Latest Encounter Work

Today started off a bit slow, but I managed to strike a rhythm by about midday.

Some of the work involved some old encounters. Namely, there were some encounters that resulted in player death using random chance. As mentioned in a few places (including forum discussions), death via encounters isn't really fair, nor fun, if it happens randomly. Player choice should be the only cause of death in an encounter. And even then, it should be a choice that's clearly a risk.

I thought most encounters had been revised to avoid random death, but I managed to find a few cases that were still active. I made those more deterministic today, and in many cases, instead of a small chance of death, I just increased the chance of injury/loss. So far, nobody's complained (or even mentioned) the encounter branches in question, so it's possible nobody's encountered them yet. In any case, though, they should play out a bit more satisfyingly (and fair) now.

I was also able to make some decisions as to how a new encounter should play out, and got a lot of work done on it.

IMAGE( A pretty interesting encounter flow structure.

This one has some interesting flow possibilities. If you look carefully, there's a node on the top left with a lavender arrow coming out of it. That's where the player enters the encounter. And the nodes with arrows coming into them, but none leaving, are endpoints.

As you can see, this encounter already has several different endpoints. It has one of those "hub" style sections, where player choices briefly visit a branch and then come back. There's at least one "scissor" section, where the experience splits based on player stats, then recombines to a common outcome. And there's a rather new section type on the far right, which we'll call "arrow hell."

"Arrow hell" is named because it's tedious to implement, more than anything else. In this case, it's a series of related nodes that the player can pinball around, until being ejected down one of the possible endings. Think "a maze of twisty passages, all alike," although hopefully, not quite as harsh/annoying. It'll be interesting to see how folks find this type of section.

I still have work to do on the final cluster in the lower left quadrant. There, you can see a growing radial fan of options, leading to a few different outcomes. I have a few more to fill in in the mid-left gap area, near the pink->green exit arrow. There's at least one more player choice and outcome there.

Overall, I think this encounter should be pretty interesting, and a bit different from other structures. This one's largely Cameron's design, and it has a setting and feel which complements some of the other existing encounters nicely. I'm looking forward to unleashing it!

Hope everyone's having a good day, and happy Thanksgiving to those States-side!


RevLowTec's picture

Mister, you are a workhose! :-)

I enjoyed reading this blog post. Have a restful evening!