Mystery Dungeon Prototype: Part One

Posted on Aug 9, 2022

This post marks the beginning of my prototyping process for a new project! First: my goals for the game, and specific thoughts for the prototype.

Project Goals

A lot of the advice I’ve seen for game development has been “prototype, prototype, and then prototype some more”. I’m taking that advice, and I’m limiting myself to two weeks of initial development. This gives me:

  • A similar time structure to a gamejam, which is how I was working before.
  • A hard deadline.
  • Simplistic scope with (hopefully) an engaging core experience.
  • A feedback cycle from the public.

If, once the deadline for this project is up, I’m not a fan of how it plays, I can simply repeat this process. The important thing about this style of rapid prototyping will be my ability to self-analyze and course-correct.

Itemized Prototype Goals

I’m keeping this very small. We will have:

  • Grid-based movement
  • A player-controlled actor that responds to input
    • Advancing a turn cycle after taking certain actions.
    • Having only simple stats of attack, defense, hunger, and the ability to be affected with various maladies and buffs.
  • Five unique computer-controlled actors (mobs) that:
    • Wait for their turn, then perform an action when they have priority.
    • Uniquely act on their assessment of the environment to destroy the player.
  • Five weapon-slot items, with varying stats and effects.
  • Five shield-slot items, with the same.
  • Five consumable items, see above.
  • One mystery dungeon, consisting of multiple procedurally generated floors connected via stairs.

Notable exclusions here are a hub of any sort, peristence in the form of a bank or warehouse, any kind of non-hostile NPC, item crafting, and rescue mechanics. A lot o those are features that I would like to see, but that would muddy the waters for an initial proof of concept.


I only tend to use the devlog feature for releases, updates for the development process will be shared here. The posts in this series will mostly be a way for me to organize my thoughts and reflect, with some technical bits whenever I find them useful. Check back here for a link to part two!

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