So, the new build of the combat engine is coming out this weekend. Here’s a short history of the combat engine:
0.1.63 (end of June): First combat engine released in a Media Event (if you want to see the video, keep bugging Lewis). Several crash bugs were found during the demonstration. Stats were haphazard and unbalanced. Very limited strategic options. Confusing screen layout. Items, skills, alchemy were all placeholders. No mouse support.
0.2.68 (end of July): New screen layout. Radial menu and mouse support implemented. Yay! All bugs still exist, but at least you can encounter them using your controller of choice.
0.3.X (beginning of September): The combat engine design went through an overhaul, and menu options & character data were refactored to take it into account. Placeholder skills, items, alchemy, etc. have been stripped out; will be added back in after undergoing a rigorous design process.
Our design overhaul unified the skills, items, alchemy, character stats, character progression, and monster strategies into a coherent gameplay concept. We’ve found a way to mathematically balance character progression, we’ve eliminated redundant stats, and we’ve simplified equations while providing more interesting choices for the player. We’ve also added a simple morality system to the game that should be greatly appreciated by people who hate the ol’ RPG conversation convention of “Good, Evil, Jackass” responses.
Of course, the new design also added a lot of concepts that, while dramatically improving strategic gameplay and battle variability, are a bit tricky to implement. I’ve been mulling over these concepts constantly for the past three weeks; as a result, I’m a bit more fuzzy-headed than I used to be. I’m forgetting things at other peoples’ houses, I’m missing out on social events… such is the life of an indie programmer. Please, be understanding, and if I show up at your place with a confused look on my face, point me in the direction of my house.