It is written by Mod Trick and is dated 6 July 2011.
I did a search for ‘sea slugs’ the other day and the pictures I found were of gorgeous, colourful, benign creatures, slooping slowly across the ocean bed, munching on a sea-lettuce or something like that...
Of course if you’ve been to Witchaven you’ll know the wicked truth. There’s a malevolent force sitting deep beneath the waves, and it’s got stalk-mounted eyes looking straight at you!
This blog follows my early thoughts as we design the last quest in the slug series: Codename Slug 3.
The End of a Saga
Every tale must have an end, and for the slugs, the end is nigh. Being asked to tie up a storyline is no simple feat, but rather strangely it’s made easier by the strict requirements placed upon it.
Firstly there are the loose ends: The key characters need to be raised up or destroyed and the status quo must be restored. We are encouraged to go places with our story, and we’re given a number of meaningful changes that simply must take place.
Secondly there’s the character development: All stories have their heroes, and we need to be sure that they’ve achieved all we wanted them to. Take for example Kennith; a child who finds himself stuck in the middle of the slug incursion and who later, in Kennith’s Concerns, is gifted with some rather extraordinary but unexplained abilities. His is a story that yearns to be told. And what of the mild mannered Ezekial Lovecraft? Is he destined to manage his bait shop evermore, or does he have a use for all that explosive material he’s been collecting.
Add the usual skill requirements to the mix and we’re given a sturdy framework from which to build our story.
The Never-ending Dungeons
'You’re not working on Dungeoneering?!?' a colleague was heard saying, and they’re almost right...
The new slug quest will be one of our first updates to require levels in Dungeoneering, and that’s no bad thing. It helps us connect the mysteries of Daemonheim with the rest of Gielinor, pulling the stories together and paving the way for future updates. Dungeoneering however is a very unique skill, and doesn’t follow the usual trends. It’s easy to put a tree in the way and ask for a few levels in Woodcutting.
Having levels in Dungeoneering implies an understanding of the mysteries of Daemonheim. The slug quests operate out of Witchaven, on the other side of the map, so geography is not on our side. And what about the nothing-in nothing-out rule that’s policed by the Fremennik? Writing coherent plot to bypass these hurdles is a welcome challenge.
There’s a Mechanic in All of Us
Each time we create content we strive to add something new, or to show a new take on something familiar and popular. For quest content this usually takes the form of puzzles, ranging from simple chat trees to mind-boggling elemental workshops. Once overcome, these challenges can give a real sense of accomplishment and with it a greater appreciation for the task at hand.
For a while now I’ve been looking into adding party-based mechanics to the game. Nothing complicated; just some really basic NPC (non-player-character) control. The aim is to introduce additional depth into our puzzles, where you are required to solve things through not only the direct control of your own character, but also the influence over another.
If you take a look at your typical action film, rarely is the main character left alone. They have a partner or a party of heroes, each with their relative strengths and weaknesses. These companions throw insults or even punches at one another, and over the course of the story their relationships develop. This is the mechanic that I’m going for in Slug 3.