GameMaker Studio: “Circadian Dungeons”



Download for Windows PC (v1.1)** Mac build coming soon!


Circadian Dungeons is a role-playing game featuring an ‘active-time’ battle system with arrow-key prompted combos, and contains ‘rogue-like’ elements such as random map, item, and encounter generation.

This game was the product of my GDW (Game Design Workshop) class, in which students were given free reign to concept, build, and iterate on a game of their own creation for 2.5 months. As part of “Boxed Wine Studios”, this was our project.

The player, a nondescript student, is working a late night trying to find inspiration for a homework project due the following morning. While working, the player character falls asleep and dreams of being in a labyrinthine structure that they must explore until awakening. The player moves around the randomly created dungeon rooms, finding monsters to battle with, and items/equipment to improve their combat abilities.

The player’s vitality/health is presented as “Lucidity”, their awareness that they are dreaming. Throughout the dungeon, the player has the opportunity to find items to restore their Lucidity, themed around sleeping aids such as a turkey leg, a warm glass of milk, or a box of wine. When the player’s Lucidity is completely depleted, their character ‘wakes up’, and the player is taken to a Score Screen (in the form of a grade on their school project), that details achievements such as how far they progressed in the dungeon, items acquired, and level reached. In ‘rogue-like’ tradition, the player’s stats and items are reset when they restart or re-enter the dungeon.

A simple stat system determines the player’s parameters and effectiveness when fighting monsters, consisting of Lucidity, Attack Damage, Armour, and Stamina. During the player’s turn in combat, once an attack is selected, a series of button prompts appear and move on the screen, and the player deals more damage to the selected enemy if they hit the corresponding button at the right time.