First up, apologies for the interruption in service to the blog. We had a problem with an exploit found in an outdated plugin which was redirecting traffic. It had no effect on the forums. This has since been fixed by Crimson.
Currently we’re waiting for Crimson to get set up and work through their backlog caused by moving across the country, so in that time I’ve been trying to make sure everything’s in order so we can work as soon as they’re able. Last update I opened the discussion on inventory and loot, for which you guys raised some good points I’d like to talk about and present my ideas. Typically I’m against design-by-committee, so understand that I’ll be making the final call on how we do things, but your input and thoughts are always valuable to me.
A large part of what I’m seeing is the desire for inventory to be as non-intrusive and quick as possible. Nobody likes having to spend time in a cleared dungeon deciding what loot to leave behind and what to take, or playing inventory tetris. A few people asked we only look at weight, ignoring volume, too.
These I think are the take-away points that were raised:
- Most are keener on just looking at weight, not volume/space limitations.
- Favour between grids/visual organisation and simple text lists seems mostly based on taste.
- Avoid hampering gameplay with realism.
- Player’s body affecting their item usage is an interesting thought, but we must be careful not to limit or force players to be something just to achieve their goals.
- One-size-fits-all apparel seems to be a popular thought.
- Dependence on whether loot is persistent in the world or it vanishes if not picked up.
There are a few mods for Skyrim that add new spells, and one I always find myself using is summoning my own unlimited storage space. It’s usually a fairly expensive spell, so it doesn’t feel expressly cheaty. A bag of holding-like item also serves the same purpose. This came up in suggestions as well, and I’m keen on the idea of providing multiple routes to the same effect. Those of us who’ve played Dark Souls are probably keenly aware of how much the game would’ve suffered if it make you worry about what you could carry. CS isn’t going to be the same kind of game, but it’s worth thinking about. The only trouble with it is that one giant storage space is difficult to organise, and quickly ends up clogged with a ton of stuff that usually only rarely gets sorted through, since it involves taking a lot of stuff out, being overencumbered, selling/dismantling/etc before shoveling out more stuff.
So, after scribbling pages of thoughts in my book, here are some ideas I’ve come up with. @Atomicbob beat me to the punch with one idea of having dedicated pouches. Pokemon is a good example, your bag having a medical pouch, key items pouch, TM/HM pouch, and so on. So, as for mechanics, I’m leaning toward a Haversack-like backpack item granted at the beginning. One that has unlimited space inside it but not unlimited weight. You can add/remove pouches to it, name those pouches, and browse between them. It might be possible to have items automatically go into their custom-nominated pouches. It’d have no bearing on your size or shape as a player character, and possibly an upgrade to carry unlimited weight, too, perhaps even fairly early on. I think overall it can be a lore-inclusive feature that removes some of the busywork from inventory management, while still granting room for improvement, like buying more pouches and upgrading it. I had the idea for a pair of buy/sell pouches, for example. Place money into one and over time it stocks itself with, say, healing potions bought at a premium. A sell pouch could gradually sell things for you but for less profit had you taken them to a shop to sell yourself. I have a lot of ideas for fun additions to it, so let me know what you guys think.
For the GUI side of things, a simple list view is the way to go. However, we’d like to make it adjustable for accessibility options, and maybe even switchable between a list and grid view depending on preference. To begin with though, I think a good list view is the simplest and best solution.
I know talking design is a poor substitute for actual progress, but I appreciate so much all of your enthusiasm, interest, and patience. With some luck we’ll be back to making progress again soon.
Until next time!