Base attack

Meritous is a nice, addictive action-adventure dungeon crawl game. Each new game is unique since the dungeon is built in a semi-random fashion. Last but not least, the engine, graphics and sound effects are GPL'd :)

The game is based on SDL 1.2, which has an unofficial Android variant, so I decided to try and port it on my cell phone! The port was surprinsingly smooth and only non-SDL fixes (move big stack allocation to heap) were necessary. Who said it was difficult to program in C on Android? ;)

It was also an opportunity to study the build system for F-Droid, an app market for free software apps, where APKs are rebuilt from source. The spec-like file is here.

The game packaging is also being ressurected for Debian but is being distressfully held hostage in the NEW queue for 2 weeks!

You can download the very first (aka beta) Android version:

  • for free at F-Droid
  • for 0.50€ at GPlay - because publishing at GPlay costs $25 (+30% of sells..)

Comments welcome!

I remember playing Meritous when it was first packaged in Debian. The game mechanics were interesting, but the actual content was very repetitive. So, if you or someone else reading this plan to continue the development of the game, I'll be a very happy camper.
Comment by Anonymous Wed Jan 9 20:18:41 2013

Bought it. Seems to run nicely.

Things worth improving (yes, I know they're pretty obvious):

  • naming the buttons (A and B?) and having the game (dialogs, help, etc.) refer to them as such
  • scaling the graphics for different screen sizes - trying to see what's happening (and reading the HUD) was a bit hard on a 4" screen
  • maybe moving some of the info on the main screen (how far you are in the game, etc) into the map screen, since it's not really necessary to see them all the time

Saving your progress and killing the app without explicitly quitting the game seemed to work... except for the first time I did it. Once I started the app again, the continue button was there, but none of my progress was actually saved.

Comment by Anonymous Wed Jan 9 21:37:38 2013

Very awesome game; I have it on my phone via F-Droid.

One minor bug in the Android version: as far as I can tell, you can't get to the options screen except when you first launch the game after installing (or wiping data). Could you add a '...' menu to get to the options screen?

Comment by Anonymous Thu Jan 10 02:30:10 2013

Thanks for the motivating comments.

I like the suggestion of moving static info in other screens to gain space.

I'll see what I can do to improve the port :)

Comment by beuc Thu Jan 10 23:57:02 2013

Great games

I have a motorola droid4 with a physical keyboards, the arrow keys are correctly recognized but not the 1/2/3 buttons. I think it shouldn't be hard to map these actions in a first time to the 1/2/3 keys , and maybe in the future add a menu to permit user to define with keys are linked to the button 1/2/3. What do you think ?

Comment by Anonymous Fri Jan 18 16:07:34 2013
You could try the PC version's keys: space (attack), enter (confirm menus) and tab (map) :)
Comment by beuc Tue Jan 22 22:09:24 2013
Thanks, I've tried, unfortunately it seems that the "space" button is map to my ok button, which is right near the arrow keys , and quite weird but remapping it on "a" using the menu at the beginning does not work (and actually my actual space key does nothing, so I'm wondering if there's no some "bug" with that key code), so I'm wondering if it could be possible for the android port to map it to A as anyway it would be transparent for people playing with touch screen, and much convenient for people using keyboard.
Comment by Anonymous Wed Jan 23 16:37:37 2013