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Old 04-14-2010, 06:49 PM   #1
Draygone
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The Official "All Things Dungeon Crawled" Topic

The Recap

One day, I coughed, and Dungeon Crawled was born.



...Okay, it actually existed before then. I just really wanted to make the joke. Here's how it really started:

It came about in August '08, when my computer died and I had nothing better to do. I wanted to see how possible it was to create a "block puzzle" game on RPG Maker 1. In the traditional sense, not very easy, possibly not even possible. (Possibly impossible?) But then I came up with an unusual idea: take advantage of RPGM1's basic features, instead of using a really advanced and complicated trick. I know, right? And instead of having your basic cursor and falling blocks, I could make the idea fit by using a hero and charging monsters. Then you could create combos by simply bumping into the monsters. And... and the goal would be reached if you got enough Exp to defeat the boss at the end. I could just use RPGM1's money to keep track of that. The idea was so simple to create, I had ten levels created in no time. At that point, I decided it would be a good idea to see if anybody would be interest in such a game. I presented this video:



The interest was there, but I wasn't finished showing off, yet. Taking advantage of the way enemies charged at you, I also worked on a puzzle mode. Over ten levels of that, and over ten of the main mode, and I was ready to present a playable demo exclusively at the Mag. Everyone loved the puzzle mode. Everyone thought the main mode was just "okay", though it held promise. The problem was that I actually didn't have any ideas to make the main mode better. The bush obstacle I had in mind was the only obstacle, and there'd simply be more of them in later areas. I didn't want the game to only be about the puzzle mode, but I wound up getting myself so worried about the quality of the game that the motivation to complete it quickly dwindled away, and I took down the demo. While I still have the work-in-progress, the demo no longer exists, and I kinda regret not leaving it up.

Fast-forward over a year later. I've been wanting to try getting back to work on Dungeon Crawled, and decided perhaps that moving it to RPG Maker 2 would be the best move. So I got to work. And let me tell you, it felt oh-so-satisfying when I defeated a slime for the first time. As I continued working on it, I really wanted to show it off. But at the same time, I wanted it to be a big surprise, and not reveal it until it was already almost complete. But I got too excited, and released the video shown earlier. And then a little later, released this screenshot:



Let me say, the RPGM2 version holds a lot more potential than the RPGM1 version. For starters, I won't have to worry about a bush being the only obstacle in the game. For second, I can amp up the difficulty by having the monsters attack you if you dawdle for too long. And of course, I can make it prettier.

Development so far has been interesting. As simple as it was to create on RPGM1, I expected it to be just as simple on RPGM2. Boy, was I wrong. Lots of testing, lots of scripting, and lots of trying to figure out why some enemies tend to die when you're attacking a different enemy. I thought I'd be much furthur along than I am, now. Still, I at least managed to have something to show at MagCon:



By the way, that's my new 'possum toy sitting there at the start of the video. Her name is Molly.


The Current Stuff

I haven't worked on Dungeon Crawled since MagCon. Got other stuff to deal with. But now that MagCon is over, I can be a little less secretive. In fact, I'm considering doing like Damien was and work on my game live on blogTV:

http://www.blogtv.com/people/Draygone/

Not yet, though. Like I said, I've got other stuff to do before I'm able to work on it some more. As far as plans go, here's some of the basics. Keep in mind that what was seen at MagCon is pretty much all I've got right now, so it's anybody's guess how many of my plans will actually come to fruition. (I'll also probably repeat stuff mentioned at MagCon.)

First off, there's the throwaway story, put in simply for the sake of having one. You're the "named hero", and the Demon Lord has kidnapped the princess because he wants to marry her, and you have to go through multiple locations, defeating the Demon Lord's minions and gaining levels so you can defend yourself against each area's commander, until you reach the Demon Lord's stronghold and rescue the princess. And like I've said, instead of crawling through dungeons, the dungeons crawl on you, hence the title "Dungeon Crawled".

As I've (hopefully) clearly demonstrated, the goal is to knock out the enemies in a level to gain enough Exp to defeat the demon leading them at the end. This is accomplished by chaining enemies, attacking a certain type in a row, gaining up to +3 Exp per hit. The chain is broken if you attack a different enemy type, including the dreaded "Expreaper", which will actually take away 10 Exp if you attack it (the equivelant of at least five enemies). You'll also lose 1 Exp if you're attacked by one of the regular enemies. Gotta pay attention, 'cause they'll clue you in to when they'll attack. Though some of their attacks are more subtle than the others. Succeed in defeating the demon leader, you proceed to the next level. If not... well, just watch the MagCon video.

I'm hoping to include multiple difficulty levels in the main mode. Whether I will or not depends on whether I can make each drastic enough (I don't want people going into the hardest difficulty and be all "Eh, I guess it's a little more difficult.") The easiest difficulty, any extra Exp you have at the end of a level will carry over into the next, which gives extra incentive to go after all the enemies. On the hardest difficulty, you won't get any Exp when you hit the first enemy in a chain, you'll only gain Exp when you succeed in chaining enemies. That'll require some more thought into attacking enemies, or else you'll only succeed in wasting your attacks. Also, enemies would be attacking you more frequently in the higher difficulty levels, upwards of every two or three seconds (it depends on how the attack script works out).

There's also the obstacles in the game. Each area would have its own obstacle. The majority of them would act to divert the enemies' paths, though each would be executed in a different way. For example, the first area would have stationary bushes, which would change things up a little, but would still allow you to predict where the enemies will try walking to. The second area, on the other hand, would have wandering sheep. It'd be more difficult to predict where enemies would want to go, but at least movements would be settled once they crowd together enough. I'm not sure if I want it to be possible to kill the sheep or not, or whether they'd affect the score if you could.

Speaking of scoring, I intend to allow keeping track of high scores. Perhaps I'll have a leaderboard in the forums or something. There are two elements in play when adding up scores: Exp and Time. Exp is obvious. The more Exp you have at the end of a level, the higher your score. So even on the higher difficulties, there'll be some incentive to attacking them all. But you'll also want to take Time into consideration. This acts as a bonus to your score. The faster you clear a level, the better the bonus. It takes into account both the "Time" amounted to at the level's completion, and how rapidly you defeat enemies. So, I hope you're real good at chaining enemies.

Along with the main quest, the puzzle mode will of course be making a return. I mentioned that I still had the old RPGM1 version. I'll likely be carrying puzzles across from it. And they'll be plenty more to come with them, hopefully some of them being mind-boggling. Event movement in RPGM2 is different than that of RPGM1, but they're still predictable enough to come up with some interesting ideas. Plus with RPGM2's capabilities, I've come up with a simple little obstacle that would certainly help spice things up, if I use it properly.

I'd also like to create an "endless mode" of sorts. Rather than have a clear-cut goal, you'd just fight until you die. How exactly it'll work, I can't say. I'm way too far off from working on it to be comfortable divulging details. But it's been an idea I had considered even when this was still an RPGM1 project (though it probably wouldn't have worked out as well as I hoped on that). Whether I'll be able to manage it on RPGM2, who knows?

I think that's about it, for now. I'll be trickling more info as I go along. I'll also be sure to let you all know when I've started streaming to blogTV.
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Last edited by Draygone; 04-14-2010 at 11:21 PM.
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Old 04-14-2010, 08:43 PM   #2
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Re: The Official "All Things Dungeon Crawled" Topic

Not sure exactly what you're going for here, but for something seemingly similar (to an extent) to your description (didn't click the Youtube things), check out the DS game called Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes. I think it's coming to PSN and possibly XBLA soon as well.
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Old 04-14-2010, 11:33 PM   #3
Draygone
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Re: The Official "All Things Dungeon Crawled" Topic

Huh. And I thought I was the only one combining RPG elements with puzzle elements. I think what I'm doing is plenty different, though.

You'll want to at least watch the Viddler video from MagCon.
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Old 04-15-2010, 12:13 AM   #4
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Re: The Official "All Things Dungeon Crawled" Topic

This looks like the beginning of a fun little strategy/puzzle RPG.

Must have been a ***** to script.
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Old 04-15-2010, 12:22 AM   #5
Draygone
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Re: The Official "All Things Dungeon Crawled" Topic

Still is.
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Old 04-15-2010, 12:43 AM   #6
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Re: The Official "All Things Dungeon Crawled" Topic

And when I say 'fun little strategy/puzzle RPG' don't take that the wrong way. To me, Azure Dreams was a fun little strategy/puzzle RPG. Torneko was a fun little strategy/puzzle RPG. I don't know why they seem 'little' to me, but I love them.
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Old 04-15-2010, 07:59 AM   #7
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Re: The Official "All Things Dungeon Crawled" Topic

Well, it's not really meant to be a "big" game. Just addictive.
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