Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Silverlight fun and arcane "batteries"

While the open beta of Final Fantasy 14 has taken more programming time away that I'd like to admit, I haven't dropped off the face of the planet yet. I've made good progress so far on the new "tiles" GUI, using silverlight. See this video for a quick video of gameplay. There is a huge number of things needed to make it fully functional, ranging from picking up items to the skill tree.

Assuming I was able to make the tiles interface work on Windows/Mac/Linux, both in the web browser and in a stand alone application, I've been toying around with the idea of ditching the ascii interface. I personally enjoy playing the tiles version of crawl more than the ascii version, and I feel I could make either two decent front ends or one awesome one. There is a lot of "if"s still in the air, but would doing that enrage anybody out there? While in the end I'm programming this game for personal pleasure, I do care about the opinions of the players of my game.

Another idea floating around my head is redesigning the magic system in Magecrawl. Right now, it is a fantasy standard MP system, with the MP being generally recharged after every fight. This makes fights "front heavy" with the characters dumping most of their MP early on, and resorting to melee afterwards. Also, it generally devolves into spamming the most powerful attack spell over and over. When I think about arcane duels, this isn't how I imagine things. I imagine almost every round until exhaustion some spell being cast, whether it is a earth-shaking powerful effect or a simple cantrip.

It is hard to make such a wide spread of spell types and tempos effective in the current system. My idea is a take on recharge magic, with a twist. Each spell has a total amount of "energy" that is needed to cast it. The player has a "battery" of mana, which at the end of each turn (that isn't spent moving?) some is syphoned off to fill each skill not ready to cast.

With a property selection of spells, one could alternate between two relatively fast recharging spells, or cast a range of spells (damage, push back, damage, blink away). Long term effects could reduce either the total "battery" before spells start running dry or the rate that spells recharge. Playing arcane characters should be about casting spells and making things blow up :)

1 comment:

Heroic Fisticuffs! said...

I prefer ASCII, but maybe I am just old fashioned? Aside from a few games, I've never seen tile art that doesn't just make the game look kind of awkward.

I view playing roguelikes sort of like reading a book: I don't need the pictures because in my head it looks scary as hell.

Don't tell me you never panicked when a purple 'h' showed up on your nethack window. :) (Dwarf king or mind flayer?!?!)