Of course, some thought needs to go into the kind of cool thing one develops: having several hundred weapons with different cool stuff isn't much good if the player can only fight an identical goblin over and over. (Be assured: Kerkerkruip does not have a goblin. It does not have a giant rat or an orc either, and the skeleton is a temporary standard monsters slated for removal.) And although I believe it is important and cool to have "special" situations that only occur in a small percentage of the games, it would be unwise to spend most of your coding time on such rare situations and neglect the more common ones.
In the last few days, I have made a heat system and a rust system. The former developed from the thought that it would be cool to be able to heat up weapons, having them do more damage to enemies, but at the price of weakening them -- a heated weapon has a small chance of being destroyed whenever it is used in combat. But if you can heat up weapons -- by holding them into a forge, say -- you must also think about what happens to other items when you heat them up -- some might be immediately destroyed, others might melt, others might burn... thus was born my simulation-heavy heat system. Objects can be heated, and hurt the people who carry or wear them; objects can heat up other obects in their vicinity; and so on. A huge amount of applications suggests itself; and the system ties in nicely with the materials system I had already developed in order to make the difference between iron and silver weapons. The forge that turns an iron weapon into a deadly if somewhat weakened blade will immediately melt the silver weapon.
If there is one system I truly hate seeing in an RPG, it is equipment degrading through use. Training up my "repair" skill in order to repair my weapons and armour is not my idea of fun. But equipment degrading for a specific reason, that is something different, and this is where the rust spores come in. Once the spores of this obnoxious fungus enter a room, they start rusting everything in the room that is made of iron. Worse, rust spores spread through the dungeon: every turn, there is a small chance of them spreading to any adjacent rooms. I am planning on three sources for rust spores:
- With a very small chance, one of the rooms of the dungeon may start out containing rust spores.
- With a small chance, an unconnected room full of rust spores is generated somewhere in the dungeon. If the player digs into this room using the magical spade (or another means of creating new tunnels) the rust spores are out. (Other unconnected rooms that are sometimes placed in the dungeon are the Hidden Treasury, which it would be good to find, and the Eternal Prison, which it would be not so good to find.)
- With a very small chance, a closed container in the dungeon may contain rust spores. Opening the container sets them free.
I have drawn up a preliminary plan for the development of Kerkerkruip:
- Now - first week of august: go on implementing whatever sounds cool.
- Second week of august - last week of august: implement whatever the game needs most in order to give a complete and rounded experience.
- September: testing.
- September 30: upload Kerkerkruip to the IF Competition.
If you would like to see an alpha version of the game and perhaps give me some feedback on it, let me know at victor-lilith-cc (only those who can guess where the @ and the . go, i.e. humans, need apply!). But be warned that the game is in alpha state: there will not just be bugs but also unfinished features, no attempt at balance has as yet been made, and so on.