Mysterious Space already has “potions” in the game, via Alien Artifacts, but I’d like to add “scrolls” as well. These will be rarer, and often have permanent effects, including “blessing” and “cursing” equipment, in the Roguelike tradition.
it’s something I’ve been considering adding for a while, but today I happened to read @Play: The Eight Rules of Roguelike Design, which convinced me to work on this now, rather than later!
of course, Mysterious Space will not use words like “scroll”, “bless”, or “curse”, but I haven’t decided on the vocabulary yet, so for now, I will refer to them using these words.
I’m handling blesses and curses a little differently in Mysterious Space, by giving each piece of equipment a blessing or curse specific TO that piece of equipment.
for example, when an EMP Resistant shield is blessed, it grants a temporary shield whenever you’re slowed; when cursed, slowing disables the shield entirely.
when Regenerating Armor is blessed, it fires bullets around you when it’s at full strength; when cursed, it’s permanently destroyed if the armor is reduced to 0.
as a final example, the RNG blaster imposes random effects on the player; good effects when blessed (such as doubling weapon fire rates, granting haste, etc); bad effects when cursed (including getting randomly teleported, being slowed, etc).
blessings and curses can also be layered on multiple times, for stronger effects. in a few cases – such as the Regenerating Armor’s permanent destruction – the effect can’t get any stronger, but in most cases, it can. for example, effect durations such as slow and haste will get longer, and the RNG blaster will apply it’s good/bad effects more frequently.
since I’ve chosen to customize the effects for each piece of equipment, it’s a lot of work. there are 9 accessories, 9 armors, 10 shields, and 13 weapons. but I think it will be worth it.
and this is all for just TWO effects that the scrolls will have: curse equipment and bless equipment. I haven’t even started on the other effects, yet, or even figured out what they’ll all be.
I want to look at some roguelike wikis for inspiration, but so far I’m considering:
- permanent hull upgrades
- locking an equipment slot for a few levels
- slowing all enemies on the screen
- teleporting the user
- disabling all weapons for a few seconds
- revealing the locations of all fuel on the level
- destroying terrain in a circle around the player
- spawning a bunch of enemies
why bother with all this work? to add more depth and strategy to the game! destroying terrain in a circle could be anything from a time saver to a life saver, depending on when it’s used. spawning enemies is usually bad, but if you’re doing well for the level you’re on (or have a smart bomb effect handy), it might provide some quick extra loot. and the opportunity to bless equipment gives the old “do I bless now, to increase my survival, or save it for a better item?” dilemma that roguelikes have been enjoying for decades.
I’m not sure when I’ll get all this stuff in, but I’ll definitely keep you posted, and get a video together, at some point, to showcase some of the new effects, when they’re ready 🙂