Thursday, 14 June 2007


I stumbled across SoulFu on Free Gamer and from the screenshots alone, it looks like a quality piece of work. Turns out it is by the same guy who wrote Egoboo.

As a 3D hack and slash type game, it has a lot of depth. These are the sort of features which it has:

  • Minimap (as seen in the screenshot above).
  • Chests you can either use a key on, or bash open.
  • Pets or henchmen which follow you around and fight alongside you.
  • Objects and animals you can ride around.
  • Food dropping from slaughtered monsters.
  • Chests which are actually monsters (mimics!).
  • Traps.
There are all sorts of nice little touches. It gives you the feeling that once you have the solid base for a game, building on top of it and fleshing it out is a pleasure rather than a chore. And it reminds me of Dungeon Master in a way - it has that same sort of enjoyable to play, immersive and believable feeling which Dungeon Master had when it came out.

From what I have read, the author of SoulFu took four years to develop the game. And that is not surprising, especially looking at it at the source code level. Built on SDL and OpenGL, Aaron Bishop wrote his own scripting language (indentation based like Python), drew all the graphics, built in his own room and model editors. Also a editor for the font and even a music tracker! You can access these developer features by downloading the DevTool version from his website (linked above).

Looking at it for what it is, a one man effort, from the graphics to the music and programming, it reminds me of the programmers back in the day of the C64 or the ZX Spectrum. You can read diaries kept by some of the programmers back in the day documenting their efforts, which were published in Zzap!64 magazine. The collection section on this page features diaries, especially the one by Martin Walker.

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