Essence Showcase - Reset
This is the final post in a series discussing how the different time manipulation abilities in Worldline were implemented. The first five are here:
The reset mechanic in Worldline, like record, went through a lot of changes over the course of development. In its current state, it works similarly to rewind, with a few catches. The most obvious one is that reset rewinds your time, and not the time around you. The second is that you are invincible while the effect is active, and the third is that it's the only ability you can use after you die. It definitely didn't work like this at first though. We wanted to make reset stand out, not only from the other powers, but also make it stand out compared to rewind. The first implementation of reset could only be used after your death, and would simply resurrect you at some point in the past. This worked, but it wasn't very exciting and made the ability essentially useless unless you died. Also, it worked by requiring you to have a full tank of essence, and then resurrecting would consume it all at once, which was quite different from how the other powers worked.
The second iteration worked by creating a "mobile save point." This idea was pretty cool, but it had a few flaws. The core concept was that upon activating reset, you could create what effectively worked as a save point where you were standing. So when you died, you would load that save instead of your actual save.
In the above picture, the flashing copy of Wynne was the place in the past where you would appear. It was neat because it would always look like you at that moment, so if you were jumping and shooting your gun, Wynne would appear to be jumping and shooting, as if you had taken a snapshot. The biggest problem with this is that players couldn't figure out where to use it. Let's assume a player just saved... They don't want to use the ability for a while, because that would be a waste. Of course, if the player was getting close to the next save point, and they used the ability, that would be a waste too. Since there were often saves before big events, like difficulty spikes or a boss fight, players never used the ability for fear of wasting it.
The ability went through a few undocumented revisions before we landed on what we have now, which came quite naturally. Players were made invulnerable during the process, since its the only ability where you basically relinquish control to the game so you can rewind yourself. If an enemy hit you and hurt you during the process, it would feel unfair. Not to mention, if a player uses it after they die, they were often surrounded by enemies.
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