Game Design Break Down: Crawl

The theme of local multiplayer games continues this week with a break down of Crawl!

What is the goal of the game?

At the start of the game four players dual to determine who will play as a human character. The other three players start as ghosts.

As a human, the goal is to progress down through the dungeon, defeating monsters to get gold and purchase better gear.

As a ghost, the goal is to kill the human player by possessing various objects in the world, laying traps, and spawning monsters.

Once the human player reaches level 10, the boss battle is unlocked. The goal for the human becomes to kill the boss, and the goal for the ghosts becomes to defeat them. The game ends when the boss battle is over, with a victory being given to the human player alone, or the group of three ghosts.

What is the social relationship between players?

Crawl offers a unique social experience by pitting the players (who player as ghosts) against one other player (playing as the human). While the one human player progresses throughout the levels and dungeons, the other three players use the environment and their selected special abilities to try and kill the current player. Whoever kills the human player, then becomes the human.

As the human player progresses and levels up, then the three ghost characters also get more powerful with more “wrath”. the wrath is used to progress along a simple evolution tree of abilities.

This creates an interesting dynamic where at some times it is better to not attack the human player then it is to actually try and kill them.

Another dynamic that is created from this is one between the ghosts, where there is the commons goal of killing the player, yet there is also competition to see which ghost can get the last hit on the human in order to take over that role.

What resources do the players have?

Players can collect three types of resources

  • Gold
    • Used only when you are the human player to purchase weapons, armor, and power ups. This is collected constantly by defeating enemies or dealing damage to the human player.
  • Wrath
    • This is collected by the ghost players when he human player levels up. This is used to progress through an ability tree to become stronger as a ghost.
  • Energy
    • This is collected by the ghost players when the environment is destroyed. This is used to spawn small minions that the ghosts can then poses and attack the player with.


That about does it for this game break down! Crawl is a very fun game with a lot of interesting dynamics, and I would really recommend it to anyone who has a group of friends to play games with!

Game Design Break Down: Gang Beasts

I have been playing a lot of couch competitive/party games recently, the most popular among my roommates and I being Gang Beasts. I started wondering, what actually makes this game fun? Why has it grown to be so popular among my otherwise non-competitive roommates?

Having just revived the RIT Game Development Club, I had the perfect opportunity to ask fellow developers/designers what they thought. I asked people a couple of questions:

What is the goal of this game?

  • Be the last player alive and kill your enemies!

What are some obstacles?

  • Other players
  • The environmental hazards

Is this game fair?

  • This game is fair to all those who have played before, but if you are a new player going up against people who have played before, the game does not make it obvious what the controls are. This can lead to some new players being a little confused.

The group came to a couple conclusions about how the simple mechanics of the game can lead to some very fun dynamics between players.

The basic mechanics of the game are to punch, grab, and therefore kill the opposing players. You win by being the last person alive. Each map has a different environmental hazard, that allows for more varied ways to be victorious.

If you were to break down all these things into the types of fun as defined by the MDA Framework, then we came up with the following:


Being a local multiplayer game, the people that you are playing with can either make or break the experience for you.


This is mainly for newer players, that have to discover what each of the buttons on the controller does for themselves. Along with discovering how to play the game, each map offers new ways to defeat the opponents, which you need to find out for yourself.


If you are playing with more experienced players, then the matches can last quite a while. This will invoke some more challenging strategies in the game.

If you are looking for a great competitive game to play with your friends of all skill levels, then Gang Beasts is a fantastic addition to the ol’ Steam library.