Devblog #8 - Skill Tree : Action & Planning

It's time to skip the theory and get to what we envisioned for the skill tree.

This devblog is 100% picture-free so if you're affraid about books & long text, be prepared !

I highly recommend to read the previous devblog before you dive into this one.

We concluded the previous post with the ingredient we added to the 3 other pillars : discovery.

I was planning to talk about this 'discovery' part next but I figured a little detour was necessary to talk about the place of the skill tree in the game.

When you think about creating a game, you must think first about what you want the player to do in your game (duh) and how to make it fun quickly.

In our case : he needs to stay in the action and plan as little as possible (execution > planning).

With games like Path Of Exile, you'll spend a lot of time reading & exploring the different nodes of the skill tree but also planning and creating the best character you could ever have.

In theory, doing all of the above is fun and interesting for people that seek these kind of experience (cool video about it : Videogames That "Require" A Wiki).

However, we're looking for a more direct and fast paced approach.

What we're looking for

Even though the 'planning' experience may be great for games with a long character progressions, it's a bit less appropriate for roguelike games with short runs that lasts a few minutes.

We're aiming for a more down-to-earth experience where you just choose what you want to improve, then the upgrade and you're done (will be explained further in the next devblog).

Some ideas have been thrown to reduce this planning time like adding a small timer to choose your node or reducing the amount of nodes you see for exemple.

This direction will be emphasized with the UI, sounds, and visuals that will push the player to get back in the action quickly.

The topic is still open and we're still searching for options to keep the player focused on the run.

It's a crucial element as it could ruin the experience if we send contradictory signals about what the player is supposed to do.

Let me speak a bit about famous the 'salade tomate oignon' phenomenon that french people are accustomed to (yes, I just invented this, please let me finish).

The kebab case

In a kebab, you just throw salad, tomatoes, onions and some sauce.

Some people may want to remove tomatoes (who does that seriously ?) or add some cheese to the concoction for example, that's just personals preference.

Well our game is the kebab and we're the kebab masters.

We know what things we don't want and we know what kind of sauce we want, we're customizing the experience to our own taste.

If we try to please everyone by putting everything people like, we might end up with something utterly bad, unbalanced and simply not fun.

We don't want to completely annihilate any form of planning.

However, the core game experience must be hitting, shooting, freezing and exploding baddies and not staying 5min in a menu, thinking about what node will bring me the best DPS output.

Okay, it's time to let you go, I hope this devblog was entertaining or kind of interesting at the very least.

If you want to react or talk about this particular topic or about the game, feel free to join our discord server (GoatApe's discord) or on twitter (@GoatApeGames).

Have a nice evening/day/whatever !

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