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Yeah, lots of good stuff here, thanks for writing it up. I played the old Might and Magics (2-5, World of Xeen was my favorite) and Wizardy 8, and there's a lot of meat there, and then I also think there are a lot of other games mixed into the DNA of Wildermyth besides those... FTL, Dwarf Fortress, D&D, and XCOM of course.

What we're trying to do, at the highest level, is to make a tool that lets players create their own mythologies, by which I mean, a pantheon of iconic heroes that you totally own because you made them that way. In order to accomplish that, we use procedural generation to make the heroes unique, and then we throw a bunch of different stories at you and see how it shakes out. It's a bit like FTL in that sense, but with the focus on the cast of heroes, not the ship.

If we have a single story, that's not going to be fertile grounds for a mythology. So, at first we were trying to just handwave that, and say, eh, let's all fight, because monsters. But we think there's a lot of space for a cast of villains that give the heroes something to really fight against. We want to be able to eventually produce enough villains that the game becomes about experiencing all those different stories, and as you go, your cast of legendary heroes grows organically. That's the thought at least!

You're definitely right that the word epic is overused, and we're certainly guilty of that. If it means anything in the context of Wildermyth, I think it means that the story takes place over 40-100 years, and many heroes will come and go in the telling of it. Also it's trying to say that some heroes will reach somewhat absurd heights, visually, and in the gameplay. A hero with demon arms and crow wings, that sort of thing. I don't have a word for that kind of hero.

Thanks for your thoughts!

Ah, yes. XCOM! How could I forget that? I played the very first game on the Amiga of course ;)

Technically this genre has much replay value, because the development of yourself can be different and the response of the aliens can be different then, too.
And yes, Wyldermyth has many similarities to that genre. Now that you say it ...

But to the replay value again. I said technically because at some point the game is simply done, because every mission is the same: Fight the monsters.
So to keep the player busy with value I think the goals of the fights have to vary as much as possible. So a type of stories could lead to fights with a certain goal for instance. That missions (the fights) can be different I have seen in Druidstone - new game of the legend of grimrock makers: Lead a character out of the fight for instance and leave the monsters there ... way not?
Or solve a riddle while monsters are attacking and run away afterwards ... perhaps you already do that. I didn't play the last version yet.

XCOM of course has the big opponent too. First of all the big threat of the aliens. But in the end the big boss to be fought on the home planet of the aliens. I'll ride on that a little bit for a while ;)

The good the genre is and I loved it much so it can have a big problem of motivation too: If the own development does not run well enough the game gets frustrating more and more. And this frustration grows very slowly step by step. You can compare it to a slowly growing depression. So the problem is not the failure of the player but that it is realized slowly and very late in the game. This has to be avoided at any cost I think!
Wyldermyth can have that problem too if the management of the heroes does not run that good.

So no general book this time. Stuck at a game for a little seems better ;)

Yep, more combat variety is needed. That's a big part of the reason we're in beta, there are a bunch of things we still have to do . Variety in monster abilities, in maps, in mission goals, all that stuff sounds fun!

Very nice. I'd love to play that very much :)

What I forgot to write about are dungeons. I don't see it directly in the current game because of the overworld mapish design.

How would you integrate that? As part of a campaign on a different map or so?

Dungeons - we'll see. We have some underground battle maps now, but as for more extensive dungeons, it's not on the immediate list. But I think it would be fun to think about it later on. Maybe multi-part missions, that sort of thing.