Thursday, December 20, 2012

Reverse Time Spell

After designing the game event system which allows backwards stepping through the game I have just thought of a spiffing new spell - Reverse Time. When your wizard casts this spell the game is rewound back to the beginning of your previous turn. This should be properly visualised with all the animations and effects playing in reverse. Naturally, all spells cast by other players would be restored and creatures unsummoned, but it could get you out of a tricky spot, or give you a tactical advantage. Interestingly your reverse time spell would also be restored and you could use it again and again, until it fails.

24 comments:

  1. And a player knocked out of the game would get back him. Interesting.

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    1. Depends who was knocked out :) Although this is the type of spell that could be used most strategically - an allied wizard who sacrifices oneself only to see what their enemy might do in the aftermath. Interesting indeed. Did I just mention allies?? Bring the magic, baby!!

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    2. Yeah, using it to bring back an ally (or a really powerful creature you lost) would make for some interesting play.

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  2. I think it should be spent, also others spells should be lost. Would be great another chance extremely rare spell for any card based game. But really don't know how would it fit chaos mechanics.

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  3. I quite like the idea, though I think you'd have to be careful in regards to it's rarity (shouldn't be very common), and it's success rate.

    As long it didn't miscast, it could end up with one player constantly rewinding to the beginning of their previous turn where they were trying to cast a gold dragon (or whatever creature) that wasn't an illusion.

    Just thinking that it could possibly annoy other players quite a bit if it was anything other than a one shot spell (or only had a fairly rare chance of casting).

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  4. In theory you could cast it, and then on your next turn cast it again, moving back more than one turn (if it succeeds). I agree with others that it should be very difficult to cast, and rare. I remember games of the original Chaos where I'd get a spell I didn't see very often and it was exciting, only to cast it and have it fail - although I'm sure Chaos Reborn will recapture that experience regardless.

    Reverse Time could perhaps come in an easier-to-cast variant that has a more chaotic effect - randomly reversing to a different player's previous turn, or reversing back further than intended (some form of probability distribution around the player's previous turn should do it). I think this would fit in with the nature of chaos, and is in the nature of time travel and ageing spells, in that it is difficult to arrive at precisely the point in time you are aiming for.

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  5. This has the potential to be annoying, close to trolling.

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    1. Chaos was at it's most fun when you were trolling the other human players. :)

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  6. this reminds me of a card in Elements The Game and decks are build around it, its very fun to use

    http://elementsthegame.wikia.com/wiki/Reverse_Time

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  7. I like the idea, but think it would work better if it wasn't restored to your hand afterwards.

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  8. ... or restored with the casting chance halved each time.

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  9. After having a long think about it I've settled upon two ideas for a time travel spell in Chaos:

    1) The spell has 100% cast probability: The spell is consumed when cast; the last turn is undone and other wizards' spells are lost -- a one-off grief spell for upsetting the state of play. Timing would be important.

    2) The spell has a <100% cast probability (perhaps chaos alignment?): This spell is returned to the caster's spellbook; the last turn is undone and other wizards' spells are returned to their book -- the more chaotic the world the more powerful and disruptive this spell would be. It would put emphasis on not allowing wizards to become too chaotic. In this case it would be appropriate to have a powerful law alignment spell to counter-balance it.

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    1. I am probably favouring it to be a neutral spell which is rare and difficult to cast. I still think it should be restored to your spell list after casting, until it fails. Whats the worst that could happen? The game is wound back to the beginning where everybody is equal.

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    2. Will there be a way to shift towards neutral? And will rewinding restore used spells by other wizards?

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    3. I think neutral seems best as most "utility" spells like teleport and direct attack spells have been neutral up until now. Probably about 20% seems right since it is potentially very powerful. My instinct is that too many game-wide effect spells like this might change the feel of the game too much but a few quality picks could be wonderful. If the game data format makes this straightforward to implement then why not, playtesting can show whether it adds to gameplay or not. I suspect the AI could be taught to deal with this reasonably since you could quantify numerically turns where the AI players have experienced heavy losses or even just a lot of bad luck in combat and might want to try their luck again!

      Q: What happens if you cast Reverse Time on turn 1? Do players get their spell pools reallocated? :)

      Regarding casting to shift towards neutral, I think the direct effect Law/Chaos spells (Law 1, Chaos 2 etc) should follow the logic that it becomes harder to push further away from neutral and easier to move back towards neutral.

      e.g. The spells Law 1 and Law 2 become 5% harder to cast for each level of Law the world is experiencing, and Chaos spells would get easier by the same amount. My logic is that the natural balance of the world is neutral and pushing further away from that becomes more difficult.

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    4. I believe that the more things tilt towards Law and Chaos the easier it is to cast Law and Chaos respectively. Whilst it's hard to change momentum from a natural or current state, once you have momentum going in a certain direction it becomes easier.

      I'd like to see more play with the Law and Chaos themes as I think there's untapped potential in there. Having said that I would also love to see Neutral[ity] being represented too.

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  10. There is one complication - the spell can cause a dead wizard to come back to life. It would work fine, but the controlling player may well have disconnected from the game and have no knowledge of his resurrection. The AI would take over, of course, which could even result in the player winning a game in which he thought he had been killed. Very unlikely, but it would be funny.

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    1. Just an idea: I think that if you could implement the rewinding effect by appending the recent game events, but in reverse, then you could opt to omit certain events such as resurrecting a player, so wizards could effectively be immune to the effect.

      This could also have the fun side-effect of being able to partially undo a previous rewind spell if multiple rewind spells are cast.

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    2. I don't think it's unreasonable to put gameplay practicalities first and make wizard deaths not be affected by Reverse Time. I doubt most people would like an AI player to step in and if wizards can manipulate time, it's not so outrageous that they could be "outside" of the effects of it in an extreme case like this.

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    3. I guess you could even have it so if the player stays to spectate the end, they can jump back in, but if they've disconnected, they're out of the game.

      You could even have a schpiel saying something about some spirits hanging in the ether, and being ready to be bought back into the world through time shift, but once a spirit has moved on, not even magic can fix it.

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  11. If it's a global effect I'd personally prefer more unpredictability and have it reverse to a random turn in the past.

    Alternatively, casting a localised version on a single wizard or creature could also be interesting.

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  12. BTW Julian, Merry Christmas and have a very happy (productive, and successful) New Year!!

    Richard

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