Other Projects Blog

# Shatterloop

## shatterloop deprecated notes

Posted Over 3 Years ago by Xhin

I'm moving all of my deprecated notes here.

I'll also be using this post for anything notes-related that isn't a full Notes post that lays out specific systems.

## There are 91 Replies

(migrated from the original general checklists post)

Upcoming stuff

Here's a list of stuff I'm working on to turn the game into more of a beta:

Animals

• Each dimension will have a "palette" of different animals that'll spawn. All their properties are randomized -- how they move, their attacks, how much health they have, whether they can fly over solids, etc.

• Different biomes in a dimension will take those animals and tweak them slightly in various ways.

• Caves should have harder animals.

Weapons-based Combat

• Axes allow you to hit things next to you (or diagonally next to you) and can be thrown with a short range. You can also carry 3 of them so you're not completely crippled if you throw one.

• Swords let you hit things around you in a circle or partial circle, maybe with a 1-tile range. More useful for close combat.

• Spears you can hit things orthogonally with a higher range than swords. You can also throw them and deal more damage than with axes.

• Staffs let you hit things in a spear-like or sword-like way and stun them or knock them back.

There are also various enchantments tied to the weapon that can let you do things like recall a thrown axe, smash something into a wall for a bunch of damage, stun things next to a thrown spear, etc.

Magic-based combat

• This gives you ranged attacks, however the range and the directions it can go vary depending on the gem and its upgrades.

• You can also have bomb-like attacks where you throw it somewhere and then there's an explosion that damages things in some other radius or set of directions.

• Or repeating attacks that will arc out from hitting an enemy and hit other enemies

• Maybe attacks that bounce off walls at different angles. Or go over walls.

Resource gathering

You can either gather a resource for fuel (currently this is what the currency system is doing), or if you've repaired/recfueled your Extractor, gather the base resource itself. Resources on the surface are typically plants, animal stuff, fungi, rocks, etc, while in caves they're typically metal ores or gems.

Sometimes better resources are tiered -- you'll need to find something else in the dimension and craft it into a tool that can help you harvest it. That tool is more like a key -- it doesn't break or take up inventory space or anything. This tiered system is dimension-specific -- go somewhere else and you'll have a different set of tiers to work with.

Crafting

Instead of having fixed resources and fixed recipes, you'll instead have randomly generated resources with randomly generated properties and a very free alchemy-like system for putting them together.

Metals for example, you can alloy any metal to any other metal (or combination) to get favorable properties from both. You can melt down your weapons and armor and reforge them from new alloys to get new properties/enchantments/etc.

You can also build various types of machinery out of rocks/clay/metal in a base to extract things from different resources. I haven't quite worked out all the details of this, but there will be a decent balance between randomness and palettization so you have flexibility and differences between dimensions but aren't just randomly putting things together.

Magic system

Gems have some kind of spell in them -- what they do, how they do it, their range and movement, as well as a few paths for upgrading them. You can either cast a spell with your own personal mana or you can use the gem itself, depleting its charge somewhat. If it gets totally depleted you can't use it at all and have to recharge it somewhere (haven't figured that system out yet).

When you get a new gem, you can either keep it and use it as whatever spell it came with, or absorb it into a gem you already own and upgrade your gem along one of its upgrade paths.

More to come

--------------------------------------------------------------

(original post)

I'm picking this project up again. I successfully got animals to move towards you or away from you as one of their moves. I've worked out my systems for animal movement in general:

Animal movements

• Basic movesets are "towards player", "away from player", "random n/s/e/w", "random ne/se/nw/sw", "random n/e/s/w/ne/se/nw/sw", "towards other animal", "away from other animal". Additionally, these can all be done some number of times -- like maybe randomly pick north, but move that direction twice.

• If animals "fly" then they can move through solids. Otherwise if a move would take them into a solid, they'll move in whatever direction is clockwise or counterclockwise to it, until they either find a direction that works or they're completely trapped.

• There are some variations even here, like maybe an animal can only move diagonally, so if it's moving towards something and that's orthogonal they'll have to pick a direction cw to cc to it. Some might have a preference for cw or cc. Sometimes instead of moving one direction cw to cc "known as +1 spin and -1 spin respectively), they might "spin" some other number -- so a blocked west will make them instead move east.

• Each animal type has a "movement speed", which is basically how many turns a player takes before they get a move. A movement speed of 1 will make an animal move every time the player does, 2 would make it move every 2 player turns, etc. This movement speed might change over time in a cyclical or random way.

Movement patterns

• The basic animal type I'm currently exploring has some group of moves (which I'll call a "movegroup") which are randomly generated. Maybe they have a 3/4 chance of moving towards the player, but a 1/4 chance of moving away. Or they have a 6/8 chance of moving towards the player, a 1/8 chance of moving two spaces away, a 1/8 chance of moving in a random direction, etc.

• A different type is cyclical -- here they move in one of their ways a certain amount of time, and then they "switch" to a different moveset. This can be a different random moveset, or the set of movesets can also be cyclical and repeating.

• A hybrid of the two is a cyclical movegroup that switches movesets a different random number each time -- maybe they move orthogonally for 5 turns, then diagonally for 3 turns, then towards the player for 2 turns, etc where the 5,3,2 are all randomly generated.

• Lastly, movesets could be dictated by conditions -- maybe being next to a solid makes them flee away from it quickly, or they move towards another animal until they touch it and then they start moving towards the player, etc.

Animals could theoretically "communicate" with one another to change their movesets as well. They could also "evolve", where movesets change slightly over time, either on a per-animal basis or on the animal clade as a whole. There's a lot of possibilities with the events-driven system I've installed here, it'll be interesting to explore it in depth.

As pointed out earlier, all of the above is totally randomly generated, but also palletized -- you have a limited amount of animal types in a dimension, possibly biome-specific as well. There might be variations, but they're slight. This overall allows the player to learn how to best interact with these animals as they progress through the game.

More combat notes

Combat is highly tactical, and makes use of the grid, entities in the environment, and the environment itself:

• A lot of weapon types will have a "slash" type of move -- this is an attack that sweeps around the player in a circle (well, a square) and effects everything inside that circle. This slash move might have a limited "spin" -- perhaps if you start a slash north, you can only move it to south and only affect everything clockwise between them. With the same weapon you could slash east and cut a swathe to west. Slash moves might also have a range -- affecting a square 2 spaces away rather than 1.

• Weapons can do damage, knock enemies back, both, or do more custom things like smash them into walls for "crush" damage, crush them into other enemies, if it's a ranged weapon it might "hook" into them and actually drag them closer, etc. There are a lot of things to explore here.

• Some weapons can be thrown. If this happens, you lose the weapon until you pick it back up, or it might be ammo-ized and you need to buy/make more, or maybe it's ammo-ized and you have a chance of keeping it or losing it. Weapons that have been thrown can have additional techniques surrounding them -- perhaps you can recall the weapon, or teleport to it, or cause it to move towards you, cutting everything in its path, or make it explode, affecting everything in a radius, or maybe you could throw two axes, run a special technique and they would come together, hitting everything in their path. Maybe a thrown weapon will temporarily "stun" enemies in some radius around it.

• Thrust-type attacks might have a "ram" property where you can hit both an enemy and the enemy behind it, or more up to some range. This might affect them both the same amount, or the damage might dwindle down each time.

• You yourself might have a technique that allows you to "leapfrog" over enemies or possibly do that while dealing them damage in the interim. This would probably be better suited for an armor item, but weapons do seem to make more sense. Similarly, you might be able to grapple a nearby enemy and throw it "over" you -- basically making it go to your other side. This might then hit enemies next to you with momentum and have additional events attached to it.

• I like the idea of "hookshot" type weapons that bring you towards a wall in one move, possibly hurting enemies in your way. Or maybe they bring the wall to you (though that's really better suited for magic).

• Some weapons should be able to "reverberate" damage to nearby enemies as well. This might be more of a magic attack though.

• You could probably strike the ground and get the reverberations from that to affect nearby enemies. Useful for a hammer-type weapon -- instead of striking enemies directly, you hit the ground and stun a bunch of them at once.

• Ranged weapons like bows. This is probably redundant with magic attacks. Being required to shoot things diagonally or orthogonally might help limit things though (that's also planned for magic attacks).

The overall goal here is to have a combat system with a lot of variations that feels pretty interesting. This would then tie back into crafting / alloying / resource gathering -- maybe you like grappling so you start seeking out metals that enhance that property or start asking around in towns.

• Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

Do the animals ever help the players?
Do the animals ever fight the players?
Do the animals ever help each other?
Do the animals ever fight each other?

Over 2 Years ago
chiarizio

Do the animals ever help the players?

No.

Do the animals ever fight the players?

Yeah, all the time.

Do the animals ever help each other?

Definitely.

Do the animals ever fight each other?

No, unless they're confused.

Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

Alchemy system

Kind of a brief summary of how this works (haven't worked out all the details yet).

You have a variety of crafting recipes for various things -- rope, explosives, torches for exploring caves, various weapon types, harvesting tools like scythes, knives, axes, and other things like personal machines, base fixtures, potions, fishing rods. These recipes might be pre-known or you might have to go to a Library in a town to learn them (haven't decided on the exact mechanics there yet).

These recipes call for some combination of general ingredients, like "clay", "fat/oil", "conductive metal", etc. Some general ingredients you can find easily in the world, others you have to Extract with various base machines. However the exact ingredients vary a lot -- you could use, say Codfish Oil or Red Petrol or Rendered Boar Fat.

Each ingredient has a web of properties attached to it that you can discover through your Analyzer machine (or just through trial and error). These properties then get transferred to whatever you're crafting -- for example, maybe torches made with Rendered Boar Fat burn brighter, but those made with Red Petrol last longer. This applies to anything you craft -- weapon damage and range and other properties are dictated by the properties inside the material.

With the alchemy system you can also freely mix ingredients into new ingredients to reinforce, multiply or reduce properties at whatever the appropriate alchemy station is. If you have, say Titanium that makes weapons reverberate and Adamantium that makes weapons deal more damage, you could mix them together to try to get an alloy that takes on both properties. By themselves, they'll combine together in a fairly random way, but by using Catalysts that you find in the world around you, you can get the specific combinations you want.

With more organic materials, you can also Refine them down to very specific properties -- like in the example above, Rendered Boar Fat burns brighter, but there are also compounds in there that are holding back its brightness potential -- through further refinement you can get it into a very base form that's just really bright and nothing else, then mix it with other stuff to really increase their brightness potential. Each refinement step will degrade some amount of your supply -- you might start with 64x rendered boar fat and by the time you reach crystallized brightness, you only have 5 left. However, refinement machines also follow the Alchemy system, so you could craft better refinement machines to waste less.

Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

Inventory Management / Item Storage

These systems in most survival/crafting games are fucking annoying . Having a limited item capacity makes sense, but the point of this game is to explore wide and far, so there will be a couple things to help out there:

• Once you have a Base built, you'll probably want to repair your M.U.L.E. Device. This will allow you to send stuff in your inventory on a one-way trip to one of your bases. This allows you to continue exploring, only going home when you want to go home.

• When you *do* want to go home, you can use your Portal Device to create a portal home -- there are some different mechanics here -- it might be single-use, or it might be a two-way permanent connection or if you're really advanced you can hook into a Portal Network. I'll cover this in another section or just build and document it.

Base Item Storage

Items stored in a base are accessible anywhere inside that base. Instead of having chests in a fixed location with some amount of storage, you instead build Storage Modules somewhere inside a base to increase its storage, though you get a decent amount of storage just for building a base. This allows you to freely switch items around or work with base machines without constantly running back and forth from chests, which gets old quick.

Items stored in a base are usefully indexed in a variety of ways, allowing you to find whatever you're looking for easily. You can also custom-categorize things yourself with its tagging system. All of this is provided freely without required upgrades.

Base Machines are timer-based -- when something is processed, it'll automatically be transferred into the Base Storage with a tag indicating the machine that processed it. This lets you see the progress of any specific base machine anywhere inside the base. You do have to physically go to it to use it though.

Similarly, machines can be set to automatically pull resources from Base Storage, possibly with some conditions attached (like "process only 64" or "only pull the resources I've tagged as X"). You can thus automate quite a bit, which frees you up to do more interesting things like experiment with the alchemy system.

Once you've acquired some Wealth, you can automatically buy things from Shop Vendors -- this gets a bit complicated and is kinda an endgame thing though. To gain Wealth you have to find some kind of automated positive feedback loop -- maybe buying resources, refining them and then reselling, or the trading system I already have in place, or another one I'm working on. You also have to have a bit of money up front in one of the game's 5 currencies., possibly a different currency depending on the type of feedback loop.

All in all, the point here is to streamline inventory and item management to free yourself up to do more interesting things.

• Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

I've done a lot of concept work on the ranged magic system and it's really neat -- it expands combat a lot.

Magic uses your mana, or in a pinch you can use the crystal itself (though that depletes it and you have to recharge it later). Your maximum mana is determined like all other stats -- by the armor you wear. Crystals can have some kind of "Virtue" (probably more than one) associated with them -- where by doing some set of actions or some kind of weapon combo you can get a free use of the magic effect. This works very well for players that prefer melee combat -- it gives you some extra perks without you having to build armor or potions to cater to mana usage.

Rather than learned spells or w/e, magic is concentrated in a Crystal item that you can find around the world, buy, process from crystalline materials or most likely mine in caves. Each crystal contains the spell itself, the "school" or "affinity" (haven't picked the word yet for it) that it belongs to (based on what it does), and the ways you can actually use it and any conditions attached to that. Magic is quite temperamental and starts out with limits and/or personal costs attached to it -- things like being required to bounce it off walls or it consuming health or not being able to use it continuously, for example.

Crystals can be upgraded along a variety of paths -- less costs, less mana use, more damage, secondary effects, more virtues, etc. These various upgrade paths are also concentrated into the various schools. In order to upgrade a crystal you have to "feed" it crystals of the school of upgrade you want. This will probably be expanded to world materials in general -- I could definitely see crystals requiring literal blood or unicorn horns or w/e.

How magic attacks work

Unlike melee attacks, magic attacks always have some kind of range, and you can use your mouse or keyboard to "put" the attack wherever you want it in that range. Starting out, your attacks are going to only work orthogonally or diagonally, or maybe anywhere in something known as a "cloud". Possibly only around solids or water, etc.

With some upgrades you can expand where your magic attack can be placed, up to anywhere on the current screen. If you're really advanced you can place Enchantments which place the effect somewhere *permanently* through the duration of the battle. I have other things I'd like to explore as well.

What magic attacks actually do

• Damage, obviously.

• Any secondary effects covered in melee sections -- stunning, slowing, changing enemy move patterns, disrupting enemy communication, elemental damage, status effects, etc. I'm going to add kind of a lot to this game.

• Magic attacks can have hammer-like or bomb-like effects (known as Reverb probably)-- hitting everything near it within some range with whatever it's doing. These can be instant, on a fuse or controllable.

• Magic attacks can have a "Radiance" where the effects will arc out to adjacent or enemies within a certain range some number of times -- a more useful form of Reverb. This might maintain the same damage or it might reduce or it might reduce each time it radiates.

• Magic attacks can do things like knockback and pull within their range of effect -- there are things like gravity spells that suck enemies towards the magic attack -- useful for concentrating them together for secondary reverb spells or piercing weapons or w/e.

• Magic attacks can move the environment around in various ways -- like a "cage" spell that pulls in neighboring solids to trap the enemy provided there's something orthogonally close. Maybe if they're close to a rock you can entomb them, etc. Lots to explore here.

• You might be able to summon arbitrary enemies -- this will depend on how well I can get enemy-vs-enemy stuff working. In that case the crystal itself is what traps them and upgrades can affect the thing you've trapped along with the crystal itself. Trap something else and those stat boosts transfer over.

Overall the point is to expand combat a lot. There aren't classes or other artificial limits -- you can be a battlemage or a spellsword or whatever you want really and it your effectiveness in anything just depends on the materials and upgrades you have to work with.

• Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

I've done quite a bit of conceptualizing about Towns. Given how much morrowwind I've played over the past few months, that's heavily influenced a couple things, but most of the ideas here are much much older -- I've been trying to make a game like this for a long long time.

Towns randomly generate across the map. I'm not sure what the exact range is yet -- there should be a good bit of wild land to explore in between them though. There will always be a town reasonably close to the origin in the same exact place every time and new gamers will get told where it is.

Towns always generate in a cluster -- there will be a "Capitol" in the middle and smaller towns surrounding it. These clusters might generate close together or far apart. I'm not sure how many towns generate in a cluster -- 5-6 maybe? I'll have to tinker with it.

Towns are composed of a big wall with at least one entrance (probably entrances on all four sides honestly) and some buildings in the middle. Towns use the same solid/floor palette as the world, except with some slight variations. I haven't quite worked out what color they look like yet.

Starting out, buildings will just be basic squares/rectangles. I'd like to add some other shapes but that will probably get very complicated very quickly. I'd also like to expand the shape of towns as well, which might work well if I get the town generation function generalized well enough. Early alpha, just assume that towns are rectangles and buildings are squares/rectangles.

You can't see inside a building from the outside. You have to actually enter it from the entrance for the first floor to be rendered, otherwise you just see all solid tiles. Buildings can also have multiple floors, accessible via staircases.

Inside buildings you'll find NPC's and furniture/items to steal. The furniture/items/stealing mechanic is heavily heavily influenced by morrowwind, so much so that it's basically a 2d clone of it -- NPC's will wander around their house slowly, follow you, etc, and if you're in their line of sight or range you can't steal whatever you're trying to steal. The items generated here will be basic cheap junk, resources found in the world, or occasionally more useful things. I'll tweak this a lot over time.

NPC's

NPC's can be one of two types:

• Shopkeepers -- these will let you buy and sell items. Unlike in the current alpha of the game, they don't disappear after using them. They're also much more specialized -- you have people that trade in armor, furs, etc. I'll cover this a bit in the next section.

• Townsfolk -- these will give you directions to stuff and/or give you knowledge directly. I'll cover these in another section.

Shops will have some kind of clear indication what that shop is on the outside, and they'll all be clustered together for the most part (with some exceptions like Collectors). I'm not sure what the indication will actually be -- ASCII maybe, or some sprite, color-coding, etc. There might be some player learning involved here and there might not be.

Other houses are more random. They might have symbols or slightly different generation of their own, for the sake of landmarks.

With those few exceptions, shopkeepers only appear in shops and townsfolk in houses, however townsfolk can sometimes appear in shops as well alongside the shopkeepers.

Shops / Shopkeepers

There are a variety of these kinds of buildings. Every town is going to have some kind of Inn and a "Trading outpost" at the very least that buys cheap and sells crappy versions of everything, however you might also get more specialized shops for different things, for example:

• Trappers specialize in animal furs, and animal parts in general.

• Smiths specialize in metal/alloys and things made with them. This is more of a general role.

• Bladesmiths, meanwhile, would specialize in weapons exclusively.

On the whole, you get more specialization in bigger towns / capitols and more generalization in smaller towns, though there are exceptions. The more specialized a shop is, the smaller its range of things it buys and sells, but the more it'll buy your stuff for and it'll have better-quality goods for sale as well. Trading Outposts, then, will buy your stuff for well under its value and will sell totally random crap.

Service Shops

Outside of buying and selling materials/items, there are some other shops that sell services, or very specialized types of "items":

• Aviaries / Kennels / Stables / etc -- these sell animals, which are limited-use items that do various things. Horses will let you move faster, birds will let you search for stuff, bloodhounds will track down nearby animal groups, etc. There's also a general-purpose Zoo that sells a range of different types of animals.

• Priests -- these will cure you of afflictions and curses and other things (depending on what those specific systems are).

• Inns -- these will let you rest and recover, as well as eat while sitting down to get buffs. Quite useful if you're nowhere near your Base and/or don't want to build an extension and/or just haven't gotten the living spaces set up right yet.

• Mapmakers -- these sell Maps, which are probably text-based (but maybe not) and aggregate various things. You can find their kind of information yourself, but it takes a lot of traveling and asking around. Maps just have the information available easily. If you have a lot of money, buying maps makes more sense.

• Collectors -- these are a specialized type of shop that usually just appears in a normal town house and will buy a very specific item or item sets for quite a lot. As such, a Map of Collectors is going to be pretty damn expensive to buy.

• Wholesalers -- these sell mystery packages of random crap. There might be good stuff in there and there might not be, though you'll at least get a good idea of what you're looking at.

• Libraries -- these aggregate knowledge for free. Some of it is redundant with mapmakers so it's usually a good idea to hit up Libraries first -- though both are randomly generated as to what they actually contain. Libraries can also contain town and/or dimension data, and sometimes material / other meta-data as well. There will always be a Library in a Capitol, but it might just do nothing other than point you to other libraries.

There's probably stuff I'm forgetting. I need to look up some of my older notes.

Townsfolk

These guys have a procedurally-generated collection of things they know. You can ask about all kinds of stuff -- like for example, "materials" with a high "grappling hook" property:

• 0. If you're really really lucky, they'll know this themselves.

More than likely though, they'll instead give you one of four leads:

• 1. If there's someone in the town who knows it, they'll tell you who this is and where to find them.

• 2. If their townperson knowledge is weak, they'll refer you to whoever has the best in-town information and where to find them.

• 3. If there's no one in the town, they'll tell you of a town that knows this information.

• 4. If their town knowledge is weak (pretty likely), they'll refer you to someone in the town who has stronger town knowledge.

There might be additional tiers or stipulations here (like cross-dimensional searching). I'll have to work on this system a bit. It isn't random though, you're definitely getting closer to what you're looking for with each new lead.

None of this knowledge stuff is stored anywhere -- town NPCs are just procedurally generated and searched/scanned when you ask about stuff.

Finding towns

Just because you know that there's an expert in so-and-so town doesn't mean you know where the town is. If you've been around the block or have a good Map, you might know this already, but some leads especially for obscure things can be waaay far out. So there's a different lead system for finding towns:

• Each cluster has a library somewhere in it that has a list of all towns in the cluster, as well as the nearest Nexus. Most of the time, this will be in the Capitol. If you're less lucky, there will be a library in the Capitol that will redirect you to a town in the cluster that has the library.

• Each Nexus (basically just a Capitol with some slight differences) knows which capitol any particular town is in, and how to reach that capitol. Unfortunately nexuses also work like regular capitols, so the library with that information might be in one of the surrounding towns.

Overall, the goal is to turn any search for knowledge into a long (but progressive and satisfying) quest. You can stumble around towns blindly, or you can seek out what you're looking for more directly, which also usually requires stumbling around new towns blindly.

Getting around towns

Larger towns will have some kind of in-town fast travel system. I'm not sure what this looks like exactly -- one idea is to have a means of getting to a "travel pad" easily, and then being able to jump between travel pads in adjacent districts. You shouldn't have to walk around unless you're going somewhere specific or unless the town is just really small.

There are also several larger-scale transport systems:

• 1. Towns provide instant transport to other towns, for a fee. Each town will always connect to its Capitol, and each Capitol will always connect to all its towns. Beyond that they'll connect to whatever is closest.

• 2. Capitols can connect to the nearest Nexus, though that's a lot more expensive. It probably makes more sense to just use town transport if you know which direction you're headed in. Nexuses (nexi?) connect back to nearby capitols on the same system.

• 3. Nexuses can also connect to nexuses in different dimensions, with a relatively small range (-3 to +3 I believe). There's a preference here for even-numbered dimensions to look north and east, while odd-numbered dimensions look south and west so things get paired correctly.

Conclusion

I'll be testing out the Townsfolk / Town / Transport systems out elsewhere (in something text-based), which I'll post here and then hook back in when the time is right. Actual town generation stuff isn't going to happen until after Combat gets fleshed out at the very least, and possibly not until Resources get more fleshed out either.

• Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

End Goals and stuff

I also worked on the story and end goal a bit.

While the overall point of the game is to have a big open world that you can mess around in forever, there is an actual end goal/story to it as well.

The overall end goal is to assemble something known as the "Soul's Pivot", a device that lets you mod the hell out of the game engine on subsequent playthroughs. To do that, you'll have to do various things, including visiting all of the "Pivots" that glue the universe together. Pivots are basically regions in the world that are semi-handcrafted and look the exact same in all dimensions.

Storyline

The basic storyline is that there was a big exodus to this universe from humanity's home universe, where there was a universe-wide disaster. This universe was originally a self-contained planet that looped back on itself in a closed curve. These kinds of universes, although weird, are at least immune from the cataclysm that messed up the other one. The spatial geometry was held together by giant constructions known as Pivots.

However, a little ways in, something went terribly terribly wrong and the universe expanded, ripping apart the landscape. If that's not bad enough, everything but the Pivots became Uncertain -- turning one dimension into 2^54 different coexisting possibilities. People were able to pick up the pieces but the damage had been done. None of the 2^54 clones of people remember who they actually were or where they were actually from, and they have no idea if the people they're interacting with in an adjacent dimension are different people or other versions of themselves. Domesticated animals turned feral or into hideous variations, crops turned into new things and scattered, the very physics of materials changed drastically. With the exception of some machines that were safe, people basically had to start over technologically from the beginning. Despite that, within a few hundred years, people were able to rebuild and reconnect, using lingering pockets of Uncertainty to create portals between physically or dimensionally distant places.

Meanwhile, right before the game starts, something weird happened to you. It's as though you were one of the people who originally split into 2^54 copies -- you can't remember who you were or where you came from or anything. You have a bunch of advanced technology on your person though, as well as a Journal that has some cryptic clues in it, including one that tells you to go northwest to the town there. You also have the ability to switch into one of your 2^54 bodies at any time, although they don't do anything if you're not there. Trying it, you find that the universes they're in are also different but you always wake up near a town with those few items on your person. You have no idea what's going on, but your journal at least documents this much, and a few other things:

• Instructions on how to use your Personal Jump Device to switch between dimensions with no cost at any time for any reason.

• Instructions on how to use your Extraction Device to pull energy from materials so you can recharge other things and/or store it to trade with other people (you do at least remember that people use dimension-specific energy as currency).

• Instructions on how to repair, refuel, and upgrade your other Devices. For some reason, you have a bunch of them, despite you remembering that Machines are rare artifacts.

• Instructions on really random things like how to use machines, how to interact with animals, how to use other items you might come across.

• Instructions to go northwest to the town there when you get more acclimated. If you want to. No pressure.

• Cryptic notes about Pivots, a long number with several 9s, something called "The Overflow", a detailed but undecipherable diagram of the human mind, symbols with no remembered meaning, various pre-clone domesticated animals referred to as "my lady" or "your highness", literal actual scribbles and occasionally the words SOUL'S PIVOT. Scattered through this mess you also see advice that would be useful in the instructional pages, like "You should make torches. I I mean. We? Them. The other Mes I mean, you/we know who I'm talking about. " or "Stealing is fun. It's for a good cause though so maybe it's duty. You're right. You're welcome. "

• Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

I also worked on my concept notes for caves a bit more:

• Caves have "Cave Holes", which go up or down some number of cave levels.

• In order to ascend or descend, you have to attach a rope. Ropes have a Length property that dictates how many floors down they can go and a Swing Length for dictating how many levels up they can go (or I might just combine the two). They also have a Strength -- you can only use placed ropes a certain number of times before they break. You might be able to move ropes around with some additional mechanics.

• Using ropes is the only way to move up or down in caves. If you get stuck, you can still press shift or spacebar to switch dimensions and escape that way.

• Since you can't place solids/floors in caves, nor climb onto solids, nor jump on top of them, getting past solids in your way requires the use of bombs.

• Stronger bombs can also be used to create down cave holes, and a third type might be able to create up cave holes.

• If you see stalactites, you can use a rope as a kind of grappling hook with one -- it'll displace you the same distance as you are from the stalactite. You can use this to leap over solids or lava pits or possibly just to escape battles. This action does use a lot of rope strength -- you might have a limited range based on the rope material.

• Metals generate very scarcely in upper cave levels. Go down deeper and you actually get whole veins of them. You should be able to have the option to collect all of them at once (or at least a 225-tile chunk of them). This isn't minecraft.

• Crystals generate scarcely in general, but are more prevalent at lower levels. You won't ever get veins of them though.

• Animals are harder the deeper you go, and more numerous as well.

• Scanning caves requires Bats rather than Birds. However you can do useful things like send them down cave holes in advance of wasting ropes.

• Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

I've worked out quite a bit more of the story / main quest. I don't want to spoil too much here, but going to all six Pivots is something you'll have to do. One of them is reasonably close to the origin and you can kinda blindly stumble into it (though you'll get directions), three are pretty scattered and you're not going to find them by accident, and the other two are "lost" and you have to do something pretty specific to find them (there's also a lot of lore surrounding them).

I'm also building up quite a bit of lore for the game (which isn't surprising, given my wordlbuilding skills). There's some deeper lore you get from the main story but the vast majority of it is stuff you have to hunt for via the townsfolk system and other exploration. Basically, the game keeps track of various pieces of lore that you've learned, and if you want to learn more about a specific topic, you use the townsfolk mechanic to find someone with that information. Much like resources and fishing, you also get a kind of completionist list so you know when you've collected all the lore in a specific topic. Like everything else, you have to work for it. Quite a bit of it can probably be found in the specific relevant area as well -- like Deep Castles can contain Deep Castle lore and you can't get that lore otherwise.

Each of your machines is named something interesting and has quite a bit of backstory behind it as well. I haven't named all of them yet, and some names are subject to change, but here's the ones I have:

• The Deflawer -- turns resources into pure forms of energy. This type of device is heavily used by Nexuses and is responsible for why energy is also currency. There's an interesting link here between these and the Cult of Xeron Pine.

• Extraction Contraption -- lets you harvest materials from resources, where tools aren't required.

• Mason ex Machina -- Lets you build bases using energy alone. Very interesting history here -- similar devices built absolutely monstrous pre-shatter cities.

• Endive -- your helpful AI buddy who walks you through much of the gameplay. He's named after one of the Botmind Greats -- legendary AI classes basically. Yes there is a reason he's named after a type of plant.

• M.U.L.E. Device -- lets you move items in your inventory back to your base. No lore here yet.

• Newflesh Node -- sets spawn points basically. The device itself is pretty new and was adapted from something else, which is why its help files are weird and poorly rewritten. Additionally there's a lot of lore concerning why you're semi-immortal in the first place.

• Leaping Latch -- the device that lets you jump dimensions at any time for no cost. It's honestly the most boring lore-wise, it just takes advantage of pre-existing Uncertainty fields the same way portals do. It's free because it doesn't actually create portals.

• Soul's Pivot -- Grants omnipotence basically. Crafting this thing is what the main story is leading towards, so naturally there's a loooooooot of lore surrounding it. Oddly, knowing your ultimate end goal spoils absolutely nothing about the story.

• Portal Machine -- This one's actually not a pre-shatter artifact, it's craftable and easily upgradeable. These are very common as a result. However there is some deeper lore associated with it. Like the Leaping Latch, it takes advantage of Uncertainty fields but it does a lot more with them.

As I pointed out elsewhere, machines are quite rare. Owning a machine is very rare, and owning this many is basically impossible, so there are very good story/lore reasons for why you have so many and why.

• Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

After I get multi-floor houses working, I'm probably going to start in on the crafting / resources system. I've worked on this a lot, notes-wise, and have a pretty good idea of how everything ties together:

Beginning steps

You'll want to recharge your Extraction Contraption. It should take around 50 of whatever dimension 0's currency is. The point of this is to get you used to moving around and gathering resources.

Then swap over to it from your Deflawer so you're collecting materials instead.

Starting out, all you can really do is collect resources from plants and rocks on the surface. Each dimension has a limited amount of biomes and each biome has a limited amount of plants. Each plant has several different things you can collect from it (known as Material Classes), however plants don't have every material class available, and some of them might be inaccessible without the right tool as well. Here's a rough guide to material classes for plants, the tool you might need to collect them, and a description of what they do:

• Branches -- Saw -- definitely the most useful material type in the early game. Useful for making basic weapons and tools.

• Wood -- Axe -- Useful for larger wooden constructions like furniture, as well as more specific types of tools/weapons. You're probably going to need an axe in almost all cases here.

• Bark -- Carving Knife -- useful for making basic less flexible but stronger rope. Can also have spice or medicinal properties (medicinal is more common than spice)

• Leaves -- Scissors -- a component of very basic and/or mildly camouflaged armor. Can also have food, spice or medicinal benefits (with equal probability). In some cases can be used instead of feathers for arrows.

• Fiber -- Scythe -- Highly unlikely to find this in a tree, more than likely you'll find it in a medium or small-sized plant. Fiber is less strong but more flexible for rope-type stuff and is also better for basic armor, though it takes a lot more usually.

• Fruits / nuts / beans -- Not sure on the tool -- Useful for food, possibly trapping if I implement that. Mild medicinal benefits. You tend to harvest a lot more of these than seeds.

• Flowers -- scissors -- rare. Always a spice or medicinal. A decent chance of getting some kind of wasp/bee alongside it. (They count as insects, and have a nice bonus as bait)

• Seeds -- Not sure on the tool -- Food and trapping again, a pretty good chance to be some kind of spice, and the thing you plant if I get crops working. Plants will always have seeds.

• Ground -- shovel -- can give either roots (food, spice, wood) or insects or worms. Insects and worms make good fishing bait, and insects tend to have more useful properties later in the game.

You can only get one type of material class for each plant you harvest, depending on the action you have selected. You should be able to pair these so for example, you automatically get wood from Mandarin Trees or w/e.

Rocks will give you... rocks. These are important components in most early weapons and tools (iirc, staffs and arrows don't necessarily require them). Each rock pile contains exactly one type of rock, and rock harvesting never requires tools. Here are the rock types:

• Pebbles -- useful for arrows and other small-scale things (like basic fishing hooks). You might be able to throw them to mess with animals / fish too. Also a component for scissors.

• Small sharp -- useful for knives, spears, etc.

• Broad sharp -- useful for things like axes or battleaxes, shovels, and craftable into larger things like scythe blades / large hooks.

• Big smooth -- useful for more detailed wood crafting, particularly in sharpening branches or splitting wood

• Hard -- Useful for more detailed rock crafting like making scythes or better arrows.

Your first step is probably going to be creating some kind of weapon. There are some that can be made with wood alone, but wood+stone will give you better ones. You can also make some really basic food or medicine. A fishing rod is also a good idea. Making tools to harvest other materials is a good idea as well. You can't really explore caves yet, so you're stuck in the stone age for now.

Alternately, you could simply buy what you need from towns and bypass all of this. You can make a bit of money stealing stuff, but it makes more sense at this stage to seek out spices or valuable food items, or maybe to craft basic tools and weapons and sell them.

Fish and monsters

Once you have some basic combat gear and basic fishing gear, you can fish or fight for animal-based materials. You can't really go up against anything super-hard but if the terrain is right you could pick off some enemies individually. Fishing is also viable, though your overly simple rod will make you waste bait a lot and you won't be able to catch more valuable fish yet.

In either case, fish will go into your inventory and animals will leave behind corpses, which you can interact with for more materials, which again might require tools:

• Meat -- Butcher knife -- A valuable food source. Spoils easily but has high satiety and medicinally can increase attack power.

• Bones -- hammer -- A great replacement for rocks (since they weigh you down). Also better properties all around. Fish bones can replace pebbles or small sharp rocks, while animal bones can replace small sharp or broad sharp rocks. Bones can also replace sticks for use in better weapons. They also make better fishing hooks. You can also make reasonably strong early game armor, but it takes a bunch of work.

• Wool/fur/down -- Shears -- Better armor, a better source of fiber as well. Fur can also be quite valuable sometimes.

• Organs -- tool unsure -- You can only harvest these from animals. They'll allow you to make better medicines and food since they function a bit like waterskins. Organs can sometimes be absurdly valuable in specialized culinary shops.

• Eggs -- tool unsure -- another food source, these are like meat but lack the medicinal benefits but take a lot longer to spoil. Like organs, can sometimes be absurdly valuable. Unfortunately these are associated a lot with birds, who can fly over barriers that you can't at high speeds.

• Feathers -- tool unsure, probably scissors -- The best early game material for arrows, they'll increase their range and/or accuracy a lot. Again, though, associated with birds which can be tricky to deal with.

• Small scales -- unsure -- sometimes found on fish. Good for making armor that lets you traverse water less painfully, also generally useful for fishing lures.

• Large scales -- unsure -- sometimes found on animals, probably ones outside your skill to kill. Scales have magical properties sometimes, which will be useful later, and can also make some nice armor. You're probably not going to be able to kill anything with scales yet though, and they're quite rare to find on the surface.

Both types of scales are also very useful for upgrading machines, but you're probably not there yet.

• Fat -- unsure -- this is definitely the one you want to aim for. In cooking terms, it boosts pretty much all types of food, but more importantly, it's an essential ingredient in early torches and bombs, which will allow you to explore caves.

Caves

At this point, if you're not doing other stuff, you might want to start exploring caves. While they're dangerous for many reasons, the best harvestable materials are down in them, which leads to the next stage of gameplay. You'll require a few things for caves:

• Rope for sure. Rope will let you climb down "down holes" and back up them.

• You should make some basic grappling hooks out of rope and Large Hooks. Bones definitely make better Large Hooks.

• You'll definitely want to make torches -- these require fiber/wool/fur/down, a stick, and animal fat or fish oil.

• You should make some basic bombs as well out of rendered oil/fat, an organ, and a "fuse" made from fiber/wool/etc. Optional though.

• You might want to go to a town that has a Belfry or Zoo and pick out some Bats to help you explore.

• Having decent armor or weapons will help, though ideally you're fleeing from stuff down here rather than fighting.

Caves really require torches to explore, which have various properties and burn out after some amount of turns. You'll need ropes to go down down holes and grappling hooks to pull yourself up up holes or over lava pits via stalactites. Bombs will help you clear away solids, and Bats will help you find holes, resources, or see what's down holes without wasting ropes.

The animals down here are pretty terrifying and get worse the deeper you go. Best to avoid them if you can, and avoid tempting wide open spaces lest you get surrounded. Worst-case, you can airways use your Leaping Latch to exit the cave.

The resources on the first five levels are pretty basic:

• Metal ores -- These will probably appear in veins. Unlike the actual metals, the ores are quite heavy so hopefully you've built a base and repaired your M.U.L.E. Device. No tool is required to harvest metals, however you might need to upgrade your Extraction Contraption (haven't decided yet).

• Petroleum -- this can be turned into better versions of bombs.

• Quartz -- your basic crystal type. Even quartz is quite rare in the first few levels. Quartz has some kind of basic spell attached to it (not sure what yet, probably restoration) and is also a useful material for base machines and machine upgrades.

In deeper levels, the terrain generation changes a bit, the monsters become absolutely awful, but you'll find Crystals, which have magical properties and are basically how you acquire and upgrade spells. Crystals can also be crushed into powder and fed into some type of stick to make wands, and are a useful catalyst for bringing magical properties out of alloys too.

Once you have some metal ore, you'll need to process it. At this stage of the game you're going to need a Base to start crafting better materials. Inside a base, you can make a basic forge from rocks and power it with charcoal, rendered fat or petroleum. You can then start processing your ore, and with a basic Smithy (also built from rocks for the time being), start making metal stuff.

Metal replaces all instances of rocks or bones, and also wood in many cases. This is how you get much better weapons, fishing rods, and armor. Metal is also required for the next stage of machinery, which explicitly requires an Industry room in a base.

Industry

At this stage in the game, you'll have a base with at least one Industry room. You'll still be processing metals too, but a lot of what you'll be doing is mixing things together to make better items:

• Medicinally-speaking, you can refine medicinal plants to make better and better potions.

• you should be able to process food to increase its shelf life (though eating fresh food at a table and chair will always be more beneficial)

• You'll be able to alloy metals together to increase their favorable properties, using catalysts as needed.

• You can refine fat / oil / petroleum and mix them to create vastly better torches.

• You can extract silk from worms to make better ropes and fiber-type stuff.

• You can overall process things into highly-valuable derivations, which is a good step to acquiring Wealth.

At some point you might want to start exploring Deep Castles, which are basically dungeons with hard monsters but valuable loot.

In any case, all of this should feel very progressive as you work your way through different stages. If you want to though you can bypass it and instead make money as a thief or trader instead, and work your way towards acquiring Wealth that way. You might also be doing the main quest.

• Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

Now, onto a bit about the Crafting system (what I've figured out anyway)

Crafting System

In the early game, you don't need a specialized machine or crafting station to make things. You're basically doing it by hand / by fire. All you're really crafting with at this stage are plant materials, stones and animal materials, and you can do this at any time.

Each thing you're crafting has a recipe attached to it based on material classes, for example:

• Fishing Rod -- Stick + String + Small Hook
• Scythe -- Stick + Large Hook
• Bow -- Stick + Rope
• Arrows -- Small stick + Pebble + Feathers (or whatever materials replace those things)
• Scissors -- Knife + Knife + Peg

Some materials have to be crafted from other materials, for example:

• Small Stick <-- Stick
• String <--- Fiber + Fiber + Fiber
• Rope <--- String + String + String

Some materials require one of those earlier rock types for use as a kind of "proto-crafting-table":

• Peg -- Pebble / Bone Chunk (via Hard Rock Cafe)
• Wooden Spear -- Stick (via Big Smooth Rock)

You don't use the rock up, but you do have to have it with you, and it does have a durability so you might have to replace it after a while.

Some recipes require a lot of a specific item:

• Leaf Armor -- 5-20 leaves, depending on the leaf size

The above recipes might require more than one of the item as well, I'll look into that when I start balancing the game.

Tools

Tools work a bit differently than other items:

• They act more like "keys" to accessing better materials.

• They're dimension-specific and actually leave your inventory (or "ghost out") when you leave the dimension. (and come back when you return).

• They don't break, ever. You only ever need to make one saw, or one hammer, or one axe. Per dimension anyway.

• They're crafted from *specific* materials (or sometimes a few things might work) in the dimension, rather than materials classes.

• Each dimension might feature upgrades to tools that lets them take up less inventory space or lets them harvest more resources. It's a dimension-specific thing though -- dimension 5 might have a level 3 axe but dimension -4 you're only getting the level 1 axe.

Materials System

Each fully crafted item has a web of properties attached to it. Bows can shoot further, pierce through animals, maybe shoot diagonally, do more damage, etc. Arrows can stun, cause poison effects, do more damage, sometimes be recoverable after shot, etc.

Almost all items also have a kind of "Durability" that makes them decrease in effectiveness or sometimes outright break as well. I haven't fully worked out the details there.

These properties are influenced by the materials that are used to construct them. So for a really basic example, let's take a wooden spear. You might have in your inventory:

• Redwood stick
• Elfsbane stick
• Rotwick stick

A wooden spear might have properties of durability, damage, pierce 1 chance, and throw range. The sticks might line up like this:

Durability Damage Pierce 1 Chance Throw Range
Redwood Stick 10 5 90 2
Elfsbane Stick 5 5 50 2
Rotwick Stick 2 10 0 5

So whichever stick you craft the spear out of, it'll take on those properties. A Redwood Spear will have a good chance of piercing and a high durability, while a rotwick stick will be better for throwing and damage but you won't get many uses out of it.

These properties are procedurally generated, and every material has every property. So an Elfsbane stick might be kinda worthless as a spear, but it might have more useful properties as a fishing rod or torch.

Work Scaling

Materials that take more work to harvest are more likely to have better properties (though this isn't a sure thing). Some materials can take quite a bit of work, for example:

• 1. Heartswood Branches require an axe
• 2. The axe for this dimension requires any kind of Broad Sharp rock, Elm Sticks, but requires Zebragrass Fiber.
• 3. Unfortunately, Zebragrass Fiber requires a Scythe.
• 4. A scythe can be made from Diorite Large Hooks and any type of stick.

As a result though, Heartswood Branches should have a lot of good properties, so it's worth it to do the work required to get them.

Composite Items

Outside of tools (which don't really have properties per se), items which are built using multiple materials will inherit properties from all of them in several different ways.

Let's look at a very basic example -- the "averaging" method. Let's assume you're making a Bow:

Durability Damage Range
Redwood Stick 10 5 2
Zebragrass Rope 2 7 12

When you combine the two together, you get a Bow that has 6 Durability, 6 Damage, and 7 Range. Not bad!

However, materials can have other functions than "averaging", for example:

• The dominant method makes a composite item take on whichever value is highest. So if Durability is dominant, the bow would now have 10 Durability.

• The recessive method makes a composite item take on whichever value is lowest. So if Range is recessive, the bow would have 2 Range.

There's a priority order here if the methods differ. If either of them use "average" then "average" will be used. If you get dominant-recessive or recessive-recessive then "recessive" will be used. Only if you get dominant-dominant will the dominant method be used.

The actual method that's used for any specific property is dimension-specific and material-class-specific -- maybe sticks found in dimension -5 are dominant with regards to damage, but rocks are recessive. So your weapons suck, but then you find that rope in dimension -6 is also dominant so you're playing the two dimensions to get a superior kind of bow.

With your basic materials, the "average" method is the most common, and dominant/recessive patterns are rare -- however metals tend more towards the dominant/recessive pattern and even the "harmonic" pattern which I haven't mentioned yet.

Figuring out what materials have which properties

For basic materials, you can repair your Analyzer machine, which will usefully show you the properties of each material when you're looking to craft it, and what the result would be.

For metals and more advanced materials, you have to have a Lab room set up in your base with modules for different materials classes.

Catalysts

Once your base is set up right, you can use catalysts to make properties dominant or recessive or average (though not harmonic) in *every* case, allowing you to choose what you want in a composite item. Each property belongs to a "property class" which are grouped together by something sane like "combat"/"speed"/etc and each item also belongs to a property class. By throwing the appropriate items into your forge along with the stuff you're crafting, you can get the final product that you want. If catalysts are organic, they're used up, while metal and crystal catalysts only have a chance of being used.

Alloys

Once you get into metalworking, you can turn metals into composite metals any number of times (I guess there is *some* limit because the text strings have to get stored, but it'll be pretty big). It's probably a good idea to name your alloys though, because the system will just smash the names together -- "Cobalt" + "Jorium" might turn into "Cobium" or "Joralt" automatically.

• Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

And, since I'm eating, a guide to food:

Food

You have three hunger states:

• Not hungry -- your basic state. You're probably going to be here most of the time.

• Sated -- this will give you some set of buffs for however long your Satiety lasts.

• Hungry -- this will give you some set of debuffs depending on what the last thing you ate was. On the whole, individual foods with higher buffs have higher debuffs as well (candy comes to mind here), while more complicated foods aren't as bad in the hungry state.

You don't starve to death, and you don't get hungry quickly -- it's not that kind of game. Nonetheless, it's a good idea to carry some nonperishable food with you to prevent hunger and maybe add some buffs in a pinch.

If you have a base, it's a very good idea to make a Living Space room and stick a table and chair in there. Eating at a table and chair will give you a nice satiety bonus and will remove some of the effects of the ensuing hunger as well.

All food has four rough properties:

• Satiety -- dictates how long your buffs will last before you become not hungry.

• Buffs -- dictates how much of an actual buff you get, and in what (this varies a lot)

• Hunger Factor -- dictates how long you can go until you become hungry. A higher hunger factor will have you going hungry pretty quick.

• Debuffs -- dictates how bad it is when you do become hungry.

Food types

Here's a rough outline of what each food type does:

• Leaves -- These will increase satiety by a bit, but also have a really high hunger factor. Don't try to eat only salad! Some minor buffs as well. Debuffs suck, though not as bad as fruit.

• Fruits -- More buffs than leaves, but basically 0 satiety and a similar high hunger factor. Some pretty bad debuffs as well.

• Nuts -- High satiety, but also high hunger factor. If you try to live on nuts you'll be boosted a lot, but then you'll be hungry almost immediately. Some mild buffs and no debuffs.

• Beans -- Medium satiety, medium hunger factor, but has some buffs associated with it.

• Roots -- Low satiety, high hunger factor, but more buffs than beans. Similar to fruits without as bad of debuffs.

• Seeds -- Lots of buffs, 0 satiety, medium hunger factor. Pretty well-rounded overall, though the debuffs are bad as fruits.

• Insects/Worms -- That's a waste of good bait! Similar to meat or fish but lacks buffs. Pretty plentiful in the early game though.

• Fish / Meat / Eggs -- basically the same thing. Fairly high satiety and low hunger factor, not many buffs, though animal meat will always increase your strength and fish will increase swim speed somewhat.

• Fat -- Zero buffs, but the highest satiety. Hunger factor and debuffs suck.

• Spices -- The highest amount of buffs, zero satiety and basically 100% hunger factor. If you try to live on spices you'll never get buffed from it and will stay perpetually hungry.

Satiety Hunger Factor Buffs Debuffs
Leaves Low High Medium Medium
Fruits None High High High
Nuts High High Low None
Beans Medium Medium Low Low
Roots Low High Medium Medium
Seeds None Medium High High
Insects/Worms High Low None None
Fish/Meat/Eggs High Low Low None
Fat Very High Medium None None
Spices None Very High Very High High

All of this subject to change for balance reasons of course.

On the whole, it makes sense to combine ingredients together. The more ingredients you use, the closer you'll get to hitting green in all categories and the more buffs you'll gain overall. However a lot of the food categories above will perish on long journeys. It's better to make some big complicated meal in your base, sit at a table and chair to eat it, and then bring some seeds/beans/fat for the road. Or just hunt and eat what you hunt, if you're strong enough. Or forage.

• Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

I've been thinking a lot about how the user interface will actually work:

Panes

The game has three panes, an "info pane", the "map" where you actually see the world and stuff in it, and an "interact pane" where you interact with various stuff.

Headlining all of these is a "Location pane" which shows the dimension you're in, the town/house/floor or biome and your coordinates. The background color of the Location pane is the solid color of the dimension so you know where walls are. It should also show the dimension's currency somewhere.

Info Pane

You should have some way of opening additional info sections or interact sections at the top. I'm not sure everything that'll be in this pane yet.

Info pane: Inventory

Your inventory is categorized by item type and whatever category you're in will automatically update (it does this already). You should be able to tag things as well and sort by tag rather than category.

By default, an inventory page will just show the items in it, sorted alphabetically, along with whatever amount of that item you have. However, you'll also have various "functions" that will get more data:

• A "price" function that shows the value of each item. If it's a trading good and you've tried to sell it in the appropriate dimension, it'll show its value in various currencies.

• A "properties" function that lists various properties, depending on what you're comparing exactly. This might make more sense to exclusively have it in the Crafting menu, but I could see it being useful here too.

• A "location" function that shows where the item came from -- either a dimension and biome or a dimension and town, with other stuff like the name of the shop or whether it was stolen. If it's something you crafted, it'll indicate that instead. Towns will indicate their coordinates as well.

Info pane: Discoveries

This shows energy or resource discoveries you've made in the dimension. Energy discoveries just show the amount and the currency.

Resource discoveries will show the region-specific resources, if they need a tool, and if you have the tool you need. The tool will be hyperlinked to the crafting recipes info section so you can see how to make it. I've decided to make resources only carry one thing rather than, say, having a "Heartsbane Tree" tile that can have multiple materials. This keeps things sane for the player. However I'll probably still generate a limited amount of trees with different resource types.

You'll also be able to look at discoveries in other regions -- other biomes, caves, fish, animal products, and stuff in other dimensions as well. However once you move it'll revert to the discoveries in the current region.

Info Pane: Quest

This will give you status messages on your selected "quest", and let you pick another one if you have several open, or manage them in the interact pane. The quest system handles various things:

• Whatever tasks the main quest has you doing

• Actual quests, if I implement those (they're not a priority but they'd be cool -- I'd probably use Daggerfall and Skyrim radiant quests for inspiration here, given the similiarites). If so, you'd be able to find new ones in the Bar or Bar&Grill house type -- if nothing else, they'd direct you to the person that wants the quest done.

• Crafting recipes -- you can set these as quests yourself, but your AI buddy Endive will also suggest things to you throughout the course of the game. Starting out, the biggest one will be creating a wooden staff or wooden spear, or a more complicated weapon if you want. In these cases the quest section will tell you when you have enough of each item and give you a button to craft the product when you're ready.

• Information-gathering is absolutely quest-like in nature... you have to take a bunch of steps to find the information you need. So you'd get to see it here so you don't have to remember every little thing.

Info Pane: Combat

If you're in Combat, most of the info pane will be replaced by combat stuff until you leave combat. What's probably going to happen is that combat locks you down -- you can't collect resources or go into caves or jump dimensions or anything until the combat is resolved or you successfully flee. You also won't be able to zoom around the screen (it would be suicide for one thing).

You should have a different kind of inventory available that lets you drink potions or switch weapons/spells easily. Or I might just use the existing one, depending on the changes there. You'll definitely see enemy health/status effects as well as your own though. If there's an "Alpha" or "Leader", or some kind of "Support" role, you'll see which enemy that is so you know wtf is going on. You should also be able to click enemies to see more information about them (like attack/support ranges).

Interact Pane

Up at the top you'll be able to pull down interaction sections depending on what you're trying to do:

• Crafting will let you craft things, or move crafting recipes into your Quest area.

• Equipment will let you re-equip things.

• Machines will let you use/repair/etc Machines

• Consumables will let you use consumable items.

• "Make Camp" will let you rest or cook things. Not sure on the mechanics here yet. Might be a requirement for crafting as well. Can't do this during combat.

• Your Journal will store various things.

There are also additional sections depending on what you're doing in the world. You'll only ever have one interaction section open at once, though you can maybe layer these so you go back to something you were doing before something interrupted you (probably something I'll fix in the polishing/UX step).

Below I'll try to list all the interaction sections:

Interact: Crafting

Crafting recipes should be categorized with several layers of depth. I'm not sure what the exact mechanics are here yet, but it'll definitely be easy to use -- crafting menus in other games bug me a lot. Being able to automatically craft prerequisites would be nice too.

Since this is a properties-centric game, for each crafting step you can add a different material and optionally see how they compare. You also get to see the final properties of what you're crafting before you craft it. Sometimes this information will be hidden until you Analyze the material.

Interact: Equipment

I'm not sure how the equipment system works yet. I do know that it influences pretty much everything -- instead of stats that you level up you're instead just equipping better and better things. Here are some equipment types I know for sure:

• Cuirass, Helmet, Gauntlets etc -- these affect your health, resistance to stuff, defense, health regeneration, your ability to move in water, etc.

• Amulets, Necklaces, Bracelets, Rings, other Jewelry -- These affect your mana / mana regeneration and also can have magical properties of their own. You can be pretty blinged up by the end of the game -- I'm not sure what the actual limits are here. Jewelry requires both a precious or semi-precious metal (such as Gold, Silver, Aetherium, Elfsteel) and some type of crystal at the very least, though some can use other types of magical materials. Adding more Jewelry is probably how you upgrade your mana pool, though adding better jewelry is better.

• Torch -- This affects the torch type you're holding in a cave. Torches will slowly run out of fuel, and when that happens you'll just replace it with one of the same type until they're all gone.

• Left Hand, Right Hand -- you can dual-wield, even if it physically doesn't make sense (like having a bow in one hand and a claymore in the other). Switching equipment mid-battle wastes turns, but switching hands is free. A shield also counts as a type of weapon -- in addition to doing standard shield stuff, it can bash enemies into walls or push them back.

• Arrows -- if you have a bow equipped, this will let you change the type of arrow. Some deal damage, some stun, some have other effects.

• Spell -- Spells are based on crystals in your posession, so you can switch the equip here with no turn cost. If you run out of mana, you can also use the crystal itself, but it'll deplete it and you'll need to get a Gemsmith to recharge it.

• Wand -- Wands are like spells but in item form and with a limited amount of uses. They don't require mana, however once they're used up they can't be recharged. They're probably more useful in the early game due to your lack of mana.

• Fishing Rod -- lets you fish.

You should be able to cycle easily between left hand/right hand/spell/wand with the keyboard, not sure what the exact mechanics are yet.

Interact: Machines

This menu will let you repair/upgrade/use the various machines on your person. You can also access their help or see more information about them. I'm not sure how this works just yet. Some machines that will definitely have a menu of their own:

• Mason ex Machina -- For building bases and base modules.

• Endive -- Another means of accessing in-game help. There'll probably be a lot of context-dependent help and a big help button somewhere too.

• Soul's Pivot -- A bunch of stuff here.

• Portal Machine -- For placing and connecting portals.

Interact: Consumables

This menu will let you interact with consumable items:

• Drink potions, for medicinal benefits.

• Eat food, for buffs / to stave off hunger.

• Birds, Bats, Horses, Dolphins, Drakes -- various animal companions that do various things for some amount of time.

• Ropes will let you climb down or up cave holes.

• Grappling hooks will let you cross lava pits and jump over boulders in caves. This might work better as an equipable item.

• Bombs will let you blow up solids / create cave holes. They might also do damage.

Interact: Make Camp

If you're not in combat or too close to a town, you can make camp. Similar to couches back home, you can recover health and mana while reviewing lore or strategy or whatever. This won't count as taking turns, so you won't get hungry. You can also sleep, which *will* take turns, but will recover you to full.

Making Camp might be a requirement for early crafting of larger things like weapons, because you'd be crafting those things at a campfire.

You should be able to cook food as well -- cooking food boosts its properties, so you'll gain more benefits, though it won't be as much as if you were sitting at a table and chair in your base.

There might be some extra mechanics here, like requiring you to make camp somewhere that isn't in water and is bordered by solids on some number of sides. Or I might scrap this entire section completely.

Journal

Your journal keeps a collection of everything you've learned, including quests and especially lore. I'm not sure how it's set up yet, though I do know you'll be able to add notes to any section or entries yourself. This is probably where Maps go as well.

If you've made camp or are on a couch or sitting at a desk, you can review things in here and regain health/mana at the same time without food/turn penalties.

I plan to create quite a bit of lore, which you can learn various ways (without actually seeing it when you learn it) and then read it at your leisure. Lore will have hyperlinks in it to other pieces of lore, and if you don't know the thing that's hyperlinked to, you can ask around in towns for it.

Interact: Other sections

These sections depend on the context of what you're doing in the world:

• Fishing -- Lets you fish. You'll get quite a bit of information here -- fish in the current pool, fish dimension-wide, how fish are weighted in the pool, what baits and lures are doing, fish prices, etc.

• Shops -- These let you buy and sell items, or sometimes buy services instead. I've covered these elsewhere.

• Talking -- These will let you talk to NPC's, to gain information or go on one of those information-gathering quests. You can ask about many different things, ranging from where a particular type of shop might be, to where to find a rare resource to someone who might know about some lore.

• Containers -- This'll pop up when you're looking in containers in houses, and might be used for your base storage as well. Lets you take items out of them. You might have to lockpick or something.

• Text -- Miscellaneous text for various things. This might show elsewhere, given its importance.

• Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

Game Design

This is something I've been working on a lot through this whole process, because the goal is to have my game be as fun as possible. I'm doing this a few different ways:

Gameplay Loops

These are pretty important. There are a few either in place or planned:

• Fishing -- buy bait, fish, sell fish, buy more bait. This currently works. Fish and bait value is similar and randomized so you can turn a bit of a profit by taking advantage of the difference. You should be able to buy better fishing rods as well. Of course you can bypass a lot of this by finding your own bait or making your own rods.

• Thievery -- steal stuff from houses, sell to traders, buy better lockpicks. You can get a decent amount of stuff without picking locks, but the more valuable stuff is going to be locked up. The actual lockpicking mechanism is a modified version of the Handgame I posted a while back -- the difference between the lock level and the lockpick level determines how hard the puzzle is -- how many different tumblers you have to deal with. Clicking any tumbler affects some other random amount of tumblers, and each click degrades your lockpick durability.

• Crafting -- gather resources, craft useful items, sell those items, buy things to help you explore or collect resources better (animals are a big one)

• Hunting -- Hunt animals, sell valuable materials you collect from them (like fur), buy better weapons and armor to hunt better animals.

Gameplay elements that focus on fun

These are elements of the game that tie into gameplay loops, player-motivated quests, or the main quest. I'm trying to design them to be as fun as possible.

• Combat -- combat is tactical but once you're good at it it should really flow rather than requiring a lot of thinking. You can kind of create your own combos -- pull enemies closer and then skewer more than one, or knock enemies near walls with your staff and then crush them with your shield. There's also quite a bit of magic you can do. While surface enemies will be hard at first, as you get better gear you should be able to fly through them without really thinking about it. Cave and Deep Castle enemies, not so much.

• Theft -- there will be a certain amount of risk here. I'm not sure how you can get caught exactly or what the consequences are, but the challenge won't be too high, just enough to make things interesting.

• Fishing -- With fishing, you have to figure out which baits work best with which fish, and also which fish to aim for with lures. There are some differences in fishing rods as well -- a "fast" setting that lets you catch fish without waiting, and an "auto" setting on some high-tier rods that really speeds up the grinding if you hate fishing. A lot of bait wastage with those options though.

• Talking -- the talking system I've described elsewhere, but basically any search for information becomes a long quest that involves tracking down people and obscure towns.

• Route planning -- similarly, there's a bit of challenge involved in figuring out the best way to get to whatever town you're trying to get to. Fast travel between towns costs money as well.

• Energy gathering -- energy and money are the same thing, and you can collect resources as energy rather than materials. This has been around since the early alpha demo, and it's actually pretty zen in itself (because of how varied the terrain is). As far as the game goes though, if you need money you can just go out into the world and collect it if you want. Maybe try to find the resources that turn into more energy. Or just collect everything.

• Trading -- while materials and items are valued the same everywhere, there are trading items you can get that are worth different things in different currencies. The way this is set up you have to play three different dimensions off each other in order to turn a profit, but it can be quite lucrative over time.

• Wholesale Trading -- another trading mechanic allows you to ship bags of random junk to your base. These grab-bags are pricy but there can be some really valuable items in them sometimes, or at the very least enough random crap to get your money back. Though there might be risk tiers as well -- greater risk, greater reward.

• Deep Castles -- these are basically procedurally-generated zelda 1 dungeons, complete with some kind of keys system. So similar gameplay there -- localized battles, mild puzzles (probably some ice-block or sokoban-type puzzles, switch stuff, etc), and figuring out which key to use where. You can get some good loot this well, as well as all the animal products you can carry.

• Lore -- idk if it's "fun" exactly but there will be a loooot of interesting lore about the world to collect and read at your leisure.

Variety

These elements aren't gameplay-related really, they're just there to ensure that the game doesn't become boring too quickly.

• Color Palettes -- Each dimension has a palette of 3 colors and a water color (some blue or cyan or purple). At the moment I have it set up so that the solid color contrasts to all the other colors, which has led to some pretty aesthetically-pleasing dimensions. There are also caves which are varieties of grayscale and Entropic Dimensions which are grayscale with a touch of color.

• Terrain -- The terrain generation is crazy. Even I don't fully understand it. You get some pretty interesting terrain a lot of the time, especially now that there's water in there.

• Materials names -- Names of base materials are randomly generated in a way where they look like real things. This is because I've exhaustively combed over lists and found common elements in names or things that make sense there. You get trees named things like "Gooseleaf" or "Barrelthorn", fibrous plants like "Dwarfcorn" or "Hillstail", fish named things like "Daggertooth" or "Cusk-eel", and this is really just the first draft. Would like to name lakes/rivers better as well.

• Town / NPC names -- I still have some work to do here, but these will look like foreign names. I have a file I'm setting up that kind of randomly generates "naming languages", and each universe will have several of them (or maybe 3 every 10 dimensions or something). At the moment you're getting things like "Gupetid" and "Nemomeg", which isn't bad. I'd like to have last names palletized somewhat, so you'll find a bunch of people whose last name is "Tsetac" or whatever.

• Properties -- Obviously, different weapons and things have different properties, and so do the materials that compose them. While there can be some strategy here, if you're not trying to minmax things you get quite a lot of variety in your weapons, your torches, your industrial machines, etc.

• Animals/Enemies -- Animals and enemies are very very different from each other. I'm building a pretty elaborate system here of things they can do -- ways they move, attack, communicate with each other, and so on.

• Towns -- Towns aren't going to be a 3x3 grid of houses forever. There's a lot of framework set up for different house sizes and shapes, different in-town road layouts, districts, etc. Each town or city should feel pretty distinct, as should the interior of the houses.

• House Types -- There's a pretty ludicrous amount of variety in the types of houses you can enter. It isn't just "oh you can buy this category of items in this type, and this category there", there are things like Bars, Churches, Belfries, some shopkeepers offer services instead of products, and so on. They're all named something pretty distinct as well.

• "Palletization" -- On the opposite side of the spectrum, I don't want to throw *too much* at the player, so each dimension is fairly limited in what resources/animals/etc it has to offer. This gives you the ability to actually learn how to deal with enemies and resources instead of feeling like you're just making random decisions. And if you get bored with it, you can just swap dimensions for a brand new experience.

Strategic Elements

These are more challenging elements of the game intended to make you think about how best to optimize things.

• Advanced Crafting -- basically, trying to find the right materials to maximize the properties of whatever you're making. Finding the right catalysts to pull favorable properties, alloying metals and melting/alloying weapons together, etc. More of a mid-game to late-game thing.

• Exploring -- you'll have to do a lot of actual exploring and gathering to do this. There are some things to assist you here -- animals that let you bypass barriers, birds that will find resources or towns for you, bats that will let you explore caves better, etc.

• Caves -- caves are dangerous, labyrinthine, and tricky to navigate. They're well worth the effort though.

• Wealth -- one of your end-game goals is to acquire Wealth -- this requires having a bunch of money up front and finding some kind of infinite loop between shops and/or crafting. Once you have Wealth, you can gain income passively, and increase the amount by finding more of these networks. You do need a certain amount of it to compete the game.

Immersion

These gameplay elements are designed to make the game feel more immersive, like you're actually there in some capacity.

• Hunger/food -- I've simplified this system a lot, but basically eating is a good idea and you can make a bunch of different types of food with the very free crafting system

• Making camp -- this mechanic lets you craft more complex things (like weapons), sleep, fish, cook food, or passively recover health while reading lore or decorating your items. The decorating system basically lets you grind up items into powders or dyes and try to maximize the properties of your items -- unlike every other "free" system, this one has a ton of options and you'll probably just be trying random things. That's intentional here since the goal is to pass time. Making camp also has some terrain requirements (particularly if you want to fish). I've tested it and it's not too hard but not too easy either.

• Base building -- nothing quite captures immersion like making a base. There are a lot of mechanics here because bases tie in to the mid-game a lot. A big one though is that using the environment around you is significantly cheaper than making a big rectangle out in the open.

• Furniture -- similarly, you can have furniture that actually does stuff. Beds are obvious, but couches do much the same thing as making camp, desks let you organize things better, patio chairs let you fish from within your base, tables/chairs give you a huge food bonus.

Conclusion

Overall, my lofty goal here is to create a kind of "infinite game". I mean, in practice, you're going to get bored of the game eventually (or just ascend to godhood and not care anymore), but the overarching goal is to prevent that for as long as possible by making the game fun and varied. I feel like a lot of procedural generation-type games really miss the boat on that -- they're too focused on making the engine technically impressive to think about things like the delicate balance between player learning and variety. Or how players might want to actually play.

• Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

At this point, while there's still a lot of work left, what I'll mostly be doing is building things in the frameworks I've set up (or upgrading them), rather than building new frameworks. There's a couple smaller exceptions, but most of the skeleton is done and it's all about fleshing it out (and balancing/tightening it as I go).

I'm going to try to make a kind of loose checklist here for that:

Combat

This is probably the next set of updates. There's a bunch of other materials here, and this system heavily influences both the resources and towns systems.

• I want to get the last two weapon types working -- these involve grappling nearby enemies or leaping over them. These will be some kind of glove and count as a weapon.

• For sanity reasons, I need to generalize the weapons system into a framework rather than several loose functions.

• Like torches, weapons should hook back into the equipment system and items systems. I think for the time being I'll just create a weapons shop to sell weapons rather than playing with the crafting system (that really requires the metals update). "Power Gloves" and "Shields" will count as weapon types, and you'll be able to equip to two different hands to dual-wield whatever you want.

• Swap over to WASD controls and get the mouse working for directional / arc attacks. This will definitely take some work.

• Handle thrown weapons (and I guess by extension, item dropping in general) as well as thrown weapon techniques. Animations would be nice, but that's not going to happen any time soon.

• Get player health set up. I think for the time being going to 0 will just make you go back to full health.

• Handle enemy attacks -- need melee stuff obviously, but would like to see projectiles, things like bombs, grappling attacks would be pretty cool.

• Re-examine enemy movement patterns, really flesh those out.

• Enemy support and communication. If movement patterns and attacks are list-based enough, communication will be pretty easy to set up.

• At this point, phase 2 of combat should be done. I might move on to phase 3, or I might switch gears. What I'd definitely like to do is set up a system for enemy spawning and engagement limits. This will let me continue to test the system while doing other things.

House interiors

• Set up a furniture system, as well as a pretty significant update to the amount of items in the game -- there should be things like clothing, dishes, paintings, etc.

• Import (or recreate) my Handgame files into a lockpicking framework, tie this into the equipment / items system, make a shop for it.

• Set up interior walls and a "line of sight" system for NPCs. NPCs should also move around slowly in real-time. Overall try to make the theft system challenging but fun.

• I could theoretically be done here -- I can of course keep balancing things and add more item types, but I won't have to do any more meaty programming.

Town generation

This definitely needs to happen. Right now only one town is generating, but the amount of shops during testing is going to go way way up. I think to start out I'll just generate the basic town layout I've been generating and work up to cities / nexuses later.

• For the time being I'll just create a town somewhere inside some radius (maybe 400 tiles).

• Towns should load as you approach them, and offload as you move away. The framework for this is already set up, but the hooks aren't in place yet.

• Allow shopkeepers to have Services, which ties into the Events system (something I learned from NIFE).

• Create some kind of "Travel" building, and populate it in every town. This should have a service where you're linked to adjacent towns in the grid, which then also renders them (and offloads the old town, if that isn't already automatic). This can change to a more general distance-based system once towns are generating in different places.

• Create a "Talk" tab. For now this will happen only for shopkeepers.

• Create a very very basic Talk system whose purpose is to scan towns to find specific building types. While this will be in the final game (and the "information" system in general will be highly useful in the future), the point of this is to make it easier to find shop types moving forward. If it can pinpoint the exact house(s), that would be pretty awesome too.

Other Projects

After those things are done, I'll have enough of a game in place that I can start fleshing out the actual gameplay of the actual game. Here's a (probably partial) list of how all that will go down:

• Animal corpses and animal resources.

• Fix metal generation so they're distinct from surface resources (a minor fix really).

• Create a ton of crafting recipes to basically flesh out the entirety of the early game.

• Do some work with bases so you can at the very least smelt metals. Will probably have all kinds of shortcuts here for testing purposes.

• Flesh out caves. The biome code is screwy and needs to be fixed, torches need to burn out, the holes system should be different, implement ropes and grappling hooks and also metal vein generation.

• Implement animals to scan stuff or let you move around better.

• Flesh out the shops that can generate. I'll probably want to make towns bigger too.

• Heavily expand the Information system. I want to be able to know where to find resources.

• Flesh out town generation -- town chunks, different layouts, and particularly townfolk houses.

• Itemize Town NPCs and hook in the Conversations system. Will also need to set up a rudimentary Quests system here.

• Expand town generation and fast travel algorithms. Might do libraries at this stage, might scrap that mechanic entirely.

• Expand Bases and base mechanics

• Implement *some* kind of saving mechanic, even if it's just a text box with a bunch of json in it.

Final projects

At this stage, most of the game will be done. There's still some stuff to do but it hooks into whatever the game looks like at this point, which will probably be different from my notes here.

• Deep Castles -- this could really be in the list above, but it's not a huge priority, and it's a late-game thing anyway.

• Get resources generating better, and implement tools and the start of the work-value algorithm.

• Inventory weights and base inventories.

• Base portals, if they're not done already.

• Armor and a death system.

• Resting, sleeping, camp, food mechanics

• Magic -- this is entirely too dependent on the rest of the game -- it'll influence combat but it'll influence town and resource mechanics too.

• Lore, story, and whatever handcrafted stuff I need to stick into the game.

• The Soul's pivot -- this really just does nothing more than manipulates all the json I've been coding the game with. I'll need to document it and expand the interface. I might honestly do this at an earlier stage -- it would be *extremely* useful for testing.

Beta

At this stage, the game will basically be done and I'll just need to polish it up, rebalance things and do a good bit of testing. I'll also release it for open beta testing here and elsewhere.

• Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

Thrown Weapons Notes

I'm probably going to actually implement this today, I just want to lay my notes out for it.

• Weapons can be thrown orthogonally, diagonally, both, or free -- this won't happen in this update, it needs to be a general function for weapons.

• Once you've thrown a weapon you can't throw it again -- however some weapons can have multiple physical weapons (known as "Shadow Weapons") attached to them. In those cases whatever you're doing with a thrown weapon you do for all of the ones that have been thrown, and you can throw weapons up to your max.

• You also can't use a weapon for anything else if you've thrown all copies of it. This won't happen in this update either, it's reliant on the equipment system and how weapons are differentiated from techniques (which I haven't figured out yet).

• Thrown weapons will be indicated on your map -- currently I'm using a white ) on a black background. I'll probably use | for spears and keep ) for axes. (it's possible to throw both without re-equipping anything, so distinguishing them is important).

Thrown Weapon Effects and Techniques

• If it lands on the ground, a "reverberate" effect can affect adjacent enemies, dealing reverberate damage or possibly stunning them via "Reverberate Stun Chance".

• If you hit a mob with a thrown weapon, it'll become "sticked" and will indicate that by having a strikethrough through the symbol. This counts as one of your throws, but the weapon is obviously moving around now, and the techniques change a bit as well. The enemy also takes "Throw Damage".

• Regardless of where the weapon is, a "Recall" effect will put it back in your inventory. This can have a chance of working rather than being absolute -- if it's absolute, the weapon is basically a ranged weapon with infinite ammo.

Ground Effects

• A "Tug" effect will pull the weapon towards you some number of spaces, hitting anything in the way.

• A "Jerk" effect will instead pull *you* towards the weapon, but otherwise it works the same as the above (you can hit things along the way).

• A "Fragment" effect will make the weapon affect everything adjacent to it -- sort of a delayed-reaction reverberate effect. This deals Fragment damage and possibly stuns via the Fragment Stun Chance effect.

Sticked Enemy effects

• A "Yank" effect will pull the enemy towards you some number of spaces. It's like a grappling hook but you don't have to actually be orthogonally/diagonally aligned to the enemy and you can delay it as long as you want.

• A "Draw" effect will pull *you* towards the enemy some number of spaces.

Other stuff

Obviously, there's other possibilities here, but honestly the melee combat system is complicated enough as is -- my other ideas will instead make their way into the magic combat system.

• Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

Weapon as items/equipment notes

My next project is making weapons equippable items, as well as tying this back in with the crafting/alchemy and shops systems. I'm outlining my notes here for my own use (and for the roughly 0% of you who read my updates in this post).

• While you can carry any amount of weapons up to your inventory limit, re-equipping things inside combat takes several turns.

• You can equip a weapon (axe, sword, spear, staff, bow, flail, clawarm) or support weapon (shield, grapple glove, acrobat gauntlet) in each hand. You can use a weapon and a support weapon, dual-wield weapons, or maybe use two support weapons if they're sufficiently powerful. There are no two-handed weapons.

• Weapons can have several different "techniques" associated with them -- techniques are what you're actually doing with the weapon and are what I've actually been building/testing. For now it makes more sense for weapons to have techniques that are different moves, and them be based on the weapon type -- though there's not actually a hard limit in there anywhere, so weapons that have multiple slash/etc techniques might make sense in the future. Bows with multiple types of arrows also makes sense, but that'll have to happen in a later update.

• Control-wise, you press Q to switch to your left hand or cycle between left-hand techniques, and E to switch to your right hand or cycle through right-hand techniques. I'm not sure how you put away weapons entirely yet or equip combat magic -- that'll be something to figure out later.

Weapon Types

Below is a description of each type of weapon and its various strengths and weaknesses:

• Axe -- Has a weaker Slash technique than the Sword, but a better Throw technique than the Spear.
• Sword -- Has a weaker Thrust technique than the Spear, but a better Slash technique than the Axe.
• Spear -- Has a weaker Throw technique than the Axe, but a better Thrust technique than the Sword.

• Staff -- has the best Slash technique (including knockback in every case), but does very little actual damage. More of a defensive weapon than anything.

• Bow -- Has a ranged attack that can potentially be the most free (shoot over solids, hit the specific enemy you want in a column, hit any space rather than one in a diagonal/orthogonal direction). Also has a very weak Thrust attack with a tiny bit of knockback or stun for emergencies. The downsides are a lack of interesting techniques beyond that and the reliance on arrows, which are a form of ammo.

• Clawarm -- a "thrown" weapon that hooks into enemies and can pull you towards them (draw) or them towards you (yank).

• Flail -- a "thrown" weapon that hits the ground, possibly for reverb damage or stun, and then can be pulled towards you (tug) or you can be pulled towards it (jerk).

Axes, Spears, Flails, and Clawarms can sometimes have a "Recall" effect that returns them.

Axes, Spears, Flails, and Clawarms can have "shadow" weapons which allow you to throw multiple copies.

Axes, Spears, and Flails can have a "Fragment" effect that lets them do controllable reverb damage or stun when on the ground. This can sometimes return it to your inventory.

Support weapons

These count as weapons (and can do damage sometimes), but have more of a support role in combat.

• Shield -- Has a thrust with a knockback and Crush effect that lets you basically shield bash enemies into walls. Shields also have more useful defensive properties against enemy attacks than grapple gloves or acrobat gauntlets.

• Grapple Glove -- lets you grab an adjacent enemy and move it to the opposite side of you or throw it in that direction. This can also have a "crush" effect.

• Acrobat Gauntlet -- lets you leap over an enemy or a stack of them, possibly doing damage to everything in between. Very overpowered, so naturally has the least amount of defensive properties.

Support weapons can block enemy projectiles or melee attacks sometimes. I'm not sure how this system works yet, but the shield is the best and the acrobat gauntlet the worst.

Weapon Techniques

Below is a list of what every weapon technique does that aren't described elsewhere:

• Thrust -- lets you hit one enemy ajdacent to you. This tends to do the most damage of any weapon technique. Spears tend to also have a "Pierce" effect where it'll hit two or more enemies behind the one you hit as well.

• Slash -- lets you hit multiple enemies adjacent to you in an arc. Does less damage than a thrust, but you're hitting multiple enemies, so it's useful when they cluster up around you.

• Ranged -- hits an enemy that isn't immediately adjacent to you. This will typically be in an orthogonal direction or an orthogonal/diagonal direction, though sometimes you'll be able to do this in a "free" way -- picking any target inside a range.

• Throw -- this throws the weapon itself. Tends to do more damage than ranged attacks, however you lose the weapon and can't use any of its other techniques until you pick it back up. If you have shadow weapons, you can throw multiple copies and only can't use other techniques if you've thrown all available shadows.

Weapon Crafting

• Very early-game you'll be guided into making a choice between a wooden staff and a wooden spear. You can also make a more complicated weapon, but it takes more materials -- wooden staves and spears only require a single branch each. You can also make a basic wooden shield, though it's purely defensive and fairly heavy without offering much defense.

• With a branch, some string (made from plant fiber) and a rock, you can make an upgraded spear, or a basic axe or sword.

• With a branch and some plant-based rope or animal-based rope, you can make a bow. You can also craft arrows with sticks (cut from branches) + pebbles + leaves. Animal-based rope is much much easier to make, but if you're having trouble with enemies you can do some work to make a bow with plant fiber.

• When you start hunting animals, you can use hide to make a better (and lighter) shield, bones to upgrade the stick/rock portions of your weapons (including arrows), or fur/wool/down to upgrade the plant-based string or the rope used in bowmaking. Feathers will also improve arrows.

• Metals will upgrade all of your weapons again and also allow you to make the Flail, Clawarm, Grapple Glove and Acrobat Gauntlet.

You can also just bypass all of this and buy the weapons you want in a shop -- though you'll need a good bit of money for better weapons, and unless you're an exceptionally good thief, you're going to need to get out in the world to make money.

Weapon Crafting Alchemy

Actual weapon properties can vary a lot -- different damage, throw range, pierce, etc. There are also things I haven't covered yet like weapon sharpness, weight, equip time, possibly some elemental or other types of effects down the road.

These properties are dictated by the materials that make up the item -- stone weapons made with different types of branches, string or stone will have different properties.

With metals, you can freely alloy metals together to get the kind of properties you want. You can also melt metal weapons down, alloy them with other metal weapons, and then reforge them into something better.

• Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

Various upcoming features

I've been working on several new systems to flesh the game out more and make it more interesting.

Town distribution / travel

There are large regions of the world known as "provinces" (currently, 4500 tiles by 4500 tiles). Each province has a Nexus, three cities, and ten towns. All 14 of these occupy one tile each in a 9x9 supergrid (each tile of the supergrid is currently 500 regular tiles). The nexus will always spawn in the middle and cities will always spawn in the middle of adjacent 3x3 grids. Towns will generate anywhere else. Some pictures will probably help here.

There's four different ways these locations are connected together, with differing price points. Locations close together are the cheapest, "city links" connecting towns to the closest city within some range is more expensive, and the link between cities and nexuses is the most expensive. There's also an "edge" travel system that connects everything on the outer edge of the province in a kind of loop -- this is in between local travel and to-city travel but covers larger distances. Long story short, even if you have a map, finding the best route from one location to another takes skill.

Provinces are also connected to each other by following the local rule with towns on the respective outer edges. This kind of travel requires the permission of whatever ruling body is in the nexus, but you can also set out semi-blind and try to find an edge town in another province yourself.

Other types of locations

In addition to towns, some other locations will spawn inside a province:

• Mines will have a surface entrance and will spawn within the cave layer with a thick impassable wall surrounding them.

• "Mana Cracks" use different terrain generation and will contain either shrines or biome entrances.

• Outposts and single houses can exist outside of towns.

• Farms or something equivalent. Not sure what these look like yet.

• Some type of dungeon will spawn that isn't continuous like the Cave layer but is also distinct from Deep Castles.

• Larger lakes where water movement speed is a mechanic again. Better fish, probably harder water-element monsters, loot on islands and different (or no) resources.

• Whatever else I come up with.

Some of these things will be distinct to biomes as well.

The goal is to have things to find while navigating the terrain. Like everything else, there will be variations. These things also tie into other systems, like purchasable maps and quests.

Quests

I'm working on a kind of randomly generated quests system. These will basically have you do things you'd maybe be doing anyway, along with standard courier/fetch quests. I'm going to pore over a lot of different quests in various open-world games to try to generalize them as much as possible.

Quests are location-specific and heavily limited -- for example an outpost might only have one quest, a town might have 3-4. Quests tie back into the provinces system so knowing where your destination is and how to reach it is essential.

Dimension changes

Given all these changes, limiting the number of dimensions makes sense. You'll still need a few to be able to get around barriers but you really don't need an infinite amount of them. I also want to handcraft the dimensional palette some more because compared to biomes, most dimensions are pretty ugly.

Limiting dimensions will also make it so biomes can spawn in any dimension and will encourage players to learn how to use their existing dimensions rather than just try to find something better somewhere else. There are a lot of advantages here.

It might make sense to vary things physically from province to province rather than from dimension to dimension -- since provinces are quite large, this means getting to a different province takes work. I'm also considering creating a bit of ocean (with the swim speed thing) around a province. Overall this would help to keep the game self-contained within a province while still providing variety over time.

• Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

I have a new generation algorithm I'm working on:

There's several different components to it, but basically the idea is that it generates random squares according to various criteria (how big they are, how randomly they're distributed, whether they can overlap, etc). Tweak some lower-level parameters and you get rectangles or even circles.

There will also be a secondary component that connects these "rooms" together by "hallways" -- like rooms, hallways can have a variety of properties.

This algorithm will be used for a variety of things:

• Dungeons will have pretty reasonable square distribution and smaller hallways (though that might depend on where the dungeon is).

• Mines will have wilder distribution and larger hallways.

• Random, crazier distributions without hallways will make "ruins" like the image above. Which look a lot like the terrain I'm already generating sooo maybe not.

• If I can get my margin code working right, this algorithm will build "mazes" with guaranteed passageways based on the squares that generate.

• I can hook this algorithm into my town generation algorithm for smooth but varied or wilder town layouts. It's looking like the engine will know how many houses are in a town before it knows how to generate them, so this will be useful there.

• Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

The new generation algorithm is going quite well -- just putting finishing touches on it at the moment. Should have something in the other post soon enough.

Now that I have a good framework for locations, I want to lay out my notes for how they work in more depth.

Types

• Dungeons -- Probably the most reasonable type, these are rooms connected by hallways. The way hallways can generate varies a lot, which I'll outline in my update post -- they can be twisty and confusing, or quite large and linear or varied. Dungeons can have multiple floors -- they'll generate some overworld rooms and hallways with one entrance which will start generating dungeon floors at lower and lower levels with more rooms. Entering a dungeon requires a Silver Key which can be found in structures on the Cave level.

• Mines -- Mines are wider regions basically constructed of nothing but large hallways. Here you can find one or two dimension-specific metals in larger quantities, however Mines are also guarded by wandering NPCs so stealing things from them requires excellent thievery skills. Mines have entrances in the Overworld, however in Caves you can also run across Abandoned Mines which have less metals but no NPCs. (Though they can have enemies).

• Biome Caves -- These are similar to mines, but look a bit different depending on the biome in question. Not sure what they look like internally yet, will probably have scattered loot and enemy encounters.

• Labyrinths -- Winding passageways through various shapes. Any of those shapes can potentially be a room. Ideally there's a kind of linear progression here -- going to one room unlocks another, and so on with the best loot in the last room.

• Ruins -- Open areas with these kinds of "statues" which are a part of the normal landscape. These will be interconnected in some way so whatever they unlock will be tied to doing something at several ruins locations. There will probably be a bit of lore associated with them as well.

• Shrines -- More random structures and colors. Not entirely sure what I'm doing with these yet, though they'll probably tie into fixtures such as Altars. Might be above-ground, might be mostly underground.

• Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

Streamlining the game

Now that I have a good sense of how the new systems work, I have a better understanding of how they tie into the rest of the game and what game progression looks like.

1. You start the game reasonably far away from civilization with several broken machines and no items or currency whatsoever.

2. The first step is collecting energy to repair your Extraction Contraption, which allows you to harvest resources. Collecting energy lets you learn how to navigate the terrain and find resources, as well as do dimension jumps to get around barriers. Starting out you have access to three dimensions known as the Triad, with handcrafted palettes and the same structures, though somewhat different resources.

3. Once you have your EC repaired, you can harvest wood, rocks, etc to make some basic weapons and things. It's wise to continue to evade enemies, who when close to the origin won't be hostile unless provoked. You'll get a warning if you step outside the boundary of safety.

4. Your next step is really up to you:

4a. Repairing your portal gun will allow you to go to the nearest town and start progressing in civilized lands.

4b. Repairing your building tool will let you create a simple base to start doing progression steps there.

4c. Venturing out past safety will let you start collecting animal resources, exploring deeper, and progressing along that path.

You can also do some of all three if you want as well.

Civilization path

Towns are all connected together and areas of interest are reasonably close to them, so on this path you're mostly evading the deep wilderness and gathering resources and information that help you explore it better. You have a lot of freedom here and are basically set loose to do whatever makes the most sense:

• If you want to start the main quest, you have to find someone in the province named Asher. This involves asking around in towns and figuring out how to get wherever you need to go through the various town-to-town transport systems. You'll need money for your travels and money for food, so you'll probably need to do other things for that.

• Towns on the coast will sell bait, lures and better fishing rods. They'll also buy fish, so you can progress there and make some money that way. Inland lakes will also generate with better fishing opportunities and you can find maps that point towards them.

• Each town will have several quests available. You can hear rumors of these in Bars and find whoever it is. Quests range from collecting resources to fetch/delivery stuff, to clearing out small dungeons, to visiting outposts / isolated houses. They pay decently. Once you've done enough small-time quests you can do bigger quests for town/city rulers -- these are somewhat more involved but have higher payouts. Eventually this will allow you to cross into other Provinces easily.

• You can be a thief and steal things and resell them. If you're caught, you forfeit whatever you stole in that house and can't steal from there again for a while. If you have three of these in a town you can't steal from that town period until time lapses. Along the way your skills will increase in some capacity.

• You can collect resources and sell them. Somewhat boring, though there are some rarer resources that are quite worth your time -- finding those involves finding appropriate maps by asking around. Enemy drops tend to be more valuable, so getting better weapons and armor is a good idea.

• You can join a guild and do quests for them. These are handcrafted to a large extent. Higher-level guild quests are a good way to get into harder-to-reach areas, like the Spelunker guild opening up caves or the Cartographer guild letting you access other Provinces.

• If you're on one of the other progression paths, you can use towns to ask around about better resources, machine repair, and so on.

Overall, town progression should open up other provinces, mana cracks, the cave layer, and things like ruins and dungeons.

Base progression path

The base progression path no longer requires metals -- instead it's much more self-contained and resources you gather or loot you find is converted into different types of raw energy to build base extensions with. So you can still explore the world or towns but you have a different goal in mind with the loot gained.

1. The first step is building the first room of your base. Building tiles requires energy, and putting floor tiles on solids or solids on floors a lot more energy, so it's in your best interest to build a base into natural structures. A room must be between 20 tiles and 100 tiles continuously connected in any shape. It must be surrounded by either solids or doors and the floor must be floor tiles you've placed, though the solids can be natural solids. Bases can't be built within 30 tiles of a structure like a town or ruin.

2. Once you have the room built and some checks are done to make sure it's a valid Base, you'll have a base with a single general-purpose room and some minor storage space. You can build more rooms and assign them functions, however base fixtures require one of the eight mana types. To get that, you'll want to construct an altar out of wood / stones / bones / etc (different materials make different types of altars). Making an Altar Room might be a good idea.

3. By sacrificing different resources and items on an altar, your base gains mana equal to its mana strength. Every item and resource in the game has at least one element attached to it, while things found in mana cracks are all that mana type. Crystals are particularly concentrated sources of mana, but they're highly valuable in other ways too. Same deal with powerful weapons and so on. Altars aren't tied to any particular element -- you can gain any kind of mana on any kind of altar, however different altars will have different bonuses attached to them for resource/item types, mana bonuses, etc. So having multiple altars is still useful in the long run.

4. Mana is used to make different base fixtures such as forges, wood crafting tables (for making furniture), storage modules, as well as ways to repair and upgrade machines. The portal gun in particular has to be upgraded via mana, and it allows you to connect far-off places together in the same base. This is also one of the ways to upgrade your Leaping Latch to access more dimensions than the Triad.

5. Eventually you'll be able to make Alchemical Stations that let you really customize your items, as well as extract valuable compounds from less valuable materials, one of the ways of achieving Wealth.

Exploration path

This kind of path is probably going to happen anyway, but you can absolutely just set off and do it on your own if you want.

Food is obviously easier to get, though finding high-buff food is relatively rare, and you'll definitely have to prep more balanced meals yourself.

1. At this point you have some basic weapons and fishing rods, so you can collect surface animal resources.

2. While it's possible to skip animals and make rope through plants, this is time-consuming so animal wool/etc is the way to go. In addition to rope, you'll want to make some bombs from fat or oil. Making torches is also a good idea since your base visibility is pretty terrible. If you haven't accessed towns yet, you might want to try to find some Bird, Bat, or Mole eggs and let them hatch into animal companions.

3. Your next step is to actually find a Cave entrance. All across the world are cave entrances blocked by rubble and a few rare ones that are open. If you don't have this information from towns yet, then you'll want to send birds out to try to find them. Birds that you've raised yourself are less reliable but you get a lot more use out of them before they fly away. A good strategy is to send out long-range birds to get a general idea and then short-range birds once you're closer.

4. While you can't access blocked cave entrances directly, you can send moles in them, who will reappear in a direction pointing towards the next cave entrance or towards an unblocked one (again, some strategy with different types of moles is useful). Eventually you should find an actual cave entrance.

Both blocked cave entrances and unblocked cave entrances will appear on your Province Map permanently so you can find them again if you die a horrible death.

5. To enter a cave, place a rope in it and descend.

6. The Cave layer contains several new resources, the entrances to different types of structures, and many Cave holes which will go down or up some number of layers. Rope properties are important here -- some are better at ascending, some are better at descending, and some are better at grappling. They can also break if your weight is too high.

7. Inside Caves, you can collect:

• Metal Ores (if you haven't already been collecting them from mines),

• Petroleum, which will allow you to blow up blocked cave holes and access the cave layer that way, as well as make better bombs.

• Quartz, a useful element for summoning enemies, accessing mana cracks and doing things with Ruins and Shrines.

• Rarely, elemental crystals which will give you access to basic spells. These are a bit more common in abandoned mines.

Navigating caves is tricky:

• While there's a lot of solid, open areas, there are also a lot of annoying rocks blocking your path, and you can't simply Leap around them because your Leaping Latch doesn't work down here. If you see a nearby stalactite you can sometimes grapple past them or onto them. You can also use bombs to blow them up.

• Lava will sometimes generate, which damages you if you touch it, and displays in a semi-quantum way so it's hard to tell if you're too close to it or not.

• Underground Rivers will sometimes generate. These are thick lines that have a current in some direction -- every time you move you're also swept downstream. You can mitigate this with Seals, but if you haven't gone to any towns you probably don't have access to those or even eggs (since they're on the coast) unless you've found them as loot.

• Your torches burn out. Make sure to bring a lot of them!

• The enemies are a lot harder down here and more elemental-based as well. Some of them can fly.

To help out, you can use Bats in a similar way to Birds on the surface world -- they'll tell you what's ahead and help you find structures, resources and cave holes. You can also send Moles into Cave holes to get an understanding of what's below or above you before you waste a rope.

8. Petroleum will let you access caves a lot better. Metals will let you make better weapons and armor, enough to fight off the enemies down there and to start really exploring ruins/dungeons as well. Quartz and Crystals will improve your repertoire of tools.

9. Once you have some Quartz, you can send Birds out to find Mana Cracks if you haven't accessed them already via towns. Placing Quartz on the mana altars there will allow you to access those mana dimensions. You can also use Quartz to capture enemies and use them as allies or mounts -- water-based ones will allow you to cross Province oceans yourself. Overall, the world will open up a lot.

Mid-game

I'll write this section later I guess. Need to organize my notes a bit more.

• Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

I'm taking a bit of a break from ruins to focus more on towns. This push should get towns pretty close to where I want them since it integrates a lot of different systems together.

• I have house interior walls generating correctly, other than a minor bug. (sometimes they'll block doors or staircases).

• I tied the ruin room distribution function back in with house generation, but unfortunately it isn't as generalized a solution as I thought. Towns overall need to be reworked heavily.

• Same deal with province generation -- this tends to create spiderweb-linked provinces, which I don't want. I'm instead going to change the distribution a bit so every quadrant has a town in it, or maybe 8/9.

In any case, I'm going to hit this project from two different directions, probably starting with:

First Front: House Interiors

House furniture

• Furniture distribution -- walls, counters.

• Allow for more detailed fine-tuning of item distribution -- Should be able to fine-tune it according to the type of house, maybe the type of town, etc.

Theft System

• Make some containers locked, make some locks lockpickable with a lock complexity.

• Add a lockpick item type and equipment type (pretty easy).

• Recreate handgame code with a variable number of "fingers" and EN's observations on win conditions.

• Come up with a set of properties for lockpicks (complexity, uses, possibly things like hints or "noise" factors).

• Integrate this back in with pickable container locks and the actual lockpick item (should be whatever is equipped).

NPC involvement in thief system

• Generalize the mobs system so it isn't limited to combat mobs. Too useful to not use here. Could pave the way for NPC combat in the future, but I really don't want to have that for several reasons.

• Integrate NPCs into the mobs system.

• Implement a timer to make NPCs move in real-time.

• Set up a "line of sight" system based on shape.line or dirs.line_between or something to get tiles along a line.

• Hook this back into build.is_solid to determine if there are any solids inside the line.

• Hook this function into the theft system -- basically make a line of sight between each NPC and you and if there's not a solid in the middle, you get "caught".

• Create a "caught" system -- basically just something that prevents future thefts from that house for some number of turns (300 maybe), as well as future thefts from that town if you have three or more of those (600 turns maybe).

Second front: Town Generation 2

Province Fixes

• Distribute towns better -- 8/9 or 9/9 quadrants should be filled, or whatever looks best after a lot of testing.

• Pass out a "town size" variable, depending on the amount of connections to other towns (this makes the most sense).

Town Generation

• Somewhere after generating the town information, generate the names of towns, shops that will appear in each town, the NPC's, and the maximum size of each house.

• Temporarily remove infinite towns, create a small function to load any particular town into somewhere close to origin (for province testing purposes), erasing the old town beforehand.

• Temporarily remove town walls. These should be based on the edges of the town rather than generated first.

• For now, create a new distribution algorithm to expand houses out similar to the way ruins do without hitting overlaps or going above margins, but preserving the amount of houses and npcs in a town. Will probably be pretty tricky. Might make more sense to just put houses in a grid and vary their position within a grid space.

• Somewhere around here, non-shop NPCs will appear in houses as well. This is probably a much bigger project than one or two bullet points.

• Figure out some kind of basic estimation algorithm depending on how the above step is done.

• Hook the estimation algorithm into the zload.

Province Generation

• Distribute zloads across the world according to town location and estimated size.

• Alter the  function to go to a random town in the province, or something else.

• Change the transport house to connect to other towns according to province links.

• Indicate your position in the province on the map.

• Let you hover over map towns to get their name.

• Generate an ocean around a province, out to the edges of the grid. I'll keep other provinces from generating at the moment. Will probably need to just set up delineated rectangles for this and run checks through them -- some are always ocean, others are based on vectors and distances.

• Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

Item Types / Loot

I compiled a long long list of item types, and thus potential loot to be found in houses and generated structures (like ruins and dungeons), as well as to figure out which item types I still have to add to the game.

Combat

• Weapons -- Self-explanatory.

• Arrows -- for use with bow weapons.

• Armor -- Equipment that increases defense, carrying capacity, health, mana, and other base stats.

• Jewelry -- Equipment that does more specialized things like specific element resistances, bonuses to potion creation, etc.

• Scrolls -- Single-use spells, with global or personal effects.

• Wands -- Multi-use spells, with ranged/targeted effects.

• Crystals -- The carrier of mana-based spells, also useful for upgrading spells, also gives a huge base-mana bonus when sacrificed on a base altar. Can also be crushed into powder to make scrolls or wands.

Consumables

• Food -- replenishes the hunger meter, and gives various lasting (but minor) buffs. Would optimally be subcategorized into ingredients and prepared foods (though you can eat either).

• Potions -- gives shorter-duration but stronger buffs, can also be curative. You can also consume potions even if you're sated.

• Drink -- various alcoholic drinks. These are basically potions, but have a narrow range of cumulative effects. There's also a different system for making/storing/stealing them.

Animals

• Scout Animals -- These help you find resources/towns/etc around you. At the moment I have Birds (surface-level stuff), Bats (underground stuff), and Moles (Useful in pinpointing caves and doing stuff below your current level in them).

• Mount Animals -- Rideable animals that do various helpful things. Horses will let you move around better, Kangaroos are useful for jumping over clustered barriers, Seals are good in water (the rare Fire Seal is good for lava), Giant Frogs will let you pick up resources more easily, Donkeys let you carry loot around better (might just merge them with horses), Bears have combat potential. Most of this is implemented already.

• Animal Eggs -- eggs of any of the above animals, which will hatch over time.

Eggs that you've hatched yourself will be somewhat less effective than quartz-mirrored animals that you buy in shops or find as loot, however you'll get way more uses out of them.

• Summons -- Summonable monsters, who will fight alongside you. While you can capture your own, you're limited by the enemies you can actually get to near-death -- finding a strong summon early on can be useful, though it might take a lot of mana to use.

Materials

I've covered the different materials types elsewhere. Basically though you can occasionally find caches of them. Particularly useful if the material is rare.

Tools

• Lockpicks -- for picking locks in houses and ruins.

• Keys -- roughly divided into Gold Keys, which open up locations; Silver Keys which are sequential, have numbers attached to them and are based on progressing through a dungeon or w/e; and Blue/Red keys, which open up interesting or extremely valuable optional rooms and containers.

• Torches -- For lighting dark areas -- caves, possibly dungeons.

• Rope -- For climbing down cave holes, up cave holes, and grappling via stalactites.

• Bomb -- For blowing up rocks that are in a pathway, particularly in caves (you can do it on the surface too, but building over it probably makes more sense)

• Fishing Rod -- for fishing

• Fishing Rod Lures -- like much of the rest of the game, fish are elemental and lures attract the fish of the appropriate element.

• Currency -- just caches of whatever the game's currency is. I like the 7-currency system but I don't know how viable that is with the changes to provinces and dimensions.

Knowledge

• Lore Books -- basically books with snippets of lore in them that round out your lore knowledge (which are hyperlinked together kinda like a wiki). You must be on a couch or camping in order to first read them, though you can access lore you've already learned at any time.

• Maps -- province maps that show the location of various things -- for example cave entrances, ruins, mana cracks, towns with a certain kind of shop, etc. These sometimes show an overview of the whole province or they'll show a zoomed-in portion of it.

• Treasure Maps -- show the exact location of a specific piece of loot buried in the ground basically. Use a bomb to blow it out of the ground. Might skip this.

House Stuff

This is a list of stuff you can find in houses almost exclusively. Some of it can be bought (like cookware), Sometimes it can be found in mazes if someone is living in there, but most of it is exclusive to houses.

• Dishes -- used for holding food. If you use dishes and a table to eat food, you get some extra buffs. Sometimes the dishes are fairly valuable.

• Cooking -- supplies for turning food ingredients into the more-balanced (and often more potent) meal food.

• Clothing -- probably will be purely trade items for the moment.

• Bags/coin purses/etc -- same here.

• Paintings -- same, though these are colored and actually hang on walls, so they might be decorative at least.

• Figurines -- statues of various things in the Province. These come in sets and they're worth more when you collect all of the ones in a set.

• Writing -- basically writing supplies -- paper, inkwells, and quills. Quills can be crafted pretty much instantly from animal feathers, while ink can be derived from some types of fish. Paper making is a bit more complicated. In any case if you mix all three writing supplies with crystal powder, you can make a scroll based on that crystal's spell.

• Lighting -- things like candles. Purely trade items since houses are always lit.

• Tools -- various household tools like hammers, brooms, etc. Trade items.

• Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

House furniture

Next, I'll list out house furniture and what types of items they contain. Furniture can either be in the open (the amount per room is based on the size of the house) or pressed up against one of the walls (house walls or interior walls). Rarely, you'll get alcove furniture which spawns at the end of a 1-tile tunnel made from walls.

Sometimes a counter will spawn along one of the walls, turning it into a kind of gradient. Additional types of furniture can spawn here.

Note that I'm using the term "furniture" loosely -- while most of it is a type of furniture, some of it isn't but serves a similar purpose (the storage of items).

For the time being, furniture is only one tile in size. All symbols subject to change. Or I might use sprites. Or something else entirely (there are some decent RPG fonts out there)

Open furniture

• Tables (∏)-- Contain Dishes and Lighting. Can sometimes contain bags, currency, or a small tool or two.

• Desks (Д) -- Contains writing supplies, lighting. Sometimes scrolls or lore books.

• Workbenches (Δ) -- Contains materials of any type, around 5 or so. Can contain tools, potions, a single weapon, torches or bombs.

• Sack piles (♣) -- Can contain food ingredients (predominantly), plant or animal products. Can sometimes contain ropes instead.

• Grand chairs (Ћ) -- Can have some kind of wood weapon (a spear, bow, or staff), a wand, a torch. Sometimes a fishing rod.

• Wood Barrels (β) -- Contains Drink. Can be tapped with an empty bottle or waterskin.

• Metal barrels (δ) -- Can contain oil, fat, sometimes milk or cheese if I implement those. Can be tapped with an empty bottle or waterskin.

Wall furniture

• Dressers (╬) -- Contains clothing or bags. Can also contain currency, figurines, or potions.

• Wardrobes (Ω) -- Contains clothing or bags, typically with a higher value.

• Chests (⌂) -- A mixed bag. Can contain dishes, cooking supplies, clothing, bags, writing supplies, lighting, tools. Can contain a weapon, a piece of armor, potions, a scroll, animal eggs, materials, torches. Rarely a map or crystal.

• Hearths (●) -- Contains cooking supplies, tools.

• Shelves (Ξ) -- Another mixed bag. Can contain potions, currency, lore, dishes, cooking supplies, figurines, lighting. Rarely can contain jewelry, wands, scrolls, lockpicks, maps.

• Glass shelves (Ħ) -- A rare type of shelf. Tends to contain rocks or metal ores, feathers, fish bones, figurines. Can contain wands, potions, crystals, summons, animals, keys.

Alcove furniture

• Armor stands (†) -- Contains pieces of armor.

• Weapon racks (∫) -- Contains weapons.

• Fishing racks (↑) -- Contains fishing rods, bait, lures.

• Tool racks (√) -- Contains tools such as brooms, hammers, etc. This is the most likely to appear.

Counter furniture

• Jewelry Boxes (■) -- Contain Jewelry. Can also contain keys or lockpicks. Jewelry boxes tend to be locked.

• Piggy banks (□) -- Contains currency.

• Dish rack (Џ) -- Contains dishes and cookware.

• Cutting board (‗) -- Contains meat, vegetables and fruit

• Baskets (Ū) -- Contains other types of plant-based foods. Can also contain plant fiber instead.

• Safes (▲) -- Guaranteed to contain either a crystal, a couple wands, or some collection of potions. Will sometimes contain some kind of house item with a higher value than normal. Can contain lore. Safes have the highest-level locks in the game.

• Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

Here's a chart of everything, to see the distribution of item types across furniture.

Д Δ Ћ β δ Ω Ξ Ħ Џ Ū
Weapons - - 1 - R - - - - 1 - - - - C - - - - - - - -
Armor - - - - - - - - - 1 - - - C - - - - - - - - -
Jewelry - - - - - - - - - - - R - - - - - C - - - - -
Potions - - R - - - - R - C - C R - - - - - - - - - C
Scrolls - R - - - - - - - 1 - R - - - - - - - - - - -
Wands - - - - R - - - - - - R R - - - - - - - - - 1
Crystals - - - - - - - - - R - - R - - - - - - - - - 1
Food - - - C - - R - - - - - - - - - - - - - C C -
Drink - - - - - C - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Animals - - - - - - - - - - - - R - - - - - - - - - -
Animal eggs - - - - - - - - - C - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Materials - - C C - - C - - C - - C - - C - - - - C C -
Lockpicks - - - - - - - - - - - R - - - - - R - - - - -
Keys - - - - - - - - - - - - R - - - - R - - - - -
Torches - - R - R - - - - C - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Ropes - - - R - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Bombs - - R - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Fishing Rods - - - - R - - - - - - - - - - C - - - - - - -
Maps - - - - - - - - - R - R - - - - - - - - - - -
Currency R - - - - - - R - - - C - - - - - - C - - - -
Summons - - - - - - - - - - - - R - - - - - - - - - -
Lore - R - - - - - - - - - C - - - - - - - - - - R
Dishes C - - - - - - - - C - C - - - - - - - C - - R
Cooking - - - - - - - - - C C C - - - - - - - C - - R
Clothing - - - - - - - C C C - - - - - - - - - - - - R
Bags R - - - - - - C C C - - - - - - - - - - - - R
Paintings - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - R
Figurines - - - - - - - R - - - C C - - - - - - - - - R
Writing - C - - - - - - - C - - - - - - - - - - - - R
Lighting C C - - - - - - - C - C - - - - - - - - - - R
Tools R - R - - - - - - C C - - - - - C - - - - - R

Despite appearances, this system actually isn't complicated at all -- all you're really doing is touching things and taking whatever is there. This amount of data is instead here to provide variety.

Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

A complete list of Shops

Now that I know what all the different items are as well as most of the game's mechanics, I can list out all the different types of shops:

Distinct Shops

• Armorer -- buys and sells armor

• Jeweler -- buys and sells jewelry

• Alchemist -- buys and sells potions and potion ingredients

• Magic Shop -- buys and sells scrolls, wands and crystals.

• Bakery -- buys and sells food ingredients, dishes and cookware

• Inn -- Buys drink. Sells prepped food and drink. Rents out living spaces (beds/couches/tables). Is also a place to receive rumors of in-town quests and other quests once those are done. Towns always contain an inn.

• Aviary -- Buys and sells birds and bats

• Kennels -- buys and sells bloodhounds and moles

• Stables -- buys and sells mounted animals of all kinds

• Pawn shop -- buys household goods with a bit of a markup, buys and sells lockpicks

• Spelunker -- buys and sells torches, rope, and bombs.

• Angler -- buys and sells fish, bait, lures, and fishing rods.

• Cartographer -- buys and sells maps and writing supplies

• Outfitter -- buys and sells clothing and bags.

• Lumberjack -- buys and sells branches, woods, leaves and fiber

• Geologist -- buys and sells rocks, metal ores, petroleum, quartz and crystals.

• Butcher -- buys and sells meat, bones and organs.

• Trapper -- buys and sells wool/fur/down, feathers and scales.

General Shops

• Smith -- A combination of bladesmiths and armorers -- sells weapons and armor. Will also buy and sell metal ingots.

• Mage -- A combination of jeweler, alchemist and magic shop. Buys and sells jewelry, potions, potion ingredients, scrolls, wands, and crystals.

• Zoo -- A combination of aviaries, kennels and stables. Will buy and sell any kind of scout or mounted animal. Also the only place where you can sell animal eggs or animals you've hatched yourself.

• Explorer -- A combination of zoos, spelunkers and cartographers. Can buy and sell animals of any kind, torches, ropes, bombs and maps. Birds and bats are a bit more common than other types of animals, and you also can't buy or sell writing supplies here.

• Trading Outpost -- A combintion of lumberjacks, geologists, butchers and trappers. You can buy and sell branches, wood, leaves, fiber, rocks, metal ores, petroleum, quartz, crystals, meat, bones, organs, wood/fur/down, feathers and scales. Bit of a markup here, though these are at least fairly common.

• General Store -- Sells a little of everything, buys a little of everything. The quality of the stuff you can buy isn't great and there's a rough markup on the stuff you sell. However, every town has one of these without exception.

Miscellaneous shop types

• Wholesalers -- Sells a bag of totally random loot, which will resemble the contents of a house. Generally you'll make a bit of profit here, sometimes a lot of profit if you get lucky. However you have to be at a table to actually unpack it, so you'll need to rent one or have a base nearby.

• Collectors -- buys figurines from you, and sets for a bit more if you have every item in the set.

• Priests -- Cures various afflictions, though I haven't set those systems up yet so I don't know what they are.

• Palace -- large heavily-guarded houses in cities and nexuses that provide access to the ruling class.

• Warp Gate -- lets you move between towns in various ways. This shop type exists in every town.

Shop distribution

• Every town always contains an Inn and a General Store.

• Every city or nexus has a pawn shop.

• Inside a province, there are at least three smiths, three magic shops, three alchemists, three spelunkers, and three catographers. These, along with 3/4 of the mandatory pawn shops, tie into the guild system.

• Beyond the mandatory placements, every town has a "size" dependent on how many connections it has to other towns. Cities and nexuses are larger as well. Smaller towns are more likely to generalize, however smaller towns are way more likely to have Wholesalers, collectors, spelunkers and trappers. I'm not yet sure how many shops a town will have, that'll be something to work on over time.

• Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

Mid-game progression

I have kind of an idea about how this goes. What I definitely want to do is to have one single progression path to simplify things on my end, so rather than Civilization quests opening up new areas, opening up new areas via Exploration is what unlocks those kinds of quests.

While you can avoid Civilization entirely if you want, it has resources (like shops and the npc system) that make exploration easier.

The goal of the early game is to find Caves and be able to navigate them -- this gives you access to metals, petroleum for exploiting caves better, quartz and even the occasional crystal for magic (they're quite expensive in shops and rare in furniture, though wands and scrolls are somewhat more common).

With access to metals and a Base, you can make your own Weapons and Armor, which speeds things up a lot.

Quartz is pretty essential to the Mid-game. With it, you can create your own summons from the World's enemies, it's quite useful on Base Altars, but the main purpose of it is in accessing dungeons/ruins.

Scattered throughout the world are various surface-level ruins, shrines, and entrances to dungeons via my Runs system I outlined elsewhere. You can access them with Quartz in some way (not sure how yet) and they contain harder enemies, twisting passageways and their own linear progression paths. In addition to quite a bit of useful loot (outside of magic, which is still kinda rare), they each contain one of the two types of Shard (which is probably indicated in some way in the color of the rocks):

• Portal Shards -- combined together, these allow you to access provinces outside of your starting province. Each starting province has at least the amount needed to enable this. Once you do this, you're able to access cross-province quests as well as basically have infinite towns and space to work with for finding other Shards.

• Mana Shards -- combined together, these will allow you to access Mana Cracks, which are the real progression path here.

Each province has several Mana Cracks, which are areas that allow you to access one of the eight types of Elemental dimensions. With the right Mana Shards you can access them.

Mana Dinensions

These contain quite a lot of magic crystals and some unique resources. They do however have their own specific hazards, which you need to find ways to get around:

• Water -- in water your movement speed goes down pretty dramatically and there's a decent chance of drowning as well.

• Fire -- there's a lot of lava here that was already hard to deal with in Caves. Additionally there are heat storms that can wipe out your health.

• Ice -- on ice tiles you tend to slide forward without control, and there are also blizzards that drain health.

• Wind -- this dimension has enormous Voids that deal a lot of damage, and there are also wind storms that pick you up and throw you -- sometimes favorably but generally into one of the Voids.

• Earth -- Landslides will occasionally change the generation of the entire dimension. Not much you can do about that, but if you end up surrounded by rocks you will normally take damage.

• Wood -- Each "room" of this dimension looks very similar to every other room and the way they connect is sometimes pretty nonlinear so it's hard to navigate, even with a map. With the right upgrades you can see the "roots" that are actually teleporting you around and can avoid them.

• Quantum -- While the dimensions are straightforward enough to navigate, quantum storms will make terrains bleed into each other, or change so much they're unrecognizable.

• Entropic -- Thankfully, nothing extreme happens here. However various systems don't work the way they're supposed to, particularly magic which is quite crippled.

These dimensions all have their own elemental enemies as well which are quite hard, though they're at least weak to other types of elements so you can play different mana dimensions off one another.

Mana dinensions have some kind of vague civilization you can find, and quests that target them. They also have their own types of ruins/dungeons/shrines which are at least open.

The goal in mana cracks is to find Dimension shards inside their ruins/etc -- when you collect enough, you get an enormous upgrade to your Leaping Latch and are able to access dimensions outside of the Triad.

Alternate dimensions

Up until now, you've had a pretty limited amount of materials to work with. There are some variations as you move around (particularly if you move into other Provinces), but you've been kind of stuck with whatever you've started with.

Dimensions outside of the triad are basically like new triads -- you get a much much wider variety of materials to work with, which changes as you switch dimensions. Unfortunately, civilization down here is basically nonexistent and the enemies are all over the place and much harder. It's probably a good idea to extend your base and/or use portals a lot for better exploration. At this point the entire universe is open to you but outside of the main quest there aren't any further progressive goals.

Conclusion

Probably all of this is subject to change, but this at least gives a good foundation to work with.

• Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

Thief v1 notes

This post should be pretty short. Just laying my notes out for this system.

Locks and Lockpicks

• Some furniture can be locked. Locked furniture tends to have valuable items inside it, though there's the occasional red herring.

• Locks have a "complexity" which basically determines the number of tumblers in the puzzle. However lockpicks can have a "precision" which decreases that number down to something more reasonable. Higher-complexity puzzles are still possible, but they're quite difficult.

• Lockpicks can have additional useful properties that influence the mini-game -- allowing you to swap the orientation of all the tumblers, toggle a specific tumbler at will, or get hints about which tumblers to press and/or not press (all puzzles have at least one solution).

Noise and NPCs

Each lockpicking "move" -- whether that's clicking a tumbler, resetting them all or using a special ability -- will add some amount of Noise to your noise meter. When it fills, NPC's in the same room will start to move towards you, and NPC's on different floors will descend and start doing the same. I'm not sure what the exact mechanics are here yet, but unlike my previous notes, it'll be turn-based and based around moves that you make.

Noise systems are tied to the lockpick -- better lockpicks allow for more stealth.

Looting unlocked furniture should generate some noise as well. Or make NPC's move around randomly, or something.

Lockpick Uses

Lockpicks can break. Unlike other games, you can repair them -- Pawn Shops will offer this service for a price. You also get quite a bit of use out of them before this happens, though it's tied to the moves you use and the durability of the lockpick.

Getting caught

If an NPC has a line of sight to you without any walls in the way while you're looting or lockpicking, then you get "caught" -- getting caught means you forfeit everything you picked up in the house that's in your inventory (regardless of when you got it) and you also can't try to loot that house again for some number of turns.

You also have a decent chance of getting a "mark" on your town record (might be house-specific or something). If you get three marks in a town then you can't steal from any house in that town for some larger number of turns. There might be other consequences as well.

Getting lockpicks

Lockpicks can be bought from pawn shops. Every city and nexus has a pawn shop, but there might be some scattered around towns as well. You can also sometimes find them in general stores or in furniture (though that's rare).

Lockpicks can also be crafted from metal, which means you can use the Alloys system to make hybrid lockpicks that do various useful things simultaneously.

Overall, this entire system is pretty streamlined and should go up a lot quicker than expected.

• Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

Picking up this project again in my limited free time. Going to continue to focus on towns / provinces as far as actual work goes because they tie into kind of a lot, but I've made some great progress on working on various mechanics.

Time System

Shatterloop has a time system which is turn-based. There isn't a day/night system because that's not how that universe works, but there are weather events that have a similar effect.

At the moment, time is metric -- some things happen every 10 turns, some every 100. This will probably change a lot.

Time passes whenever you move or do some kind of action. A lot of it can pass while you are sleeping. Over time, the following things happen:

• Health, mana, etc are recovered. Status effects that aren't hunger-based will go away over time.

• Food satiety drops and hunger sets in. Being hungry can cause some deleterious debuffs but it won't kill you directly. Hunger-based conditions include reduced defense, slowed or semi-confused movement speed, partial blindness, a tendency to drop your equipped weapons, etc.

• Shops will regain money. I'll cover this in the next section.

• Weather will occur -- weather events are fairly random, can stack on top of each other (ex -- thunderstorms can happen during rain events) and affect various things.

Shop changes

• Shops have a fixed amount of money, which is randomized. If you sell a bunch of stuff you then have to wait some number of turns for the shop's money to restock (or just go to other shops in the meantime).

• Shops will restock their money over time. I'm not sure if this is based on chunks of time or based on more on "days", it'll depend on how the time system develops.

• Selling a product for less than it's worth or buying a product for more than it's worth (this isn't something you yourself are doing, it's based on the shopkeeper's prices) builds shop profit. As this profit increases, so too do the amount of items the shop has available (might scrap this) and the amount of money they have available (not this though). Selling to the same shops over and over will make those shops more useful over time.

• There will be some means of buying back items you've previously sold if they become valuable later. I'm not quite sure what the mechanics are here yet -- it would be annoying to have to dig through every single fish or rock you've ever sold.

Inventory weights

• Items have weights which should be fairly common-sense.

• Your carrying capacity is a stat. If there's a skills system or leveling system they might affect this, otherwise it goes up based on the items you equip.

• If you overshoot your carrying capacity, no big deal, you just have a debuffed movement speed.

• If you go too high, you can't move at all.

• You can place piles of items on the ground in one of the cardinal directions to drop weight. Or individual items if you want.

• Mounted animals (such as horses) naturally have some extra carrying capacity as long as they remain materialized.

• In addition to base storage (some basic storage, more as you add storage modules), for a fee you can get a bank to store your items based on their accumulated weight. Bank inventory storage is accessible anywhere that that bank is, which makes it very convenient if you're looking to sell items. For another fee, you can optionally send items from your bank to your base.

• Most pets can optionally move items back to your bank or base -- this will take some number of turns based on the distance to the known location, and you can't use that animal again until you retrieve it from the bank or base. Very useful though since pets are stored in a special device which is quite light. I've removed the M.U.L.E. device so that you can take advantage of this system more instead.

Pets (aka Scout Animals / Mount animals)

I've improved this system a lot.

• Pets are found or bought in item form -- either as eggs or through something known as "dark quartz".

• To place a pet, use an egg or a dark quartz in one of the cardinal directions. The pet will then appear as a mob. Placing an egg will destroy the egg, however dark quartz may be reusable (if not, it'll evaporate). Unlike summons, pets won't move around on their own.

• There are a variety of materials that fall into the "dark quartz" category -- shadow quartz, midnight quartz, etc. These items will let you re-store a pet in a compact and carryable form. Summoning something with dark quartz doesn't cost anything, but storing or re-storing it costs the quartz some amount of charge -- when that charge is gone the dark quartz will disappear.

• Different types of dark quartz will have different amounts of charge. They can also have bonuses that transfer to the summoned pet -- for example giving birds a greater range or horses more combat ability.

• Dark quartz isn't found in the world but can be bought from pet-based shops or also made by dropping quartz in lava. Which is probably a waste of quartz since it's useful elsewhere.

Interacting with pets

Pets are basically just mobs. Touch them to interact with them:

• Mount animals can be ridden, or you can access their storage capacity and move items in and out accordingly.

• Every pet except for seals can be sent back to a bank or base, however the storage capacity isn't going to be great for hounds and it'll be even worse for scout animals. Potentially useful in a pinch though. Their speeds vary as well.

• Scout animals can be sent out to do various scouting things. More on that later.

Mounted Animals

• Horses, Donkeys, Mules -- These give you some extra carrying capacity, some extra speed on flat terrain and the ability to jump over single solid blocks. They're also okay in combat. The stats here vary a lot, but in general horses tend to have more speed and donkeys more carrying capacity, with mules in between.

• Bears -- These have the largest carrying capacity and also the best combat, however they don't have a movement bonus and can't jump over solid blocks.

• Frogs -- These are way more maneuverable around solids and can potentially also use their long tongues to collect resources from afar. No movement bonus and absolutely terrible at combat.

• Seals -- These give you a movement bonus on water exclusively. Some also have the ability to collect multiple water-based resources at once, which is definitely useful in the ocean or water dimension. The downside is they can't be sent back to a bank or base and they're very very slow on land. Some have some form of lava resistance as well, however none of them are immune.

I merged kangaroos with frogs and removed drakes, which were waaaay too OP.

Mount animals can be hurt by lava or enemies. If their health gets too low you can't do anything with them other than move inventory around or store them in dark quartz until they recover. Magic can be useful however.

Scout Animals

• Birds -- these help you find points of interest (ruins, towns, etc) as well as resources in the overworld.

• Hounds -- these help you find places where wild animals / enemies will spawn and track down enemies that are off screen. Useful both in the overworld and in caves.

• Bats -- these are basically birds that operate exclusively in caves. You can also send them down cave holes to explore a different floor before you waste a rope.

• Moles -- In the overworld, these can help you find blocked cave entrances, and when sent in there can help you find actual cave entrances. In caves, they can help you find cave holes. I'm either going to expand moles somewhat or cut them from the final game since they're pretty limited right now.

Scout animals can be equipped -- either put on your shoulder (birds, bats) or carried (hounds, moles) -- this lets you move them around without using valuable dark quartz. However this will add the animal's weight to your carrying limit and you can only be "carrying" one pet at a time. Scout animals have randomized weights.

Scout animal functions

• Scout animals can be sent in a cardinal / diagonal direction, or they can be sent in a square around your current screen. In either case they have a maximum range (cardinal/diagonal ranges are much higher) as well as a speed for each type of move -- some number of turns based on the amount of screens they're searching. Screens are defined as 21x21 tile chunks -- when you're playing the game you're always seeing one screen.

• They can be sent off for generalized reasons (ie "find civilization") or specialized reasons (ie "find a mana crack"). They can also aggregate things (ie "tell me how much Kliberium ore there is to my north). I'm not sure everything you can do here or what the interface will look like yet; that ties too much into the information system which I'll probably start working on when I start working on NPCs. Different animals will be better at different things, gaining speed bonuses accordingly.

• The interface will tell you when the animal should arrive back before you send it out. You'll also be able to track their ETA somewhere, get a message when they come back, and it'll also be very obvious because they'll arrive right next to you.

• I'm also not sure what their accumulated information looks like. This might be text/table-based or it might tie into the Map in some useful way. I really don't want to overcomplicate things though.

• Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

Biomes

This is still in development notes-wise and is probably going to change a lot over time.

• Provinces will be split into various biomes, which use the procgen terrain engine but the parameters for it will be handcrafted based on terrain types I like. Biomes will use the dimension's color palette but with some variations to distinguish them. Biomes outside the Tetrad will be way wackier and will use assets from mana dimensions as well.

• Biomes will have different resources, enemies, weather and fish.

• I might introduce a cold / hot / etc system which varies across biomes and mana dimensions and would give a use for clothing. Might not though.

Quests

This is a very rough outline because it ties into other systems way too much for me to really plan it out in depth right now.

• Each town has a limited number of quests. You can find out the exact number as well as who has quests at the Inn building, which each town has. You then have to ask around to find where that person is in the town to start the quest.

• NPC relationships are procedurally generated and aren't stored anywhere -- if you get a quest from Bobulo to talk to his brother Joma, then Joma will know Bobulo is his brother and the quest will be built around various procgen personality / etc stats. This may lead to some weird family trees, which is acceptable.

• Fetch quests will generate the item wherever you're supposed to go, even if you've already been there and it wasn't there originally. This should avoid coding headaches. However I'll try to use pre-existing resources (such as enemy spawns) wherever possible.

• There will be some generation of factions / city exports / etc happening behind the scenes to make quests more interesting. Really, this is where most of the work will be.

• Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

Animal Communication

I've worked on this system a bit. Should be quite easy to set up, but will require more work to balance the mechanics of it.

• Animals have two distinct properties -- a "leader" property that dictates how likely they are to give orders, and a "reception" property that dictates how likely they are to follow them. Within each type of animal there's a property that dictates the ranges of these in any particular animal, or the spread of the "herd" in general. If the herd has a limited amount of leaders, they'll appear differently -- probably capital letters rather than lowercase letters or something similar. Reception and leading can optionally be cross-species as well for mixed encounters.

• Leader orders are based around triggers -- such as you damaging them or something of the same species, things like you coming within a specific range of them, animal attacks hitting you, and so on. When a trigger is hit then if the leader dice role happens, the leader will then issue orders.

• Orders can have an explicit range or be more general. If it's ranged, then only enemies within that range are affected.

• These orders can do various things like trigger various behaviors or animal states. I haven't quite figured out the mechanics here yet, but I'm moving more towards a behavior-based moveset for enemies so they act differently when they're fleeing, attacking, enraged, etc. So hitting an alpha might make other enemies more aggressive, or hitting something in the herd will make them all flee. Surface-world animals will tend to be more passive or fleeing, while enemies and cave animals will be more aggressive. This system should therefore add some interesting group mechanics and make strategy more vital. You could for example build a wall around animals and then attack them so they can't flee. However some could potentially jump over small barriers or get triggered by you building stuff.

With fleeing mechanics, thrown weapons would become increasingly important. With aggressive behavior, knockback, stunning and using the terrain tactically would be more vital. Also piercing weapons. Clawarms would be a good way to deal with alphas non-lethally.

Animals can also move towards or away from each other, which could negate those strategies and make other strategies better. Battles should be quite dynamic regardless.

I like the idea of "healers" but for the sake of sanity they'd probably heal random enemies or alphas rather than those lowest in health.

I'm not quite sure what animal encounters look like yet. One idea I've had is a "nest" mob that summons new enemies next to it when one dies. You'd have to therefore make your way to the nest and destroy it. This would probably be more useful in ruins where you have limited pathways between rooms.

With how varied and ultimately random these systems are getting, some amount of OP stuff is going to happen one way or another. I'll try to keep the surface level of the starting province from being *too* hard or too easy, but some OP stuff makes the game more interesting so it's acceptable.

• Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

Resource collection notes

I'll probably work on this after I finish the lockpicking system (soooo close) because I need a new project to help me get going on this project again.

While working on animal corpse and fish processing, I refined the resources system a bit as well. This probably *still* isn't the final draft, but it ties into a lot of useful systems and expands crafting a lot too (which is a good thing).

Resource collection

You'll still be able to pick up resources easily by stepping onto them. I like this system a lot -- it gives the game a kind of arcade pacman-like feel. What's changing is that instead of picking up actual straight resources, you're picking up entire plants or plant parts. Things like branches, "brush", dirt piles, etc. These base resources are pretty worthless and weigh more. This will be true for fish and animal corpses as well.

You'll then be able to extract useful resources from these base resources. Many base resources can have multiple types of things you can extract from them -- for example branches can have both sticks and leaves. However you can only extract one type of resource from a base resource. You'll be able to do this in bulk if you want to, or some specific number, or individually. Extracted resources weigh a lot less, can be used in crafting, and are worth more. However they might also spoil over time if I introduce that mechanic.

Depending on the material you'll only get a few (or even a chance at none) extracted resources. This can be improved by crafting different tools (rakes for leaves, shovels for dirt, etc). Tools are lightweight and anything equipped weighs nothing. Like weapons, tools can break or get dull over time, and their yields vary as well, depending on the materials you use to craft them. They can be repaired with more of the materials that they're made from. Metal tools can be repaired *without* extra materials.

Tools can be repaired at any time, however they can only be crafted at a campfire. Making camp doesn't require any resources but you have to be bordered by three connected solid tiles to camp somewhere. A lot of things can only be crafted at a camp but some you can craft anywhere like ropes, torches, and basic wooden weapons. You don't have to be at a camp to extract resources.

I'm going to reintroduce the larger list of resources because things make more sense now -- you'll be able to get beans, seeds, spices, etc. You also don't need nearly as many base resources per biome now which is why I simplified that list.

Hunger, Satiety, Stamina and Cooking

I'd like to intriduce a basic eating system as well. Once I start delving into the combat side of things food will provide benefits there as well, but for now it'll only tie into hunger/satiety/stamina.

As promised, going without eating won't kill you, but it can give you some deleterious status effects eventually based on what your last meal was. Food will refill your hunger meter, add some satiety (which prevents your hunger meter from going down), and also will give you some Stamina (or whatever I call it).

Stamina allows you to do things like jump over obstacles or "reach" past them to grab resources, or increase your movement speed briefly. You get a fixed amount of this based on the food you eat and it isn't upgradeable -- if you want more continuous use of these abilities it makes sense to invest in a good mount. Or you could just eat again when your satiety wears off. These abilities aren't continuous -- you choose when you want to do something extraordinary and lose stamina accordingly. If you're sprinting, it's more continuous, but you can turn it off at any time.

Food

I haven't quite worked out the mechanics for all food items yet, but I do know a few things:

• Some food can be eaten raw, some can be but is better cooked, and some can only be eaten cooked (non-fish meat, beans).

• Food can be cooked at a campfire. You can also craft more complex food items there, like bread or pemmican. Adding spices helps a lot with various food properties.

• If your camp is next to a water supply, you can also make Stews. Stews allow you to mix a lot of ingredients together to get beneficial properties from all of them. You can also store them for later, though they won't necessarily keep well. The stew alchemy system is very free and you'll have a lot of different options and can cook pretty much anything together. There might be some extra optimization complexity here which encourages more experimentation with different ingredients.

• Cooking requires some kind of pot, pan or flat rock (depending on what it is). These items can be found in shops or houses, made via Pottery, or in the case of flat rocks, used as-is. Storing stews also requires some kind of container -- either pottery (heavier) or something animal-based (much lighter). Potentially also other more advanced materials later in the game.

Cookware vs Pottery

Cookware found in towns is significantly more durable, but can't be repaired without metallurgy, the right spell or a repair service. It's also metal, so it has more weight.

Pottery weighs significantly less. It's less durable and can't be repaired once broken, but it's very easy to make.

Pottery

If you camp near water, you can use the clay there to make pottery. You can also dig around for it if you're on a land tile next to water, or buy it in shops. There's only one type of clay. While clay itself takes up room, clay dug at a campsite can just be turned into pottery directly.

Pottery breaks eventually when you use it enough times. You can however add various plant-based or rock-based materials to make it more durable. There might be other properties happening here depending on what the cooking system looks like when it's done -- in those cases adding stuff to your pottery is a good idea.

Better food

If you eat a meal with dishes and silverware at a table with a chair, you get some rather long-term benefits to food in general for a while. I'm not sure what these look like yet, but it'll be well worth doing it every now and then.

In order to do that though you have to either be at an inn or at a table and chair inside your base. Tables/chairs can only be placed inside a base room. Dishes and silverware can be found in towns or crafted once you get the right base machine for that job. They're also used up every time you eat, which makes no sense but hey game balance is a tricky beast. Inns will at least provide dishes and silverware as part of the meal.

Food spoilage

Assuming this system gets implemented, it'll look like this:

• Food will decay over time (based on the turn system, not real time). Some food doesn't spoil.

• Spoiled food can either cause bad status effects or damage your health or can sometimes turn into something more useful, like milk that turns into cheese, fermented plant products that count as spices, or alcohol.

• In a kitchen room of a base you can keep food from spoiling various ways, or accelerate the spoiling process if you're trying to mass-produce cheese or beer.

I might scrap this system.

Milk

If I implement food spoilage, you'll be able to get milk:

• In a shop.

• Mounted animals will produce milk sometimes. It won't be a continuous thing, but a welcome treat every now and then (particularly if you're trying to make cheese, which is a lot more valuable). You can get milk from any kind of mounted animal -- horses, donkeys, bears, seals, and yes even frogs. I guess frog milk is fair when horses hatch from eggs.

• You should be able to get milk from certain kinds of animal corpses.

• You could potentially get milk from some still-living animals on a similar non-continuous basis. This would be hilarious. If I do this, I'll remove the animal corpse thing.

• I like the idea of being able to extract milk from some seeds/nuts/beans.

If I don't implement food spoilage, I'll probably scrap this system and just have dairy available in shops instead.

• Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

Materials v3 Notes

Surface materials have been reduced to five types of "aggregate materals", which fit into three broad categories (trees, plants, rocks). However there are more resources available, which are gained by "extracting" them from the aggregate materials. I also balanced things heavily and simplified the rock system.

• Brush -- The top part of a tree. From this you can extract Leaves, Fruits/Nuts and Branches.

• Trunk -- The middle part of a tree. From this you can extract Wood, Sap, and Bark.

• Roots -- the bottom part of a tree. From this you can extract Roots and Insects/Worms. Tree seeds will also appear here.

• Plant -- A small non-tree plant. From these you can extract Fiber and Beans/Berries. Plant seeds will also appear.

• Rocks -- Instead of four or so types of rocks, you just get one type of rock and then you use the rock shaping system to get the rock shape you want (unless I scrap that system).

Extracting Tools

While you can extract resources by hand from aggregate materials, you get a better yield and more favorable properties if you use a tool. Tools can be crafted from resources, with various properties depending on the resource properties. Below is a list of each resource and the tool used to extract it:

Resource Tool
Fiber Scythe
Beans/Berries Scissors
Branches Saw
Leaves Rake
Fruits/Nuts Scissors
Wood Hatchet
Sap Auger
Bark Machete
Roots Hoe
Insects/Worms Shovel

Rocks

Rocks can be picked up by hand and there's only one type of rock (though still different materials). Rocks can be shaped by smashing other rocks into them. I'm not quite sure what this system looks like yet, but it will allow for a wider variety in rock shapes. Different properties will influence both the smashed rocks and the smashing rocks, which might be individual to the rock rather than the material -- the material's properties will instead go into whatever you're crafting from the rock.

I might also completely scrap this and/or heavily simplify it, depending on game balance issues.

Tool Use

Tools also tie into fish resource extraction and animal corpse resource extraction, both of which I'll also get done this update (for now random animal corpses will spawn since the combat system isn't done yet).

Tools can be equipped so they don't take up inventory space -- the extraction menu will probably let you pick unequipped tools if you want though. Given the large amount of tools and what I'm doing with the health/mana system, there will be different categories in the Equipment menu for different types of things you're equipping.

Still to do

• I should probably figure out what I'm doing with the rock system since it'll tie into tool crafting a lot.

After that I'm going to start building these changes out:

• New materials system (surface generation, rock changes, also a few new categories all around -- extractables like fish and corpses should all be together. Need to take a look at furniture/shop changes as well.)

• Extraction interaction pane (assuming hand-use)

• Tool crafting

• Equipment sections system; Tool equipment section

• Reintegrate tools with extraction.

• Reintegrate the fish system with the extraction system

• Start spawning random animal corpse objects

• Tie this into the extraction system

• At this point I should be able to add in the missing shops. I think there were some resources I left out of the furniture system as well.

After this I'll probably delve into food or camping. Or I might go back to one of the other complexes of features I've been working on -- towns, dungeons, combat.

• Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

I'm working on combat again because way too many systems (including cooking) tie into it. I have at least worked out a rudimentary potion system based a lot on NIFE.

Potion Ingredients

There's a chance of getting some oddball resource when extracting, for example a "razorback shell" or "shortpig heart". This will always be the same thing for a given raw material, but you won't have it available every time -- for the sake of sanity it'll probably appear as a different item, like "rare shortpig corpse" or something.

Potion Crafting

Ingredients will have several effects attached to them. In order to make a potion, you have to use several ingredients that share an effect. You need at least two ingredients, but you can add more to make the potion stronger.

Potion Types

• Potion can be drank (Or auaffed or whatever) to give you some kind of effect, like boosted strength or recovered health.

• Potions can also be thrown at enemies to give them various effects. This is one way to heal your summons, although you can also do things like slow enemies down. You could potentially craft a potion with a bomb to affect enemies in a radius.

• Some potions can be poured on items to give them temporary effects, for example making a sword deal fire damage or boosting the defense of an armor item.

Fountains

Fountains can be found in the world, namely in generated structures like ruins. They work similar to potions in that you can drink or dip items in them or potentially splash them at moba.

They have more uses than potions, but aren't infinite. They will however replenish according to various weather events. Maybe. Not sure how much I want to limit them.

Some fountains are "magic" -- Here you can pour an arbitrary potion in them to turn them into a fountain of that type.

Potion Crafting mechanics

Potions can be crafted in one of three places:

• At an alchemy station in a base

• As a service in an alchemy shop, for a price.

• At a valid campsite which is also bordered by water.

Ingredient Identification

Successfully crafting potions lets you then permanently see the effects in each ingredient. The recipe will also get added to a list so you can craft things by something other than rote memory.

There are also ways of identifying ingredient effects without wasting them -- a shop service or a base Analyzer fixture. Useful since ingredients can be quite rare.

Overlap

Potion / Food overlap

• Food can't heal you or recover mana. Potions can't restore hunger or affect stamina actiins (if I keep that system). Food can't affect items or mobs.

• There will probably be some overlap between potion effects and food combat buffs. To mitigate this, food buffs will be rarer and weaker -- more an added bonus to restoring hunger rather than a replacement for potions.

Potion / Magic overlap

• There are a ton of things magic can do that potions can't, like affect the environment or do powerful magic attacks. However they do both tie into the same events system, so there will probably be overlap. One of the advantages of magic is that you can use the same spells over and over -- with potions you're limited by the ingredients you can gather. Magic is however temperamental and quite rare.

• Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

Skills

I haven't quite finalized this, but a skills system is looking like the sanest solution right now. Here's how it works:

• Instead of a fixed leveling system, base stats are increased by leveling skills associated with them -- doing combat will increase your health, using magic will increase your mana. These increases are probably linear.

• For other types of skills, instead of starting you out with limits and removing them over time, you'll instead get perks as you level up. There might be some kind of perk tree.

• There will be overlap between perks and potions / magic -- perks are of course permanent but if you know what you're doing you can get quite powerful without explicitly leveling the skills, by using magic instead.

• Instead of affecting everything, armor will affect basic things like defense and elemental resistances. There will be some overlap between armor and certain types of perks, but overall armor will serve a more basic purpose.

• Jewelry will still be more free because it's expensive or rare. You'll be able to equip a large amount of accessories, which also don't weigh much. This will tie into more obscure things like mana regen or status effect resistances.

• I like the idea of having a cursed / identify system for armor and jewelry that you find or buy in the world. Things you craft should be free from this, which helps balance the game so you do more crafting instead.

• Armor / Jewelry intrinsic can be enhanced with potion pouring (temporary effects) or enchantments, if I keep that system.

• Enchantments are costly and require the transmutation of valuable crystals. Armor/Jewelry is also limited in the amount of enchantments it can carry, depending on the material. You also can't find pre-enchanted items.

Magic stuff

I've worked on this system a bit. There's a kind of "transmuting" system where crystals can turn into wands, scrolls and enchantments, and can also be converted back into crystals. These processes are however costly both in terms of materials and personal cost.

Magic itself is overall very very powerful and also very very temperamental -- getting a proper spell from a crystal requires a lot of work but you'll at least have some kind of useful effect at the outset.

The magic system ties into literally everything, but I'll probably start building out bits and pieces of it soon, and maybe the transmuting system as well.

If your mana max is low, scrolls and wands will be a lot more viable. Through use of magic or by doing transmutation, your mana will increase and you'll be able to use actual powerful spells.

Wands and scrolls have a limited number of uses, but can be recharged by crystals or rare magical ingredients. Scrolls dont instantly disappear -- this breaks all kinds of traditions but is necessary for game balance.

Outside of quantum and entropic magic, magic does not work well at all in the entropic dimension. I'm not sure what the exact stipulations are there yet, but it'll be interesting.

• Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

Fishing v1 Notes

This set of updates will get the fishing system to where I want it in the final game. It'll probably change somewhat during development like everything else.

Fishing basics

• Press f and a direction in a body of water to fish in it. Bodies of water are sometimes pieces of a lake rather than the whole thing. They're also named, so you can save notes for later.

• To fish, you need an equipped Fishing Rod and some bait (insects, worms or other fish). You might also want to have some Lures equipped, but they're optional. You can also optionally use Hooks, which tie into some different mechanics.

• Fishing has two speeds -- Steady and Fast. Steady requires you to wait some amount of time before you catch anything, but you use less bait. Fast catches stuff instantly, but always uses bait. If you're using a metal or better fishing rod, you also have an Auto speed that does all of your catches all at once, but you'll lose even more bait this way.

Fish

Each region has a limited amount of fish (currently set to 7). It also has a couple rare fish and one rare monster fish.

Each pool has a limited amount of fish out of that palette (2-4 right now, iirc). If the pool is big enough, it might have rare or monster fish.

Fish are also weighted -- some fish are more likely to appear than others. Each fish also has a base chance of catching it -- rare and monster fish are harder. All of this information is given to you in your fishing panel when you actually see the fish in question.

Bait

Fish have a bait preference -- worms, insects or fish. Rare fish always prefer fish, and monster fish will only go for rare fish. The bait determines improvements in your ability to catch fish -- this is randomized to a large extent, but rare fish increase your chances a lot (which is good because monster fish are hard to catch).

Non-fish

You also have a chance (1/10 atm) of hooking something that isn't a fish. These can be individual items which are usually junk or bags / crates which contain collections of also usually junk. Occasionally you can get something useful, or you can use various systems to increase your chances here, for example Lucky potions.

Hooks

There are three types of hook:

• Bone hook -- These allow you to catch a mixture of rare fish and normal fish. You can't catch rare fish without a hook

• Precious metal hook -- Similar to bone hooks, except they also give you a better chance of catching non-fish, depending on the material. They tend to give you a worse chance of catching rare fish than bone hooks, however.

• Metal hook -- These allow you to catch a mixture of rare fish and monster fish.

The specific bone or metal that goes into the hook determines how likely you are to catch the rarer fish over the normal fish. If there aren't any rare or monster fish in the pool, you'll get a message to that effect when you encounter a situation where you *would have* seen one.

Hooks are crafted from bone or metal/precious metal espectively without requiring any other materials. They require more than one piece however.

Lures

Lures are named as three capital letters, for example an ADS Lure. This lure will increase the weight of fish whose name starts with A, D or S.

Lures can be "daisy-chained" together with cumulative effects. So two ADS lures will increase the weights of those fish even more, while mixing an ADS Lure and a LAF lure will increase D, S, L and F but A the most. Lures can't be daisy-chained infinitely -- the limit depends on the "Lure Chain" property of your fishing rod.

Lures are crafted with either Scales, Flowers or Feathers (Similar to Wands) and Fishing Line, which itself can be crafted from wool, hide or plant fiber. All in all you have a lot of combinations to get more desirable Lures. You can also buy them at Angler shops or find them in Fishing Rack furniture in houses or dungeons. Fishing Lures can't be Cursed.

Fishing Rods

There are four tiers of Fishing Rods, depending on the materials used to craft the rod:

• Branches

• Bones

• Metal

• Advanced materials (probably carbon fiber or something). These require Industry to create.

Fishing rods also require Fishing Line, which again can be crafted from plant fiber, wool or hide.

Fishing rod properties affect various things, with higher tiers being better:

• The speed of Steady fishing.

• The chance of keeping bait in Steady fishing.

• The chance of wasting bait in Fast or Auto fishing

• How many catches can be done at a time in Auto fishing.

• How many Lures can be attached

• They can improve your chances of catching fish, with higher tiers usually being better.

Additionally, the fishing rod tier will affect several things:

• If you can use Auto fishing.

• If you can use Precious Metal or Metal hooks.

• Bone or better fishing rods will optionally let you decide to hook a fish or not when something catches -- the Tier and material will give you less or more information about what is hooked, from "small splash" to "It's a Dartmouth". If you decide to not catch the fish, you don't waste bait and another seen fish will go through.

Rare and Monster fish

Rare fish require you to actually have fish equipped as bait, and Monster fish require you to have Rare fish as bait. Both of these can be quite hard to catch regardless, so fishing potions/magic are useful, as are good use of rods and bait.

Rare fish are more valuable, and Monster fish the most valuable. Their extracted materials should be more useful as well.

Rare fish will always contain a Potion ingredient in their Extraction menu. Monster fish take this a step further and always contain a Magical ingredient, which are useful for recharging wands/scrolls and upgrading Crystals. Additionally, the potion ingredients gathered from rare and monster fish will always have a fishing-related effect as one of their potential effects.

Rare fish are more common in Caves and the Ice Dimension, and Monster fish are more common in the Water Dimension.

Overall, the system should be pretty progressive and also quite worth it outside of fishing -- a great way to get potion ingredients and magic ingredients, which can be hard to come by.

I'll probably flesh this system out sometime soon.

• Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

Terrain update notes

I've spent some time just wandering around / collecting stuff / switching dimensions so I've got a pretty solid outline now of the changes to those systems:

• Provinces are arranged into grids of "regions", which are maybe 500x500.

• Each province has a limited number of biomes (6-7?). Biomes act the way dimensions currently work -- they dictate the palette, the terrain generation formula, the surface/cave resources, the enemies that spawn there, the fish you can get, etc.

• Each region gets one of the random biomes.

• I'm probably going to split the province into sections where certain biomes are more likely to happen, but there will still be a fair bit of randomization in there. Epicenters of these will be the towns/cities in the province so each town looks a bit different.

• Instead of the palettes being either fully random or fully handcrafted, I'm just going to go through and catalog all the random palettes I like and then the biomes system will choose between those. There should be several hundred.

• Same deal with terrain generation potentially -- although I kind of like the way things are happening now.

• The leaping latch switches between three different generation configurations with the same palette and terrain. So you're still able to use it to get over barriers but it isn't affecting literally everything. It also doesn't affect the placement of towns/structures.

• Instead of being able to travel to different dimensions, everything late-game will get shuttled into exploring additional provinces. You still get an infinite amount of terrains/resources to work with, but it's spread out horizontally and vertically.

• Beyond a certain point horizontally or vertically, whatever handcrafted controls I have in place break down -- truly random terrains, random resource spread, very chaotic enemies, etc. Civilization also becomes increasingly rare. These outer edges are where the late-game and the ending parts of the main quest take place. Getting out there takes a lot of work though -- not something you can do without either investing literal days into travel or finding the powerful artifacts the main quest pushes you towards.

New Game Progression

• 1. Collect surface resources, craft weapons / fishing gear.

• 2. Use those to fish and hunt for the resources needed to explore caves.

• 3. Explore caves to get metals, petroleum and quartz.

• 4. Go to civilization (maybe quartz is required, or maybe that's a terrible idea and you get the resources for it in step #2. either way it needs to be something you build up to. Quartz might tie into orthogonal travel/portals more generally.). While there, learn about provinces and get the location of some dungeons and whatever that's province's mana crack is.

• 5. Go to those dungeons, use the quartz to open them. In the dungeons, collect loot and Province shards and Mana shards.

• 6. Use Province Shards to open up additional provinces. This might be progressive depending on how annoying dungeons are -- maybe open up one, then two, then all the ones surrounding you, then all of them. IDK yet.

• 7. Continue exploring provinces to find additional mana cracks so that you can unlock all eight of them with the Mana Shards you've gotten.

• 8. Go into the mana dimensions, collect a special item that greatly expands your portals's reach. If quartz is a component of portals, it'll be some kind of supercharged or ancient quartz or something. Visiting all the mana dimensions might be required, or it might be only a few of them -- though it'll be more than one.

• 9. These super portals will allow you to explore the "badlands" where things are really chaotic and civilization is sparse. The stuff out here ties into the main quest heavily, but you also have a lot of potentially really OP resources available as well.

• Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

Other changes

• A submenu in the extraction menu will allow you to "burn" raw resources into currency. This makes way more sense from a UX perspective than switching between currency-gathering and resource-gathering. Skill perks will allow you to auto-burn stuff as it comes in or see how much money each resource is worth in the discoveries window. Energy is how you buy stuff in towns, but it's also essential to base-building.

• I'm not sure when you get prompted to build a base yet. It should definitely be a bit after you've explored some so new players aren't getting everything thrown at them at once.

• Trees and plants have a rare chance of being able to extract seeds from them. Seeds are spices, enhance potions in some way, and can be planted via the crops update if I get to it.

• When you portal your way into the first town, you'll get transported in front of a library. This library will give you a lot of information about exploring towns and also your next steps in the game progression. Libraries will also have a decent amount of basic Lore.

• In addition to towns , outposts, dungeons, etc, provinces will also spawn smaller constructions which help guide you towards larger constructions. These should be more common.

• Camping will still require a "corner" to camp under, but won't require a nearby water tile in any capacity. However if you find one like that you'll be able to fish while resting.

• Quartz is probably essential for crop rooms and terrariums/aquariums.

• Instead of being separate types of animals, scouts/mounts will reflect the surface animals. You'll be able to occasionally find eggs in animal nests. Zoos/stables/etc will also sell these, however they won't be as good as the ones you find in the world or in loot.

• Wholesalers have a limited stock that replenishes over time.

• I'm ditching the multiple currencies system. Way too complicated in an already complex game.

• Trading will be available when your merchant skill is high enough. You'll be able to buy trade items at various shops and sell them in other towns (or especially other Provinces) for a profit. However the values will equalize as you make more trades. Instead of accruing "wealth", it's instead just another way to make money. Trade items will also tie into some of the procgen town lore as well.

• Stolen items will sell for less than normal. However you can craft them into things which sell for full price, or you can unlock thief perks which makes them sell for more. You can still make a good bit of money by robbing an entire town, but it takes more work -- over time it'll become more profitable.

• The skills/perks systems will tie into quite a bit, however you don't see any of it until you've raised a skill high enough to unlock perks.

• Jewelry is where enchantments come into play. You can wear a good bit of it, but you can also weld it into weapons/armor or sew it into clothing. You can transmute various things into enchantments -- crystals, potions or food. However all of this is quite costly without useful mage perks. Loot also doesn't come pre-enchanted outside of mana dimension dungeons or rarely in normal dungeons if you go deep enough. You could probably get it in outposts if you have a "hidden drawer" thief perk though.

• Caves will be a lot less common, however they're not province-dictated either. You can find them with scouts or those more-common structures. Ones you've found through exploration will go into your map automatically.

• Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

Portals

Might work on this next, should be fairly straighforward to set up.

Portals allow you to travel larger distances instantaneously, with some kind of energy cost. They act a bit like magical transportation in other games except that you get to pick your own targets.

Portals require the use of an Entanglement Lens. My original notes called for a portal gun to handle lens upgrades, but I might be scrapping the Machines system in favor of something simpler. In any case though in order to make portals, you need to craft an Entanglement Lens from either Quartz or Scales (haven't decided which yet, leaning towards Scales).

You can place three kinds of portals:

• Window -- this one allows you to teleport to any Attractor within range. As long as you're inside the bounds of civilization, the closest town is always an Attractor. Placing windows is quite cheap, but these portals are single-use.

• Attractor -- These are essentially "exit portals" for windows or tangles. More costly to make, and the cost increases linearly with their range.

• Tangle -- these hook into an Attractor within its range on a permanent basis. Creating these or switching Attractors is quite costly, but the links are permanent and also go both ways -- you can go into an Attractor and end up at any of the Tangles connected to it. You can't Tangle with town Attractors.

Town Services

Towns have a "Repulsor" service that will transport you to an arbitrary location inside the province (though you can't get too close to structures). This is somewhat expensive relative to their town travel services, but is based on distance so traveling to the closest town first makes sense.

Towns can also transport you to an Attractor you've placed that's outside of range, again for a hefty cost, though less of one than using repulsor technology. I'm not sure what this is called yet, or it might just be a subset of the Repulsor service.

Improved Entanglement Lens

I'm not quite sure what this is called, but this is a late-game upgrade to your portal-creation abilities. Crafting it involves materials retrieved from structures in mana cracks (such as ice caverns). With it you gain several upgrades essential for the late-game:

• You can create Repulsor portals yourself. Instead of being linear, the energy cost is based on your closeness to The Overflow -- the closer you are, the more it costs, but going from origin to the edge of civilization and back is quite cheap.

• Attractor range is infinite.

• Windows are free.

At this point you can basically do whatever you like within the known world without an exorbitant cost, however your outer range is somewhat limited. Bypassing this heavily ties into the main quest / lore, which is still under construction.

Base Integration

While you can place attractor/tangle pairs outside your base, if you place them within two bases, it'll effectively connect them together into one unified base, with the same storage, etc. Very useful feature.

In order to do this however (or to place portals within a base at all), you have to have a Portal Room constructed. Portal Rooms have limits as well that can be improved via Base Modules.

User Interface

For now, I'm going to have a "portals" tab. Itll have a "mode" select with three options:

• None -- the mouse does what it normally does.

• Place Portal -- this lets you use your mouse to place a portal. A "portal construction" submenu will appear.

• Modify Portal -- When you click on a portal on screen, you can adjust things in the "Portal modification" submenu that appears.

All options will be available at the outset and nothing will cost anything.

• First, you pick the type of portal. For now I'll have all the options there -- Window, Attractor, Tangle, Repulsor

• If you click Window, you'll get a list of Attractors, including the closest town. Instead of clicking the screen, you'll click the "Teleport" button.

• If you click Attractor, a jscolor menu will appear to let you pick the color of the portal. You will also be able to name the attractor, or it'll be assigned a name based on its coordinates. Attractor range is infinite for now.

• If you click Tangle, you'll get a list of attractors within range, sans town attractors. You'll also get the jscolor / naming menu.

• If you click Repulsor, you can put x and y coordinates. You can then click the "Teleport" button.

Clicking an Attractor or Tangle will allow you to adjust the menus these come with -- the color, name, and attractor in the case of Tangles.

Walking into an Attractor

If an attractor is only connected to one Tangle, you'll teleport there. Otherwise, you'll get a menu that asks you to pick the Attractor you want via buttons, and clicking the button will teleport you.

• Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

These systems might get implemented and they might not. I do like them though.

Agricultural Rooms

While in an agricultural room, you can place solids, water tiles, and a couple specialized objects for free. There are however limits to the amount of things you can place, which can be upgraded with Base Modules.

Crops, Aquariums and Terrariums can also be placed here, and in fact *must* be placed in this kind of room.

Crops

Each tree or plant has a rare chance of dropping a seed. Seeds have multiple uses, but here they can be planted. Over time they'll eventually grow into the correct plant or tree.

Each plant or tree has a set of "yield" properties that determines how many of that resource you gain when extracting it. These resources are the same as the ones that can spawn in the overworld -- for example plants can have fiber and beans, trees can have branches and roots. The starting properties reflect what the resource does in the overworld with some slight variation.

Crops will also drop seeds -- by default only 1 at a time. Every time you collect seeds, the new plant will be slightly different. You'll be able to see these differences before you plant them.

Crops will also drop Pollen, which I'll get to in a bit.

All of these resources are renewable -- over time a crop will produce more resources, more seeds and more pollen.

Breeding

You can use pollen on a plant to get a seed. If you pollinate a plant with its own pollen, you'll get a seed that's an exact replica of the plant. If you use it on a different plant of the same species, you'll get a seed that's a combination of the two via the Alchemy system.

With these three functions, you can effectively domesticate plants to do more of what you want over time, or create multiple strains to do different things.

Other Crop variations

• With enough mutation you can get resources from a plant that *don't* appear in the overworld -- for example if a foxfur plant can't ever have beans extracted from it, you can breed a plant that will produce them.

• There are some pour potions and magic that can mutate a seed further.

• Crops can very rarely gain a mutation that lets them produce chunks of metal, precious metals, rocks, petroleum or quartz that appear in the overworld. These chunks can then be crafted into the appropriate resource. Thus if you're an adept enough farmer you can eventually get to where you don't have to collect surface resources anymore.

• Crops can also rarely gain a mutation that lets them produce potion ingredients, and if you work that long enough, magical potion ingredients.

• Crops can also produce modifiers to the resources you gain from them -- these modifiers will transfer into the resource when you craft with it. So if you farm enough you can get stronger and stronger base materials to craft into tools/etc.

Crop Environments

Crops will generally have some set of conditions attached to them in order to plant them -- like they must be in water, bordered by a solid, etc. These are procedurally generated based on the crop species and don't change.

Crops can have another set of conditions that makes them grow faster, and still another set that makes them mutate more. You get to see all of this in the crops menu.

Overall you get to spend some time experimenting to find efficient layouts.

Aquariums and Terrariums

Aquariums require at least two of the same kind of fish.

Terrariums require at least two of the same kind of animal eggs.

In order to breed either fish or animals, you have to feed them food. They'll have various food preferences.

These systems work similarly to Crops, except the resources are nonrenewable (with the exception of milk if I get to it) -- every time you take a resource out the population goes down. I'm not sure yet how the mutation/breeding systems work yet.

It will however function very similarly to Crops -- new resources, resource modifiers, etc. Might divvy up rocks/metals/etc between plants and animals so you need all three kinds of farms to get all the overworld resources.

• Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

More misc changes

• I'm Dropping potions that you fling. Potions will either be pourable or drinkable.

• Surface animals will be classed into the types that I had set up for pets. This won't impact their behavior, just what kind of eggs their nests might drop.

• Bats will sometimes have nests on the surface, but are more likely to have nests underground.

• Other cave creatures will be mythical/magical and quite vicious. They definitely don't drop eggs in any capacity. Same deal with the ones in mana cracks.

• Dropping Endive. Going to take @Laxan:'s advice here and just beef up the UX and make the game mechanics as progressive as possible. There will still be help, but it'll be more context-based.

• Dropping Animal Communication. It would make it too hard to learn enemy behavior, which is important because of the way they're palletized. Besides, the current version of the enemy movements system is just complicated enough to have variety and emergent behavior without being overwhelming.

• Dropping Weather. It's one of those things that would make the game too complicated, and it's already a complicated game.

• Dropping Diseases (very early notes here) in favor of the debuffs system. Again, too complicated.

• I altered the Portals system while working on it. I like the logistics of the new system a lot better, and there's an interesting ascended bug in there too.

• Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

Weapon Properties Draft 1

This will probably change over time as I test things and balance the game, but it's fairly balanced already. I also have on-paper notes, but I'm sticking things here too to make changes easier to track over time.

Weapon Techniques

• Axe -- Slash, Throw, 33% (Fragment or Recall)

• Sword -- Thrust, Slash

• Spear -- Throw, Thrust, 33% (Fragment or Recall)

• Staff -- Slash

• Bow -- Thrust, Ranged

• Clawarm -- Throw, 50% (Recall), (Draw or Yank)

• Flail -- Throw, 33% (Fragment or Recall), (Tug or Jerk)

• Shield -- Thrust

• Grapple Glove -- Thrust

• Acrobat Gauntlet -- Handspring

Weapon properties breakdown (by weapon technique)

• Axe Slash -- spin

• Axe Throw -- high throw_range, 50% (reverb {1.5-2x damage} or reverb_stun)

• Sword Thrust -- 50% (knock or low stun or 1/7 (crush or pierce))

• Sword Slash -- high spin, 2/3 (knock or low stun or 1/7 (crush or pierce))

• Spear Throw -- throw_range {2-3}, 2/3 (low reverb)

• Spear Thrust -- pierce, 2/3 (knock or stun), 1/7 (crush)

• Staff Slash -- very low damage, high spin, high knock, 25% (stun or pierce)

• Bow Thrust -- very low damage, (low knock or low stun)

• Bow Ranged -- min_range, max_range

• Clawarm Throw -- low negative knock, throw_range

• Flail Throw -- throw_range, (reverb or reverb_stun)

• Shield Thrust -- very low damage, knock, high crush, 25% (recoil)

• Grapple Glove Thrust -- grapple_throw_range, 25% (low stun)

• Acrobat Glove Handspring -- jump_max

• Axe/Spear/Flail/Clawarm Recall -- effect_chance {50,75,100; Clawarm is always 100%}

• Axe/Spear/Flail Fragment -- fragment_damage, fragment_stun, fragment_recall_chance {50,75,100}

• Clawarm Draw / Clawarm Yank / Flail Tug / Flail Jerk -- pull

Not sure what "low", "medium" and "high" actually mean yet. Also not sure what base damage looks like -- it'll depend a lot on the material class and material used to craft the weapon more than anything. For now, all weapons will do 5 damage.

• Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

Magic Attacks again

Will probably be working on these as part of the Combat update since they're necessary for several buffs, and I'd like to get as many of those rolled out as possible.

• In caves and towns, magic attack crystals should be more common than effect crystals. Maybe 75-80%/20-25%. Dungeons and Mana Cracks will have a more even spread of the two, or might favor effects.

• Like all magic, attack crystals will have a lot of limits on their movement / range and possibly some damage / debuffs for using them before they get upgraded.

Magic Attacks will do one of three things:

• Hit enemies in a range through several methods -- a kind of "chain" from the enemy you hit or an explosive bomb-like effect. These effects are less effective the further out you go.

• Add or alter the terrain in some way -- put solids around an enemy, create a pillar of fire that deals damage while it lasts, create a projection of yourself, etc.

• Manipulate all enemies in a group-- draw them together, scatter them, stun them, ground flying types, etc.

These effects are quite powerful relative to melee/ranged weapons, but they cost mana, sometimes other things, and are also quite limited when you first start out. Upgrading them requires the sacrifice of other crystals or magical ingredients (rare versions of potion ingredients which are rare themselves).

• Jewelry can increase your base mana and Mana regeneration, as can potions on a short-term basis. However a better method is to use a lot of magic to improve that skill and gain mana max / mana regen Perks.

On the whole this game is rapidly getting more and more complicated. I'll probably have several simplifying / streamlining sessions when more of the underlying systems are in place.

• Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

Bases

This is more of a notes post than a checklist -- a lot of it depends on several interdependent systems and quite a bit will probably change as well.

Basic Stuff

• Bases are a collection of rooms that the player has built. They are linked together locally by doors or remotely by Portals.

• Instead of chests or similar, Items are stored in a centralized Base Storage. This storage is accessible anywhere inside the base -- you can freely move items into and out of it.

Fixtures

• Bases also have Fixtures in rooms. My current notes call for around 31 different types. These fixtures do different functional things and are spread out in 7 different types of rooms. You can place Fixtures wherever you want in the correct base room or move them around to your liking.

• Unlike Base Storage, you have to interact with the various functions of Fixtures manually -- go to their place in the base and touch them.

• There's a lot of item manipulation happening with fixtures, but fortunately they both pull from and push to the Base Storage, so you don't ever have to move items around manually. The focus for the player is more on experimenting / optimizing rather than painstakingly moving things around. I'm trying to make the item management systems here as least annoying as possible because there's enough real challenge without having to worry about logistical problems.

Fixture Creation

• Bases have an internal currency known as "Aether". Items found or crafted in the world can be completely obliterated and have their value added to this currency.

• Fixtures are created from either Aether, specialized crafting recipes, or both. The recipes heavily pull from resource types that are underutilized elsewhere (like hide and bark). Most fixtures require a combination of the two, but there are a few things that require only one or the other. Lore-wise you need both a physical structure *and* some kind of magic to make it actually do stuff, so that's what's happening here. More abstract stuff might only require magic, whereas really mundane stuff might only require materials.

• Fixtures can definitely have bonuses applied to them based on the materials you use to craft them, however this isn't the norm.

Base Fixtures

I'll now describe each of the base fixtures, sorted by the room it's in. I'll also note if it requires only energy or only materials, but not if it requires both because that's most of them.

General Room

The general room is the first base room you get when you make a base. The types of fixtures you can have in it is pretty limited.

• Atomizer -- this fixture allows you to disintegrate items and turn them into Aether. Since Aether is essential for everything, this is probably the first thing you'll want to build. Your base starts with just enough Aether for you to make one.

• Newflesh Node -- also something pretty essential you'll want to build right away. Newflesh nodes are spawn points for when you die.

• Research Station -- this fixture will let you research new room types / fixtures for your base based on your area of interest. Researching a topic takes Aether, but it also takes time. There's some prerequisite stuff happening, but you have a pretty wide field of things you can research starting out depending on what you'd like to focus on first.

All three of these fixtures can be placed in other room types as well. There might be other types of fixtures you can also place in a general room that aren't exclusive to it.

• There might be some fixtures for specialized crafting recipes that tie into base fixtures. I'm kind of leaning away from that system though.

Living Space Room

Everything in here requires Wood to craft it. A good bit of animal and other underutilized materials are needed as well, though I'm not sure what the exact recipes are yet.

• Bed -- doesn't require Aether -- Beds allow you to move time forward to recover health/mana/do other time-based stuff like sleeping in a Campsite will. However, you'll get hungry over time. There might be other negative effects as well.

• Couch -- doesn't require Aether -- While sitting on a couch you can interact with menus, lore, etc and recover health/mana/do time stuff while you do it. Unlike couches, this doesn't make you hungry over time and there are no negative effects. The only downside is that you have to wait in real time for these things to change, but since Shatterloop is very Lore-heavy and menu-heavy that probably isn't an issue.

• Table + Chair -- doesn't require Aether -- You can equip these with dishes, silverware, and food. If you eat a meal in this way, it'll consume a dish, a silverware piece and the food and you'll get some nice long-term buffs in addition to whatever the meal provides. It's well worth eating a meal in this way every so often.

• Desk -- I'm not quite sure what these do yet, but it has something to do with aggregating stuff that's happening in other rooms. Might change it a lot, might scrap it.

• Equipment Rack -- You can equip these like they were your own person, and then easily swap your equipment with what they have when you interact with them. Very useful if you have multiple playstyles for different things.

Kitchen

• Grill -- Lets you prepare food items like you could over a campfire -- condense food down to make more portable forms like jerky and things like that.

• Cooking Pot -- lets you cook stews like you could on a campsite.

While you can do both of the above things on a campsite, having them on a base is more convenient, and besides there might be some properties that get tweaked depending on what you make the grill/cooking pot out of.

• Fermenting Vat -- Allows you to turn dairy into things like cheese or various plant products into alcohol.

Lab Room

With the exception of the Alchemy Station, most of the stuff in here is mid-game to late-game.

• Alchemy Station -- Lets you create Potions. Alchemy stations will probably confer some benefits depending on what you make them out of -- maybe less failure or stronger potions or something.

• Transmutation Station -- Lets you Transmute magic around -- transforming Crystals, Enchantments, Wands and Scrolls into each other. Transmutation Stations require a lot of research and cost, but are better than altars for their location and their ability to mitigate some of the bad effects depending on what materials you make them out of.

• Delivery Node -- Lets you buy and sell products from Shops remotely. Not sure what the requirements here are, and definitely a late-game thing.

• Catalyst Station -- Turns materials into Catalysts, which can then be consumed when doing some form of crafting to really narrow down the way you want materials to mix. Not sure what the system looks like here yet, but definitely a late-game thing.

• Automation Station -- Lets you automate things in your base to a much larger degree -- making buying/selling of shop deliveries automatic, having stuff in the Industry Room automatically pull stuff out of your base, etc. Definitely late-game.

Industry Room

In addition to their normal crafting costs, all of the Fixtures in here consume Fuel when they're in use. Fuel use is dependent on the materials you use to build the machines though, so you definitely have advantages if you source (or create) better materials.

Things in here also take Time to process. This can again be in-game time from exploring / sleeping or real-world time from being a Couch potato.

• Fuel Refinery -- The first fixture you'll want to put in this room (if not more than one), and absolutely essential. The Fuel Refinery has two functions -- one that refines flammable materials into more flammable materials, and one that turns flammable materials into Fuel for the rest of your machines to use. Basic plant materials such as branches and wood or unextracted plant materials (like brush) can be converted into fuel as-is, but more complex materials like fat or petroleum have to get refined first.

Refinement itself requires Fuel, but it's less than the yield you get from the item. Some types of materials require ludicrous amounts of Fuel to refine, but then produce a similarly ludicrous amount of Fuel. Since the other Machines require varying levels of Fuel, this whole system is very progressive.

• Forge -- Turns metal ores into usable metal ingots. Melting down precious metals requires a bit more fuel than regular metals.

• Smithy -- Allows you to Craft Weapons, Armor, and other Metal items such as Lockpicks or Fishing Rods. Right now these are just in your Crafting menu, but in the future you'll need either this or a rather expensive shop service to make metal stuff.

• Blast Furnace -- Lets you melt down metallic items into their base ingots, as well as Alloy them together. Since Loot isn't reflective of Cave metals, this means you can make brand new weapons/armor/etc by combining together pieces you've found. It's also an interesting way to get rid of old items -- melt them down and alloy them into the ones you like better to make them even better.

• Extractor -- This machine creates brand new materials, such as silk from worms, carbon fiber from heavily refined petroleum, etc. This is a late-game machine and requires quite a bit of fuel to use.

• Refinery -- Another late-game machine, this one will take materials and refine them down to the specific property you want -- like if you have a type of boar fat that makes torches burn brighter, you can Refine it until you get a crystallized substance that's the bright-burning property and nothing else. I'm not sure what this system looks like yet and might scrap it. I do know that your supply will dwindle down every time you refine -- start with 64x boar fat and you might have 1x brightboarane by the end.

• Factory -- This late-game machine will let you craft things with the materials gained through the Extractor and Refinery. The materials at this stage are really advanced and worth quite a lot of money too.

Agricultural Room

• Water, Solid, Soil, Trellis -- these Fixtures don't actually do anything but various things that you farm have requirements for these kinds of tiles nearby in some capacity. These fixtures also only require Aether -- no materials needed. Lore-wise, they're Mirages like the rest of your base.

• Plot -- This fixture is where you actually plant Seeds. Various plants have various requirements of tiles that have to be nearby, tiles that can't be nearby, and so on. Starting out, you have to Harvest crops by hand but you definitely don't have to replant them. Harvests also go into your Base Storage automatically so you don't have to remember where your Seeds are.

• Feed Mill -- This fixture lets you convert plant products (especially food items) into several types of animal feed.

• Aquarium -- This fixture allows you to place fish and Breed them. Breeding requires Feed, which is conveniently pulled from the Base Storage that Feed Mills push into. You can turn breeding on or off, but you don't have to breed manually when it's on -- the animals will do that themselves until they run out of food.

• Terrarium -- This fixture allows you to place Eggs of animals and breed them in a similar way to Fish. There's some definitely opportunity cost here, because Eggs are also used to hatch Scout Animals and Mount Animals, which are enormously useful in exploring. Eggs are already rare in overworld spawns, but they're rarer still in Terrariums. Some advanced materials / base modules can fix that problem though.

I'm again not sure what any of these three systems look like fully. I'm still thinking them through. They're definitely happening though!

Engineering Room

• Storage Module -- only requires Aether -- lets you upgrade your Base Storage

• Other Modules -- only requires Aether -- not sure what any of these are. They depend heavily on what the limitations of the base systems are. Essentially though you can add these modules to an engineering room and improve your base or its rooms / fixtures in some way.

• Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

Buffs v0 Checklist

Yet another checklist. the buffs system is essential for potions, food, resting/sleeping, beds, couches, and inns. Some of the stuff in here will also help pave the way for future systems. So this is probably my next project, followed by probably either Potions or Food (since I've wanted to get to those for a while now).

This is going to be a version 0 because some of the systems required for the whole set of buffs/debuffs are too complicated. I'll either add in the new effects as I can or rework the systems here when that happens.

v0 One-Time Effects

These should just be straight events.

• Cure Debuff -- Won't be in the final game, but this effect will remove a random debuff that you have. Can't do this until I have actual debuffs.

v0 Buffs

These (and debuffs) should also be events, but they should be called through the time system.

• Projection -- Changes the behavior of enemies seeking or fleeing from you -- they'll seek or flee a different space rather than the one you're on.

• Boost Health/Mana -- Increases your maximum health or mana.

• Boost Health/Mana Regen -- Increases your health or mana regeneration rates.

• Precision Strike -- Increases your critical strike chance.

• Camoflauge -- Enemies can miss you sometimes. Basically an evasion boost.

• Telepathy -- Lets you see some information about an enemy that you might not know. Might literally just display formatted JSON for now in case those systems change.

v0 Debuffs

• Sap Health / Sap Mana -- basically works like poison. Every turn you lose some amount of health or mana until the effect wears off.

• Confusion -- You can't move correctly. You'll move in the wrong direction, will idle instead of moving, or will move on your own.

• Health/Mana Stagnation -- These effects prevent health or mana regeneration.

• Dim vision -- everything gets rendered dimmer like the outer edge of torchlight looks like.

• Clumsy, Myopic, Mundane -- keeps you from dealing combat, ranged, or magic attacks respectively.

• Slowed -- Your movement speed slows down.

• Poor Reflexes -- Basically speeds enemies up.

• Paralyze -- locks you in place until the effect ends. Basically involuntary sleeping.

• Petrify -- Starts as a progressively worsening slowed/poor reflexes that eventually progresses into a Paralyze. Does at least wear off.

• Pain -- Take damage when moving or dealing ranged/melee attacks.

• Quantum Vision -- Does the failed rendering quantum effect outside of the quantum dimension.

• Incompetence -- Any time you pick a target for whatever reason there's a chance you'll pick the wrong one. Affects magic and attacks.

• Narcolepsy -- A longer-lasting effect that occasionally makes you paralyzed for a short period of time. Mostly just annoying.

• Butterfingers -- An occasional chance of dropping something equipped in one of your hands and also wasting a turn in the process.

• Doomed -- Causes death after some number of turns.

• Recoil -- Magic and ranged attacks will hit you with some percentage of their damage. Melee is safe.

• Withered Melee / Withered Ranged / Withered Magic -- reduces the damage that those types of attacks do.

• Blind -- basically the opposite of dark vision -- this will reduce your vision relative to torches. Worse versions of this will reduce your vision outside of caves.

• Inept Strike -- reduces your critical strike chance. If it goes negative, your critical strikes will instead do *less* damage.

• Quantum Decoherence -- Randomly teleports you every so often. Similar to teleport, but outside of your control.

Buffs for later

• Drunjk -- requires the Stats system

• Arrowsaving -- Giving bows ammunition is potentially a complicated update. it'll require some differences in crafting as well because you don't want to just make one arrow at a time.

• War / Peace -- need the revamped Spawn system. I don't want to remake this set of effects if I don't have to.

• Reflect -- I have some animation ideas for enemy magical attacks (line_between(), colored based on the symcolor) but really want to hold off on them until I expand enemy attacks more in general.

• Blindsight -- Holding off on this until I finalize Torches.

• Cure X / Debuff X Shield -- Need to have debuffs in place. I'm probably also going to be simplifying those a LOT over time, so going to hold off for now.

• Lucky -- Requires too much handcrafting of the loot system. Won't be getting to that for a while.

• Unladen -- I'm holding off on the inventory weights system for now. Want to get the last few item types in place, do potions and food and then finalize the resources system in general first.

• Boost X Skill -- requires the Skills system, which should really be one of the last things I do.

• Magic Shield / Ranged Shield -- requires enemy attack upgrades

• Clairvoyance -- Too complicated for now. Also dungeons don't exist yet. Also might change a lot or be scrapped.

• Volatile / Spontaneous Combustion -- This is a weird attack type. more of a Power really, so I'll get to it if I end up doing Powers in some other capacity.

• Remote Viewing -- Same deal here.

• Boost All -- Requires Stats

Debuffs for later

• Nausea -- Requires Potions and Food

• Withered Armor -- Requires Armor

• Incurable -- Requires a lot of systems, so will probably be one of the last debuffs to happen.

• (unnamed) -- Makes it harder to collect resources -- Need to know the name for this, also need to know if I'm keeping it or not and what the specifications of it are. Might scrap it.

• Hallucination -- Ties into too many random systems. Will add it when a lot more is finalized.

• Burdened -- Not ready to do item weights right now.

• Withered Skill X -- Requires Stats

• (unnamed) -- Makes you weaker to melee, ranged or magic attacks -- Really need to hold off on this until Armor is in place, but enemy attacks need to be improved as well.

• Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

Potions Notes

This is more of a final draft, given that this system will happen pretty soon.

Potion Ingredients

• Brush, Trunk, Roots, and Plants when picked up will sometimes (but rarely) be picked up as Seeds or a specialized plant part instead (Foxhearth Nectar for example).

• Fish or Animal Corpses when picked up will sometimes (but rarely) be picked up as Spawn or Eggs respectively or a specialized animal part instead (Trout Gills or Shortpig Heart, for example).

• These specialized parts go into the "Ingredients" category. Rarely, they'll instead go into the "Magical Ingredients" category which ties into the Magic system.

Potionmaking

• Potions can be made at a Campsite where you're adjacent to water, as an Alchemist/etc shop service, or at an Alchemy Station in a base. The Base version of this may have additional perks depending on the materials used to craft the Station.

• Depending on how many buffs are reserved for Potions, there may be several categories of potions with ingredients doing different things in different categories. I'm hoping it won't come to that though.

• Each potion ingredient has some number of effects attached to it. Probably around 4-5. In order to make a potion you have to add
distinct ingredients which match an effect. If the ingredients match multiple effects the potion will do multiple things. For right now, potion effects will be randomized. I'd like to maybe handcraft it a bit later so ingredients are analogues of several well-balanced ingredient templates, with a few truly random ones. But that's a project for another time.

• You don't start out knowing what a potion ingredient does. However every time you successfully craft a potion, you learn that effect for those ingredients, and you can also make that exact potion again in a separate menu. There's a base fixture (which I forgot about) that will allow you to Analyze ingredients before using them -- this process takes time for every ingredient as well as potentially Aether.

Potion Combining

Potions can be combined together to save space and also create more useful potions. This should be fairly logical (like recover health 50 + recover health 50 = recover health 100) and there are no limits here since there are no limits on potion drinking either.

Potion Strength

Potion effects have magnitude and/or duration and/or possibly other variables. All of these qualify as Potion Strength. There are a variety of ways of increasing a potion's strength:

• You can add more than two ingredients. If you have matches with all of them the potion effect will be stronger in more of an exponential way than a linear way. This should max out somewhere though -- maybe 5 ingredients?

• in the shop service you can increase a potion strength but it costs more. I'm not sure what this looks like yet and it might tie into a potential shop vip system.

• making an alchemist station in a base out of better materials will definitely do this. Might lock down percentages of this somewhat with the skills system.

• if you do a lot of alchemy, there are some skill perks related to improved potion strength.

Magical Ingredients

While magical ingredients have other uses (like upgrading crystals), they can also be used in potionmaking, where they're like the normal ingredient but have a higher magnitude and/or duration.

• Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

Food v1 Notes

Also finalizing this set of systems, because it also happens around the time Potions happen and ties into the same buffs/debuffs system.

Food Basics

• You have a hunger meter. While it'll use points internally, you'll instead just see a status -- "Sated", "Not Hungry", "Hungry" and "Starving" with some amount of extra indication so hungry/starving are more urgent.

• Hunger goes up from taking turns in the time-based system. Sleeping will make your hunger meter increase because it too ties into the turns system, while resting will not. Any interacting you do with menus also won't make your hunger level rise.

• If you're sated you can't eat. If you're anything else you can eat until you're sated. While sated you gain buffs and while hungry you gain debuffs. These buffs and debuffs are dependent on what you eat.

• If you're hungry for long enough you'll reach the point of being "Starving". While starving you'll slowly accumulate random non-lethal debuffs such as impaired health regeneration or confused movement. Starvation won't kill you directly but it'll make it very very easy for you to die incidentally. It does take a while to reach though -- maybe a full day (1000 turns) of hunger.

• You'll have a kind of "Consumable" menu where you'll be able to eat food as well as drink potions or alcohol. It might literally be called "Eat / Drink". Things that aren't potions or alcohol count as food even if that's unintuitive, such as milk or tea.

Food

There are 15 categories of unprepared food, 3 of which are mid-game and require the use of shop services and/or bases. The other 7 are found as natural resources:

• meat -- extracted from Fish or animal corpses. Meat cannot be eaten Raw.

• fat -- extracted from Fish or animal corpses.

• beans -- extracted from Plants. Beans cannot be eaten Raw.

• flowers -- extracted from Plants

• fruit -- extracted from Plants

• nuts -- extracted from tree Brush

• leaves -- extracted from tree Brush

• tubers -- extracted from tree Trunks. Tubers cannot be eaten raw.

• bark -- extracted from tree Trunks

• sap -- extracted from tree Trunks

• seeds -- Every Plant, Brush or Trunk has a chance of dropping this instead when picked up. There are good reasons to eat Seeds, but also good reasons to plant them in a base.

• milk -- There are several ways to get milk, which I'll cover in that section. There is a way of getting it in the early game without going to a town as well.

• cheese, butter, sugar -- these are processed in a base or as a shop service. Cheese and butter come from Milk, while sugar comes from Fruit or Sap.

Milk

There are several ways to get Milk:

• If you have a bucket equipped you can attack surface enemies with it and potentially get milk this way. Whether this is successful or not, they don't like it very much and this will increase enemy aggression and/or speed. Better buckets have a better chance of being successful or minimizing some of these effects -- the tiers are Wood, Hide and Metal.

• You can buy milk from shops. This is limited in some way though.

• Mount animals can be Milked occasionally. This is probably the best way to get milk early-game.

• Milk can be made by processing Seeds -- they have to be both Ground and Soaked. Seeds are fairly rare without a farm though.

• Domesticated animals can produce Milk and can also be specially-bred for the purpose via the Breeding system.

Food Effects

Food is overall split into 4 categories, and each has a progressive tier system (though there is a bit of overlap)

• Hunger Factor -- foods strong in this increase the length of time you're Not Hungry so you don't bounce back and forth between Sated and Hungry. The foods in this group run (from best to worse)
Meat > Beans > Nuts

• Buffs -- foods strong in this improve the positive Buffs you gain while Sated. The foods in this group run Seeds > Bark > Flowers > Leaves

• Buff Duration -- foods strong in this improve the length of time that you're Sated. So they essentially dictate how long your Buffs last. Foods here are Milk/Dairy > Fat > Tubers.

• Magnitude Amping -- this group of foods increase the potency of Buffs, however they also increase the severity of Debuffs. For example if your buffs are increased Health regeneration, adding this to a meal will make you recover health a lot quicker when damaged. Foods in this group are Sap > Fruit.

Special foods

• Butter has a very high Buff Duration.

• Cheese has both a high Hunger Factor and also a high Buff Duration.

• Sugar has a very strong Magnitude Amping effect.

Meals

While you can eat food items individually, that will bring all of the disadvantages / lack of advantages of that food group. However if you combine foods from all four groups you'll gain benefits from all of them.

The actual values of what a meal does are broadly dictated by the Tiers of food items in them -- for example a meal composed of Meat, Seeds, Milk and Sap will be quite good, while a meal of Nuts, Leaves, Tubers and Fruits will be worse. However the tiers are ranges and there is some overlap so sometimes you'll be surprised by what a "second-best" tier can do.

Here's where things get really complex though. The actual values in those ranges are dictated by the meal as a whole, not by individual ingredients. Trout meat and Shortpig meat have the same ranges, but meals composed of them that are otherwise identical will have wildly varying values. The Stews/Cooking system is also the freest crafting system in the game, so I'll get to that next.

Cooking system Basics

There are two parts to this system. The first part is very straightforward and ties into essential gameplay. The second part of it is a lot more free and is mostly around for adding flavor/personalization to the system while also giving you a means of minmaxing your Food. For now, I'll cover the basic part of it.

• At a Camp, Grill base machine or as a shop service you can Roast food. Roasting Beans and Meat is required before you can eat them, however you can cook any ingredient. Roasted ingredients count as different ingredients, so a meal with Roasted Goldwood Bark will be different from a meal with Raw Goldwood Bark even if every other ingredient is the same. Roasted foods also weigh less in your inventory (maybe half as much).

• In the menu where you see Roasting, you also have the option to process food other ways -- this is entirely optional, hidden, and might also require a skill perk unlock for simplification depending on how things go. I'll get to that in a minute.

Stew System Basics

• At a Camp if you're adjacent to water, or in the right base machine or shop service, you can also make Stews.

• Stews allow you to combine any number of food items together whatsoever. Your resultant stew will take the best properties of all of them, while the values will be dictated by the contents of the stew. So even if you have a really optimized stew made from Meat, Seeds, Milk and Sap it might be worth adding some other stuff in there just to "reseed" the RNG.

• When you make a stew you'll "learn" the properties inherent in it and can save that stew to remake it later if you wish, or keep working on the recipe to improve it further. There might potentially be a high-level cooking perk that lets you see the properties of a stew before you make it.

Overall the Stews/Cooking system is very free and encourages a lot of experimentation and luck. The more complicated parts aren't required in any way (going by the Tiers makes more sense) but they add a bit of flavor to the game.

Whatever way you unlock it, you will eventually gain more options other than just having foods be Raw or Roasted:

• Soaking
• Boiling
• Drying
• Chopping
• Grinding
• Fermenting

These different ways of processing will do the same thing as Roasting them -- Boiled Leaves will be different from Raw Leaves, but also different from Roasted Leaves. So you gain a LOT more potential ingredients to work with, even though you're still only working with the basic ones available in the world.

Processing can go up to two layers deep -- you can for example have Fermented Soaked Tubers, but you can't Roast that item. However some processing combinations can yield new 1-word items, for example by Grinding Seeds, you get Flour, and you can then for example Roast flour and then Ferment that to arrive at three layers of processing. There are some various things to learn in here, but overall the more processing you're able to do, the more "luck" you have with a meal. Specifically, the range of that food increases.

This system is entirely optional and serves to make a somewhat complex system more complex, so I want to again stress that it's optional and probably locked away to some extent as well.

Conclusion

Given the long length of this post and the number of mechanics involved, it might make sense to simplify even further and lock away things like stews until your Cooking skill improves. I think I'll plan / program those changes in a later update though.

With a list of doable Buffs, and the finalized versions of the Potions and Food systems in place I can start to work on fleshing those systems out. They themselves don't impact other parts of the game, but they're core parts of the game in their own right.

• Over 2 Years ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

• Machine energy and money aren't the same thing anymore -- done so you have to actually explore civilization mechanics to progress the main progression path but also because there'd be nonsensical overlap between selling resources and extracting energy from resources. Machine Energy has also taken on the same Atomizer/Aether mechanic as bases, which makes more sense from a lore perspective.

• Instead of having multiple machines, you have one machine that does multiple things -- the portal gun and extraction contraption are part of the same thing, which is why they both pull from the Aether pool. This also explains why you can use basic resources to get really advanced functionality -- you're not building new components, you're doing hackish fixes to restore functionality. Then all the Lenses could probably be different ways of focusing some specific scanning machine.

• Instead of having barriers, whatever Province you're in should loop back around to itself when you're walking. There should be some kind of ocean as well, but that might be tricky to set up. This rule should apply for all world types as well. The consequence of this is that only Portals and cross-province transport lets you switch provinces, which is important because there's probably a loooooooooot of loading to do (lots of town data, zone loading information, biomes, resources, etc -- whatever I can't just procedurally generate on the fly). Once you get the Shatterlens, you can smash through the blockade that's keeping the cross-Province services down -- this will affect both Nexus services and towns that are reasonably close to one another but in different provinces (rarer but way cheaper).

• You should be able to push/pull each piece of furniture or NPC exactly once per house visit. This creates a bunch of noise, but is useful for avoiding procgen issues.

• Food is way way too complicated. Can't even write up my checklist in one sitting. So instead I'm going to heavily simplify it.

• Over 1 Year ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

Caves Notes

I've done kind of a lot here recently already, but nonetheless it's helpful to lay out my plans.

Basic stuff

• Caves are accessed via Cave Holes. You need at least one Rope to enter them so you have to have reached that point in the game's progression.

• Cave Holes will be fairly rare in the final game -- you have to track them down.

• Caves are dark and full of dangers. However you get some new tools to help you along your way, and the rewards for exploration are well worth it.

Cave Layers

Caves have multiple layers, accessible by Cave holes found within the cave, and broadly separated into four regions:

• Surface Caves -- between levels 1-5 -- Here you can find Metals, rarely Precious Metals, and Gashrooms. Below level 3, you'll start seeing underground rivers which might have currents but won't have rapids-like effects yet.

• Deep Caves -- Levels 6-10 -- Down here you can find Precious Metals (Metals are rare), Quartz-built Fixtures (such as Altars), more Gashrooms, and the occasional Crystal. You'll start seeing Lava, and underground rivers will also become more dangerous. The caves will also open up some.

• Quantum Edge -- Levels 9-10 -- The same as Deep Caves, except lava and water get more quantum and harder to tell apart, plus you'll occasionally get "quantum storms" that deform everything whatsoever. At level 10 you'll start seeing a very different kind of cave hole -- Using a normal rope will just teleport you horizontally... you need a Quantum Rope to get through (Crafted from Mana Shards found in dungeons).

• Quantum Plane -- Level 10+ -- This is the new entrance to the quantum dimension, which will take on some of the traits of the lower-level deep caves. The terrain should be quite colorful and similar to caves (but maybe more spread out). Instead of Lava or Water you get areas of a colorful substance that I haven't named yet.

Spelunking Tools

• Your main tool are Ropes. Ropes allow you to descend down cave holes, grapple up to higher levels, snag far-off resources, or pull yourself across liquids. Each rope has various strengths and weaknesses, and also various durabilities depending on the materials used to make it. I know what all of these systems do, but won't go into them at length here.

• Another thing you'll definitely need are Torches. Caves are dark and visibility is limited. Torches have various properties that improve this based on the material, however they also have limited fuel that depletes every turn.

• It isn't required, but Bombs are good to have. They can help blow up passageways for you. There are several different types of bombs that blow up passageways in different ways depending on the material used. It's important to run away from them a bit though -- if you're caught in the blast radius you'll take damage.

• Once you start harvesting Gashrooms, you can make special bombs that make arbitrary cave holes or can blow up Cave fixtures.

Dangers

• Terribly mutated hideous versions of surface world animals roam the depths. As you go deeper, they take on increasingly magic-oriented and elemental roles.

• Below level 3, you'll start to see underground rivers. These will race you down currents and/or push you around if you try to cross them. If they push you into a solid, you'll take a bit of damage. But they're quite dangerous regardless because enemies aren't slowed down by them.

• Below level 5, you'll start to see lava. Lava is hard to swim across, damages you, and also has weird lingering effects that make it hard to tell where exactly the edge is.

• Between level 5-10, the caverns will start to open up some. This makes it easier to traverse, but also gives you wide open spaces for enemies to swarm you.

• As you go deeper, lava and water will be increasingly more chaotic and will take on increasingly random colors. The very terrain will begin to deform as you get closer to the Quantum Plane. At level 10, you've reached the "bottom" and things are quite chaotic.

Cave fixtures

Occasionally in deeper parts of the cave layer (and also in Ruins once you can access those), you'll run across a naturally generated Fixture:

• Altars -- these tap into the raw potential of quantum currents. As such you can do a lot of interesting magic-based things at one -- Transmute magic between its three forms of Wands/Scrolls, Crystals and Enchantments; Recharge wands and scrolls; and lastly, Upgrade Magic.

• Aether Lenses -- these will allow you to combine together Quartz and an animal corpse to gain a Summon, as well as upgrade them accordingly. You can also Polymorph surface-based pets into ones that work in Caves and Dungeons.

With Gashroom Bombs, you can Blow Up either of these to collect Quartzshards. Quartzshards can be used to rebuild these fixtures in a base, or can be crafted into Quartz (and is the only natural way of getting it outside of maybe mana dimensions)

Cave Rewards

• Metal and precious metal ores will occasionally spawn in veins. Metals will give you improved weapons and armor, while precious metals will allow you to make Jewelry-based Accessories. They tie into crafting recipes that influence other systems as well.

• Gashrooms can be crafted into Gashroom bombs (name pending), which will allow you to make arbitrary Cave Holes and can also be used to blow up Fixtures.

• With Gashroom Bombs, you can smash Altars and Aether Lenses into Quartzshards. Quartzshards themselves are used to build the Base fixture equivalents of Altars/Aether Lenses, but they can also be crafted together into Quartz which has a variety of uses (including game progression).

• You'll rarely come across Crystals in Deep Caves. These are powerful items that each contain some kind of spell in them. Crystals have a variety of uses and are overall probably the most valuable item in the game.

When you enter Caves, you'll open up a special Spelunking Menu, and also get that link on your normal menu. Like the upcoming Fishing menu, the Spelunking menu is how you manage the various systems related to Caves:

• You'll see the Torches and Ropes you have equipped, their properties, and will be able to change them directly here rather than switching to your Equipment Menu every time.

• Special types of Ropes (such as the Grappling Hook) have ways of activating their various functions and then using the mouse to control them accordingly.

• You'll have a place where you can pick bombs to place, and then place them with the mouse accordingly. This area will also track the fuse timer on the bombs you've placed so you don't blow yourself up. Gashroom Bombs are separated a bit, and their fixture-destroying function is context-based and tied to the fixture itself.

• You'll be able to exit the cave layer at any time for any reason. You could just use your Leaping Latch, but having a special button is useful as well.

• Over 1 Year ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

Miscellaneous changes

• Weapons are going to have one technique each, with the exception of thrown weapons which are a bit awkward. Having one technique greatly simplifies the combat system, but could theoretically also allow for more variety. If I go that route, instead of crafting axes directly you'd craft a "melee weapon" and it would pick one of the types for you. Idk though, that might have its own issues.

• You should be able to do a basic attack by walking into an enemy. This frees your hands up to use the mouse only for special attacks, or there will probably be a keyboard command for them.

• I'm thinking a Combat menu makes the most sense for combat -- way easier to track enemy health and your own in there, but this would also let you swap weapons easily and should make it easier to do thrown attacks. Also a good place to see what your current weapon does.

I might do some of these changes today since I'm trying to create some kind of alpha game out of what I have anyway.

• Getting potion ingredients rather than raw resources can be somewhat annoying sometimes. There needs to be an option to disable that so it only happens when you want it to. Having potion ingredients more common than originally in my notes makes a lot of sense too since you need a lot of them to do anything worthwhile.

• I'm planning a more robust set of controls for base building. It's optional though, don't want to focus on that if I can avoid it. But it is definitely annoying to make a base right now.

• Shatterloop seems to be moving away from procedurally-generated mechanics to handcrafted mechanics with variations. There's nothing really wrong with that but I can do better. I've been thinking about how to incorporate more of that "each seed is a fresh experience" mechanic in. Bombs are a good place to start.

• I'm thinking about turning surface resources into fixtures. This would let me constrain them a lot better, as well as give them distinctive ascii/etc. Just thinking about it though.

• Over 1 Year ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

Random Changes

• I guess the biggest change is that I've determined the underlying theme of the game and have been adapting the game's systems to it. I've had this theme in my mind for quite a while but didn't really understand the specifics of it until I started working on some of the newer systems.

• I've almost got the notes of a working Food system done. This new version is significantly simpler than any of my other versions, but still allows for variety and learning, so it fits in well with the game theme. Had to scrap the roleplaying elements of it, which is unfortunate but necessary to keep it from being overly complicated. Will probably have a Notes post for this tonight, and a checklist tomorrow or so.

• I've made good progress on changing the crafting system to reflect these new changes as well. This has two big changes associated with it:

• The product properties are split among the materials in the recipe. So ranged weapons for example, the stick might determine damage while the twine determines the type of ranged weapon. Like everything else you "learn" what a material does when crafting with it or Analyzing it.

This change (which is basically what I was trying to do originally way back in 2013) definitely ties back into the central game theme, but also improves some issues with the current random nature of the crafting system.

• Aether value, monetary value, and Tiering in various systems are based on the "work" put in (but also the resource base tier -- metals are higher than rocks for example because you need a lot of progression to enter caves). This is where the old Food / Materials Tiers / Weapon decorating / "Free Alchemy" systems are getting moved to -- there will be a kind of progressive system for improving materials which involves crafting various implements to modify them, sometimes out of materials that are themselves crafted with this system. The actual recipes and progression tree will be random and based on the seed though. This will probably involve Base Fixtures to a large extent, probably in the "Workshop Room" or something. This should also make Factory/etc fixtures obsolete.

The good thing about having it here is that it's both nonessential and also highly useful -- the food and materials tiers systems were essential, which is a big problem for new players. The weapon decorating and food v2 systems were nonessential, but they were also not very useful. This one manages to do both. It also encourages extra gameplay because it looks like a legitimate handcrafted system.

• I'm working on heavily heavily simplifying combat according to the same game theme as well -- weapons will have one technique each and the properties will be split around "weapon classes", with the recipes being for general broad categories rather than specific kinds. Getting a specific weapon class is one of the things you'll want to select for when choosing materials.

• I'm working on a system where each region has 5 differently-colored pools. This was originally to make fishing more palettized and fit that system in more with the game theme, but it actually significantly improves the resources system as well -- there's also a throwback to some really really old notes from 2013. This change might also make Biomes obsolete, which is good because that change looks like a real pain in the ass.

• I'm also working on a system which is right now called the "Manaflute", though the definition has moved beyond that a bit. Basically, it neatly compacts a lot of game progression into a single item which has its own procgen mechanics. There are some issues with my current implementation of it that I haven't quite figured out yet.

• I'm sort of working on the Provinces system and also sort of working on the Loose Ends project.

• Over 1 Year ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

Manaflute Notes

• All key items are consolidated into the Manaflute item (which you start with).

• Instead of having different items, your Manaflute instead has different "songs", however there might be separate menus or keyboard shortcuts for the sake of UX.

• You start with a Manaflute menu that shows the "songs" you know, how to play them, and keyboard or menu shortcuts if any. It'll also describe the songs /systems a bit more and what they do as well.

• Manaflute functionality overlaps with a lot of systems which already have menus.

• I haven't quite figured out if the manaflute has advanced features or not. That's going to depend on how hard it is to aggregate all the information you learn.

• I also haven't figured out if these songs do other things. (ex -- mana songs doing stuff in the respective mana dimension). That again is going to be a balance issue ultimately.

Manaflute Songs

The songs played with a manaflute use a procedurally-generated conlang to kind of string commands together, for example:

• najji wior cor -- (place portal) (window) to (nearest town)

• kalava torox poi -- (create mana crack) (fire) (east)

The language used is different with every unique seed.

Songs

Below I'll list all of the songs and how they fit into the revised Game Progression:

Starting Songs

Starting songs don't cost anything.

• Tetrad -- This song switches Tetrads. This can also be easily done by pressing tab.

• Extract -- This song extracts resources from raw materials. You can also just use your Extract menu.

Aether Songs

These songs all require Aether to use. They all have their own menus for the most part.

• Building -- This set of songs allows you to build bases. Getting a color is free, while most other functions require Aether. There are some specialized coloring functions that are available through the Manaflute but not through the menu.

Once you have a Base, you can build a Research Station and pick up the Explorer Survival Package. This will teach you this song:

• Portals -- This set of songs allows you to manipulate Portals. There's a menu for this for common functions. The manaflute will allow you to do more advanced stuff.

With the Portals song you can reach Civilization, which begins the main quest. From there you have to reach the town on the opposite side of the map from the origin. From there you can learn the next song:

• Cave Holes -- This song makes Cave Holes start generating. This requires a bit of Aether, but fortunately the effect is permanent. Cave holes are still rarer than they are now, but not as bad as my original notes called for.

Quartzshard Songs

The main goal with Caves is to craft something known as a Quartzlens. This will then give you access to the following songs, which all require Quartzshards to use:

• Finder -- Throughout a province there are sections where some vague rock-like shapes will generate. This song will warp you to the closest one in the direction you sing.

• Activator -- With this song those areas turn into fully-functioning Ruins. Probably in their own world type or something. Ruins also have a Portal room somewhere and this song will add the portal there to the Ruins portal network, allowing you to travel between them easily.

Mana Songs

Somewhere near the end of a Ruin, you'll find a special Mana Room that teaches you a new song. These songs all require Aether again.

• Rebind -- This song will open your starting province up to other provinces -- you'll be able to get there with town transport systems as well as by walking there manually from one of the edges. Once you acquire this song, you can also unlock the Entropic Song. This song costs a good bit, but you only need to play it once.

• Quantum -- This makes Quantum holes on your screen accessible permanently. I think I'll make them red initially and do the portal attractor dance on them, and then this song would turn them the normal cave hole blue.

• Water (blue), Wood (green), Earth (brown), Ice (cyan), Wind (gray) -- These create Mana Cracks provided you're in the right pool color and the pool is big enough. These Mana Cracks then teleport you to the appropriate dimension once you touch the center node. I'm replacing solids in the generation with the correct water color type.

• Fire -- If you're in lava, and the lava pool is big enough, this will create a Mana Crack on the surface that teleports you to the appropriate dimension.

• Entropic -- This will make Entropic holes accessible. I'm not sure where these are located yet, but you can't find them in your starting province.

Once you've learned all the mana songs, Dungeons will instead have some other rewards at the end (maybe several magic crystals or some really good loot or something).

The point of the mana planes is to get all eight types of Mana Shard (one per dimension) and craft them into a Manalens -- this item will then significantly improve the way the Portals song works and its range.

Conclusion

Everything here should be doable already with the exception of Quartzshard songs, which explicitly require the Provinces v0 update. Fortunately I do also have a checklist for that, so I should be able to work on the Manaflute relatively soon.

• Over 1 Year ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

Random changes

• Will be dropping everything out of the Manaflute before the cave hole thing. Too many starting mechanics otherwise.

• The portal gun will allow you to reach civilization, which is where you'll have to travel to a far-off town via the travel system (and money earned somehow) to find someone named Asher, which will begin the main quest. With the main quest, you gain the Manaflute and need to pull the materials to make a Quartzlens for it out of Caves. Asher will give you the recipes for cave stuff and also helpfully tell you about the spelunker guild, which is optional but helps in some way. Cave holes stay on the exact same system they're on now, except they direct you towards progressing the main quest in order to get the required rope.

• The Manaflute will then be important to every single progression step past this point -- finding ruins, activating ruins, accessing mana dimensions, etc.

• Around the outer edge of the province (it'll follow the "edge travel" shape if the balance / mechanics are right for it) is a big void. The void allows you to travel faster, but deals damage and also has some pretty terrifying enemies to deal with. The void is where the province loops back around. While devoid of resources, it has the occasional "Entropic Hole" which early on is inaccessible. There should occasionally be some small structures to find.

• With the addition of these Entropic Holes, it's no longer necesssary to go to other provinces early on in the game. Instead the goal is to go to all the mana planes to craft a Manalens. This will then allow you to access other provinces with the manaflute -- which are back on the dimension system. These provinces have different resources, enemies, towns, etc and also have different meta-rules controlling those systems the further out you go. The end goal is still to get to the Overflow -- but it's at the bottom/top dimension rather than the furthest point horizontally/vertically. Not sure what this point of the game looks like.

• The quantum and entropic songs get learned last.

• Potion ingredients / eggs / seeds should be in the extract menu with a chance of them working, rather than the current system. That way they don't cripple your ability to collect resources.

• Over 1 Year ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

Game Theme

This is a concept that's been crystallizing recently -- with Shatterloop I've always had this theme in mind, but up until fairly recently I didn't know how best to express it. I'll try to put into words what I'm going for with this game.

Procedural Generation

Shatterloop does a lot of this. Each new seed is distinct and offers fresh experiences.

However, the game takes it a lot farther than games of this type do -- a lot of core game mechanics are themselves procedurally generated. What this means is that things you've learned in one seed about how to best play the game aren't necessarily going to translate over into a different seed.

Learning

A big part of the game theme, then, is to promote learning. There's a lot of tactical and strategic elements involved in the game, and the longer you play it the more you learn about how to best use your environment and resources to your advantage. This knowledge will make you better at the world you're in over time.

There's a lot of small-scale learning that's happening as well -- the terrain can influence a lot of different things, from resource collection to combat to better fishing ponds, to camping requirements.

Systems

Part of the reason there's so many systems in the game is to encourage experimentation and exploration. It's kind of a thinking person's game and you're going to be spending a LOT of time in menus, forming ideas and making difficult choices. There's already a lot of this kind of depth in it, and it's still only a very early alpha.

Fitting it all together

So the overall goal with the game is to have a strategic meta-roleplaying experience that changes pretty fundamentally from seed to seed. You might think you have a playstyle until you pick a different seed and the old rules you learned just don't work right anymore. So you get a pretty fresh experience every time.

Over 1 Year ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

Revised Mid/Late-game progression

Inactive Dungeons

This is what dungeons appear like in the world before they're activated.

• Instead of "activating" a dungeon, your second song should be a "Rune-seek" song that teleports you to the closest rune stone in the direction you give.

• Interacting with a rune stone should allow you to remove its runecore or insert other runecores. Runecores pulled out are stored internally, but don't actually go into your inventory.

• If a rune stone has three runecores, you can activate it to enter the dungeon. If it has at least one you can use it to teleport to other runestones in the area.

• Once a rune stone is activated, runecores that you pull out or have will become items. Activated rune stones can't be messed with further.

• Runecore items can be used on other ruins. They can also be crafted into Runekeys.

Active Dungeons

Hallway Fixtures

• Color-coded keys and doors -- You need keys to enter doors, which dungeon rooms are hiding behind. Having a yellow key will allow you to move into a yellow door, permanently opening it. The keys you have (and other dungeon information) is indicated in your Dungeon menu (which also lets you exit). Doors appear in front of entrances to rooms, while keys appear in rooms.

• Rune Stones -- These will occasionally appear adjacent to hallways near rooms. You can pull cores out of them, or you can turn them on. When on, you can use Rune-Seek to teleport to the closest one in that direction if any. You can also use them to teleport to any other rune stone that's turned on.

• Core Doors -- These will appear fairly randomly within hallways. They can be unlocked with Rune Keys, which will bring you to smaller dungeons or rooms, both of which have better loot.

• Quantum Mushrooms -- These resources will appear occasionally in hallways. There are also bigger caches in the walls, but you'll need bombs to get there. Quantum Mushrooms can be crafted into several "hint" items -- consumables that will point you in the direction of staircases, core doors, your next progress step, etc.

Room Fixtures

• Aether Lenses / Altars -- They can be used or blown up for Quartz with Gashroom bombs, much like in caves.

• Fountains -- These will give you some kind of potion effect every time you drink from them. They have limited uses though. Potions can also be dipped in them to turn them into the fountain's effect -- this counts as a use, but allows you to carry them with you.

• Magic Fountains -- You can pour any potion you have into one of these and it'll turn into the appropriate Fountain. Great way to clone potions.

• Newflesh Node -- This fixture will appear in whichever room you first spawn in and can sometimes appear in other rooms. They work like newflesh nodes elsewhere -- useful as spawn points in case you die in the dungeon.

• Aleph Rune Stone -- There's exactly one of these in the dungeon. Activated Aleph Rune Stones can teleport you between other Aleph Rune Stones, which effectively means you can move between dungeons easily. You can of course just use portals on the surface, but this keeps you from wasting a bunch of Aether. Aleph Rune Stones are also hooked into the normal Rune Stone network inside a dungeon. Aleph Rune Stones contain Aleph Cores -- you can't extract them yet but these are important later.

• Song Fixture -- teaches you the appropriate song corresponding to the dungeon. This song is the main point of dungeons -- it's a means of accessing the appropriate plane.

• Furniture -- Like houses, dungeon rooms have furnitures with useful loot inside. The furniture types are a bit different and the loot is a bit better as well. The furniture/loot within the Song Room are particularly good.

• Mirror -- A rare fixture, but there's at least one in every dungeon. Mirrors can either be destroyed with gashroom bombs for mirrorshards so that you can craft a mirror in your base, or you can use it as a fixture. As a fixture, if you have a mirror in your base you can use it to interact with your base inventory remotely. Very very useful.

• Nests -- Very common. These are essentially spawn points for enemies, which can be quite hard. Nests are a good way to get animal eggs, which will replenish over time. However, it's probably a better idea to destroy them so the enemies quit spawning. You don't need anything special to destroy them.

Mana Planes

The point of mana planes is to collect the appropriate mana shard -- fireshards for example can be collected from the fire plane. In the early alpha they're just common resources, but in the final game they're a bit rarer. Creating a Shatterlens requires collecting shards from three dimensions that are in an elemental triad:

• Water, Fire, Ice
• Water, Fire, Wood
• Wood, Earth, Wind
• Wood, Earth, Fire

So, while you can visit all six dimensions if you want, you only need to visit three to beat the game.

I still need to do some work here -- the Mana Dimensions need to have more in them than they currently do. So I'll get back to this section at some point.

Shatterlens (and the very late game)

Crafting a Shatterlens gives you a new song which is quite powerful:

• Chimera -- lets you travel to other provinces. Whichever word you put after the Chimera command is the province you're traveling to, and there's basically no limit here, you can just stick in random words and see what happens. Provinces are basically new games within the same game -- different resources, provinces, enemies, etc. Some different meta-rules as well. This is all surprisingly easy to program.

The late game has several minor goals, but the main point of it is collecting Aleph Cores and Soulshards, crafting the two of them into increasingly game-breaking key items.

Pivots

The first goal is finding your way to Pivot provinces.

It's possible to find them by accident but it's very very unlikely -- there's around a 0.1% chance of a province being a pivot but there are a few that are handcrafted.

If you want to reveal the handcrafted ones, you have to make an Aether Loop between three provinces. I'm still working the details out with this, but it's similar to the trading mechanic except with atomizing and reatomizing items at a special structure known as an Aleph Conduit. Doing that will make the Aleph Conduits reveal the name of one of the handcrafted Pivots, which you can Chimera to as normal. If you forget the name you can come back to the conduit to get it again. It's a good idea to save a note in your journal though.

Pivot Provinces

Pivot provinces are endless diamonds with a pivot in the middle repeated in all directions. They have a monocolor color scheme. No structures whatsoever. No void sea either. Or something like that.

The Pivot fixture is a specialized crafting menu that gives you various key items. They're all exactly the same, but the first one you interact with will teach you the "uncouple" song.

Uncoupling and Aleph Cores

The Uncoupling song will remove any kind of Aleph structure from the world, giving you an Aleph core in the process. There are a lot that you can get in the starting dimension, but also quite a lot more scattered throughout the other provinces. How you get Aleph Cores is up to you -- you'll have plenty of optional mechanics to work with at this point.

Pivots are crafting menus that allow you to work with Aleph Cores. Your overall goal here is to craft an Aleph-Naught but that requires quite a lot of Aleph Cores that can be tedious to collect. So instead you might want to use the Pivot to craft one of the following:

• A Genesis Lens will teach you a song to create arbitrary structures with the manaflute, which expands your ability to get aleph cores a lot. Genesis Lenses can't be used in the starting dimension. They're also aggressive and will erase other structures in the area temporarily. Like other Manaflute songs, this requires Aether.

• You can craft various kinds of Ouroboros -- These are special accessories that remove limits such as carry capacity, hunger, the inability to fly, etc. These will speed up the late game a lot, but it's entirely up to you how much you want to "cheat". As accessories, they can also be unequipped.

The Aleph Naught and the end of the game

It takes kind of a lot of Aleph Cores, but if you collect enough (gaining god-like powers doesn't hurt), you'll be able to craft an item known as the Aleph Naught. This teaches you a special "zilchify" song that gives you your last goal in the game, which leads to the Soul's Pivot.

The basic mechanic here is that you're removing structures/towns/planes/etc permanently from the multiverse, and in return gaining different types of Soulshard. You can then take those different soulshards to a Pivot and craft the Soul's Pivot item. This Zilchify song can't be used in the starting dimension.

The Soul's Pivot essentially gives you the tools to change whatever you want. It's also a cross-game item if you're playing online. I'm not sure yet what its menu looks like, but it'll have kind of a lot of options.

• Over 1 Year ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

Mana Planes v1 Notes

I've thought about these some more. I think I have a solid plan now.

• The goal of Mana Planes is collecting elemental shards -- there's one per plane. These are called "watershards", "fireshards", etc.

• You only need three of them to craft a Euclidean Bypass. There has to be one in each corner of the Tetrad, so Water/Earth, Fire/Wind, and Ice/Wood. These don't have to be in an elemental triad necessarily but you'll probably get strong lore hints pointing towards Water/Fire/Ice, since that one makes the most sense logically.

• Planes have hazards. I've covered these elsewhere.

Conduits

• Your first step is finding a Conduit. Conduits are naturally generated structures that resemble Aleph Conduits -- so they should be tower-like in the final game, but for now they'll look a bit like portals or a ║. They are what you interact with to gain the appropriate elemental shard(s).

• Whenever you create a mana crack, a Conduit is generated some distance away at a random angle in that plane. So when you enter the dimension there will be a Conduit waiting for you.

• Finding it uses the same mechanics that are currently used for the dungeon hint song -- you play the elemental song you played to enter the dimension, and it'll point you towards the Conduit.

• In addition to their other functions, Conduits are where you respawn if you die in the plane. Once activated of course.

Waxing/Waning Planes

As I pointed out before, there are six elemental planes split across three corners of a triangle. So each of those corners has 2 planes in it.

In each Corner, one of them is Waxing and one of them is Waning, although which one is which depends on the seed. The goals of this part of the game vary depending on whether you're dealing with a Waxing plane or a Waning plane, and you get to choose which combination you're dealing with -- you can do all Waxing planes if you want. However the randomization algorithm is set up so that if you're following a natural triad (like water->fire->ice), you'll always do a combination. (assuming the math works out on that)

Waxing Planes

In a Waxing Plane, your goal is to gather materials, craft some set of Sculptures, and place them in the plane at specific types of locations. The Conduit gives you these instructions and also serves as a Crafting Station to actually make the sculptures.

Materials

• The actual materials found in the plane are completely handcrafted, and tie into a fair bit of lore. With the exception of Astral tools (like the Astral Fishing Rod) the materials are all collected by stepping into them -- they don't have to do with mobs at all, who are mostly there just to annoy you.

• However, the way they appear varies a lot -- there are specific terrain requirements that determine which resource will appear where, and these patterns are tied to the resources on a per-seed basis.

• The Tools system makes a bit of a comeback here -- in order to get certain materials you have to extract other materials with tools which you also get from materials. The actual progression steps here is procedurally generated. Tools are also plane-specific, so if you do more Waxing planes you have to go through a different set of steps to craft the right tools again.

Astral Tools

Astral tools are a special kind of tool that allow you to extract resources from the terrain itself similar to fishing. In this case you have a range from yourself and you get to place the tool at any point within that range. There are some terrain variations (such as special types of solids), some of which are rarer than others and tie into this system. The actual process costs Tech Aether and isn't always successful, so is very similar to Fishing in that respect.

Sculpture Placing

Once you've created some sculptures (which also have procedurally-generated recipes), you then have to place them in the right kind of terrain. This goes back into the types of terrain you've already had to deal with to get resources or astral tools working, so it's a good idea to take notes and/or place portals to rare structures as you find them (although new players obviously won't learn this the first time).

Sculptures don't have a range -- you can place them at whatever distance from yourself on screen that you want.

Once you've placed the right sculptures in the right locations, you'll get the elemental shard for that Plane. However you can do more if you want, gaining loot in the process rather than elemental shards.

Waning Planes

In a Waning plane, your goal is to find naturally-generated Sculptures, Activate them, and do some set of actions inside whatever gets generated from them.

Finding Sculptures

Once you activate a Conduit, naturally-generated Antennae will start appearing in the Plane on floor tiles. They're somewhat rare but not as rare as Sculptures. Your elemental song will point you to the nearest Antennae, or if it's on screen, whatever the closest other one is.

Both Conduits and Antennae will point you towards different types of Sculptures with the Pointing system. They can also point you back towards Conduits if you choose that functionality.

Sculptures are activated simply by touching them. They will create structures in-place such as minor bits of civilization or some more obscure types of ruins (such as labyrinths).

Virtues

A Conduit will give you some set of "Virtues", which are actions you have to do inside some type of structure some number of times. There will always be at least one civilization-based Virtue and always a Ruins-based one, but the actual amount varies procedurally.

The actual actions you have to do are puzzle-like. Some examples off the top of my head:

• Push/Pull NPCs into a closely-packed group.

• Mark specific types of "joints" in a labyrinth (where some number of passageways come together).

• Mark "loops" in the hallways of crazier types of dungeons.

• Set down "guidestones" from one corner of a spiral-based structure to another, where there's always a valid path between guidestones.

• Steal a certain category of item.

Once you accomplish all of those Virtues, you gain the appropriate elemental shard. However you can continue to do them, this time for Loot.

Miscellaneous Plane Features

Spiral Staircases

A few of these will naturally form. They're basically spiral-shaped structures that let you go up or down levels in the Plane. They should look like the one on the left here:

Different levels have different terrain/sculptures/antennae but the same Conduit, so you can basically do Plane-based challenges infinitely. This is important, as I've altered planes so that they're finite in scope orthogonally as they're also surrounded by a Void Sea.

The first Conduit you go to will teach you a song to teleport to and from staircases, as well as go up or down them. The couple of stairs that spawn per level can therefore be useful as a kind of transportation network, albeit a very limited one.

Elemental ways of bypassing hazards

Elements that "attack" whatever elemental plane you're in can have their songs be used to get around that plane's hazards.

For example, if you're in the Water plane, playing the Earth song will create a land bridge for a while. While playing the Ice song will freeze all of the water on screen.

You can thus play different elements off each other -- especially if you're dealing with a natural triad (such as Fire-->ice-->water). The first one you go to will be hard though.

Elemental songs all cost 35 Aether inside a plane. Hopefully I can find another way around the fire plane problem (Lava Lifting possibly; though that has issues of its own).

Conclusion

I had a couple goals with this project:

• Adding new mechanics to the game. This has been an issue with all of my late-game planning; I really don't want to make players do the same exact things over and over; that becomes a grind fast. However it requires kind of a lot of thought and creativity to make something new, given how much the game already has going on.

• Having some variety between planes, without taking a lot of time to flesh all six of them out. The waxing/waning systems here help a lot, as do the different types of special terrain (which are based on the terrain generation which varies quite a bit).

• Keeping new mechanics simple for me to program. Everything seen here fits into the current game state, where I'm building new systems on top of old frameworks rather than building new frameworks. The engine already supports in-place generation, extraction/crafting, "magic selection checking", etc. So it's really just a matter of hooking things in.

• Over 1 Year ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

Revised Late-game Progression

This is basically the same thing, but I've altered the chimera mechanic and streamlined a lot of stuff too.

Strange Loops

At the end of the entropic/quantum plane challenges, you get transported in front of one of the province's strange loops, which is activated. You can then click a button to "Shatter", which will stick you in the space between loops and open up a Chimera menu for you.

This menu basically lets you input symbols via color-coded buttons. It works essentially the same way as my old notes, except instead of entering text, you're entering various astrological/alchemical symbols. The whole thing should feel a lot like interacting with a stargate, which was my original idea here.

Once you're in another province, the Chimera menu will tell you which one you're in, and will let you return home easily. You can also teleport to that province's Aleph Conduit.

Aleph Conduits

Every Nexus has an Aleph Conduit -- a tall structure that allows easy transport between dimensions (so you don't have to remember their symbolic name). Aleph Conduits can be activated or deactivated if they've been activated.

When activated, you can transport to any dimension with an activated aleph conduit, or transport home. You can also try to create an Event Horizon.

For my v0 of these features I'm going to bypass Aleph Conduits and instead run all these functions inside the strange loop menus.

Event Horizons

An Event Horizon is basically a route you find between three or more dimensions that creates energy boundlessly. If you're able to create one, you can transport inside of it, which is your next set of progression steps.

Each dimension has one of the six elements associated with it. This influences the province's currency of choice but also an internal currency shared by all activated aleph conduits. With this game mechanic, you're working with an inventory that stores all six of those currencies as well as special types of "items".

To begin this journey, go to an aleph conduit and "open a mouth". This will clear out the entire aleph conduit's inventory, and will let you pick one of the items, which resemble the astrologial/alchemical symbols seen in the Chimera menu. The item is paired with the element of the dimension you're in, so you might get something like "Fire Neptune" if you're in the ice-associated dimension.

Items of a particular element can only be "sold" in a dimension of an element that that element would conquer. So for example, Fire Neptune can only be sold in Wood or Ice dimensions. When sold, you collect some amount of currency in that element, say 35 Ice, and can then buy items in that dimension with that currency.

The goal is to buy the item you started with, and to have something else besides that (one of the currencies and/or another item). Doing this means that you'll be able to generate those currencies and items boundlessly, so the system creates a Singularity.

Since the value of any particular item varies depending on the element of the dimension, this system basically mimics the original trading mechanic of the original game. I might have an actual trading mechanic in place as well, but it's less necessary as long as this one's in place.

Entering an Event Horizon

An Event Horizon is a special dimension type which is the same diamond-like pattern over and over, with a "Naked Singularity" in the middle. This diamond pattern (with the singularity in the middle) repeats out to infinity with no variation whatsoever. I might make copies of the player in the other diamonds in the right place -- that would be a cool graphical effect.

The Naked Singularity serves as a Crafting station for Soulshards, and when first interacted with you'll be able to receive an item known as an "Aleph Naught".

Aleph Naught

I'm not entirely sure how this set of mechanics works yet, but basically you use the Aleph Naught to "delete" progressively bigger and bigger things, starting out with mobs or individual resources and progressing up to structures, towns, or entire planes. Every time you delete something you get some amount of Soulshards (based on the magnitude of the thing you deleted), which you can bring back to the Naked Singularity to give you the ability to delete bigger and bigger things.

You can also trade in larger amounts of soulshards for Ourobori -- special accessories that remove limits such as a finite carrying capacity or the inability to fly.

Your overall goal is to collect enough to craft the Soul's Pivot, which ends the game. It might be 999,999 again, that fits in well with other mechanics.

Conclusion

I've cut out some of the unnecessary mechanics, renamed/re-lored some stuff, and integrated my latest set of changes in here.

Getting this system up is probably my next project -- other provinces won't necessarily be at 100% to start out, but I'll at least be able to get this last set of mechanics in. Hopefully I'll be able to figure out the Aleph Naught mechanics as I work on this project.

Over 1 Year ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

Aleph Naught Notes

This is the last set of notes holding back my checklist for the early alpha 3.

Basic mechanics

• The goal of this system is to collect 999,999 Soulshards, which can then be crafted into the Soul's Pivot, ending the game.

• Doing so requires permanently deleting various things, ranging from simple things like individual resources to bigger things like a dimension's void sea.

• You're not allowed to do any of this in your starting dimension -- you have to use the strange loops/chimera mechanic to travel to other dimensions.

• Starting out, you can only delete smaller things and get small amounts of soulshards. You can then take these to a Naked Singularity to craft upgrades, which will allow you to destroy larger stuff for more soulshards.

• This overall gameplay mechanic will have you retrace your steps over a lot of the game areas you've already been to. You'll also be exploring "random planes" rather than elemental/quantum/entropic planes, as those only appear in the starting dimension.

• To aid you in areas you've already grinded your way through, you can also use soulshards to craft items known as Ourobori -- Powerful accessories that remove various limits as long as they're equipped. These are set up with the progression system so that you can buy those right around the time you need them (provided you save up more soulshards of course).

• Anything erased that isn't layered onto anything else will become a patch of void (the same generation as the Void sea).

Tier 1 (Resources)

• Individual surface resources [1-10]
• Individual mobs [1-10]
• Plane holes(U) -- [3-15]
• Random plane resources [3-15] -- NY
• Enemy clumps -- [3-15]
• Void Sea enemies(U) -- [5-20]

Anything marked U here will always be the same value because there's only exactly one of that kind of thing. Otherwise you can get different amounts for different resources/mobs/etc.

Like other parts of this mechanic, it's really just a numbers game to find the best (and ideally least dangerous) sources of soulshards.

• Travel Ouroborus -- 100 -- Makes province travel free (including repulsor services)

Tier 2 (terrain)

This tier is unlocked with 100 soulshards.

• Terrain Chunks -- [10-100] (depending on the color)
• Water Chunks -- [10-100] (depending on the color)
• Furniture -- [10-100] (depending on the type)
• Shop Fixtures -- [10-100] (depending on the type)
• House walls(U) -- [10-100]
• Random Plane terrain -- [30-150] (depending on the color and plane) -- NY
• NPCs -- [20-200] (depending on the house type)

• Bright Ouroborus -- 1000 -- Grants full visibility in caves.

Tier 3 (deeper exploration)

This tier is unlocked with 1000 soulshards.

• House Staircases [100-1000] (depending on house type)
• Shopkeepers [100-1000] (depending on type)
• Ore Veins [100-1000] (depending on metal type)
• Lava Pools(U) [100-1000]
• Underground Rivers(U) [100-1000]
• Gashrooms(U) [100-1000]
• Cave Holes(U) [100-1000]
• Rune stones [100-1000] (depending on dungeon color) -- NY
• Quantum Mushrooms(U) [100-1000] -- NY
• Cave fixtures(U) [300-1500]
• Core doors(U) [300-1500] -- NY
• Dungeon Fixtures [300-1500] -- NY
• Crystals [500-2000]

• Drake Ouroborus -- 10,000 -- allows you to fly at will

Tier 4 (structures)

Tier 4 is unlocked with 10,000 Soulshards.

• Province Routes [1000-10,000] (depending on type)
• Houses [1000-10,000] (depending on type)
• Dungeon Rooms [1000-10,000] (depending on dungeon color) -- NY
• Aleph Rune Stones(U) [3000-20,000] -- NY
• Strange Loops(U) [3000-20,000] (you can't delete the last one in a dimension)
• Mana Cracks(U) [3000-20,000] (other dimensions generate these naturally, you can't make your own) -- NY

• Omniscience Ouroboros -- 100,000 -- lets you see every structure inside a province automatically, and travel to them for free at will.

Tier 5 (final stuff)

Tier 5 is unlocked with 100,000 soulshards. It has its own particular requiremenets. It's possible to circumvent this and grind your way to 999,999 with lower tiers, however.

• Towns -- [10,000-50,000] (depending on size) -- towns can only be erased if you've erased every single house in them.

• Dungeons -- [10,000-50,000] (depending on color) -- dungeons can only be erased if you've erased a majority of the rooms in them (not all of them fortunately) -- NY

• Infinite Void(U) -- 999,999 -- If you've erased every single town and every single dungeon in a dimension, you can use this one to turn the entire province into void, which gives you all the soulshards you need to beat the game. This is hard to do though.

The menu for the aleph naught is simple enough, it's just tier-separated buttons that let you pick things on screen where appropriate. For anything over Tier 2, you have to confirm your choice, unless you disable that option. There are tier-specific confirmation disabling controls.

Conclusion

This set of notes (plus the last few sets) should be enough to get the game all the way to early alpha 3.

• Over 1 Year ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

Alpha changes

Instead of heading towards full alpha immediately, my next set of changes after early alpha 3 will be heading towards "early alpha 4", which is at least the final step before alpha. The point of this is to split the systems improvements and game mechanic fleshing into two separate updates, because it's way too much work to reach a significant milestone otherwise.

Early alpha 3

• Finish the aleph naught v0.

That's really it. Should be done this week.

Early alpha 4

Early alpha 4 will be like early alpha 3, except with core game mechanics improvements:

• Inactive dungeons v1

• Active dungeons v1

• Mana planes v1

• Aleph Naught v1 (the changes mentioned here)

• Alternate Provinces v1

Full alpha

• Food v1

• Fishing v1

• Combat v1

• Towns v1

• Some Bases stuff

• A bunch of miscellaneous infrastructure tasks.

• Over 1 Year ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

Trapping

This is one of the few systems I haven't written notes about. It might make its way into the alpha, since it's mostly only useful in the early game.

Basic Stuff

• Trapping is a system where you can catch animals or fish over time. This serves as an alternate method of getting animal resources.

• Trapping requires crafting a Trap, finding the correct kind of location for the animal you're looking to trap (terrain-based) and giving it the correct type of bait. You then only have to wait before that animal or fish will eventually appear in the Trap.

• You can place as many traps as you want, so it's fairly extendable -- the limiting factors here are the material requirements and terrain requirements.

Trap crafting

• Wood. A good bit of this.

• Twine x1

• Fishing Traps also require Scales.

Trap Placement

• Both types of traps use only natural generation to determine their availability -- you can't just build terrain to fit the trap; you have to find the terrain you want.

• Like other building systems (eventually), Traps will do "terrain locking" so the terrain around it doesn't change when you swap Tetrads.

• Animal Traps can only be placed on floor tiles, while Fish traps can only be placed on water tiles.

• Different animals or fish have different terrain requirements beyond that however -- different positions of solids/water/floors adjacent to it. Will be using the same system as Camping or Time Tether placement, as well as some handy adjustable guide icons (which will also be extended into those systems for UX purposes).

This feature definitely necessitates an Overworld Menu (which I need in general anyway). From here you'll be able to access the Trapping submenu, however this is also where you'll be able to place Gashroom Bombs or Fish, as well as probably other features.

From here you can place fish or animal traps. The menu will usefully tell you what kind of terrain you need for each type of trap, as well as the other requirements (certain pool colors for fish, bait preferences).

However, you can only see trapping information for animals you've caught or killed previously.

Bait

Bait in the Trapping system ties into the same "animal food" system which is used elsewhere:

• In feeding Mount Animals and Scout Animals

• In breeding Animals and Fish.

Animal food preferences are universal to all three systems.

• Over 1 Year ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

Scrapping Planes Notes

I've decided to scrap the six planes. They're way, way too much work, my notes aren't even finished on them, their proposed features would fit in better in other parts of the game, and they don't even really add much gameplay.

Scrapping Planes will tighten up the game a lot and make it significantly easier to reach alpha (or just focus on adding more systems rather than more core mechanics). This does however require a lot of changes, which I'll cover here.

• The game progression skips over them but stays the same otherwise. You still need three out of six of the shards which form a triad. The difference is that these come out of the dungeons instead of the planes.

• Mana Cracks are generated again -- these lead to "mana islands" which have the correct generation in a small area, surrounded by a void sea, and some kind of ruins-based fixture. These will have more of a lore role and less of a gameplay role, and will also be totally optional and probably not in the alpha (though it's looking like the alpha will have *some* lore soooo). These are also scattered around pretty randomly and you probably need to visit multiple provinces to see all of them.

• The Waning system is way better suited for adding variety to Quests. This also lets me go a little crazy with it because Quests are completely optional. (I am trying to keep core systems simpler).

• The Waxing system looks like just the thing I need to improve the Quantum plane, which is my next post.

• Over 1 Year ago
Xhin
Sky's the limit

Quantum Plane v2

This set of changes should improve the Quantum plane significantly -- it's both fairly boring and annoying right now and there's also really only one way to complete it. Thi