Phew I got the amulet.
The lizard-thing is a fun enemy. I haven't quite figured when the ninja decides to move. Or if there is a tell-tale.
Right now it's really about fighting from the doorway, loading and canceling a lot and hoping you don't end up in a situation where you have a monster that can get in the way. Then you either take the hit, or throw a bomb, or go around.
It's cool to go around and come at rooms from different angles especially, but I wonder if it might be better overall if camping in the doorway loading and reloading wasn't the way to get both the ants and the ninjas. Maybe the ants would have a limited aggro range, and the ninja wouldn't teleport directly beside you, so that you couldn't clear the room from the doorway.
I like the puzzle feel of every encounter, especially with the delay associated with the gun. However, like cheepicus is saying, I think the enemy behavior needs to be tweaked a little bit. You need an enemy that forces you to leave the doorway.
For example, maybe there's a bomb-thrower who always tries to maintain 2 or 3 squares of distance from you, chucking a bomb every 3 turns that has an explosion radius and 1-turn timer. The bombs force you to move from where you are turtling, and also put pressure on you because you cannot just wait for the enemies to line up to die.
I really like the concept of the lizard/chameleon. Pulling you is very awesome and they have potential to be a challenging foe. However they don't chase you and they're usually the last enemies left alive, after which they don't pose any threat. Instead, the lizard needs combo potential so that they aren't your lowest priority target. Maybe add environmental hazards like spikes, and make lizards more likely to spawn on the other side of the spikes so that the lizards threaten to pull you into the spikes.
The real reason that the lizards aren't a challenge is because they're of no risk to you when you turtle up in the doorway. But, if you find a way to force players to move further into the room where the lizards are, the lizards pose a greater threat. You could add even more combo potential with enemies--maybe the lizard pulls you towards the bomb-thrower who then suicide explodes if you get too close. Or maybe the lizard holds you for one turn while the bomb-thrower throws a bomb at you and you cannot escape in time.
By the way, the fire ants are a little too aggressive for my taste and almost encourage you just to wait for them to come into your attack range. Perhaps should be separate enemies, one that aggressively chases, and one that has a ranged attack.
Anyway, pardon my ramblings. What you have right now is very cool and already very fun, and there's a nice layer of polish on it. Hopefully you don't have to start removing polish to meet token limits :)
Thanks for the feedback everyone! I'll definitely be experimenting with the ant behavior. I think some simple tweaks to make them less suicidal might go a long way towards drawing you out of the doorway and into the room to fight.
I've also been thinking about the Binding of Isaac mechanic where the doors slam behind you when you enter a room. I've been hoping to solve these problems a different way, but it really seems like with a "room based" dungeon crawler closing the door is a simple way to cut down on cheesy strategies where you camp the doorway or leave and reenter a room... so maybe I'll give that a test run and see how it affects things.
TheTomster. Part of the charm of this game I think is the fact that you can map.
If you do the "close the door behind" you, then it turns more into Berzerk than a maze.
Remember how Berzerk did it ? They would always close the door behind you and it didn't matter which exit you took as it only kept track of one room.
Watch when the player takes the top door - and see how it is blocked behind him.
I like being able to backtrack rooms - sometimes I miss a treasure, or can enter this particular room at an advantaged entrance whereas before I didn't.
Also, when I enter a room, the critters seem to get the first move. I'd like to be able to enter. Decide I don't like what I see, decide on an alternative way to enter here - and exit the room with no penalty.
You also only score according to random treasure. Would like to have score increased by defeating baddies as well.
You clean out a whole room of baddies and receive no score for it.
Yeah, finally won !
"You Win - score: 10116"
I like the earlier idea of having a bomber of something that gets you out of the entryway. As long as you're in the entryway and you don't have too many teleporting ninjas, you can take on any number of baddies.
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