RMMV Dungeon Crawler w/ a few twist

Sajai-D-Halo

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Hey hey there everyone!

I want to share the story direction of my game to gauge whether it would be okay to discuss it on this site. From what I've read, this is a 13+ zone. My concern is more-so about the heavy concepts that'll be explored and the bleak tone of the narrative. Trauma plays a huge part for my characters throughout the game. For any that are interested, please have a look below. *Disclaimer, the following contains controversial content-- viewer discretion advised!*

The premise is that a teenage girl named Gabriella Dravega (Gabby is her nickname) is kidnapped by a warrior guild to be made into a recruit against her will. As a result of being disliked and tricked by the other recruits, she is sent to 'Brats' Basement'-- a monster-invested dungeon used to scare the kids into compliance. There is danger and ugly secrets throughout the three levels that'll convey information to the player about the world's past and the dungeon itself.

The point of the game is that Gabby learns to use traps throughout the dungeon in order to weaken enemies before fighting them head on. Later on, the player will unlock an honor system between Gabby and a set number of monsters that may help out in combat. In terms of violence-- there's not much outside of standard RPG combat. I do want to use CTB as my system however. Cruel acts done by antagonists are the story's focus. Also, religion is another plot element within my story and it's handled a little unconventionally. The simple version is that my story takes place in a Post-Apocalyptic society with religion being tied heavily to it. There is more details regarding the combat and a few other things too but before any of that, I just want to hear any thoughts about this concept. Additionally, when making a dungeon crawler-- what should I be aware of the most during development?
 

Wavelength

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Yes, your game is fine to discuss on this site. As long as you don't discuss the 'cruel acts' in very graphic, lurid detail, mentioning them as you talk about your game is fine. The "No 18+" rule is to forbid content that is explicitly pornographic, highly gory, or inflammatory from being posted.

Dungeon crawlers are one of the easier genres to create, so there aren't too many huge pitfalls that you have to watch out for during development, but here are a few things you might want to keep in mind:
  • Placemaking is really important - give that dungeon a lot of personality and make sure that each area of it feels a little different. Unlike in some other genres (Platformers, epic RPGs, Party Games), dungeon crawlers tend not to have a large diversity in activities as you play, so the burden falls on placemaking to provide that diversity and surprise. Halls full of samey corridors are no bueno!
  • As you design the gameplay, consider whether you want your challenge to mostly come in the acute form (where any given battle has the threat to kill you) or the chronic form (where the purpose of battles is to chip away at the player's resources, and most deaths come from running empty on resources). Design your enemies, encounter length, healing systems, items, save points, and special mechanics around that form of challenge.
  • Aside from story development, one thing that really gives dungeon crawlers a sense of purpose is building up your character's stats/skills/talents. Offer lots of reasons to delve into little nooks and crannies in the dungeon, and to battle as many enemies as the player can, in the form of upgrades to your character(s). That will keep the player truckin' even in the bits where the story is lean. If the player can make long-term decisions like building up one path or another in a skill tree, that also adds a lot of Expression and replay value to your game, which is wonderful to have.
 

Sajai-D-Halo

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Yes, your game is fine to discuss on this site. As long as you don't discuss the 'cruel acts' in very graphic, lurid detail, mentioning them as you talk about your game is fine. The "No 18+" rule is to forbid content that is explicitly pornographic, highly gory, or inflammatory from being posted.

Dungeon crawlers are one of the easier genres to create, so there aren't too many huge pitfalls that you have to watch out for during development, but here are a few things you might want to keep in mind:
  • Placemaking is really important - give that dungeon a lot of personality and make sure that each area of it feels a little different. Unlike in some other genres (Platformers, epic RPGs, Party Games), dungeon crawlers tend not to have a large diversity in activities as you play, so the burden falls on placemaking to provide that diversity and surprise. Halls full of samey corridors are no bueno!
  • As you design the gameplay, consider whether you want your challenge to mostly come in the acute form (where any given battle has the threat to kill you) or the chronic form (where the purpose of battles is to chip away at the player's resources, and most deaths come from running empty on resources). Design your enemies, encounter length, healing systems, items, save points, and special mechanics around that form of challenge.
  • Aside from story development, one thing that really gives dungeon crawlers a sense of purpose is building up your character's stats/skills/talents. Offer lots of reasons to delve into little nooks and crannies in the dungeon, and to battle as many enemies as the player can, in the form of upgrades to your character(s). That will keep the player truckin' even in the bits where the story is lean. If the player can make long-term decisions like building up one path or another in a skill tree, that also adds a lot of Expression and replay value to your game, which is wonderful to have.
I highly appreciate this input. I'll bear these in mind moving forward. I'm halfway finished with the intro already but haven't gotten to any of the dungeon parts yet. Thanks :rhappy:
 

SolonWise

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I really like dungeon crawlers, and as Wavelength said, it's not hard to make a game like this. One thing that make dungeon crawlers shine is the replay value, so I think you should give the player choices that can really change something in the game, like Gabby statuses or even the game ending. The character need to be also very balanced, and it would be cool if the player could choose Gabby's class. I mean, I like to play with mages, but there is a lot of people that like to play with warriors. Random treasure chest items is also encouraged. Ultimately, I think you can do everything at your disposal to make each new game unique.

Good luck, my friend!
 

Sajai-D-Halo

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Thank very much, SolonWise!

I was actually thinking of doing something along the lines of that (endings that the player can influence). The stats thing is a great idea though; I had it in the system already but now I'm going to see what I can get out of it seriously now. Seeing you mention these has solidified some directions I considered taking. Arigato!

EDIT: I made a video of me playing through the completed rough outline-design of the first 15 minutes of my game. Would it be fine if I shared that video here? I would love to grab some feedback; I feel I've arrived at a checkpoint so-to-speak, so I want to take a moment to assess my current direction. Thanks :rhappy:
 
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Sajai-D-Halo

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Hey hey peoples!

Here is a link showing the rough draft outline of the first 15 mins of my game so far. This took about six weeks I think; any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks! This is still very much a prototype but this is the skeleton for what I'm trying to create as of now. (If you'd like to skip past the credit section, just click up to 1:35 on the video.)

 
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SolonWise

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@Sajai-D-Halo I've just watched the video and I gotta say: It's a very interesting concept. It's like a terror thriller, with a young and scared girl trapped in a place with a lot of danger, and she cannot even see the sunlight. I find your writing good as well, and all the characters have a lot of face expressions. I usually don't do this in my projects, but I know that when it's well made, the dialogues are much more interesting.

I don't know if you are planning to do a giant project, or a small one, with only 3 to 5 hours of gameplay. If this is your first project, I recommend you keep it short and simple. Either way, I wish you luck!
 

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