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spell casting idea

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I have this idea for spell casting. You have a progress bar on the screen like this |--a--|--b--|--c--|--d--|--e--|--f--| the bar fills from left to right. When the progress reaches the symbol/letter/rune that you want you press X. You then do that again and create a chain, e.g. a,d,d = fireball a,e,d,f = lightning a,b = strength potion etc where the first symbol is the power of the spell. You would be able to directly control the speed of the progress bar - a faster progress bar would let you cast spells faster but you would also make more mistakes which makes sense. If you cast the same symbol(s) many times that symbol would become longer and the other symbols would become shorter because you are practicing more with that symbol and less with others. e.g. Overuse of A |----a-----|--b-|--c-|--d-|-e--|--f-| as your character gains experience the progress would become longer making it easier on the eyes. Other abilities like 'undo last symbol' if you made a mistake would become available. As usual level-x spells would only be available for level-x casters (or something similar). This idea spawns from dungeon master spell casting and Gears Of War weapon reloading mini-game. see top right spell runes under Nabi. What do you think?

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That sounds like it could be a fun alternative way to do cast spells. Only I can't really imagine how to make it fit in smoothly in a game without either pause the game to cast the spell or take away too much focus from the rest of what's happening.

With some work and careful planning it could be cool though =)

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pausing the game would remove any sense of urgency and you would select the slowest bar speed so you always succeed.

I dont think a system like this would work in a game like Oblivion as it is too fast.

This system would promote bigger, more powerful spells which are cast less frequently and less carelessly in a slower paced game.

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To speed it up, you could select the runes from a radial menu. Imagine the bar instead as a clock face with 8 runes around it. Your cursor starts in the middle of the face and you move it in the direction of the rune you want, then it resets and you do it again till you have a spell. That would make its less error prone (something i doubt players would enjoy) and faster as you dont have to wait for the bar to get to the rune you want.

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Provided the length of spells were kept down (IE: not higher than 3 or 4 runes), it wouldn't be much different from casting in games like Arx Fatalis or Ultima Underworld. Both games allowed the player to setup a spell before hand and then essentially "spam" it when he wanted, in Arx Fatalis this was a queue of upto 3 spells, and in UW it was simply leaving the arranged runes in place until the player wanted to activate them. You don't neccessarily have to go that route though.

Overall this method looks like it would work well for console type games that use a gamepad or controller, since you don't need to mess with bulky interfaces and mouse driven systems.

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I reckon using a numpad to cast spells would be fun, as long as the spells had a minimum spell casting time to relieve the pressure of typing fast. A Spell meter/clock could be intertwined in certain powerful combinations.

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