I haven't posted here for a couple of weeks, but here's a small progress update.
If you've played the uploaded version of the game, you could walk around and hit a few random enemies, or shoot them with a bow. *Technically*, your starting unit has a wooden sword, a wooden bow, and wooden arrows equipped. These weapons are pretty weak; however, you have an enormously overpowered strength stat, which was added temporarily just so I could actually kill things while testing. But all of this was under the hood, not actually visible to the player.
Anyway, what I saw as one of the most critical things to add at this point is a "Unit Info" screen. This is a screen which, as the name suggests, will display the most basic and important info about the current unit: name, race/type, icon, inventory items, equipped gear, currencies, base stats, derived stats, quest reminders, etc. I'll add these one step at a time. My first step has been to work on a drag & drop system for transferring items from your inventory to equipped outfit, and vice-versa; this will allow you to actually start equipping items that you find throughout the world.
I've also done some work on units, so I'll share a bit about the direction I'm going in. So far, I've come up with an initial list of 66 units and roughly ranked them in terms of power, so that I can balance them and provide a suitable challenge for the player at all levels. For example, when starting out, a weak player unit can easily kill several Bees or Rats by himself. To boldly face a Warg, Python, or Vampire, however, he would need to be an experienced warrior of heroic proportions - or at least a seasoned adventurer with several companions. But taking on a Titan, strongest unit of them all, would be no easy task for even a well-armed team of living legends. Here are some of the unit icons that I'll be using for now, most of them shamelessly copied/modified from Google Image searches:
What makes units unique and interesting? Several factors:
- humanoids and demihumans start with unique names; the player may be asked to name other units (ex. dog)
- unique icons (humanoids and demihumans will have unique icons with randomized poses and outfits)
- unique races (human, elf, kobold, etc.) & types (humanoid, animal, substance, monster, etc.)
- race anatomy: different races have different body parts; demihumans can only equip certain types of gear (ex. mermaids and lamias cannot wear pants or shoes; minotaurs cannot wear helmets; harpies don't have hands, etc.)
- unique stat distributions: some have great strength; others have a lot of endurance or speed; some have less life points, but thick armor that has to be penetrated.
I've also coded a number of different "behaviors" which can be plugged into units to determine how they will act for both individual turns and in an overall strategy. Here are some examples:
- Archer: the unit will prefer to distance itself from enemies and attack the nearest enemy at range; if out of ammo, will engage in melee.
- Berserk: the unit will target the nearest enemy, then pursue and melee-attack it until it is dead, ignoring all other enemies and considerations.
- Bloodlust: the unit will always target the nearest enemy at the start of each turn.
- Bully: the unit will always target and pursue the weakest enemy in sight, attacking it in melee.
- Challenger: the unit will always target the strongest enemy in sight.
- Coil: the unit will mind its own business, but will strike at random adjacent enemies
- Mindless: the unit will wander around aimlessly, only attacking enemies by random chance.
- Sniper: the unit will target the weakest enemy or the enemy closest to death, and attack at range.
And here's my initial unit list, ranked roughly from weakest to strongest. The ones marked with an asterisk are humanoid or demihuman units that may be initially generated with a particular flavor (ex. a human may be generated as a "human warrior" with STR, CON bonuses and starting with a sword; or as a "human rogue" with DEX, LUCK bonuses and starting with a knife.)
human* (includes pirates, barbarians, etc.)
If you have any suggestions for additional behaviors or units, they are welcome. I'm trying to stick to a mostly fantasy-based theme, but in a serious and realistic way. Nothing overly cute (sorry, Pikachu) and nothing parodical/ridiculous (like you would see in games like Earthbound or Kingdom of Loathing).