dheart88 Thank you, guitar boy with a frog for a hat!
How you mortals doing? Me Im quite busy of late with the equinox ceremonies n stuff, and have little time for the mighty MEGAQÜEST at the moment, Im afraid. In some a couple of weeks or so I hope to be back at full speed again.
So I've received a lot of succulent feedback from Demo Of Darkness; I'm happy and flattered that most people seems to like the game. Several brave individuals though pointed out some issues that will be useful in a near future (and then died screamin over the altar of Moloch). Current online version was rigged a bit in a rush due to this culturegamefest deadline, so I focused mainly in the game mechanics (aesthetics came first), neglecting somewhat deliberately several key aspects. A few things I want to update are a parallax layer, death animations, eventually several different playable characters (if it worked for them creeps and npcs, will work for the pc too) and one final (and only) boss that should serve to close the, er, game experience or whatever they call it. All these things should be hopefully included in this Demo of Darkness iteration (under 100 evs), if I can fit them in.
But what I really need is a proper gameflow here. By flow I mean several subtle things that makes a game feel coherent as a whole. It includes the conspicuous player's reward, but I think its most important aspect is the structure of the game. Lemme explain. Imagine we have a clone of supermario. No background story, no nothing. So you go through a stage, face a final boss, get some points, make it (or not) to a ranking: a little, simple yet highly effective structure. Another one: yknow this game that you're a little black doll and you run and run, all black and white, jumping over abysses and traps, and you score is the yards you reach before finding a usually gruesome death? That's another, even more simple structure, and it works like clockwork too.
Compare them now with the mighty MEGAQÜEST, where you go through a stage... and go... and go. The whole sandbox thing also raise its own issues. Pointlessness is sorta its natural state, since there's no start and no end. Size matters too, and the final map should be much bigger than the current one in order to avoid... well, claustrophobia. Even then it may well happen that you have to cross say the Graveyard for the say fifth time, which could become a bit repetitive. Or more than a bit.
So whattam gonna do about it? I'm most certainly gonna implement some level or experience system. This should hopefully help to give the player some reason to live, but there are deeper reasons. It will gimme some control over the cadence of the game, like “you need more that 999 EP to get into the Town”, “you need to reach Level 5 to open that door”. It may be useful also when it comes to monsterspawning (if you are leve 3 you meet an orc; if you are level 5 you meet a minotaur and so), npc dialogues, etc.
This get us into the narrative side. Thats gonna have to wait til next post, but basically there will be several small plotlines -- rather than one big story of vengeance and thrill and romance. In Demo of Darkness I sketch one of these plotlines, something dealing with necromancy and a mysterious plague outbreak, that I mean to develop a bit further too...