While Mordor was a fun hobby project, Demise was the first project I undertook with some seriousness. Wanting to take the dungeon crawl gameplay behind Mordor and evolve it into a style that would be more enticing to gamers, I began working on Demise in 1997. Where Mordor cost well under $20,000 to build, Demise was closer to $200,000. I hired a C++ programmer to create the dungeon engine, artists, and people to do the data entry. I believe our team was seven people at its height. I approached Interplay about the game, and they were interested, but wanted to make it a multi-player focused multi-world game (Infinite Worlds). Unfortunately the relationship did not work out, so I continued with the core team and worked through 1998. During this time, Ultima Online came out and caught my attention, and in march of 1999, Everquest came out. This did have an affect on the development of Demise, which I added multi-player functionality to. At the same time, I realized Demise was a great dungeon romp, but it was not a full living “world” like UO and EQ, so in paralell I began to design the “next game” which was codenamed “HORIZONS”. I began work on HORIZONS as I was wrapping up DEMISE, which released in January of 2000.

  1. Hi David,

    I am forever grateful to you for developing Demise: Rise of the Ku’tan!
    What a wonderful game.

    Did you play the sequel Demise: Ascension from Decklin’s Demise?
    And did you like it?

    And are you planning on playing Demise: Revenge of the Tavern Keeper?
    It’s about to hit beta anytime now.
    It would be great if you could write an article about it when it does and post it on your website.


  2. Thanks, Dave! Unfortunately, I have not played Ascension. I don’t think I’ve even played DEMISE in the past 10 years; can’t remember the last time. Is there a community hub for DEMISE where people get updates, etc?

  3. Well, you could always give Ascension a go when you find the time.
    I recommend it, a lot has changed. There were many bug fixes (spellcaster #1 bug), items were rebalanced, race statistics were tuned, music/mp3 volume can be adjusted.
    Humans and Dwarves now have the highest XP requirements because they offer the most guilds. Ogre now can become a Paladin.
    Expanded Dwarven Mines…
    There were also many new items, quests, events and storyline introduced after defeating the Kutan Jenal and closing the portal. Also there’s a new black market in town.

    Yes, it is

    Demise: Revenge of the Tavern Keeper (volume III) is being developed by Decklin. It will have 45 dungeon levels, where each dungeon level is 90×90 squares (Demise: Rise of the Ku’tan (volume I) had 30 levels each 45×45).
    Volume 1 was very big, volume II is huge and volume III will be gigantic.
    Ascension (volume II) introduced the tower concept, as in the higher you go the more difficult monsters you encounter as opposed to a dungeon where the deeper you go the more difficult monsters you encounter.
    Revenge is said to include towers where the equivalent of level 55 monsters will roam… There will be over 100 new monsters.
    Another expected cool feature is that Trolls will have innate hitpoint regeneration.

    Such a nice series of games. Unprecented in scope and character building.
    Mordor was released in 1994 and Demise in 2000.
    Your games have to this day active forums and are still actively being played in 2020. That’s saying it all!
    If you need any reason or incentive to come back as a game developer, just remember what a joy you brought to gamers via your products.

  4. In my opinion, Ascension and now Revenge of the Town Keeper are not a good products, very low quality, very low new items, quest punishment, huge dungeons full of rock etc this is a different game than Rise of the Ku’tan, instead of constant leveling your characters and find new items to make you stronger you need to explore huge useless dungeons where you didnt find any items and gain no exp, and bugs, bugs, bugs…

  5. Sorry to hear that 🙁 I sold the rights to Demise, and the individual who purchased them is responsible for those expansions. I’m glad to hear vanilla Demise still sounds like the version to play 🙂

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