After writing this blog, I realised that a lot of my time when designing Better The Demon is to try to either include interesting and unique ideas that would attract players, while at the same time avoid those aspects of a game that players do not like. A while ago, I addressed the question of what motivates the player, and in particular asked about certain rewards that excited the player. Today, I would like to know what turns you off a game. What are your "pet hates" that simply drive you away or make you put a game down sooner than another?
The Death System
One of my own personal concerns is the way death is handled in some modules. I recognise there needs to be some kind of penalty for dying, but at the same time can see the frustration of being metaphorically beaten down by something as simple as a slow response from the player or the computer. In other words, I do not like my PC being penalised for my lack of ability to press a combination of buttons at a given time, which ultimately leads to their death.
I have tried to address this issue in past gaming by introducing a couple of ideas, which Better The Demon continues to follow. Firstly, there is a new essence, called the Life Essence, which if found and carried can help to keep a PC alive longer than expected. (Concept first introduced in Soul Shaker.) Secondly, if the PC dies without a Life Essence, then an XP death penalty is applied to the PC instead, which must be repaid before they start to accrue further XP. In other words, the PC does not lose any XP or gold upon each death, but simply has a set amount (50 xp per level) set on them to be repaid with new XP gained before it can start to be added to their goal. (Concept first introduced in my PnP days to replace level draining.)
I have also made it that when a companion dies, they remain dead and require a raise dead (or resurrect) to be brought back to life. However, careful use of the Life Essence, along with an auto-pause combat option should help reduce sudden deaths for the careful and tactical player.
What About Your Dislikes?
The Death System was just one area that I wanted to make sure did not frustrate players, and I have tried to give as much thought to other parts of the module as this, but recognise other players may find other aspects of a module far more annoying. This is where you step in: tell me about your major dislikes. While the poll includes some ideas I am considering, please feel free to add your own personal frustrations and leave a comment.
Another Quest Underway
I managed to start work on another side quest this week and am pleased with the way it has come together, especially with the number of paths it has available to it. Whether playing a good or evil aligned PC, there are a number of solutions. In theory, once I have managed to write the initial quests and the player's PC has become more established in the module, the rest should become a lot easier and thereby speed up the overall progress. In the meanwhile, I do appreciate the patience of potential players who are still reading and waiting.
Be A Part Of The Design!
As many readers will know by now, area design is my weakest/slowest area to build. I manage to keep at a reasonable pace when it comes to scripting and conversations (just slow instead of painfully slow), but designing areas can almost grind to a stop and often be restarted. However, I recognise that there is a great deal of talent out there and am not too proud to ask if anybody is interested in helping design some of the areas I already have in mind. In other words, I am not asking for a person to have to come up with everything from scratch, but am asking for an area designed on a predetermined need. However, the final outcome of that design is very much in their hands.
If this interests you, then please let me know, as I am quite prepared to release this mod in both my name and theirs. I am looking for a level of quality and attention to detail as my own, but has the gift of an artist/designer to do a better job than I can. There is no immediate pressure to come up with x number of areas in x amount of time, but is something I would love to discuss with anybody who may be interested. I won't go into too many details just now, as I do not want to give too much of the module scope away. :)
This project is something I can eventually do on my own, but it would be finished that much sooner (and hopefully to a higher quality visually) if I do have somebody to work with. Rest assured, this project will be finished (God willing) and so any time invested by a volunteer will not be wasted, and at the end of it, I hope we would have something that is quite different to the norm ... for better or worse. ;)