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In game map. To be or not to be.

From the start I wondered if I wanted to have an in game map, either a mini map or a separate screen that you could switch to to see the map.

One of the things I liked about the old games was there no in game map, if you wanted to map the game you had to do it by hand. So for a while I was sure I didn't want an in game map.

As time has gone on I'm leaning more towards the idea of making the game flexible.
Do you want an in game map? Yes, well you can activate it from the options menu before starting your game. Do you want permadeath? Well, it's available.

Most of the things I want to add, I'm not sure others will like. I know I will, but I'm not only making this game for me. So I'm going to add some options to turn off or on certain game play elements at the start when you generate your dungeon.

Here are some things that I've been cooking up for the rule set that may be optional:

  • Food and water consumption.
  • Weapon and armor wear and tear.*
  • Traps and teleporters.
  • Monster psychology and morale.
  • Player psychology and morale.
  • Crafting and potions.*
  • XP from monster combat.
  • Single player character or team play.
  • Permadeath.
  • Resting.
  • Resurrection Shrines.
  • Auto mapping.
  • Player location marked on the auto map.
  • Petrification and other one-shot kills.
  • Player wounds and semi-permanent critical hits.*
  • Random starting handicaps for player characters (like "partially blind", "oh my back!", "picky eater" or "greedy swine")*
  • Blood and gore.

When you choose the options that you want it will give you an overall difficulty rating which will affect your final score. Some things will also auto balance, such as XP from monster combat will reduce XP awards from events and achievements. Other things won't be triggered if certain options aren't present, such as the "greedy swine" handicap won't be added to a character if food and drink consumption is disabled.

If you want you can disable most of the hardcore options and sweep through the dungeon killing enemies like flies, but that's gonna make it pretty easy and IMHO pretty boring. On the other hand you can engage all hardcore options and get ready to be worm food. In any case, the options can only be set when you first start a dungeon, you can't just turn permadeath off because you're low on health it looks like you're going to get eaten.

*The options marked with a star are onces I'm leaning towards keeping as required elements. Wear and tear of items has been one of my key design points from the start. Some RPG games become boring because you find a +5 sword of decapitation and that's the best thing in the game. After that what's your motivation for looting? But what if your sword broke in combat, or became blunt. What if you were all out of whetstones and oil? Well, you could use a lesser weapon while waiting for some more repair items to turn up or you could leave it in a chest and take along a lesser but more rugged weapon. I don't want to permanently steal a player's hard earned gear, but I do want to give players an incentive to actually use some of the mountains of loot they pick up. That rusty engraved dagger you just found may not be better than your heavy butcher's knife but you might want to save your good weapon for the boss who's guarding the stairs to the next level.

I'd like to get rid of resting to regain HP once and for all, but most people expect it as part of a classic RPG. Whether it can be removed will depend on how the combat model turns out. I'd like to reject the traditional simplified HP model of health in favor of a wound and critical hit based model. Players will suffer wounds which may lead to critical injury, reducing the player's vital statistics either temporarily or semi-permanently.

Here's one final look at the in game map:

 I'm going to have to add more room types as some of them are becoming a little repetitive.

The map is made up of multiple triangular tiles, they have two overlaying textures, one being the rooms and the other being a old paper type texture. The map will be drawn automatically as you progress and uncover new areas. Areas not yet visited will not be shown. You'll be able to add tags and comments to the map as you go through the game and look at other levels while navigating the one you're on.


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