Monday, March 3, 2014

Grave Story- Enemy Encounters, Inspiration and More

So I've been working on the second dungeon as of recently- nothing too horribly special, although I have decided to do some things in terms of enemy encounters.

This picture is of a small section of the second dungeon. This particular dungeon isn't overrun with enemies. HOWEVER, this does not mean that it is monster-free. Monsters, instead, roam around on the map and will follow the player. The enemies in this particular dungeon, being undead, are pretty slow, meaning you should see them before you have to worry about them (there's actually another immediately above Lilith in the room above.) The Patturiku's House quest is a pretty good example seen in the demo as to how they work, with some differences. These encounters will use random monsters, and you can escape from these battles, which will result in them remaining motionless for 2 seconds. Similar to the zombies in Patturiku's House, they will disappear when killed, however these will respawn after 10 minutes, meaning you can re-enter the house later (or stall) and fight them again.
The reason I chose to do this is that this gives me a lot more versatility with what I can do with encounters. I can opt to do the standard random encounters with areas that obviously are dangerous beyond belief, and other areas I can simply use this method of having the monsters roaming the map. Most major dungeons will obviously be random-encounter-based, but sometimes, variety is nice. I noticed while watching Let's Plays of Forum Fantasy that some people were mildly annoyed with the encounter rate (despite the fact that, oddly, it was pretty much the same throughout all the maps.) This will give the players the option to trick the enemy and avoid encounters altogether... if they're skilled enough and don't Leeroy Jenkins through the entire dungeon.

I've also reworked the intro a little bit. The brief battle with Death was more or less something I was using as sort of a "tech demo" when I first created the video showing off what I was doing with Grave Story, that way people could see what I had done with the combat. Obviously since I don't need that anymore, it's been removed.

As of lately I've had a huge amount of inspiration, namely from the Forgotten Realms universe (Dungeons & Dragons, in other words.) Most of the inspiration has been centered around the actual universe itself; while it does have multiple planets, it does also deal heavily with various planes of existence, and the one where pretty much most D&D related stuff happens being in the Prime Material Plane. However, others exist, such as the Feywild (home of elves and pixies and such), the Abyss, elemental planes, Limbo, Shadowfell, etc. I've already messed with one such plane of existence that you can travel to, which I'll leave a mildly obscure teaser below.

Lastly, I edited Arkon's spawning. I changed it so that there's no animation on him when he spawns, which would flash the screen and play a sound effect. I removed this to essentially prevent the player from knowing whether he's spawned or not. If the player can tell that he's spawned on the map, they can easily leave and come back in, essentially despawning him. This completely removes any threat that he poses, so I've removed all visual and auditory clues that he's spawned on the map, and I've made sure that you'll likely have to go into the area before you'll know whether he's there or not. Basically to add tension to the game. You ARE being hunted, after all, and once I removed all spawn clues, I found myself a little more tense when entering areas that he's capable of spawning in. I also worked in a way to make him potentially spawn in different locations. Meaning you might think you know where he spawns... and you might be horribly mistaken.

Anyway, any ideas, suggestions, thoughts, criticisms, complaints, concerns, whatever are always appreciated.


  1. Imagine that you are nearing the end of a dungeon and you can just taste the nearby boss and loot when suddenly a weird angel guy captures you and you, due to bad luck can't escape and die. Thankfully, Arkon should have a low spawn rate (if you are good). However, nothing is worse than the bad taste of bullcrap due to pure luck. I know you want to add uncertainity and fear but this can backfire. To put it in perspective would you rather die fairly or due the the RNG decided to be a dick that day.

  2. Oh I know. But you'll know he's there before he can reach you, so you do have time to react. But as time goes on, you will be able to fight back- and even kill him. But just to clarify- he can't just spawn on any map at any time, it's specific maps only- this prevents him from being a colossal asshat. Since there will inevitably be maps where you'll have to go through a small hallway into a room or something (where you could be trapped), he won't be able to spawn in places like these, as it'd simply be unfair. He'll only be able to spawn in places that are either open, or there will be places where you can juke the crap out of him.

    It's not that it's an instant death upon being caught, it will send you into a battle with him, which you can escape from. Just at lower levels, this is evidently something you don't want. At least until you're better geared up to actually challenge him. If/when you kill him, he won't spawn again. But this will likely be possible when you're about level 40-50- but that's just an estimated guess. I can honestly say I'm not 100% sure when, just it scales about the same way as Forum Fantasy.