Sunday, February 23, 2014

Unicorn Spells

     In Unicorn Quest there will be 10 spells at your disposal by the end of the game (assuming you can find all the hidden ones). I'm still changing the ideas as new ideas come to me, but I wrote down what I have in mind so far in my game design document. Just a few days ago I talked with Xinef on My Little Game Dev and changed up the way elemental spells work a bit. I'm happy with the way the spells can form a combo now. I copy/pasted what I have written for the spells on the next page so you can see for yourself.


6 main spells (10 spells total):

Ø  Blast – Basic energy shot attack. Lowest magic cost and does least damage.
Upgrade 1: Powerful charge shot
Upgrade 2: Knockback
Upgrade 3: Homing max charge shot.
Ø  Slash – Strong attack. Some knockback, Shoots big razor beam like master sword. Goes until way off screen or hits wall. Higher mana cost.
Upgrade 1: Bigger, and spins
Upgrade 2: Much faster, pierces enemies
Upgrade 3: Tornado with major knockback
Ø  Flame – Leaves short burn, used in puzzles,  brute force attack. Unique effect on some enemies. Ball-shaped projectile. Causes enemy status “burnt”.
Upgrade 1: Stronger, lasting burn
Upgrade 2: Contagious burn (fire spreads on contact)
Upgrade 3: Flare explosion on impact (becomes an explosive attack)
Ø  Bolt – Hits one, goes to another within range doing lower damage until reaches zero. Each bolt hops between closest enemies. Unique effect on some enemies. (shape pending). Causes enemy status “paralyzed”.
Upgrade 1: short stun
Upgrade 2: loses less power when hoping
Upgrade 3: bigger hop distance
Ø  Splash – Puts out fire (enemies and puzzles), knockback, and unique effects on some enemies.  Does no damage. Shotgun spread style. Causes enemy status “wet”.
Upgrade 1: longer reach and spread
Upgrade 2: longer lasting wet status
Upgrade 3:  stronger knockback
Ø  Frost – Pushes enemies back (great knockback), used for wind puzzles, unique effect on some enemies. Slows down enemies by set number, slow down on enemies stacks until they’re temporarily immobile and slowly regain speed. Does no damage. Flamethrower spread style. Costs lots of magic energy. A defensive/evasive tactic. Causes enemy status “frozen”.
Upgrade 1: bigger spread and reach
Upgrade 2: gust ability (charge up to quickly blow and turn smaller enemies 180)
Upgrade 3: instant freeze when using gust

Secret spells:
Ø  Hex – Slowly drains enemy health once laid on them. Weak and slow at first, gains power and speed as you level up. The curse is a separate status from things like burn and freeze (an extra layer of damage).  Long lasting, but lasting time depends on enemy defense. Ball-shaped projectile. Costs lots of magic energy. Causes “curse” effect.
Upgrade 1: charge for big ball that can affect multiple targets
Upgrade 2: stacking (cast multiple times to increase draining amount and lasting time)
Upgrade 3: initial impact with charged ball transfers a quarter heart to you
Ø  Decoy – Places a hologram pony turret at your feet that attracts enemies (ineffective against bosses). You lay symbol at your feet then move off the spot to activate the decoy. Decoy HP is small and work like an enemy’s. Can lay multiple, but each costs lots of magic. Their HP increases as you level up.
Upgrade 1: decoy shoots level 1 slash spells forward at a slow rate
Upgrade 2: decoy turns north, south, east, or west to face nearest enemy
Upgrade 3: decoy shoots level 2 slash spells slowly
Ø  Shield – Safe bubble. Instead of damage increasing each level, it boosts its defense (HP). Shield health is displayed like decoy health. The increased collision box sizes makes you an easier target. Can’t cast again until active shield is destroyed. Protects against physical attacks too. Starts out very weak. High magic cost.
Upgrade 1: knockback against physical attacks
Upgrade 2: deflect weak projectiles in opposite direction (can harm enemies).
Upgrade 3: can recast shield while it’s up to replenish its defense
Ø  Bounce – Laser diamond that ricochets on contact. Lasts for 4 bounces or times out after 3 seconds. Bounces toward nearest enemy (not counting the one it just touched). Only harms living things, bounces off of destructible objects (can’t break them). Power and speed double each bounce (glows brighter too). Bounces off enemies it hits and damages them. Damage increases as you level up. Weak as blast at first. Low magic cost. Can shoot rapidly.
Upgrade 1: damaging explosion instead of just popping when finished
Upgrade 2: Power and speed triple each bounce
Upgrade 3: charge for big diamond (twice as strong) that splits into 4 normal ones on first impact.

Elemental Combos:

Burn + Water – Burn is removed.
Wet + Frost – Instant freeze.
Wet + Electricity – Extra damage. Harms all in contact (including player).
Frozen + Fire – Unfrozen. When ice cracks, it does extra damage.
Burn + Frost – Burn is removed.

When status is removed target reverts to neutral. Elements can sometimes affect battlefield terrain. Melt icy floors, burn grass,  electrify enemies standing in water, cool lava floors, etc. Overworld puzzle elements could make battles more interesting.


  • Spell icons in spell switcher can be rearranged in pause menu. 
  • Line them up however you want.
  • Only discovered spells are shown in switcher. Also adds mystery. 
  • When a secret spell is found, players will wonder what other ones could be out there. 
  • An urge to fill all the slots.


All spell icons are 2px apart. Entire set is placed in middle of bar. In pause menu you see all 10 spell slots and can drag & drop each spell to where you want it in the cycle. Arrow buttons move to the nearest filled slot in either direction. Empty slots are blank spaces (or grey diamonds) in gameplay.

Ø  The spell button is transparent when pressed or the spell is cooling down.
Ø  White cursor hovers over current spell in switch bar.

Variables: power, cooldown, speed, push, (bool) projectile, health (for decoy & shield), timer (hex)

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