It's rather incredible how long one can work on the same thing without getting bored of it. Work on Nimrod the Isometric editor began around 2007, that's 5 years... give or take a few months. I guess that's what happens when there are no explicit goals and time is on your side. However, lately I think I have been heading in the right direction regarding goals. I have slimed down my game idea and its more game play oriented and less menu based. What does this exactly mean? Well, this means that some of the RPG elements have been cut in favour of direct action.
First thing is that I've decided to leave out the levelling-up of the main character. This is because I felt that much development time was going to be spent on a part of the game that I don't care so much to play (that is clicking + and - buttons on different stats windows). There is still going to be an inventory but items won't have any requirements that the player need to fulfil.
Another thing is that I decided to skip the skill system. I feel this is a big game play change... and one that I particularly like. Instead of having the right skills in your skill-list the player will have to rely on his or her own playing skills. I am not a fan of games which involve hammering twelve keys at once. I rather play a game that need puzzle solving and quick reflexes. Think Prince of Persia combat style vs. MMO combat style, guess which is which ;)
So what does this leave?
Physics based isometric platform jumping (yeah!)
Inventory with quest items and equipment
Free to roam world map with triggers, doors, traps and what not...
Real-time reaction based combat
NPC dialogs and NPC reactions
This has resulted in a somewhat smaller player bar / HUD.
The group of smaller buttons are; toggle run, world map, inventory, journal, rest and main menu. The two bigger squares are quick items which can hold potions and similar things. The two big circles are the Health meter and the Stamina meter, respectively. These regenerates when the player is resting. The stamina meter will also slowly regenerate if the player is not resting. The health bar only regenerates when drinking potions or when resting.
On another note, I've added a cursor which changes depending on what it is pointing at. Talk, open, pick up etc.
I think it looks pretty neat :-)
I hope these changes makes the game more fun to play and a little bit more original. To be frank, there aren't a whole lot of isometric real time action games.
That is all for now, thanks for reading!