Michael Iantorno PhD Candidate, Game Designer, and Writer

Herbalism in Unearthed

As a general rule, I have tried to prevent collect-a-thon gameplay mechanics from creeping into Unearthed. The concept of running across a game world in search of numerous macguffins never really appealed to me, even in games where it has been implemented fairly well (i.e. The Ocarina of Time). That being said, I did want to include some sort of side-mission for Unearthed; one that rewarded players for exploring areas to the fullest extent. After much thought, I decided that Herbalism would be the means to that end.

Throughout the game world, the player will be able to collect various wild plants that will aid him on his journey. These will range from mundane mushrooms to potent herbs, each having a unique beneficial effect. These boons will be scattered randomly about areas, just waiting to be discovered. Once herbs are collected they will disappear for a while, renewed at certain points in the game to be collected once more.

Here is a quick list of some of the types of herbs that will be found in Unearthed. Naturally, these are subject to change as the game develops.

  • Iaso Root: Raises a character from unconciousness
  • Horse Tail: Heals a character from basic illness
  • Panacea: Heals a character from advanced illness
  • Hygeia Buds: Raises a character’s defense
  • Cadmus Buds: Raises a character’s offense
  • Meditrine Herb: Small HP recovery
  • Aceso Herb: Moderate HP recovery
  • Agalaea Herb: Large HP recovery
  • Amanita (mushroom) Cap: Small SP Recovery
  • Morel (mushroom) Cap: Moderate SP Recovery
  • Gomphus (mushroom) Cap: Large SP Recovery
  • Stinkweed: Causes opponent to cry
  • Seymorian Ivy: Paralyzes opponent

As a quick update, I am now about 5-10% through the full game outline. I’ll be attempting to complete at least one area a day for the rest of the month, so progress should be relatively steady.


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  • Interesting idea. I’m assuming there are items that can be bought from shops that have the same effects as most of these herbs, right?

  • Yes! Vendors will carry many of the items that can be found in the wild. There will, however, be some items exclusively found in the wilderness that have very special effects.

  • I’d like to have the herbs replenish themselves somewhat mathematically (number of steps, enemies defeated, etc…), but I have to look at the programming behind that. It’s more than likely I’ll just pick one event flag for all the herbs located in one area, and reset that flag 3-5 times throughout the game.

By Michael
Michael Iantorno PhD Candidate, Game Designer, and Writer