A Classic Top Down Dungeon Crawler Built in my Free Time

Chronicles is a top down dungeon crawler in the vein of Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles currently being developed in my free time. Players run dungeons to collect loot, fight large hordes of enemies and take on challenging bosses.

Solo Project Designed and Programmed by Me

Built The Level of "Skaldheim"

Skaldheim is the first level developed as a proof of concept for the gameplay of Chronicles. A dragon has made nest in the mountains, and has driven the village of Skaldheim to the coast. The player takes on the role of a mercenary tasked with slaying the beast.

The layout of Skaldheim contains many oblong loops (lovingly referred to as "beans").  Optional routes are kept short, and to a minimum to minimize dead ends.

To keep the player oriented and always progressing, a clear visual language is established early on. Going up always means making progress.

"Alpha" mobs are usually spread few and far between. Each are introduced in isolation, then tested in different group compositions in the second half of the level.

Programmed the Game Content Manager

I built a content manager to facilitate faster creation of game ready content. The game content manager window provides a one stop shop for creating all the content for the game.


Items, enemies, spells, special attacks, and even multi-level campaigns can all be created and customized in this window.

Built Enemy AI Using Behavior Trees

The enemy AI is built using a behavior tree. This gave me the ability to make enemies play challenging, but fair. 

Some enemies can cast spells just like the player, while others can shoot projectiles or even inflict dangerous stat ailments.

Designed Combat System

Players have three immediate actions that can be prepared for combat.





Each of these actions can be bound to a button on the controller for quick use from the inventory window. By restricting the player to three actions, combat must be approached cautiously, and require quick adaptation.


Weapon attacks can be timed correctly, and can dish out fast combos. Making attacks must be deliberate, and timed in between enemy attacks to be effective.


Items can be consumed during combat for health and temporary stat buffs. Using items takes time, and so does selecting them. Deciding what items you want to use before combat is essential to survival.


Spells are powerful and can inflict stat ailments, but must be charged and aimed before casting. Casting spells is a very high risk action with a big payoff.