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Tiled based game/rpg with more than 1 player on a tile?


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#1 Legendre   Members   -  Reputation: 966

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 09:25 PM

Related to this old (9 months!) topic of mine: http://www.gamedev.net/topic/622697-tile-based-multi-user-rpg-possible/. After picking up some new web development skills and working on a couple of commercial projects, I got interested in making a tiled based RPG again.

In that thread, "Servant of the Lord" gave this excellent solution for displaying multiple players on a tile which I am going to use for the game.

multipleplayersontile.png
However, as far as I know, all tile based RPGs have a restriction of 1 player/monster/object on each tile. Although I would like to be innovative and try new game designs, I am a little worried that no one is allowing multiple players to occupy the same tile.

Questions

1) Have you seen a tiled based RPG that allow multiple players on the same tile?
2) Do you see any major problem with this approach?

With regards to question 2, I suspect targeting a specific player with a range weapon in a tile with multiple players might cause some problem.

Edited by Legendre, 01 January 2013 - 09:26 PM.


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#2 dakota.potts   Members   -  Reputation: 455

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 01:25 AM

Ultimately the details will be decided by your test run (IMO).

Good for you trying something new. I have never seen it, to answer your first question, nor do I see any major problem with it. However, I do not think you should just stick it in there.

Following your ranged weapon example: Imagine (going with RPG stereotypes) that I have a Goblin, an ogre, and a giant in the same tile. I am shooting at them with a bow and arrow. Because of the giant's size, I am more likely to hit it, and the ogre is the next likely, with the Goblin being hardest because it is the smallest. In this way, it could become a strategy of the game to use larger characters to tank for the smaller ones. Maybe there is a drawback to this: For every larger character they share a space with, movement speed (in number of tiles per turn) is reduced by 1. So, the goblin will be set back 2 move speed, the ogre one, and the giant will be free to move unimpeded. Or maybe they line up in the order they get there. IF the giant moves north to a tile, it will face North. Then if the Goblin shows up by moving North, it will be behind the giant. Since the giant is taller, ranged weapons may not hit it. In this same manner, if the Goblin showed up followed by the ogre and then the giant, any one of these may be targeted. Also, if the giant is north of the goblin on the same tile, the goblin may be attacked from the East, West, or South.

Or it could be something completely different. A rogue class that gains attack bonuses with short weapons when sharing the same tile set with an enemy, but loses access to longswords and the like due to the close range. Or an archer who can only use his boot weapon in the same tile. A mage who must share a tile set with an ally to cast a protective shield.

This kind of small change has never been played with and may result in a hugely unique strategy set. Have fun with this!

#3 ifthen   Members   -  Reputation: 820

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 05:56 AM

Targeting a player seems fine to me. You just have to use precise picking, so you don't get a false positive.

 

I think that the issue with splitting tiles is that you currently can make a world in which the tile is so small that 2 characters would not even fit there physically. See Runescape: The tiles are (based on my estimate) 1x1 metre squares, so the distance between them is (expert mathematics) 1 metre, which is roughly the distance people stand next to each other without feeling uncomfortable (personal space). If you were to allow two people on the same tile, it would imply that they are in a close relationship to each other (or wrestling smile.png ). If you have larger tiles (for example 4x4), you can always split them for precise measurements.

 

An important thing to consider is whether the characters are tile-locked. If they aren't, you can do just fine by not allowing them to get too close to each other. If they are, my last paragraph applies.



#4 aattss   Members   -  Reputation: 387

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 10:56 AM

It depends on the size of the tile. If one tile is about the size of the average building, go ahead. But if one tile is one meter by one meter big, you should only have 1 character on each tile.



#5 Dan Violet Sagmiller   Members   -  Reputation: 897

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 11:27 AM

Regarding Ranged Weapons, Don't worry  Just make the presumption that these thing won't affect the characters on the same tile, unless it is supposed to like a heal cloud or something.  Typically it seems reasonable that a bowman would not shoot the back of the people in front, but would shoot around them.  Typically, all Tile Locked games, like Bards Tale 1/2/3 and Dungion Master 1/2 made the presumption that back characters on the tile did not injur the front characters when they shot ranged weapons.

 

If you are talking about something larger, like a stream of fire, or a cloud effect, you could make the same presumption.  But if not, then put limitations that characters cannot use those types of skills if it will cause injury to their own team.  (this works out, because sometimes you are attacked from multiple directions, and then those skills can be used without damaging the team by taking on the rear attacking force, or a side attackign force.

 

What I'm confused about, is if you are saying this would be one human player controlling X amount of characters on a tile, or if you are talking about Each character on the tile being controlled by a different player.

 

If it is single player controlling a tile of characters, I wouldn't worray about it.

 

If it is Multi Player Tile Control I have some concerns.

- I would worry about Control of the characters. 

- - which player decides which way to move, and which direction for the group to face? 

- What is there to do that other players controlling the other characters on the tile? 

- - How will it be fun for those other human players?

 

I'm wondering what fun I would have as a character on the back of the tile?  I would not get to choose the tile to move, and would only be able to react during battle.  I.e. which spell should I choose?  which weapon should I use?  etc...  Unless I had a bit more to do, I would be annoyed playing an RPG (ROLE Playing Game) where my character moved on their own, and I only decided what to shoot with.

 

If every human player was able to move the tile that would be interesting, but could make things confusing, as one player close to dying might choose to move left, while another tries to move right, and then you wasted move speed, but are now back in the same battle you started in.


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#6 Legendre   Members   -  Reputation: 966

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 11:38 AM

Following your ranged weapon example: Imagine (going with RPG stereotypes) that I have a Goblin, an ogre, and a giant in the same tile. I am shooting at them with a bow and arrow. Because of the giant's size, I am more likely to hit it, and the ogre is the next likely, with the Goblin being hardest because it is the smallest. In this way, it could become a strategy of the game to use larger characters to tank for the smaller ones. Maybe there is a drawback to this: For every larger character they share a space with, movement speed (in number of tiles per turn) is reduced by 1. So, the goblin will be set back 2 move speed, the ogre one, and the giant will be free to move unimpeded. Or maybe they line up in the order they get there. IF the giant moves north to a tile, it will face North. Then if the Goblin shows up by moving North, it will be behind the giant. Since the giant is taller, ranged weapons may not hit it. In this same manner, if the Goblin showed up followed by the ogre and then the giant, any one of these may be targeted. Also, if the giant is north of the goblin on the same tile, the goblin may be attacked from the East, West, or South.

Or it could be something completely different. A rogue class that gains attack bonuses with short weapons when sharing the same tile set with an enemy, but loses access to longswords and the like due to the close range. Or an archer who can only use his boot weapon in the same tile. A mage who must share a tile set with an ally to cast a protective shield.

Very very interesting examples.

It is very easy to maintain a list of things in the tile. E.g. "Giant,Ogre,Goblin" arranged in order of who arrived first. Then, instead of clicking on or scrolling through the small icons, players can just easily fire at the entire tile by clicking on it. The person in front will have a higher probability of being hit by the projectile depending on size (goblin in front has much lower chances).

Mages can cast "shield tile" which cause him to take all attacks with 100% probability, but he will have temporary X hp to withstand this onslaught before his actual hp gets damaged. Thieves can "backstab" with a dagger if they managed to be "behind" someone on the list.

Oh wow we opened up quite a bit of design space!! I am going to have SO MUCH fun with this. Thanks a million!

biggrin.png

An important thing to consider is whether the characters are tile-locked. If they aren't, you can do just fine by not allowing them to get too close to each other. If they are, my last paragraph applies.
What do you mean by "tile-locked"?

It depends on the size of the tile. If one tile is about the size of the average building, go ahead. But if one tile is one meter by one meter big, you should only have 1 character on each tile.
Each tile will roughly represent 1 room. Some huge rooms and corridors might be made up of multiple tiles. (you probably noticed that this system has its roots in MUDs - Multi-User Dungeons)

I chose to do it this way because the usual tile system is very art asset intensive. I would need a lot of art to tile one room. In my case, I just use 1 drawing to represent the entire room (one man hobbyist indie development team with small budget sorry tongue.png). Also, I don't want players to grief by blocking up corridors and entrances physically.

Edited by Legendre, 02 January 2013 - 11:39 AM.


#7 Servant of the Lord   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 20921

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 11:47 AM

Thinking about it now, one game that did something sorta similar was the recent WW2-esqe RTS game "R.U.S.E.". It's 3D, but when you zoom out from the map, the units converge into icons.

Being a RTS, the units auto-attack each other anyway, so they didn't really suffer from the targeting problem. Targeting a "group" would attack any unit in the group, and zooming in and targeting a specific unit would attack that unit.


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#8 Legendre   Members   -  Reputation: 966

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 11:48 AM

Regarding Ranged Weapons, Don't worry Just make the presumption that these thing won't affect the characters on the same tile, unless it is supposed to like a heal cloud or something. Typically it seems reasonable that a bowman would not shoot the back of the people in front, but would shoot around them. Typically, all Tile Locked games, like Bards Tale 1/2/3 and Dungion Master 1/2 made the presumption that back characters on the tile did not injur the front characters when they shot ranged weapons.

If you are talking about something larger, like a stream of fire, or a cloud effect, you could make the same presumption. But if not, then put limitations that characters cannot use those types of skills if it will cause injury to their own team. (this works out, because sometimes you are attacked from multiple directions, and then those skills can be used without damaging the team by taking on the rear attacking force, or a side attackign force.


Good points.

I might make it so ranged attacks/spells cannot be used on people in the same tile. Archers can switch to swords, Mages have close ranged spells (e.g. "burning hands" from D&D). For large effects (e.g. "cloud kill" from D&D) I could either make it not hit friendlies like you suggested, or have versions (e.g. "Fireball" from D&D) that damages everyone in the room regardless. Could be interesting design space.

Thanks for the discussion!
 

I'm wondering what fun I would have as a character on the back of the tile? I would not get to choose the tile to move, and would only be able to react during battle. I.e. which spell should I choose? which weapon should I use? etc... Unless I had a bit more to do, I would be annoyed playing an RPG (ROLE Playing Game) where my character moved on their own, and I only decided what to shoot with.

If every human player was able to move the tile that would be interesting, but could make things confusing, as one player close to dying might choose to move left, while another tries to move right, and then you wasted move speed, but are now back in the same battle you started in.


A map might be made up of 5x5 identical squares (25 square "tiles). Each player control only 1 character. This character can move from square to square with the arrow keys. When 2+ players all move onto the same tile, the icon shrink like in the picture I quoted in my original post.

So essentially its a typical standard tiled based RPG, with each player controlling just 1 character. Except that we allow multiple players to occupy the same tile.



#9 Legendre   Members   -  Reputation: 966

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 11:51 AM

Thinking about it now, one game that did something sorta similar was the recent WW2-esqe RTS game "R.U.S.E.". It's 3D, but when you zoom out from the map, the units converge into icons.
Being a RTS, the units auto-attack each other anyway, so they didn't really suffer from the targeting problem. Targeting a "group" would attack any unit in the group, and zooming in and targeting a specific unit would attack that unit.
This is useful. I can see how they did it, get some inspiration and avoid some potential pitfalls. Thanks! Please post if you remember any others.

Edited by Legendre, 02 January 2013 - 11:51 AM.


#10 powerneg   Members   -  Reputation: 1463

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 10:45 PM

I think it's not often done because it sounds like downsizing(needing less tiles/graphics/range-calculations)
that said, if well implemented(like the ideas mentioned) it can be a real addition to a game



#11 Legendre   Members   -  Reputation: 966

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 06:34 AM

I think it's not often done because it sounds like downsizing(needing less tiles/graphics/range-calculations)
that said, if well implemented(like the ideas mentioned) it can be a real addition to a game

 

Yes. The main reason why I am doing this is because I started with traditional RPG systems and ended up abandoning the project twice because I realize they require too much art assets (and to a lesser extend, bandwidth).

 

Hopefully, the third time's a charm. :D



#12 powerneg   Members   -  Reputation: 1463

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 05:37 PM

you fix bandwith by having players first download a complete client containing all the art(downloading that all once)

making a good system(as ideas mentioned) will actually be more work i expect, just "skipping corners" with this system will only make the player feel cheated(as he should feel)



#13 Legendre   Members   -  Reputation: 966

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 08:17 PM

you fix bandwith by having players first download a complete client containing all the art(downloading that all once)

 

The bandwidth issue comes from keeping track of players moving through all those tiles.

 

If the room is made of 5x5 tiles, it takes 7 moves (keypresses or clicks) to enter, cross and exit the room. If the room is just 1 big tile, it just takes 2 moves (keypresses or clicks) to enter and exit. Every time a player moves his keypress/click is sent to the authoritative server for processing. With 20-30 players on a traditional tile based map with hundreds of tiles, the server hits could add up.

 

Also, if the room is just 1 big tile, I can afford some latency. Even 500 ms latency could work. But players constantly moving around a room of 25-36 tiles would need pretty good latency. If there are 5 players in the room with you, the server needs to push data to your client every time one of them move a tile.

 

The biggest problem is still the large amount of art assets required to build a fully traditional tile based world...its too much for 1 hobbyist dev to pull off.






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