Dungeon Dashers brings board games like Descent into a fast-paced world

Dungeon Dashers, a dungeon crawler roguelike from independent developers Andrew Sum and Nathan Antony, aims to bring super fast-paced combat and movement to traditional turn-based table-top games.

In a demo of the game shown at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, Sum showed a build of Dungeon Dashers where up to four players can play co-operatively as they make their way through dungeons solving puzzle elements like moving spikes, blocks and switches, and fighting off enemies in intense turn-based battles.

Speaking to Polygon, Sum said Dungeon Dashers is inspired by board games like Descent and HeroQuest — without the slowness that comes with moving miniatures around a tabletop.

"I think the idea that you can get together with your friends online and not having to set-up the board and just jumping into a level actually translated quite well."

"I used to play a lot of Descent with my friends, and it's four players moving miniatures around in a dungeon and it takes a long time to set up and a long time to play," Sum said. "It takes about six hours to play sometimes. So I just wanted to take that experience and bring it to a computer and speed it up."

Sum said one of the design principles of Dungeon Dashers is to make it really fast and fluid to play. Movement in the game takes place in real-time. When players engage in combat, the game switches into turn-based mode, but the speed is maintained through every battle. Where traditional turn-based battles require players to select a character, select an attack and select an enemy to attack, Dungeon Dashers speeds up the process by simply requiring the player to click on an enemy tile to attack.

According to Sum, the board game experience translates well to the video game because it removes the need for an hours-long set-up and allows players to jump right into the game. The ability to have an AI also removes the need for a player to control the enemies.

"So for the game Descent, you have four players who control one character each, and another player controls all of the enemies," Sum said. "So I basically wanted to take out someone having to play the bad guy [because someone always has to be picked to control the enemy] by replacing that with the AI.

"I think the idea that you can get together with your friends online and not having to set-up the board and just jumping into a level actually translated quite well."

Dungeon Dashers is coming to Windows PC this summer. A current, alpha version is available for $10. Those who purchase the alpha version will receive all future updates.

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