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Combining pokemon and farming games...


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#1 willmer   Members   -  Reputation: 142

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 08:44 PM

I've been toying with some ideas to make some android or iphone games especially after playing Zombie Farm. I realized that many of the farming games don't offer any use to the items you farm other than as decoration or a means to make money. I had the thought to create a farming focused game that required you to farm plants or other items to be used in a pokemon style game centering around fighting monsters. At the beginning, you would be limited to a few plants but as your gained experience and gold you would either encounter new plants or buy new ones that opened up high level monsters or abilities.

What I'm having trouble figuring out is how to best integrate the plants you grow into the battle/monster system so that you are farming enough to be active in growing your farm but not completely limited to battling only when you have farmed items. For example, requiring every move to use one or multiple farmed plants/items. That seems too restrictive to the player and would likely cause disgust for the inventory system.

What are your thoughts on the idea and specifically, how do you think I could incorporate the farming resources as an integral part of the battle and monster collection system?

 

[Edit]

    So the game would be primarily focused on the monster battling/collecting.  The player discovers their grandfather's old grimoire which is a book containing the summoning information for the monsters.  The grimoire transports the player to the grandfather's tower where they are greeted by the old groundskeeper who sees them return.  They are tasked with clearing out the tower but each level is locked and the keys are found in the catacombs beneath.  As the levels are unlocked, the player gets access to the tools inside such as alchemy, monster fusion, crystal growing, etc.  As the player encounters new monsters, they can capture them using crystals and write them into their grimoire by making ink from that crystal (probably automaticly done for the player).  They can level up their monsters and fuse them in different ways to improve them or create new monsters.

 

For the farming aspect, the player would have access to the land around the tower to grow plants and inside the tower to grow crystals.  The farm resources could be used:

1. As cash crops to sell in town.

2. For alchemy - create potions that restore monster health, increase stats temporarily, do damage directly in battle, or used to solve puzzles.

3. For crafting - plants may have properties that can be infused into items worn by the player

    or

4. For ink creation - players can improve their grimoire by using various inks which provides stat benefits to all their monsters

5. Feed plants to influence monsters- either giving them stats over time like fire resistance or allowing them to learn new moves.


Edited by willmer, 02 April 2013 - 07:47 AM.


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#2 Servant of the Lord   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 20364

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 09:36 PM

It'd be difficult to balance the three requirements:
  • Not completely limited if you don't farm
  • Not completely overpowered if you intensely farm
  • Must actually fit in with the rest of the game without seeming like two separate games glued together
How's this? Farming, instead of directly affecting the power of your hamtaros in battle, effect the moods and mental health of your monsters.
 
First, farming brings in some income (which can also be acquired by winning battles with other NPC pokemon trainers), which can be spent on items (health potions, special monster equipment (like harnesses and stuff), etc...).
Second, you can use crops to lure wild monsters so you can capture them (Final Fantasy 7 did this with Chocobos and 'Greens'). Different plants are more desirable to different breeds of monsters. Crops also somehow help during the breeding phase (FF7 again).
Third, even after you capture monsters, they still want to eat food. If you don't feed them well, or only feed them junky scrap plants after selling your best crops, make them depressed and/or angry at you (depending on the temperament of the breed and the individual personality of the specific monster of that breed). This, combined with how you physically train your monster (scolding too much, not being firm enough, spoiling them with too much treats, beating them, etc...), how hard you press them in battle and in physical exercise, all effects the mental health of the monster.
If the monster's mental health is terrible, the monster may disobey your commands during battles, and even turn on you if you aren't a good trainer.
 
This happened in the 1999 RPG game Guardian's Crusade, where you traveled alone, but you had a baby dragon with you (who grew gradually during the course of the game). The baby dragon, if not treated well, didn't follow your commands, or even attacked you while in battle. Later, when my dragon became larger and learned how to breath fire, he liked to roast me during inopportune moments of combat. sleep.png
 
(To quote IGN: "this RPG features a unique relationship-building system between you and the pink, morphing baby [dragon] ... If you treat it poorly, it'll attack you, but if treated too nicely, it'll become lazy, and won't attack."[/size])
You get to interact with the dragon outside of battle too, asking it to 'fetch', or petting it, or feeding it hamburgers, dead bugs, chocolate bars, beef jerky, or whatever other food you might have on you. The hamburgers and chocolate bars were primarily for you and healed health in combat, but I figured a the dragon might like them also and fed mine lots of chocolate. It seemed to like the bugs better. *shrugs*
 
So all the above combined becomes a mix of Pokemon, Harvest Moon, Guardian's Crusade, and, uh, Nintendogs?! laugh.png

Edited by Servant of the Lord, 01 April 2013 - 09:52 PM.

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Of Stranger Flames - [indie turn-based rpg set in a para-historical French colony] | Indie RPG development journal

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#3 sunandshadow   Moderators   -  Reputation: 4983

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 01:34 AM

Darn, I love plant growing/pet monster games, but I really prefer playing them on PC to phone...

To answer the actual question, do the monsters level up? How about each monster level up requires both XP and a consumable food cooked (crafted) from grown plants? But I also like Servant of the Lord's idea to use this kind of thing as bait when capturing monsters, or when maturing babies to be big enough to fight, or getting an adult to breeding readiness.

Edited by sunandshadow, 02 April 2013 - 01:38 AM.

Phone game idea available free to someone who will develop it (Alphadoku game - the only existing phone game of this type is both for windows phone only and awful. PM for details.)


I want to help design a "sandpark" MMO. Optional interactive story with quests and deeply characterized NPCs, plus sandbox elements like player-craftable housing and lots of other crafting. If you are starting a design of this type, please PM me. I also love pet-breeding games.


#4 willmer   Members   -  Reputation: 142

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 07:52 AM

Servent -  I appreciate your suggestions but feel that having to maintain your monsters' happiness/hunger all the time would be tedious.  Also, I personally don't consider that mechanic to be worth any improvements it makes to the combat.  And because I would like to have lots of monsters, maybe only 3-6 in use at a time, it would be difficult to manage them all.

 

I like the capture mechanic.  I think that growing the crystals in the tower would be an additonal way to gate content.  After the player has reached a certain point, they can start growing crystals that are needed to capture monsters and write them into their grimoire.  Different monsters may need different crystals based on level or type.  Also some crystals might give a higher chance of capture.



#5 kseh   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2156

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 10:28 AM

I say, have it so that each critter starts with two innate abilities and then each different plant you harvest gives a critter a one time use ability. The same plant would give two different critters (or maybe two different critter types) different abilities. In any case, since you want to give the player a reason to keep coming back to the farm, no plant effect should be permanent.
 



#6 Servant of the Lord   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 20364

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 11:37 AM

I say, have it so that each critter starts with two innate abilities and then each different plant you harvest gives a critter a one time use ability. The same plant would give two different critters (or maybe two different critter types) different abilities. In any case, since you want to give the player a reason to keep coming back to the farm, no plant effect should be permanent.

Reminds me of Final Fantasy 8 - you 'draw' skills from ordinary enemies in combat (here you're farming them instead), and you can stack them up to stacks of 99. You then use them in combat as one-time-use skills, OR you equip them onto a specific stat of your character to add bonuses to your stats. It was a really cool system and an excellent idea.
It's perfectly fine to abbreviate my username to 'Servant' rather than copy+pasting it all the time.
All glory be to the Man at the right hand... On David's throne the King will reign, and the Government will rest upon His shoulders. All the earth will see the salvation of God.
Of Stranger Flames - [indie turn-based rpg set in a para-historical French colony] | Indie RPG development journal

[Fly with me on Twitter] [Google+] [My broken website]

[Need web hosting? I personally like A Small Orange]


#7 Randel   Members   -  Reputation: 326

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 01:28 AM

What if your farm itself attracted monsters to battle/train? Like, if your farm is full of weeds, you get bug monsters. If its full of plain vegetables, it attracts rabbits. Or if you've got lots of expensive cash crops, it attracts goblins or bandit monsters out to steal your stuff.




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