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Sneak Peek: Loonyland: Titan Tunnels09:47 PM -- Fri March 23, 2007

Hard to get new pics when I'm at the library. But it sure is a convenient time to write Sneak Peeks!

The thing I've been working on right now is pretty nice, though certainly not earth-shattering. I changed how skills are displayed, so now you don't have to do the math yourself - For example, the Toughness skill has as the last line of its description "Level 1: +3 Life." (or "Level 3: +9 Life." as the case may be). You can hold down the Magic button to see what a skill would be like with another point in it. For extra fun, the numbers that change are nicely highlighted, like how they show up green in Guild Wars. I kinda enjoy this, it's making the game feel more solid to me, and it means I am sharing more data than I was in LL2 - for example, when it used to say "range increases with level" (because I didn't have a good way of expressing the exact range), it now says "affects everyone within 4.5 feet". A "foot" is a tile, because I hope you'll agree when looking at the screen that that seems about right.

Another thing to discuss: quests. Nothing very solid here, but my current thinking is quite straightforward. Having about 5 people who give quests, and what happens is, when you finish their quest and come back, they give you another. It doesn't matter what your level is or anything, the way it works is that each one gives progressively tougher quests. Each one also has a specific style of quest they give. For example, Kinyova Sr. would give you "beat X monsters", "beat X monsters of type Y", and "beat boss X", since he's big on that. The number needed would increase with each quest, the type offered would be progressively harder types heading down the monster list, and the bosses chosen would be progressively tougher bosses from the list. None of this would be hardcoded, though - he randomly decides which type to give you, then randomly chooses a suitable value to fill in for it, based on how many of his quests you've done before.

You could of course ignore quests entirely, or make sure you finish off every one offered, or pick the people who give quests you like to do, or anything in between. I like the idea that the difficulty/reward depends on quests you've done rather than your level - if you want to get rewarded highly for questing, you need to put in the effort by doing all the lesser quests from that person. And if you do religiously complete quests, you'll always have a lot to do, and the game will be fairly easy, since that will force to clear things out pretty thoroughly before descending deeper.

Other potential quests and questgivers include: Curaga, who wants you to collect X herbs/X herbs of type Y/potion of type X quality Y; the Junksmith who wants you to do similar with junk items; a new guy named Clumsy Pete who gives you "I lost X on level Y of the dungeon, can you find it?" (X is a randomly generated quest item, has no purpose but to give it to him); the Guru who just says "I'll go hide on level X, find me!", then maybe gives out "max out talent X" once you have all talents. That's all that's coming to mind at the moment.

Then of course there's one or two other quests that are fixed - "Get to the end and win", with maybe some couple of lesser quests that put it together. Like maybe you need to find the pieces of the Titan Key or something to get from level 49 to 50. It's nice to have something like that instead of just the single "get 'im!" quest. But not a story with a long series of meaningful quests or anything. Just 2, 3 at the most, and definitely no attempt at making a story.

Oh, another thing I have considered: naming it Loonyland: Outcast, and replacing Loony with a Shroomulan. First, that makes it good as a side story - forget Loony, this one is on the side. It's called Outcast because Shroomulans believe in taking NO risks, since they live forever as long as they can get to a new mushroom in time, so your character, as a big fat hero, is an outcast from Shroomulan society. This is an idea I've had since creating Shroomulans, and planned to include as a playable race in LL3, as you can hear in the LL2 commentary if you listen to it.

Speaking of that, the LL2 commentary is now done except for one room - the very first one, where it introduces how the commentary works and such. We'll record that this weekend, then LL2:CE will be coming your way soon! Just need to get it printed and ready for shipping.
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