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Pivot

Alright. Clearly this devblog has fallen by the wayside; it has been months since my last post. There's a really good reason for that, however. No, it's not because I've stopped developing. I had actually gotten far enough to draft up wireframes for the game's UI. Rather, I've pivoted the project altogether. Previously, Fractal was going to be an Interactive Fiction series, however after giving it a ton of thought, I've realized that I want to develop Fractal across multiple genres. Because the stories are fairly diverse, they actually would be better if they're in different genres as well. Specifically in genres that I personally love to play myself: roguelikes, strategy, adventure, and rpg's.

Instead of developing ONI, I've pivoted to Eclipse Perilous, which will be a steampunk survival horror roguelike with crafting elements. I love roguelikes. I must have been eight or nine when I was introduced to the game that spawned the whole genre - Rogue. I never finished it (I rarely finish any roguelike I get into), but I loved it so much that I'm still addicted to the classic roguelike to this day. My PC currently has a number of them installed: Caves of Qud, FTL, Sword of the Stars: The Pit, Dungeons of Dredmor, DoomRL, NEO Scavenger, Ancient Domains of Mystery, Unreal World, and so on. I have my eye on Cogmind and Tangledeep as well as a few others.

In any case, I noticed that there's a plethora of roguelikes for PC, and even for consoles. However, the variety on mobile could be much greater. So far there's Pathos Nethack, Rogue Hearts, Hoplite, Cardinal Quest 2Pixel Dungeon and its clones/forks, and a number of notable others that I'm forgetting to mention. But the choices are slim compared to what's on PC, where the mechanics and stories are incredibly varied. Anyway, I figured that mobile could use at least one more roguelike choice, so I opted to develop one.

The main concept of the game is that you are a random passenger on the RMS Galahad, a science vessel belonging to Skyfleet Albion. Galahad has been dispatched to observe and investigate an Eclipse Vortex, which only occurs once every hundred years. When you wake shortly after arriving at the vortex, the ship is completely dark and most of your shipmates have been brutally torn apart. You quickly realize that the ship is overrun with predatory creatures of shadow, and you must find a way to survive at all costs.

For most classic roguelikes, one of the main mechanics is hunger. Your character simply cannot survive without eating. In fact, in some of the harder roguelikes, extreme hunger leads to death. And if you didn't already know, permadeath is another enduring mechanic in roguelikes. I've never been a fan of hunger mechanics, and will not be adding it in Eclipse Perilous. However, in its place is a light/fuel mechanic instead.

While running out of light won't immediately kill you, it will make you more vulnerable to the shadow creatures. On the flip side, having more powerful lights will keep the shadow creatures at bay, and weaken those who are brave enough to enter its radius. In essence, you have to scavenge parts and cobble together things such as torches and candles. There will, of course, be more options in the late game, such as the lightning armor, which emits light and passively does AoE damage.

In classic roguelikes, the main way to gain experience and level up is to simply kill as many things as possible. However, I'd like Eclipse Perilous to be a bit different. Because the point is survival, the enemies you encounter will be very tough, and fighting all of them on a level is impossible. Players will have to choose when to run, hide, or fight. Character growth is determined through specific actions: killing a level boss, surviving the level, finding lore, achieving objectives, and so on. While a player could put on the uber-powerful lightning armor, its light cannot be snuffed, and the armor is very slow. This means that running and hiding are no longer options that can be taken, which will be detrimental when a shadowswarm presents itself.

There's lots more to talk about - I have much of my initial design documents written out already. I'll go into further detail on game elements as time goes on, so be sure to check here and on Instagram for updates!

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