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Author Topic: Berserk advancement, levels and gameplay  (Read 5236 times)

Kornel Kisielewicz

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Berserk advancement, levels and gameplay
« on: October 20, 2006, 19:18 »

Okay, I realy need your opinions on this topic, so I ask that you all reply to this. Berserks combat engine is almost complete. But, as it is now, the game is quite repetetive, and has no replay value. Of course, this is mainly because of the lack of character advancement, and the fact that it's played on the same field. Now I need to make a decision where to head from now on. I had a major plan, but it will not be possible due to time constraints. Here are the possibilities, and the pros and cons of each of them:


1. The Massacre

This choice basicaly means that we leave the game as it is, adding maybe a random playfield (but stays the same till the end). Character development will be at the beginning, with multiple choices. Item and level-ups will be not present (or maybe yes? If so, in what situation?). The game is infinite, as more and more monsters spawn.

Pros: The easiest way -- for sure I'll be able to complete that. Also it will be most true to the feeling of the game that I wanted to achive -- a last stand of a powerfull human against the demonic forces -- with the battlefield turning completely red, and the player being swarmed completely. Also no need to implement the more advanced AI for handling buildings, and no need for advanced terrain generators.

Cons: Might be boring in the long run, especialy if no level-up and item respawn will be possible. Also the single playfield which will be quickly reduced to a field of corpses might not present any tactical challange in the mid- and late-game.


2. The Daycount

The game is divided into phases. Each phase represents one day of survival. Each day the battlefield changes, and the player levelups and restocks his items (not neccesary to max). Number of phases is infinite, the player will die eventually (or maybe make a final phase?).

Pros: Character development will be rich, and will provide a big variety. Easier to implement than the Campaign.

Cons: Some people may dislike the idea that each day they seem to be playing a "new game" and that they will die anyway. Harder to implement than the Massacre. Will need development of AI, terrain generators and advancement code.


3. The Campaign

This was the original idea after thinking about enriching the game. Theres an overworld map, on which you can only choose the next battlefield, but day after day you move closer to the Castle, where the Apostole awaits you.

Pros: Will add plot and strategy in choosing the path to the castle. Will be most interesting gameplay-wise. Also it's the only way to present the game with a positive ending.

Cons: The mood wont be as dark as I wanted to be, there wont be that feeling of a already lost desperate battle against fate. Most challenging to implement, and hard to balance correctly (the different paths). Lot work on AI, dungens and the boss level.

---

In the future (after the initial release) I might decide to make each of these options available, as game modes.

I await your comments!
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Fingerzam

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Berserk advancement, levels and gameplay
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2006, 10:40 »

I like these in this order: 2,1,3. The third one being last for two reasons:
1) It seems to have too much work to get working and balanced quickly enough
2) I would like to have a good survival mode anyway

Out of the two survival modes I like the second one more. As I'd like to have some way of replenishing items, this seems to be the best way to replenish them, having one night last for x leves and each night being harder, with (possibly) the same number of items available to survive each night.

If the first one is chosen, I'd like to see some random item spawning and/or a leveling system. Spawning items will make the player wanting to wander around more, but the max number of items shoulld be the same as the number of items you have at the beginning. The items should also disappear after a number of turns.

I like the campaign idea, but it seems to have too much work, and I'd rather see an exellent survival game rather than a not so good campaign mode,
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Glowie

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Berserk advancement, levels and gameplay
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2006, 10:49 »

You know your limits better than we do, but if you have enough time I'd say go for the second option.

The campaign mode seems to be a bit too large for a 7DRL especially because you had your birthday.

The massacre isn't a bad option either, 7DRLs aren't meant to have a long replay value like normal roguelikes (it's 7 days after all!). Plus, don't underestimate the "just one more game, I'm sure I can slaughter a few more monsters!".

These phases and restocking sound fun, but I think you shouldn't create a final phase. This keeps the feeling of despair, "there is no hope". I think this option is good fun and not too large to create.

But as I said, if you don't feel like coding or don't have enough time, go for the massacre and you'll have a fun little bloodshed 7DRL finished. You can always extend the game later if you want. :)
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Turgor

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Berserk advancement, levels and gameplay
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2006, 14:56 »

I like the 2nd option a lot, mainly because of changing battlefields. As it is now, there's usually one spot that has clear tactical advantages over the rest of the map, and i don't move away from it much further than 8-10 steps untill i die.

The phases would give the player a bit of breathing room each time though, this will break up the tension in the game. I'm not sure how big an impact that is however.

I'm not sure if levelups are really necessary for this game to work, looks to me to be a lot to tweak and it's day 5 allready :).
But if you keep leveling up as simple as adding a bit of health that should be easy enough.

I like the ideas behind the 3rd option, but i doubt you can get it done so fast. And the hopeless feeling you have now would indeed be gone if you know you can actually win :D

Quoting: Glowie
don't underestimate the "just one more game, I'm sure I can slaughter a few more monsters!".

Listen to that man btw. It is indeed what i think after every game so far :)

Jorge Alonso

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Berserk advancement, levels and gameplay
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2006, 16:50 »

What you think about the 2? option, but with day and night periods?

The day monsters are not the same of the night monsters. When the night come, the day monster come out (or hide), and loss their strench, but the night monster come in... Or you can use diferrent maps for every period.

Another idea: When the moon is full, really big monster/s appeared. Make and eclipse day?
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Malek Deneith

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Berserk advancement, levels and gameplay
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2006, 14:37 »

Ok, sory for late reply but I am at school, and was witout internet access until today. I agree that 2nd option is the best - 3rd makes sense if you'd want to develop berserk further after 7DRL contest - right now there isn't enough time to make that option worth the amount work it would take.

Oh, and I like Jorge Alonso's idea of day & night periods ^^
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Getix

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Re: Berserk advancement, levels and gameplay
« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2006, 08:44 »

2. Daycount

In my opinion, you can set up this in another way, a bit different.

Make it a time limited battle (ex. 1.000 turns).. As the day finishes, monsters escapes & prepare for a new assault tomorrow.
After 1.000 turns, based on how many monsters you have killed, you are awarded XP to increase stats / traits / whatelse and you can replenish character's stock.

You can also add 2 different version: a kind of "siega game" where the char has a "city" to defend (similar to map Town, but with many chokepoints) or a free battle on a terrain generated random.
"City" will be "damaged" during the battle, so walls, houses, doors.. they are all destructable (but it is not so easy to destroy a wall).

My 2 eurocents
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Adral

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Re: Berserk advancement, levels and gameplay
« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2006, 11:25 »

Well, to add some replay value, I think the most important thing (be it in mode 1,2 or 3) is adding some option for character development/getting items.

The game becomes much richer when you have to think out where do you spend your points, what weapons you buy, what traits/perks you get, etc., so maybe I'm more inclined to the order 2,3,1.

2 first because it's easier than 3 and it would make character development and phases different, and I think it would be a cool thing to have. Then 3 because campaing sounds very cool. Last 1 because it's the most boring, in my opinion, having always the same.

However, in the final version it'd be nice to have all 3 modes :)
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Getix

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Re: Berserk advancement, levels and gameplay
« Reply #8 on: December 18, 2006, 04:20 »

Character advancement ... well, imho there are 3 ways:

- Trait as you level up ingame (DoomRL)
- Trait + skill ( la Adom), getting higher on use/abuse & trait for level
- Skill based ( la Dungeon Crawl), the more you use the skill, the more it gets higher.

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TFoN

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Re: Berserk advancement, levels and gameplay
« Reply #9 on: December 26, 2006, 06:26 »

Now that I've played the game a couple of times, I can certainly say - 2.

Daycount the way Igor Savin described it seems very good.

As for a killcount, I suggest that it should be .ini definable.
I find it comforting NOT knowing just how badly I might be doing. I manage to get alot more out of my last 10 HPs without comparing it with the rest of my game.


And semi-OOC, where do you suggest I get a compiler for FreePascal (that's what you've used here, right?)?
Although I doubt it, will TurboPascal7 work...?

Kornel Kisielewicz

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Re: Berserk advancement, levels and gameplay
« Reply #10 on: December 26, 2006, 11:04 »

Object Pascal is the name of the language, FreePascal is the name of the Compiler. I don't think Berserk! would compile under anything else. But as the name implies it's free ;].

http://www.freepascal.org/

You might also be interested in the IDE:

http://www.lazarus.freepascal.org/

And of course you'll need the Valkyrie library:

http://valkyrie.chaosforge.org/
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