2015/09/22 23:09:18

After designing the Empyrean campaign’s first major boss fight, it came time to tie it all in to the main quest. This prompted me to review the design of the Book of the Dead map.

Book of the Dead redesign screenshot

The original plan for this map entailed a boss fight later in the game, but that idea has been scrapped. Instead the initial focus of the map is getting the player to start the main quest. The player enters from the southern staircase and takes the teleport to the western platform. They can’t teleport back until reading the Book of the Dead and triggering the main quest.

Book of the Dead book screenshot

Once this happens, they can teleport to the eastern platform and head either: south back to town or north to the wilderness. At this point, the north and south teleports have changed to send the player directly to the eastern platform whenever they pass through the map again.

This in combination with the completion of the St. Maria maps means the Empyrean campaign is a little more than ¼ complete. That might not seem like much, but a lot of the time I’ve spent in the last few weeks has involved further balancing gameplay numbers. Things like figuring out the rate at which enemies get stronger, the strength of player powers, and the bonuses given by equipment. And every few steps of the way, I found something that was missing on the engine side that needed implementation. That said, things should be easier going forward. Those engine features are now implemented, and I no longer feel the need to make large, sweeping changes to gameplay numbers.