"The Crawl" - A new style of challenge

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By Sanglorian 14 Aug 2017 08:57

Champion · 422 comments

I've been playing through Pokemon Emerald, and I was thinking about how those games encourage you to hoard items:

1. You never really need to use an item
2. A lot of them are consumable but you might only get them once, or they're time-consuming or expensive to get

That contrasts with games like Darkest Dungeons, where you want to use up all of your items before the end, but the uncertainty of what you'll need when also encourages you to hold onto them. There are interesting, and frequent, choices to be made about what items to use, and when.

This got me thinking about a game style we could implement in Tuxemon. Once I developed the idea, I realised it would address a lot of weaknesses in the Pokemon games.

The Crawl

Once you're a fair way through your adventure, you get the opportunity to go on Crawls. A Crawl is a level-capped route/dungeon/forest/combination that costs money to enter. Once you enter, you can only leave by blacking out or using an Escape Key, or by completing the Crawl. Either way, once you're out the Crawl resets.

To enter the Crawl, and periodically throughout the Crawl, you have to have no more than X items in your inventory (say, 5 or 10). You pick up lots of items while on the Crawl, but you have to use most of them because you can't take them with you.

That's it. As you can see, most of what's needed to make a Crawl work is stuff we already have, or that we'd implement anyway, so there shouldn't be any extra programming load. But the Crawls themselves would open up an interesting design space:

* They encourage a use-it-or-lose-it approach to items. If you pick up TMs, it's probably easiest to just use them on whatever tuxemon you have with you, rather than having them clog up your inventory.

* They give a reason to catch, train and master tuxemon that aren't on your standard team, for two reasons: angel If you want to do a low-level Crawl, you can't use your default level 50 team even if you want to. (b) Crawls would have different challenges and threats, so they might only be winnable with say an all-Water team, or a team carefully crafted for that exact Crawl.

* You could introduce interesting challenges that would test players' mastery of the rules. A simple example is a Crawl where all the creatures are level 40, but you can only bring in creatures of level 30 or lower. Or you could have a Crawl where you can only bring one tuxemon, but you'll face tuxemon with techniques of all types. Or you could have a Crawl where you fight a single tuxemon, but it's got an absurd amount of HP. Or a Crawl where you take damage with every step. The possibilities are vast.

* They give a sense of achievement.

Obviously the focus should be on getting the core game working, but I wanted to record this idea because I think it would be a very rewarding addition to the core gameplay, and one that could be introduced with little or no programming required.

Last edited by Sanglorian (14 Aug 2017 09:01)

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By bitcraft 15 Aug 2017 17:41

Champion · 129 comments

I love the idea!  I wonder if Crawls could be integrated into the storyline, along with optional ones, just for fun?   Maybe they serve as an 'fitness test' for a gym membership?  or you need to pass a high level crawl to advance from a town to some secluded area (a bad guy hideout/base?).

I also had some idea of a hidden path in the forest that leads you to a encampment of people who train in the crawls.  There are several crawls there.  The whole thing being led by a somewhat crazy guy who organizes it.  It would feel like a shabby assortment of shacks, a hot spring, a vendor.  You could challenge yourself to the crawls and maybe there would be a leader board.  Just a thought.

I played guild wars a lot many years ago...  hahaha, now i feel old.  The idea is similar though.

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By Sanglorian 16 Aug 2017 02:00

Champion · 422 comments
bitcraft wrote

I love the idea!  I wonder if Crawls could be integrated into the storyline, along with optional ones, just for fun?   Maybe they serve as an 'fitness test' for a gym membership?  or you need to pass a high level crawl to advance from a town to some secluded area (a bad guy hideout/base?).

Hmm, interesting idea. Because I've been playing with variations of this idea for a while, there's actually one currently planned location that requires you to complete the run or black out - Scoop HQ (it uses a one-way conveyor belt to stop players from leaving early). We could include an inventory maximum as well to implement the other half of the Crawl design theory.

If it works well in Scoop HQ, there's no reason why we couldn't use the same model for the other HQs - Omnichannel, Greenwash and Nimrod - and the Hospital and Walled Garden. 

bitcraft wrote

I also had some idea of a hidden path in the forest that leads you to a encampment of people who train in the crawls.  There are several crawls there.  The whole thing being led by a somewhat crazy guy who organizes it.  It would feel like a shabby assortment of shacks, a hot spring, a vendor.  You could challenge yourself to the crawls and maybe there would be a leader board.  Just a thought.

I love that idea! The crazy guy or girl who organises it could be the Crawl Maniac, a relative of the Achievement Maniac in City Park.

That could be the base where all crawls (other than the story-based ones) start.

Where did you get the idea for having a hot spring? I can imagine it vividly - hardened trainers hanging out in a steaming pool shooting the breeze.

Last edited by Sanglorian (16 Aug 2017 02:01)

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By bitcraft 26 Aug 2017 14:46

Champion · 129 comments

Because I've been playing with variations of this idea for a while, there's actually one currently planned location that requires you to complete the run or black out - Scoop HQ (it uses a one-way conveyor belt to stop players from leaving early).

Very cool.  I like that it is "complete or black out".  Maybe that is my bias showing (i love me some roguelikes). 

I love that idea! The crazy guy or girl who organises it could be the Crawl Maniac, a relative of the Achievement Maniac in City Park.

That could be the base where all crawls (other than the story-based ones) start.

Where did you get the idea for having a hot spring? I can imagine it vividly - hardened trainers hanging out in a steaming pool shooting the breeze.

Sounds great~!  It definitely needs an over-the-top personality for the Crawl Maniac.  As for the hot spring idea, idk, maybe I watched too much anime as a kid.  ^_^

I'm really excited about the crawls idea.  It would be a great way to test gameplay without waiting on the story line, too.  Hopefully, starting this fall, I will have more time to contribute development.  Been very busy for me.

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By ShadowApex 27 Aug 2017 17:49

Lead Developer · 368 comments

I also love this idea. I've been playing the Darkest Dungeon recently too. It's a great game. I would love to introduce some parts of the game that are more rogue-like.