I’m still working on getting the game ready for release. Progress has been measured but steady. I’ve finished 3 games in the last 7 years or so and this is always the toughest part. It requires a tremendous amount of self discipline to just sit down and finish off all the not very fun dirty work.
I do want to talk about how the Win condition for the game is structured. In many rogue likes the final boss is always the same. That doesn’t really matter a whole lot because in some cases you could spend a life time and never reach him. I’m not kidding. But, while I want The Occult Chronicles to be hard and challenging, I want the end to be fairly reachable. Like I have stated many times before, my goal is to make a board game like experience, so I needed to design both an attainable win condition and a thematically varied one as well. I had originally toyed with the idea that Betrayal House on the Hill implemented so well, which was an ending that depended on what you had actually done in the house. In that game, a huge variety of endings can be triggered by a particular configuration of game states and the omen card that is drawn. But I soon found that unworkable with my limited resources.
So instead, I decide to go the more traditional way, with an End Encounter set up in the basement of the mansion that varied depending on which mission you selected at the beginning of the game. It’s primarily just a way to add different thematic flavor to each game. Choosing one mission over another doesn’t change any of the mechanics in a significant way. In each case you need to gather clues and then find and confront the final encounter. But I really like the thematic flavor that each mission adds. You see the different mission choices affect the final mission rooms i.e. each mission has a unique set of rooms where the finale takes place. You also get different random encounters added into the mix. The story text for each time a story icon triggers is different of course. And finally some of the clues are unique to each mission. i.e. you can find a set of fake robes for the Cultist Sacrifice Mission that will give you a big advantage when you try and infiltrate the Inner Sanctum and stop the return of The Great Tentacled One.
Here is the image for the first mission that you can choose along with the text description that is presented
The Key and the Gate
There have been rumors surfacing recently concerning the revival of a cult devoted to The Tentacled Ones. These creatures are said to be slumbering in an outer dimension and intent on returning to our world to assume their places as earth’s rightful rulers.
Reports of missing young women from the neighboring town have kindled suspicions that the ancient Lovecraft Estate might have new residents intent on some nefarious summoning or gate opening ritual.
The stars do seem to be right for a ritual. You have precious little time remaining before a celestial conjunction not to be seen for another thousand years could be used to the cultists’ advantage. Our analysts believe that a human sacrifice will be required.