Since a long long time ago I started wanting to create a Roguelike game, and for that, I came up with a bunch of different systems, a turn based system, three different dungeon generation systems, and as I got into the genre and observed what a Roguelike really was, I realized there was no way I could make one without putting a huge amount of effort, I would either have to work long hours or work on a project over an extensive period of time, and that means more than a year.
So my quest started when I started to search for ways I could use just 1 or 2 systems that I really liked from Roguelikes and I really liked the Turn Based System I made in Unity, I wanted to use it for something. I maintain a monthly devlog where you read in more details the thought process until I got to this project - But what matters is the game that I came up with - it is basically a tower defense game, but you have to protect a door, and the enemies work in a spawner system that gets increasingly hard, it's a pretty simple concept that I really liked to develop. It took me around a month of development, and I didn't work everyday and I don't recall ever working more than two hours on a given day (I'm currently taking my Master's, so time for personal projects is not significant).
Paraphrasing what I had in my devlog, here is the concept of the game:
- It all happens in a room. So no room generation and no level design, well, there is a minimal aspect of level design, but this is something I’m fully capable of.
- Defend something.
- Monster spawn from specific places in the dungeon.
- Monsters spawn in waves. The first wave has 4 monsters, the second wave has 6 monsters, and so on and so forth. Waves get increasingly difficult and in between waves is when you recover some health and give your brain a little break.
- Monsters want to destroy what you must protect. Have to have some conflict, right?
However there are some concerns I had and still have with this project, here are some of them
- It doesn’t have mastery. This is the biggest one, Roguelikes are a lot about mastery, and although this is not a roguelike, it draws pretty obvious inspiration from the genre. How the 100th hour playing this game differs from the first hour? What are you learning about the systems? What are you learning about strategies? There’s not much to learn so not much room to achieve mastery.
- There are no secondary goals. Right now it is all about killing monsters before the monsters kill the door, or the throne, or you, there’s not much to strategize, I’m afraid the game will be just a “slaughter the monsters until you are mathematically not able to survive”
And here the ideas I had to remediate these issues (none of them are implemented so far)
- Adding spawn locations for health pickups in the middle of a wave. This can create situations where players have to decide whether to engage in combat or get a health pickup in order to survive longer.
- Adding random power-ups at the end of a wave and/or in the middle of a wave. I can easily have power-ups that make player health regen faster, double the damage for a while, make their speed bigger for a while, give immunity for a while, make the player take less damage. This can create both mastery of the system and secondary goals, as well as changing the playstyle according to what power-up the player has at the moment.
- Having more than one level. I can have different levels for the game, with different amount of doors, different layouts, and whatnot, these can make players strategize and play in a different way, also make the environment less boring.
- Adding doors that can be locked/unlocked. If the door is unlocked, enemies spawn from them, if it is locked, no enemies spawn from it. This can make me explore more enemy variety because I can add an enemy that sole purpose is to open any closed doors. This also adds strategizing for the player in the form of “Should I guard the door or should I go lock that door?”, “Should I protect this spot or go kill the enemy that will try to open the door?”
Alright, this is it for this post, this is just a quick initial design post to talk about what the game is, what concerns I had/have and ideas I have to remediate those issues, it is just a form to keep those things documented and better show how my design process is/was.
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