View Full Version : Stygian Caretaker—My Alternate Reality Reimagining of Dungeon Keeper

Ominous Perspective
January 21st, 2013, 04:30
This is the Ominous Perspective from the tower in Dungeon Keeper 1! OP delights in just leering at Eversmile, imaging how to defile in more ways than that simpleton of Necromancer next door!

I’m a new Dungeon Keeper player, and it is an awesome game (as others have known before me). What I loved best about DK is that it took the PC RPG genre, both isometric and first person, and pulled it inside out to create delightfully satirically evil experience. I can sense elements of Ultima Underworld, D&D: Eye of the Beholder, and Diablo as well. The RTS aspect is very original too (despite the critters always taking their own initiative, which is very costly and dangerous). DK1 even resembles Quake in its environments, though much more destructible which is nice. It’s certainly a very original RTS, and still is today with few other contenders (my other favorite innovative RTS is Shiny Entertainment’s Sacrifice).

Right on topic, I’ve been thinking of ideas for mods and indie games which are alternate reality parodies of existing games (the games we know and love if they were done in a different timeline, and approached the games in subtly different ways). Recently, I learned about the Dungeon Master series of games which DK was parodying, and I was drawn to the limited color palette. The game has white-gray rocky backgrounds with prime colored monsters lurking, and I was thinking that DM’s art style and palette could inspire the look for my A.R. DK. Also, since I’ve noticed influence of Ultima Underworld on the first person perspective aspect of the DK1 (when you possess a creature of course), my mind drifted to the concept of the Stygian Abyss. It interested me that supposedly noble kings would send falsely imprisoned heroes and petty law breakers to someplace as nasty and horrific as the abyss all in the name of righteousness, yet ignorant of how dangerous the abyss will become one the critters are tired of killing royal prisoners. So what if the monstrosities of the Stygian Abyss decided to make to kings’ provinces as a part of their domain? News reaches the monarchs that the Stygians are going to assimilate their lands, they start sending in floods of falsely (or deliberately) imprisoned archetypal heroes into the abyss to stop the threat. When they fail, the kings themselves will come in with long bowmen and armed cavalry. Once the invading king has fallen, his kingdom becomes buried under the expanding mountain dome of the abyss.

Another influence I would like to integrate more into the DK1 framework would be the first person multiple-party system of Eye of the Beholder. What you got to set a handful of creatures from the isometric view, put them into groups via ctrl+#, and possessed the group so you could have a small formidable party to fight with in FPS mode? Since it’ll be in real-time, having all the creatures attack at once would have a satisfying effect.
Oh, I didn’t get to the title of my alternate DK1 idea: inspired by the Stygian Abyss from Ultima Underworld, I thought that this concept of mine should be called Stygian Caretaker. Here’s the brief game summary which I composed a bit ago:

Being the sole caretaker of a stygian abyss really isn’t easy. Sure, falsely-convicted heroes and hapless explorers get thrown in now and then for a good slaughtering, but there’s an economic side to the stygian business. Aside from furnishing the dank hallways, you got to take care of the ghouls, ogres, boogeymen, gladiators, dark wizards, zombies, maniacal sorceresses, and enormous rodents who inhabit the stygian abyss. Also, you got to feed them, pay them, entertain them, give them affordable housing insurance, and then train them so that they could be the toughest denizens of the abyss which the surface mortals have ever faced. Of course, the more mortal explorers you kill, the farther your stygian abyss stretches. The self-righteous kings who depend upon your stygian home as an easy prison begin to get threatened, and will send in their legions of formidable knights and light-loving wizards to keep your empire from growing. You’ll make sure that annihilating the denizens of the stygian abyss will not be a simple feat to pull off. Causing suffering for the forces of good and the self-righteous is just plain fun, isn’t it?

Here’s a list of units which I have in mind:

Reptilian Drones
Enormous rodents
Boogey men
Dark Wizards
Maniacal Sorceresses
Stag Warriors
Troll Slashers

For the game’s map, I thought perhaps it should be from the point of view of a prison barred window, with all the kingdoms seen towering above. The narrator could be a deep voiced troll, creepily talking about the defense and weaknesses of the king you are seeking to conquer. Each kingdom serves as a series of levels, and when the king has been defeated, the map changes to another kingdom.
Although I don’t think I may ever develop this idea, but I just thought I’d share it with the other Keepers to see what they’d think.

Ominous Perspective
January 25th, 2013, 05:01
I didn't post in the wrong part of the forum, did I? I guess the idea needs to be more than just hypothetical to be discussed with the fan games.

Metal Gear Rex
January 25th, 2013, 05:13
I didn't post in the wrong part of the forum, did I? I guess the idea needs to be more than just hypothetical to be discussed with the fan games.

Well I could take a look at it. But it depends on whether you really want a serious reply with potential criticism on the idea. I doubt there's much to go off of, but I could judge it as best I could. However, being as this concept has essentially no hope to mount onto anything, there's not much point for me actually to sit down, read it all, then think about it before preparing a serious response to it. It would take up a lot of my time, and that's the main problem.

Ominous Perspective
January 25th, 2013, 07:19
You're right, Metal Gear Rex. Thanks. You're the best. : )

I was thinking seriously as to what engine I could use to pull it off. Either the Bullfrog engine for DK1 if it's open source, one of the freeware Quake engines (Dark Places or Tenebrae), or Ken Silverman's Voxlap engine (to retain the pixelated look for the NPCs). There's more I'd like to discuss, but I'll wait later till it's developed more.