Secret Project --- Monster Concepts?

The Secret Project (Part 1) - Available as soon as she is done! :)
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Secret Project --- Monster Concepts?

Post by CommanderData »

Hello there everyone, not sure how many people are following my twitter feed, but I was just speculating that you all may have some neat ideas for monsters that you'd like to see in the upcoming dungeon crawler title I'm designing.

A few questions for you all:

1) How many unique monster types do you feel there should be in a "rogue-like" game. Obviously the original loved by all had 26 monsters (to make it easy to represent with letters of the alphabet)... we have no such limitation right now. My only real concern is memory, and cost to draw and animate all the little buggers. So, what you do think?

2) What do you think an interesting monster would be to find in the dungeons? While I won't give away too much on the types of stats and capabilities your persona will have yet, I can say there will be more stats than simply "Strength" and "Hit Points" now. Which means monsters should be capable of doing new kinds of nasty things to you. If you have an old Dungeons and Dragons favorite, or some other game, or some wild critter rattling around in your head, let it out here...

Some details in public for discussion are appreciated, but if you have something really interesting and unique please PM me the info, so it can be a surprise as other people discover the monster in the finished game. If you do PM, please be as detailed as you can with your ideas, sample photos or links to more info are appreciated too! :lol:

Here's an opportunity to help shape the game into something great... Tell me what lurking horrors we should have! I will comment on things here and eventually we'll move this post to a new subforum for the secret project. :ugeek:

Thanks in advance for your input! :mrgreen:
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Re: Secret Project --- Monster Concepts?

Post by iCarbon »

I've got laundry lists of monsters I'd like to see, but what about other adventurer's whove gone mad with their travels. Using existing character icons, with different colors (to represent a diet of kobold meat, for example), one could also "observe" their weaponry as a clue to how strong these monsters are.

That said, I've always liked the idea of dragons coming in different colors with correspondingly different abilities (green blows poison, red - fire, black - smoke, white-molten metal, orange - slurpees, etc).
I wouldn't mind seeing:
dire wolves
snakes, cobras, rattlers, nagas (variations in color and size of animation makes these easy to have many of).
angry chickens (they'll peck your eyes out)
rabbits (with big sharp teeth)
the aformentioned kobolds

and many more... but I got a meeting, so I gotta go!
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Re: Secret Project --- Monster Concepts?

Post by swhatley »


I PM'ed CD before I saw your post.. I also mentioned colored snakes as well as how Moria uses colors for other things like slime, centipedes, etc. I made a few more suggestions. One being having boss-like monsters like a multi-headed dragon that takes up multiple tile squares.

Enjoy life!
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Re: Secret Project --- Monster Concepts?

Post by GriffinBait »

Let me mention those nasty beasts from Nethack that I *don't* want to see in the future of Rogue Touch:

mind flayers
floating eyes (unless I can eat them)
minotaurs (griffins and urviles are hard enough)

These guys are always Genocide bait whenever I get the chance.
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Re: Secret Project --- Monster Concepts?

Post by CommanderData »

Cool, I have received a few PMs, and there are some neat ideas here too.

For those who don't subscribe to the twitter feed for ChronoSoft... This all started because I wanted to make the Secret Project its own entity, and not lean too heavily on the standard Rogue stable of monsters. Not that they are bad by any means, just want to make sure we have some uniqueness to the new game.

Expect gameplay to require different strategies for each monster, and to have very few "throw-away" designed monsters. You know the kind, that exist merely as an obstacle- that homes in on your location and attacks until you or it dies.

So I have designed and gotten sample artwork for quite a few new monsters, 19 of them to be exact, and some more on paper without imagery. A few are going to be similar to their Rogue counterparts (two or three at least)... your classic Bat will return, as will the Dragon, of course sporting animations and a whole new look. A few others will be re-imagined monsters- replacements for old Rogue critters like the Ice Monster, Medusa, and so on. These and the rest will be quite a surprise! :lol:

If you have an idea for a monster who's special abilities would be best kept as a surprise for others, definitely PM the details. If you have a general list of monster types like the ones posted here, please add them for the public to see.

Basically, I don't want to give away monster special abilities yet because they will be a key element of the final game :mrgreen:

(Oh and a final clarification, these are all coming in the Secret Project, we won't add new monsters to Rogue Touch, as that would dilute the original rogue too much and change the game balance. Not to mention, some of these monsters will affect stats you don't even have in Rogue! :ugeek: )
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Re: Secret Project --- Monster Concepts?

Post by JonathanCR »

Definitely have varieties, as in Moria. That is, rather than just "snake" (for example), have many kinds, which could use the same graphic but with different colours. Same with slimes, dragons, and indeed pretty much anything. Similarly, rather than just having (say) "skeletons", you can have skeletal human, skeletal orc, skeletal elf - and so on and so forth. Enemy adventurers of different levels - undead spellcasters of different levels - etc. Perhaps with some of these it might be impossible to tell exactly what you're facing until you actually fight it - e.g. it might look like a normal animated skeleton, but is it actually a lich or a huecuva or something weird like that?

A couple of related ideas I'd like to suggest: one thing that has always bothered me about roguelike games is the lack of logic in the way the dungeons are populated. They are full of random monsters - but one wonders, why these monsters? What are they doing here? Why does this room contain (say) an orc, a griffin, and a wraith? What on earth were they doing before your hero wandered in and killed them all? Some roguelikes have tried to improve on this by having vaults or other "themed" rooms - personally I'd like to see a game where the dungeons are populated more or less entirely logically. For example, a level might contain (or even just be) a large goblin fortress, consisting not just of random rooms with goblins in but identifiable bedrooms, dining halls, and so on, with guards in places that make sense.

Perhaps that's a tall order for a game of this kind with randomly generated levels, but still, I'll throw it out there.

My related idea is monsters that work together. In particular, you might have monsters that are pretty feeble individually but which, in a group, use cunning tactics to be much more powerful. Think of a goblin armed with a small sword and a bow. By himself he's easy to take out - he tries to fire arrows at you while you're coming towards him, but he is a poor shot, and when you get close to him you can whack him easily. But get half a dozen of them together and perhaps three of them engage you with their swords while two others hold back and shoot, and one more creeps round the back to go for a backstab. Or alternatively, monsters of different kinds that work together intelligently - for example, an enemy warrior and an enemy cleric who fight together, the cleric healing the warrior as he fights.

Another related idea is morale. Some monsters should be cowardly and flee after taking only a small amount of damage, while others might fight right on to the death. I think that this could also vary with groups of monsters. With that pack of goblins, perhaps being in a pack makes them all much braver. Alternatively, perhaps if one of them gets killed the others might all run off whether they've personally been injured or not. I think the idea of the pack opens up lots of opportunities like this for more interesting and varied monster behaviour - these are just a couple of ideas.
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Re: Secret Project --- Monster Concepts?

Post by Jorlen »

JonathanCR's ideas are great, those "theme rooms" would be awesome!

To answer CD's initial thread:

1) Nothing wrong with variety and also nothing wrong with "reskinning", that is using the same model of a monster, but give him a different color or name, without overdoing it of course. Variety is always nice!

2) Wraiths or spirits that can have immunities (e.g. non-magical weapons are useless), Wizards, fallen wizards (these could cast from a pool of random spells), Priests that can self-heal, etc.

And, here are some general ideas:

- Spawners: As their name suggests these would be non-mobile monster creators, like the ones in the original gauntlet games. Spawners will continue to create monsters of a certain type until they themselves are destroyed.

- Variants of a specific monster: To add variety, you can add random prefixes or suffixes to certain monsters. These can affect resists, add vunlerabilities or even give them a chance to drop more loot. Take a skeleton for example, you can have them be Tough skeletons (more HP), Skeleton Leader (higher level, very challenging, chance to drop more loot), Metal Skeleton (more AC), etc.

- Trapped chests: If there are any chests to open up or similar items, some of them can be trapped to spawn a monster to keep players on their toes!
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Re: Secret Project --- Monster Concepts?

Post by nghtstr »

Everyone talks about the super powerful ones, but some of the ones that I saw missing were some of my favorite "lower level" creatures: goblins, kobolds, orcs, slimes, skeletons, ghasts, etc. Those are some of the staples of RPGs, and should definitely be included. Also, I would like to put a vote down for the Beholder (those things are just plain evil), Wyverns, and my favorite from NetHack: the Succubus/Incubus!!
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Re: Secret Project --- Monster Concepts?

Post by CommanderData »

Well, we haven't really talked about monsters much since this thread was started. I think between the items listed here, some that were PM'ed to me, and others that I came up with on my own we've got an interesting mix going on now.

As far as monster varieties go, I have 33 distinct types now. An odd number I know, but I had to stop somewhere and get the project moving! Plus every time I add a monster it adds many days of time and hundreds of dollars in animation costs... :P

Some of the ideas brought up in this thread are really important, like behaviors other than "run at the adventurer and attack until one of them dies". I really want to have some monsters that behave more intelligently than others. I also want to have monsters that are capable of setting traps for the player. Both physical traps in the sense of "OMG a bear trap" and the "follow me into this dark room and then flick the lights on so you can see you're surrounded" type of traps :mrgreen:

Now, I don't want to promise anything I can't deliver just yet, but even if some concepts are shelved to get version 1.0 out the door it does not mean that they won't be added in later. This type of game could suffer from a fatal case of "feature creep" if I don't draw a line in the sand for the core gameplay and stick to it.

Right now I've been re-drawing that line in the sand daily, sort of like Bugs Bunny luring Yosemite Sam towards the cliff, daring him to cross the next line each step. :lol:
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Re: Secret Project --- Monster Concepts?

Post by Mister Fluff »

How about monsters that look the same as others but are increasingly more difficult or with different behaviors? The example I've heard used often is that of orcs and kobolds. Why are orcs only found on low levels, wearing the same armor and carrying the same kinds of weapons? You'd fight an orc in a breastplate with an axe much more different that if an orc showed up in a robe with a staff, yes? It would do a great deal to avoid a hack-and-slash mentality if you had to look at each enemy and wonder why this particular enemy had a cloak on, since nothing else you've seen had a cloak (or boots, or necklace, hat, helm, chain shirt, etc.). Even the skin color could be different, perhaps even giving the player a hint at some of the things to expect from that particular enemy...

Add details like that and you could have infinite possibilities with the same race. You might even have a player scared to attack a mace-wielding orc in a white robe and carrying a shield with a symbol of Dymos on it because they know that means they're a Dymosic magi who specializes in Fire magic... Never mind that the enemy is really a low-level orc dressed in robe they found in order to get out of the cave alive... You get the idea.

A few small changes in appearance can give clues and infinite options to each and every race and monster encountered! I think you could do some amazing stuff that gets ignored all too often. If you need help with the small graphic changes necessary, I'd be willing to lend my assistance if needed.

One more thing - leave griffins out of it. They're the most un-fun enemy ever encountered in any game ever created and their absence from Spirit Hunter would be welcome.
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