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The simplification of gameplay continues. I've been thinking about actions and crafting, inventory management and all that rot.

If this is going to allow a hot-seat multiplayer mode, then I would like to reduce the amount of inventory tetris and shuffling that is required. Nothing more irritating than waiting your turn while some asshat does the inventory dance, shuffling things hither and yon and generally just being annoying. I just don't think that a lot of inventory management should be required.

So, I'm thinking of switching to a pure crafting based system. Any action that is not one of Move, Loot, or End Turn is done from a casting/crafting menu. These skills require certain resources (though the required resources list could be empty, meaning it can always be cast) and consume certain resources (again, may be empty). When Looting an object, if that object is Lootable, then resources are added to the character's resource inventory. This inventory is a basic list showing what resources the character has.

I haven't built the resource inventory and casting widgets yet, but I have built the underlying components. When Looting an object, resources are added and the object despawns. (TODO: a particle effect upon despawn) When the casting UI is activated, it will show a widget that lists all of the known skills that can be cast. Skills for which the player does not have the required resources will be grayed out and uncastable. The list will be organized so that castable skills appear at the top, no scrolling. (This might end up as an MxN layout of buttons) Frequently used skills can be assigned to one of four hotkey quickslots.

There won't be any usable/equippable items or inventory management at all. Resources stack and currently are limited only by numerical precision (which is, of course a LOT). Casting skills requires and consumes resources.

As an example, I'm thinking that the first castable skill you obtain will be Log. Log requires 1 Wood, consumes 1 Wood, and creates a hurled projectile log that strikes for basic physical damage. Somewhat later, you obtain Burning Log which requires/consumes 1 Wood and 1 Flint. A Burning Log strikes for some physical damage and some fire splash damage. In this fashion, the player is required to forage for resources, some of which might be rare or obtainable only by slaying and looting an opponent. As the game progresses and further resources and skills are unlocked, the complexity of possible gameplay increases as well. Given sufficient resources you could create siege machinery, for example, which will spawn a controllable minion unit.

I've got the looting and casting mechanic in place, though currently I only have the hard-wired skills of Burning Log (no damage payload, just a particle effect; currently the game's ONLY particle effect), Teleport (consumes Leaves, of all things) and a basic no-resource Melee strike.

I really, really, really need to buckle down and write some more basic UI widget functionality so that I can further test these gameplay concepts. But man, I really detest writing UI code.

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