It has been a while since our last blog post, and the reason is that we are working so hard on the game it’s proving rather difficult to keep the blog running. Alas, it’s the bane of small indie dev studios, there’s never enough time and resources to do everything.

Nevertheless, we really want to make an effort to update the blog more frequently moving forward, so we’re going to try and post smaller, but more regular updates. Today though, we still have one of the good old long posts, and this time it’s about enchanted enemies. It’s a feature we have been working on for quite some time, and it’s in a decent enough shape to show off a bit of the work we’ve done.

Elements to me!

Having enemies chasing you with a stick all the time is fun and all, but it’s pretty obvious that this old trick gets stale quickly. In the vein of Diablo II (and we REALLY like Diablo II), our happy little enemies can be blessed with certain attributes that make them a whole lot harder to deal with. A prime example is the classic lightning enchanted guy that shoots out high damage bolts every time he gets hit.

There will be visual representations in the form of colors so the player can have some clue about what he’s going to deal with. It isn’t much fun when you shoot an arrow barrage at a mob only to realize he was lightning enchanted and surprise! You’re dead.

Obviously as the game gets harder,one single enemy can have multiple enchantments at the same time. We’ve tried to make the visual effects indicating each one visible enough, and hopefully there won’t be any problem identifying potential danger.

We are running everything from a script that gets added to the mob, either before compilation or directly during gameplay. We can use the script to specify the nature of, and number of enchantments, or if we want to generate them randomly.

So let’s take a look at each of the enchantments and their dangers.

Fire Aura

An enemy enchanted with a fire aura emits a pulse that will burn everything in a certain radius. It does some damage, but it also burns items (or players) made of wood or flesh. Additionally this flame can propagate to nearby items and cause a lot of havoc.

As a player, the only way to get rid of this effect is either by letting it expire, dashing around to snuff the flames, or jumping into water.

Ice enchantment

After a period of 4 to 6 months of solitary confinement inside a freezer, enemies become enchanted with ice. If you get hit by one of these guys, they will freeze you and slow down your movement dramatically. When the enemy dies, it also emits a frost nova of vengeance that will knock off a good part of your health, and leave you encased in ice for a short time.

Electric enchantment

If you hated the lightning enchanted mobs in D2, you’ll hate them even more now. Every time you hit them, they will spawn a few lightning bolts that will erratically move around the battlefield.

The nearer you are to the mob, the more chances you have to get oneshot by a super dense ball of lightning goodness. This is probably the most universally hated and feared enemy skill in the history of gaming.

Poison enchantment

You can only expect filth from this one. Apart from the extra damage that every poisoned hit deals, every time one of these hits connects it will apply a poisoned debuff which effectively works as damage over time effect. At the time there’s no way to mitigate poison damage, so it’s something we’ll have to sort out before we commit to using this one.

Earthen aura

Not much to say on this one. Can you imagine The Thing? The amorphous and deformed one? No, not Carpenter’s one, the guy from the Fantastic Four!

Earthen enchanted enemies will hit like a truck and will be highly resistant to damage. In short, a brutish bullet sponge you can hate with all your heart.

Wind enchantment

Inspired by the late Benny Hill, these enemies zip around the battlefield at high speed, and they hit very fast too. If you listen carefully, you might even hear Benny Hill’s theme tune in the background. This is one of those enchantment that isn’t excessively threatening on its own, but coupled with another aura it becomes very hard to deal with.

Shadow aura

This one will create a shadow vortex near players that will explode after a few seconds. The damage will be radial, and it’s going to be one of the tougher ones especially in confined spaces. It also has a nice skull effect on top of the enemies that will laugh at your death.

Mana aura

Any enemy with this aura will periodically drain your mana pool when near. Whenever you get punched in the face by an enemy with this attribute, it will drain evern more mana.

Another one of those auras that aren’t too big of a deal on their own, but can really cause problems when combined.

Nature aura

Ok, get ready to hate these guys until the end of time, because they are essentially mass healers. Every enemy in the effect radius of one of these guys will get periodically healed if not at full health, making big mob packs an absolute nightmare. One of these combined with earthen aura is basically a crash course in misery.

Join the discussion 3 Comments

  • Popof says:

    As fan of diablo 2, i like the idea of the auras.

    The biggest difficulty I see is to be able to identify the auras through shapes and colors.

    I think that in that sense has much to polish. The enemy can be hidden among so many effects. Another aspect that intrigues me is the color of the enemy when it has several auras.

    I think the best auras in terms of design are fire and nature. Those that need more work, the poison and shade.

    Nice job guys, keep working!

    • Reven4nt says:

      Hi Popof :),
      glad you like the concept.

      The point on the design of every single aura is to stack with maxium two more auras. We think that an enemy enchanted with a maxium of 3 auras can be easily recognizable.
      There is a logic we’d like to add when stacking the auras as well, since there are 3 families based on the design.

      – FLOOR EFFECT – Fire / Nature / Mana
      – BODY EFFECT – Lightning / Frost / Wind
      – RICOCHET EFFECT – Poison / Earth / Shadow

      When the first aura is applied randomly it discard others from the same family.

      Don’t you like the shadow one? I think it’s my favourite by far, not only the design, but the mechanics.

      • Popof says:

        In general the auras in terms of mechanics seem very interesting and well chosen.

        When I say that some auras need something more work I mean a visual level. In the case of the aura of shadows and poison, the animated icons that represent them seem huge to me and maybe it could be annoying if it joins with the other elements of the screen, but its mechanics are good and the blast effect in the shadows It’s amazing!

        Good explanation on the design of the auras, I find a very interesting and intelligent way to solve the auras stack.

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