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Game Design

Ditching the world map? ...and other ideas.

While I was working on Halloween Wars I thought about several design decisions I took about Crystalis and questioned them. My first intent about this remake was to make it as close to the original as possible despite trying to enhance it gameplay wise.

And so I'm considering to get rid of the world map.
Right now the world map's purpose is to travel between the main areas and to give you a glimpse at unexplored, nearby locations.
The original game instead features large outdoor enemy-filled areas that link the main areas to each other. I'm leaning towards doing that as it would offer more in terms of exploration, puzzles, enemy variety and it could soften the difficulty curve.

I'd also like to remake most dungeons. Most of them are enemy-filled labyrinths and feature only one or two puzzles. The original game did that, but that is something I'd like to change.
I'd like to make the dungeons shorter but have each room be more significant by having one of the following purposes:
1- battle area (enemy filled).
2- gate (meet the requirements to advance further).
3- challenge (a puzzle of some sort or an exploration segment).
4- loot (a treasure chest).
5- boss.
6- save room.
I believe it would be better for every room to have a distinctive feature and be memorable.

I've also been wondering whether I should add new equipment or not. Instead of each piece being a simple upgrade of the last one, I'd rather have more pieces with unique effects that would be more or less effective depending on the situation. Players would toggle armor and accessory more often, just like they do with swords.

Recoding the battle system to clean it up a little would be nice.
I could also add sword combo attacks that have different speeds and ranges.
And allowing the player to turn without taking a step.

What do you guys think about these changes?


Progress (updated regularly)

I'll describe and update here what has been done so far with the project. Also check my next development activity at the bottom of this list!

Gameplay programming: 100% (Sandboxes are complete and bug-free)
Scenario writing: 100% (I won't spoil much)
Custom graphics: 40% (Graphics design takes soooo much time!)

01. Velyagun's Great Wall: Done!
02. Swann Village (Swan): Done!
03. Swann Woods & Xevu's Lab: Done!
04. Reave Village (Leaf): Done!
05. Frozen Grotto: Done!
06. Brynmile Town (Brynmaer): Done!
07. Nadare Resort: Done!
08. Enchanted Swamps: Done!
>>> Demo 0.1: Available <<<
09. Amazon Island: Done!
10. Mount Saber: Done!
11. Waterfall Cave: Done!
12. Capital of Portoa: Done!
13. Life Tree: 35%
14. Abandoned Mine: Done!
15. The Inner Sea: Done!
16. Ruins of Jewel City (Joel): Coming up
17. Altar of Spirits: 25%
X1. Intro sequence: 25%
X2. New cutscenes: Coming up
>>> Demo 0.2: Coming up <<<

Current activity:
Making the intro cutscenes.
Drawing new enemies sprites. Savella the witch coming up.
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