In my last post, I spoke about coming up with an expansion for Dungeon Run, and I’ve started making good progress towards this. My thought process was that it was best to start with the bones.
By that, I mean that I wanted to start with the foundation for the expansion, rather than to monkey around with art or templating. So, I started off by creating a spreadsheet with six distinct tabs: Notes, Encounters, Rooms, Items, Characters, & Lookups. This was to create a single location where I could put all of my ideas, and easily track/share the ideas with my friends. I started by creating one tab for each of the different types of materials I’d need in the expansion. Since I wasn’t planning on creating any ground-breaking concepts like entirely new decks, I knew I was going to have to create encounters, rooms, items and characters. So those seemed the logical starting points. See the example from the “Encounters” tab below:
In each tab, I entered the relevant sections for that type of card/tile, and then created some input validation rules. That might be a little nerdy sounding, but what it means is that when you choose “type” from the drop down column, you could choose either “Trap,” “Monster,” “Stranger,” or “Boss” (all information that I stored on the “Lookups” tab to keep things clean and consistent). The advantage here is that you don’t get a bunch of garbage data in your spreadsheet–no typos, etc. So when it came down to making my playtest cards, I could easily export them with a mail merge or similar and ensure that the data was clean.
For the first two examples, I pulled them directly from Plaid Hat’s announcement about the “new” expansion that never came to fruition. They already announced a “Fortune Trap” with the following effects:
Disarm it, and gain a bevy of treasure cards. Fail, and watch in horror as your opponents are all suddenly blessed with new gear.
Likewise, the Worm of Jealousy was also created for me–at least in part:
Like most demons, he’s a tough fight, but he’ll be happy to bargain with you instead. He’ll let you give one of your ability cards to another player, and then steal one of your choosing from them. Jealous of Stabbins’s Sly ability? It’s yours! Want Paelleall’s Far Shot ability to complement your new bow? Yours.
I repeated this process for each tab and created an arbitrary target number of new cards for each type. Generally speaking this was about 40-50 on each tab, except I only set about creating 8 heroes. In total, if I can accomplish this, I will succeed in making an expansion that was at least as big as the original game.
For those that are interested, these are the columns I’ve made for each tab:
- Damage (this will eventually be renamed, because not all traps do damage)
- Race / Class (each has their own column)
- Brawn, Magic, Skill, Life (each has their own column)
- Miniature (this actually came later when I realized I would need to find a suitable mini for each)
- Abilities 1-3
- Stone Ability
- Talents 1-10 (each has their own column)
The Lookups column eventually had areas for Type, Numbers, Races, Classes, Slots, and Yes/No. The Notes tab just contained a few things that I wanted to keep track of, like some interesting images I found online, or notions that “each hero will be able to use roughly 75% of all treasure,” or that monsters can be bribed instead of fighting them.
By the way, you may need to excuse me jumping in between present and past tense as I write this. The thing is, that I’ve already completed much of the work, so I’m going back and writing these pieces in retrospect. I have to say, I’m really happy with my progress so far and can’t wait until my blog posts catch up with where I am.
If anyone is interested, I can make the xls template available in case you want to work up your own version?