There's now a preview build of the game
! Last updated Nov 6, 2016. Three complete levels from the final version are playable!
Apologies if this is in the wrong place, wasn't sure if here or the Incubator was better.
Recently I've begun working on a sequel to my 7DRL Possession
. I don't know how widely-played it was, but from what I've seen people talking about it, it seems to have been pretty well-liked. Anyone who's played it, feel free to chime in with your opinions on how you think the changes I'm suggesting are terrible ideas that ruin the basic concept that made the original game so great.
Obviously the new game will feature a ton of new content and more varied maps, but I'm also considering making some mechanical changes as well. In my mind, one of the strengths of roguelikes is that the player's choices are important. When a wrong move can wipe out your entire game and nothing can be taken back, being forced to choose between two unknown outcomes has a lot of impact.
However, in Possession, there are a couple of places where I think the choices aren't that difficult, because the right choice is obvious.
The first, which may not really be that much of a problem, is that there's no incentive to continue exploring the level once you've found the stairs. There are no items or treasure to pick up, so you're not going to find anything useful. The only reason to stick around would be to prepare for the boss fight.
One way I'm going to change that is by some levels having keys or bosses/mini-bosses scattered around that you have to find/defeat before going to the next level, rather than the boss just showing up when you try to go up the stairs. (Keys would be abstracted, there still won't be an inventory, because I just feel like dealing with items while switching bodies all the time would be a major pain).
I'm also considering putting "soul orbs" scattered around the level that enable you to increase the powers of your ghost and maybe even gain special abilities, but I'm not too sure about that. I feel like that might detract from the central premise of the game, that your ghost is totally weak and powerless except for possession.
The second, and in my mind more important problem (because it involves the central mechanic of the game), is that it's almost always better to possess a new body instead of stay with your current one. Granted, if the new body is a different monster you have to make the decision of switching to a different monster that you might not like as much as the one you're possessing, so that's fine. But if you encounter another copy of the monster you're currently possessing, there's no reason not to pick the new one. Either the old body's already been in some fights and so has taken damage, or if not, fighting the new monster will cause the old body to take damage, so you might as well just possess the new body and keep full health.
I've got a few ideas on how to make this choice more interesting. First of all, I'm pretty much certain I'm going to have the possessed creature "level up" as you defeat other creatures. This'll also make it so that lower-level creatures are still useable in higher-level areas; in theory, I'd like it to be possible (if extremely difficult) to play through the whole game while only possessing a single creature.
In the old game, damaging a creature made it easier to possess, but possessing a creature healed it completely, so really the only risk you faced was that you might accidentally kill it. I'll probably also change it so possessing something doesn't heal it completely, so you have to weight the consequences of damaging it to make it easier to possess, but also meaning it'll be weaker once you DO take control.
Then there are a couple of other ideas I'm tossing around that'll change the way things work a bit more, that I'm more interested in getting feedback on:
- You have to leave your current body to possess a new one: In effect, using the possession skill while in a body will automatically leave it, even if the possession fails.
- You have to be next to a creature to possess it: Using the possession skill will cause the ghost to zoom to the target. This also makes it riskier because if you fail you have more of a chance of being attacked (I'd probably make it so the intended target would be stunned for a turn, so failing a possession isn't a guaranteed insta-kill, but you'd still have to worry about enemies NEAR your target).
- However, if you're in a body AND next to the target of the possession, you don't have to leave the body (but the chances of success might be lower than if you were out of a body).
Anyway, if anyone has any comments about any of the above, feel free to chime in. I'm normally pretty bad with doing dev logs, but I'm really going to try to actually post stuff about the development of Possession 2.