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Healing system for JRPG


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#1 Got_Rhythm   Members   -  Reputation: 288

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 11:51 AM

So I am trying to come up with an idea for healing a character outside of battle, in a JRPG I am designing, that doesn't involve spells or potions or sleeping at an inn or anything too convenient like that (because first-aid kits just laying around dungeons always bothered me a little). Also I don't want a money/currency system in my game. I don't want any items or weapons at all if possible (only abilities, and minions like Pokemon). 

 

My initial idea is to have a mini-game like Pairs, where the player is shown 10 pairs of images for a few seconds, then the pictures are covered up, and the player has to correctly remember the location of the pairs. for every second the player does this under 20 seconds, they are healed 10% of their maximum health points (so if the player completes the mini game in 17 seconds, they are healed 30% of their maximum health).

 

If I settle on this, I can make it immersion enough to not distract from the game (like have the pictures on the pairs be runes, so representing the character attempting to cast a spell). Anyone can play this game, and attempt it multiple times to heal totally. There is also the possibility of making the mini-game harder later in the story, adding more images or decreasing the time limit. 

 

How do you guys feel about something like that?



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#2 FLeBlanc   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3101

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 12:08 PM

This would bug the crap out of me, to be honest. Especially making it harder later in the story (where the combat itself would also be harder, and thus I would need healing more often). It just seems like it would pull me out of the game I'm playing (and RPG), and into some game I don't want to play (matching crap).



#3 thade   Members   -  Reputation: 1652

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 12:19 PM

Interesting, but I'm not sure I'd see my way clear to doing something like that. Some things to keep in mind here....

 

First (and perhaps foremost) in the majority of RPG systems (especially JRPGs) "hit points" are merely an abstraction; while they represent wear and tear on a character, what they really do is limit the amount of stuff a character (or party) can be expected to do before having to take a break. They are a resource, like mana, money, energy, etc. This limit can be manifested in a number of ways; for instance, a money sink (i.e. the character needs to buy potions or pay for an inn stay in order to restore health), or a time sink (a player must wait some measure of time to restore health)...this keeps the player from getting somewhere too quickly. It serves both to add a bit of realism but also to maintain pacing for your game play. Keep in mind that hit points do not strictly represent physical damage to a character; they can also represent how tired the character is; consider that a character is (more often than not) able to fight at full capacity even with only one of their 10000000 HP remaining. In fact, many games nowadays tend to refresh your party to full resources between every encounter/battle. In those cases, your HPs are just to contribute to the difficulty curve on a per-event basis.

 

Why add a mini-game to further pace things out? You are effectively replacing "potions and inns" (which a player most often uses by leveraging resources/gold they gained via game play/combat/exploration) with "pointless busywork" (you just fought a mean battle...now play this card game before you can play the actual game again). If you can make the mini-game super, super fun (I don't see how, but you may) then that's one thing. But any time a game forces me away from its core game play (the reason I play the game at all) into something that's not nearly as fun, I personally get frustrated. I think many  players do.


I was previously serratemplar; a name I forfeited to share a name with an angry rank-bearing monkey.

http://thadeshammer.wordpress.com/


#4 wintertime   Members   -  Reputation: 1714

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 12:24 PM

So it would be like having to wait and look how your HP bar slowly fills at like 0.5% per second, but only if you torture your finger constantly for hours by clicking as fast as possible your mousebutton and even that only if you remember all those many random pictures you got shown 1 second?

I thought it was a usability goal nowadays to minimize useless clicks. How about you just refill all HP after every won fight when there are no potions, no healmagic, no anything?



#5 Got_Rhythm   Members   -  Reputation: 288

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 01:46 PM

Thank you for your feedback, I'll keep brainstorming as I really don't want a money or item system.

I just don't want it to be too easy to heal, it'll be harder to create tension...

#6 BambooCatfish   Members   -  Reputation: 130

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 01:47 PM

Hi I feel like the others... It would ruin the game for me.

If you don't want to use potions or anything maybe... At the beginning of the game you get an item like tent or some kind of warding spell that keeps demons away but you have a gauge or a bar of tiredness and you can rest to restore HP but the closer it is to being full the less HP you restore and if it is over a certain point you can t rest cuz your not tired. Maybe not what your looking for but another option instead of potions inns (albeit kind of like an inn).

#7 thade   Members   -  Reputation: 1652

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 02:46 PM

I just don't want it to be too easy to heal, it'll be harder to create tension...

 

I mean, if an enemy comes long that does damage faster than you can kill him, that's tension right there, whether or not your out-of-combat healing is instant or lengthy. :) But if you want to build a game where you have this feeling of "always on your last hit point", that can make for a good game. Have you played FTL? The number of times I've barely squeezed through a fight with only a few hull points left and every system and room on fire is huge...but it's still a tense situation. (It's also very often on sale on Steam, and cheap anyway.) I get the same experience in XCOM, but that game features perma-death for your soldiers in an environment where it's okay...because you can get more soldiers (though it's not super easy to do so...losing your best troops is really hard). Good games for tension, and both of them have very staggered and slow healing methods. They may help you out.


I was previously serratemplar; a name I forfeited to share a name with an angry rank-bearing monkey.

http://thadeshammer.wordpress.com/


#8 thade   Members   -  Reputation: 1652

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 02:49 PM

In addendum, I just saw this review video here of a game called Teleglitch. Personally I'm not a fan of the graphical presentation (and I agree with TB that it sorely needs music) but here's another game where healing is hard and that makes fighting tense.


I was previously serratemplar; a name I forfeited to share a name with an angry rank-bearing monkey.

http://thadeshammer.wordpress.com/


#9 Malevolence   Members   -  Reputation: 323

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 01:19 PM

An idea I've played with in the past is health that regenerates as you walk, at a rate roughly timed to match up with the damage you take from random encounters. This way you could only stay in a certain area for a certain amount of time, and have your health always be a point of tension, before having to retreat to a safe zone like a town and wait for your health to regenerate (or it could regenerate as soon as you return there).



#10 wodinoneeye   Members   -  Reputation: 820

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 09:54 AM

I remember in Far Cry 2 when the players avatar was well injured they had an automatic animation of using pliars to pull out a bullet or using a clustetr of matches to cauterise a major wound (i forget the others)

 

You might have a mini-game where your hand is shaking where you have to 'fix a wound'  (pull out arrow/ pull a bullet/apply a nanopatch to a laser burn etc...)   -- the main element is the non-detrministic  nature of the wavering hand (worse the wound is).   It probably should take time (longer if you try again and again) so having the player find a 'safe spot' would be part of the operation.


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#11 Got_Rhythm   Members   -  Reputation: 288

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 03:52 PM

Thank you for all of the help and thoughts. I think I will end up going with a 'regenerating while you walk' design in this case.

If anyone wants to check out the game so far, head over to www.necromancergame.com
There's a blog, some early art, the script for the intro chapter and more.

#12 Randel   Members   -  Reputation: 326

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 01:11 AM

Hmm... the goal is to collect undead minions and the like, right? What if you have it so that your minions heal up depending on how many "leftovers" remain from the enemies you fought? Like, if you destroy an enemy skeleton in 1 hit then (theoretically) more of the bones would be intact than if it took you a bunch of hits. The more "intact bones" remain after a battle, the faster your own minions can heal up after each battle (by basically cannibalizing the parts of your enemy).

 

Of course, it might be best to abstract it, maybe through a score system. You get "necromancer points" for defeating your enemies quickly and without damaging them too much. So having skeleton warriors quickly stab your enemies leaves intact corpses and thus wins more points, as opposed to something like blowing them up, setting them on fire, or using special "holy" magic or whatever.

 

So, in addition to getting experience for defeating your enemy, you also gain necromancer points for defeating them in a certain manner. If you play smart and win alot of necro points, then at the end of combat your minions automatically heal a large amount of points.

 

Some players might fight using lots of explosions, fire, or smashing attacks that defeats their enemies quickly but destroys their remains. Others use "safer" methods that might be harder but leave more bones behind and as a result they let their minions heal up more after each fight. In addition, recruiting enemy units to your side obviously doesn't leave any remains behind (since they aren't destroyed) so there could be some strategy involved with recruiting monsters. Do you recruit lots of enemy undead you find, or destroy them to repair your undead army? Actually, there could be a mechanic for sacrificing some minions to get more "bones" to repair your other minions... perhaps there are some monsters who are uninspiring in combat but have the notable feature of leaving behind lots of bones when sacrificed? Keep a few of them on your side mostly to store bones and then sacrifice them in or out of combat for a quick way to heal up your more important monsters.






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