Blog (Pre-Medium)

The Path Ahead – Underdev’d

We (TheInverted and I) are making a wizarding simulator.

We’ve been working on it off and on for a few months, and it’s getting to the point where we probably have an idea with legs. Because there is no point in eating when Instagram is down, I’d like to periodically do an Underdev’d dev log, to go through what we think is interesting in the game, or to document some things that were hard to figure out for an extreme beginner, especially where documentation assumes a base that doesn’t yet exist.

To start though, I’d like to write about this as-of-yet-untitled game we’re working on, what it’s about, and where we’d like to go with it. Here’s the elevator pitch.

You’re a wizard. You recruit parties to explore a randomized, partially-procedurally generated elemental world, kill enemy wizards and bring back treasure, until you’ve taken over the world.

Pretty straight forward. At this point, you’re probably thinking “Yeah, you said wizarding simulator, we get it. Don’t tell me what to think,” and fair enough, here are the details.

Currently, the game has three major modes, Management, Wizarding, and Adventure. Your wizard tower acts as a hub world that is the gateway to each of these modes in the game.

The top level of this game is a management sim that rewards hiring minions on the cheap, and using them to reap the largest rewards. As a wizard, you must allocate your resources to ensure that your parties are running smoothly, to allow you to spend more time on wizarding. In this mode you hire, equip, and train parties, reap their rewards (minus their cuts of course), and get what you need to continue your wizarding work.

Wizarding (spell research and more) is how the player develops the knowledge to interact with the world and solve puzzles. The spells will have a grammar that will allow for a wide array of unique combinations to explore and can be given to parties for use (ala Magicka, or Dungeon Magic, but way more diverse). Spells can be used environmentally and in stories to solve overcome obstacles and solve puzzles, and also in combat.

These puzzles currently come in two flavas:
1. World Puzzles – Researched spells can be used to Change the world itself to allow the party to advance. (ala Anodyne) The world is elemental based, the basic Earth, Wind, Fire, Air to start with other increasingly interesting choices. Examples include:
-Research an Earth Destruction spell to get rid of large rocks.
-Research an Water Movement spell to allow your adventures to move over water.
2. Story Puzzles – The world will consist of text-based enemy encounters. More options will be available if the player has access to certain spells (ala FTL, Fallout, Disco Elysium).
-Research Water Creation to help thirsty camels in the desert
-Research Air Movement to help the great scientist Notcid finish their airship

Adventuring is ye olde top down wanding the world and exploring stuff part of ye olde game here (ala Dragon Quest or The Legend of Zelda or … Adventure). Here you complete quests and defeat enemies to gain resources. Resources can be monetary or elemental material. These resources are returned to the wizard for management and distribution.

Adventuring is the bulk of the play experience and it is where the player learns about the world and experiments with how the spells interact with it. It is also ultimately the play state for defeating rival wizards and winning the game. 

The basic “game machine” is as such:

-Management chooses how resources are allocated between Wizarding and Adventuring. 

-Spell Research uses resources gathered in Adventuring to increase the player’s options so that future Adventures can be more successful.
-Adventuring is primarily to gain resources to power Management and Wizarding as well as being the method to defeat other wizards and win the game. 

We plan to have the world generate procedurally based on sculpted components (ala Spelunky). Reaching a fail state (death of the wizard, death of all available party members, bankruptcy) will end the game and reset all progress EXCEPT for the knowledge gained from wizarding. Subsequent playthroughs will allow players a much greater knowledge base at the beginning of the game which will allow them to progress further and more efficiently each time. 

There will be more to come in the months (years ㅠㅠ) ahead as we slowly work through everything we’d like to do. Currently we have a base world generator, as well as a base battle system, and a decent idea of how we want the game to play. If it’s fun we’ll continue and let y’all know.