Friday, 23 April 2010

Town Levels?

I've had a sudden crisis of confidence regarding my town level. It will probably be the last thing finished, but I find myself asking: do I really need it? Its very incomplete at the moment - no NPCs or plot-related items.

Here are some alternatives:
  • Get rid of town levels entirely and adopt the Crawl approach.
  • Get rid of town levels as such and allow their functionality to be inherent (for example the character has a device that can teleport him/her to an "extraplanar shop" at regular intervals)
  • Implement regular "outpost" levels (that would be safe) that function as mini-towns.
  • Implement an overworld (or rather oververse) map (almost like the old version of Kharne)
At this point I'm not sure what I want. Analysis paralysis ahoy.

Bah, I hate having existential crises!


md1 said...

I think a town level is a good thing for

a) players who like the Angband approach and regurlary return to town to sell items (could also be done like Torchlight: send a pet into town to sell stuff)

b) roguelikes that have important NPCs in town level

In LambdaRogue, I have both a town level (= the Temple of Enoa) and lots of traders deeper in the dungeon. In the first few turns of a game, the town level is only necessary for buying starting equipment and getting some optional quests. Later in game, the player needs to return twice to the town level, but not for buying stuff (the good stuff is deep in the dungeons), but for talking to NPCs about story-related things.

So if you plan to not have lots of story-stuff that HAS to take place in a certain town for one reason or another, you might as well drop it.

Todd D. said...

I love how Torchlight does things - typically I adventure on without my pet, since he's about worthless in a fight. Would it be so wrong for the pet to pick stuff up automatically?

All Angband drops are evaluated by me as 1/x-th of a stat potion. Staff's worth 4k? Yeah, that's 1/7th of a stat potion.

I also liked the extended town of one of the Angband variants, maybe Zangband (it's been a couple years since my 3rd daughter was born, robbing me of my Angband time). It was a good way to stock up on **Identify** scrolls, etc.

I remember once in a Vanilla Angband game having a shop generate PDSM in a shop for my 9th-level mage. I killed about one hojillion townspeople to get the 286k necessary to buy it.