Yes, very bright, is it not? But in the last few days I have been mulling over the RPG game I out here on my blog over the last few months and whilst playing Horizon: Forbidden West something stuck in my mind.
You see something got stuck there and the skill tree is fine for THAT game, but for me, for the player it had drawbacks. It is not the game, it is within the game, and that is fine, but consider that you play in such an open world. In that open world you tend to go in one direction. I tend to go the way of the sneaky archer. And that game limits what you as a sneak can do. This is not a weakness, it is not a flaw and they did NOTHING wrong. But the thought was in my head and stayed there.
So then we saw the smallest piece of Hogwarts Legacy and they gave us another path. In that path we are given:
Now, that is also a path we see, but my mind started blending the two elements. You see we get the stage of limitations, we get the stage of directions, but we often miss the blending of choices and there we ultimately see the stage where some are given the tendency to unlock EVERY skill. But that is not realistic, it is also counterproductive. So what if a game gets another edge. Consider that CCG games in the past had a limited version and a generic version. The limited version was black or silver, the factory set was gold (a factory set is a complete set of all cards bought at beginning). Now consider that we connect skills to a trait like the CCG game Illuminati did.
In that game we saw the head you ‘ruled’ in this example ‘Shangri La’ (see below), it can connect to any card, in this example we use a card named ‘Big Media’
As you can see it connects from a higher card on one side and connect to THREE sides to smaller skills. Now some have 0 connectors, some have one and a few will have two, but YOU decide the application of that skill. Now consider we go back to the first card, it is in the game not called ‘Shangri-La’, but ‘Covert’ and we have 2 of those cards in the beginning of the game ‘Covert’ and ‘Overt’, now we have archery which is (comparing to Big Media) not 4/4, but 2/3 It can connect to 2 stacks and enforce three connecting skills. In addition any card can be upgraded. The Big Media resistance will be its own power. So over time that number goes up (as you become a more skill-full archer), now consider that we end up with 4/5 stacks Covert, Overt, Social, Commerce, Faith and Govern. Six elements and you have either 4 or 5 stacks so something has to give and in the beginning you only have two stacks, so it will be about choices. How will you decide?
And there is no better choice here, it will be about YOUR choice as you play the game. Now consider that as you get awarded cards through levelling or quests, you get new options and alternative options. For example the covert archer will level up having a larger chance of getting the scout card, the scout card can evolve into a mapping card, the edge and back of the card now represents a map, yes, we all forgot about the back of the card, but in a game, in a digital environment that side has options. And as the mapping option becomes available to select you see that mapping has benefits in the commerce side, especially if you gain art cards. There is still place for improvement (there always is) but when did you see a game that gave you CHOICES to evolve skills and adapt them in any way YOU could? I have been busting my mind and I saw no such options, not in ANY game and that is the power of versatility. It now becomes a side we never saw coming, but there is more.
What if I set that option aside like I did when I designed the Amazon Luna achievement keys? What if playing a game of chess allows you to gain the strategist card to apply to this game? It is just a thought but in that setting we get a stage that skill in one side enhances another? I do not think it is a great idea, but it could apply to cosmetic sides of the game. We could add a whole range of options. As we go forth we can also add cards, or evolve abilities with a black border (Covert only), white border (overt only) or gold border (commerce only), so kill shot would be covert only and if we evolve this over time the border becomes green, or brown and it an be applied to both covert or overt. And when we see this we can concentrate on higher end card, as they bolden all cards connected to them. In this there is one more stack, the homestead stack. As I state before we can influence to some degree, but if we add the homestead stack and we allow for levelling points to this stack the overall setting improves in town and that setting opens up a whole new range of options (and limitations).
It is just one side of a game that is not ready yet, but consider who else has this and more important, which RPG allows for this?