A new fantasy videogame that will give players the power to generate their own levels through Twitter has been launched.
Hashtag Dungeon is unique, in that rather than procedurally generating its own content, the game is tied to the @HashtagDungeon Twitter account which tweets out the code that becomes a whole new level of dungeon generation.
Create dungeons yourself using the built-in dungeon editor and tweet your levels to the world, or venture through levels created by other players. Assume the role of a Dungeon Explorer or a Dungeon Master in order to create a unique dungeon crawling experience.
Developed by graduate Sean Oxspring and current Computer Science undergraduate Kieran Hicks, from the University of Lincoln, UK, the game has been compared to the original Zelda.
Sean, who is a freelance games developer, said: “I had the original idea to create a dungeon crawler from tweets – relating letters to items in rooms. Together with Kieran and Dr Patrick Dickinson in the School of Computer Science we refined the idea and it became a collaborative design tool. Dungeons are made up of combinations of tweets with the same hashtag identifiers. I’m astounded by the feedback we’ve had so far.”
Called a roguelike, Hashtag Dungeon is a sub-genre of role-playing video games, characterized by random level generation, tile-based graphics and permanent death.
The game challenges players to clear every room in a dungeon before taking down a final bad guy, and also allows users to create their own dungeons.
By tweeting code tagged as #HashtagDungeon, players can add new content in the form of rooms filled with monsters, traps and other content. All tagged tweets will automatically be uploaded within the game.
For those whose coding skills may be more basic, Hashtag Dungeon includes an editor option where players can build rooms by dragging and dropping elements and tweeting the results.
Kieran said: “I wanted to create a game that focussed on social integration and user creativity and expression. Using twitter as the means to generate dungeons helps to accomplish this. The whole game is built to be as social as possible; the room design system has a lot of depth to it to allow players to feel like they have control and can make design decisions. The idea now is to follow in the footsteps of games like Minecraft and Don’t Starve by adding content to the game over time based on player feedback.”
Dr Dickinson added: “Hashtag Dungeon is a unique concept which leverages social media in a very interesting way. Kieran and Sean have worked really hard in bringing this project to fruition, and the game is getting better and better, so I am glad they are getting some well-deserved recognition.”
Hashtag Dungeon has been launched on PC devices. To download go to www.hashtagdungeon.com