It seems that after every game release I come back to one genre which intrigues me: Dungeon games. The strange thing here is that I rarely play these games! They often come with a lot of bells and whistles for stats and character development, and that’s just something that I’m not interested in when playing a game. So it’s safe to say that the last “dungeon” game I enjoyed was actually Gauntlet on the C64.
So since I just released Gunslugs, it’s that time again to dig into doing a Dungeon style prototype. I have some generic ideas on where I want to take this prototype, but also a lot of uncertain area’s, simple because I lack experience with Dungeon and Rogue like games!
This lack of experience, however, should not stop me from doing my own take on what a cool and fun dungeon game should or could be.
I started coding on a couple of different dungeon-generators. I love procedural generated content, and this type of game is really fit for that. There are various ways to generate these dungeon-type levels so I’m still looking for the best solution that fits in with the gameplay I have in mind.
I tried a Cellular Automata approach, basically it generates a cavern system with big area’s and many different connections. Interesting at best, but harder to control if you would like to add doorways and keys.. cause there is a big chance that the player can just take another route and bypass the door!
Next was a simple maze-generation, fun to do, but it’s basically a lot of narrow corridors and far from usable for this game.
A better solution was generation random rooms, meaning random sizes and locations within the full map, and then connecting those rooms with corridors (using path-finding algorithm). It’s what I’m currently using, but it still has some flaws. Corridors are long and stretchy, so partly bringing the same problems as the Maze generation has. Also, some corridors are moving along side each other, basically making it a wider area and sometimes connecting rooms in various ways, thus bringing the problem of the Cellular Automata generation: you might need a key for this door, but you could also take that corridor and enter the room from another side.
These are simply things I have to iron out and can probably be fixed with some more coding. But I’ll have to add some gameplay first to see if and what the best solution would be for my game. For now, we got random dungeons to play around in.
Control feedback needed!
The big problem was doing the control-scheme. I’m designing the game for two methods: Touch controls (phones and tablets) but also normal controllers (bluetooth-controllers, Ouya console, and browser-gameplay to name a few).
So I have to find something that works and is enjoyable on all systems.
And this is where you can help me out! You can grab a copy of the current prototype for Android, give it some “playtime” running around dungeons, and give me feedback on the touch-controls!
Current control scheme: your first touch (and hold) is the center of the joystick, then drag your finger in the direction you want to move. Let go of the screen to remove the joystick and recenter it anywhere you want.
(Tap the top-right corner of the screen to get a new dungeon)