In today’s post, we’ll take a look at how Vaporum’s levels will be structured in terms of linearity and optional content, and we’ll also delve into the RPG side of things.
Optional content & linearity
Levels will contain a lot of optional content with a good amount of loot, weapons, gadgets and surprises. You do not have to explore all these areas, but you can. It’s up to you.
Although levels are created manually by hand, we plan to introduce randomly chosen physical blockers (like a pile of junk or indestructible crates…) at certain points. This will change the way you have to go through the level each time. It will make some passages impassable, while open up some others that are impassable by default. This will never completely block off a certain part of a level; it will only make that part accessible from elsewhere. These blockers will be randomly turned on or off when you first enter any given level. As a result, chances are you will never play any one level the same way. We see this as a very cheap way of increasing re-playability, making the game a bit more interesting even after many playthroughs. A similar concept is used in Grim Dawn.
Loot (items you find in chests or dropped from enemies) is also randomized, to an extent. When you first enter a level, most chests in it have their contents randomized. Items will still be carefully defined by hand, but every playthrough will yield different combinations in different places.
Weapons & role play
In Vaporum, you can carry one melee and one ranged weapon in your hands. Ranged weapons have great firepower at the expense of long reloading time. This makes them very strong, but not usable every other second, like you would expect in most crawlers. Ranged weapons therefore represent an occasional huge damage spike rather than a constant damage source. Melee weapons (like swords and hammers), on the contrary, have short cooldowns and can be used very often.
Character customization comes in the form of upgrading your suit. Everything revolves around your suit, as instead of upgrading your character’s attributes and skills, you are upgrading the suit itself. The suit represents what is generally regarded as the player character in most RPGs. It protects you from harm, allows you to install various gadgets to enhance your abilities, acquire skills and increase your statistics. The simplest way of getting stronger is to equip gadgets. Gadgets are items you can find in chests, secrets and sometimes dropped from slain enemies. You can equip as many gadgets as your suit can sustain (up to a maximum number of slots). Slots are not limited to certain types of gadgets, so you can have any gadget type in any slot. This is one of the defining features of our character system, giving you a lot of room for experimentation with various builds, combos and whatnot.
Experience comes in the form of power cells. As you collect power cells (dropped from enemies or found), your suit’s power capacity increases, allowing it to sustain more gadgets. Every time the power increase reaches a minor threshold (equivalent to 1 character level), you gain minor attribute bonuses (like more hit points, more attack damage, etc.). And when the power increase reaches a major threshold (equivalent to 3 character levels), not only do you gain these minor bonuses, you also get to choose one from a set of predefined skills (usually passive skills) that have a significant impact on gameplay and the way you can play. This choice is very important, as you can only choose one skill of the set and the rest is lost.
Do you want to be an armoured hulk and just face-tank most enemies, or a light-footed assassin that deals quick bursts of damage, evading counter-attacks, or an engineer who can hack devices and assemble bots to do the fighting for him, or something in between? The choice is yours.
Some gadgets grant various passive and active skills that become available as soon as you equip the item. This gives you great control over how you build your character, what attributes it will have, what passive and active skills, and how many.
Let us know what you think about our vision of the game in the comments below.
5 Responses to “Exploration & RPG system”
Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.
Although levels are created manually by hand, we plan to introduce randomly chosen physical blockers (like a pile of junk or indestructible crates…) at certain points.
I find this idea as good. Let’s see it working in reality. I am a bit afraid of combinations like this: The path which was easlly done before is now blocked and now I can pass through area which has tough mobs in it.
Loot (items you find in chests or dropped from enemies) is also randomized, to an extent.
Here can come up an usual problem – How should I build my character? Do I want to be a tank but I the stuff I found are for damage. Should I build my character by items I found? Or should I focus on things I found in my first game play and I remember where they are so now I can head straight to them and than I act to it.
Very well way of explaining the non logic upgrades in “meaty” (understand fantasy) RPGs, where characters are somehow getting stronger. Tank is simply tougher because he has stronger muscles, skeleton, skin and everything. It doesn’t matter, that he wears a plate armor, because he just received a passive -10% all damage, so his meat gets harder. This suit solution is elegant. It gives me the feeling from S.T.A.L.K.E.R. where player’s character was soft as butter and the suit made him monstrously strong. Plus for a sandbox element – possibility to combine any gadgets player want. Balance please this well, so it will not end with one strong combination solving everything in game – the well known ultimate
combo. I personally like more game style, where is rewarded keeping some strong items in inventory for special uses (fire resist gadgets for fightning strong fire mobs).
Every time the power increase reaches a minor threshold (equivalent to 1 character level), you gain minor attribute bonuses (like more hit points, more attack damage, etc.).
Here we goes… From nothing and the character is thougher. But wait… It’s the suit which gets more charged with energy.
And when the power increase reaches a major threshold (equivalent to 3 character levels), not only do you gain these minor bonuses, you also get to choose one from a set of predefined skills (usually
passive skills) that have a significant impact on gamep lay and the way you can play. This choice is very important, as you can only choose one skill of the set and the rest is lost.
Similar simple “talent” system is now in World of Warcraft. It’s so easy to understand and so nice to play with. Thing is, player can change it if he did something wrong. I am guessing that this will be not an option in the game.
From my experience in RPGs the way of “tank” (just an example) was never a good choice. After a while it got boring how long it took to slain normal monster (not to mention though ones), comparing of how fast were glass cannons able to to deal with them with almost no effort. Otherwise I like when game rewards a tanky focused player which as tanks are the only one able to deal with specific monsters, meanwhile glass cannons just can’t take them down soon enough (they are just squished and so punished for their squishines). Tank has to do a lot of effort, but at the end his brickyness won the fight and rewards are awaiting him. But often there’s that scenario where glass cannon just deal with it easlly because player is skillah and tricky bastard.
Some gadgets grant various passive and active skills that become available as soon as you equip the item.
Great, BUT often happens to me, that such a uniques are by time getting useless, because the item by it self is just weak. Example: A sword with fire effect is very useful against frost mobs at the beginning. Later it is just not as good as it was, because frost mobs are stronger and the base damage of sword is weak, though it’s unique effect melting mobster’s frost armour is good. So I would appreciate if the item would scale with the characters level.
We will carefully choose the blockers during level design process. We want the experience to be different each time you play the game, but not completely alien to your previous plays.
There should always be enough items to choose from and build your own way. Most chests will always contain some predefined items and only one or two more items will be randomized. You would have to be extremely unlucky not to ever come across any good item you want in your build.
Exactly. Collecting power cells, your suit will slowly be becoming more powerful over time, and more notably at certain thresholds.
Correct. We plan to make this choice one-time only initially. If it proves frustrating, we will consider adding a respecialization option.
Well, yeah, this is exactly what RPG is all about. Play any role you want, play the game your own way and have fun, even if it is the weirdest build ever. You will be able to go hardcore tank or hardcore glass cannon, or something in between, plus many other options.
would you mind if I retweet this post?
On the contrary, Bret. Feel free to do it, please. 🙂
I will rіght away take hold of your rss feed aѕ I can’t find your
email subscription link or newsletter service. Do you’ve any?
Kindly allow me understand in ߋrder that I could subscribe.