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Just a quick overview of what I've been doing for the past month. The project is very much still alive!

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It's a very busy time for me at the moment, both with work and at home, however good progress is being made.

I've had a few people play the combat side of the game so there has been a lot of feedback to work off from that. The main issue with the combat system is giving the player the experience of a real-time combat game, without overloading them with information. I decided the Rage mechanic was distracting, so all character skills are cooldown based. However to get around the old face-roll on the keyboard issue that is inherent to cooldowns, whenever a skill is activated, all other skills are also disabled for the duration of the cooldown. Now if a player uses a strong skill with a long cooldown it means they are forfeiting their ability to use weaker skills with shorter cooldowns.

All combat skills are now tied to a progression mechanic within the game itself. Players will have to complete certain milestones (known as Brands) in order to unlock skills for use in combat (for example kill 100 enemies at point blank range with a shotgun in order to unlock one of the shotgun skills). Ideally this will make the combat friendlier to new players, and add an element of character progression to the combat.

Weapons, Armour Plates, and Trinkets (accessories) can give additional benefits to the bearer when inscribed. Only rarity 3 and above items can be inscribed. Inscriptions are designed to allow a greater level of customisability to gear, and to provide more character progression opportunities to the player. Inscriptions cannot be removed from a weapon, only overwritten, so they must be used with care.

Revised Gear Menu- all gear types can be accessed, changed, repaired, and inscribed from this menu. This screen shows the player comparing their currently equipped weapon (Shining Skyscatter) with other weapons they can equip.

Armour as a gear type has been removed. Instead characters have two slots for armour plates. Plates (along with all other items) come in 5 different rarities. The protection offered from a plate corresponds to it's rarity- so two rarity 5 plates offer 10 points of armour (or 100% damage reduction in combat). Plates take damage like health, and can be broken if they reach 0 armour (and are subsequently lost). Plates can be repaired for a cost, and high rarity plates do not break.

Gear Menu now showing equipped armour plates, and available plates‚Äč

Based on feedback I have decided to use a map for the exploration section of the game. Due to the complex nature of procedural text generation and the time I have available, I felt that although text-based exploration would be ideal, it would be difficult to get right, and a visual map would be more easy to interpret for the player than a textual interface.

Lastly, and as always, I am constantly beavering away creating menus, updating existing UI elements, making it easier to navigate, and planning for the future. Thanks for reading! Sam.

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