With Book of Demons out of the gate (the game went out of Early Access last Thursday), it’s now time to take a closer look at one of its most interesting features - the Flexiscope dungeon generator.
For those unfamiliar with Book of Demons, the game is a Hack & Slash spiced up with deck-building. It is also a tribute to the original 1996 Diablo game, though it employs some pretty unique gameplay mechanics. The video below is a great way to quickly get up to speed with the game.
A game that tries to respect your time
The basic idea behind “Flexiscope” is very simple – it lets you divide the game into sessions of any size to fit your playing schedule. But why would you need such a feature in the first place? After all, the game can be saved and resumed at any time. As it turns out, nobody likes to break in the middle of a mission, or between checkpoints. And this is exactly what Flexiscope tries to solve.
When you start a game in Book of Demons you are presented with a setup window that lets you decide the size of the dungeon you will be entering. It can be anything from a “Very Small”, 2-level dungeon to a “Very Big” journey through multiple vast levels. Each size option is presented with a playtime estimate, so you can choose basing on your preference or basing on how much time you currently have.
The time estimates tend to be accurate, as the algorithm has been sampling all the average play-times during the entire run of the game’s Early Access. On top of that, the game learns your individual play-style, so if you’re an adventurer who likes to spend a lot of time chatting to the townsfolk and browsing their goods during an open dungeon, the time estimates will quickly adjust and start to reflect that.
Obstacles and prizes at the right moment
Generating a random dungeon of preferred size is not the end of the story. Flexiscope also works its algorithmic muscle so that the generated adventures, be it small or large, have a smooth beginning, interesting middle and a challenging ending. It distributes all the monsters, prizes and bosses in the right places, to make the difficulty and excitement curves of the dungeon balanced and varied.
Another interesting thing about the system is that Flexiscope doesn’t favor any size of game over the other. You won’t complete the game faster or get better loot when choosing large dungeons over small ones. It’s just a matter of personal preference and a way to make the game as enjoyable as possible in the time you have.
Flexiscope is just one of the many Book of Demons features that were designed with gameplay comfort in mind. Points of interest are marked at the top of the screen and get revealed once you get closer. Your character leaves footprints, which can be used to track your way back or notice paths already visited without opening the map. The game even has an always visible clock, so the “don’t waste my time” vibe resonates throughout the entire game.
Try it out for yourself
Very few games have demos on launch day nowadays, so it’s good to know that Book of Demons is an exception. You can grab the free demo on Steam and see Flexiscope in action for yourself.
Book of Demons is currently on -20% sale on Steam, so be sure to grab it now.