I just compiled Titan Tunnels successfully, and ran it! Now, it doesn't particularly work as a game, but it does run and function in a general sense. Pretty amazing, and much sooner than I expected. There's still miles of guts that need to be pulled out and new miles that need to be grafted in, but it's a start.
This trip back into the Tunnels all began last week, when I was playing my Warlock in WoW. I was having a moment of particularly relishing dishing out DoTs. DoT stands for Damage Over Time - it refers to spells/attacks that work like poison. They gradually inflict damage over time, rather than a big hit. The Warlock has a bunch of them, so a fight as a Warlock generally consists of throwing a bunch of DoTs on your victim, and then waiting as he inevitably dies (and your demon smacks him around). It's pretty satisfying.
I was thinking how I'd like to be doing that in my game, but that it's not really available in LL2. There are certainly some DoTs there (poison, mainly, but also Ignite and Drain, and you could consider the Cryozoid to be one in a way), but I just had this image in my head of a class I would call a Corruptor, built entirely around rotting his enemies away before his eyes (not the most heroic of classes). But there are already 100 skills in Titan Tunnels, I can't add more without making the skill list even more ridiculously annoying to page through. And anyway, the classes only had a few skills (you could obtain all 100 skills, but you only got 3 "Primary Skills" that define your class).
So that led me down a whole new mental path, and here is my new Titan Tunnels vision, which is quite different. Now, you do not get 100 skills at all. You pick your class, and you get 30 skills broken into 3 pages. Talents are removed from the game - skills can pick up the slack. If you want to do 30% more fire damage, you'll put points into a skill that does that. So now there will be a lot more than 100 different skills, but each character will only have 30 to deal with.
The game is not about Loony - these are some other random heroes that you name, and there will be a variety of different looks for the different classes. The game is now about obtaining the different classes (by completing goals) and building up a little encampment/town where they all live. Things like alchemy and junksmithing are no longer talents you have, they are something your town has. Each character you get adds something new to the town, like the alchemy cauldron for example. You can then use that thing with any character, and level it up gradually as you do. You of course also have a shared stash between the characters. So while there's a goal to go kill the big boss monster at the bottom of the random dungeon, the real overarching goal is to accomplish everything with each character, working together as a team. A team of people who never speak to each other or interact in any way other than trading items.
It's kind of a combination of a bunch of different RPG ideas I've had, including some elements I haven't mentioned here, but will someday tell you about. It's basically taking the metagame that I personally play with RPGs (make one of every class, and share their gear so that when my warrior finds a magic wand, it's not disappointing - I've got a wizard who can use it!), and making that the official game. It may not be how you
like to play games, but that's why I'm
the one making it!
And by the way, the Corruptor will have a pet called a Rotweiler (spelled that way). Get it? That's entertaining!