Developing A Species | Part 2
Jared: Today is all about the Seti. Our most populous species and one of the most revised species.
Hunter: Yeah, the Seti are all about exploration, conquest and survival of the species. We’ve always had a clear understanding of the species’ lore and design, but nailing down the mechanics so that a Seti character feels quick, powerful and versatile has been a challenge.
Jared: Sometimes I feel like Seti are the easiest species to write for. Since they are so gear-oriented, any idea can find a place. It’s why you see so many odd items in the hands of our Seti bad guys.
But on the other side, Seti have been difficult to write for. We’ve really had to hone in on the playstyle that Seti represent.
Hunter: Seti really lend themselves to fun writing: this insectoid species that is typically aggressive, shoots first and then asks questions. They work great for writing that struggle into an adventure, but we’ve always held the Seti to a lofty goal.
They were actually our first inspiration for creating an RPG with a fully integrated fourth dimension of color. We wanted that assassin who can shift through colors as he charges into battle and delivers a deadly attack, and it took a few iterations to land on the mechanics that feel true to the species while keeping gameplay streamlined.
Jared: I remember an early vision of combat we had. A warrior appears from the shadows (Yellow), rushes toward an enemy, deflects an incoming blow (Orange), and then stabs with a powerful attack (Red).
Hunter: Yeah, and that aspiration has driven the Seti development. How do we make a character who is empowered by the colors, while moving freely through them and yet gains distinct features based on the colors -- and all of this occurring over the span of 1-2 turns or even during other character’s turns.
Jared: Our first attempt was great for the game but bad for the Seti. We had three archetypes: Assault, Armament and Ambush. I say great for the game, because it was half of that Armament archetype that provided the inspiration for our current Achroite ability set. I won’t say what the other half inspired.
Hunter: Hehe, right, a lot of the ideas that went into Seti were strong ideas and have either been used in other areas or saved for future content that’s in the works. And those Assault and Ambush archetypes largely remained as the Red, Yellow, Blue and Purple gear sets that Seti currently have.
What was the defining moment, though, when it felt like we had finally figured out the Seti challenge?
Jared: One of our pre-alpha testing adventures highly featured Seti, and I think working through that really pointed out the weaknesses and strengths of our Seti build. It was around that time when the primary-gear, secondary-gear scheme came into being. Our players were getting bored staying in the same color and really just being one-trick ponies for the team. So we restructured, and by cutting away some things, we found the current Seti gear sets.
Hunter: Yeah, that rework for Seti kind of sparked this full integration of the color mechanic into all of the species, where we started to see how to put into practice (into the gameplay) how this color dimension would work.
Jared: Exactly, I remember a conversation that was asking how each species used color. And at that time Seti didn’t have a good answer. I think all the species have a good answer now.
Hunter: Right, it was exciting to see it in action. I believe it was this arena battle that we were playing, and you threw down some cards representing the various gear pieces that we need to quickly pick up before the other combatants arrived. We started arguing over the gear using the language of colors: “Well, I need that rifle, because I’m going to focus on purple and stay ranged. So, here, you take the sickle, and focus on red and frontline combat.”
Once we understood what each color was good at and how the colors affected our Seti characters, we could quickly assess the foes we were facing and how to distribute gear or level up our characters.
Jared: For those of you reading, rest assured that adventure will get into your hands eventually. It’s one of our pre-alpha adventures and after a little polish will make it to you. Though, it will likely be part of a series of adventures.
Another one of those things I shouldn’t say much about yet. We keep wandering into secrets I want to keep.
Hunter: I get excited.
Jared: What should our players in THE CRASH OF PACKET CRUISER K748N know about playing the Seti: Hish Chaa Grei?
Hunter: Similar to the Achroite, any Seti players should remember to color bounce to gain your stat increases each turn.
Jared: Piercing damage really adds up and is especially useful in at least two of the fights. And with 3 color shift, if you plan well, you could gain that bonus twice in a turn.
Hunter: Definitely, build up that piercing damage to bypass enemies’ barriers, and then talk with your team. Communication is vital, and as the Seti, you’re capable of moving and color shifting quickly to exploit your team’s foothold or the enemies’ poor positioning. You can provide some health augments with Medic, a damage bonus to your entire team with Assessment and significant damage against clumps of enemies with Sickle.
Jared: Of course Hish is a primarily blue Seti, but we see several Seti non-player characters in THE CRASH OF PACKET CRUISER K748N. If players look closely, they can get some hints about how other colors are used by the Seti.
Hunter: Yeah, as you play as and encounter Seti characters, you’ll see the color interaction come to life so that on future encounters, oh that Seti is orange, so we can expect strong barrier and team support. And as we’ll see, that color mechanic permeates each of the species and the entire game.
Once again, we thank you for joining us, and if you’re reading this and not sure why we keep referencing THE CRASH OF PACKET CRUISER K748N, it’s a free adventure, which you can sign up for and download here. Go play as Hish (the Seti), and next time, we’ll discuss the Regund and Taes.