We've been watching the ongoing evolving maze experiment for a while now...
In the last month, we've been seeing Pigments begin contracting Darkness.
This affliction somehow blots out the sun within their territory and causes them to grow lamps and consumable light items.
Meanwhile, an Item Merchant has been attracted to the coins and set up shop in between mazes.
Darkness & Light
Over the last few months, we've watched the mazes created by Pigment creatures get richer.
Until recently, there hasn't been any down-side to letting maps bake longer because the longer they grow, the more coins and items they seem to acquire.
Meanwhile, the little boxy creatures we've been using to explore the mazes started tracking its time and steps.
It also acquired the ability to invoke temporary status effects.
Apparently, the Pigment creatures have acquired a similar ability, but in contrast to the Explorer's Speed effect it looks like they're getting sick...
During the growth period, if a Pigment fails to grow for a while or are stopped from growing fast enough due to space constraints, they come down with an affliction called Darkness.
This seems to be a reaction to our experiments with longer bake times, since allowing Pigments to grow long enough in a limited area ends up limiting their growth eventually.
Darkness somehow prevents sunlight from reaching into the Pigment's territory, causes them to grow lanterns and light-emitting consumable items like Candles and Torches.
Luckily, the Explorer is able to use these items to emit its own light!
As soon as this started happening, the Black Tower area went completely dark and refuses to grow lanterns, so those items are especially useful.
It seems that illnesses like Darkness are not the only result of the increasing yield from our Pigment growth experiments...
All the coins and new items have attracted an Item Merchant, who set up shop in between mazes.
The Item Merchant has placed a value on each item relative to gold coins and is selling a most of the items we've discovered so far.
It will purchase items at half the price it sells them for and allow buying back any items sold at cost.
We don't know where it came from, where it gets its inventory or what it does with the coins, but we're very happy it came along.
Along with providing a convenient means to get useful items like Blue Pill, Speed or the new Candles or Torches, converting unused items to coins has been very helpful in keeping our toolkit stocked.
We recommend picking up a Map from the Merchant.
Up to this point, we've found Maps reliably in the White areas of mazes.
By purchasing and equipping it as a Tool we've been able to start maps with it, greatly improving our experiments.
This has been a very interesting month in our experiment!
Although we're concerned that both the Explorer and Pigment creatures have developed something akin to the ability to contract illnesses, we're excited to see how their evolution continues...
20190923 - Darkness Update
* add Item Merchant to Stage Select
* add Darkness & Light
* make Pigment creatures vulnerable to Darkness effect if they fail to grow for too long during map creation
* standing on dark tiles blots out the sun
* place lights in dark mazes along walls & on doors
* project light from Avatar via new Candle & Torch items
* update items
* make Blue Pill acquirable on finishing a maze
* make Map work as an Equippable tool
* add active effects that are invoked/removed manually rather than via burndown
* update telemetry