Dungeon Master is in! And Wii U is a new stretch goal.
Due to backer demand, we've shifted our development priorities to include Dungeon Master mode as a standard feature if we reach our $80,000 goal.
Dungeon Master Mode
Dungeon Master Mode allows for one player to assume the role of The Wizard. The Dungeon Master (DM) will be able to control the course of an adventure with our most certainly D.E.F. system. And what does DEF stand for? Dungeon, Enemies, and Fate.
The DM will be able to control the following factors of the dungeon:
- Tile Set - which tile set the adventurers will visit next
- Population - how densely the enemy population will be
- Clutter - the amount of props placed in the level
- Size - how big the level will be
- Theme - whether the enemies and props that spawn are restricted by tile set or all-inclusive
The DM will control all enemy characters otherwise played by the AI. The DM assumes control of the NPC the moment it is engaged in combat.
This is the big one! Fate allows the Dungeon Master to affect the game in a variety of ways. The DM can spawn enemies, create Challenge Portals, set special conditions, aid players, destroy props, and use special DM-only abilities. In order to affect the game in this way, the DM draws from three different pools, Salvation, Torment, and Tribute.
They are gained in the following ways:
- Salvation: Gained when player characters suffer damage, are defeated, or progress through the dungeon at a rapid pace
- Torment: Gained when players defeat enemies
- Tribute: Gained when players defeat enemies and overcome challenges
They are used in the following ways:
- Salvation: Kill enemies, weaken enemies, heal/resurrect players, strengthen players
- Torment: *ENACT CHALLENGES. Spawn enemies, strengthen enemies, teleport enemies, damage players, place restrictions on players
- Tribute: Grant Experience Points, gold, or items to players
*Challenges are special sets of rules that a DM can place on a single level or an entire run. These challenges come with Experience and Tribute bonuses. A few examples:
- Hardcore: Players are not brought back to life at the end of combat
- No Consumables: Potions, grenades, and other single-use items cannot be used
- Monkey Wrench: Vending Machines are OUT OF ORDER!
- No Regeneration: Players are not healed at the end of combat
- Speed: Set a timer for the completion of a level.
- Like a Boss: Increase the number of bosses
- Entrapment: More traps
- Hand of Fate: Players MUST complete a *Challenge Portal before proceeding to the next level
- Horde: Enemies continue to spawn based on a timer
We'll discuss Challenge Portals in an upcoming update!
These are the basic mechanics of the Dungeon Master system, but we want to encourage players to take it beyond basic gameplay. Our intent is to allow it to be used as creatively as possible and to facilitate rich player interaction that's so central to Pen and Paper games.
Here's a potential scenario and how the Dungeon Master System might work:
A team of adventurers are fighting an Abominable Snowman! It's weak to fire, but none of them can deal that kind of damage. One of the players, either through voice or text chat, spots a bubbling cauldron nearby and says:
"I tip the cauldron over and melt the Snowman!"
The DM can respond in a number of ways.
- Destroy the cauldron, kill the Snowman, and reward the player for their creativity
- Deal heat damage to the player and say: "You burninated yourself, sorry!"
- Destroy the cauldron, kill the Snowman, and spawn a Vengeful Ice Ghost!
- Or any other possibility you can imagine.
This system is still in its conceptual phase, but we hope you can start to see its potential. We welcome feedback as we move forward with its design!
Wii U - New Stretch Goal
Again, thanks to your feedback, we've altered our development priorities and begun the process of becoming official Wii U developers.
We own a Wii U ourselves and would love to bring Popup Dungeon to the system. Obviously, the prospect of having the Dungeon Master play on the controller's screen while the adventurers play on the main monitor/television is tantalizing!
We'll do our best to make this happen, but for the time being, it must remain a stretch goal.
Today's shout out goes to Four-Sided Fantasy, a mind-bending puzzler with a beautiful art style that literally challenges the boundaries of the screen!
Check out this video of the game mechanics in action: