Originally Posted by MrAlbum
From what I've seen, I have a concern:
This looks like a mission-to-mission kinda deal. If so, what element of the game beyond the battles/character leveling, creation and development/loot will encourage players to continue with the game once they have played it for a few stages?
It is true that small games can produce laser-focused and streamlined experiences that are insanely fun. However, it is good to consider the depth of the game since that can help or hinder that same laser-focus. I see that Small Chronicles has some depth via the fights and character customization, but I worry that those may not be enough to draw the player into the game because of how the mission-to-mission setup gives the impression of repetition, meaning that the current concept could make people feel that they're going through the motions with regards to stage completion.
This gave me a couple ideas:
What about perma-death?
Allow me to explain: Instead of players blitzing through all the stages and never touching the game again, what if every time they played the same stages the game played slightly differently, and that if their character dies they have to start again from stage 1 with a new character?
This can be balanced by allowing the chance for players to re-gain some of the loot from their fallen characters when they manage to survive to the point where those old characters died, thus giving players the small relief that character death isn't a total loss, ex: if a character dies on Stage 13 and the next character they make survives Stage 13, then they can earn back some of the dead character's loot.
Also, checkpoints could be utilized so that it isn't too harsh.
This idea would need slightly randomized level-appropriate enemies so players are not overwhelmed at the start, I.e. no purple lava behemoths on Stage 2 ^_^ unless such creatures are actually pansies... in which case, I hope my thought is clear.
There is another way out of many possibilities to add some depth without adding perma-death:
Make it puzzle-oriented.
For example, let us assume that each enemy has a certain pattern to their attacks, and that it takes a certain strategy/defense pattern/damage type/etc... to overcome this hypothetical enemy. Now imagine later enemies with more subtle/devious/hardcore/etc... patterns that require more complex strategies to overcome, and it is up to the player to decide how best to bring down each enemy based on the player's character choices.
This is very tricky, in that the same enemy needs to have the possibility of being defeated by unorthodox and strange player strategies, which could be very hard to design for. For example, does a skill stun enemies, and can enemies defend against stuns? Does a skill cause enemies to panic, and is there a way for enemies to defend against that? Can players combine skills so that they can turn enemies into zombies and then hit the enemies with a ressurect or healing spell, which according to Dungeons & Dragons, would either outright destroy the undead or seriously harm them? And can enemies circumvent such a complicated strategy?
Later, more powerful enemies would need to be able to defend against the first few strategies, which would task the players to somehow maximize their chosen skills to their fullest.
This in combo w/ the perma-death idea would make the game super deep, but then again too deep is just as bad as not enough depth, so I'll simply let these concepts sit as they are so you can mull over them.
These are just a couple ideas I brainstormed when I thought of the concern I noted above. Consider them as you wish, and let me know your thoughts on the ideas ^_^
Hey Mr. Album, thanks for the insightful thoughts! I really listen to feedback and people's opinions so this means a lot to me!
On the topic of perma-death, I would agree with you that it is kind of harsh if it was implemented. Currently, Small Chronicles is designed in such a way that if your character dies, you will have to retry the whole stage again. There won't be any penalties at the moment.
And I definitely agree with you that if a player blitzs through all the stages, it would become kind of repetitive :X
Which is why there is also a league mode planned
I might consider randomizing the location of blessings and starting positions for the players and monsters. However, that might actually be counter-intuitive since monsters in Small Chronicles actually have different attacking styles/patterns.
For example, while the Scary Mushroom can only move/attack once per turn, the Leaf Monster can do so twice. The Virus Flower, on the other hand, can attack from range and has a tendency to run from melee characters (kinda like kiting). There will also be many more monsters as more worlds are added to Small Chronicles.
I have also planned different purposes for the tiles that you see in Small Chronicles. At the moment, there are only blessings but there is a lot of potential with what could be done with those tiles
So yes, I definitely would choose to go the path of puzzle/strategy-oriented for Small Chronicles ^-^
By the way, if you're talking about powerful enemies, I plan to make the bosses of Small Chronicles kinda powerful :P (hope not overpowered)
So yea there you have it and do let me know your opinions/feelings/thought processes on my reply.
And thanks again for the really insightful feedback!