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Lawrence's Labyrinth

Lawrence's Labyrinth is a tribute to an old “mainframe-style” computer RPG that was written by the late Daniel Lawrence in 1972. It was (arguably) the first (or maybe second) computer RPG ever created. The original game was called “DND”, and more information about it can be found on this mirror of an old website dedicated to the game.

Some consider the original to be an early Roguelike Game, but it doesn't generate dungeons randomly. It also uses a more abstract “room-based” sort of mode of movement, and a more abstract sort of non-tactical combat system compared to other “roguelikes”.

I've always found it somewhat odd that games like Hack, Moria, Rogue, etc all continued their evolution into the present day, while DND fell into the Abyss of Lost Games in the early 1980s. I can only assume that the language it was written in (DEC BASIC+) contributed to its disappearance, as no modern systems can run the game anymore (other than a rather messy Unix port, which only includes one of the dungeons). Additionally, the original code, being written in BASIC, is completely impenetrable and un-maintainable, and so by proxy are the old ports to other languages.

So, the goal of this project is to bring “DND” to a more modern, more portable language, perhaps with some updates, so that it can continue its evolution. It is also intended to honor and possibly in a small way immortalize the late Mr. Lawrence. The original game is widely regarded to exist in the public domain at this point, but we will be doing a complete reimplementation and rebuilding all of the dungeons from my old hand-drawn maps from playing the game on my old 8086, just to be sure everything is free and clear.

Currently, the game is still in the design phase, and there hasn't even been any kind of bleeding edge release. Once we have something working, we'll post up a link to the SVN repository as we work towards a playable point release.

In the meantime, you can peruse our design documents, if you're really that bored!

Design Documents

Random Thoughts

labyrinth/start.txt · Last modified: 2014/07/26 13:40 by leaf

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