Last night I spent a good forty minutes or so banging out the code I would need to have my main character describe various symptoms related to her status effects, and have the apothecary diagnose and treat the various conditions. It was really a lot of fun to write. I spent the next two hours playtesting the script.

The first thing I noticed was how hardcore I made the beginning of the game. This isn’t going to be a game for players who don’t like to lose. I’m not sure if it’s better to describe the game as difficult, or “punishing.” The inability to restore hit points in battle makes each fight pretty intense, and persistent status effects are terrifying.

When I say “persistent status effects,” it’s important to note that I’m not talking about stuff like poison that you might find in a traditional JRPG. I think it would be annoying to have the player trying to deal with stuff like constantly losing hit points from status effects. Instead, they have sorely debilitating effects that lower their combat stats.

I’m trying to think of a way to describe just exactly how hardcore it is for the main character and a silly, orange-haired boy in a t-shirt with no weapon fighting giant hornets is. Actually, that last part is where it gets insane. He’s fighting giant hornets with no armor or weapons. Against hornet venom that causes heart attacks.

Sorry, I got lost there for a moment.

Anyway, what I realized was that the individual descriptions of the symptoms and treatments was enjoyable to read about, but ultimately too time-consuming in its application and not effective enough for the time required in coding and testing it. I have seven or eight recruit-able characters and I don’t want to write that much.

Ultimately, two hours or so of playtesting told me that I didn’t need to write individual symptom descriptions and diagnoses, and so I could save time in writing out the dialogue between the apothecary and nine characters. That time will be well-spent in some other area, like making orcs that cause diabetes. You think I’m joking.

During my playtest, I got ambushed by a couple wandering monsters. It’s worth mentioning that I only have wandering monsters active on a single map, and I nearly died each time. It was freaking terrifying. This game is going to be a terror to play. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I do. Stuff will jump out and scare you. Lots.

Oh, and on another curious note. In-game, it took me something like two months to reach 4th level from 1st. That might sound like a lot of time to pass, but it helps that I died a lot. I’m still trying to work out a not-quite-game-over script to run when the player’s party gets wiped, since it looks like this won’t only be probable, but common.

TWO. MONTHS.

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