Around two years ago, I implemented an experimental game mode (as an option), on a whim. I didn’t finish all the details back then, but this mode has been staying in the code and now I have finally decided to include this game mode as an option in v2.5.
I call it immersion mode. It does not change the game in anyway, only how the dungeon is presented. My intention was to create more excitement and feeling of exploration as you navigate through an unknown dungeon. I always loved the feeling of exploring dungeons in the Elder Scrolls series, and I often think about how they manage to make it so exciting. The immersion mode is an attempt to recreate some of that feeling (without resorting to 3D graphics that is…).
Immersion mode can be enabled from the options and just does two simple things:
- The map is always centred on you (when you move, the map moves instead of you)
- You cannot see what’s outside your field of vision, at all. Not even remembered parts of the map.
This means that you will basically only see the room/corridor you are currently in. In my opinion this makes exploring much more exciting and interesting. It certainly feels more like exploring an unknown place. It makes you feel more lost (you don’t really know where on the map you are), but you can always access the explored parts of the map via the “maps” option in the main menu.
Technically, immersion mode makes the game slightly more difficult (since you don’t see your “remembered” tiles), but it makes gameplay more immersive and feels more like a dungeon crawler in my opinion. I really encourage you to play around with it. Playing in immersion mode will make you want to access the map-view more often so I have included a shortcut to viewing maps by pressing ‘v’ (for “view maps” and it is right next to ‘c’).
I love it! Just watching that gif you included makes me feel immersed 🙂
I really appreciate how minimalistic the immersion mode is. No unnecesary modifications, just you and the smooth darkness around.
Yeah it is interesting how such a small change to the presentation actually can make quite a difference to how it feels to play!
I like it.
I know I’ll use immersion mode for every starting game, yet will turn it off as soon as I need to backtrack, as we know there’s often a LOT of backtracking to do (which is good IMHO).
Yes, backtracking is tougher… although the new short-cut to map mode will probably be more convenient to quickly access the map to see where you have to go.
Another problematic thing is auto-running. In immersion mode it is disorienting as you don’t understand where you end up (maybe autorunning should be slowed down in immersion mode…?).
A fast travel option would be something that could solve those problems. Something like you choose where you want to go on the map, and it takes you there until you meet a monster. I’ve wanted to do that for a long time but it will be quite complicated as they game would have to find which way is closest (using portals).
Auto-travel to dungeon levels, or even better, to a specific tile chosen on the map anywhere in the dungeon, would be a very neat QoL improvement indeed. And I’ll only play in Immersion Mode then if this feature would exist.
How does this interact with lit rooms? Not being able to see things far away when it’s a lit room is a serious disadvantage…
You can still see all lit squares even if they are in the distance. This is just like how it is in normal mode, although it may be less obvious. The only thing that is “dark” is previously explored but currently not seen squares.
I should’ve included a gif that demonstrated this as well.
Edit: though there may actually be an exception if you are on the very left side of the map and the lit room is on the very right with no obstacles. Then the scrolling may cause it to be outside the main window. However, this would be very rare and wouldn’t put you at (almost) any disadvantage anyhow.