Player Death... and Stretch Goals!!!!
In designing the death system for TUG, we wanted to avoid a lot of the standard cliches: corpse runs, revival systems that essentially function as a free ride back to the respawn point near town, or a completely unforgiving permadeath. We wanted to create something that was fun and unique, but not without penalty... yet not so harsh that it would discourage players completely or negate all their in-game accomplishments.
As many of you have guessed, the stone embedded in your Seed’s hand is the vessel for his or her life energy... or more simply put, a soul. Wisps are manifestations of this energy, e.g. souls, that have no stone to embody them. When a Seed dies, their soul exits the stone in the form of a wisp. The wisp will be dim and weak, but will immediately begin to regenerate its energy.
The wisp will grow brighter as it gathers energy, and you must gauge when the best point to re-enter your stone and revive your Seed will be. You may choose to awaken at any point during this energy regeneration process.
The wisp will pass through four rough phases as it gathers energy:
- Dim - Re-entering early while the wisp is still dim will cause your Seed to awaken in an extremely weakened state, far below the baseline for their current stage of life. It will take quite some time to heal and recover.
- Glow - If you wait a bit until the wisp has accumulated a medium glow, when you revive you will be in a semi-weakened state. Many character-specific body changes will be lost, and your Seed will be reset to the baseline state for the stage of life they were at prior to death. However, you won’t lose learned skills... your body will be weakened, but you won’t have magically forgotten how to craft!
- Bright - This is the optimal window! Revive here, and your Seed will awaken in his or her prime state, no worse for the wear (well, maybe with a couple new scars or bruises here and there)!
- Overload - Watch out! If TOO much energy is collected and the wisp becomes too bright, re-entry will cause the stone in your Seed’s hand to overload, destroying your Seed’s body and reviving them instead as a newly formed child Seed.
So, to revive your Seed in an optimal state, you’ve got to have an excellent sense of timing! For many, this may mean it is “safer” to simply awaken quickly and in a more weakened state rather than attempt to time it exactly right to be revived at full strength.
In Survival mode, with every death your Seed has, the regeneration process becomes trickier and the window to successfully awaken at full strength gets smaller. In Adventure mode, the optimal window is indefinite, making it much simpler to regenerate in your prime state.
Players will eventually be able to create or obtain special devices that will act as a sort of “back-up drive” for your accumulated physical stats; upon revival, you may activate this device to restore yourself to your former physical state. Certain companions may offer similar services, and players may eventually be able to learn these techniques themselves to perform on others.
And, of course... there is a secret lore behind all of this; discover that, and you may be able to leverage some of these systems to your advantage!
Corpse Camping and Looting
While your Seed lies “dead,” any gear or materials they were carrying may be looted by other players in Survival mode, unless they have been secured in some way via magic or technological security devices. Additionally, upon revival, there will be a massive off-loading of energy from your Seed’s stone as their soul re-enters. This blast will temporarily incapacitate all players and creatures in the immediate vicinity. The blast won’t actually cause any damage or harm anyone, it will just incapacitate them temporarily, giving the newly revived Seed a chance to escape enemies, hide, or find a safe place to heal. Essentially, it should discourage and minimize the effectiveness of corpse camping. It's also useful for stopping thieves in the act; if you’re trying to respawn at full strength and waiting for optimal energy regeneration, but see someone show up and try to steal your stuff, you can choose to awaken your Seed right then to trigger the blast and knock them flat so you can grab your stuff and run... but at the cost of emerging early, and therefore extremely weak. You may only be strong enough to carry a few things, so choose carefully!
Companions can be programmed and modified to be immune to this blast, and eventually there may be ways players can craft shields to protect themselves from it as well. Friendly players in the area will also be temporarily incapacitated, but if they’re really your friends, hopefully they won’t mind! Unless they’re attempting to revive you, they should have ample time to clear out of the way.
And yes, you read that right. Eventually, you may discover ways to instantly revive other players... however, we can’t reveal anything more about that just yet!
All critters and companions in TUG also become wisps upon their deaths. If your companion has a high level of affinity with you, when they die, their wisp will continue to follow you around and act as a companion. You may choose to keep them as a wisp, or perhaps discover a way to return them to their former body... or maybe even build them a new one!!! All Kickstarter companions automatically have a high affinity for their owners, so they’ll be with you, in some form, for as long as you want them.
Untamed wisps can also be caught in the wild via certain methods... but they are only visible at certain times of day, and are very elusive! Who knows what mysterious agendas these creatures may have?
Obviously, these are all systems we are still working on, and we will continue to tweak, balance, and fine-tune with your help and feedback. And hey, this is just our version of TUG… we will provide you with the tools to re-work and alter your own games and servers in whatever ways you’d like. We want TUG to be a world full of real, satisfying challenges and rewards, and look forward to creating that together with you.
TODAY’s GIFT!!! If you are in any tier with alpha or beta access (that is, any tier $30 or higher), we’ve added the following gift to your rewards:
- Special Aether II Baby Moas! - In honor of our collaboration with Kingbdogz and Saspiron of the Aether team, we would like to introduce you to your 2nd goody, your own baby Aether Moa! As this creature roams the worlds of the Aether, so too will it roam the lands of TUG, but this unique feathered Moa is one of a kind and will not be available outside of this Kickstarter campaign. Raise it, ride it, or cook it... but be careful, the resulting wisp may not be so easy to get rid of! If you are in any tier with alpha or beta access, you now receive one of these adorable baby moas for your personal copy!
REMINDER: ADD-ONS!!! If you add the following amounts to your current pledge at your current rewards tier, we will add on:
- An Extra Pre-order Copy of TUG (final game deliverable in January 2015): $10
- KS EXCLUSIVE Baby Sabre Tiger Critter (deliverable by January 2015): $15
- Rare Beast Pelt (deliverable by January 2015): $20
We'll offer more of these a la carte items during the PayPal campaign next month. Items purchased individually, both now and during the PayPal campaign, will be linked to the email addresses that were used to purchase them. However, no items will be bound to accounts and can be traded freely.
These goals will stay up throughout the remainder of the Kickstarter campaign, the duration of the Paypal campaign, and into Beta! WE CAN DO IT!
$300,000 Alchemy / Equivalent Exchange
Ready your laboratories of the dark arts... an intermediate to advanced process of creation that may lead to darker practices, and unlock things you perhaps should not have. Alchemy is a system that allows for an alternate method of crafting and reverting objects into base materials, and experimentation into abstract creations.
$400,000 Advanced Civilization
Rooms for Rent? Build homes that wandering travelers may inhabit to offer you services, gear, or insights into the mysterious world around you. Cultivate relationships, for better or worse, with those that inhabit your towns. Adv Civ allows players to create and decorate homes in unique ways, to attract travelers with unique skills, professions or wares to expand your civilizations.
$450,000 Animal Breeding
D’aawwww, so cuuuuute... wait... no, that’s TERRIFYING! Can you breed the perfect breed of beast? Intermediate to advanced methods of care, breeding, and development of critters and beasts. Animal Breeding allows players to breed animals and raise them to refine stats and beast types.
$550,000 Advanced Magic Crafting
Tired of just pewpewing fireballs? Why not FIRE STORMS!? Refine and harvest pure elemental energy orbs and cross powers with other elements to create unique powers and expand on your tactical approach of the world and against your foes. But be careful, what may hurt others may also hurt you. Advanced Magic Crafting allows for multiple variations of elemental orbs to be equipped at once to offer a variety of outcomes.
Swinging swords is fun... but swinging LIGHTNING SWORDS IS WAY MORE FUN! Use refined elemental energy orbs to enchant and enhance effects of your weapons, armor, tools, and contraptions! Enchanting allows all magic orbs systems to be used to alter the abilities of existing tools and contraptions in TUG.
$700,000 Shadow Realm
Prepare yourselves for darkness... enter a realm of shadow, where light flees from darkness. An alternate world with unique biomes, materials and discoveries to be had. The Shadow Realm adds an alternate world that adds more content to TUG that expands on how the tools and contraptions of the existing world work.
$850,000 The Core
Hellfire and Brimstone... venture to the burning belly of the world to find rare materials, take on fiery beasts, and unlock forbidden secrets to unleash upon the world. Explore unique and violent underground biomes. The Core adds more content to TUG that expands on how the tools and contraptions of the existing world work.
We’re coming up on that first one already... let’s get to it!
As always, please help us spread the word... the more you guys share and help push this along, the more support we can gather. Every penny we earn lets us make things better and faster... and we can't do it without you.