Occult Chronicles Update – Main Foyer Deja Vu

I’m really at a loss at where to start in trying to describe the game that I am currently working on.  As far as development goes, I’m actually stuck in the main entry creating encounters testing out all the different ways they can unfold.  The main entry room is just a convenience because it’s where your O.D.D. agent/investigator starts the game.  So I hand edit the map with the encounter id and the part of the room that I want it to trigger and then proceed to move my character into the space and follow the rabbit down the hole.  I often end up at this point stuck somewhere with a “script error” message that many of you have encountered in my games….that’s the way Director let’s  you know something isn’t working like Davis tried to divide some number by zero !!!??!!

But let’s take a step back.  A room tile is the basic map element in the game.  I showed you a rather nondescript version a couple of weeks ago.  It’s the one I’m stuck in right now where I test out all the encounters.  But each room is divided into sub locations that are represented by small circles.  Here is a mock up of what they will look like in the game.  I don’t have the final circle art icons yet so I have just placed small white circles on the tile to give you an idea.  In the final game they will look a lot nicer and there are different symbol types to indicate whether you have explored the sub location yet or there is an encounter still there that you somehow had to leave…i.e. you fled, got knocked away, got a quest from it and need to come back etc.

So that’s the servant’s meeting room/kitchen.  You would open a door from an adjacent room and immediately be presented with the room tile and your adjacent sub locations.  If you haven’t been to the room before  you will need to enter the first sub location to reveal where you can move to next from there. The above image with all the location circles visible would only be like that if you had completely explored the room. Not all sub locations are accessible from every adjacent location. In this room you won’t be able to walk across the tables going from one of the middle locations to the one across from it for example.

So as you can see most of the stuff in this game is going to sneak up on you…or more precisely you are going to bump into it.  This is a lot different from your typical rogue-like.  You won’t ever see monster icons moving around from location to location as you “run away.”  The feel is much more like a board game.  You enter a location and draw a card, although the “Nothing of Interest” card is never shown to you.  You just keep moving instead. Let’s say you moved into the space next to the butcher’s table. If an encounter is triggered you would get a dialogue box that pops up that shows you an image of what you see and a text description.  Maybe it’s some severed fingers scattered across the table or an odd blood stained dagger lying between the cleavers.  You will also get some options that you can choose from…i.e. inspect the dagger or fingers, leave it alone, etc.  I’ll go into the whole options mechanic in much more detail later on because it’s really the heart of the game along with how you resolve the choice you make  from the presented options.  The resolution of any “challenge” as I like to call them is through a trick taking Tarot card game that I made up.  More on that later.

That’s the central idea behind exploring the game locations and encountering the “scary” things that you will need to overcome to accomplish your mission.  In addition to the fixed encounters you will also have random encounters.  Some locations have a chance of generating an encounter when you move into it.  I’ll describe that system later as well.

What does the non-tile artwork look like?  I’ve been very hesitant to display that because it feels like a spoiler for so many of them.  I have over 150 illustrations for fixed encounters and I hate to give any of them away.  I’ve gone with a comic book type look. Errrrr, I mean graphic novel look.  I’m a big B.P.R.D. and Hellboy fan so I wanted to lean in that direction a bit visually. So since  you know you will be bumping into ghosts at some point I will reveal this one without any text spoilers as to what might happen when you are walking down a corridor and turn around to see this.

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