When I decided to make a smaller version of Dungeon University, I knew every aspect had to be smaller and simpler. I thought it would take away from my game’s depth. But in at least one way, it’ll actually be better.
One change was to stop work on two planned characters, to end up with 4 instead of 6. Turns out, there’s a funny thing about 4. Remember how each one gets paired up with another for bonuses and scenes? Now, if you determine who is paired with the first character, only two are left, so they’re necessarily paired up.
This means that there are only 3 meaningful combinations for this system with 4 characters! (6 party members makes for more like 45 combinations – or is it 90? I’m not much good with this area of math.)
That opens up a lot of doors. I can design each of the 3 combinations to be very different from the others, so players can organize for different strengths in different situations. If the player could switch during battle, it would make for a core feature that makes combat more interesting.
I would never have stumbled on an idea like this – which could make my game truly fun to play – if I wasn’t working on this small prototype. It begs the question, should I ever scale it up at all? Or am I already getting to the sweet spot? We’ll see!