You just read a summary of the work that I’ve done recently. The next thing I wanted to implement was treasure chest collection.
In the prototype, the Hero would collect treasure chests that either gave him health or weapon upgrades, depending on how that chest was defined in the level.
I realized that this aspect of the game needed to be redesigned from the ground up.
Why treasure chests? Why not have hearts and swords to make it clearer to the player what the Hero is collecting?
Even then, why have treasure at all? Is it improving the player’s experience at all? The hero can get stronger, making it more of a challenge for the player to try to stop him from progressing. Still, how can the player deal with treasure in an interesting way?
Can the player create treasure? For instance, creating a magic item that improves a Tower’s output requires a small cost that will pay off in the long run, but the hero can capture that item, making it risky.
It’s potentially an interesting player choice. Right now, chests just exist and there is no conceived way for the player to deal with them.
I’ve also been coming up with other ideas, such as natural resources in the world that need to be harvested by producing a machine on top, which the hero can destroy in order to get to the resources.
I think it is harder for me to roll up my sleeves and implement treasure collection because it is not a core mechanic. It impacts the game, but until I have a playable game, I have no idea if the impact will be wanted.
For now, though, I’ve come up with a way to create Collectable items. When a Collector object (that is, an object with a Collector component) is in the same vicinity as a Collectable object, then the Collectable object fires off an arbitrary command. In the case of a Heart, it would have a command that would give the Collector object increased health. If the treasure was a Weapon Upgrade instead, then the Collector’s weapon improves. The arbitrary command could do any number of other things that make sense, such as increasing player resources.
The original prototype hinted at how the Hero can get stronger as he progressed through the level towards your Castle by picking up treasure, but I think this entire mechanic/dynamic needs a lot of work, and I don’t think I can do it justice in a vacuum. I need more core mechanics in place. Still, the infrastructure to handle item pick-up is now there, which gives me options for improving the actual game.