Okay, so I guess we'll make Thursday or Friday the day I answer a question, that way you have something to read for the weekend!
So, here we go:Question #1:
[VPeric] We all saw the thirst and hunger bars on the screenshots, could you elaborate on them? Features like these are usually tedious*, so how will you be implementing them?
Great question, actually. Well, as far back as I could remember, my "dream RPG" always had a food/water requirement (FWR). This definately comes from Ultima 2, the first RPG I ever played. I remember fondly how cool I thought it was to need to buy food before heading out into the wilderness. That really deepened the experience for me. Later on, games like Dungeon Master and Eye of the Beholder further showed me that a FWR could enhance the whole gameplay experience. How many people played Dungeon Master where as you played and your character began to starve or dehydrate, finding an apple or a water fountain was more exciting than finding a super new weapon!
So, for that reason alone, Eschalon
was always supposed to have FWR as part of the gameplay. Some of you remember the poll
that originally led us to remove it from Book I, but months after the decision was made, the poll actually swung back the other way! So, with Book II I really want to put it back in there not only for my preference but also because of the poll results.
As for how to keep FWR from being tedious, we'll just have to play with it a bit and see where to set the default "consumption rate". Not too fast, not too slow...
There are some conditions where food and water consumption would be affected: being in the desert would quicken your thirst bar; one of the diseases you can catch in Book II is "Tapeworms", which will cause your hunger bar to drop much more quickly. Starvation and Dehydration are both results of zero hunger and thirst bars, and while death isn't instant, both conditions will slowly tick away your HPs.
Above all, I completely agree
with everyone's concerns: if I (or the beta testers) feel that it is an annoying feature, we'll gladly take it out before the game is released. It makes no sense to add a feature unless it enhances
the role-playing experience, not take away from it.