The Genesis of the Game...
When Chris discovered role-playing games (mostly AD&D) at the age of 13, he was pretty much always the Game Master. Since it is the most creative part of gaming, and the part he liked the best, what else could he be?! Sometimes he would particpate as a player, maybe 10 times or so. But during each game where he was a player and not a Game Master, he didnít get the feeling that he was having as much fun as the other players were when he was the Game Master.
This is where the idea of creating a Heroic Fantasy game, in which each player would be both Master and Player was born.
He loved how the Player side allowed one to be constantly surprised and to have the sensation of discovery of the unknown, as well as the fun of improvisation and the unexpected.
On the other hand, the Game Master aspect allowed creation of adventures, the fun of surprising your opponents, the development of themes and the discovery of treasures, traps and creatures.
The game had to be customizable to the 1,000 degree so as to allow players to create scenarios that were both infinite and easy to put into place. Chrisí goal was to have a sort of ďchemistry setĒ: grab a couple of test tubes, throw in lots of different game components, whip up a game scenario that could accommodate 2, 3, 4 or more players and to be sure to have a great big bang of an experiment: because each player added their own secret touches.
This idea stayed in his head for almost 20 years. It was a bit like the explorer looking for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, even though lifeís other events would pop up along his path.
So there were many other creations, some published, some not. But he also took tons of notes and kept track of all his ideas and plans for this Heroic Fantasy-Gamer-Game Master extravaganza. Yet he was never able to come up with something that he was happy with. Nothing pushed him to really dream up a concrete model of the game he longed to create.
Until Dungeon Twister came along...
The inspiration came to him when he was least expecting it. After so many years of thinking about it and having it in the back of his mind, Dungeon Twister showed up without him even realizing it. Something clicked in his head: moving rooms, a gloomy atmosphere, a labyrinth, a dark steampunk universe all at the same time... It was becoming a game in which he had killed luck.
After several test games and expansions, he realized that he had put his finger on THE game that he had dreamed of for the last 20 years. He knew that he finally had created a game where players would be Game Master and Player. And since players could control the way the game evolved, almost nothing in it would be left to chance.
So, were all his old notes and plans jotted down for nothing? Well, no, because the first version of Dungeon Twister was born in a night. The development of the first prototype (not too pretty, but oh well) took only a day. And the first test games took place just 24 hours after he thought of the idea.
The game went through a few major changes during that first exciting week of test-play.
And then the expansions started coming one after the other. More and more gamers wanted to play and Chris realized that he would have to adapt his game to allow more players to play each round. Each expansion was developed pretty much according to what the player wanted; a sort of mini-Magic.
Tournaments started taking place at peopleís houses and Chris kept coming up with more elements to add to the game. The runaway snowball was on its way!
Game Master and Player at once: target achieved. But being Game Master, Player and Creator was the dream of a lifetime.
And now itís time for your own dreams to be born while playing Dungeon Twister!
Dungeon Twister: the Crossroads of the Gaming Universe
If you read the authorís biography, then you know how much Dungeon Twister represents a crossroads in his gaming life.
5 very different gaming worlds influenced the creative process that brought about Dungeon Twister:
Role Playing games
Inspired by role playing games (especially AD&D) and the Heroic Fantasy universe. The goal of this game is to retrace some of the typical scenes youíll find in these types of games. These are scenes that the player can easily imagine since the imagination is given free reign.
The set up is fairly simple, somewhere between an American and German game mechanic. The rules are clear, logical and easily explained in 15 minutes. The game is played on a board. The level of luck is about the same as Full Metal Planet.
With boards and rooms like those of Space Hulk. An equivalent customization level. There are teams to form, a bit like in Blood Bowl or Necromunda. The game is played with figurines on a board so to better immerse yourself in the theme and the actions. Dungeon Twister is also in the Room + Figurines category.
Collectible card games
Total customization and the possibility to create your team composed of 8 characters, 6 objects and 4 rooms. This is similar to the creation of a Deck for Magic but on a much simpler, faster level. These aspects definitely bring to mind collectible card games, but without the negative side of things (such as the hole they can burn in your wallet!).
Abstract strategy games
Without the dimension of chance, Dungeon Twister reminds the player of various games of strategy and the great classics like chess. The fact that there is a handicap system so that two players of different skill levels can play together makes you think of Go.
We could even add Wargames to this list as the little cardboard tokens that represent the main characters and their power levels also are similar to certain games of war (movement/combat).