Hi! This is my second time doing a MFGJ (the last being Winter 2017, which was successful!) and I'm going to try making a roguelike with a focus on evading enemies rather than fighting them. This won't be a true roguelike because I probably won't have time to sort out procedurally generated levels within the time limit of the jam, but it's a potential stretch goal or something to work on after the jam is over. The only roguelike I've really played is Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup so that's a big influence. I also had a housemate who was obsessed with Crypt of the Necrodancer when I was at uni so that's something of an influence too. :P
The PC is a water mage returning to the ancient halls of their forebears where there is rumoured to exist the legendary Wellspring: an everflowing source of magic. However, it was abandoned when a ritual went wrong and unspeakable monsters overran the place. The water mages created guardians to stem the tide of creatures. Both guardians and monsters still inhabit the halls to this day.
The PC has to evade various enemies on their way to the bottom of the dungeon where the Wellspring lies. Various challenges they encounter will include:
- Monsters: I'd like to have a few different types of enemy. I'd like to include two at minimum: Stone Guardians, which can break through ice, doors and blocks after a couple of turns, and Spirit Guardians, which are incorporeal and can pass through doors and blocks but are affected more strongly by spells.
- Traps: when the water mages were fleeing they left behind various traps to slow down any creatures that might be following. These will manifest as various debuffs, such as Slow, Weakness (can't push blocks or close gates/doors) and Magicka Drain.
- Boss Fights/Levels??? This is something that would be neat to include but I haven't done much design work on yet and is pretty much just a stretch goal at this point.
However, the PC also has a number of things to help them:
- Magic: they have three spells that use various amounts of magicka, which regens slowly. Water Jet pushes enemies back a certain number of spaces. Ice Wall creates a temporary barrier between the PC and enemies. Water Walk lets them walk over areas of deep water for a limited time, which most monsters can't pass over or through.
- Environment: there are gates and doors which the PC can use to block the path of pursuing enemies, as well as blocks they can push to the same effect. Enemies will also stop pursuit if the PC goes up or down a dungeon level.
- Loot! Treasure chests will contain temporary buffs such as Double Speed, Map Reveal, and Second Chance (if the PC gets caught by a monster, instead of an instant Game Over they are warped to a random location on that level and lose the buff).
A lot of these things aren't set in stone and may very well change as I playtest what I've got and get a feel for what works and what doesn't. Difficulty is something that I'm going to be thinking about a lot.
My plan is implement everything listed above, as well as a single handbuilt level and possibly a tutorial, then see what I can add or change to improve the game!