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  • Results from Game Design Challenge: LCD Gamesystem

    [08.24.10]
    - GameCareerGuide.com staff

  • Logan Neufeld, Programming Student, Neumont University, Dungeon Explorer

    Dungeon Explorer is a typical dungeon crawler game reduced to its most basic components. The player traverses a maze-like, multi-level dungeon battling hordes of monsters while getting better and better equipment.

    The controls are simple: a d-pad for moving between rooms and targeting enemies, a sword attack button, and a magic attack button. The player has a relatively large number of stats, at least for an LCD game:

    • Attack indicates the amount of damage dealt by the sword attack.
    • Defense indicates the amount of damage subtracted from enemy attacks.
    • Magic indicates the amount of damage the magic attack does to each enemy. A higher magic stat also reduces how many magic points the magic attack uses.
    • Health indicates how many health points the player has left.
    • Magic Points indicates how many magic points the player has left.
    • Level indicates the current difficulty, level of the dungeon the player is on, and score multiplier for any points earned.
    • Score indicates... the player's score.

    As the player wanders around the dungeon, he or she can encounter both items and enemies. Items include such things as food to restore health, potions to restore magic points, gems to increase the player's score, and upgrades to attack, defense, and magic. Each level is guaranteed to contain at least two upgrades, one in the boss room and one a random room. As level gets higher, the chances of finding more items increased to compensate for the increasing difficulty.


    The player can encounter anywhere from 0 to 3 enemies in any particular room, in addition to a boss enemy. Whenever the player encounters one or more enemies, the player must beat all enemies in the room before he or she can leave it. The battle takes turns between the player and the enemies. During the player's turn, he or she can target an enemy with d-pad and attack it with the sword attack or attack all enemies with the magic attack. Once the battle is over, the player automatically takes and uses any needed items in the room. Each time a boss it beaten, the level goes up by one and the floor is reset with a new layout, items, and enemies.

    The layout of each floor is randomly determined, as is the placement of enemies and items. After a player has cleared a room, he or she can travel to any adjacent room, including the previous one, in the event of a dead end. If a player travels through a room containing items that weren't previously used and the player now needs them, the items will be automatically used. Items will never randomly spawn in a previously traversed room, but enemies occasionally will.

    Dungeon Explorer is perfect for dungeon crawlers and rogue-like fans that are often on the move. Dungeon Explorer is also great for gamers that enjoy small simple games that do not rely on reaction time.

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