EXODUS – Virtual Dungeon Simulator – Released!

I have been working in this project for about one month now since the latest release of Ananias. The idea came to my mind some months ago and it took a while for it to evolve into what it is now: I wanted to create a program that would emulate an environment for people to explore in real life.

firstIdea
The initial plans

My initial design was for a round space with 5 interconnected rooms, the program would generate a room layout telling the party what rooms they could move to, and it would be seamless (no levels). I also thought a lot on the best way to represent it, even wondering if I should use some sort of devices on each room for player input, and some kind of lights to represent the room exits.

The idea continued evolving, in the end I went for something much more practical: a bigger open space where the party could move in the four cardinal directions from room to room, and there would be a mobile app handled by a Game Master, which would guide the group through the dungeon.

Having planned my participation on the Hearth of Britannia, Lifeblood of the Hearth 3 event, I set to finish the program up to an useable state so that it could be used there. I created an open source repo for it, and pushed forward to create an initial version so I could do a live test with some friends, which went pretty nice and gave me lots of feedback to make it better.

playtesters
The first group of Adventurers to ever use EXODUS

I continued working on it, flew to Austin for the event and ran 4 games there. Happily, the players liked it quite a bit and even on-site I continued doing some tweaks. In between flights and some time after coming back home, I polished the user experience so anyone could use it.

During the event, I was able to test both full party sessions and also one on one (2 players), even did a test without Game Master (i.e. the Game Master acting as Dungeon Dweller). It worked pretty nice!

holbothowkr
Some tweaks before the second session, working from the Creekside Manor on Castleton

And here it is… EXODUS is ready to be used by other people!

So, how do you play it?

  • Download the app (Android only for now)
  • Get some soft plastic sticks that can work as swords (or better yet, get some LARP weapons)
  • Get at least someone else to play with (ideally 4 or more people), and meet in an open place.
  • Create a new game in EXODUS, then use the program to move from room to room; have someone in the adventurers party map the dungeon (in real paper) so you don’t get lost.
  • When moving around, lots of things can happen:
    • You will find monsters to fight with, each one with different skills.
    • You will fall into traps, some of which you can try to evade.
    • You will find healing items, dangerous treasure chests and mysterious fountains.
  • Some of the players act as dungeon dwellers, they represent the monsters in combat.
  • At your disposal there’s also a lot of magic spells you can use to either attack enemies or support your party.

There’s a manual with more info if you want to take a look…

Would you like to set up a game in your local community? Contact me if you have any questions about it, I’d be happy to answer!

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