Dungeon Research

Dungeons and underground spaces

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Inspiration was taken from descriptions in the pit and the pendulum on the Toledo dungeons.

Dungeon originates from the word Donjon meaning a Keep in a castle-like structure while the English meaning of dungeon translates to oubliette meaning “to forget” often in reference to a cell or prison-like entity, the earliest form of this word is from 1374

In reference to 19th-century gothic literature Dungeons often have connotations towards torture and being held against someone’s will, often a location underground of some archaic nature a reason as to why I’ve researched them prior to this project in last year’s underground research. Dungeons are a medium often used in some games, for example, rouge-like simulate certain themes of dungeons but set the baseline for environmental elements as exploration and adventure rather than terror and fear as originally intended. Blueprints and layouts for dungeon are often very similar and uninteresting; they often follow the layout of the structure above them to ensure structural integrity.

Looking at dungeons objectively not as a hole in the ground that prisoners were kept in, we are enabled to see the design possibilities for creating interactive content, the idea of linear or nonlinear progression is easy to translate into a level design with the

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conceptualisation of prolonged contact with an environment that forces the player to make decisions that will affect their player experience, do they go right or left when they reach the fork in the maze? These decisions will impact what they see and how they react; these variables can be drawn from dungeon theming and its related content.


Following on from previous areas I have looked at including the Christian view on Hell, I looked into Dante’s Inferno and the 9 layers of hell and how these correlated to human temptations linking to sin and virtue.

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Specific Location research

Useful reference images of real locations for colour and design – Early European stone designs