Saturday 15th February, 2020

Took the cat to the vet for his yearly checkup and booster shots. He’s doing fine, and still charming around strangers. In fact, to quote the vet, “he’s so handsome he doesn’t even have to try, does he?” He’s a good boy.

When I got in, I spent a little time on BotLG — the “have a break from development at the weekend” rule has now well and truly gone out the window. Discovered that having monsters stop wandering around when the player is nearby is working out pretty well, but it does rather lead to them mobbing you if you stand still for a long time. I think I’m okay with that; it makes exploring areas infested with beasties a bit more perilous, and stopping to harvest materials is now something to actually think about. Plus, actually catching them to initiate combat is much easier, which was the primary goal of this change.

Later I did a little recreational spreadsheeting, and worked out some prices for items. I’m reasonably happy with what I came up with, but I’m sure they’ll end up being tweaked over time. Additionally, and even more experimentally, I made the amount of XP you earn for completing a gathering or crafting action related to the value of the item gained; in theory crafting higher-level and more valuable items will level you up quicker, which feels about right. I just have to get the amount of XP needed to level each time right, and make sure none of the skills feel better than others — I think hedge magic being the only source of quaffable potions is a little overpowered, and a quick look through my new spreadsheet shows mining could be a little too profitable, but we’ll see. I’m genuinely not too bothered about balancing. Old-school D&D never felt particularly balanced and (in my opinion) didn’t suffer for it. Let the players find their own routes.

The 2020 7-day roguelike challenge starts in a couple of weeks. Unfortunately, it starts right as I am resuming full-time employment, worse luck. I was considering giving it a go, with a focus on some aspect that BotLG lacks, so that I could port over anything interesting that I came up with, but I’m not sure I’ll have the time or energy for it now. We shall see.

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