It’s almost time to map our dungeon. By that, I mean, I WANT to start mapping our dungeon. But, like everything else in this giant project, we have to figure out how best to do something before we start actually doing it.
Good game design is about understanding incentives. But incentives aren’t enough. Rewards only encourage good behavior. To discourage bad behavior, sometimes you need to beat someone with a stick.
Encapsulation: the art of designing around nonexistent systems and filling in the blanks later. It’s an important skill, but there comes a time when you have to fill in the blanks. Say, by designing a random encounter system for your megadungeon.
They say “variety is the spice of life.” But that’s because they are dumba$&es. Sometimes, the best thing you can do for a game experience is to impose restrictions and limitations.
For all their clever plans, a game designer can only create mechanics. Create them right and the players will experience the grand plan in all its glory. But RPG designers have a lot of screwed up notions when it comes to this simple truism. They don’t even know what game mechanics actually are.
It’s time to wrap up our tour of the entire megadungeon. And with that, it’s also time to wrap up preplanning and figure out where to go from here.
It’s time to take a whirlwind tour of the megadungeon. What does one think about when one starts sketching out the basis for a huge megadungeon map? Everything, of course. Seriously. We think about EVERYTHING.
From spreadsheet to flowchart to map. It’s time to take that bubble diagram and make it resemble an actual physical space. But figuring out how to do that is tricky. Fortunately, I’m an incredible genius who never ever makes mistakes that result in days of lost progress and an article that basically amounts to “I have no update this week, so let’s spend five thousand words talking about my f$&% up.”