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#125711 04/11/03 11:40 AM
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I had a bit of another brainstorm.

What if...What if...hehehehe. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/freak.gif" alt="" />

Hm. How will I make this a structured post. When ideas tumble about in ones head...

Gaining XP and Overview

What if you play a mage and magic as I proposed is based on energy. These 4+1 elements are more defined here and added to a game setting. The basics are that the mage needs to gain control over his powers that increase with experience. He will gain experience based on the use of that energy and only that energy. So if you use fire a lot you gain more experience there than in other elements.

Not only does expertise gain him more magical energy to utilise, the land itself will be of influence.

MAPS - Octagons

The playing area or map is more than a graphical layout. In DD it is dynamic with objects. But the map should be dynamic itself. It should have that nice graphical aspect but it should have a 2nd layer that is made of invisible octagons. They have 8 sides.

These octagons have certain parmeters or designations. Just like a spell has parameters like area of impact and strength etc, octagons alos have special attributes.

They have properties like:

1: Area type.
This means it is a forrest, plains, underwater, clouds and underground.

2: Magical element.
Each octagon belongs to an element. Thus it will give a magical energy or mana of that type.

3: Features.
Octagons can have special additions that do something to the players options or stats.

3a: Stone Circles : Give extra mana when tapped.
3b: Hunebedden : These are burrial sites by the 'Trechterbeker People' known for their distinctive pottery. They are heavy stones left by glaciers and put on other stones. Give mana when tapped into.
3c: Shrines and Ancient Temples
3d: Holy Trees : Give mana and bonusses.

4. Alignment.
A land type can be good or evil.

Need I go on? Under water you will see similar features. Or rather the equivalents. Likewise for all other types.

So my take is why limit the game to walking on land? Now, this could be a game on itself but you can use it as an addition to DD2. You just need to expand horizons of the DD world. Add lore and legend. Shrimpo, remember him? The story that they went beneath the seas and found a lost civilization?

Well, in 'my game' the player can be underwater and underground and even in the air.

To be able to go to such places he must master the elements.

HOW TO WALK ON AIR AND UNDERWATER

A mage seeks to master the elemental powers. As he gains xp he gains more ability to channel magical elemental energy. The more he learns the more spells he can use. But as an addition a player character besides his stats like Agility etc has an added feature, his will or intent or focus. This is important because this will allow him to concentrate on being in those weird places. to be able to survive there he needs to stay focussed on mainting a spell that allows him to be there.

So, a mage can walk on air if he can levitate. levitation takes this focus. Enemies can disrupt that focus and make him fall down. This focus is presented by a circle like a slice of a tree and as during battle he loses focus rings turn red until there are no more left. The mage has 2 options. He can strengthen his will to levitate but that will be at the expense of the power of his spells or weapon or the damge they do.

As a mage gains xp he can focus more and more until his mastery of the air element is so good he can do it subconsiously and it will be much harder for enemies to disrupt his focus.

Underwater a mage needs gills. This is like levitation a spell that allows him to breathe underwater. same applies here. loss of focus is loss of life <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/winkwink.gif" alt="" />

On land there is no need for this focus. IF you are a land dwelling being ;-)

Underground, same thing. Or perhaps there are poisoneous gasses that can disrupt a mage's presence.

Tying it in with my previous ideas the total energy gauge could be used instead of the year rings gauge.

Note: I believe nowadays player chatacters are too 'stat'ic. Once you gain Intelligence you always have it. but when you are tired you are not so quick minded. During battles those stats may fluctuate. based on your race you suffer penalties in fights. So your agility may decrease when you are hit a few times. Same goes for foes. Strenth decreases etc.

SPELL PROGRESSION

A mage's powers increase for each element. As his powers over, e.g. air increase he can upgrade his spell of levitation. Underwater his gills spell can be upgraded too. In the air he can strengthen his focus (which means he needs less attention to stay afloat) by replacing or upgrading levitation to a 'Wings Spell'. With magical wings he can fight better and stay afloat longer. There can be as many of these upgrades as needed.

SPELL TYPES

If you adopt a system like this you require replacement spells. What i mean is that when you polymorph on land you can become a mammal or vermin or whatever. Underwater you would become no such thing! Byt you can morph into a Swordfish or other sea creatures. It is basically the same spell. In DD we have statues that allow you to polymorph. They would work gor this too.

ELEMENTAL OPPOSITES

In one area you can not use specific spells. So yo cannot use fire underwater until you gain a certain mastery over BOTH elements!

Exactly what spells can be sued when and where is a bit much now but i may give examples later.

Note that some spells are multifunctional so underground you can make a wall of earth but also on ground.



OCTAGONS AND MAGIC

So these land types exist of octagons. Each octagon provides magical elemental energy. A mage on such a octagon can tap into this resource. Until it is depleted he can use that energy as can his opponent. when the mana is gone he relies solely on his own energy like in current DD. These features add bonusses in the form of mana or boost some stats. Land can be good or evil so if you play a good character you gain only mana if you are on good soil. So in some cases enemies can have the edge and you need to plan ahead and use strategy. Smart AI would prevent some enemies to chase you on good soil. That can cause problems.

Some temples or shrines can be evil. So see the beauty yet?

Also, as a mage gains xp he can tap more than one octagon at the same time. E.g. the octagons around him! Or perhaps he can gain control over where mana goes, so he can cut off his enemies if they use magic! They would need to rely only on their own magical 'stamina'.

So a battle may need to be fought on many octagons. Now, you dont see octagons of course, but a mage..

INSTINCT

A mage has a certain insticnt to sense whether an area has much elemental mana 'in' it. Perhaps this can be a sort of Wizard's Sight that gives him a flash of the terrain with black areas being evil and good areas showing colours in variations of blue, the darker the more mana!

MAKING IT EASIER - IF STATEMENTS

There is no purpose in casting levitation all the time. There are 2 options.

1: A special interface, a screen where you can plan your battle by dragging your needed spells of survival to be auto-cast when they or before they run out so whilst in mid air you wont fall to your death because you are busy. That is the attention aspect. You can also use other spells that are triggered by a certain circumstance. when you are attacke dby fire you can instantly put up a Water Shield or Wall of Water. things like that.


2: Only the focus aspect. So the ability to levitate tho magical in nature is an embedded ability like a stat like agility. This is gained at first level.

So what do you got now?

- magic tied to terrain type.
- Spells that work only in certain places.
- Spells can be boosted in parameters by the magical elemental mana in the octagons.
- Endless possibilities for quests and problems
- true dynamic area maps.
- Items that work only in specific locations.
- Items that grants the user powers in certain terrains only.
- more variety than walking on land so more cool graphics and worlds
- new creatures that live underground and underwater and in the air.

CLASSIFYING CREATURES and SPELLS

Each terrain type or 'world' has its own creatures. Examples for air:

Imagine a castle in the clouds and mountain tops to walk on in case levitation fails) They are like islands when magical energy runs out and you lose control over levitation.
So in air you find spells asociated with air. Air is illusions. So all spells that foll you. See the AD&D rulebooks. Added are new spells!

Gravity: Creates a gravity well under the enemy so it will either fall or needs to increase his link with intent so he suffers a loss in mana.
Gust of Wind
Downstream
Upstream
Rainbow Warrior : grants stat boost for air fighting. Allows breathing thinner air)
Air Shield
Summon air elemental
Fog
Smog
Polymorph Eagle + others animals)
Lightning
Sun Glare
Thin Air
Suffocate
Raincloud

Many other spells can be thought of. I think in the air live ethereals and more solif beings in solidified magical clouds. Should be a nice try for a gfx artist!

Underwater examples:

Polymorph Swordfish/shark
Ink Cloud
Freeze
Undertow
Entangle (with water plants)
Poison water
Summon water elemental / sea animal ( electric eel?)
Water Warrior (increasdes speed under the sea and agility. Water has a resistance unless you are evolved in it)

I suppose the 'Mere People' live here.

Underground examples:

Entangle (with tree roots-- smart huh?)
Avalanche (Increase in skill is bigger boulders)
Lava Flow
fireball ( In fact, all fire domain spells belong here)
Fire Warrior (increases ability to withstand heat and fumes of volcanic settings)
polymorph (underground creatures like worms and what do i know. Rats?)
Summon skeletons and undead (they were burried right?) So gfx artist: they fall from the ceiling, not rise from the ground hehe )
Wall of earth

Examples Land:

Summon skeletons and animals of the land and Dryads etc.
polymorph (land animals)
Tree of Life
Barkshield
Wall of earth
Lightning

(basically use common sense when determining what can be used where. Lightning comes from the sky so it is an air type spell but there is no barrier between air and land. Now underground there can be no lightning strike. You can also not sue water underground unless you gain much power and have a spell like Flood Tunnel

SOME TRICKS

Why not have telportation spells and drag down an airy creature down to eaeth where it lacks his area type mana and is more vulnerable?


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

DD is a fine game that makes me want more and more. When a game is good I tend to want to fantasize about it and improve it etc.

it could also be that I find the game subconsiously unrewarding...?

Well, if you got to here, what do you think?


#125712 05/11/03 09:03 PM
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You should move to belgium and apply to larian for a job as a developer..and i'm being serious. Excellent post.

#125713 07/11/03 09:32 AM
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Quote

MAPS - Octagons

The playing area or map is more than a graphical layout. In DD it is dynamic with objects. But the map should be dynamic itself. It should have that nice graphical aspect but it should have a 2nd layer that is made of invisible octagons. They have 8 sides.

These octagons have certain parmeters or designations. Just like a spell has parameters like area of impact and strength etc, octagons alos have special attributes.


I guess that your mathematical knowledge is not the sharpest knife in the drawer.
An octagon is composed of 8 triangles with 8 vertexes meeting at the centre of that octagon.
360/8 = 45
this means that the sum of any two peripheral angles is 135 degrees because each triangle has three angles one of which is 45 while the other two are 67.5, but each two adjacent of these make the 135 degrees of arc once more.

To stack octagons on a plane is impossible.
360/135 = 2.666
As you can see you may not place 2.6 octagons.

Squares may fit because they have 90 degrease of arc and every 4 make 360 degrees.

Hexagons would fit too 360/3 = 120 degrees of arc, which is the peripheral angle of a hexagon.

So while squares may be stacked 4 corners at a point, hexagons may be stacked with three corners at a point.

Two shapes’ stacking does not make sense because 180 degrees is not a corner.

Five shapes stacking may be tested by 360/5 = 72 degrees of arc.

But 180 -72 = 108 degrees of arc

360 /108 = 3.3 triangles, so once again five shapes would never fit on a plane matrix.

Octagons follow the same rules and they do not fit for building a two-dimensional matrix.

Kindest regards.

#125714 07/11/03 10:36 AM
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<img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/offtopic.gif" alt="" /> hey DAD!! where u been? <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wave.gif" alt="" />



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#125715 07/11/03 04:44 PM
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Oh well. I am sorry I was thinking in 2D because I had the DD map in mind. No more comments than that?

#125716 08/11/03 01:51 PM
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The octogons could overlap.
Keeping all of what the first post said in mind,
I definately imagine this kind of game that takes place on land, air and sea as 3d.
In the air and in sea, but especially underwater I want to travel up down left right all over. Thats what a fish does. Immersion, realism, good open feeling.
Another reason for it to be in 3d is that it seems to be easier to build worlds that move and change.
Since the land is charged with magical energy and also alignment energy, the visual life of the land could be able to change based on the energy (octogons) it sits on.
Also, w/in the story different kinds of land would have different magic tendencies.
Energy land tends to have:
Forest land looks green, alive. Another challege for a good graphics artist, but basically it has its own alive look and the energy it tends to have lots of is earth energy or the games equivilent to life magic.
The land changing:
Maybe there is a land like Mordor that is very dark.
Of course this land is filled with dark magic.
Beyond this land its darkenss is spreading. If the darkness was spreading it would have an impact not only on the magic content of the octogons but the visual life of the land.
The once lively forest becomes darker.
The towns become darker.
Buildings look craked. Trees aren't quite as green.
It becomes more of a challenge for the charachter to travel.
He has to be better at playing the game as it goes on, not merely do the enemies level up but the magic in the land gives him less and less boosts and helpers.


Subquests:
A creature so dark when it walks on the land it changes the land to polar darkness. That creature: in the forest.
The 'source'...perhaps the source of healing type magic, is weakening and the player can save the source for the surrounding village. Except this source isn't non-existent in game, it can actually be harnessed by the player.
Incredible magic weapons to find.

Well, I was inspired by the post and some ideas came to my head.
I was thinking some other things too but I may write them later.

#125717 08/11/03 06:04 PM
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Another reason for 3d would be the seamless connection allowed between air land and sea.
In a 2d game those three everything is seperate and those three types wouldn't be close enough to be realistic.
You wouldn't even be able to look up.
Of course some genious developer could think of something new..

Another thing I was thinking was 2 additions to the three land types, water air and sea. I'd love to explore the sea and clouds, but since there is dark magic and light magic on this world then why not have heaven and hell?
They could both be somewhat chaotic places with the rules of all three land types involved. Perhaps a cliff into air that acts like sea for heaven and mainly earth and fire for hell. They would both be heavily poloarized toward light and dark respectively, with their own unique and god-related charges that cannot be found on earth. Now i'm pretty sure that DD2 will not have this but this is just me adding to what I think is a good idea for RPGs, magically charged land. Everywhere should be open to players at any level at any point in the game, that is my exploration ideal, but here I think only at the higher levels can the player survive in hell or travel in heaven. Also, only at the higher levels can the player harness the elements of either place to include them somehow in his own reprtoire for the main battle which takes place on earth.

And how about Heavenly Focus, a power granted by the gods that allows infinite focus?

#125718 09/11/03 12:55 PM
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Yes, a true 3D system is nice but that is tough on computers of course. all the calculations involved. I was just expanding on the 2D world by larian in DD. But yes, it could certainly work. In that case true octagons can be used. I sippose my idea could just as well use 'stop signs'. A 6 sided area or hexagon. It makes no difference.
It is interesting to be able to the areas come alive with some kind of magic that you can see. But won't everything start to glow of magic? I kind of like just the plain tree and herb etc. I would use you ideas as a skill you gain to perceive magic that is in all things. Something to switch on and off just to check what sort of magical properties the land around you has. So you can find a good piece of alnd to battle on, lure if the AI allows them there and have enough mana for the kill.

I do like it that dark magic can ovecome the natural magic in the land. But that could be the whole quest for a whole game rather than that evil roams about and destroyes the land. I don't see a point in it unless you come accross a dark wizard that despoils what he wants and that you have to fight him/her in a quest. Othewise I see no purpose in having areas that grow 'dark' all the time.

As for heaven and hell.. I don't know. It sounds so...already done. If you have a DD game with already sea and air added to the surface and the underground already you have plenty to explore. I prefer for myself other realms, like the one where the Imp is with the Bees and Wasps.


#125719 10/11/03 02:03 AM
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I guess I'm not sure what you meant by invisible octogons on the land.
In my mind, these octogons aren't like mana pools that you come across every now in then. Or hexagons, or squares...probably either of the latter.
They are part of a unique magic system thats never been seen, that I haven't thought of. In this system the magic user can use all the land to affect his magic somehow, or all of the land ties into the use of his magic.
The herbs and trees wouldn't have to glow.. although I can imagine a cool cutscene in the story of this imaginary game where some high level teacher NPC allows for the player to temporarily see glowing magic in all things ala the matrix...
of course, the trick is that during actual gameplay the magic is just certain values like +3 life
or -14 earth inside those invisible hexagons laid out across the map, values that perhaps only the code inside the game computes.








#125720 10/11/03 04:14 AM
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To be honest, I haven't read everything in this thread. There's not enough time right now.

Just regarding the octogons, why not use natural land features instead? With visual aids, you could determine which elements were prevailent. Dry parched earth could be fire. Swamps and farms: water. Rocky land: earth. Cliffs, canyons and open plains: air. I reckon you could come up with enough land types to cover all permutations of element, good or evil, weak or powerful, etc. Then all you need to do is build a natural world and let the magics work themselves out.

There was a terrain building function in StarTopia. You could increase or reduce each element over an area of land to change it. Earth caused flatland or mountains, water caused rivers and lakes, air affected soil wetness, and fire changed the temperature of the land. With just these tools, there were ten unique types of land that could be produced, and that was before applying mountains/flatlands. Making a world with these tools would not only look natural, but help provide magical formulae to the land.

#125721 10/11/03 09:15 AM
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i studied math before in school but how does octagon fit to one another seamlessly without gap in between? on 2D plane, hexagon/square/rectangle are more feasible. if u cover 3D space, cubic space is more feasible than octagon-based 3D objects.

if u're insinuating warhammer-styled game maps, well personally i don't want that to happen in any larian games as polygon outlines on the map really kills the feel of the game. i hate that chinese chess look on warhammer.

anyway, each polygon having its own element is quite a nice idea but how do u show it without putting too much textual info on the screen before it clutters? graphical clues such as colours & stuff like what handefood mentioned will be useful.



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#125722 10/11/03 12:45 PM
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What I mean is that the areas are devided into segements that give basically bonuses or negative bonuses. It is a hidden layer of the areamap.


#125723 11/11/03 01:09 AM
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But what stops it for being random and invisible? I want to have some indication or clue as to how I'm being affected.

#125724 11/11/03 01:38 AM
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What I mean is that the areas are devided into segements that give basically bonuses or negative bonuses. It is a hidden layer of the areamap.



@Vaipen

Bees have hexagonal mapped eye-cells and they construct their honey combs similarly consequently.
Your idea of a hidden matrix is classic in game design and while squares seem to be a favourite for easy programming, hexagons have been used when radial symmetry was critically necessary.

In fact, hexagons are the crudest circles and they fit perfectly and seamlessly in a plane, so I guess that hexagons should be your best choice.

However, I would like to know why would a square tile be less than appropriate for implementing your idea concerning a “land-magic-value”?

If you realise that the land graphics was laid out as square tiles then would it not be more appropriate to assign a magic value to the same tile of graphics visible by the player to give an indicator of the type of spell most appropriate to use from that tile and onto another tile?

To give you an example of what I mean, I think that using the spell of thunderbolt in swamps would be perfectly effective due to electric conductivity of the ground.

Similarly, casting fire balls or magma bolts on arid and dry ground in dungeons that have cracks through which the red lava is showing would be fabulous as well.

So your idea is like as if the magician would really harness the available powers of nature in that place and concentrating it and directing it at the enemy.

Such an idea does not demand octagons or hexagons but demands an identical tile frame that coincides with that used for laying out graphic features of the terrain.

Kindest regards.



#125725 12/11/03 12:47 PM
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Quote
But what stops it for being random and invisible? I want to have some indication or clue as to how I'm being affected.


I am taking a few posts here in one:

First of all there is no visible sign of the land like in some other games.

Secondly, I like it to be invisible because if you play a warrior he does not have the 'eyes' to see the magic hidden in the land.

That basically means that this -let us call it [color:"blue"]Mana Vision[/color] hehehe - is a skill that increases in power as you learn more about the 5 elements of magic, which are the 4 elements plus spirit. I would also couple it to the ability to tap mana from the land. Note that I make a distinction between the 5 elements. If you use fire spells a lot your exp. will increase in that field more than in others.

So if you want a clue to how you are being affected: you are not. Each segemnt of the area map whether it is a square or a 6 sided form or an 8 sides form or even a 3D variety of my original idea (which would be nice because as you walk on land you can tap mana from both land and the air above you) just has a given number of manapoints that refills automaticaly at a certain given rate. If you are a mage and have Mana Vision which sould be among the first skills or spells you want to study, only then will you be able to really make use of that mana.

I envison it as you cast this spell or turn on this skill that you see a glow on thew land and/or its objects. It would be like an infra red goggles as you like. It isn't too hard to come up with some sort of graphical effect. You can even do it the cheap way by mimicking the Wizard's Sight skill that will reveal hidden terrain, so when you click on the land some place a popup map shows up with colour shaded areas.


#125726 12/11/03 01:23 PM
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Quote
Quote
What I mean is that the areas are devided into segements that give basically bonuses or negative bonuses. It is a hidden layer of the areamap.



@Vaipen

Bees have hexagonal mapped eye-cells and they construct their honey combs similarly consequently.
Your idea of a hidden matrix is classic in game design and while squares seem to be a favourite for easy programming, hexagons have been used when radial symmetry was critically necessary.

In fact, hexagons are the crudest circles and they fit perfectly and seamlessly in a plane, so I guess that hexagons should be your best choice.

However, I would like to know why would a square tile be less than appropriate for implementing your idea concerning a “land-magic-value”?

If you realise that the land graphics was laid out as square tiles then would it not be more appropriate to assign a magic value to the same tile of graphics visible by the player to give an indicator of the type of spell most appropriate to use from that tile and onto another tile?

To give you an example of what I mean, I think that using the spell of thunderbolt in swamps would be perfectly effective due to electric conductivity of the ground.

Similarly, casting fire balls or magma bolts on arid and dry ground in dungeons that have cracks through which the red lava is showing would be fabulous as well.

So your idea is like as if the magician would really harness the available powers of nature in that place and concentrating it and directing it at the enemy.

Such an idea does not demand octagons or hexagons but demands an identical tile frame that coincides with that used for laying out graphic features of the terrain.

Kindest regards.


The reason I like hexagons is because squares have only 4 adjacent squares. In my original posy i may not have been clear on this. What I like is that when you are on a hexagon you draw energy from it. But it would be silly to 'gobgle' up all the mana in the land. So what I would like to see in that case is that in a circle around you you also draw that mana to you; the more powerful the mage, the bigger the circle. It seems silly to have a mage draw mana to him from 4 sides only. That is why i would make them hexagons. That way you can more easily as you say, do the circle thing.

I would make it 5 sides like a pentagram. But err...can you do that? Pentagons? Do you get empty spaces then? Well, even that would not be uncool. Places where there is no magic. I like the pentagon idea because it represents the 5 elements. It also provides options for the interface cause if you want to see what power you have in each elemental energy you can show a pentagram with its 5 'spikes' representing your power.

And so things would fit together. A harmonious whole from interface to the magic systems used.

Your idea about indicators is a cool idea. I see a spell or skill where you click on a piece of land and then a gauge appears in a colour asociated with that segment. But in my vision when you are in a wooded land most adjacent segments will have earth energy embedded in them. Now if you have an evil shrine or a dark tree I suppose that gauge would not be green but show that it is a dark spot. So yes, could very well be an option. I think the possibilities to show what sort of land you are walkin on is endless; it could be a map that pops up, a gauge with colours, a glow effect as an overlay of the land...that would be up to the developpers and it involves the limitations of the programmers and if it is too graphical intense or it might just not look good. In that case the simple options are best, say, the gauge or map popup.

I prefer the gauge then cause that way you dont have annoying popups and you can click on land as oftena s you will as gauges come up instea dof your pointer.


For the rest you give an example of thunderbolt. I had the same reasoning. Spells are affected by the magical energy embedded to the limits of the mana available in that hexagon and depending on the power of the mage, the adjacent hexagons.
A thunderbolt by a level 7 wizard e.g. will have a power of 100 if no mana is tapped from the land. The mage uses his own resources. Remember that I have 5 elements that you gain XP for independantly. You also have an overall energy level that increases as you level up. So E+F+W+A= Total Power in Mana. That total power is how much energy of these elements you can channel. So envision in your mind a screen with 1 BIG gauge and 5 smaller ones.

Okay so you do your thunderbolt for 100 mana untapped. This sounds a lot like Magic: The Gathering but I assure you, the resemblance is superficial.
Now when you tap the swamp which I would think gives you 25 water mana and 25 earth, your level however allows you to only tap 50% of that total. So you use your skill and tap 12,5 water, 12,5 earth mana = 25 mana. That gets you a total of 125 in power for your spell. You can ONLY use that mana for this thunderbolt! Because your ideas was that water and electricity combine and allow for a thunderbolt. I would think electricity is air but this is just an example.

I suppose this would be best explained in a small table.

So, let's get out of the example and elevate ourselves to the system. Each land segment has these hidden stats, I don't lkike it to be random because you can actually plot quests a lot better and balance the game better. What if you need to travel to a cabin in the swamp and the air is poisenous! In your quest the NPC gets you this breathing scroll that allows you to make apocket of fresh air. Now you travel to the cabin and you cast the scroll and u use up all the mana in that path you walk on, when the magic runs out you recast and have just arely enough mana to move on. Stopping will be the death of you. A challenge!

Like this the options are endless. Imagine fighting a terrible foe and he can be defeated only by 1250 mana used in spells in total power but the only available earth mana in the ground gets you in that enclosed area 800. You need to rely on ...well, fill in .....magical items that do damge for 200, a mana potion for 400. That gets you 1400 mana, which is enough.

The more I think about this system, the mlore complex you can make it, the more ideas I get!

Your have grasped my idea well when you said that you harness the magical energy in the land.

What I dislike is that magic is so linear. That is why I use 5 elements. This way, by seperating the exp. gained in each element you really have to plan ahead what sort of mage you want to be. It will alos mean that at certain points in the game certain enemies cannot be defeated unless you use magical enhanced weapons, e.g. a fire demon will be deafeated using water spell yet if you did not utilise water mana a lot you have little exp. in that element and as such the power of your water spells is insignificant. So then you buy your 'Rain Blade' and voila! A chance...but still a chance.

What you also get is 5 different potions. Not blue flasdks for mana. You have flasks in shapes and sizes for each element.

So to summarise, as you gain experience for each element, the accumulated power you can wield is shown by a Big Gauge. It is the adding up of the 5 elements. You gain exp. per element. The more you use a spell of an element, the more exp you gain in that element thus the more energy you will be able to channel.

Thanks everyone for their interest! It is very inspiring!

#125727 14/11/03 02:09 AM
Joined: Jun 2003
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If you prefer a surface tiling system over a volumetric 3D-Matrix then a square is next to another 8 squares not 4.

You see, each hexagon is geometrically connected to a maximum of six other hexagons by virtue of neighbourhood and they form a set of 7 hexagons. When you divide any second order square similarly, you get a 3x3 matrix of 9 squares in which the middle square is in the middle of 8 not 4.

On the other hand, a 3D-Matrix could be either cubes of 3x3x3, hence 27 basic cubes with a central one neighbouring 26 other cubes or pentagonal dodecahedrons of 13 per set having a central one neighbouring another 12.

Your choice. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wave.gif" alt="" />

Of course any programmer would prefer squares and cubes while any religious writer of magic fantasy stories would prefer the 7 hexagons hinting at creating the universe in 7 days or the 13 pentagonal dodecahedrons hinting at the 12 disciples around Jesus, and the bad luck number 13 superstition and the 12 hours scheme.

Hexagonal surfaces and pentagonal dodecahedron crystals are much more naturally magical from a numerological point of view.

There is nothing special about 8 else than being the cube of 2, or 26 else than being twice 13. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/biggrin.gif" alt="" />


I also have a reservation concerning clicking on the ground because the left click is reserved for moving your avatar or selecting an item by a clever cursor. Similarly, the right click is usually reserved for attack and manipulating objects, which means that we have no choice but to use the right click and consider every tile in the game to be an object. So how can we click on a terrain tile under an object?

This means that we must use a combination of keys and clicks which is ok except that the interface begins to get complicated and reduces the pleasure of a user friendly interface.

Another issue is that manna regeneration and health regeneration had already been implemented using manna and health shrines in many games and the consensus seems to be using three colours namely, blue for manna, red for health or life and purple for a mix of both.

In all those games including Divine Divinity’s urns of manna and health in dungeons and in the hall of the seven races, those manna and health regeneration sources themselves regenerate after a while and they may be used again.

So the idea of attributing such qualities to land tiles is not really a new idea and it was taken further into a more decorative aspect.

Another attribute of magic assigned to tiles is teleportation, where certain tiles (in many games) are used as portals to transfer the player to another remote tile.

That is why I was more concerned about new attributes regarding casting spells that harness the powers of nature of the place as you might have imagined.

Kindest regards.




#125728 16/11/03 12:04 AM
Joined: Sep 2003
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I was thinking... when the mage draws evergy from the land, he won't suck it up and spit it out quickly in one second. The mage would need to take time drawing from the land...even a little bit of time, waiting until he has drawn enough energy for a spell.
A good example is Goku from Dragon Ball Z and his spirit bomb.
He must wait, drawing energy from an outside source until his attack is 'ready.'

Basically, there is some time that needs to take place from when he starts drawing for the spell until he has the spell ready. This time gets shorter as with experienced he gets better at it. There is another time factor and it also improves with experience. It is the amount of time one *can *spend doing something. For example, an unexperienced warrior can fight for only a few moments while an experienced warrior can fight for days.

Apply these two factors to our mage:
1)there is the amount of time it takes him to draw a certain amount of energy from the land.
2)there is the amount of time he can spend in one go drawing energy from the land


He gets better at both these factors as he gains xp.
The second one is the trickiest. There is third and a fourth factor, but those are easy and I'll quickly explain them:
The third is the percentage of energy he can draw from one hexegon.
The fourth is the amount of hexegons he can draw from. As we've said, the mage should 'gobble' from more than one hexegon, perhaps from the hexegons in a circle around him.
The fourth is easy because the amount of hexes he can draw from is however big his magic sight circle is. In the beginning of the game it might be 1 or 3, and towards the end it might be 27.
Maybe there is a math thing in the computer that adds the total value of all the magic thats available to him in X amount of hexegons and shows it as one number on the screen.


sigh..I'll go way off of Divine Divinity now in saying that this game would be best with turned based fighting..
I haven't played many turned based RPGs but I'm thinking something like fallout.
besides my opinion that turned based would:
enable strategical use of the land much more
make each movement important, as would be best since movement and positioning due to the value of surrounding land would be key
make each hexegon's value a lot less trivial

We could much more easily work with units of time perhaps incorporating an ap pool for movement and an ap, or 'mp' pool for magic instead of yanking the magic off the ground and throwing it immediately.

There is a Magic Point pool for magic.

He would apply an amount of Magic Points for a spell. The amount of magic points he would need to use from his Mp pool for a certain spell would mean the time at his current level it takes him to 'get the spell ready.' This ability would get better over time as he would not have to use up so much 'time', or MPs due to his growing mastery of mana-drawing.
Eventually it would only take him a few tiny moments to draw for a powerful spell and then have it ready.
The MP pool itself would get bigger with experience as well.
This growth means the amount of time he *can *spend in one go on drawing from the land getting bigger.
There is no MP bar or guage to deplete. The amount of magic he can draw from the land is infinite. He doesn't need to recharge his mana: his 'go' ends and he must wait.


Action points are units of time. Each point represents however many seconds of movement. Magic points then are units of effort-time. Focus effort, or magical mental effort. Each point represents however many micro seconds of neuro-movements.



Showing the magic on the land:

Having only graphical clues to tell the player what kind of magic is on the land would be less than useful. The player may want to know exactly what magical content is where. He may want to utilize the land precisely, strategically. Both clues, such as arid desert for fire magic, in addition to a specific indicator of the magic in the land might be better.

Here are some ideas for showing the magic on the land graphically.

A circle w/ small transparent numbers:

Imagine a slow pulsing circle of color which shades the ground.
A visible circle whose center is the charachter and pulses outward from the charachter. It stops at however many hexegons outward the charachter is allowed to see due to his current ability.
Slightly above the circle are transparent numbers. A number eg. +4 or -2 above each hexegon
which is the exact value of the magic in the hexegon.

A transparent color/shade would represent
type and depth of magic in the hexegon.
There would be different colors for the different types of magic..brown for earth, orange for fire, grey for ash, etc.
Different depths of color would generalize the exact value of the magic in the hexegon. For example, light brown for +2 or less earth energy and dark brown for +15 or more.
This pulsing circle would be visible around the charachter only when in battle mode, because that would pretty much be the only time its needed.
Of course, there could be a toggle option.

I agree, if this is 'magic sight' then it would best be purchased, earned, amplified early on in the game. Either that or the ability should level up in sinc with the challenge of the game/importance of using the land precisely.



But I guess it doesn't matter at this point.


Maps:

In addition to the circle there is a map which generally shows magic content in areas in the world, using the color codes ala the air pollution data view in Sim City.
This map could be tied into in-game lore: a map some magician-magical-energy-explorer-map-maker NPC gives you.
Or, the charachter can get several maps, showing magic content of only portions of the land, from varied sources. From merchants, or NPCs who have something to say about how they got their map and about their adventures. From the ground during a quest. There aregeneral maps, cheap and easy to get. Standard maps. And the detailed, rarer, expensive maps which show an area's magic content in very helpful and precise detail.

These are maps with colors to precision, that may even have hand-written notes linked to hand drawn circles drawing attention to areas of the map and specifying what kind of magic number-values to excpect or what type of monster lurks there.
The player might aquire a hand-made map that, once he gets there and battles, he sees the magic has totally changed.
There would probably be no maps for certain tough areas and none for most hidden areas.


Seeing the maps:
To elimate the clutter of so many maps aquired there could be an automaticly updating incomplete map which applies the maps the player has collected.
Perhaps the 'general' maps are the ones applied to the world map, and the specific maps are applied to portions of specific areas on the world map.
These specific maps could be acessable by clickable buttons on the world map over the area that the map is for, buttons that are updated as maps are found.
Or, the world map could be just like the world map in Divine Divinity, one that zooms in three or four different levels and reaveals different levels of detail. It could by default show the land without magic, and then one pressess a button and it shows the land with its magical content and color, each zoom in showing more and more magical detail. The closest zoom portrays the magic content of the land with enough precsion to be useful in battle. All maps of course show the location of the avatar.




#125729 16/11/03 12:33 AM
Joined: Mar 2003
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In regards to drawing mana from the land, what if: As you enter a hexagon, a mana bar for that region begins to increase based on your experience in that element and the strength of the mana present. The longer you are there, the more mana you tap. Upon leaving the hexagon, that mana bar begins to depleate based on your experience and on your distance from the hexagon. The mana coud decrease logrithmicly (you lose a percentage of your remaining mana every time unit, so the less mana you have, the slower it disipates) so that you only lose the majority of the element-specific mana to begin with and you only lose it all if you spend it or spend too much time away from that element.

What do you think?

Just another point to ponder, how complex can you make this system before it scares people off?

#125730 17/11/03 04:42 AM
Joined: Jun 2003
Location: malaysia
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<img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/eek.gif" alt="" /> HALP!! the word 'turn-based' is freaking me out!! <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/eek.gif" alt="" />



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