How Should Dungeons Work?

With all the forum games, bug reports, and non-stonehearth talks going on (which I love btw), I thought I might steer some creative minds back. Speaking completely unofficially and with no idea what Radiant’s plans are myself, how do you guys think dungeons should work in the game?

Pop into a cave and you’re locked in and unable to look or interact with your town or the outside world again until your guys leave? Should time freeze in the rest of the world while you’re inside? Or should the buildings and projects you had continue real time and be done when you’re out?

Or maybe you can just scroll your camera out (somehow) and back anytime you like?

What do you guys think?

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I don’t think this should be a thing, as then your town would progress, and bad things could happen to your poor unprotected people. However…

This would fix the problem I stated above, but there should be a switchable option. Maybe if you want to challenge yourself, you can have both going at the same time, or have one or the other. So you can storm a dungeon and manage your town, separately or simultaneously.

Instead of having it just scrolling your camera, instead you can focus on different units or groups of people, or maybe even places. Or possibly when you have troops in a dungeon, cave, event, whatever, you can toggle the view points. So you could ‘Toggle Dungeon View’. This could also work with Mining, or any underground (or even overground) exploration, where (I assume) there could be a Miner that you can focus your camera on, and then switch back to your town view to manage that.

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Locking in is bad for the reasons mentioned above but time-freezing would be a problem notably when it came time to deal with anything multiplayer for fairly obvious issues with syncing players at different points in time. That and issues related to being able to get huge amounts done in short times depending on the dungeon. So three potential ideas then

  • It’s all automated. Hard to deal with AI, less interesting potentially but easiest on the player in terms of what they have to deal with.
  • The same way you’ll deal with things like trappers or hunter-y types on trips for animals. Scrolling back and forth a lot? I don’t know how they were planning on dealing with that.
  • Partially automated, choice system. My preferred one currently, while you can watch what’s happening as they wander around exploring like the full automation (small dungeon cam in corner of screen?) there’s choice nodes or something regularly where it’ll pop up asking what to do. Could also work with small puzzles or rooms that you take full control briefly. Allows for interesting stuff in dungeons without taking the majority of your focus a choice system also allows for more complex actions than would normally be supported as you can ask and actual question so that could make things more interesting.

A way to expand the third option could be that you may create a strategy for you people to follow, Like:

  • Always send this guy in first
  • Move in this formation if possible
  • Take a defensive position when attacked
  • Take offensive position when attacked
  • Kill first ask there after
  • And so on…

This would be set op when they enter the dungeon but can always be changed some times there would of course be choices you should make .

Bear with me on this one folks.

My first question is will dungeons be a separate part of the game, or something that can be discovered in the world through exploration? If they are discovered in the world, are they then loaded separately or do they exist as a part of the landscape?

I imagine it would be easier from a gameplay mechanic point of view to manage them separately than if you simply uncovered them during exploration?

For example rather than just stumbling across them, you could have certain quests and events that uncover dungeons, perhaps you could have a “dungeon” menu, which supplies you with information regarding the dungeon - enemy type and strength, size, loot potential etc. Information that could be made more accurate through scouting.

You could then arrange a band of merry warriors to go out and seek riches and fame within these dungeons. You could then either automate the whole thing, or get involved with it, of course if you choose to automate then your loot return would be lower, and you potentially run a higher risk of your units returning injured or killed.

This would break the immersion slightly though, you’d perhaps not have as many stories to tell and dungeons would potentially feel rather throwaway compared to if you uncovered them through exploration and had to think about how to approach them.

Overall … I don’t envy Team R on this one, definitely a lot of stuff to think through, I like @Xavion’s idea here:

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Has anyone played FF: My life as a king?

If so, what did you think of that way of playing, you send out adventurers
and they can complete or fail their task.

All great ideas and valid points but I can’t say I’m a fan of the automated system.

I love the idea of setting up all your tasks for the day and then grabbing a group of guy you have outfitted with great and expensive gear and go running out in the world in search of adventure. Coming back the next morning having camped out to see those buildings on their way and the stock replenished.

I like the idea of setting up camp in front of a cave, letting your adventurers chill while you scroll the camera back to your village and set things up. Then pick them up, prep up and dive in. A nice little break/diversion from the game and the impact of seeing the sky again after not being able to is always a really cool little moment. Hmmm. But how to make it work?

I love the idea of a button that let’s you swap back to your village but to make it more difficult, the adventurers can only do it when they reach certain rest areas (cough! bonfires! cough!) or are a equipped with a tent and camping gear? Maybe the better the gear, the more recovery they get when you swap back! I’m a genius. I’m making my own game now called…er…Rubber…Fireplace.

With automated, it feels like it becomes a different game, doesn’t it? Suddenly the world shrinks and doesn’t feel so big and explorable anymore. I don’t know?

Plenty of cool ideas here though! Keep em coming! :smile:


But that where my and @Xavion ideas would be great because you have influence on the more important decision and still can put up the strategy for what they should do.
The fun thing about this is that you will not have the full control over you people but you can still make decisions and plans for how stuff should work. The FUN part begins when you can sit and scream at your screen. while your party kills the first friendly creature they meet because of the strategy you made.

The campfires gives me a new idea the strategy you put should only be changeable when they camp. :slight_smile:

I really like the teams take on micromanagement and i think that we should do the same thing with dungeons.

I think when you view it, to make it easier, you should only be able to see the farther walls, and what about fog of war in dungeons?

to me, it really boils down to how Team Radiant will view a “dungeon crawl”…

is it an opportunity to explore an entirely new area of the map (either as a unique instance or as part of the existing terrain)? or is it simply another version of a resource node that a wandering unit can “interact” with (a means to capture potentially rare loot)?

if it’s the former, then I think that’s best handled with units you have more precise control over (combat, exploratory)… how the transition to and exploration of a particular dungeon is handled is… … why we’re discussing this… :smile:

if it’s the latter (dungeons treated as a “resource node”), then the random roll approach makes more sense to me… “Your units have discovered the remnants of an ancient ruin. dice roll Bram Hamhands has received a Iron Warhammer of Dooom!”

I would think that how Dungeons (Or underground exploring in general) should work is, There’s the “Overworld” area, which we see now in the Alpha, But you can find or create tunnels that your villagers can enter, you could either have a button on your toolbar to switch between the Overworld and “Cave” areas, or you would have too click on a cave to switch between them.

In these Underground Caves, your people can mine Rocks or Minerals, and if you explore, you might find a Dungeon entrance that your warriors can go into.

I like the idea fof accidentally digging into a dungeon, so geoffers…i disagree with you.

I want the player to always be involved in these kinds of things, remember the game is meant for all playstyles… and that includes warrior /dungeon crawling play styles.

I suggest a system whereby your dungeon explorers can go through teh dungeon automaticlaly or with your help. You can check on them and take control any time.

I kinda like that idea too, what’s stopping you just digging into where the loot is though? I feel like I’d want it to be a more fleshed out experience where you have a definitive start and end point, maybe that’s just me.

I was simply wondering how people thought the system would be handled if you had something like this just slotted into the world somewhere.

I definitely feel that this could be a system where player intervention = greater rewards, similar to what we know about farming etc.


A man after my own heart… I agree with everything you said @geoffers747! :smile:

Digging into a dungeon is a cool idea but makes the world seem sporadic and random like minecraft. Surprising, sure, but it seems just…unrefined.

I like the idea of a dungeon that progresses with a beginning, middle and end. Something you had to call quits on, level up with better gear and retry! I imagine these dungeons will be randomly generated with a certain range of parameters but the idea that it has a climax is a good one in my books! :+1:


would have to second this… and taking a queue from one of the very first “about Stonehearth” pages on the official site, perhaps this is inline with the original design premise:

  • Randomly generated, destructible worlds built with voxels
  • Creative building on both large and small scales, from cities to teacups
  • Scripted RPG-style content to discover and adventure through
  • Robust class trees for both combat and civilian units
  • RTS-style combat with an emphasis on tactics over micro management

At first, I though this said “with certain rage parameters” XD

So what is preventing the player from just digging up the dungeon? Even if the player can’t dig into the dungeon, how will the game prevent the player from just digging up all the dirt and stone around it?

That aside, if the player can expand their current map through exploration, that would imply that the areas outside of the town or the main map would be visible.
So would the game just randomly place a dungeon in visible space and declare “a dungeon has appeared”? On the other hand, if the game just says that a dungeon is available and that the player should choose members to go on the expedition with no visibility of the dungeon entrance on the map or terrain, wouldn’t that be a little too mundane? Would the adventurers just disappear and magically reappear through a portal?

I’m all for randomly generated dungeons but the way that dungeons come into existence should make sense as well. Not just randomly pop up out of nowhere.
Also, can dungeons be revisited or will the dungeon collapse every time the boss is killed? And if not, will there be a recharge time for the dungeon? (With a newly generated map of the inside)

Also, if dungeons are visible on the surface, it would be best to either implement a feature where the dungeon exploration is visible on the same ‘map’ as the player’s town. That way the player doesn’t have to flip screens between town management and dungeoning at the same time. Besides, how is mining going to work then?
Do the townspeople just go into a hold and disappear? And then come out of a hole with minerals in their hand? Or will the player be able to visibly shape the earth? If its the latter, the game should have a way to visualize subterrains without interruption such as a screen flip. Maybe a mouse of the explored area/mined area would make it the mine.dungeon transparent through the surface for the player. or have a toggle that allows the player to view subterrain activity, etc.

lol, I have classes, what am I doing with my life?


lots of excellent questions! :smiley:

perhaps we’re focusing too much on “underground dungeons”… what about above ground ruins?

plenty of discovery/exploration to be had there… these could be discoverable by scouts, and depending on the complexity of the ruin, can either be scouted then and there (purely on the surface), or “entered” with a party using the as yet undetermined method of changing between “areas”…

Well, the only above ground type dungeons I can think of are of buildings like a tower or a pyramid or some large heathen structure like a god-forsaken castle ruin. But for above-ground dungeons, I think it would make more sense if they were discovered while exploring rather than having one rise up from the ground (unless there’s a good storyline behind why the structure revealed itself from below the surface)

Perhaps there should be places where the players are forbidden to settle because it scares the normal citizen. That way there would be a legitimate reason to have a ‘fog of war’ over the said area and the game will be able to generate new stuff from the scary place from time to time. Just an idea for dungeon placement.