Megadungeon for 2023. 12 levels. 365 rooms. One room a day. Keep it all in a journal. Let’s do this.
Dungeon23 is a daily writing challenge conceived by Sean McCoy (of Mothership fame) that encourages you to write just one room of a dungeon every day. And at the end of the year, you’ll have a 365-room Megadungeon.
I’m often intimidated by the idea of mega dungeons so being able to work them into a daily routine definitely has its appeal. The limited daily writing space in my Hobonichi is definitely going to help with that too. I can’t afford to have bloated descriptions or unnecessary prose. Get a basic idea of the room down and move on.
I’m going to be working on a variation I’m calling Facility23 focusing space and science-fiction ‘dungeons’ instead. There are never enough sci-fi specific dungeons and it ties into one of my early blog articles so seems like the perfect opportunity.
During the planning stages of my facility, I’ve been going back and forth while trying to decide what style to do. Early on I thought about a Blame!-like megastructure or deteriorating city with Brutalism aesthetics. Not unlike the zine mockup I made for the Dungeon23 Asset Pack.
But in the end I really wanted to lean into my understanding a facility: yellow safety railings, metal walls and infrastructure, integrated systems, &c. While I could do that with Die Metropole, it felt like something that would be better to save for the future. Something with tetrapods.
I also thought about classic ideas of space and sci-fi adventures on an orbital ring (a la Consider Phlebas, Citizen Sleeper, Halo) and that seemed to fit the bill. As I was working on some lists for random encounters, I also thought a point crawl across a planetary astroid ring would be cool and present a lot of options on implied play (how do you travel between each rock?).
Ultimately, I think I’m going to combine the two. An orbital space station built into a mineral-rich asteroid belt. Most of the inhabitants are now dead or missing. Something catastrophic happened. I’ll have to write to find out what.
And that’s it. I’m trying not to overwhelm myself in the planning stage as I want this to be a long-term project and not one that gets abandoned to other, more important projects. The only other thing I’m doing is coming up with lists of monsters to fight, traps to blunder into, and puzzles to solve. If I have that in advance, I hope that’ll keep the load of writing each day lower.
Feel free to steal from any of my ideas below and make it your own. I’ll be treating this like a living list and updating as inspiration strikes.
Let’s do this.
Fantasy dungeons sometimes have it easy when it comes to monsters specifically so here’s a long list with replacements for the easy fallbacks of bandits, dragons, goblins, kobolds and orcs.
General note. Alien Isolations feels like it has a lot of depth but only has 4 types of enemies.
Some sketches of ideas for items, consumables, or even technology that can be used for puzzles and traps.
Been thinking about what to draw inspiration from for Facility23 so here’s a sort of Appendix N.