Considering I do a lot of work on a daily bases, and since I need to get back into using ModDB for the slur of work I'll have to put up on the VHEL ModDB page, I figured "hey, why not abuse the blog function for the lolz?".
So! That's what I'll be doing from now on (or until I suddenly lose interest).
At the moment, I'm stuck working through a few interesting mechanics I had recently added into VHEL's design document. The idea is to have a multi-layered health system that not only encourages the player to "evade", but gives both the player and the enemy an assortment of options to tackle a particular situation. We want less one-dimensional systems that only benefit the player, and more three-dimensional systems that can enhance the gameplay experience, but also force the player to make intentional decisions within the game world. Having already reworked the stamina system several times in the past, this newest iteration doesn't exactly boost my moral too high, but it does do something that previous builds didn't do to well: change the game and FORCE situations onto both the enemy and the player.
Although I can't give away details at the moment, the latest stamina system gives valid reason to run iso and group (a fancy way of describing the separation between characters on a given map), use cloak, cunning, or combat, and give meaning to the jobs each character has. All this sounds nice and all, but whenever you have a layered health mechanic in a game, there's a lot of complex jargon that has to be clarified for the sake of player education and playability. I've leaned quite a bit on a percentage based system similar to brawl since it gives me more room to insert my own rules and create a type of "ladder" that interconnects with stamina ratios (again, I'll probably clarify all this in a VHEL update in the future =P).
Considering this isn't the only thing I need to figure out (the art and storyline still have a lot of challenges in the way), I'm surprised how much time I've dedicated to solidifying major gameplay mechanics to make them genuinely fun and indefinitely rewarding.