Barrow, v4

on 2022-12-10

A month later, more progress - more refinement, and a lot of slow design decisions.

The biggest changes were:

  • completely rewrote the combat system
    • de-emphasized the rock-paper-scissors stance system
    • modeled stance changes as part of the move system
    • added multiple reaction/recovery moves
    • de-emphasized guard break mechanic, focusing on damage bonuses
  • added tooltips for monsters and commands
  • reworked monster AI
    • monsters understand how to manage their own stamina
    • some are more conservative than others

What's next? I think this is quite close to a point where I could start getting more significant feedback from folks, but first:

  • tweak the balance to emphasize the intent of the combat system
  • more detail and hints in the tooltips
  • hone the AI until the difficulty is right

What might come after that?

  • Items, especially potions
  • More floors, more enemies
  • Gear, experience, or other progression
  • Larger floors, more variety, camera system
  • Gold, scorekeeping, or other stats
  • Flavor text

With all of the above, I can see Barrow as a complete game of modest ambitions, with a 6-8 floor dungeon, that takes around 45 minutes to complete.

After that, there are other ideas that I'd want to explore in subsequent games, but not in Barrow:

  • Multiple classes/build variety
  • Ranged combat
  • Move variety:
    • Moves with charge times
    • Moves with cooldowns
    • Free moves
  • Combat movement system
  • Status effect systems in general
  • More sophisticated AI
  • Proper boss fights
  • Food/Crafting
  • Followers
  • Overworld exploration
  • Towns and NPC's
  • Story/Dialogue
  • Art