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Soulash is a fantasy roguelike where you play as a forgotten god set on destroying the world. · By Artur Smiarowski

The "How Would You Like To Destroy The Environment" 0.3 Destruction ideas thread Sticky

A topic by Rebelbeta created Jul 08, 2019 Views: 498 Replies: 23
Viewing posts 1 to 7
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This thread will be primarily intended for collecting ideas and brainstorming (hah) on environmental interactions you'd like to see in the nearest big update, or fits the general theme but is too large an idea to include soon. Things like abilities that interact with the surroundings in some new way to create hazards or unique situations, behavior you would expect or enjoy seeing from interactions between various combinations of different skills, objects, tiles and creatures, and new/modified objects and items that would fulfill various functions to flesh out the experience. 

Please feel free to chime in regardless of how outlandish or minor the idea is :)

Some to start;

Characters in wet tiles such as the river or in heavy rain being more conductive to electricity. Increased damage or increased range/likelihood to jump between wet targets? *Maybe an additional stun effect?

Water when hit with sufficient enough heat can blast a plume of steam

Lava manipulation abilities that when interacting with water creates obsidian, lights fires on grass and other flammable materials, 

Casting Fire Pillar on top of a tree slowly turns it into the center of a fire tornado

Abilities like Earthquake that disrupt tile formation create cracks in wall tiles, shatters nearby glass and can cause debris to fall if there is a ceiling overhead.

Tiles should have a realistic amount of resistance to force I.E. Dragon Breath seems like it should effectively funnel through a tight alleyway if started inside of one but be directed to the sides if targeted straight at a wall. On the other hand solid and strong enough projectiles should be able to penetrate certain materials with enough strength. Abilities that create blasts should leave progressively more of a crater with debris strewn from the center. This sounds hard lol, here just develop a whole simulated physics system by October :D

Back to basics: Throwable pots, tables and chairs! Other improvised weaponry picked up off the ground or salvaged from destroyed furniture. I'd like to be able to hit something with the leg of a table or chair if the tooltip is going to mention it :P

I'd also like to be able to move furniture around somehow to create obstacles and barricades in a potential desperate situation, and for enemies to surprise me in how they might break through said obstacles.

Ability to drop a torch on flammable surfaces to get a fire going 

Bombs. Bombs. Dynamite acceptable. But bombs.


It would kind of be nice if you could "prep" a tree or something to be a stage before falling. kind of like the skill based %'s.

So when running away you can cast a fire at a tree to have it fall (being more than a single space wide) or hit it with an axe and have it fall and block the enmey path. 

but i don't expect something like that to be in the game anywhere near soon. just fun ideas in general. xp


Ooh, reminds me of how DF and C:DDA handle tree felling. Trees would have to be reworked so that they expand outwards from direction of the player rather than transforming into a single "Chopped tree" tile and some kind of check/force to crush anything underneath. Generally, I feel like there'd be a place in this game for using the environment cleverly to literally crush enemies :D

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Creatures that are Bleeding or covered in a liquid material leave a trail of that material behind them. Would love to see particularly strong melee attacks leave a blood spatter on surfaces.

Dismemberment/Hacking off enemy body parts might be interesting, could see difficulty in balancing between enemy/player interaction. Would the player be in danger of being dismembered as well? I think Qud handles this in a way that fits closest to Soulash's vision (DF's style of dismemberment might be too permanent for it occurring to the player to be fun), where axes and serrated weapons dismember limbs, and there are a variety of way to restore them or... 'obtain' new limbs to compensate. Could see how extra limbs wouldn't necessarily work with the equipment system without a rework.

Flaming Sword and equipment like the Candle Hat should be able to be used like a torch in a pinch as a fire source.

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I have blood and other liquids designed and waiting for implementation already, so it's coming in v0.3.
Dismemberment, I think we'll go with iterative approach here and first add it just for AIs without the same rules being applied to the player character.
I thought the flame sword had a light source already. It will be added in v0.2.5.

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Oh sorry that might have been my vampire not noticing on the flame sword XD Just for clarity though I mean as a fire starting source, not necessarily just light. *The Flame Sword maybe could have a junior Dragon Breath, and the candle hat could drop maybe a teeny tiny ember to keep tabs on a dark area you expect an enemy may come from


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Question about engine limitation related to abilities: Possible to make ability animations persist past activation into subsequent turns? May be more of a 0.4 or beyond thing. Thinking for things like elemental shields (Fire, Ice, Bone Shields that orbit the player and hit an enemy that enters radius, or block a projectile from entering for example), giving Warlock's Light some kind of persistent animation for the light to emit from (thinking about it, not sure how that'd work), and zone abilities that persist like Circle/Wall of fire. I see Fire Pillar was a kind of way of working around this :) Realtime manipulation of tile height and dimensional perspective seems to at least be a thing as seen in earthquake?

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Persistent animations are not possible currently, but there is a plan to add particle emitter as a component of entities to imitate always burning fire, and it will probably be as flexible as current animations.
Animations can manipulate height and colors (lighter or darker) of tiles below them (like Earthquake does).


Interesting, could you combine those properties? Something like "Mammoth Walk", lasting a certain duration the tiles around the character would shake and break as they move around.

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Shaking background tiles like grass, for example, probably won't look good. It will be possible to replace tiles, so for example grass into the dirt, wooden floor into the cracked wooden floor, etc. I'm considering if this should be tied to damage or animations.

For example, the starting "crater" with dirt tiles and broken trees, I think it would be cool if something like this would be the effect of earthquake ability.

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I see. Wondering if making small adjustments to fire tile height (like in the case of Fire Pillar) over slow intervals (when animations would play anyways?) if it would have a satisfying effect. Essentially Height and Color representing intensity of "environmental fire". From a post you made earlier it sounds like you could be grappling with that question already :P 

In my experience I tended to use Earthquake in the exact same spot repeated times, it'd be neat if it caused a progressively deeper/bigger crater the more you use it in the same location.


I can see the height manipulation working for the Mammoth Walk you mentioned, we'll see. :)
Animations have elevation too, the meteor is an example where it flies from the sky to the ground, but for the flames I see something like that the other way around. Particle emitter would generate glyphs that would go up and disappear after a moment, so the intensity of flames could be conveyed with intensity of such glyphs too.


Ahh cool, I hadn't even considered glyphs moving freely and being emitted like particles. Brain still leaning towards being stuck in traditional ASCII representation mindset :P Quite the interesting engine you've built already, I expected a lot more of the thoughts that have been thrown at you overall would be outside of viability.

I've seen you've been elsewhere concerned about telegraphing to new players their context in the world. I'm guessing as the engine is basically now you'd be able to, on game start, render some animations before the character can input actions? Thinking an intro in some variable order of

1)Meteor/Godsoul crashes towards ground/character's 'host' 

2)Crater is created, depending upon race/class combination influence spreads out in the immediate zones area, e.g. necromancer kills trees in radius from impact zone, physical classes get a shockwave that knocks trees over, inquisitor/warlock spread some form of fire/magic

My 'head canon' imagined that above was happening already :P The main problem I see with this is first impressions for new players. If anything actually manages to get killed in the shockwave, would they get exp? If fires start spreading or something otherwise creates a hazard, I could see this leading to a quick information overload and an "ahhh what's happening???"

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Yes eventually I want what you described, the animation could be played right now at the beginning, but the crater creation can't be done until v0.3.

As for the fire spreading, potential issues with killing something on initial destruction, it's going to be challenging to balance gameplay and squeeze as much fun from it as possible, but we'll figure it out. You guys will be like "I want this torch to burn the whole forest", and I'll be like "no, no you can burn one tree", and then we settle on a couple of tiles. ;)


Oh we're going to break much more than the forests and the fires I assure you :) Related to that, I'm not sure if you've seen it before or even have the time with everything on your plate, but I think this blog post from the creator of Rimworld concerning storytelling and emergent complexity in game systems might be interesting to you:

Sometimes I disagree with Tynan's conclusions but I think it has some particularly relevant considerations with what you're working on now.


I've read it, and I've seen his GDC talk about storytelling. I've heard about the Ultima ecology story before too. It's easy to get into a trap of simulating everything. I still have a spreadsheet with about 50 types of food for Soulash. Well, the game was supposed to be a trading game then so it made "some" sense. Game development is magic. Smoke and mirrors essentially. :)

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Some more abilities, some creative, some more stereotypical rpg fantasy, because I just haven't thrown enough words at you yet:

Trail of Fire: Leaves fire path behind player as they walk (hopefully self-explanatory), alternatively

Fire Dash: A charge that leaves a line of fire in its wake (could forget this and have it work as a synergy Between Trail of Fire and Bull Charge/phaseshift/lunge etc)

Ice Cage: Will freeze enemies inside its path and block those outside. Can be knocked down with attacks and slowly melts.

Geomancy: Pull a set of walls towards player, then away from player, damaging enemies in the path. Or maybe pull a wall from a location into the ground and reposition under target, crushing enemy if under ceiling, throwing them into the air and repositioning in random location if outside, dealing damage in either case. Trying to think of some others like these that aren't too obvious for a potential earth/magic based pseudo-category. Generally they're difficult to envision based on how selecting abilities and targets work, is it possible to select multiple targets in a queue or sequence for an ability?

Telekinesis: That sword over there? Mine now. Pull items from a distance towards player, damaging entity if in its path. Partly inspired by D2 and one of my favorite C:DDA synergies, "Magneto" setup of bionics making it possible to magnetically pull metal objects into the player's hand and fire them at enemies with the strength of a gauss rifle. Not sure how something going anywhere near that would fit mechanically but it would be entertaining to throw items not located on the player at enemies somehow. I see issues handling how items stack and players selecting individual items versus the entire pile.


If additional categories of consumable items are coming in 0.3 and beyond I can see this adding some tedium to inventory management. It's not so bad with just bandages and food/drink right now but even the present situation could be improved. My suggestion is to avoid adding a "quick slot" for them (saving precious screen space) and instead work consumable items to be interactable within the hotbar, and eventually iterate towards having shift+1,2,3,4... and alt+1,2,3,4... as alternate keys to bind things to, as more abilities and items become available.


Not sure if it will be in v0.3, but more consumables will come, and hotbar usage will be a good improvement. I also plan to add a 4th rarity for items that will have abilities assign to them for a few casts.


Would charges for said items be able to regenerate? I'm trying to get more into ToME inbetween your updates and I like how they handle item charges like this. Basic example:

Recall Rod (Teleports player to world map) has 400 charges, using 201 per use. 1 Tick I think regenerates per turn. 

Sounds like could have some headaches associated for this game, maybe if charges only regenerated when the item is held by the player, it'd alleviate some of that? 

Whatever direction you go I'm excited to start playing with whatever you've got coming down the pipe :D

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I think we'll keep going into the temporary items thing,have abilities reduce durability and see how it works. :)


Ah that makes perfect sense. For some reason I thought you were going for having an abstract number of casts on an item, after uses spent it would behave only like a normal equipment item. Reducing durability sounds like best of both worlds and keeps with the theme :)


"Support Pillars" that would be in the world building menu section of things, that when destroyed, causes the placement of new terrain. So a person goes into a mine, breaks the pillars crushing whatever is under it (Or being crushed from such).

"Gunpowder barrels" that when set on fire, cause an explosion(Breaking nearby things perhaps).

Environment Spell additions to current spells already ingame.  Such as:

Vines creating plants.
Freezing Ray putting snow or ice inbetween the target and caster.
Fireball burning things on the way as it reaches it's target.
Peircing Arrow shot with the capacity to go *through* some objects, like trees.

Certain terrain causing different effects as well, hiding in a bush to increase one's stealth, being in the water making you slower, swamp slowing you down, "dream lands" terrain (if it existed for instance) could provide benefits for the player, or maybe hostile to their now mortal form. If there was lava, it setting a person on fire if not with the correct fire resistance gear.