October is now behind us, and that means it’s time for City State Entertainment’s monthly Camelot Unchained newsletter, in which the devs recap the month’s development progress and community endeavors. This month, designer Ben Pielstick gives readers a deep-dive into the development process behind Camelot Unchained’s mage classes.
Mages are wholly different beasts than typical melee and ranged classes like warriors and archers because of the game’s ability system, which provides players with an ability builder that they can use to create their own skills from a set of given components. As such, adding spellcasting to the game brings with it a slew of challenges in creating the visual components for each possible spell as well as in terms of implementing magic’s often-complicated mechanical effects. For example, Pielstick writes, “there is such a big difference between throwing a fire-based projectile and summoning a wall of fire that we need to come up with a whole new solution to how we create and select the right particles to display.”
The complexities are only compounded by the game’s Ability Interaction System, or AIR: “What this means is that when one magic effect, say a fireball, encounters another magic effect in the game world, such as a wall of water, a combinational effect is created — in this case, a cloud of steam.” As you can probably imagine, there’s a considerable amount of work involved in implementing the visual and mechanical effects for these interactions, but the devs hope that by devoting additional time and development resources to the magic system, they’ll be able to “give mages [a] powerful and enjoyable set of skills to start testing with” when they’re introduced to the game’s beta test.