Development Diary #3: Interactive spells

devdiary3Howdy-hoo, my name is Oskar “Perkulatorn” Lidh Frykmark, and today we’re back with a new installment of the Development Diary!

Today we’re going to talk a little bit about something I’d like to refer to as interactive spells, which is a part of our new spell-system that was briefly discussed last week in the development diary.

What is it?

So, what is an interactive spell?

An interactive spell is a spell that interacts with another spell or an environment. Basically, it means that different spells can interact with other spells in interesting ways, and are designed to create a layer of strategic depth.

Designed with the new skillshot system in mind, the interactive spells are being created as a tool, rather than a whole new mechanic; i.e. all spells has an alternative use. This means that a player can choose 5x abilities at a time (yes, we’re adding another ability-slot), that may or may not interact with each other, and it is up to the player to create their own combinations of spells and interactivity between the spells; we’re merely creating them as tools.

This goes hand in hand with our design philosophy here at Tamarrion to offer the player tools rather than solutions.

How does it work?

Let’s do a case study of two examples. (Note that the spells being mentioned below are not actual finished designed spells)

The first case study is between the two made-up abilities Circle of Light and Dragon’s Breath.

Circle of Light already has a built in passive interactive mechanic: Stand in the circle and you’re healed, walk out of the circle and the circle becomes a death field for undead creatures, damaging them over time.

If the player casts Dragon’s Breath above the field, the field starts burning even when the player is standing within the field (and obviously not being damaged by it), with an even greater intensity. This is just one way two spells are able to interact with one and another.

Mock-up of a new way of showing spell-information in the UI. Note the interaction section and the new %Weapon Damage modifier which we will talk about in a future devdiary.

Mock-up of a new way of showing spell-information in the UI. Note the interaction section and the new %Weapon Damage modifier which we will talk about in a future devdiary.

Another example would be casting two frost spells within a time frame (any frost spells) which would encase the enemy inside a frozen tomb for X seconds.

The list goes on, and the possibilities are endless for me as a designer.

Hopefully, this should give the players the tools to look at boss battles as a puzzle with a multitude of solutions, rather than having a predetermined solution.

We want players to look at the systems being given to them as a Swiss army knife – not as a key to a specific lock.

Next week, we’re going to discuss boss battle design in general as well as take a look at the new boss being designed right now.

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