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Why randomly generated dungeons are still popular.

by William Forcier


Why are random dungeons popular? A good question, but another way of saying such question could be, "Why do random dungeons exist?" In a way, answering the latter will also answer the former, explaining both reasons of the question 'WHY'. Random dungeons, for myself, exist in order to give the player a different flavor each time they hit the power button. Like a preferred dessert, it is delicious each time someone takes it into their mouths. Yet as time goes on, while the confection remains delicious, it loses the excitement of the unknown. Your mind begins anticipating what is coming, and adopts a slight sense of boredom, due to it knowing what to expect. Standard dungeons are like this, in a way. Your mind knows that your going to turn this way, or walk down that ladder, or defeat that monster long before your hands push the control cross or analong stick in the desired direction. Before one knows it, they find themselves out of the dreary caverns and back into the sunshine, eager to try and experience the next place, despite it being a repetion of their first time through.

Random dungeons allow the mind to constantly work and adjust. No more does it produce a mental map for the player, who anticipates getting out in record time. Instead, where there was a turn, there is now a wall. A ladder, a hole. A bridge, a miniature maze. To some, this may induce frustration. But to others, while the story remains intact, the game adds a different flavor to each play session. Never shall a competitor become bored, because they can simply scurry through like a rodent and instantly reach their goal. Now, their minds shall be challenged to solve new puzzles, challenge new foes, and reap new rewards and benefits from the games ability to throw a monkey wrench into the works. Random dungeons properly provide this wrench, in an acceptable, yet diverse way. Boredom no longer is expected, for the maze is ever-changing, ever-shifting, enticing players to venture once again into the unknown darkness, where anything from treasure to insane enemies might lurk. They warp the image that we develop for ease, and challenge ourselves to experience, what may be called, a brand new adventure, every time the power switch shines green, and the screen grants the title image to the eyes. That's why, I think, random dungeons are popular, even to this day.

Notes:

This is a very well written piece about why random dunegons are popular even to this day... but unfortunately it didn't really answer the second part directly. (Why you personally were drawn to them) Although it was implied, and it is a very well done piece, that was probably the one thing (compared to the other entries) which made it fall a little short of first place.

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