Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Epic Dungeon

Yesterday, I posted an article on NonsenseGamer.com (a website I volunteer for) praising the Xbox Live Indie game called Epic Dungeon by Eyehook Games. This game took me by surprise with its addicting gameplay and creative design. In my article, I mention how Epic Dungeon has all the classic RPG elements but simplifies battle to just moving towards your enemy. This game makes grinding fun, which to me is an enormous feat. There are four different classes to choose from, each with their own special ability. There are weapons, armor, skills, potions, scrolls, and secret rooms full of gold. And if that's not enough, each level of the dungeon has a randomly generated layout so it never feels repetitive! But, there is one thing that really makes this game stand out: permanent death.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Thinking Out Loud: Games That Adapt

I've been very busy recently organizing a D&D campaign with a few friends of mine. I've been appointed DM and have been working on developing a world for my players to explore. If any of you have been a DM before you know that things don't always go according to plan. You may have a set path for your adventurers but they always seem to get distracted one way or another. As a DM, you have to be able to adapt quickly and try to steer your players in the right direction. If you simply put up a road block they might get frustrated so your steering has to be subtle. And no matter how fleshed out your world is, no matter how detailed your NPCs are, the players WILL catch you off guard. They may ask a question you didn't think of before, or find an alternate route around a certain problem. As a DM you are forced to "wing it" in order to keep the game flowing nicely.

You are probably wondering, "What does this have to do with video games?" As I've been preparing my campaign, it has forced me to do a lot of thinking.  Video games have tried to create D&D experiences for quite some time and while some are excellent games there is something missing from all of them: an adaptable DM.