Help - Design Pillars
Above all, I want players of "The Ruins of" to be able to tell a story about their character. At the end of a character's life, if you don't have a feeling for the sort of person that character was, then I have failed.
I think the best way to accomplish this is by giving you interesting decisions to make for your character, and then tailoring other parts of the game based on those decisions. That may sound obvious, but it's also easy to get lost in other aspects of the game - the combat; the numbers; the balance - so I think it's an important point to make and remember.
Adventuring Archaeology in the Early 1900s
There are many things that may define your character, but one of them will always be that they have - for one reason or another - decided to become "adventuring archaeologists" in the early 1900s.
It's important that the game conveys this setting, especially when it comes to story-telling elements.
Of course, there will be some anachronistic elements, either to make gameplay not suck (you don't have to pay to send telegraphs to other players :P) or even just for amusment (aliens! lasers! lolcats?!)
This game is a "Roguelikelike", by which I mean I've chosen to take elements from Rogue and Roguelike games that I think make for very interesting, tactical gameplay, and make them core mechanics.
Roguelikes have many characteristics, but the ones I think are most important for The Ruins of are:
- Randomly/Procedurally-generated Content; the world, and your adventures in it, are unique to you.
- Risk/Reward Decisions; risky-but-potentially-rewarding options add excitement, especially when unchecked greed or impatience may in turn cause great loss...
- Emergent Gameplay; allow players to find their own solutions by taking disparate mechanics and cleverly combining them.
- Replayability; traditional Roguelikes feature "permadeath" - when you die, it's over! The Ruins of takes another route, encouraging replay through alternate win conditions, and reincarnation.