Dungeon Master is an iconic 3D First Person role-playing game that is almost timeless. I mean, can you name another more iconic RPG? Eye of the Beholder? Maybe. The point is, this style of RPG is iconic and can be great fun. Spire of the Ancients is an attempt by AtariAge forum member SmittyB to bring first person RPG’s to Atari’s classic Atari 7800 console. The kicker is, he is pulling it off, slowly but surely, Spire of the Ancients is impressive.
Anyone that knows me knows I am a huge first-person RPG nut. Grid based adventures like this are awesome to me for some reason. Maybe it is the decades I have spent playing Alternate Reality: The Dungeon (still have not beaten it). Maybe it was my first exposure to Dungeon Master on Super Nintendo (then later Eye of the Beholder). Whatever is the cause of my love for this genre, I am glad I have this fondness because I get to write about cool entries like Spire of the Ancients.
Being on the Atari 7800 is just that much cooler.
What is great about the AtariAge forums is front and center with the thread for Spire of the Ancients. Many members are actively helping with the development of Spire of the Ancients by offering tips, points of view, programming bug catching, etc. This is a true community that loves their chosen platforms.
As of this writing, the levels are resting at about 16×16 – a decent size that is not too small and not too large. For what this game represents, this is a great starting point. At the end of the day, this is still an Atari 7800 game and therefore, developers are limited by the available horsepower and memory constraints.
Head over to the AtariAge forums and you can follow along from the very beginning. It is not often that we get to partake in game development but over there, it is a commonplace event.