DM From The AM To The PM In Dungeonforge

By Craig Pearson on January 27th, 2014 at 2:00 pm.

Like seeing sausages being made
Having a boss is a lot like having a real-life Dungeon Master. This morning in the Forbidden Chatroom of Mystery 2.0, I posted about Dungeonforge, and said it looked neat. John shouted “Postify”, and here I am. Dungeonforge is an online action RPG that gives the players the tools to DM the world. You can build towns and dungeons in the world, leaving them there for people to stumble across and fight through, and you can even host live DM sessions in what you’ve made. They’ve just launched a Kickstarter, and…

Craig, I am DMing your post: a pants eating dragon has eaten your pants. You now have no pants. Take off your pants. It also eats winkies.

Sigh. Just don’t play it with John.

Craig, a capital letter eating chilblain has attached itself to your foot. You now have limited capitals to use.

can i can quote the developers to get around that?

I’m going to allow this.

hah! right. well, according to the devs: “You will be able to craft adventures rife with deep dungeons, dark woods, frosty mountain tops, and just crawling with the unspeakable legions of darkness. Your content then becomes part of the over-arching gameworld for all to enjoy. You can script quests within your adventure for players to complete, or even perform a ‘Live Telling’ of your adventure, wherein you actively take the role of dungeon master, playing the part of NPCs and controlling monsters to shape the experience of the players dynamically, in real time.”

Your use of ‘Quote’ has defeated the chillblain.

I am victorious! The idea that really gets me is that what you build will be adding to an online world, so anyone can come along and play what you’ve made. The developers won’t be resting on UGC, though: each of the five characters will have a storyline to progress through. Here’s a video, yo.

Craig, you have posted a video. Everyone gets +3 eyes.

They’re looking at a release date of Nov 2014.

Craig, you have reached the end of the post. Well played. Now put your pants back on.

, , .

27 Comments »

Top comments

  1. Sam250 says:

    The “live DM sessions” intrigue me. I’ve heard Neverwinter Nights could be played with a human gamemaster, though I’ve never seen it. These are essentially “computer-assisted RPGs” — not CRPGs, which are rather a different thing, more a narrative-driven-dungeon-crawl than a imagination-fueled role-playing games, but a pen-and-paper RPGs taken in front of keyboards, under human control but with the added video and audio element and with the computer streamlining the progress by handling tasks such as dice rolls (indeed idealy hiding all stats for a more immersive experience).

    So I am imagining game creation tools that would allow a game master to create the base world, characters, items, quests, whatever, but would additionally allow him to follow the players as they play the game and make changes on the fly, to take the role of characters in the game as the party meets them and type out their dialogue, to allow players to say they are doing whatever and have the gamemaster come up with a quick effect for that action in real time, so everyone can have that real role-playing experience of creating a collaborative story between the players and the DM, of expressing yourself in whatever way you can imagine and having the game(master) respond to it.

  1. Premium User Badge

    RedViv says:

    So it’s sort of like Mighty Quest for Epic Loot, except hopefully not repetitive and ultimately disappointing?
    Intrigued.

  2. BTAxis says:

    Maybe I’m being overly cynical here, but it sure does sound like they’re going to leave it up to their player base to create the content for their game.

    • Cerebulon says:

      It’s a content creation tool at its core, rather than a game as far as I can tell. So, not really?

    • frightlever says:

      “it sure does sound like they’re going to leave it up to their player base to create the content for their game”

      In what way is that a bad thing? Player created content is what makes PC gaming so great.

      • BTAxis says:

        SOME player created content, yes. For every good mod there’s any amount of terrible/badly written/boring/etc mod content out there.

        Of course these days we have various standard mechanisms to separate the wheat from the chaff, but this game proposes to plug ALL player-created content into the same persistent world, which means the overall quality of the game experience may suffer on that account.

        • derbefrier says:

          Yeah that last part is what worries me to. With any creative platform be it music, film, to gaming 99% ofit will be at best easily forgettable and at worst complete amatuerish crap.
          I like the idea of the game but there better be a way of filtering out the great from the horrible or its just gonna end up being a game filed with dungeoins shaped like swastikas and giant cocks while the good stuff is drowned out.

          I do like the idea of the game but more along the lines of spending a month or so ona module than inviting friends to run it while I DM. That would be. Awesome.

        • AngusPrune says:

          The first Shadowrun mod I downloaded was written by a guy who seemed to think that naming everything after euphemisms for penises was funny. One of the first characters you encountered was called “Horsecock.” I think it was the highest rated in the workshop at the time.

          Haven’t been back to the game since. Users suck.

  3. Lobotomist says:

    Like NWN ?

  4. Ein0r says:

    I was really hyped after i saw this game got greenlit. I am still going to call this a game although it just looks like one big editor. I wouldnt mind playing around with it, creating maps and adventures. But what to use it for? Just playing around and creating content (adventures etc) for nobody who wants to play it because the fanbase/playerbase is pretty small?
    At the moment i dont have a D&D group i am dming, for which i could use this tool, even if it would just be to enhance my creativity for creating dungeons and stories.
    So it is a conflict between “I really do want this, this is awesome” and “Yay, another indie game that needs a playerbase which will be way too small anyway :( “

  5. Sam250 says:

    The “live DM sessions” intrigue me. I’ve heard Neverwinter Nights could be played with a human gamemaster, though I’ve never seen it. These are essentially “computer-assisted RPGs” — not CRPGs, which are rather a different thing, more a narrative-driven-dungeon-crawl than a imagination-fueled role-playing games, but a pen-and-paper RPGs taken in front of keyboards, under human control but with the added video and audio element and with the computer streamlining the progress by handling tasks such as dice rolls (indeed idealy hiding all stats for a more immersive experience).

    So I am imagining game creation tools that would allow a game master to create the base world, characters, items, quests, whatever, but would additionally allow him to follow the players as they play the game and make changes on the fly, to take the role of characters in the game as the party meets them and type out their dialogue, to allow players to say they are doing whatever and have the gamemaster come up with a quick effect for that action in real time, so everyone can have that real role-playing experience of creating a collaborative story between the players and the DM, of expressing yourself in whatever way you can imagine and having the game(master) respond to it.

    • Lobotomist says:

      I used to make and DM , NWN modules.
      And quite honestly there is nothing like it. Even playing pen and paper fades in comparison.

      You could posses any creature in the game world on the fly. Spawn encounters. Add traps in real time. Adjust anything , even while players are playing.

      Now NWN was simply genial implementation. And on top of this the whole trove of D&D rules and mechanics.
      And not to forget you could even make persistant worlds – virtually mini MMOs with full DM involvement.

      Can this game get close ?

      I would surely wish to see it happen.

    • Premium User Badge

      Harlander says:

      Live-DM’d NWN stuff was often amazing, particularly back in the day when Neverwinter Connections was about. It eventually degraded into persistent-world stuff, though even some of that managed to keep the RP torch burning

  6. aliksy says:

    Sounds mildly interesting. I’m sure there will be plenty of bad content (“lol +34 swords for everyone!” “lol weiners” “lol kill $minority_group”), but there will probably be some gems. I never got into Neverwinter Nights because it was a shitty implementation of a shitty rules system.

    On the other hand, I could just play regular pen and paper not not have to worry about the limits of the game’s programming and UI.

  7. Pubjead1970 says:

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  8. SgtStens says:

    This definitely looks intriguing, I am also simultaneously concerned/curious about the inclusion of user content in a persistent world. This sounds great on paper, but has the potential to become a troll/grief pit. The great thing about mods is I can decide for myself whether I want a LotR/GoT/Star Wars total conversion or just turn everyone into anime cat boobie girls. If the game just throws all of that together in one pot, it may be too much.

  9. Lemming says:

    ” Dungeonforge is an online action RPG[..] “

    Oh. My first glimpse of this article had me hoping it was some kind of super-detailed dungeon keeper type game. I’m a bit melancholy now. :(

    • Truck_Rockpec says:

      Well, it looks like you’re responsible for the building, populating, and designing of traps and encounters within the dungeon, so maybe it’ll be similar to what you’re thinking you want? I don’t see any character progression – on the part of the dungeon builder themselves – but maybe the playstyle moves in that direction when you’re live-running a dungeon for a party of adventurers.

      I recently played through Dungeon Keeper II again, and while it was still really fun to dream up horrific trap combos and maze layouts, it was a bit of a lonely experience. If I’m going to spend hours building a lair, I’d like to be able to show it off to my friends, and murder them within its abyssal halls.

  10. Golden Pantaloons says:

    I know it’s still very early development, but the editor parts look deeply worrying to me. It seems way too simplified unless it’s got a bunch of scripting options they’re not showing.
    NWN had its own little scripting language (looked like java or actionscript to me, but I’m not sure) that let you do a lot of things that the “physical” tools in the editor didn’t. Everything here looks like it’s just drag&drop and drop-down boxes.

  11. BooleanBob says:

    I thought ‘postify’ was what Gnasher and Gnipper did to the poor mailman’s trousers.

  12. Premium User Badge

    ffordesoon says:

    Hmm. I do wish the combat looked more interesting, and I wonder how in-depth the editor and ruleset go. I also wonder if the ability to create a private server is available, and exactly how close to seamless the experience will be for players. Still, I think there should be more RPGs that follow NWN’s model, and I’d very much like to see how messy and weird players can make this world.

    I’ll back it.

  13. MichaelGC says:

    “Do you want to be like the real UN? Or do you just want to argue and waste time?”

  14. Premium User Badge

    caff says:

    The concept of a human-controlled DM is fascinating. Anyone who’s played a good “real life” role playing session (the non-kinky kind) with a good DM will know how much fun it can be.

    However, this looks a bit more action than story. I wonder if another clever developer will have a go at the concept?

  15. ZephaniahGrey says:

    I was intrigued by this until I read this in the backer tiers:

    “This gives you access to 100+ hours of first-party story content exploring the back story of all five of our characters, creation tools, all player-made content and you can use any of the five characters to explore it!”

    So…wait. I can play all this user created content, and DM games with my friends…with only THEIR precreated characters? I’m really hoping I misunderstood that because that’s damn near the WORST idea I’ve ever heard. They would let me customize everything BUT my character? And unless I pay them $20+ I can only ever play one?

    That sounds just…awful. Interest killed. Next game!

  16. 14manj01 says:

    Hey guys, Visit Dungeonforge.net, to talk to the developers and to learn more about the project.