Dungeon crawl

Last updated
A dungeon map created for a tabletop roleplaying game Warrek's Nest.jpg
A dungeon map created for a tabletop roleplaying game

A dungeon crawl is a type of scenario in fantasy role-playing games in which heroes navigate a labyrinthine environment (a "dungeon"), battling various monsters, avoiding traps, solving puzzles, and looting any treasure they may find. Because of its simplicity, a dungeon crawl can be easier for a gamemaster to run than more complex adventures, and the "hack and slash" style of play is appreciated by players who focus on action and combat. However dungeon crawls often lack meaningful plot or logical consistency.

Fantasy Genre of literature, film, television and other artforms

Fantasy is a genre of speculative fiction set in a fictional universe, often inspired by real world myth and folklore. Its roots are in oral traditions, which then became literature and drama. From the twentieth century it has expanded further into various media, including film, television, graphic novels, manga and video games.

Role-playing game Game in which players assume the roles of characters in a fictional setting

A role-playing game is a game in which players assume the roles of characters in a fictional setting. Players take responsibility for acting out these roles within a narrative, either through literal acting, or through a process of structured decision-making regarding character development. Actions taken within many games succeed or fail according to a formal system of rules and guidelines.

Labyrinth maze-like structure from Greek mythology

In Greek mythology, the Labyrinth was an elaborate, confusing structure designed and built by the legendary artificer Daedalus for King Minos of Crete at Knossos. Its function was to hold the Minotaur, the monster eventually killed by the hero Theseus. Daedalus had so cunningly made the Labyrinth that he could barely escape it after he built it.

Contents

The first computer-based dungeon crawl was pedit5 , developed in 1975 by Rusty Rutherford on the PLATO interactive education system based in Urbana, Illinois. Although this game was quickly deleted from the system, several more like it appeared, including dnd and Moria .

<i>pedit5</i> 1975 video game

pedit5, alternately called The Dungeon is a 1975 dungeon crawl video game developed for the PLATO system by Rusty Rutherford. It is considered to be the first example of a dungeon crawl game, believed only to be preceded by a game named m199h listed among some PLATO lesson lists but which no copies exist to affirm.

PLATO (computer system) mainframe computer system

PLATO was the first generalized computer-assisted instruction system. Starting in 1960, it ran on the University of Illinois' ILLIAC I computer. By the late 1970s, it supported several thousand graphics terminals distributed worldwide, running on nearly a dozen different networked mainframe computers. Many modern concepts in multi-user computing were originally developed on PLATO, including forums, message boards, online testing, e-mail, chat rooms, picture languages, instant messaging, remote screen sharing, and multiplayer video games.

<i>dnd</i> (video game) 1975 role-playing video game

dnd is a role-playing video game. The name dnd is derived from the abbreviation "D&D" from the original tabletop role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons, which was released in 1974.

Some[ who? ] distinguish "dungeon crawlers" from rogue-likes and RPGs with stories and character-interaction, and consider any game which features ample amounts of dungeon exploration (including Zork, Zelda, and tabletop RPGs) to be dungeon crawls. More recently, 1st person RPGs, particularly ones which are aligned to a grid system and can be mapped on graph paper, have also been considered dungeon crawl games.

Roguelike subgenre of role-playing video games

Roguelike is a subgenre of role-playing video game characterized by a dungeon crawl through procedurally generated levels, turn-based gameplay, tile-based graphics, and permanent death of the player character. Most roguelikes are based on a high fantasy narrative, reflecting their influence from tabletop role playing games such as Dungeons & Dragons.

<i>Zork</i> video game series

Zork is one of the earliest interactive fiction computer games, with roots drawn from the original genre game Colossal Cave Adventure. The first version of Zork was written between 1977 and 1979 using the MDL programming language on a DEC PDP-10 computer. The authors—Tim Anderson, Marc Blank, Bruce Daniels, and Dave Lebling—were members of the MIT Dynamic Modelling Group.

<i>The Legend of Zelda</i> video game series

The Legend of Zelda is a fantasy action-adventure video game franchise created by Japanese game designers Shigeru Miyamoto and Takashi Tezuka. It is primarily developed and published by Nintendo, although some portable installments and re-releases have been outsourced to Capcom, Vanpool, and Grezzo. The series' gameplay incorporates action-adventure and elements of action RPG games.

Dungeons & Dragons

Dungeon crawls in the role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons were influenced by J. R. R. Tolkien's The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings , the Lankhmar short stories by Fritz Leiber, and by the "Cugel" stories from the Dying Earth books by Jack Vance. [1]

<i>Dungeons & Dragons</i> Fantasy role-playing game

Dungeons & Dragons is a fantasy tabletop role-playing game (RPG) originally designed by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson. It was first published in 1974 by Tactical Studies Rules, Inc. (TSR). The game has been published by Wizards of the Coast since 1997. It was derived from miniature wargames, with a variation of the 1971 game Chainmail serving as the initial rule system. D&D's publication is commonly recognized as the beginning of modern role-playing games and the role-playing game industry.

J. R. R. Tolkien British philologist and author, creator of classic fantasy works

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was an English writer, poet, philologist, and academic, who is best known as the author of the classic high fantasy works The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion.

<i>The Hobbit</i> Fantasy novel by J. R. R. Tolkien

The Hobbit, or There and Back Again is a children's fantasy novel by English author J. R. R. Tolkien. It was published on 21 September 1937 to wide critical acclaim, being nominated for the Carnegie Medal and awarded a prize from the New York Herald Tribune for best juvenile fiction. The book remains popular and is recognized as a classic in children's literature.

According to Gary Gygax (in an interview with Dungeon #112), the first dungeon crawl was part of a wargame in which the invading force entered the enemy's castle through a former escape tunnel dug from the fortress's dungeon. The group had so much fun with this scenario that it was repeated over and over with increasingly complex dungeons until the wargame aspect of the game was dropped in favor of exploring the dungeon.

Gary Gygax American writer and game designer

Ernest Gary Gygax was an American game designer and author best known for co-creating the pioneering role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) with Dave Arneson.

<i>Dungeon</i> (magazine) Magazine related to the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game

Dungeon was one of the two official magazines targeting consumers of the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game and associated products; Dragon was the other.

For pen and paper role-playing games, visual aids such as maps, models, or miniature figures are often used to represent the landscape of a dungeon crawl.

Video games

Crawl, a roguelike dungeon game Crawl screenshot 6.png
Crawl , a roguelike dungeon game

Due to their potential for simplicity and the limited expectations most players have for plot and logical consistency in dungeon crawls, they are fairly popular in role-playing video games. [ citation needed ] The roguelike genre is a common and typical example, with endless procedurally generated dungeon terrain and randomly placed monsters and treasures scattered throughout.

Computer games and series from the 1980s, such as Wizardry , The Bard's Tale , Cosmic Soldier , Might and Magic , Megami Tensei , Phantasy Star , Dungeon Master , Madō Monogatari and Gauntlet , helped set the genre's standards, while the primitive graphics were actually conducive to this style, due to the need for repetitive tiles or similar-looking graphics to create effective mazes. Some dungeon crawlers from this era also employed action role-playing game combat, such as Dragon Slayer and The Tower of Druaga .[ citation needed ]

Variations on the dungeon crawl trope can be found in other genres. Recent years have seen a modest resurgence in their popularity, particularly in Japan, largely due to the success of the Etrian Odyssey series by Atlus. [2]

First-person party-based dungeon crawlers

An in-game screenshot from Legend of Grimrock a first-person tile-based dungeon crawler in the style of Dungeon Master. In the center of the image, the view into the Dungeon. On the right, the open inventory of a party member. Legend of Grimrock screenshot 01.jpg
An in-game screenshot from Legend of Grimrock a first-person tile-based dungeon crawler in the style of Dungeon Master . In the center of the image, the view into the Dungeon. On the right, the open inventory of a party member.

This subgenre consists of RPGs where the player leads a party of adventurers in first-person perspective, typically in a grid-based environment. Examples include the aforementioned Wizardry, Might and Magic and Bard's Tale series; as well as the Etrian Odyssey and Elminage series. Games of this type are also known as "blobbers", since the player moves the entire party around the playing field as a single unit, or "blob". [4] [5]

Most "blobbers" are turn-based, but some games such as the Dungeon Master , Legend of Grimrock and Eye of the Beholder series are played in real-time. Early games in this genre lack an automap feature, forcing players to draw their own maps in order to keep track of their progress. Spatial puzzles are common, and players may have to, for instance, move a stone in one part of the level in order to open a gate in another part of the level.[ citation needed ]

Instance dungeon

In massively multiplayer online games, an instance is a special area, typically a dungeon, that generates a new copy of the location for each group, or for certain number of players, that enters the area. [6] Instancing, the general term for the use of this technique, [6] addresses several problems encountered by players in the shared spaces of virtual worlds, but also sacrifices the social element of shared spaces, and the feeling of realistic immersion in that virtual world. They also tend to be a lot smaller and more linear.

See also

Related Research Articles

<i>Wizardry</i> video game series

Wizardry is a series of role-playing video games, developed by Sir-Tech, which were highly influential in the evolution of modern role-playing video games. The original Wizardry was a significant influence on early console role-playing games such as Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest. Originally made for the Apple II, the games were later ported to other platforms. The last game in the original series by Sir-Tech was Wizardry 8, released in 2001. There have since been various spin-off titles released only in Japan.

A role-playing video game is a video game genre where the player controls the actions of a character immersed in some well-defined world. Many role-playing video games have origins in tabletop role-playing games and use much of the same terminology, settings and game mechanics. Other major similarities with pen-and-paper games include developed story-telling and narrative elements, player character development, complexity, as well as replayability and immersion. The electronic medium removes the necessity for a gamemaster and increases combat resolution speed. RPGs have evolved from simple text-based console-window games into visually rich 3D experiences.

An adventure is either a published or otherwise written collection of plot, character, and location details used by a gamemaster to manage the plot or story in a role-playing game. Each adventure is based upon a particular gaming genre and is normally designed for use with a specific game or gaming system. However, skilled gamemasters can often convert an adventure to different game systems, and many adventures are designed with such conversions in mind.

<i>Wizardry: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord</i> 1985 video game

Wizardry: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord is the first game in the Wizardry series of role-playing video games. It was developed by Andrew Greenberg and Robert Woodhead. In 1980, Norman Sirotek formed Sir-Tech Software, Inc. and launched a Beta version of the product at the 1980 Boston Computer Convention. The final version of the game was released in 1981.

History of role-playing games

The history of role-playing games begins with an earlier tradition of role-playing, which combined with the rulesets of fantasy wargames in the 1970s to give rise to the modern role-playing game. A role-playing game (RPG) is a type of game in which the participants assume the roles of characters and collaboratively create stories. Participants determine the actions of their characters based on their characterization, and the actions succeed or fail according to a system of rules and guidelines. Within the rules, they may improvise freely; their choices shape the direction and outcome of the games.

A random dungeon is a dungeon in a role-playing video game which is procedurally generated by the computer using an algorithm, such that the dungeon is laid out differently every time the player enters it, and a player often never plays through quite the same dungeon twice, as there are innumerable possibilities for how they generate.

<i>Etrian Odyssey</i> (video game) video game

Etrian Odyssey is a 3D dungeon crawler role-playing video game by Atlus for the Nintendo DS.

<i>Etrian Odyssey II</i> video game

Etrian Odyssey II: Heroes of Lagaard is a dungeon crawler role-playing video game by Atlus for the Nintendo DS. Heroes of Lagaard is the sequel to Etrian Odyssey and is followed by Etrian Odyssey III: The Drowned City.

<i>Etrian Odyssey III</i> video game

Etrian Odyssey III: The Drowned City is a 3D dungeon crawler role-playing video game by Atlus for the Nintendo DS. The title was released in Japan on April 1, 2010 and in North America on September 21, 2010. It's a sequel to Etrian Odyssey II: Heroes of Lagaard and is followed by Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan. Players assume the role of a guild leader, adventuring into the labyrinth to fulfill quests.

Western role-playing video games are role-playing video games developed in the Western world, including The Americas and Europe. They originated on mainframe university computer systems in the 1970s, were later popularized by titles such as Ultima and Wizardry in the early- to mid-1980s, and continue to be produced for modern home computer and video game console systems. The genre's "Golden Age" occurred in the mid- to late-1980s, and its popularity suffered a downturn in the mid-1990s as developers struggled to keep up with hardware changes and increasing development costs. A later series of isometric role-playing games, published by Interplay Productions and Blizzard Entertainment, was developed over a longer time period and set new standards of production quality.

<i>Dungeons of Dredmor</i> video game

Dungeons of Dredmor is a roguelike indie game released on July 13, 2011 by Gaslamp Games. The game features tile-based graphics. A DLC release for the game entitled "Realm of the Diggle Gods" was also released later that year. A second DLC called "You Have To Name The Expansion Pack" was released on June 5, 2012. A third DLC called "Conquest of the Wizardlands" was released on August 1, 2012. The game has extensive support for user created modifications.

<i>Legend of Grimrock</i> 2012 video game

Legend of Grimrock is an action role-playing game video game developed and published by Almost Human. The title is a 3D grid-based, real-time dungeon crawler based on the 1987 game Dungeon Master. It was originally released for Microsoft Windows in April 2012, and later ported for OS X and Linux in December 2012 and iOS in May 2015.

<i>Crawl</i> (video game) 2014 roguelike brawler video game

Crawl is a brawler indie game by Australian developer Powerhoof. Up to four players and bots in local multiplayer advance through randomly generated dungeons with one player as the hero and the others as spirits who possess traps and monsters in the environment to kill and thus replace the hero. The game received a Steam Early Access release for Microsoft Windows, OS X, and Linux platforms in August 2014, and a full release for those three as well as PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in April 2017 and a release for Nintendo Switch on December 19, 2017.

<i>Etrian Mystery Dungeon</i> Video game for the Nintendo 3DS

Etrian Mystery Dungeon is a role-playing video game for the Nintendo 3DS. It was developed by Spike Chunsoft and Atlus, and published by Atlus in Japan on March 5, 2015 and in North America on April 7, 2015. It was published by NIS America in Europe on September 11, 2015.

<i>Etrian Odyssey</i> video game series

Etrian Odyssey is a dungeon crawler role-playing video game series. It is primarily developed and published by Atlus and currently owned by Sega. By 2016, the series had sold a combined total of 1.5 million copies worldwide.

StarCrawlers is a dungeon crawler and role-playing game that was released for Windows, macOS, and SteamOS on 24 May 2017. It was the first game produced by Juggernaut Games, which funded it using a Kickstarter. It is set in a sci-fi universe with cyberpunk elements, and features a mixture of pre-built and procedurally generated content. The game aims to revitalise dungeon-crawlers as a genre, billing itself as a "modern take on a classic cRPG dungeon crawler", and is available on Steam or GOG.

<i>Grimoire: Heralds of the Winged Exemplar</i>

Grimoire: Heralds of the Winged Exemplar is a dungeon-crawling role-playing video game developed by Australian studio Golden Era Games. The game was released for Windows on August 4, 2017. The project had been assumed to be vaporware having been in development for more than 20 years. Grimoire features "old-school" qualities, such as turn-based combat and blobber gameplay, with a whimsical fantasy style with influences from other genres.

References

  1. DeVarque, Aardy. "Literary Sources of D&D". Archived from the original on July 21, 2007. Retrieved 2007-02-23.
  2. Parish, Jeremy (2011-09-15). "TGS: Beyond the Labyrinth is Beautiful But Puts the "Crawl" in "Dungeon-Crawler." (Nintendo 3DS) - Konami's new 3DS RPG is probably too specific to Japanese tastes to come to the U.S." 1UP.com. Archived from the original on 28 November 2011. Retrieved 16 September 2011.
  3. Edge Staff (2012-04-12). "Legend Of Grimrock review". Edge . Retrieved 2012-05-09.
  4. Cobbett, Richard (December 5, 2016). "The RPGs of 2017". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Retrieved 2017-05-22.
  5. Pepe, Felipe (June 25, 2015). "CRPG History Abridged - 21 RPGs that brought something new to the table". Gamasutra. UBM. Retrieved 2017-05-22.
  6. 1 2 Simon Carless (2004). Gaming hacks. O'Reilly Media. p. 112. ISBN   978-0-596-00714-0. A term used to describe a private portion of a gameworld created just for an individual or group of players.