Putting the Elemental in Elemental Dungeons

in Design

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With our recently released Elemental Dungeons Pack (also available on Steam), I felt it was a great time to look at making Elemental Dungeons feel… well more elemental!

At this point, Fire, Water, Air, Earth Dungeons, well, it is a bit cliche, but they are still fun to play with. But the thing is if you are going to make an elemental dungeon, you really need to add something to make it more than just wallpaper.

Think about some mechanics that would fit that style of dungeon.

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Water Dungeons can give you lots of ideas. How about a diving system? So much time to travel underwater to get to the next section. Or you could do the traditional raising/lowering water levels with rafts.

Or maybe you could find ways to freeze the water, and then do sliding puzzles on the ice that remains.

How would you make a water dungeon feel like a water dungeon, rather than just being a dungeon that has water in it?

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Or a fire dungeon! Cooling an area to then walk on, much like the ice in the water dungeon works. But what about areas of noxious gas? Maybe a heat mechanic where you have certain areas you have to move through quickly to prevent overheating?

Another option is forming a puzzle around a limited amount of some kind of resource for putting out fires blocking your path, and trying to figure out how to use that limited amount to get where you need to go.

The main thing is you want your dungeon theme to feel like something more than wallpaper. So how would you do a fire dungeon?

What about an air one? Or an earth one? How could you make it unique and thematic mechanically?

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