Week 11 Game Details

Entry created on April 2nd 2020.

Today my partner and I continued to work on the ideas for our game Escape the Dungeon. The first thing that we did was look back at the ideas we came up with on Tuesday and start to iterate based on them.

Here are the changes we decided to make and new things we decided to add:

  • Game will have 1 exit in the middle and players start there and explore outwards.
  • Changed that traps will kill players, traps will either stop a character’s movement for a full turn cycle or something different. Since killing players is too simple and easy of a win condition and can also lead to a stalemate.
  • Game will generally be for around 3-5 players.
  • Each player will have one character instead of multiples.
  • Rooms can have events that can be beneficial, such as possibly swap the positions of two characters on the board.
  • Items are owned by players instead of characters since with characters holding items could get rid of any desire to explore with any character other than your own.
  • Secret objectives that could grant a player bonuses such as once certain rooms are found, they can get an item card.
  • Could have items that can prevent movement of a character instead of traps.
  • Some event of certain circumstances being met could cause the exit to become available, or have the exit open after a certain amount of turns.

We then created a better description of the game itself:

A mixture of rouge-like dungeon crawlers like The Binding of Isaac and mysterious games of uncertainty like Clue or Werewolf. Escape the Dungeon takes place in a medieval setting where 3-5 players race to get their secret character out. More characters on the board than players will add another layer of uncertainty to the guessing game. Players will roll dice to move and randomly generate the dungeon as they explore, collecting items and triggering events. Certain items will help the players control the characters’ movement and position, while certain items will help them hinder other players. To leave the dungeon, the player must collect 3 keys and activate the event to make the exit available. Other events will allow players to swap character positions, or force every characters’ movements a certain direction. Characters are distinguished by their personalities or occupations. For example: Knight, Archer, Mage, Thief, Outcast, Squire, etc.

For the experience of this game, we decided we wanted players to feel a sense of uncertainty and distrust as to whose character is which and the generation of the dungeon. Players would get a sense of randomness as they explore the dungeon and get to feel agency over getting advantages for themselves and slowing down the other players.

A turn would generally go like so; each player rolls two dice. They can move one character with each dice. If they roll a double, (two “2’s”) then they can move one character the additive amount. When a character enters a doorway, the player who moved their character draws a board piece from a pile and chooses its orientation. 

What we would generally need for this game:

  • Board Pieces 
  • 8 Character Pieces – 3-5 players
  • Item Cards
  • Two D4 (?) A D6(?)

What we think are the key mechanics:

  • At the beginning of every turn, the player rolls two dice. The player may move one character the number on one of the dice, and another character the other.  If the player rolls the same two numbers, they may choose to move one character the additive value of both dice. Players can move any character
  • As the game is played, the dungeon will expand. If a player goes through a door to a new room, that player will draw a random board card and orient it as they choose.
  • Players find items, events, or nothing in new rooms
  • Items are attached to the player, not the character. (this is to encourage character exploration with a character other than your own, such that there is more uncertainty)
  • To escape and win the game the player needs: 3 keys, the escape door open event has passed, their specific character physically reaches the exit

One thought on “Week 11 Game Details

  1. I think this is super interesting and reminds me of Betrayal at the House on the Hill, which people love, but my one question is: what prevents a player from moving the character they need right to the exit, and then the next player finishing the move and winning on their following turn? I really enjoy the idea of being able to move multiple characters around, but usually with that mechanic it’s a cooperative game. I just think that possibility would be insanely frustrating, so it’s something to keep in mind. Overall, seems cool though and I’m interested to see how it plays in real life.

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