|
Your donations keep RPGWatch running!
RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » General News - A Recipe for Dungeon Crawlers

Default General News - A Recipe for Dungeon Crawlers

January 23rd, 2013, 16:11
In a blog post on Dungeon Crawlers the recipe for making them work is given. So if you ever wondered how that is done, check it out.
This is my dissection of the game genre and what in my point of view are the pillars of what makes a dungeon crawler a great dungeon crawler.
1. Well Defined Goal
Since the beginning that the player needs to know the reason of his quest. Of course there will be numerous loot and monsters to slay, but there needs to be a main purpose that will drive the player during the entire game. Generally, the reason for the quest is one of the three “R’s”: Revenge, Retrieval and Rescue. Look back to all the dungeon crawlers you played in the past, and you will see that in some sort of shape and form they adhere to the three “R’s” rule.
2. Theme
The environment needs to be consistent across all levels, in order to not break player immersion. If you are creating a medieval/fantasy game, do not throw to the mix cultural references from other ages. Do not mix medieval with Renaissance or Victorian and vice-versa. Keep a unifying theme that is believable for the player, because if you break that consistency you may well be ruining the players play experience.
3. Over-Arching Goal
In order to establish the setting for the game, it’s extremely important that there is a common link across all the enemies that the player will find in the game. They may all come from the same region in the world, or they may all be minions of the same master villain. What is important is that there is a common, unifying theme for the enemies, which blends with the world lore.
4. Traps & Puzzles Galore
A dungeon crawler is not a dungeon crawler if you don’t find traps and puzzles everywhere. Besides adding tension and challenge for players, they are also great reward mechanisms. When the player spends time trying to figure out how to avoid an encounter with a creature, and then he is able to successfully circumvent that encounter… That is a great moment. The player will feel he is incredibly smart, and the adrenalin boost will provide him with more excitement than if he had confronted the creature directly.
5. Pacing
When designing a dungeon crawler, you can never leave space for the players to breath. They must be constantly faced with new challenges (walking through empty labyrinths without nothing to do is not that exciting, don’t you agree?). Whether they are enemy encounters, traps or puzzles, keep the flow of content quick. Design it so that when the player finishes one problem, he is almost instantly introduced to a new one. Keep the players on the edge of their seat.
More information.
Myrthos is offline

Myrthos

Myrthos's Avatar
Cave Canem
Super Moderator
RPGWatch Team

#1

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 4,464

Default 

January 23rd, 2013, 16:11
Straight and to the point. Thumbs up!
RPGWatchPersonOfTheYear is offline

RPGWatchPersonOfTheYear

Traveler

#2

Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 2

Default 

January 23rd, 2013, 18:11
It's odd that the title of #3 has little to do with the context of #3. As described, it's just a variant of #2.
rjshae is offline

rjshae

Bob
RPGWatch Donor

#3

Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 1,530

Default 

January 23rd, 2013, 18:25
I bought LoG and played it for an hour (not counting watching the intro or designing my character). It seemed like the last part of my 1 hour was the same as the very beginning of my 1 hour. In short, the game was feeling very 'samey' the entire time I played it, albeit short time. Am I missing something here? Did I NOT give the game a fair shake by putting it down after just 1 hour?

If I'm right but there is no wife around to acknowledge it, am I still right?
TheMadGamer is offline

TheMadGamer

TheMadGamer's Avatar
SasqWatch

#4

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Oregon
Posts: 2,015

Default 

January 23rd, 2013, 20:11
The monsters change and become more difficult, the puzzles and traps get more elaborate, the levels become more intricate, but it's mostly the same gameplay. It's for those who like puzzles, secrets, and grid based combat.
Thrasher is offline

Thrasher

Thrasher's Avatar
Wheeee!
RPGWatch Donor

#5

Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Studio City, CA
Posts: 10,152

Default 

January 23rd, 2013, 23:09
Originally Posted by TheMadGamer View Post
I bought LoG and played it for an hour (not counting watching the intro or designing my character). It seemed like the last part of my 1 hour was the same as the very beginning of my 1 hour. In short, the game was feeling very 'samey' the entire time I played it, albeit short time. Am I missing something here? Did I NOT give the game a fair shake by putting it down after just 1 hour?
LoG is definitely worth a playthrough if you like dungeon crawlers. To be honest, I'm not usually a big fan of that style of crpg, and I still enjoyed LoG enough to play through it twice.
JDR13 is online now

JDR13

JDR13's Avatar
SasqWatch

#6

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Florida, US
Posts: 18,056

Default 

January 24th, 2013, 03:25
Meh. They left out the most important part for me - Ambiance.
Drithius is online now

Drithius

Drithius's Avatar
Misbegotten Alien

#7

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Florida, USA
Posts: 2,583

Default 

January 24th, 2013, 12:17
Traps and puzzles, yes, but everywhere? No. That's a mistake.

Personally, my favorite part of most any first person game is exploration. Always have a lot of quiet moments where you're not stressing the player, and where he can discover and solve problems at his own pace.

So, I completely disagree with #4 and #5. In fact, I think the whole article is a bit bullshit and should be considered an optional partially useful guide at best.

Cluttering all levels with endless timed/math puzzles is a very poor substitute for quality exploration and intricate riddles based on lore and level consistency, but I guess that's just me.

If you're in doubt about how to pace a dungeon crawler - look towards games like Ultima Underworld, System Shock, Black Crypt and the like. Ignore the subpar crap.
DArtagnan is offline

DArtagnan

DArtagnan's Avatar
Waste of potential

#8

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Denmark
Posts: 14,973
RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » General News - A Recipe for Dungeon Crawlers
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT +2. The time now is 20:26.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright by RPGWatch