Blog - Dev Diary #93

Son of Nor Diary #93 – Looking Back At Magic

We’re taking a look at how core aspects of Son of Nor evolved over the past 3 years! This week: The Magic System.

  • We’re having a look at how the Magic System changed during the development of Son of Nor. It’s an interesting view at game design and changing things to make them better.
  • Magic was the third core game mechanic planned for Son of Nor. The game was designed with these 3 powers in mind: Telekinesis, Terraforming, and Magic. And they’re still present in the game.
  • Magic System v1: Spells were charged for a one time use by conjuring balls of sand in geometrical patterns (triangles, squares, stars etc.) This made the combat very slow since people were busy conjuring sand balls instead of using magic for the fight.
  • Magic System v2: We moved from a pattern-based casting system to a gesture-based system in v2. Draw magic lines on the ground to conjure fireballs, wind spells and shields. This worked more or less quickly. But it still took too long to do in combat.
  • Magic System v3: This one only exists on paper, fortunately. Since conjuring spells and combining magic was so slow in previous versions, we thought the solution to this problem was to let players create “macros” in an editor before you start the game. Sort of a Crazy Machines for spells. Instead of conjuring a fireball, make it stronger, add another type of magic to it for magic combination, we wanted to let players do that in this editor in advance and then only cast the final product. We quickly scratched this idea.
  • Magic System v4: Today’s magic system is quick, fast paced and works great in combat. You don’t have magic abilities from the start. You need to get the power of absorbing elements in the temples you explore during the game. Once you got the ability you can absorb the fire element from a fire place, the wind element from a dust devil and so on. Once absorbed you can use the power immediately 3 times without drawing, conjuring or arranging patterns. After casting a spell, an area of that power remains active to interact with other spells. This is important for spell combinations. Cast a wind push and immediately after it a fire burst to combine wind and fire for a fire tornado. It also interacts with the environment. Add fire magic to rocks to make fireballs. Cast fire on sand to get glass for additional ammo if you run out. You can also enhance this glass shard with fire magic, of course and thus, basically create your own fireball if needed.
  • Son of Nor is now in the Steam Store as Early Access version. Thank you for supporting us!
  • Watch the previous episode on Telekinesis.
  • Watch the previous episode on Terraforming.
  • Get into the discussion and join our forum: forum.sonofnor.com

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