student 20 Productions

Random Thoughts of a Game Developer

Loosing My Mind. Oh, and Chapter 3.

So, work commenced on the Magic System a week or so ago, and I’m finding that developing the Spell Creation System is making me loose my mind. No matter how I put it together, it’s just coming out awkward and overly complicated – and determining spell costs is turning out to be a psychosis-inducing nightmare. So… the Magic System may, in the not too distant future, be completely revamped. By “Completely Revamped” I mean “Changed in such a way that nothing outside of the Magic Chapter will need to be changed”. A simple improvisation system may be implemented, or I may just create a list of spells (lifted from a particular 8 or 16 Bit RPG that shall remain nameless) to use just for play test. This second option has the advantage of letting me see how magic affects things before making the Spell Creation System, but the first option would be more… well, fun, as far as I’m concerned. Of course, it also has the problem of being exactly wrong, flavor-wise. Meh. I’ll decide which I’m doing later today. I’m as tired of delays as I’m sure my four readers are.

In any case, to continue my series of full chapter excerpts – here is Chapter 3: Races and Personalities. The Race and Personality Creation System is missing – sorry ’bout that. The system exists, and will be included before the full Alpha is done, but for right now I haven’t gotten up the energy to write it up for public consumption (even in an alpha state). The system is held in a .txt document, written in the most haphazard and confusing way possible. I’ll get it in there eventually (it’s on my To Do list) but getting the rest of the game playable has to take priority. In any case, without further ado:

16 Bit Heroes Chapter 3

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3 thoughts on “Loosing My Mind. Oh, and Chapter 3.

  1. Just remember these helpful words when things get difficult: ‘Tis better to loose your mind than to lose it.

    (Oh yeah. I went there.)

  2. Some stuff to consider:

    First, I like the new layout of your blog. I’m now actually able to find old posts and not wander aimlessly among tags and ambiguously named posts without getting lost and such… I’m too lazy to try to figure out organization that isn’t immediately obvious. – Yup…I suck. Not sure when you changed things though since I only bounce over here when you update on facebook (hint).

    Anyhoo… I found that magic and powers and such were a huge problem when developing things before and I’ve found more success in scrapping a somewhat cool idea when I couldn’t get it to fit into the over flavor of what I was doing. I had a tendency to make things overly complex or add a ton of unnecessary new mechanics that strayed from the core system. If your magic is driving you nutz, just take a step back for a sec and consider if what you’re doing is fitting in and don’t be afraid to trash or completely alter things that aren’t working out…heck, you can even test a battle or two WITHOUT a complete magic system and put the test party up against something that puts them in a “I wish I could XXXX” situation and reverse engineer from that point.

    The other piece of info is more geared towards long-term development: I’ve discovered through people playing my LoZ version of Icon that a PRE-MADE beastiary and section of challenges and other things such as equipment is the number one request I’ve gotten from the 3 test groups that have played it. Sure they can make things up and have players showdown with NPC’s that are built like PC’s, but they wanted ease of reference without having to spend forever on custom-building that sort of stuff.

    HOWEVER: I don’t recomend dropping anything to go rushing at what I’ve mentioned as an all important goal. Core mechanics are paramount and you don’t want to get tripped up and over simplify things like I did. My system may be playable and “complete”, but there’s a lot of fixes that need a ton of love that I’m too lazy to give anytime soon.

    • Wow… thanks, Devan! I’m glad you like the new layout. I like it, too. Tags are such a godawful way to navigate any blog. I picked this theme because I thought it was a clean, easy to read/navigate format. I guess I was right.

      Thanks for all your input. I think that for now, because it’s giving me such a headache, I’m going to put in a bare-bones magic system just to make spellcasters play-testable at all. I’m going to rely on feedback from that to get a more complete magic system going.

      I was planning to have at least a few creatures in place, but I was making them more to deal with Summon magic than anything else. I’ll take your advice to heart, however, and see if I can’t come up with a better list than I initially planned. Anything to make playtester lives easier, although I have to say that at this point the creatures are going to be as alpha as everything else…

      Thanks for the feedback! Oh – and all of my blog updates should be appearing on Facebook. And Twitter. And Tumblr. You can also subscribe to the blog, but I can appreciate why people might not want to.

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