I remember a great gaming experience I had with Might and Magic VI. The game started in a small town where everything seemed to have a place and a purpose. I really enjoyed the immersion factor of this area. Never did I get the feeling that I didn’t belong or that my actions were meaningless. Unfortunately, the rest of the game didn’t quite live up to the promise of that first area.
That initial town started me thinking about crafting playing areas where everything had a function. As per my previous posts, I will explore the potential of using a village (and surrounding areas) as the main questing area in the context of a roguelike.
I want the village to seem alive with every actor having a clear role and back story. The village should function like a living organism. It should be able to operate without relying on the actions of the player and should react to environmental events (weather, economic, physical threat) in a acceptable manner.
It is my vision that the player will be able to see the impact of his actions on the livelihood of the village and it’s villagers. If the baker gets sick (special event) the player can choose to go find a cure or do nothing. If the player fails (there might not be a cure) or does nothing, the baker could either die or get well. If the baker dies there might not be a baker in town for a while, which could impact the baked goods supply within the village. There might be other consequences depending on the other relationships impacted by the death of the baker.
It is these indirect consequences that I would like to explore in a game design. I am hoping that direct feedback (through quest rewards) and indirect feedback (through changes in the village) would inspire the player to engage with the game.
For the next few posts, I hope to explore building the indirect feedback loop into the fundamental game design.