Of course, immediately after I set Dark Souls down for Persona 4, I got an idea about my dungeon generator — in the context of Dark Souls.

Working from memory, I created a cutaway map of the Dark Souls world — just what I’d played up to that point actually, with lots of errors — not the point.

It occurred to me that between the setting changes, there were some subtler layout and navigation/hazard differences. Almost every area featured height-based falling hazards of some type — they get more absurd farther on.

What I finally recognized in the game, was something I could compare to the “dungeon scores” and “defense scores” I’d created for my generator.

I figured out where the dividing lines between say — lairs, forts, vaults, and halls were — but then I realized I was missing something else and that was their positions and connections relative to one another. So that’s next.

The point I think I need to work on then is “classes” of connections between hypothetical dungeon zones. For that, I hope to repurpose the positions I got from Chess — center, rank, file, home, and corner.

Where does this all get us? Well, it occurred to me that creating top-down maps wasn’t as difficult (for me, at least) as creating those dungeon cutaways or sideviews that receive so much love.

So how do I get there from here?

A dungeon zone (I was calling them “blocks”) has a position relative to some starting point, and has connections to other zones (or blocks), which ought to be class-able. The connections I think, are more important than the actual position of the zones. I you break down a wall it should probably be within the zone.

So you choose a dungeon zone’s “type” (hall, vault, lair, etc) that gives you an idea of its rooms and inhabitants, and then its connections — which gives you an idea of where it has ties to other zones.

If this works, then it should be possible to “sketch” a dungeon together from blocks or zones, and then revise your dungeon visually and statistically.

Dark Souls has been a lot more helpful in this regard than Persona, which is only funny when you consider how in spite of massive differences — both games are dungeon crawls. “Dungeon crawl” is somehow both genre and gameplay.