CGE for Dungeon Crawl Jam?

I recently heard about the Dungeon Crawler Jam 2021 organised by and am thinking of entering.
Can anyone advise whether a beginner could make such a game in a week using CGE if they had two months to learn and prepare?
In the context of the competition, a dungeon crawler is a first person RPG with instant step movement on a grid and 90 degree turns in the cardinal directions, North, East, South, West.
In other words, something along the lines of Eye of the Beholder, Dungeon Master or Might and Magic I to V, but on a smaller scale (due to the time restriction).

A “week” is a very vague term :slight_smile: If a week means 3 hours during the weekend - very unlikely. If 8 hours a day, weekends included, then - more than possible.

You can try this one out: EugeneLoza / Duungeeon · GitLab . I don’t remember how long exactly did it take me to make it, but with the core of the map rendering algorithm (given the map is already read or generated and all assets are available and game-ready) being 50 lines of code + 150 lines of code for navigation, I guess it’s not something too long.

Writing the UI/UX would take much longer - and depending on the “appetites” may take years of full-time job :slight_smile: RPGs ain’t a joke, I’ve learned it the hard way :slight_smile:
But as “week long game jam” is not expected to make something outwordly complex and smooth, I guess a week would do the job.

Depends. Making such a project, especially making it quick, is not an easy task. It would require enormous amount of assets in the first place - it may take a day or two just to pick appropriate soundtrack for the game.

If the beginner long before the jam prepares the assets (and if it’s allowed by the jam rules) and makes a test project in which he/she will test all the features that are planned for the jam-game, then yeah, why not?

Writing such a project from the scratch (assets, level design, game design, RPG system, UI designs, and finally the programming without prior experience of such projects) - very likely to fail even for an experienced programmer, unless he/she has a very good idea on what to do and can dedicate hell of a time daily. I’d name 2-3 months of spare-time 1-2 hours/day development for some relatively simple, but finished product.

I.e. the key is to set the planned features low and be ready to sacrifice a lot of time to it. Then it’s perfectly doable.

Update: Also note that such game jams allow teams for a reason. E.g. think of covering all the tasks of assets/code/design alone within 7 days or when the work is shared between game designer, programmer, designer, 3d modeller (at least to grab free models from opengameart and export them in a proper unified format), sound designer (at least to grab the sounds from freesound and convert them into something unified - it takes much more time than one could anticipate) - during the same 7 days you get at least 2x, 3x work done at a much higher level.

Also, as long as the specific jam has though “not too high” but still a monetary award, expect unfair competition. Maybe it’d be a better idea to make something for your own pleasure and fun, than be left puzzled “why did judges give to my complete and playable game score lower than of some trash prototype that crashes at the first enemy”.


The competition doesn’t start for just over two months, so I’m not sure how many hours per day I would have available. I was mostly asking if it was even remotely possible for a beginner with CGE, as there are several other tools available that are geared specifically towards making RPGs.

The rules seem to indicate that you are allowed to create or obtain any assets you will need before the jam starts, but not to start making the actual game ahead of the start time.

I take that to mean that you can create all the pieces beforehand but not put any of them together until the competition has started.

The rules specifically say “You can use any game engines, libraries, pre-existing code/algorithms, pre-existing art, etc.”

They also say “The game must be a new game project started and finished within the 7 day time frame, not just another week of work on an existing one”.

In their Discord discussion board, some people have mentioned using dungeon crawler kits for Unity or Unreal Engine which can be bought from their online stores.

I’m not expecting to win any prizes, but I might get some feedback on whatever I create and possibly a little publicity for CGE.

I hadn’t planned to create a dungeon crawler as my first project, but it was one of the steps I envisioned taking whilst building up to creating an RPG along the lines of Daggerfall.

Feedback may be constructive and destructive. IMHO, you’ll get a much more useful feedback in a relaxed jam like PROCJAM or even non-time-restricted “Feedback Fridays” that many gamedev communities have, than in a competitive jam when the goal of a feedback would be to put you down - often without even playing your game at all.

Well, there’s a simple way to check - just look at their previous jams, there are many entries. What was the feedback the newcomers got? The fact that there are bad jams/communitites out there doesn’t mean there aren’t any good ones :slight_smile: My experience in jams is very limited (I’m rather extrapolating the attitude of several communities), and I would be really glad I’ve just been unlucky.

Note, that Daggerfall uses a more complicated map, I’ve also made a similar map generator ~5 years ago - EugeneLoza / Mazer · GitLab (ancient and trash code :smiley: May even not compile with the new Engine version). And, as a newbie back then, it took me much longer than a week of work - a month of almost full-time work every day, if I remember correctly (assets + code).

I decided to go with Unreal Engine 4 and the Dungeon Crawler Toolkit due to my lack of experience and how much of the heavy lifting they will both do for me.

I still intend to learn how to use CGE afterwards, hopefully with a better understanding of how such games are constructed.

The jam starts in just over 9 hours if anyone else wants to give it a try.

@Wysardry how did it go?

I learned quite a lot about how dungeon crawlers are put together, but wasn’t able to complete one in the week allowed.

This was partly because I didn’t have time to learn about the tools beforehand and partly because some of the modular dungeon pieces didn’t fit together well “out of the box”.

Only about 10% of the people that signed up actually submitted a game, so considering my lack of experience I don’t feel too bad about being part of the 90% that didn’t.

If nothing else, what I learned should help me try something similar using CGE. It also made me aware of a free low poly modular dungeon pack that could be useful for creating prototypes.

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Cool! :slight_smile: Yeah, the problem with assets that look cool on a web page, but then are a pain to put into the game is a big problem - I learned that the hard way…

I’m not 100% sure, but I think the problem was due to an error made by the person who created the toolkit rather than the one who made the models. The piece that gave me the most problems just needed to be scaled up by 1.5 in all three axis, so I’m guessing it was imported into UE4 at the wrong size.

I didn’t try scaling it up at first though, as there were blueprint (visual code) elements for the door and portcullis models related to that model and I wasn’t confident enough to modify those at the start.

If everything had gone smoothly, I probably wouldn’t have learned as much though.

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