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September 28th, 2012, 21:16
Jay Barnson writes about effort wasted with Frayed Knights on pursuing features that were unrealistic, or didn't add to the gameplay - and addressing that with Frayed Knights 2:
While having all kinds of intricate detail sounds good and works well in a game where you may only have a dozen spells or items, it scales poorly. And in reality, in order to have a prayer of keeping things remotely balanced, I ended up with a ginormous spreadsheet full of formulas that I used to help me keep everything more-or-less balanced. In a sense, it calculated all the stats for me based on certain parameters, and then Iíd fiddle with the final results. That was still a ton of work for a game with spell and item counts well in the triple digits (and monster counts very near to that).
But in the end Ė does it really matter than this spell does 5% more damage for 5% more endurance cost, with a -1 to its attack chance, over another spell? Not really. It was cool that I could do that (and a WHOLE LOT MORE), but those kinds of subtleties arenít very interesting to players. To be honest, thatís not all that interesting to me, either, and Iím a junkie for that kind of detail. In many ways, my efforts to add so much flexibility actually obscured my end-goal: Itís easy to lose the forest for the trees when you are overwhelmed with stats, particularly when you (the designer) are up against deadlines and have to re-balance a bunch of monsters and equipment to fill a ďholeĒ between levels 5 & 6 where there isnít enough going on, etc.
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September 28th, 2012, 21:16
Careful, stripped knights are vulnerable!

Evocative title for a post, if there ever was one

Complexity may not be depth but depth with simplicity is quite an ambitious goal! (Sometimes I say something serious).
Swords and Sorcery - Underworld and Sovereign
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