Supporter longbeach has patiently been asking for some more details about gameplay, and I’m happy to give them! First, I want to make the quick observation that this is a good example of one of the blind spots I’ve been struggling with during the process - it’s easy for me to forget that you all don’t know what I know. That is, I’m so deep in it and some things are now second nature to me, that I assume stuff is common knowledge even though there’s no way it could be, because I haven’t sat down and explained it to you!
Entities in Haunts have five stats. Four of these you see in the UI - HP, AP, Corpus, and Ego.
HP are Hit Points, and those work like any other game. There is very little healing in Haunts, so losing HP is pretty much a one-way street. That’s by design, to add tension and force more strategic thinking.
AP are Action Points. You spend these each turn to do things. Moving one space costs one AP. Opening or closing a door costs one AP. Actions cost a variety of AP, usually between 2 and 4 for basic attacks and more for summons and powerful attacks and less for minor buffs and debuffs.
Corpus and Ego represent your resistance to attacks. Physical attacks that do HP damage go against Corpus. Mental attacks that cause Conditions go against Ego (including conditions that lower or raise Corpus and Ego, making you easier to hit).
The fifth stat is Sight, which isn’t in the display, but determines how many squares you can see. Different levels might impose different Sight modifiers (Chapter 4 in particular). If your sight is less than the normal, you’ll have a condition indicating it (e.g., Site -5).
There are a lot of different actions. Each entity, Intruder or Denizen, has a unique set of Actions. Intruders usually have a wider array, with a mix of attacks plus either buffs, debuffs, or AOE attacks. The AP costs are such that usually you can make two attacks in a turn if you don’t move or move part of your AP and make one attack.
For combat, you pick an Action and then a target, or an AOE to target. The default math is such that most attacks will hit most targets unless someone has a Corpus/Ego modifier in place.
It is also possible for some event in the game to add new actions to an entity’s options - for example, you can find an item in the game and it gives you a new ability or conditions.
Objects, Waypoints, and Other Housey Things
Many levels incorporate objectives that are marked by a red circular waypoint. These are usually visible only to the side they’re relevant too. For example, in Chapter 1 the Intruders can see a waypoint for the next object they need to find, but the Denizens can’t.
When an entity from the right side gets next to the waypoint, they trigger its effect - which can do all sorts of things: spawn new monsters, create a new waypoint, give a condition, damage or heal someone, offer a choice through a dialog box, etc.
Sometimes, as in Chapter 7, the waypoints show all the possible locations something might be hidden. This gives the players a sense of where they have to search, but only one of the locations will have what they’re looking for.
The way we use waypoints varies a great deal from level to level, depending on the story and gameplay needs. They can even be hidden from both players, triggering some event when they unknowingly come across them.
Asymmetry and Balance
The ten levels we’ve made are meant to be balanced between Intruders and Denizens so they can be replayed in versus mode a lot. There are random and/or choice elements to each, so it’s not the exact same setup each time. What the two sides do to win is usually very different, and also varies from level to level.
The single-player only story levels will not have this kind of balance incorporated into them but will instead be designed to tell the story first and foremost, whereas these core ten levels tell the story from both sides in what we hope is an even-handed manner.
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