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  Sneak Peek: Loonyland II: Winter Woods 06:15 PM -- Tue April 25, 2006  

That's a very odd looking thing, isn't it? Almost all I've done since last time is make sound effects. I've been cranking out new sounds quite a bit in my previously mentioned effort to completely finish up the beginning part of the game. I'm doing some kind of weird sounds... I hope they're good. I'll have to get second opinions soon. The sound when you pause the game is a really cool little guitar ditty, only it sounds forlorn and tremendously at odds with the happenin' swing music playing behind it. Even without that music, it's awfully morose for a Loonyland game. But it sounds cool! I'll have to yank it, I'm pretty sure.

The other thing I did, mostly just design so far, is add a major major new system to the game (as if I needed more things to get done - but this is the kind of design and programming that I enjoy). Now, first of all, the skills are going to be cut back to only 50. One or two will be removed entirely, but most of the missing skills are being moved over to the new feature - Talents. Yes, I got the idea when I sadly looked up some World of Warcraft info to see what I had been missing since I got to play that last. The inspiration led me to think of a set of abilities that are very small percentage boosts for the most part, adding to your main skills, sort of to specialize (just like in WoW). But in Loonyland, they work differently. Skills, as you know, are special abilities that you can upgrade with points you earn by gaining levels. Some are triggered directly, others are passive boosts. Talents, on the other hand, upgrade themselves based on certain criteria, and are all passive boosts (basically, they upgrade as you use them).

Aha, but I tricked you! There are a few Talents that aren't passive at all! They are the former Crafting skills. Now that they are Talents instead of Skills, it's kind of nice, because it means you don't need to invest skill points in them - choosing between becoming stronger, or becoming better at making things that make you stronger. They will just improve if you spend time crafting things.

So the other cool thing about Talents pertains to the picture above. All this time you've been wondering who the little egghead is, and now I shall let the cat out of the bag: that is a Talent Guru. There are 30 of them, since there are 30 Talents, scattered all around the land. Just as with Skills, you need to find your Talents by finding the Gurus that can teach them (I know it makes no sense to teach someone a talent, but they're gurus... it's magic - or possibly motivational speeches). Why is that cool? Because it's another 30 things I get to hide around the game world! Finding stuff is fun. Unlike skills, you get Talents simply by finding the Gurus, there are no quests involved. Once you have a talent, you can begin doing whatever it is you need to to level it up, and up it will go.

Also note that the Guru is levitating - see his feet? That's Guru Power.
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