Dungeons Interview


posted 11/8/2010 by Charles Husemann
other articles by Charles Husemann
One Page Platforms: PC
PC Gamers might remember an old Bullfrog game called Dungeon Keeper.  In the game you lured heroes to their death by setting up elaborate traps and placing monsters around a dungeon.  Well the folks at Realmforge Studios have taken some of those core ideas and gone a different way with them.  Intrigued we were able to get a few questions about the game answered by the folks working on the game..

Could you please introduce yourself and talk about your role on the project?
Hi, my name is Christian Wolfertstetter and I am Creative Director at Realmforge Studios and currently working on Dungeons.

So the Dungeon Lord is a guy in power who is taken down by his girlfriend. Is there a personal story in here somewhere or just a nice plot line? How did you come up with the idea for the game?
Actually it's just a nice classic plot line – and hopefully letting the player know right away that Dungeons isn't too serious. It's not based on me or anyone else I know.

The main idea of the game was to give an explanation as to why typical RPG-dungeons look the way they do in fantasy games. Why do they always feature treasure and new items, and why are the monsters hard but still beatable for the hero? The game-design of Dungeons is focused on answering these questions.

Dungeons seems a bit like the classic PC game Dungeon Keeper. Can you compare and contrast the two games a bit?
Both of the games place the player in the role of the Dungeon Lord, who is able to customize his own dungeon, and both games have a similar visual appeal, so naturally there are similarities at first glance.

But actually both games have a different focus. In DK you tried to keep your minions happy and build your dungeon according to their behaviors. Heroes were usually only a nuisance you had to get rid of. Dungeons, on the other hand, focuses on heroes, as they provide you with gold and soul energy – both of which you need to build a larger dungeon and thus become more powerful in that dungeon. The interesting twist is that you gain more soul energy from heroes the happier they are, thus you try to build your dungeon according to their specific needs and expectations (e.g. finding treasures, fighting monsters, disarming traps and so on)...
...and only throw them into prison, torture them or sacrifice them afterwards, because that's exactly how you harvest soul energy from happy heroes.

Punishing do-gooders is always fun. Can you talk about the different types of heroes that we’ll be inflicting pain on in the game? What kinds of traps and monsters will we have at our disposal?
A dungeon consists of different levels with more powerful creatures the deeper you get into the dungeon. So it's natural that in the beginning you only deal with weak heroes (newbies) like novices and adventurers. Later there are the typical classes like fighter, mage and thief. In the deepest dungeon levels, even more powerful heroes like paladins and necromancers enter your dungeon.

Just as the heroes become more powerful, so do the monsters. At the beginning there are only skeletons and vampire bats at your disposal, while later in the game you can employ fire creatures and demons against the heroes.
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