Ellandar

Game Design (1984-1988)


Background:

While not technically a game design unto itself, Ellandar was a rules-customized D&D campaign into which I poured years of effort and thousands of pages of writing. It evolved from a simple game with friends in multiple binders filled with overly-detailed drawings and designs that I have kept to this day. It has served as the progenitor of many of my computer game ideas since. The various games I wrote on the Apple ][ all pay homage to this campaign to a greater or lesser degree.

The process of imaginative creation, documentation, then playing through those conceptions with friends to further refine them was my first introduction to the iterative nature of game design. It gave me insight and practice in the arts of storytelling and world-building in a way that impersonal computer games couldn't.

I'll spare everyone the number of scans I could make. What follows are just a couple of images demonstrating the type of detailing I would do of land masses and cities. And yes, every house has a number. Every number has a written description. Every description has statistical details.

Don't even get me started about Buzzard's Hill. There's a dungeon that required weeklong expeditions just to get to the second level! I don't think I've got enough webspace to do it justice.

It's an astonishing pile of material. Anyone want to play a little game of D&D...?

Resources

Ranor Bay and the coast of Ellandar

Description: This map was one of many working maps of places that the characters could wander in their journeys through the world.

The City of Troll Haven

Description: This is the primary city map of Troll Haven. There are many additional maps detailing the interiors of fortresses, buildings, sewers and the like.


 
 

 

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