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"Timing" game phases

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questccg
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Joined: 04/16/2011

This post is about my current WIP ("SpellMasters"). I am going to try to make an attempt at designing a "dynamic" spell system which would allow players to "craft" their very own spells. Obviously that means that the type of "abilities" that will be permissible will be "pre-determined". I'm okay with that. BUT...

I have a concern with "timing". Let me continue to explain further.

The first (1st) phase of the game is a "Dungeon Crawl" experience with "Game Tiles" that allow Wizards to accumulate Mana by crawling the dungeon in question. This phase is sort of a Puzzle and has numerous solutions and two (2) distinct levels of difficulty. This is a co-opetive phase in which all Wizards are trying to collect the most Mana for their own.

The second (2nd) phase of the game is a "Boss/Monster Battle" experience using "Spells" crafted by each player...

Now here is my "timing" issue...

IF (maybe) the spells need to be created to "reflect" the nature of each player's Mana (Letter Pool), it would make sense to CRAFT "spells" before the Boss/Monster Battle.

Perhaps a library of "previous" spells could be "accessible" and feature the use of a custom "Score Pad" which could "catalogue" spells. Obviously the idea of having a "library" to consult would be "natural" and organic.

BUT... Here's the problem:

When you play for the FIRST TIME, you don't have any referential material. No previous spells, no library to consult. So the problem is during the very early play sessions, there is going to be a STRONG gap in learning how to play the game and in essence building your Wizard's library of spells.

Obviously the MORE you play, the better you will get at designing and crafting new spells which might be similar to older ones. Sort of like PATTERNS. You can craft something similar in ability but closer to your Mana for a specific level... Boss/Monster.

AND... That initial "crafting" is what players will be "experiencing" FIRST.

It's like trying a new game and having to learn "How-To" play it. Plus you've got to work with no pre-existing spells aside from a "word" catalogue specific to each Wizard.

SO... There seems like there is no way to "time" the crafting of spells in ANOTHER fashion/way...? If there is a LINK/Connection between your Mana and the spells for a level, it is logical that you CANNOT do any "designing" (or crafting) before the first phase (Dungeon Crawl) occurs. And obviously you NEED the spells for the second phase (Boss/Monster Battle).

There doesn't seem like any other way other than this "time period" IN-BETWEEN phases which doesn't seem to have any pre-set parameters (like time spent) in such a "construction" part of the game.

Anyone have ideas of other ways of handling this??? Is this my only alternative or are there other possibilities (I am just not seeing...)

let-off studios
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Joined: 02/07/2011
Player Setup

Here's a pair of suggestions.

STARTING SPELLS
At the start of the game, players could have their own Spell Book, drawn or generated from cards or some other method. They bring it with them to the Dungeon. It has a few words already spelled-out in it, and this dictates their starting tiles/spells for the round. It's their "Book of Cantrips" they picked up as a young student at the Magic Academy.

DETERMINE PARTY LEADER
There may be a way to have the first phase of the game allow players to start from scratch, but instead of competing with some monster or hazard, they're competing with one another to see who will become the party leader. Maybe it's a locked door or portal that must be opened, and all wizards try their best to do it on their own. Maybe it's a Magic Academy Tournament where wizards duel or compete with one another to come up with the most impressive spells.

The reward for doing well is to become the party leader, while there's a penalty for the person who does the worst. This can allow you to thematically-link this first phase of the game, and ensure that players will be involved because they don't want to be in last place.

In any case, it still helps players generate their initial spell book before fighting boss monsters and stuff.

Hopefully these are worthwhile suggestions to consider, quest! :)

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