Canini

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Hey all!


I have recently replayed The legend of Zelda spirit tracks and phantom hourglass, games that both sort of have a central dungeon that the player returns too multiple times through the game. Now, and this is of course only my subjective opinion, but I felt that I did not enjoy that design choice as much as I could have. This was mostly because the design of the dungeon was kinda dull and you had to go through the same floors multiple times (Phantom Hourglass) or the floors disconnected so that they may as well have belonged to different dungeons (Spirit Tracks) or because of stressful gameplay/time limits (both games).


However, the idea of a central dungeon in the middle of a sprawling overworld greatly intrigues me and I am certain it could be done very well. Besides it makes a lot of sense for the main characters to head straight for the evil overlords main dungeon instead of bungling around a dozen smaller temples first! So, my question is a simple one:


Have any of you experimented with a single main dungeon in rpgmaker or any other engine? If so, what measures did you take to ensure that the player did not become bored? What are your opinion on the aforementioned Zelda games?


Edit:


An idea I personally had was for a world tree type dungeon. That way the dungeon could be have a varied environment with roots, the tree itself, a hidden elf village of some sort, the branches etc.
 
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kovak

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I know it's not about  game, but there'a manga called  Dungeon Meshi and is about a RPG like team going back to the same dungeon that they were before to save the sister of the protagonist. The place is very vivid in terms of creatures and enviroment, they even try to cook using the monsters that they find to save supplies.

IMO it was nice enough to fit in a game that i could enjoy. http://www.mangareader.net/dungeon-meshi


Also there's a game called Darkest Dungeon that's about exploring dungeons with people and they may get insane by the time, you have to manage different actos in order to progress further. It's often common to leave an ufinished dungeon to not loose your current party and resources.
 
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The Mighty Palm

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The Etrian Oddysey series typically takes place in just one big dungeon. A lot of fun in that game is mapping out the floors and learning the layout of the dungeon itself.
BUT the dungeon changes visually as you get deeper. Like in Etrian odyssey 2: the dungeon would change it's scenery every 15 or so floors, going from summer to fall to winter to spring you get the gist of it.

as such, I think a game with only one dungeon would have to change it's visuals up or it'd get boring to look at unless the game was really really short.
 
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Mako Star

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Not a game lol, but...Sword Art Online? Well, the first half of the first season, anyway.


Not RM, obviously, but the first Diablo had one huge mega dungeon. Also not RM, but I might consider Phantasy Star Online similar to that, as well. The "Dungeons" were different aesthetically, but you went to a telepad to get to each one from the Ship(player hub w shops, medic, and bank) so it was essentially like walking into the same dungeon.


I've always liked the idea of that for an RM game, though. Of course, I like dungeon crawlers, in general. I think they're somewhat of an acquired taste.


I imagine you would need to use tons of tilesets in order to keep it looking fresh. I know there's at least a couple people who either have or are working on a code for generating dungeons. And depending on how many objects they can fill up a room with, if it were me, I would rather hand craft every floor. It could be a lot of fun.


Aside from that, there has to be a major major hook. Something completely original or intuitive and intriguing in some sort of gameplay mechanic


And, as long as the tree is mapped well, it could definitely work.


Oh, and you'd have to decide if you also wanted one town/city/central hub for player stuffs, or multiples.


Maybe, go through a few floors, get to a resting point, or w/e?
 

Canini

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And, as long as the tree is mapped well, it could definitely work.


Oh, and you'd have to decide if you also wanted one town/city/central hub for player stuffs, or multiples.


Maybe, go through a few floors, get to a resting point, or w/e?



Personally I would have multiple towns/hubs, just having a single town and a dungeon feels so artificial. The main problem for what I have in mind would be finding plausible reasons for venturing into the overworld and visiting the towns to acquire things needed to tackle the dungeon. A teleportation spell would work, but it feels a little done.
 

Henryetha

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I think most dungeon crawler or roguelike dungeon games are played in 1 single dungeon, but with several stages.


To prevent boredom you can implement some random generation.


As example:


Dungeon goes 10 stages deep, for each stage run a common event which will choose 1 of xx random maps.


Each stage ofc can have several rooms. You can even make every room random, like in binding of isaac.


Anyway, there are def. ways to do it and I think they can turn out even more interesting than the usual scheme.
 

Mako Star

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@Canini You mean "evil things happening for for the sake of evilness" isn't enough of a hook for a dungeon crawler!? /scraps entire project(lol)


No, I get what you mean. There has to be SOMETHING. Even Diablo, although it does just sort of drop you in this little town with a creepy dungeon and says go kill demons...


It does have somewhat of a narrative to go with it. I can think of a few scenarios, myself, for this kind of game, but I'll let you dreamstorm on your own :]


@Henryetha That's different. I never thought of having a common event teleport to a random map. I freaking love that idea, though. I would prefer that over a scripted generator, honestly. Like I said before, more hands on mapping would the maps feel more natural, I feel.
 

Oddball

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when i thought of this i thought of a city in the middle of a big dungeon and the dungeon is the game


then i thought of the movie "the labyrinth"
 
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wintyrbarnes

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A way you could incorporate towns is by having them nested in the branches, maybe in between "gaps" in the dungeon? Like, you finish part of a dungeon and go to the next room... Oh, town miniscene, rest up, restock, etc. then walk across the town to get into the actual next room. In between the two rooms, on the dungeon side of things, maybe there can even be some kind of connection that you can only clear from the other side? 


That would be a great business strategy--just a small town of artisans and alchemists who are all set for life because they make so much gold from adventurers coming through. Or maybe it's just normal towns and usually, the dungeons connecting them are safe to go through without weapons, but suddenly there's a monster infestation so you have to clear all of it out. Or you don't technically have to, but you can do it for extra benefits, like maybe prices in the associated town go down because you're the hero. You could even have miniquests in the areas--monsters stole something from someone, or kidnapped one of the villagers' kids, etc. 


Bonus points: give the towns themes based on what part of the dungeon they're nearby. 
 

Tai_MT

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You want games done well where it's only a single dungeon?


Ultima Underworld:  Stygian Abyss...  Ultima Underworld:  Labyrinth of Worlds.


Both done really well and fantastically for taking place in one long dungeon the entire game.
 

Canini

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@Canini You mean "evil things happening for for the sake of evilness" isn't enough of a hook for a dungeon crawler!? /scraps entire project(lol)


Well that is indeed fine for a dungeon crawler but for a story-driven RPG like the one I had in mind it may fall a bit short.


@Henryetha That's different. I never thought of having a common event teleport to a random map. I freaking love that idea, though. I would prefer that over a scripted generator, honestly. Like I said before, more hands on mapping would the maps feel more natural, I feel.

Really nice idea!

when i thought of this i thought of a city in the middle of a big dungeon and the dungeon is the game


then i thought of the movie "the labyrinth"

Just like the kind of thing I was looking for. Preferably with less David Bowie crotch, though.

That would be a great business strategy--just a small town of artisans and alchemists who are all set for life because they make so much gold from adventurers coming through.

That is a brilliant idea! Mind if I use?
 

Mako Star

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You want games done well where it's only a single dungeon?


Ultima Underworld:  Stygian Abyss...  Ultima Underworld:  Labyrinth of Worlds.


Both done really well and fantastically for taking place in one long dungeon the entire game.

Is there a decent first person script out there for MV, though??? That would be kind of cool.
 
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Dr. Delibird

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Summonknight Swaordcraft (and the sequel) for the GBA are good examples of how to d a one dungeon type of game correctly. I strongly recommend checking them out (at the very least like a youtube playthrough so you can get the feeling of it).


Basically there is only one dungeon with X amount of floors (it is finite but the number only serves as the length of the game more than anything). Whilst there is some amount of going through floors you have already been through there is a teleportation system where some floors have teleporter pads where you can teleport to any other floor with a teleporter pad that you have been to before. Also there are heal points scattered throughout so you don't nescicarily have to do a lot of backtracking if you need healing. I found both games fun however the second one is objectively better despite the fact that the first is my favourite (I still recommend both though).
 

Aurelius

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Shining in the Darkness the first in the Shining Force series took place in one massive dungeon as far as I can remember. That's best left to straight on/first person dungeon crawlers. Which I believe you can do with RPGMaker. The overhead view would maybe make a dungeon crawler too easy in this though. Unless you used some sort of "Fog of War" so you can only see your characters current position and one tile of the four cardinal directions from your character. Would make things interesting. With first person battles. I imagine this could be easily done in RPGmaker. 
 

Amarysse

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Ys Origin is a good single-dungeon RPG. You don't even leave the dungeon for the whole game.


It works well because the dungeon is split into distinct zones with their own theme and boss at the end of each, but the whole thing manages to feel consistent thanks to its art direction and the narrative holding it together.
 

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