Raise the Dead feature update! (v20230116-01)
I didn't want to push updates during the flurry of Ludum Dare reviews, but now that's cooled off I can share some of the things I've been doing!
Game Mode Selection
The two biggest bits of feedback that I received were "The game is too easy" and "I wish I could watch the battle above the grid". Hopefully these options give some flexibility on making the game both more difficult and also giving you a chance to watch the fight. I've created three "modifiers" for the game.
Making the game harder pretty much requires you to purchase extra tiles to win. You need all the space you can get to expand your army faster and faster.
- Hard Mode: The opponent spawns more enemies more quickly.
- Refill Delay: The grid refills more slowly, giving you a chance to watch the battle.
- Match Cap: You have a limited number of matches (which refill over time), giving you a chance to watch the battle. Punishes spamming small matches.
Tile Collection Changes
I wanted to divorce two mechanics when matching tiles. In the past, when you collected a certain number of tiles it could both summon a monster and also evolve a tile. I started to feel that this limits the gameplay space.
Before, you needed to match 5 or more flesh at the same time to make a zombie (4 bones for a skeleton). Now, when you collect flesh, they get added to a pool. When you have enough flesh, it'll make a zombie. This will make the game slightly easier because it doesn't punish small matches when you're trying to set up something bigger. There will eventually by a UI to show your progress in making a monster, but not yet.
To evolve a tile, you still need to make large matches. For example, you still need to match 5 dirt to make a coin. Even if there is no evolved tile to replace on the grid, you still get a point of mana. That doesn't have any gameplay effect yet, but it will!
As an example, eventually I want you to be able to collect bones to create skeletons and also evolved skull tiles. Then you can match those skulls to make more powerful monsters to fight for you.
Monsters Animate Now
It makes me happy to watch them jiggle about
The Game Isn't Deep Yet
You basically mash skeletons and zombies against each other until someone wins. This is neat, but there isn't much strategy or skill to it yet aside from just matching quickly.
I do have a lot of plans for the future, but I definitely want to make sure that the core of the game is fun before really diving into making a bunch of content. A few thoughts:
- Spending gold to unlock evolved tiles
- Spending mana to grant temporary bonuses to your army
There could also be a "campaign" mode where you get milestone unlocks after each battle. Not everything needs a roguelite twist to it, but being able to evolve and grow your graveyard across multiple battles would be a great approach for longer game sessions.
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