-game BETA ROM based on the updated to-do schedule.
Once the BETA ROM passes your inspection, it will be ready to ship on the physical carts.
Thank you for allowing me to share what has been happening behind the scenes. Sometimes life just throws you a sucker punch when you are already down. But life is only 10% what happens to us. The other 90% is how we respond to it. I am going to complete Dungeons & DoomKnights as one of the most strange, unusual, dark, fun, and funny games that has ever run on an NES. I hope something in this story will be of value to you beyond this game project.
Battle on! Adam (Artix)
P.S. A lot has been added to the game since our last check in... I will make another port for you with all of the game-focused details later this week.
New Dungeons & DoomKnights Demo ROM!
5 months ago
– Thu, Jan 28, 2021 at 12:02:43 AM
Greetings and salutations 8-Bit Undead Slayers!
We have just finished testing our 101st ROM on the tester Discord server. To celebrate this important milestone, I am excited to release the new backer-exclusive Dungeons & DoomKnights DEMO ROM! You can download it on Backerkit.
(Not a backer yet? You can still pledge until the physical carts are shipped at www.DungeonsAndDoomKnights.com. Pledging for the digital version or above will get you access to our backer-only discord testing server. We have 35 Gold Carts left if any existing backers would like to bump their Gray carts up to the Collector's edition gold.)
Onward, to the progress update...
It has been way longer than usual since our last update post, and I really want to thank and reward you for your patience. As evidenced by everyone watching on the D&DK Discord server, we have had our nose to the tomb stone... erm.. grind stone.
More Dungeons and DoomKnights in your Dungeons and DoomKnights!
The last month has been a herculean push to get Dungeons & DoomKnights towards the finish line. This new intro demo reflects the vast improvements and hard work of the team & testers.
The early parts of Dungeons & DoomKnights have been redone using the newest art and features. I know that I am building this game for you to enjoy. It is equally important, that in my heart, that this game looks and feels like... well, like it does now! My inner 10-year old voice is screaming that it wants to play this.
About the new ROM
The new demo available for download contains the first part of the game.... It is the first part of the story and represents about 15% of the game's overworld map. We really want your feedback!
New Fixes & Features
There is only one known major bug left in the game. I want to give another MAJOR shout out to Dale Coop for the insane amount of time he spent coding fixes for the deep bugs. (Be sure to check out his 7 year old son's NES game, Kubo, on Itch.io)
Fixed more small bugs than an insect zoo veterinarian!
You now get to fight that guy from the beginning of the game :D
Music and Sounds now works properly
One-Way jump tiles when jumping in platformer mode
New monsters than can spawn minions
Pac-pac-pac skull collection screens for maximum retro reference XD
Levers can now be permanently switched to their on position (So players do not immediately use them again causing certain doom.)
Monsters no longer overlap on top of Dialog text Boxes
Monsters no longer summon their minions into walls...
Monsters "skins" from the alternate banks can now have different AI
Skeletal Archers can now shoot their arrows properly (they were REALLY bad at it before.)
Some NPCs will act as a check point after talking to them. So if you die, you will respawn back in their room instead of the beginning of the game O_O
Daimyo the Undead Slaying Pomeranian can no longer fly. (But you will be able to throw your axe to places he cannot go.)
The D&DK Discord
I really want to thank all of the amazing testers on our discord server. We have created and tested over 100 ROMs together since the server opened.
Would like to give special recognition to....
They have gone above and beyond, testing with us nightly... and on several occasions up til 4am hanging out with us O_O. It has been a lot of fun. During early testing, we were focused on specific parts of the game. But everyone kept finding ways to "jump the walls" and escape to explore the other parts of the world XD.
World Record Speed Runs!
Here is the current world record for running the new intro ROM from start screen to the win screen.
QuincyDao - 5:19
Can you beat it? If so, send us a youtube video link to the Kickstarter group or join us on the D&DK discord.
Music & Sound FX fixed!
We have been having a lot of trouble with our sounds & music. Simply swinging your axe would bork our GGMusic sound engine. So we asked our friend (and new 8-Bit Hero from the recent ByteOff competition) CutterCross for help. He immediately spotted some issues with how we were canceling notes, and also showed Jongaar tricks to reduce the size of our music files. Our music bank was FULL. But after his changes we freed up.... not making this up...
He freed up half of the music bank ($1B) space O_O
CutterCross is a genius. We now have twice as much space as we did. Jongaar, who does our music, is currently re-adding the songs and song parts we removed and composing a bonus track.
Ghosts & Moglins
Dungeons & DoomKnights is my obvious love letter to the things that inspired me when I was little. Knowing that the vast majority of players will never make it to the end of the massive game world (but they should >_<) , it is important that the intro be as packed with as many dark, funny, and funny moments as possible. The goal of this intro is to introduce the characters, and set up the adventure that is about to follow.
Also, I wanted to make sure that the early parts of the game were suitable for the newest generation of (retro) gamers. Thankfully, I genetically bred a few just to test the game.
As a grown up (physically, at least) in the present of 2021, I really want a fun game experience. And that experience should not include wandering aimlessly or mindlessly grinding. So when "re-mastering" the intro, I kept this on the forefront of my mind.
It is my hope that you find this intro to be an enjoyable retro gameplay experience that makes for a very satisfying sitting. At the end... I hope you are salivating for the full game which is coming next.
I flashed a cart and played on my childhood NES. It runs soooo smooth on the actual hardware! Also, I absolutely love our save feature. (I need to plug it into a better monitor that does not force that widescreen aspect ratio, but still... this is super fun to run on the actual console.) I cannot wait to send you the final game.
Our goal is to have Dungeons & DoomKnights completed by April 1st (NO JOKE!) and ship the moment it is dubbed "bug free." The best way to help us reach this goal is to play the new demo and send feedback, bugs, and also the things you liked.
Really hope you enjoy the new backer-only ROM. Today's release is the biggest and most important milestone of the project yet. After intense months of working on problems, bugs, features, and more moments of staring into the abysmal pit of game-dev despair than I would like to share... it is all finally coming together.
Happy Frostval 8-Bit Undead Slayers!
6 months ago
– Sat, Dec 19, 2020 at 01:40:54 AM
Happy Frostval 8-Bit Undead Slayers!
Wherever you are, I hope you are warm, safe, and slaying the evil forces of the undead.
It has been 2 weeks since we opened the Backer-Only discord server for testing. Since then we have released.... 50 Testing ROMs!? O_O Each one was a micro-test focusing on a small area, group of monsters, feature, or fight. If you backed this project through BackerKit, check the Discord portion of this post later down the page on how to join us.
Time for your progress update!
Behold the entrance to the Vampire Castle. Home to Safiria, Queen of the Vampires. In our most recent test, we have been focusing on unlocking that gate.
In the screenshot above you see Gravelyn (pronounced Grave-Lynn). She will be your guide through most of the game. When you see her, you always know you are going the right way. (Or possibly the wrong way XD)
She received new art!
Previously, I shared the improved the art for Death (The Grim Reaper). Seeing that the monster and the bigger NPC art no longer matched, Clarion (our pixel artist), redrew Death. But then... our main characters no longer matched. F.J. (our map maker and also well known pixel artist) said "hold my moglinberry juice" and re-did Artix & Gravelyn.... without even telling us XD
They look so much better! (Crazy how every pixel matters)
I feel Gravelyn is so much more expressive and lively now. Considering you will be seeing her on screen more than any other character, this really ups the art of the game.
Hard to tell that crazy look in her eyes that she has in his year's Calendar XD
Gravelyn is at the center of all my major 2021 projects. So much that she is the keystone of this year's calendar. It is available at www.HeroMart.com and shipping now.
Talking about physical merch....
We received the 12"x18" Dungeons & DoomKnights posters from the printers. It was drawn by Dioz (same artist who did the calendar) and painted by Dage.They look GREAT! Professionally creased so they will fit perfectly in your package.
Needless to say, I have been stressing over our long past due deadlines and working crazy hours to get the game ship-ready. But after seeing what happened with CyberPunk 2077, I am now more worried about sharing that fate. Thankfully, the testers on our Discord server have been finding hordes of bugs and issues that we have been aggressively fixing.
Join us on the Dungeons & DoomKnights Discord Server
There is a lobby for everyone, and also a VIP Backer-Only testing area
At this time, we would like to invite everyone who is interested in the project to join the Dungeons & DoomKnights Discord server. This server is dedicated just to this game and its development (Not the other Artix Entertainments games, if you would like that, you can find the Artix Discord Server here)
The Dungeons & DoomKnights discord server has a lobby for everyone to hang out and talk. If you are a backer from Kickstarter or BackerKit, send Clarion a message and he will verify you as a backer, awarding you the title of "8-Bit Undead Slayer" which will grant you access to the testing area.
A core group of testers have sort of formed that are extremely good at running through the ROMs (and jumping the walls to sneak around unreleased parts of the game XD). It is pretty casual, very spoiler filled, and generally a good time. If you are interested in this sort of testing you are welcome to join us. If you would like to wait for the full game to be released simply resist the urge of peeking in that room XD