This page his here to discuss what to do about the FOOD / BOREDOM / Combo system. Essentially, there are four major approaches we can take here.
- Option A - Food - we can have the player find, randomly, food items which increase their play time. You can also buy food items at shops. If you run out of food your HP starts to drop, and it can kill you.
PROS: This is the standard method in roguelikes, so we know it works. Also, roguelike veterans will find it comforting.
CONS: The player has to actually take a second out from playing to consume the food item, and some players might find it annoying or silly that they have to eat. Additionally, some players might be irritated that they can die from running out of food.
- Option B - Boredom - the boredom system works a lot like food, except you don't have to find any item and consume it. Instead, simply getting kills increases your boredom amount. However, every time you kill one type of monster, it yields less boredom, so you must progress through the levels to avoid dying of boredom.
PROS: It's funny, it's original, it makes logical sense, and it's transparent - the player doesn't have to *do* anything, the system just works.
CONS: It might not be entirely clear how this system works unless some special measures are taken to explain it to them.
- Option C - Combo System - This is a more complex system that creates a new bar which grows as you get more kills, especially kills in immediate succession of each other (combos). This bar can double your points amount and give you health and mana regeneration when it's full. So therefore, it's in your best interest to fight the mobs and then move on, because the stragglers won't give you much points or regen. We can also tie this combo bar system in with several other mechanics in the game, such as skills.
PROS: It works the opposite way - instead of punishing the player for NOT playing the right way, this encourages the player TO play the right way. It's also fun to get combos and bonus points, and also can increase the overall fun of the game.
CONS: If it doesn't work as planned (I can see some ways it could be exploited), it may still need to use another limiter to make sure players don't still try to power-game. It also will take the most design and programming work.
- Option D - Invisible - this would be some sort of invisible limiter, such as the monster spawn tapering off in a level after a certain point, or experience gain tapering off for a certain monster type.
PROS: It's totally non intrusive to the gameplay, almost like it isn't even there.
CONS: It may be too limiting and cause the player to not be able to enjoy windfalls as much.
Matt has suggested a combination of B and C and I think that might be perfect. It is more work though than doing any one system on its own.
Here's what I propose, and it's based on Matt's lovely suggestion, as well as many discussions with Roguelike people.
Start off with the classic Food system which works the following way.
"Belly" starts at 100, and reduces by 0.1% to 0.5% per turn.
Using "ROASTED FOOD" item restores Belly to 100. You start the game with one of these.
If Belly reaches 0, HP drains by 1 per second and will kill you.
In addition to this, we can also add the COMBO system, which can start off being super simple.
If you kill 3 or more monsters within 3 turns, an icon appears which says "DOUBLE POINTS!" or something and you receive double points for 10 turns.
Later, this can be expanded to have more functionality and tie-ins with skills.