As is now usual in games, we plan to include a special tutorial level in Wizards’ Duel to teach the basis of the game in a seamless manner, something short and to the point to both clarify the controls and enable a bit of exposition to set up the tone of the game.
But for our first release we planned something simpler: presenting all the possibilities in a single recap page displayed just before starting the game.
For now the controls are static but we plan them to be configurable in the final release, of course. Also a more complete integration for mouse controls is to be expected: the goal is to be able to play the game completely by mouse by the final release.
The current control scheme should be familiar to roguelike players, you can move around the cardinal directions using the keyboard, if you try to move into a cell that is already occupied by an enemy you will instead attack it. By pressing Space you can wait for a round (hint: don’t when there are salamanders nearby!).
The left side of the screen is dedicated to your character. On the top you can see your character’s portrait (only Exekiel in this first alpha), slowly becoming red after accumulating hits from enemies. Just below there are the portraits of two Spirits, that represents two possible ways to interact with the world. You can select one of them with the “1” or “2” key and then left-click somewhere on the playing field to cast a spell. After a spell is cast their portrait will be overlaid in grey, representing the spirit’s cooldown timer.
When you attack or right-click on something the top right side of the screen will display the health of the target. In the future these portraits will also show the active status effects, but for now the visual clues will suffice. Also we are trying to avoid numerical indications where possible, we will see how it works out.
Finally you can press Tab to summon the tactical grid. Using the grid you will have an easier time making tactical decision by taking notice of your current Field of Vision and enemies’ positions.
As of now the User Interface and the control setup is quite basic, but it should be enough to demonstrate that something is slowly taking shape.
In the next releases, along with improved mouse support, will also make their debuts contextual mouse pointers and audio feedbacks: they will hopefully make more clear what spell you have actually prepared and how you can interact with the environment.
What do you think of this approach for the alpha? Even in this preliminary state does it seems clear enough or would you change something?
Thanks for reading.