4 Hugues Ross - Blog: Capstone Update 9: "Who's that handsome fellow?"
Hugues Ross


Capstone Update 9: "Who's that handsome fellow?"

We failed our challenge attempt last week, but that's ok. We got quite a bit of good feedback from the attempt, and have been hard at work making sure that everything works nicely. With any luck, our next and final attempt will go much better!

This week, I mostly made a bunch of small boring changes, but I also took out most of my todo list of 'big' items as well. The most interesting thing I did was laying the groundwork for multi-hero maps, something that we've been wanting for a while. You may be surprised to hear this, but the simple inclusion of one or two extra heroes actually increases the game's depth substantially.

When you have a single hero present, the game is fairly straightforward. Make sure that the chests have loot and each room has an enemy or two, and then you're golden. You can go hide in a backstage room and wait for the level to end, if you'd like. When you know that #2's on the way, however, you start to run into an interesting problem. Not only do you need to 'restock' in the wake of the previous hero (Without getting caught), you also need to make sure that the previous hero doesn't start touching the freshly placed items and enemies. On top of that, you know that there's a timer counting down until a second hero shows up, making sneaking around even tougher. My other big addition this week was finishing doors off, so now you also have to tail your hero to catch the door on their way out. Doors can also provide cover, in case you suddenly feel the need to become invisible.

This semester is coming to a close, but we still have about a week's worth of dev time left before the cut, so I have one last addition to make: Frustration. Normally, frustration is something that you should avoid in games, but ours is for heroes only.

Imagine, for a moment, that you are a valiant warrior entering a Completely Ordinary and Totally Legit Dungeon Seriously of Course it's Real Why Would You Even Ask, and you begin to explore. In your travels, you come across a door that's locked up tight. You keep searching, in hopes that a key will turn up somewhere. You search, and search, until you come to a startling conclusion: You've been everywhere except past the door, and there's definitely no key. "That can't be right!", you exclaim, and begin frantically running back and searching all of the old rooms, but there's nothing. Also, there's this weird guy that looks exactly like you and this other dude who keeps darting around corners and giggling. It's complicated.

At this point, I'd be getting pretty ticked off. The above blurb is an embellished description of how I want to see 'stuck' heroes act. When the hero cannot progress at all, they'll start to randomly wander while slowly picking up the pace. A frustration meter will begin filling up, and once it's full their happiness meter will begin to rapidly drain. Once that's over, they'll pack up and head back the way they came, right out of the dungeon.

What happens if you don't let them out? Do they start trashing the place? Who knows. I think that question is best left for another time.

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