Dwelvers is a real time strategy game inspired by the old time classics ‘Dungeon Keeper’ and ‘The Settlers’. The player takes the form of an evil Dungeon Lord who needs to guide their minions in digging out paths and rooms, and claiming them for themselves, growing their dungeon. The game will be based on creating your minions and keeping them pleased in various ways. Then you will lead them into battle to defeat your enemy and claim victory! The most challenging part for the player will be creating advanced production chains so as to have enough food to keep their creatures well fed, enough weapons and armour to outfit their army as a force to be reckoned with, and of course enough beer to keep them satisfied with you as their master. A drunk minion is a happy minion!
The theme of the game will have a lot of dark humour, and each creature will have its own personality, demands and fighting style; forcing the player to handle all the creatures in different ways in order to max out their potential. A happy minion is a useful minion!
Depending on your creatures’ needs the player will have to construct a good production chain with farms, iron smelters, butchers and so on.
For example: The Dark Dwarf will need a huge amount of beer. To achieve this, the player will have to build a farm so that wheat can be produced, and also a well so that the imps can fetch water. By letting the imps transport these goods into a brewery, the brewery will be able to brew beer to the dark dwarfs so that they can remain happy with their lord.
In the same way the dark elves will require a lot of gold, vampires require a lot of blood and goblins a lot of food and so on. If the creatures’ demands are not met they will turn against their master and start attacking his dungeon and his creatures.
The Dark Mother
At each player’s starting position they will have a main dungeon room that will contain a huge creature called the Dark Mother, a being with an endless hunger. The player will be able to order the imps to fed her with different items, and depending on what items she gets feed with, the player can get different rewards.
For example: If the imps feed her with a sword and a pig, she will spew out a Pig Goblin, and if the imps feed her with corpses, crystals, a chain armour, a sword and a mana potion, she will spew out a Vampire. But beware what type of creatures you want in your dungeon. The Vampire has a constant need for blood, and if he doesn’t get it from killing enemies, he’ll try get it from his allies. In the same way, Dark Elves will never be satisfied with the pay they get and will always take more than they deserve from your treasury. But if the treasury is low on gold coins, they will attempt to steal some from your allies and this may lead to fights breaking out amongst your creatures.
All these creatures can later on be feed to the Dark Mother once again when they have reached a certain level, so that they can be upgraded to a new creature type.
Except her use in spewing out different creatures, she can also be used to trade items. If she is fed with 5 coal she can either spew out gold or iron depending on the player’s choice.
If the Dark Mother is killed, the game is lost.
The imps are the dungeon’s workers. Without them the whole production chain would be useless. The minimum amount of imps the player can have in his dungeon is four; if they are being killed and their total decreases to a lower value the Dark Mother will automatically spew out more imps. The imps are the only creatures the player can control directly by giving them different tasks. They will dig out the land that the player marks out, and as land is being dug out it will drop stone, dirt, coal, iron, gold or crystals depending on what type of land being excavated. These materials will later be picked up by the imps and transported into the closest storage room which has sufficient space, and then the player will be able to use these materials to build rooms, feed the Dark Mother or trade with.
The imps can also be set to different priority systems so that the player can prioritise different tasks in the dungeon:
- Digging and claiming paths
- Transporting items
- Tend to creatures’ demands
As these are the only creatures the player can trust completely, they will be the Dark Lord’s eyes and ears. If the production chain fails at some point the imps will be the first to tell you. They will also keep an eye out for creatures in your dungeon that are displeased with you as their master, so that you can prepare to please them or kill them off quickly.
As the imps claim tiles in your name you can use these to build rooms of your choice on them.
For example: To build a small storage room you will need to build it two tiles wide and two tiles deep (2×2). To make it more efficient so that tables can be placed in there too the player will have to build it 3×3. To build a Dark Church, on the other hand, you will need to build it 5×5 to make it function at all. Wells and Bedrooms are the simplest buildings out there as they only need to be built 1×1.
There are different types of rooms; those that are only used to maintain the creature’s wellbeing (bedrooms, dining rooms, training rooms etc.) or those that are for the production chain (Wells, Iron smelters, Farms etc.). First the player will have to build a simple production chain so that he can get food (maybe by only building a fishery) to feed the creatures. Later the player will have to advance it into a more complex system to be able to create weapons, armours, potions and beer so that creatures can be both created by and later made to feel pleased with their master.
All rooms will cost a different amount of material depending on the room type and size. The Fishery will, for example, require only wood to be built, while more advanced structures like the armoury will require both wood, stone and iron ingots.
Also, the player must be observant where he places the different rooms, not only for making the production chain as efficient as possible, but also because some creatures can’t stand each other. Placing the bedrooms for the Dark Dwarfs or the Juggernaut next to the Dark Elves’ bedroom will most certainly cause a fight between them. Some creatures also need to be close to some specific areas in the dungeon.
Here is a quote from the bestiary which gives an example of such a creature:
“As the Bone Phoenix are born out of fire he is drawn to hot areas in your dungeon, and without the underground lava streams this creature would fade away and continue being a legend”
Constructions are buildings that aren’t room dependent, like wells, doors, bridges and walls. The wells are used by many buildings like the farm, brewery and more to come. Then we also have the walls that could be rebuilt if the player want to block an entrance or just teared down a wall by misstake and wants to rebuild it again. The doors are used to keep enemies out of the dungeon, and bridges to be able to walk on water.
With the hydraulics the player will be able to create traps. But these traps will not just work of their own, hydraulics has to be drawn and built between the traps and the triggers. If the player want a couple of cannons to be fired when an enemy steps on a pressure pad, then the pressure pad will have to have pipes drawn from it to the cannons so that they can be activated. The same will go for all other traps, by drawing the hydraulics in a certain way you can time the traps and activate them in a certain order.
For example: When a enemy enteres a room and step on a pressurepad, the pressure will first go to the door behind the enemy and close it, this will trap the enemy making it hard for him to escape the cannonfire that will start after the door has closed.
The player will also have the option to cast spells as soon as the Library and the Dark Church has been built.
In the library Vampires, Dark Angels, Reapers and Demigods can research spells for you, and the higher the creature’s upgrade is, the stronger spells can be researched.
The Dark Churches are used for creatures to come and pray to you, and as their prayers reach you, your mana will increase. This mana can then be used as a currency when casting spells that has been researched.
If the player announces to the creatures that they are soon to go to war, they will prepare by being well rested and by stocking up their health and mana potions. As the time for the attack approaches they will go to the Dark Churches and pray for a successful battle, and thereby filling up the Dark Lord’s mana reserves so that he can cast all the spells he needs when the battle comes.
The player can also command certain creatures to devote their life to the church. These creatures will pray daily to the Dark Lord, but as a downside they will become pacifists.
All creatures have different strengths and weaknesses, and by using them correctly you will get the better of your enemies during battle. Before entering a battle the player will be able to give out orders to the creatures on how they should approach their enemy. Some of the different attack techniques are:
- Attack and Deadlock (attacks and holds the enemy to its position)
- Flank Attack (Attack creatures that are in a deadlock mode)
- Ranged Attack (Attacks from afar)
For example: As the Dark Dwarf is an excellent tank it is always a good idea to set him to “Attack and Deadlock”, and then the Vampires to “Flank Attack” as they have a good melee damage, and finally the Dark Elves to “Ranged Attack” because of their ranged attacks.
The creatures will also have different defense tactics when being attacked in their own dungeon so that they can scare off the enemy as fast as possible.