noaktree responded to one of my previous posts, and its important enough for me to make a new entry about it:
So you're planning to show the monsters rather than just enter a battle at random? I don't know. This kind of takes away from the surprise DW brought to the battle sequence. But it does allow you to choose your battles.
What will the battle sequence be like?
(entering into battle)
very good question - how will you enter into battle? i haven't put any thought into this one at all yet. i've seen a whole bunch of ways to go about it, and i gotta agree, the spontaneity of a monster attack in dw was kinda neat. knowing exactly when and where monsters spawn does sorta suck a bit - its easy to run the game if its done that way. (zelda comes to mind pretty quick here)
well, games that immediately come to mind that did it randomly are: Chronicle of the Radia War, Sword of Mana, Faria, and Willow. odd that three of these games were original nes.. [grin]
Chronicle was a bit different than what i'm actually going for. what it did do that most console rpgs havn't, is it keeps the same map for where you got attacked and uses it for the battle sequence too. the map doesn't scroll during an attack, but there's no different area for a fight. you'd be walking along and then the screen would flash suddenly (and randomly) and monsters would appear on the same map. you'd move around in real time and attack in any of four directions until you win.
Faria had a more traditional overworld map, where everything was shrunk down alot and towns occupied 2x2 tiles as opposed to a whole map like in Chronicle. as you wandered the world, the screen would flash randomly and you'd go to a new screen and fight random monsters. depending on what kind of tile you were on (plains, forest, desert etc) you'd go to a screen that represented that tile. if you were in a forest, the screen would be closed in and there'd be trees scattered around that would get in the way or be used for cover, depending on how you played.
Willow was more like zelda than the previous two games. you'd walk around in real time and use your sword any time you wanted. if you were walking around in the 'unsafe' areas, typically non-town areas, as you scrolled to the next screen, you could have a random monster encounter. monsters would never attack at the same screen every time, and they'd appear in different places each time you were attacked on the same screen.
in Mana (for gba if you're wondering) you'd always be attacked in an unsafe map. as soon as you walked into the map, monsters would appear - there were always two position sets for the monsters, and the monsters were almost always the same. sometimes unique monsters would have a third set, but they're rare. after you've killed the set of monsters given to you (and after you've taken the treasure chest or it disappears) then after a time period, more monsters would appear. repeat over and over, and you've got the idea.
which do i like best? well, it depends on the advantages i want most. though Mana doesn't give much in the way of surprise, you can be sure that monsters will be around. if you're item-hunting or looking for monsters for Gold, you'll know right where to go. if its the randomness that i'm aiming for, then yeah i should probably go with something like Willow. i actually think thats the way i want to go with this.
(monster occurance density)
well, another topic is popping up in my head. are you only ever going to see one monster in the wild at a time? its how the game went, and it wasn't until dw2 that they changed that. it's going to make a difference in how some battle topics are being addressed, if we say that you're only ever going to fight one monster at a time. repel wouldn't need an area effect, for example. i don't know how i feel about that yet.
if i'm only going to have one monster attacking at any given time, then i'm definitely going to have to put alot of effort in their ai. having monsters just charge at you and do melee attacks over and over (like in diablo..) is going to seem like an insult. i suppose that extra work is going to be worthwhile, because the monsters will seem to have more life than they do now.. and i certainly don't want to just swarm players to death.
another benefit of one-monster-ing would be that you wouldn't be able to power-level by herding monsters together. the original game pace would be respected as well.
man, the more i think about this, the more i like the idea. [grin]