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Law & Order & Chaos & Chance

If Julian Gollop keeps up his current rate of posting about the planned Chaos reboot/remake/sequel, it is entirely possible I'll be linking to him every single day until the game releases.

I am just fine with that.

Now, he's put up a reasonably fulsome feature list, spell and creature roster and details of platforms. Also, he's redesigned his site to use the original Chaos sprites as a background. D'awww.

A lot of what's in there is straight out of the original Chaos, but I suppose this is being described as a remake as well as a sequel. There's been some sniffiness that Gollop - like so many other devs of yesteryear - has gone back to one of his established franchises rather than pursuing brand new territory, but I do feel that that, in the case of Chaos, he's exploring an important corner of gaming that truly deserves a fresh and more expansive take. If he'd announced Y-COM I'd have been fairly skeptical, bu there's a a whole lot more to do with Chaos - and an awful lot more people who didn't experience it first time around. Single character, summoned monsters, offensive and defensive spells, counter-spells - these are things that deserve to be seen with shiny mega-graphics.

You can see the largely familiar list of spells, creatures and whatnot in this post on Gollop Games, but here I want to concentrate on his proposed changes. To whit,

I am not convinced for the need to have a special spell selection and casting phase. It may have worked well when playing multiplayer games around one screen, but is somewhat redundant with network play. Instead wizards can cast a spell instead of attack (i.e. they can only cast a spell when moving within the move-and-attack range). I suspect this idea might be controversial with existing Chaos fans.

Although spells will be randomly assigned, each spell will have a random weighting so that some spells may be more common than others. This will be use to achieve a generally better balance of spells in random combats.

Law and Chaos effects will be finer grained, with 2-5% shifts for each spell cast.

That first is the biggie and I wonder if it was made in the light of Firaxis' XCOM and its strict partitioning of moving and acting. I can't say anything useful about it until I've tried it, but I fear "I suspect this idea might be controversial" is putting it mildly.

As for features, he's talking about several multiplayer modes and a proper singleplayer campaign in which "You start with a basic wizard character, and you must journey through regions battling enemy wizards." However, as you progress you anger the 'wizard king' who then raises the toughness of your enemies, making it a "race against time."

Here's the major happy-happy-joy-joy promise: "the big idea with the Kingdoms of Chaos mode is that it is randomly, algorithmically generated... There should be an element of strategy and deduction in figuring out which battles to fight and where to go on the campaign map."

In terms of multiplayer, there'll be networked games with the option of asynchronous turns or 'live' turn-based play, and he's also talking about pass the device play for the mobile versions. Hopefully that'll be in the PC one too - I'd happily pass my laptop around in the pub during a boozy war of wizards.

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