Looking for a good power/ability suggestion! (Now also general discussion about my next free game)

EDIT: I am not sure if Game Developement is the right category, so please move this post if I am mistaken. I know, this is starting to look more and more like a WIP thread, but I really didn’t want to create one before having a playable beta. The things I ask here are mainly used to speed things up during development before actually turning my project into something big.

I am currently working on a game where the main character is not human. To help with that, we have magic.

There are 4 different branches to choose from, and each of them has 4 levels of power (with a total of 16 choices for some scenes later in the game!). They are:

Shapeshifting - The player would be able to simply turn into a human to talk, interact, and even live in human villages.

Psychic Powers - The player would be able to talk to humans inside their heads, kinda like what dragons do in most books.

Illusion - This one is kinda tricky, but I guess the player would be able to make words appear on the ground or something.

Elemental - This is the problematic branch.

I have yet to find a good way of interacting with humans by using elemental magic…

Does anyone have any good ideas to replace this branch or use it to interact with humans?

After showing the early beta build to some close friends, they said that elemental magic was lame compared to Shapeshifting, Psychic Powers and Illusions.

I am looking for suggestions, please don’t be shy, I will give you credit in the final version of the game if the suggestion is good enough ^^

Ask me if you want to know any extra details about anything.

With telekinesis I think you mean telepathy as the former is actually moving things with your mind while the latter is reading minds/controlling them.

Once you reach level 4 in telekinesis you can actually move things with your mind…

but I believe you are right, this is more like telepathy than telekinesis, going to use “Psychic Powers” instead.

With elemental stuff you could do a lot of things with the elements that make up a person. Like, make them suddenly really hot or cold, tortuously so, or f around with the chemicals in their brain to make them easier to manipulate, or boil their blood or make their skin hard as rock or all sorts of other nasty things. However, if you mean like straight up fire/ice/lighting powers then yeah, Elemental seems kind of boring unless you find ways to get creative with it, like they do in Avatar TLA or other shows like that. Those kinds of elemental powers are really made more for visual mediums, though, so that might be hard to pull off.

My only suggestion for an alternate that is in keeping with the patterns you’ve already got would be something like Empathy, where you can understand what a person is feeling and then manipulate them based on that, or maybe like, you can see their memories and learn how they function that way.

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While Empathy sounds interesting, it probably wouldn’t fit in my game, mostly because these abilities must be able to create Chaos somehow.

This is one of the scenes, just to make things clear:

While traveling in the woods, you are attacked by a group of bandits!

A - Use your illusion ability to turn the twig you just picked up into a Legendary Flaming Sword of Doom +13 and fight them

B - Use your Shapeshifting ability to turn into a dragon and scare them

C - Use your Psychic Powers to make them attack eachother

D - Use your Elemental powers to Burn/Freeze/Shock them!

(Keep in mind that this is an extreme example, the usage of those abilities is usually a lot more subtle)

The only problem I have here is human interaction using elemental powers, that is why I wanted to replace it with something else

Element interaction ideas:

  • List item
  • Scorch letters into the ground with fire.
  • Rearrange dust, sand, dirt, or ash with wind powers to form letters.
  • Communicate emotion with colored flames.
  • Utilize gusts of wind to communicate. The strength of wind can show temper, and the wind can carry scents to deliver hints as well. Delivering the smell of homemade pie to a child lost in the woods for example could suggest a town nearby.
  • The wind can also create sounds to mimic speech.
  • The earth can be molded into shapes from human figures to fences to chairs or even symbols like arrows or question marks.
  • A slight electric shock is an easy way to tell people you don’t want to be touched.
  • Freeze words and symbols onto glass or into water.
  • Create smoky visions in a fire.
  • Set someone’s shoelace on fire. Its an easy way to say “I don’t like you.”

Wow, this is so obvious… can’t believe I haven’t thought about any of these options! I guess writing past midnight can really mess with your mind…

It would be possible to use fire for communication by scorching letters on a stone tablet/wooden board.

Also, the possibility of creating weapons or maybe even armor using Ice and/or stone.

Using some kind of instrument and wind powers to “talk”.

You have really cleared my mind here!

I might end up keeping Elemental powers as a branch after all.

Any suggestions are still welcome tho, feel free to show your ideas and thoughts.

I know this sounds like a lazy excuse but what if the Elementals were antisocial? They prefer to play with their fire/water->ice/lightning instead? (now I’m looking up and seeing @From_Beginnings and liking his idea more but I’m throwing this idea out here anyways)

What do you mean by that?

Are you saying that someone who uses Fire magic would dislike those who use Water magic and so on?

Well, yes I suppose but I just meant more like if someone uses Elemental magic they prefer not to talk to any kind of human because they think its more fun to twirl fire around their fingers than it is to talk. So i suppose someone who uses fire magic would dislike water magic but they would dislike every other form of magic AND most other people as well

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That is actually an interesting concept, It probably wouldn’t work very well for the main character, but I might add some elemental mages who have gone crazy after getting obsessed with an specific element or something.

Thanks for the suggestion!

Thanks for taking my suggestion, hope the game comes out well :grin:

Okay, since I am trying to avoid posting a new topic for every little question I have, I am going to go off-topic here for a minute .

This is the default layout of the choices in my game at the moment:

A - Option using the most powerful shapeshifting spell you know
B - Same thing, but with illusions.
C - Same thing, but with Psychic Powers.
D - Same thing, but with Elemental Powers.
E - Generic option for when everything else fails (Panic button?)

There are actually 17 options, but 3 of them are hidden for each branch, because the player will always use the most powerful spell he knows.

Let’s say you have a Level 3 (Master) Shapeshifting skill, that means the level 1, 2 and 4 options will be hidden.

What I wanted to know is:

Should some of the choices result in failure or death? If yes, then how often should they fail? Maybe 1 in each 4 would be bad and/or comical?

It is going be level based, so I need to find a balance here.

(If I don’t reply right away, it means I am either sleeping, working, or writing right now.)

By the way, the only reason why this is not a WIP thread is the fact that I don’t have a public beta build yet, but I am going to try to release it as soon as possible.

Tough call on the dying part…

What’s the penalty? Do I have to start over from the beginning. If not, throwing in some deaths (especially if you can make them funny) could work really well.

Dying just means that you would have to use the “Panic button” to get out of that situation, it could be something stupid, like shouting: “Look! A distraction!” And then running away, or it could make sense (Let’s say you were attacked by a group of bandits and your self-defense failed, you’d have to surrender and let them take you to their camp or lose all your money). Or maybe you could actually die, but then some random supreme being would give you a second chance.

Yeah, I think you could make that work well.

Hello everyone! Remember when I talked about Skill Level Based choices yesterday?

Today I spent a few minutes playing with numbers and balance, and came up with this:

Chapter 1 - You start with 1 skill point and then earn another one later in the story.

That leaves us with 2 skill points, so the max ability level will be 2.

Level 2 ability = 75% chance of success (3 out of 4)
Level 1 ability = 50% chance of success (2 out of 4) (After getting your second skill point)

Chapters 2, 3, 4 - You earn 2 skill points for each chapter.

That leaves us with 8 skill points, so the max ability level will be 4.

  1. Level 4 ability = 75% chance of success (3 out of 4)
  2. Level 3 ability = 50% chance of success (2 out of 4)
  3. Level 2 ability = 25% chance of success (1 out of 4)
  4. Level 1 ability = 12,5% chance of success (50% chance that 1 out of 4 will work)

Same thing for chapter 5 (you don’t get any extra skill points after chapter 4 tho)

I was thinking about having level caps to stop players from maxing out a branch at Chapter 2, but people would get mad at me for not allowing them to max out 2 branches by the end of chapter 4 :sweat:

Maybe break down elemental into sub categories like earth wind water fir dark light electricity is my personal fav

Power to turn anything you touch into a bomb.

Some scenes will have more than one elemental option for you to choose.

That would be an elemental power, using more than one element at the same time, maybe Fire and Earth.