We’ll be working on a review for Dungeons of Dreadrock, so I got in touch with indie Christoph Minnameier to talk a bit about the game. Come check it out!
PS4Blog: Hi! Good morning. Thank you for joining us for this interview. Could you please help us get going by introducing yourself to our readers?
Hi, I’m Christoph. I love to tell stories and create things. I’m a PhD in Complexity Theory and Concurrency Theory and a game design professor. I’m the dev of Dungeons of Dreadrock, and last but not least, I’m a Dad… which should be enough to explain the dad joke humor in the game.
PS4B: On that note, Dungeons of Dreadrock is on its way to Nintendo Switch with a May 12 release date. How would you describe the game to someone who’s new to it?
It’s a puzzle adventure. I started development with the inspiration of old-school dungeon crawlers but with the idea to shift the perspective to a top-down presentation. That change in perspective brought so many changes in gameplay that I learned to better not to mention this. So instead, I’ll just say it takes inspiration from a wide range of games (like Legend of Grimrock, Inside, Sokoban, and many others), and dungeon crawlers as a genre are just one of said inspirations. So let’s stick to saying it’s an immersive puzzle-adventure set in a dungeon. 🙂
PS4B: Were there any particular hurdles or challenges you had to overcome during the game’s development?
I mostly had to overcome myself in order to take this project seriously. It all started out as a hobby, a self-education project. I’m not a business person, so I was very hesitant to actually set up contracts and spend money to hire freelancers for art. But with my confidence growing that the game was worth it, I finally made the decision, and I’m very happy with the result.
PS4B: It’s interesting that the game offers 100 handcrafted stages instead of going the procedurally generated route. What made you decide to take this approach?
I guess you refer to one of my website claims (“no procedural bullshittery” ^^). That’s half-joke – I don’t hate roguelikes, and I enjoyed a bit of Dead Cells myself – and half-truth. Procedurally generated games are great for replayability, but they don’t value the player’s time very much. That’s not a problem if you’re a kid with some time to waste, but as a dad with a full-time job, I rather seek games that are quickly accessible, non-repetitive, and make the most of my time. A great example of such a game is Playdead’s Inside. Having said that, there’s actually no way you could procedurally generate most of the puzzles in Dungeons of Dreadrock.
PS4B: With the game’s development completed, are you currently considering creating additional levels for the game as an Epilogue of sorts, or are you working on a new project? Taking a much-needed rest is also a valid option!
I’ll actually take a bit of a rest, meaning I’ll work my normal 9 to 5 job without burdening myself (or my family) with a hobby project for the next few months. But I’m happy that Dungeons of Dreadrock has already gained a lot of visibility, and a lot of people have been asking for more, so I do hope to deliver a sequel within the next one or two years.
PS4B: And that’s all the time we have for today. Is there something else you’d like to add before we go?
Thanks for your questions, and thanks for your time. There are so many great indie games out there with no budget for marketing. We all depend very much on your work and on the work of other websites that cover us with news and reviews. Also, thanks to all indie advocates, streamers, content creators, and the great indie game community in general. You’re awesome. Keep it up!