By Nathan Grayson on March 12th, 2013 at 5:00 pm.
I’m quite happy to exist in a gaming world where both meticulously crafted locational tapestries and randomly generated frontiers of madness have their place. If I want an experience that weeps intentionality, I turn to something like Lone Survivor or Bastion or BioShock 2: Minerva’s Den. But if I want chaos and mystery and discovery, I can let the likes of Binding of Isaac, FTL, Proteus, or any number of others wash over me, falling wherever they may. Legend of Dungeon certainly looks to fall into the latter category, but it’s taking things a step even further. The entire soundtrack, you see, is randomized. It doesn’t sound like a set of bagpipes stuffed with broken megaphones and goats that sound like people and people that sound like goats, either. Hurrah!
Neat, right? I like how the tone started off fairly relaxing and then descended into progressively more dismal darkness on each reset. I doubt it was intentional (because, you know, randomness and all), but it provided an interesting contrast of imagery and sound.
You’re probably wondering what manner of tiny magical computer gnomes produce these surprisingly coherent beats. Take it away, developer people:
“244 tracks are randomized and assigned to monsters, dungeon blocks, doors and even the title screen and Tavern. As you move through each room, and your proximity to things changes, the music shifts and alters. Every time you play Legend of Dungeon, not only is the dungeon randomly generated, but the soundtrack is unique for your play through.”
“If you listen closely you can even come to expect particular monsters or secrets by noticing changes to the music.”
So it’s consistently inconsistent. Or inconsistently consistent. Or something. It seems to create some decently nice moments, though, and when a game’s intended to be played for hundreds upon hundreds of hours, I’ll take anything to stave off “oh god where is the volume nob my ears are building tiny nooses for themselves” syndrome.
According to Robot Loves Kitty, Legend of Dungeon will release in alpha “very soon.” I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for it, as I enjoy legends, dungeons, robots, kitties, and music. I do, however, realize that those qualities are specific to me and me alone, so your mileage may vary. Or, you know, the other thing: Legend of Dungeon looks scrumptious, and unless it turns out to actually be a set of bagpipes stuffed with broken megaphones and goats that sound like people and people that sound like goats, I’m betting you’ll have just as much reason to be interested as me. So then, watch the skies.