Dicey Dungeons Reunion Design: The Thief

Hey! Now that Dicey Dungeons Reunion is out, I thought it’d be fun to go through the various episodes and talk about the design of them a bit. Here we go! Gonna start with the Thief!

In the new re-arranged Reunion ordering, the Thief appears first. He’s the easiest of the six new episodes, and also the least complicated to play.

But, he was also probably the *most* work out of the six to make!

I playtested Reunion a lot on a public channel on my discord during development. Here’s the “readme” screen I had for the Thief episode that explains it:

Basically, the idea for Thief was to combine two episodes from the original game:

  • “Parallel Universe” (the one where you get all-new equipment for the player),
  • and “Finders Keepers” (the one where you can permanently keep enemy equipment)

This meant coming up with brand new layouts for almost every enemy in the game. Which was super fun, actually! Whenever I’d get stuck on some other aspect of the design, one of the ways I’d take a break was to pick a random enemy and come up with a new design for them.

Each enemy in Reunion is kind of a remix of how they are in the original, with a new, usually more interesting take on their equipment layout. Let’s look at some examples!

So, in the original, Space Marine has a single “Plasma Cannon” – a weapon with a high countdown that does damage. The Reunion version has a transforming “Rocket Launch”, which needs the sequence 6, 5, 4…

I’m really happy with this new version!

  • Rocket Launch is a way more interesting item for Thief to Steal
  • Space Marine is really fun to watch now, with a lot of drama as you see his turn play out

Another redesign I really like: Sticky Hands! The original design was pretty weird, but I kind of think of him as an agent of chaos, a low probability-high consequence enemy.

His new equipment, “Trick or Treat”, does lot of damage, but he has a 50% chance to hit himself with it.

Another one, Alchemist. Vanilla Alchemist is mostly all about the weird “Bear Potion” item, which permanently transforms you into a bear for the rest of the run. Took a while to think of something new here that I liked!

In Reunion, Alchemist instead gets a bunch of randomly selected potions, which transform her into a random enemy for the rest of the turn.

It lets you preview a bunch of the new enemy designs early on, plus: Thief can steal one of the potions!

Another one, because there are a lot of these. I know a lot of people will be dreading the new Loud Bird, and I’m delighted to report that they’re absolutely horrible:

The layout for each run depends on the enemies you get – if an enemy doesn’t appear, then the shops have a chance to sell you things that the new enemies would have equipped. (So this Paper Sword is available in the level 2 shop because Paper Knight isn’t in the dungeon.)

These new enemy equipment layouts are kind of the heart of Reunion – even though they’re designed around the Thief, they’re present in every character’s episode.

I think that’s all I’ve got to say about the Thief for now. Gonna be doing a little thread like this for all the other characters over the next week or so! Thanks for reading!