The world and campaign
Today I want to talk about the strategic layer of the game - the campaign.
This game is a survival adventure RPG, and most of the time you will fight in big encounters. Your followers can be injured, or die if not treated with bandages!
When Urtuk and his followers escape the Underworld to search for the Cure, the player begins his journey on the world's surface - in an old, destroyed, grim, low-fantasy landscape. The final goal is to travel to the Ancient City, far in the East, where Urtuk hopes to find the Cure.
The campaign takes place on a big world map, consisting of many zones. Player begins in the first zone, named 'Badlands', think of desolated savanna land. In each zone, we have implemented a traveling system like in FTL, where you move your party across random generated places interconnected with routes. Normally when party approaches a given place, an encounter event is executed - most often, the battle begins! There are also other kinds of places, like shops or secret entrances to new zones or environments..
A concept drawing of generated world map (first zone 'The Badlands')
The rewards after a successful battle can be various - from Trilium (game's currency for trade) to unique items or new party members or a combination of these.
Player can move only in one direction within the routes in map, from left to right, so normally he cannot travel back, only forward. The reasoning behind this design is that we don't want the player to visit all places within a zone and level up too quickly and get best gear - simply said, we need some balance and game pace.
Also, in a battle, if the odds are against the player, he can retreat. When done so, the party travels to the last place visited in the zone.
Each zone has its final boss node, where he poses a really challenging encounter for the player. Bosses have their own mechanics, strengths and weaknesses. They can be extracted for unique traits and abilities after successful battle!
Note that in this game there isn't any enemy level scaling, so everything you see in the world has been already generated in the beginning and will not change with player's progress. The whole world is always procedurally generated, you get a new game experience with each run!
We want to create 4-5 zones (two zones are already created at the time of writing), where each zone has its own biom, visuals, enemy types and overall feeling. After the zones has been cleared, player moves to the very last node of given zone - Shop. In here, bandages, items or new mercs can be bought with Trilium. Remember, this game is about survival, so when all party members are dead, it's game over! Bandages are the most important items - they heal injured members, so make sure you buy them in plenty!
An important feature of the game is the Extraction of traits. In a battle, Urtuk (or maybe other character) has the ability to inject into enemies a fluid called Aldehyde. With that, when that enemy dies, he can be extracted (butchered) to gain his traits or abilities! These extracted traits are wrapped into special items named Mutators. Any character can equip up to 3 mutators just like a weapon or armour. Some enemies like bosses might have multiple valuable extractables, so it is up to player to take note about what enemies are top priorities. Once in battle, Urtuk does not have an unlimited amount of Aldehyde, so choose wisely!
If you have any suggestions or tips, please give us your feedback!