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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

New (Fleshed Out) Unicorn Quest Ideas

     A bunch of ideas for Unicorn Quest came to me last night as I was trying to fall asleep and I couldn't help but keep waking up to make note of them all. These all happen to be either little details I said "I'll figure out later" or mistakes I'm noticing with Unicorn Training's design. Having all these details down has me more pumped than ever to just start that project already!

     I really want to prove what current me is capable of rather than me from a year ago. Sadly I won't be touching it until I start my senior capstone class so it's pretty far off. I have other fun projects to occupy me until then though, so I can wait. Catch all the new brain blasts below the break!

     I decided to get rid of the gem weight mechanic for the wallet. In terms of world building it's interesting, but gameplay-wise, it just isn't fun. It's confusing. If the wallet system has to be explained to the player, something might be wrong. To keep things simple in the future, all gems count by one and are stored separately. Some gems still happen to be rarer than others but all you have to do is collect them. I took out the math because math isn't fun.

     Shops will still ask for a certain number of a certain gem for a certain item, but now you don't have to worry about weight conversions or having too many of one gem preventing you from carrying another. Thing's are simpler this way and can be explained logically by saying Clover stories these tiny gems in little gem bags. they just look big in-game for visibility's sake.

     Another thing I want to do with gems is make a mechanic out of feeding Parax gems you want to toss. The idea came to me before but I wasn't sure what perks I could offer for throwing out your gems. Now I know two things I can do with it, and both work nicely together. I can give Parax a visible hunger meter that affects how well he can teleport you in the heat of battle while giving him a bigger sense of presence outside of the game's story so the player is reminded frequently that they have a partner in this journey.

     As Parax gets hungry the maximum number of times you can teleport in succession decreases from 3 to 1 or even zero if the poor guy is starving. his full belly level will deplete by a small amount each time a step is taken in the overworld. This acts as a money sink too so player's aren't wandering around with full wallet's all the time. Also, every five gems fed to Parax will trigger a text pop-up saying things like "Keep 'em coming!"which is a cute little touch that can make him more endearing.

     Something else I've settled on is the gem digging mechanic scrapped from Unicorn Training. If I ever decide to put that in a game, this would be the one. In addition to the dig minigame gems can be earned by winning battles. Instead of collecting them after all enemies are beaten I'll have a proper battle victory screen and your rewards (gems, experience, etc.) will be displayed neatly on screen.

     I also want magic to restore faster when the player is moving. This way players need to zip around the map during battle to both stay alive and fight back. It's not fun to stand around while your next fireball charges up, so I want players dodging enemies and stage hazards in the meantime.

    One last change to the design I want to implement is an overhaul on how potions work. I'm noticing how useless MP revival tonics are in Unicorn Training and the only useful one would be the max refill for those more expensive spells. In Unicorn Quest there will only be one MP restoration tonic (max refill) and all the others will need to do something else. I'll play around with the battle system once I make it and see what things are the most fun to have those colorful potions do.

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