Feb 142013

Things have been moving at great speed over the last couple of weeks, and unfortunately today I don’t have a great picture show for the updated. Graveyards and Ruins are relatively young, and the content is still temporary art.

Found deep in forests, away from roads and friendly towns, Graveyards are a source of danger, treasure, and knowledge for the brave. Unlike the typical dungeon, the environment is open and enemies can come from everywhere. Gravestones and rusted iron fences can impede your path, but the clever Dungeonmans will use them to his advantage in keeping foes at bay and fighting on his terms. Even so, the ground is full of the unquiet dead, and it should be no surprise to see threats bursting up from the earth in an attempt to surround you.

These graveyards also contain various ruins: old mausoleums and small temples that have cracked and fallen with age. Here, stronger groups of foes gather, ancient guardians and soldiers who never figured out that the fight was over. The cracked columns and old statues can provide solid cover for stick-and-move type harriers, or just be a pretty backdrop for armored titans who want to chew through enemies with a two handed weapon.

Careful searching of these graveyards will reveal generous treasure as well as the possibility of even greater danger: the old crypts underneath, sealed long ago but exposed in the fighting. More dungeons!

Mechanically, what does all this mean? Well, here’s the goal for a Graveyard Ruin:

* Graveyard areas that contain organized semi-random layouts of gravestones as well as other graveyard props. The idea is to present some degree of order, even though things are old and entropy has set in.
* Graveyard areas allow for zombies to bust up through the ground from time to time. The player will have some warning about timing and position, and be allowed to react.
* Mausoleum / Ruin sections provide focused encounters with larger and more varied monster packs, though as long as the player stays on the stone they won’t have to worry about monsters breaking through the ground.
* Arrange the graveyard generally so that the best rewards and strongest encounters are far enough from the entrance to feel meaningful.

Word words words words I know. Eventually, pictures. Hopefully, over the course of development and iteration, I’ll hit that goal and make the Graveyard Ruin fights feel totally different from a regular dungeon crawl. We’ll see!

UNTIL THEN why don’t you have an awesome time crushing monsters on your tiny handheld communications device? I am happy to shill for the excellent QuestLord, a dungeon crawl set in the old ways of first person exploration and combat. Grid based maps, a charming world, and tiny pixels doing great big things. QuestLord was built with the same independent fire and spirit that fuels Dungeonmans, except flames for QuestLord were powering someone who can actually make a good game.

Seriously go look at it.

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