Why “Infinity”? Why “Dungeon”?

16 Jun

The second part is really easy, so I’ll start from explaining this. Most RPGs (if not all) has some action happening in dungeons. Exploration, fighting, looking for something or someone. You name it. Of course there are also forests, cities, deserts, mountains and other environments, but these are optional. Dungeons are not. You can have an RPG happening entirely in dungeons, caves and old crypts – only underground basically. But have you ever seen an RPG, which takes place only in forest? Maybe there are some, but they will be only exceptions confirming the rule. My game will also have dungeons, hence the second part of the name. Simple, right?

Now to the hard stuff. Why “Infinity”? To explain that, I have to get back to the excellent “Infinity Blade” iPhone game (see my previous post for more details). There is a gameplay mechanic, which is very compelling for most of gamers and especially for RPG gamers. And this mechanism can be found in it’s very pure and basic form in “Infinity Dungeon”. I think this is the main reason I liked this game so much. Not because of impressive 3D graphics or excellent, climate building sound and music (although these matter too of course). No, gameplay rulez. Always.

So what mechanism do I brag about so much? I mean improving stats. Be it stats of your character, equipment, spells, skills or just plain XP. But every RPG has it in one form or another, right? Otherwise it’s not called “RPG”. So what’s all this fuss about? To understand that, you have to play a few hours of “Infinity Blade” I think. Or read some reviews at least. I’ll try to explain anyways.

The whole game is a series of runs through a castle filled with bad guys. You start with a pretty weak knight (in terms of stats). You can defeat some lesser enemies, but not the final boss. Not a chance. So you die. Then “20 years later…” you start as a son, who came to the castle to avenge his fallen father. You start the second generation run. You are a little stronger, but die again at the final boss. You can buy better weapons, hone your magic and battle skills etc. in the process. Eventually you can hope to defeat the final boss at 20th generation or something like that. But that’s still the RPG’s usual, right? Except the generations maybe – which is probably one of reasons of the “infinity” word in the title.

What is new – to me at least – is maxing out various pieces of equipment. Let’s say you buy a new sword. It’s XP is 0 at the beginning. Every fight boosts this XP a bit. The sword gets better and better. Eventually you max out its XP. All other pieces of your equipment still get XP points, but not the maxed out sword. Time to buy a new sword. You cannot waste this precious XP on a maxed out sword after all right? And there are dozens of various swords, shields, armors, rings and other pieces of equipment to buy and max out in the game. There are even GameCenter achievements for that. I think this is the second reason for “infinity” in the title. The more important one.

This mechanism is incredibly addictive. And I’m going to implement it in one way or another in my game. So this is the explanation of “infinity” in my title.

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Posted by on June 16, 2011 in Design, Gameplay


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