Son of a Witch: Devlog and general discussion

Started by bigosaur, March 16, 2016, 05:28:40 PM

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Quote from: Jubal on December 05, 2020, 11:07:36 PM
Ooft, that is a lot of resources. Will you need to have found a blood runestone, or will donating a health bar also do it?

BTW, the reason regular HP doesn't work for such things is that in co-op one player can die as much as they want and always gets 40 HP when reviving. So, it would be too easy to cheat on it. Not to mention HP fills with gold diet or strawberry staff which is also very easy to do in co-op.


I have an idea about some kind of doctor NPC in the castle, where you can donate blood to some kind of machine. Once you donate 200 (or maybe 300?) you get one blood runestone. It would only accept blood from player who hasn't died nor used the Life Staff. The lore behind it would be that such blood is tainted by Angellic Magic and refuses to harden into stone which is a kind of Demonic Magic originating from hell (with all the lava geysers I'm placing there).

Or maybe that could be one of the special rooms in the dungeon (some weird doctor, put in prison for his nefarious practices) or maybe some type of vampiric doctor in the catacombs? Will need to think about this.


Here are the hell units:

I'm having problems with naming. I marked those I'm not sure about with a question mark (?). Here's the current plan with some spoilers, of course:

1. Demon is a mid-sized enemy like Orc or Yeti. Cannot be stunned with regular attacks (only rage attacks) and it will behave similar to Orc, possibly not attacking that often but being able to jump some distance forward (similar to Gorilla) while attacking you with his sword. This should give him more range than Orc.

2. Demon (elite) is meant to be a boss. It's a harder version (more HP, more damage) of the demon above. There will be a boss called The Demon Legion, which will cosist of 4 (or more) Elite Demons.

3. Efreeti are some demonic spirits in mythology, but I'm not sure if people would imagine them as small, fat creatures? Maybe a "beholder" would be a better name? The current idea for the attack is to fire a laser from its eye. Or maybe 3-4 orbs with homing ability (slightly changing the direction toward target). I plan to have a Homing Staff weapon in the game as well. This still needs testing. I guess I could also create a giant version that shoots fireballs from the eye, not sure. I already have 3 bosses + special final boss ready (more about that in a separate post), so maybe it isn't needed.

4. Hell Hound. I know what you might be thinking, but you won't be able to ride those. The idea is that they are an enemy who can walk up to you and bite your leg. You cannot move until you kill it. You can still attack, cast spells, etc, you just cannot move. I have to test this to see how good will the bite animation look. If it's bad, then I'll change it to run at you from the distance and knock you down. If it misses you, it would continue running straight until it hits the wall. I'm not sure if hell hound is the best name for it?

5. Succubus is a classic ranged character shooting arrows from the distance using her crossbow. The only thing I'm not sure about is whether the name Succubus it good. I know it has some sexual connotations, but I don't know if those are strong enough to be avoided in this type of game?

6. Imp is your standard melee troop. I feel like the name fits well for a "lesser" demon.

7. Imp Assassin will have a poisoned weapon and ability to occasionally teleport behind player's back. I wish I could think of a better name?

8. Imp Mage will behave similar to the undead mages: shooting orbs at you or casting spells. I currently have a couple possible ideas for spells. One of those is taking mana from players (so you have to kill him quickly or you lose ability to cast spells) or maybe just blocking any mana use (you still get to use your mana once you kill him). The third idea I had was giving random positive effects to other demons, but it doesn't feel like a demonic thing to do. It should cripple the players in some way. This name I have the most problems with, Imp Mage feels too simple and generic.

Any ideas are welcome...


I think the current names are fine. Succubi are somewhat definitionally sexual, but I don't think that's a problem or "too strong" for this sort of game. I think people just think of them as the attractive female demons, (like, a lot of monsters if you portrayed the full implications of what they do could get too much for a cartoon/family game, but "hi this is a succubus she's going to shoot you with a crossbow" I think is absolutely OK). I also quite like the Efreet - like, I don't think people have hugely strong opinions about their looks (and indeed people are probably more likely to have opinions about what a beholder should look like!) and the Hell Hound is great and very cute :)

I feel like the Imp Mage should be a Familiar, as the usual name for a demon who is summoned by a wizard or something (or Mandragora, for much the same reason).The assassin Imp could simply be a Fiend, that's a fairly traditional usage in demonology.

Also, how much do the names matter, given they never get seen on-screen?

The duke, the wanderer, the philosopher, the mariner, the warrior, the strategist, the storyteller, the wizard, the wayfarer...


Quote from: Jubal on December 07, 2020, 08:27:36 PM
Also, how much do the names matter, given they never get seen on-screen?

Two reasons: First, I'm starting to animate and code them tomorrow, so I need to name files and objects/classes in code. It doesn't really matter that much, but it becomes hard to maintain the thing when you don't touch it for a while. I took a long break from SoaW development this year (months). A few days ago I was looking for a code-id of that Paladin Sword effect and it took me so much time to find that the Paladin is actually called "Elf" in the code. I guess I could go in a rename all the occurrences, but it's much easier to just do it right from the start.

Second, I'm contemplating adding a special menu section called "Vault" where you will get to browse through all the enemies, weapons and items in the game. It would only show information for the enemies/items/weapons you have encountered in the game thus far. I'm thinking to also add descriptions from your Monster and Equipment manuals alongside the picture and stats (if you don't mind).


Oh, yeah, I made a paladin reskin recently and it took me forever to find them in the elf folder, that's very fair :)

And of course, you're welcome to use them! Let me know if you think anything needs tweaking or if I can make any useful additions.
The duke, the wanderer, the philosopher, the mariner, the warrior, the strategist, the storyteller, the wizard, the wayfarer...


I just finished Efreet. It flies around and shoots fireballs from its eye ;) So, Familiar, Fiend, Imp, Succubus are in the game now. I gave up on the Hell Hound. It's too small and the action on the screen is often too frenetic to notice/avoid it. Also, there are already 5 hell units and there will be 6 with the Demons, so it's already too much.

I might make a quest where you need to save the Hell Hound or something like that. Ideas?

BTW, Succubus has ranged attacks and a magic mug of beer she can use to make you drunk. She carries it around and does the "cheering". I feel like it's thematically very good match, esp. how reversed controls can mess with players.

Familiars currently have a staff with "mana block" magic. If they activate it, you cannot use mana for 2 battles. You can also get this staff in regular game (drops from chest, etc.) and block some enemies: Crystal Wizard teleportation, Dark Mages casting negative spells, Castle Wizards casting speed-up on guards, King summoning the guards, Trickster creating barrels, the Dragon Master summoning the spears, etc.

The block effect is interesting to use for players, but it doesn't really seem to have some strong effect when Familiars use it. After some testing I figured that I mostly use mana between battles (and rarely during) and it's mostly pure damage output and speed that determines the combat outcome anyway. So, not sure if this will be the final version of the Familiar.


Absolute 100% YES to the save the hell hound quest: a brief survey of friends who play suggest that yes, this would be a good idea, and doubly so if they can get their characters to pet the Very Good (OK, Evil) Boy. :) Not sure what this should entail or the reward: maybe you need to get it out of a cage thing (requiring a lot of keys and beating a few enemies) and if you can do that then it follows you around and attacks stuff for you? Or you get it for a succubus and she gives you a magic item?

I like the idea for the familiars: I think the mana block could be really important against some characters, like pyromancers or characters who're summoning allies often: I actually think that's quite an interesting final version (perhaps especially if they get occasionally spawned in the boss rooms where I often use lots of mana). I know you play a faster, punchier game style than me whereas I focus really hard on gaming the roguelike bits, so I think maybe this would affect my play more than yours. Also would be quite interesting for team play where you're often reliant on the chanter to produce food for example.
The duke, the wanderer, the philosopher, the mariner, the warrior, the strategist, the storyteller, the wizard, the wayfarer...


Alright, after a lot of testing, the new hero will be named: Lich. An undead mage who uses HP for mana. You gain 1 mana/hp every new room and all the effects like Lizard pet (2) or Giraffe (10) apply. Of course, this would open the system for abuse via healing staff (spend 4 mana to get 20), life staff and necro staff so any healing via staves is disabled. I wrapped it up in a nice story and in-game explanation from the Lich NPC during his unlock quest.

I have added a bunch new potions, magic scrolls, item so far and done some bugfixing and improvements to the old game mechanics. For example, the Whale pet now gives you a Kindling when the campfire stops burning. I also made all the Hell bosses except for this one:

Still not sure how to name this one. It flies around, shoots magic orbs and buffs the demon minions with various positive spells (speed up, crit chance, etc.).

Current ideas include:

  • The Evil Spirit
  • Infernal Apparition
  • Ghost of the Archmage
  • Nightmare

Which one do you think fits the best? Or do you have some other ideas?


My instinct is to go for a classic individual name from demonology - maybe Belphegor or Abaddon, since they're both high-ranking in demonological literature and aren't too overplayed in popular and game culture. Asmodeus is also a good choice though as he's the ruler of D&D hell that might be more confusing, or Rhadamanthus simply because it's such a cool name. I think having him named individually makes sense regarding what people expect from Hell somehow and makes it feel a bit more climactic than "here's an infernal apparition" which has a "we've got more where this came from" feel to it.

As another alternative, the Lord of Misrule would be a fun one - it gives him an actual title, and the misrule thing kind of hints at his function since he's focused on ruling/supporting the demons. (This was also an actual thing, though in reality it referred to when a child was temporarily put in charge of a cathedral as a general upending of the social order: it was banned as a practice in the 17th century or so.)
The duke, the wanderer, the philosopher, the mariner, the warrior, the strategist, the storyteller, the wizard, the wayfarer...


Quote from: Jubal on January 04, 2021, 11:09:50 AMRhadamanthus simply because it's such a cool name.

Yes, this one is perfect. The other two are too much "demonic" and this one isn't a demon but more of a ghost/wraith type of enemy. For example, all demons are immune to fire, but can be frozen and poisoned in the game, but you cannot freeze or poison this boss. I think I'm going to call him "Ghost of Rhadamantus" to avoid potential confusion with people translating the game in other languages.

Well, I'm off to make him move around and attack now ;)


You are going to love this one:

Many players have requested this and finally it's here. It's a magic crossbow that shoots magic arrows (so, no arrows required) and can be upgraded with both magic and archery runestones. The green and purple one upgrade the damage depending on hero archery/magic skill. The blue rune upgrades the range, which is about half the screen by default and the yellow one increases the speed of arrows. It shoots really fast, like a gun.


Ooft! Is there any downside to it? That seems very powerful! I guess the special being a mana ability means you get to use the rage attack equivalent less. Interesting that it's the opposite of how crossbows usually and actually work re them usually being slower harder hitting weapons - but this makes sense for how the game works I think since the bow already has that slow hard hitting weapon type slot. I guess ithis is more a chu-ko-nu than a conventional crossbow :)

But yes, besides a pangolin pet and wanting dwarfs and bards as characters (and I do get that even more character classes would likely be way too much work & it's hard to work out how to make them interesting and balanced, though I still think the pangolin is a good idea), a crossbow is definitely high on the list of something I've wanted and it's very cool to see it in game, good stuff! I wonder if the mana ability should keep the raised arm anim or not? It' looks a little odd that the character raises the bow and the bolt flies out at an angle.
The duke, the wanderer, the philosopher, the mariner, the warrior, the strategist, the storyteller, the wizard, the wayfarer...


Quote from: Jubal on January 05, 2021, 01:09:24 PMOoft! Is there any downside to it? That seems very powerful!

It isn't really that OP, the starting damage is similar to the Twilight Staff and the special ability is just the 1-mana piercing arrow. It does "feel" very powerful to use.

Quotedwarfs and bards as characters

Here are some ideas I had for this update, not sure if those are going to get in:

1. a rich Merchant hero who starts with 2000 gold, 40HP, low stats (80 melee, 30 magic, 40 archery), the Gilded Predator hammer, Money is Power effect and low Extravagance effect. The idea was that you start very powerful (You can 2-shot most enemies with the hammer), but you have to keep getting gold not to lose the power. It was fun to play a couple of times, but chasing the gold become tiresome quickly. I also tried some variations like just having the gold and the crossbow at the start (without effects), but it's basically the same as any regular run when you get the crossbow on the first level. So I scrapped it.

2. a blacksmith hero who starts with 20 shields (the 50% damage reduction one for 20 hits), and a hammer which can be used to attack or smelt weapons (any weapon) into shields. Beside 50% damage reduction, every shield point you have would give you some extra damage to attacks. Don't know if this single mechanics is enough to have a separate hero. And I'm also not sure if we need yet another melee hero. I still haven't experimented playing with this build, though. Maybe it could be a fun one.

QuoteI wonder if the mana ability should keep the raised arm anim or not? It' looks a little odd that the character raises the bow and the bolt flies out at an angle.

I admit it's weird. I'll probably add a special animation for it. The main problem is that it means going though all 11 characters and adding a special animation just for that one attack. I've got so many other features to add... Or maybe I could change the special to be some buff instead of the piercing attack?


Of the hero ideas I like the blacksmith much more than the merchant. Bonus points if the blacksmith is a dwarf ;) And it'd be a nice alternate tank. I personally am not so keen on the merchant, I find the maximising-money game a bit of a drag and also the extravagance sound effect is the single most annoying thing in the game (plus it means you should make a lot more careful calculations about routes around the level, especially for the harder modes, so it adds a lot of mental taxation onto the player to play it well compared to basically any other build).

If one were to do a bard, I feel like a bardic lute item that would "cast" peace on one enemy at a time as a one-mana ability could work (functionally this would be very little different to the shepherd staff I guess, but having it from the start makes shop robberies very easy right from the early game). Or it could cast confusion on a room for 2-3 mana: even though confusion's a scroll ability it is one of the weaker ones so I think that's about the right cost. The latter might be the more interesting character: starting with low health and not great stats, but the ability to make enemies turn on each other, I feel could make quite an interesting game variant.

Re the Blacksmith, utilising the shielding mechanic was also my idea for implementing a pangolin pet, to have it give you one shield at the end of every battle (which would be relatively powerful but IMO no more so than, say, the mana lizard).

Final thought, vaguely triggered by the bard thoughts above: a staff or weapon or something that uses a mana and creates a temporary ghost-illusion version of yourself that enemies attack instead of you, similar to how the tortoise works, might be fun.

Could the crossbow's mana ability give it fire arrows for a battle for 4 mana or something?
The duke, the wanderer, the philosopher, the mariner, the warrior, the strategist, the storyteller, the wizard, the wayfarer...