Launching this week on Kickstarter is the newest campaign from MAGE Company – a substantial expansion of their popular 12 Realms series, Dungeonland. We spoke with the designers of the new game from Twisted Brothers, Nick Niotis and Panos Tryposkoufis about the process and what the new game will offer to fans of the old and newcomers alike.
What makes the game unique from other miniature-based dungeon crawls?
Every game is inspired by others that came before it, and Dungeonland is no exception to this. We have worked upon features already made standard in any dungeon crawler and we have expanded upon them adding our own ideas, such as our glyph system and exploration.
The exploration mechanism offers great replayability to the game, as each dungeon is randomly generated each time. However this is not just limited in differences over different games, but in the same game too! The mechanism is designed in such a way so as to help players immerse in the exploration of what is a magical dungeon and enhances the gameplay experience.
The glyph system for the time being applies only when casting a spell, but will be expanded in other elements of the game too. Specifically, in order to cast a spell, you roll the custom dice trying to match the corresponding dice symbols, which will help you trigger skills and maybe achieve your goal.
Essentially what actually makes Dungeonland different, is how all its mechanics come together to bring you a fun experience, resembling the glorious arcade games of old.
How does this game fit into the other 12 Realms games released previously?
This is a completely standalone game set in the same universe as the 12 Realms series. This means you will still find our heroes from fairytales and known folklore who try to battle evil in the lands of the 12 Realms.
However, the game features a more personal view of the struggle of the heroes to overcome the greatest threat that has plundered the 12 Realms yet. A lot of people believe that it is something like a continuity of the basic 12 Realms game, because it is cooperative. However we must note that this is not the case.
The only thing in common with the previous 12 Realms games is the theme. They are all set up in a fantasy fairytale world, so you should expect the heroes, the minions, bosses and items to be inspired from that theme. However the gameplay is totally different and the two games shouldn’t be compared to one another.
Were there any major design challenges with this game?
As all big projects, Dungeonland too had its ups and downs and our main challenge was trying to fit a fun gaming experience with as simple rules as possible, in a small amount of play-time.
It was hard trying to balance simplicity with the depth of the game, but we are happy with the result. We believe we have achieved our goal and we hope that people will really enjoy the game!
What are the major differences between the four game modes? How did you originally envision the game?
The game has three modes in its final version: the Campaign, the Epic Quest and the Tavern Brawl.
The campaign is a series of story based adventures that progress the player’s characters and continue an overarching story with many choices along the way that affect future adventures and have different possible endings.
The Epic Quest is a campaign played in one session, offering similar experience without it being heavily story driven, but giving endless replayability.
Finally, the tavern brawl offers 3 different variants: Free Fall All, Team vs Team and Tavern Defense. This game mode focuses on player combat and allows players to test their skills against each other or against endless amounts of enemies.
Originally the game was envisioned as a heavy story driven dungeon crawler with very simple gameplay, but during developments some things got revised and others were added, so the game ended up as it is today.
How does existing 12 Realms content integrate into this one? Will new content work in the original games?
Dungeonland is a complete standalone game but there will be a conversion coming out that supports all previous heroes from the 12 Realms series and allows players to use them in 12 Realms: Dungeonland.
The new content cannot be used in the original 12 Realms games. This is a new chapter in the 12 Realms Universe and it will be developed so as to match thematically with the original games, but not in terms of gameplay or components.
The Kickstarter for 12 Realms: Dungeonland is now live. You can view the full campaign here.