I've still been too wrapped up with real life stuff to be able to do any heavy development (my girlfriend just left for Australia!), but I've still been kicking around some design ideas in my head. These ideas are mostly feature related at this point as I'm still trying to flesh out what the initial game will encompass.
The subject of this blog post will focus upon a mechanic I like to call the Library. As in the real world the Library will be a source of knowledge. It will contain information on enemies, items, spells, locations, and other yet to be determined topics. These will be categorized into different books within the Library, and will only be available if they contain some information. There will also be a book recounting the history and legends of your ancestors (previously played in game characters). There will be hidden books throughout the world that you can return to the Library to gain some benefit towards character.
So far the Library sounds pretty straightforward, so you might be wondering if there is anything unique about it. There is! The Library will be persistent across all of your characters. Information uncovered on one character will be available to all future characters, and discovered books will remain discovered. To gain the bonuses from a previous character you'll have to locate their burial place (where they died) and pray for them. You will then become imbued with their knowledge.
This will serve a few functions. It will add a sense of history to the game, and provide the feeling that your characters actions persist through generations. It provides an intermediate goal to the game, because if you find your previously created character you will instantly become more powerful. It also provides goals to any character, since finding a book inside or at the end of dungeons can be a powerful motivator. Also, it provides a different mechanism for improving your character and a collecting mechanism that may attract some gamers. The collection mechanic will tie into my achievements system, which will be the subject of a future post.
There you have it. I haven't gone into any specifics one what the books will contain, mostly because that hasn't been decided yet. Some surprise is always good I guess. I'd be interested in knowing other's thoughts on this game mechanic, and any additions people might find interesting.