Welcome on the 1st chapter of dungeoneering. This chapter will focus on key basics in dungeon creation.
For the player, by the player!Top ^
The most important aspect of creating dungeons is the ability to create something that you would love to see and run through yourself. But there are a few things to keep in mind as your dungeon has to be playable for both new players and more expierenced ones.
Dungeon or LairTop ^
A few things will change depending on a type, but there is no real difference in difficulty. Yes, Lairs are smaller, but this also requires you to be creative with the limited room you have.
Note: All example/screenshots are made in Qubicle. But you can create dungeons in any editor.
Warning: all mentions of Lairs are refering to 1-star Dungeons
Let start with sizes on the flat axes.
- 1-star dungeons (lairs) have a 39x39 square base as the maximum ground dimension.
- 3-star dungeons have a 125x125 square base as the maximum ground dimensions.
- Shadow dungeons follow the 3-star dungeon rule.
1-star dungeons (lairs)
- a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 30 below ground level
- a fixed max of 59 above ground level.
Advice: Always fill in the ground level, even if you have no rooms there. If your dungeon spawns against a hill you won't get a half floating lair.
- a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 50 blocks below ground level
- a minimum of 74 and a maximum of 114 above ground level (depends on the depth).
Advice: Because the generation of land can differ in a lot in all directions, make the "basement" at least 20 voxels below ground level (if height of your dungeon allows that).
- Shadow dungeons have 125 voxels to do with as you wish, the only thing to keep in mind is the spawn point of players. This will always be 62 blocks above the red plug.
Advice: mark both places (or use the supplied guide template) and move both the red and green point in the matrix.
You can download a qubicle (3) template from Dropbox with:
- a maximum sized 1-star matrix with a red dot for the red plug location.
- a maximum sized 3-star matrix with a red dot for the red plug location.
- a maximum sized Shadow dungeon matrix with two dots noting the red plug and spawn positions.
- Helpful elements to keep things organized (plugs/socket helpers).
Common rulesTop ^
In dungeon creation there are few very important rules that need to be followed. But first, lets establish what dungeons and lairs are from technical side.
Each dungeon consists of few 'rooms'. To use a simple example: entrance, gameplay room and boss room. Those rooms are connected to eachother using Plugs and sockets. Red plug is used to connect dungeon to a World Socket. More details about this in next chapters.
Rules that apply to all and every dungeon and lair:
- Each dungeon and lair should fit in required dimensions, else it will not spawn in game
- Each dungeon and lair should have one and only one Red Plug in the middle of a ground layer
- Each dungeon and lair should consist of few Gameplay rooms aside from Boss rooms
- Each room in dungeon and lair should have at least Two variations, more variety is better but not required
- Each dungeon and lair should have npc spawns, some traps, Boss spawn and Exit portal(s)
- Each dungeon and lair should fit in a biome its made for and use colors from that biome
- Two jumps should be enough to pass all obstacles
Design rules and tips:
- An entrance should be obvious and visible. Portal entrances are allowed, but they should remain visible
- A path through dungeon or lair to boss(es) should be highlighted and easy to follow, no mazes or labyrinths allowed
- There needs to be a roof of Fake Air blocks above dungeon to make sure the entrance to it will never be covered by terrain
- Doorways should not be less than 2 voxels wide and 3 voxels tall
- Pathways and stairs should not be less than 3 voxels wide and 3 voxels tall, more is better
- Pathways should not be cluttered with decorations and traps
- Gameplay areas should be mostly open (no traps or hazards) with few possible NPC spawns
- Quest (boss) rooms should be around 30 voxels wide and long, and no less than 6 voxels tall. They also should contain few possible NPC spawns aside from mandatory Boss spawner and be mostly open
- Traps in Dungeons and lairs should be dangerous enough to challenge a player, but there should be no single-voxel pathways through traps
- Maximum of 8 active traps per room (everything that is not a spike)
- There must be a GM Quest Teleporter placed in same room with final boss, and a GM Quest Teleporter Outside on the outside of dungeon\lair to provide an exit
- LED, Updrafts and Anti-gravity blocks are allowed to be used, but in moderate amount
- Keep an eye on voxel count! Displayed as Elements in Metaforge with /debugtext command. Higher amount (orange or red) needs to be reduced to green or rarely orange.
Lair Specific rules:
- There should be one or two Gameplay areas before reaching main boss, this can include a room with traps and monsters, jumping puzzle etc
- Maximum is 20 active traps per entire lair
- Only 5 monsters spawns occur per lair, if there are more possible NPC spawns placed, 5 will be picked randomly upon lair generation
- Radiant Lairs - jumping puzzle, no monster spawns, one GM Boss Quest to trigger and 85-100 GM Dark Heart Spawn placed around the lair
- Peaceful Hills sunflower lairs - jumping puzzle, not too hard. No monster spawns, no boss spawns. One lair should contain around 100 of Sunlight Bulbs
Dungeon Specific rules:
- There should be gameplay areas between and prior to quests
- There should be one GM Boss Quest (Major Boss spawn) and two GM Quest (Minor Boss spawn) before reaching main one
- Major Boss room should be at least 30 voxels wide and long and at least 10 voxels tall. It should also have a 'Grand' feel to it
- Maximum is 30 active traps per entire dungeon, no more than 10 in one room
- Only 25 monsters spawns occur per dungeon, if there are more possible NPC spawns placed, 25 will be picked randomly upon lair generation
Shadow Dungeon Specific rules:
- Should have linear layout: Encounter areas > Minor quest with barricade blocks preventing entrance to boss > Boss quest area
- Must have enclosed starting and end areas
- Shadow dungeons generate all placed npcs
- There is no hard limit on traps, environment should be agressive but all encounter areas should have reasonable amount of space to fight enemies
Metaforge is Trove in-built editor. You will use it a lot during your dungeon creation:
- To place sockets and plugs
- To place decorations
- To test your dungeon
To enter metaforge just type /mf or /metaforge in chat. And press YES to confirm entry. You will be placed in a world of white where dungeon magic comes to life.
- 2019-03-04: Written
- 2019-03-05: Published
Etaew June 12, 2020