Wednesday, November 07, 2007

The Witcher

I've been rather disappointed by the Hellgate London beta, which is a rather good news for the development of TCOD. But there is this other game I've been following for a few weeks :
The witcher

From the gamespot review :
Memorable story, immersive combat, fascinating characters--what's not to like? A few fit-and-finish issues mean that The Witcher isn't quite an all-time classic RPG. Regardless, it's awfully, awfully close, warts and all, and it provides a new benchmark for future developers that are looking to lift their games out of the done-to-death elf-and-orc ghetto.

And IGN review :
The Witcher really is a good game and one that PC RPG fans will surely enjoy. It combines some entertaining and fast-paced combat with a well realized world and pretty decent story that branches and can end in three different fashions. With a load of choice in character creation on a point assignment and morality level, there’s plenty of reason to want to come back and play the 40-50 hour game again. [...] The Witcher is definitely a game you’ll remember well over the years."

With this game, and Crysis coming next week, I wonder when I will be able to finalize the first release of TCOD... The good thing is that The Witcher has a lot of features to study from a roguelike perspective, and especially from the TCOD perspective.

After one or two hours of gameplay, I've got already lots of good ideas to work on...
  • real time combat system : you can string combos of increasing power by attacking again precisely when the previous attack ends. This could be a good think to avoid the "attack as fast as you can until the creature dies" thing and would be particularly adapted to the TCOD skill casting system.
  • potion crafting system : first you learn recipes, then you find ingredients and a base liquid. Most food found in the world contain some base ingredients but there are also rare or special ingredients like remains from killed creatures. A potion can be the base liquid for a more powerful potion.
  • skill system : instead of having a single list of skills in which you can choose any skill you like, each skill has a cost, thus you can quickly learn a low cost skill or wait another XP level to learn a more powerful one. Each basic attribute (endurance, vitality, ...), weapon type and magic category gives you access to 5 levels of skills. The advantage of limiting the skills you can learn is that you won't have to choose a single skill from a list of 30, which is difficult and boring. There is also a strategic aspect : you don't learn a skill only to use it, but because it can lead you to a more interresting one. I think this is definitely something I'll have to put in TCOD.