I'm an explorer of games. The discovery of new systems -- geographic, cultural, magical, religious, scientific, production, personal, financial, and more -- is what keeps me playing a game.
So the world of a game matters a lot to me. (By "world" I include all those things listed above.) A flat, empty world filled with highly detailed characters would be interesting because of the interactions they might have... but a richly detailed world filled with active objects whose effects characters can perceive and act on and be affected by is a much more interesting world.
Which brings me to Voxel Quest. Bearing in mind that its point is not just to be "a game" but to be an engine for the creation of different games, I will boldly suggest that it's important for the world of VQ to be designed to be fairly (if not very) reactive. The various systems of the world will be more enjoyable in the base game, and more fun to adapt to new games, if they're designed with depth in mind.
By "depth" I specifically mean: the core game systems have multiple expressive modes, and are permitted to interact with many other such systems.
What that means is that things in the game world aren't just static, untouchable graphics -- they're objects and processes that characters can recognize, that characters can do different things with, and, importantly, that can in some cases interact among themselves even if not triggered by any character.
And the value of that kind of design is that such a world feels like a living, breathing place. If I see a hammer (to pick something at random), to be able to click on it to repair a weapon or piece of armor is the very minimum of active behaviors it should possess. A "hammer" object ought to be able to repair other things, or be used as a weapon, or be bought or sold, or be an object of veneration by The Cult of the Master Builder, or contain the spirit of an ancient evil, or allow characters to build certain kinds of new objects, and probably more things besides. And that's just a hammer.
In addition to objects, the world itself is more fun when it's alive with active functions. Night/day cycles, rain, snow, fog, fire, wind, heat, cold, and seasons can all produce important effects that change the priorities of character behaviors in satisfying ways.
Processes are systems, too. These are the verbs of the world -- the things that individual characters can do, and that they can do to and with each other, and that they can express as large groups of characters with similar cultural characteristics. Examples could be gathering (plants), hunting (animals), fishing, taming, riding, mining, building, experimenting, destroying, killing, enslaving, liberating, procreating, guarding, stealing, baking
, mapping, ruling, partying, translating, hiding, legislating, composing, performing, traveling, sleeping, cooking, teaching, learning, trading, worshiping, and burying.
Of course I don't expect all these things to be in Voxel Quest. The point of describing all this is not to say, "I want to see some particular feature X in VQ" -- it's to express the larger idea that a game world is more fun for more people over more time to the extent that the world of that game has many verbs that all have many forms. Again, that's not just valuable for Voxel Quest out of the box, but also for anyone who wants to use VQ to build a game world for themselves.
So, all that said: what do you think?
If you like the idea of the world of VQ supporting a good number of different dynamic effects that characters can perceive and cause and react to, are there some effects that are more important to you than others? What dynamic functions of the world of Voxel Quest would make it a game you'd want to play for a long time?