Well, this is just a question of “What happened to Kerkerkruip?” Although I imagine I already know the answer (REAL LIFE!).
For the #RayuelaJam, Spanish competition for mythological games, some new people are asking about IF with RPG elements, and so today I’m remembering great IF with RPG systems like Reliques or Kekerkruip. Both with source available to learn.
It is a pity the community is not fond of those systems so we could enjoy new modules on those game systems. New adventures in the Kerkerkruip universe would be awesome (someone, make a jam about? Come on! it has the best ever fighting system in any text based game), even in ROTA’s Woodpulp & Wyverns system, even with all its antiquated spirit, I enjoyed ROTA a lot.
The second edition happened a long time ago, but it’s a fair question when (and whether) release 10 will happen. This release was hard to put together because of technical changes to Inform 7 which made major updates to the interface necessary. (And they’re not in place.) But the major problem was indeed, as you surmised, REAL LIFE, especially in the form of KIDS. It’s been a lot harder for me to find time to write interactive fiction now that I’m a father. (And our second child was born in May, so I don’t expect things to massively improve in the future.)
That said – Kerkerkruip still has a very special place in my heart, so don’t write it off!
I made some commits yesterday, so I guess it’s no longer true that development has stopped! By the way, you can always download the latest beta build here. There’s a lot of new content compared to Kerkerkruip 9, so it might be worth checking out. However, be advised that this build has no graphics (it does have the side panes, but not the graphical map) and that cheat commands are enabled.
About 700 commits were made to the code since Kerkerkruip 9, so a lot has changed, including many bug fixes. But these are the highlight:
Automatos, a level 4 enemy whose massive strength can only be defeated by exploiting his rigid thinking.
The angel of mercy, a level 3 enemy who is surprisingly lethal for someone who hates violence.
Scroll of enchantment, which permanently improves the weapon you currently wield.
Ancient papyrus, which can either bless or curse a player for a future combat.
The addict’s amulet, which makes your ment rushes last a little bit longer.
The armour of thorns, which deals damage to those who attack you. Feed it with your blood to turn it into the increasingly lethal armour of nails, armour of spikes and armour of spears.
Snipe, a crossbow gifted by Herm that can teleport enemies struck by its bolts.
The cranial grenade. This vile thing used to be the head of an animated corpse, but now you can throw it for a powerful if unreliable necromantic effect.
The hand of glory, a candle made of the hand of an executed criminal. Light it and everyone else in the dungeon will remain motionless – until the magic fails.
The hand of Vecna. Replace your own hand with this extremely powerful weapon, once part of a great undead sorcerer. But beware: Vecna was evil and his hand cannot be trusted.
The shield of fanaticism, whose block bonus increases with the number of present worshipers of Aite.
The palimpsest, a blood magic item that can be used to copy and recopy the effects of another scroll in your possession.
The gauntlets of attraction, which may allow you to wrest an enemy’s weapon from their grip.
Other major changes
Reworked the reaction system. Rolling is gone; blocking is stronger; parrying and dodging now turn all your flow into offensive or defensive flow respectively. The system is simpler and more fun than that in version 9.
The difficulty of the game now increases less sharply as you go to higher levels (expert, master, and so on).
You can now play a seeded game: you fill in the seed, and you’ll always get the exact same dungeon. Great for competitions!
Many balance changes.
A new way to achieve victory! It won’t be easy, and we won’t spoil it.
Under the hood
Completely reworked damage system to allow for more robust handling of damage modifiers like resistances and immunities.
Reworked the system for losing concentration so that your mind score and certain concentration boosting items also work outside of combat.
A powerful system of automated tests that should allow us to catch newly introduced bugs and to test the combat strengths of different enemies.
Well, the problem is – and I hope I’m stating it correctly, since it’s a while since I looked at it – that the graphical stuff doesn’t compile under the current version of Inform 7. I didn’t write any of the graphical stuff and have no idea how it works. So it will depend on either some of the old crew coming back on board or some new people who are well-versed in Glulx and graphics stepping in. I can’t promise anything!
Apart from the graphical stuff, version 10 is in beta state. (As in: stable enough to be tested by anyone interested.)
Well, we made a lot of changes in the code to bring it into conformity with the newest version. There’s no simple way to reverse them, so it would mean a lot of otherwise useless work to do so. And we decided to move on to this newer version of Inform because it fixed some language and library bugs that had been bugging us – so going back to an old version would have distinct disadvantages too.
I’m responsible for the graphical stuff. It’s been too long now for me to remember the details, but basically the new version of Inform broke many things in the Glimmr extensions in non-trivial ways. I took this as my cue to retire from extension development.
I have no plans to return to Glimmr myself, but if someone else gets it going again I would probably return to creating art for Kerkerkruip, so I hope someone does!
Draconis, if you do pick this up, I check in here more or less daily and can try to answer questions that might come up about how it work, why things were done, etc. It’s been five years or more since I engaged with Inform programming, but I could probably be of at least some use…
OMG, can’t believe the third edition is happening thanks to my indiscretion!
Ah, Victor, about the post, I meant for the blog, maybe you can copy paste that there at Kerkerkruip’s blog, so it does not feels so lonely. With some instructions to go to the master branch, and explicitly saying that it is beta.
Hi everyone! I took a break from working on Kerkerkruip to focus on my degree, but I am now a Master of Computer Information Technology! So I don’t really have an excuse right now. It’s great to hear some feedback and encouragement… I hope we can make Kerkerkruip 10 happen sooner rather than later.