Quick-bar, Inventory Access From combat, etc...
Today I implemented inventory views in the combat control panel interface. An inventory view acts as an observer, tracking an inventory full of items and presenting a grid layout of icon buttons. In the above shot, you can see the 3 button (currently) main menu with the Walk, Items and End Turn buttons. Just below that is a 8x1 inventory view of the unit's Quick Bar, a bar of skills that the player can access through hotkeys or through the quick bar which is always visible when the unit is taking its turn.
The green pouch is the Items button; selecting it toggles the Item inventory view, which opens a window into a 10x10 grid of items. You can see a view of that inventory with 3 items contained, displayed as the 3 buttons below and left of the main panel.
Items are now stored in a database; and by item, I mean anything that can be "used": crafting components (still to be re-implemented), magical artifacts, weapons, spells, etc... The database is accessed by item/skill/action name, and accessing it will create a clone of the requested item. Arguments to the item clone system include specifying a set of Power Levels for the creation of the item clone; character stats and, in the case of crafted items, material components, can alter the Power Level of an item, for greater or lesser efficacy. You can also specify (as an override to the item default) a Number of Uses value, for limited-use items.
I envision the systems of Goblinson Crusoe to be driven by scarcity: scarcity of food, scarcity of magical power, etc... Each item you craft, each spell you pen, represents a consumption of precious and limited resources. It is this scarcity which will drive you from island to island, always seeking new sources of energy and magic. Nothing is permanent, not the staff you craft with which to bash foes, not the wand you construct to cast fireballs. Everything represents a tradeoff. Should you use that Crystalline Shard to craft a Looking Glass with which to scout the terrain ahead, or should you save it instead for a Burning Lens to scorch the enemy?
To this end, most items/skills/spells will be of the limited use variety. Attrition will continually be nibbling at the edges, trying to bring you down. Allowing yourself to be ambushed in the wild with depleted stocks of materiel can be deadly. Yet lingering too long in one place, harvesting the land bare, can be just as deadly.
Right now, though, you've got a quick-bar full of unlimited-cast fireballs that deal exactly 0 damage, and a red sword that stabbity stabs until the cows come home. Note to mention an unlimited capability to cast the magical blue healing pools that give life.