Game related issues & questions

General discussion about the development of the game

Game related issues & questions

Postby greco » Tue Aug 27, 2013 6:44 am

Hi Georges. Gongratulations, again, for the wonderdul work you have done until now. Given that this game is practically "one man show" until now the amount of work is really astonishing
1) Two questions regarding levleling up:
a)Will there be a level cap, either strong (meaning programmatically set) or soft (meaning based on the size of the game - monsters and consequently experience sometimes extincts-)? I am asking this because I see things planned, for example, for level 20 like specializations? So will it be possible to reach it, during this game?
b) Experience points needed to level up will be fixed for all classes and races, or do you plan to have some variations? For example
mages in D&D rules (do not know if this has been changed in latest editions), gain high levels much more slower than fighters! I do not remember though if there is something alike regarding races, though certain races have specific level cap for some classes (for example a dwarf can never become a good cleric since he cannot pas over the 14th level.)
2) Regarding food and water: If I remember correct party members will need to get food in order to survive. In my opinion, this is something which I find really embarrassing in most of these games, because eventually you have to carry lots of food items in you backpacks, reducing space for other more important things, not to mention that your characters tend to become overwheigthed always (Grimrock is a notable example). Now my questions is: do you plan to implement a Eye of the Beholder like approach, where after clerics had learned the Create Food & Water spell the nourishment issue was solved once and for all.
3) Regarding combat: Will characters hands operate independently? For example let's say you have equipped two swords (If I remember correct you have said, answering an older question, that there will be a dual-yield weapon skill, or something like that in order for this to become possible). Now in this case of a dual yielder having two swords equipped or a mage that has a spell book and some throwing knives on the other hand (is such weapon setup possible?). How combat attacks will be handled? For example in Grimrock this is not possible since attacking disables both hands, if I remember correct. On ther other hands in games like eye of the Beholder the player can operate left and right hands of each character individually. What will be your approach?
4) In games like EOB, If I remember correct, there are certain areas, where magic is dispelled and there is no possibility to cast magic, meaning that you have to traverse through areas, fighting with monsters, without being able to use either offensive or defensive magic (you can use potions though). This, I think enhances the game's challenge, and promts players to choose wisely their party or face a really huge challenge (For example a party with no fighter-like character will really struggle to survive in such area). This is something, that Grimrock, despite being a challenging game lacked in my opinion. So the question is there a plan for supporting such areas in your game?

Now, I really apologize for the huge post. Keep up the good work. Good games are always works of affections, and I think DarkDale will be a good game because people involved in it, really adore such type of games. Being a hard-core player first and a developer afterwards, is really important I think for a game to succeed.
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Re: Game related issues & questions

Postby cromcrom » Tue Aug 27, 2013 8:35 am

Really nice post anyways.
I might give my opinion about food. I think it depends on level of interactions with the world, power of party, and the level of realism/survivability Georges wants to put into Darkdale.

Gathering food could be quite important for a low level party, as you can't go far without eating. And it could force the party to "hunt", or "gather" or "farm" food, and "cook" it (I am a skills addict, as The Lost Continent might have proved, sorry ^^).
The better the party gets in either of these skills, the more efficient it becomes. So a great hunter, with a great cook, could get the party going for a very long time, without bothering much about food (because a great hunter could gather more meat from a single animal, and a great cook would turn it into a very healthy meal).
However, I understand that a party bound to save the world might have other concerns than finding food.

IMHO, food should be a concern at first, but if the party dedicates some ressources to it (learning proper skills or spells), it should become very easy to come by.
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Re: Game related issues & questions

Postby Georges Dimitrov » Tue Aug 27, 2013 1:38 pm

Hi greco,

Wow, thanks for the great post! A few answers:

1) No level cap, but exponential experience requirements will eventually slow things down. My aim is to balance the game so that you can achieve level 24-30 approx by the end, depending on number of side-quests, grinding, etc.

As for different experience requirements, I’m not totally sure. Probably the same table for all. Xp won will be equally distributed amongst “active” (non dead) party members, but to avoid leveling up all equally will come in play the concept of prime attributes. Basically, each class will have two prime attributes (Intelligence and Affinity for a mage, for example) and will receive a 1% xp bonus for each attribute point from 16 on (max 25). So if the party kills a 400xp monster, a mage with 19 int and 18 aff would gain 400/4 = 100 + 7% = 107xp. I haven’t discussed how attributes work yet however, so I’ll explain more on that in a future post. I’m also considering giving a small bonus for the char delivering the killing blow.

2) I think food adds to the management part of the game. Remember that as you have cities and an exterior world, you’ll make trips back to town to sell loot, rest and get food often. Food requirement will make a difference in perception between friendly areas where food is plenty, and deep catacombs where it will be very scarce. I like the idea that you have to pack carefully before going on an quest, and the deeper you go, you have to make sure you have enough resources to get back up – it introduces a similar stress (but tamed down) to the “save only at inn” mechanic that made dungeon exploring in The Bard’s Tale so thrilling.

Stacking food will make inventory management a bit easier, although the weight problem is a good thing. I remember fun times in Oblivion trying to ponder which item had the best value/weight ratio to be able to bring back as much to sell as possible from a long trek in a dungeon. Happily, it kind of works well: as food runs out you have more space to carry loot.

A create food is definitely planned to help alleviate food issues late game, once the novelty has passed and it just becomes routine.

3) Normally both hands and spells operate together and using either deactivates all for the duration of the cooldown. Also, there is a primary and secondary hand, unlike Grimrock where you could put a sword in either. If you char has a skill perk allowing dual wielding (another weapon, or bashing with a shield for skilled shield wielders) then both hands will have independent cooldowns. Both hands must be “ready” however if you wish to cast a spell, and vice-versa, casting a spell blocks both hands even if you can dual-wield. (It’s on the basis that spell casting requires concentration incompatible with physical fighting action)

4) No Magic zones? Sure, these are fun! Darkness zones too… although I’m sure LoG2 will probably catch up on that.
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