Thinking about a new creature

Recently I asked in twitter if I should add new creature,new artifact type or modify existing creatures and got told that I should add a new creature. So, here goes, I’m going to start working on adding a new creature and some new features along the way (as every creature should be distinctive from others, it often means that adding a new creature means adding some new features).

Current list of monsters is small: rat (patrols a room along the walls), fire beetle (patrols center of a room), skeleton (patrols whole level), spider (searcher for a nice corner), fungi (just slowly multiplies and attacks everything that comes too close) and bat (flies around in middle of a room, preferably a pit). Most creatures are land based, bat being the only exception. All creatures attack simply by running at you (except fungi) and hitting. It would be nice to have a different attack mechanic and maybe different movement mechanic too (two most easiest ways to differentiate between monsters).

After throwing all this in the mixing bag and randomly shredding some extra ideas in for a good measure, I came up with the following:

Water guardians are relics of the golden age. They look like large toads with some mechanical parts attached to them. Water guardians prefer to stay out of sight in deep pools under city of Herculeum, but occasionally surface when particularly noisy adventuring group walks past. They’re strong, well protected by their thick hide and attached armour plating. If opponent isn’t careful, water guardian can snatch them and drag into cold pool.



This should make Water guardians stand out from rest of the creatures that the game currently has. They live in water, which means that I have to add water tiles, swimming, drowning and such things into game. They are usually hidden, but will surface when player comes too close. Drag attack is also something new that needs to be coded into game. Not to mention new AI, graphics and such little details. It’s lot of things to implement and I suspect this will take quite a while to finish.

Water should be somewhat interesting to implement and test. It will define area that is dangerous to move if you don’t know how to swim, but which doesn’t outright kill you. Around the water there will be a danger zone, where Water guardians can drag you into water. I’m hoping that there will be plenty of situations where players are presented situation where they can take dangerous route to gain something and risk getting into water or take safe route and skip the possible reward. Small islands with treasure in middle of large body of water are probably the simplest example.

How will players be able to navigate around water obstacles? Simplest is to just toughen up and wade through. This will case serious damage if they don’t know how to swim. Another option is to obtain shoes of air walking and cross the water without touching it (I wonder if shoes of water walking would make sense too?). Using a bridge (or maybe even building one) is yet another option. This opens player to risk of getting dragged into water of course. Later on I might add even more options, like freezing water into ice, boats and such. But for now, they can wait.

Dragging attack sounds pretty nifty to me, but it can be quite overpowered. I should limit how often it can be used and who can use it (maybe even against what it can be used as mouse probably can’t drag an elephant). Flying monster dragging player into bottomless pit is annoying way to die as it insta-kills. Maybe a mechanic where attacker first grabs the player and on the next turn drags him would be better? That would give player one turn to try and escape somehow.

If there are water, there probably should be bridges that go over it. They could be rickety hanging bridges, bamboo constructions or large and sturdy stone ones. And here comes probably the hardest thing to code properly about the whole thing: going under and over the bridges, jumping down from the bridge, putting items on or under the bridge and all that. When can somebody attack character standing on the bridge or under it? Will it be possible to fly over the bridge and drop an item so that it ends on the bridge and not underneath of it. And I’m not even trying to code system where multiple bridges could span the same location at different heights, that just sounds like a disaster to happen. And speaking of disasters, what happens when somebody decides to burn down part of a bridge or both ends of it?

So lots of new things to code and ponder about. Hopefully this won’t take forever to build and I manage to keep new parts falling into place relatively often. Might even sprinkle smaller tasks here and there (shoes of water walking, I’m looking at you) for fun.

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