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the subject had the details, but here is some quick background: im in the middle of making an rpg with a battle system similar to the earier ff games (the 2d ones). one of my goals with this game is to make the battle system more strategic (and fun). I want to break away from the "attack, heal... , oops out of magic, ill use an ether... attack, heal, ect" type of battle. the player will have more options/commands than most turn based rpg''s ive played. One of the ways im adding a little more strategy is giving most enemies weaknesses. Some of the weaknesses are simple like: a "tree" type enemy is weak against axe and fire attacks a large, slow moving enemy can be hit with an arrow heavily armored enemies and skeletons are weak against blunt some more complex weaknesses also exist: one example is a weaker "leader" type enemy with several large ogre''s in front of him. The ogres render most direct attacks against the leader difficult. i.e., he cannot be attacked unless one of the ogre''s is dead (or sleeping). if an ogre is killed, he is quickly replaced and the battle continues. in the small opening before the next ogre gets there, an archer has a small opening to hit the leader with an arrow. The leader may be weak agaist certain things (poison, fire, ice, ect), so the archer may have to experiment. if the leader is a spell caster, a mute arrow may be appropriate. once, the leader is finnally killed, the battle is won. ok, that explaination was a little long. if yer still reading, i have a couple ideas in need of some feedback. to add even more strategy, im toying with the idea of making the battle field traversable (the players and enemies can move). with the engine im using, it wont be too much more difficult to add this feature (but it will definently take a lot of time/effort on my part) a concern is that most turn based battle systems where the players and enemies can walk around, the enemies are always small and look lame (unlike the huge cool looking enemies of the FF sieries) my system will have enemies being much larger than the characters. (much like ff) if i use a walkable battle system, the enemy sprites will slide along when they move (instead of an animation of them walking). and since each playable character will already have walking animations made, they will walk along. im wonding if the combination of animated characters and unanimated creatures will clash and make the game look bad. another concern is, my battle system might already be complex enough (meaning the player has a great many choices each turn) i dont want to overwelm(bore) the player with too many commands to give each round. some advantages to a moving battle is it adds depth: -melee fighters can break through enemy lines to attack the enemies back row. -back attacks for added damage -sometimes forces archers to use their backup blades -spell casters to use short range only spells that are ussually more potent -makes each character (or class) more unique by giving them more distict roles (melee fighters must defend archers and spell casters) also, it makes multi-talented characters more valueable well, i figure this post went on long enough. If you have any comments, feedback, or questions for me, post away...

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quote:
Original post by cbass2
One of the ways im adding a little more strategy is giving most enemies weaknesses. Some of the weaknesses are simple like:

a "tree" type enemy is weak against axe and fire attacks
a large, slow moving enemy can be hit with an arrow
heavily armored enemies and skeletons are weak against blunt

some more complex weaknesses also exist:

one example is a weaker "leader" type enemy with several large ogre''s in front of him. The ogres render most direct attacks against the leader difficult. i.e., he cannot be attacked unless one of the ogre''s is dead (or sleeping). if an ogre is killed, he is quickly replaced and the battle continues. in the small opening before the next ogre gets there, an archer has a small opening to hit the leader with an arrow. The leader may be weak agaist certain things (poison, fire, ice, ect), so the archer may have to experiment. if the leader is a spell caster, a mute arrow may be appropriate. once, the leader is finnally killed, the battle is won.
Not only weaknesses but streghts too. How much hard do you want this game to be? And how fast?

quote:
Original post by cbass2
to add even more strategy, im toying with the idea of making the battle field traversable (the players and enemies can move). with the engine im using, it wont be too much more difficult to add this feature (but it will definently take a lot of time/effort on my part)

Is that engine free? Asking to see if I can get more details on it.

quote:
Original post by cbass2
a concern is that most turn based battle systems where the players and enemies can walk around, the enemies are always small and look lame (unlike the huge cool looking enemies of the FF sieries)

Honestly I wouldn''t be concerned about it :D but I mean, seeing it as a type of game I would play. Just saying that I don''t care about the size and detail of enemies that much, but that might not be what most people, or you think

quote:
Original post by cbass2
im wonding if the combination of animated characters and unanimated creatures will clash and make the game look bad.


The problem is not animation, but to represent the actions and the reactions. You represend the movement by sliding is fine. However don''t do something like I hit the attack button and all you see is how much the enemy was damaged. Not way of showing that your character actually attacked and that the enemy received damage, and what kind of damage(I mean attacking with fire shouldn''t feel the same as attacking with a sword), etc. And of course that the way you show what is happening can be asociated with what is actually happening(like don''t make a water attack blink the enemy black, green or red, if each type of attack it''s supposed to be shown diferently).

quote:
Original post by cbass2
another concern is, my battle system might already be complex enough (meaning the player has a great many choices each turn) i dont want to overwelm(bore) the player with too many commands to give each round.

If there is a command that would give more strategy to the game, get it in the game by getting out a not so important command. Choose the best. And make sure that the commands are variated and can allow the player to take different aproaches to battle. Also note, that it isn''t that important how many commands you can use. But the ones that he has to decide on (If you can attack and heal, and you are full of hp, you can automaticly leave out the healing command and the choice is easy).

You won''t bore the player as long as the fights make him think, they are not repetitive conditions(show him new enemies from time to time! make the enemies do unexpected things!), giving good rewards(wtf does the player wants to kill a blob if it only gives 1 exp?), give alternatives to automate the most boring parts of the fighting, and the faster the less boring it will be.

There is something I don''t quitte get. Can the player give more than one command during each turn?

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quote:
Original post by cbass2
the subject had the details, but here is some quick background:

im in the middle of making an rpg with a battle system similar to the earier ff games (the 2d ones). one of my goals with this game is to make the battle system more strategic (and fun). I want to break away from the "attack, heal... , oops out of magic, ill use an ether... attack, heal, ect" type of battle. the player will have more options/commands than most turn based rpg''s ive played.

One of the ways im adding a little more strategy is giving most enemies weaknesses. Some of the weaknesses are simple like:

a "tree" type enemy is weak against axe and fire attacks
a large, slow moving enemy can be hit with an arrow
heavily armored enemies and skeletons are weak against blunt

As the previous poster said, don''t forget to give enemies strengths as well. If, for example, a fire elemental is weak against water, then shouldn''t he be strong against fire (burning it might have no effect, or even heal it).

quote:
some more complex weaknesses also exist:

one example is a weaker "leader" type enemy with several large ogre''s in front of him. The ogres render most direct attacks against the leader difficult. i.e., he cannot be attacked unless one of the ogre''s is dead (or sleeping). if an ogre is killed, he is quickly replaced and the battle continues. in the small opening before the next ogre gets there, an archer has a small opening to hit the leader with an arrow. The leader may be weak agaist certain things (poison, fire, ice, ect), so the archer may have to experiment. if the leader is a spell caster, a mute arrow may be appropriate. once, the leader is finnally killed, the battle is won.

This sounds similar to the way many larger RPG bosses are divided into several body parts. Also, you should take a look at Ogre Battle (for the SNES) - it''s a strategy game in which you control several units made up of a leader and up to four other characters - if the leader dies, the unit can''t attack until they return to a town and revive him.

quote:
ok, that explaination was a little long. if yer still reading, i have a couple ideas in need of some feedback.

to add even more strategy, im toying with the idea of making the battle field traversable (the players and enemies can move). with the engine im using, it wont be too much more difficult to add this feature (but it will definently take a lot of time/effort on my part)

Now you''re turning it into a tactics RPG (not that that''s a bad thing - it happens to be one of my favorite genres). I recommend you check out the battle system in Live A Live (SNES).

quote:
a concern is that most turn based battle systems where the players and enemies can walk around, the enemies are always small and look lame (unlike the huge cool looking enemies of the FF sieries)

Check out Arc the Lad (a tactics RPG on PS2).

quote:
my system will have enemies being much larger than the characters. (much like ff)

But are larger enemies fun? With very large enemies, there''s a good chance you''ll just go back to the attack/heal strategy of good ol'' menu-based combat, because positioning on the battlefield will affect the battle less and less as the enemies grow in size.

quote:
if i use a walkable battle system, the enemy sprites will slide along when they move (instead of an animation of them walking). and since each playable character will already have walking animations made, they will walk along.

im wonding if the combination of animated characters and unanimated creatures will clash and make the game look bad.

As long as the player can tell what''s going on from the animations, you''re good. The sliding isn''t a problem, as it''s obvious that they''re moving. If they attack, however, I should be able to know who is attacking, who is being attacked, and how, just from the graphics. As far as looks go, though, I would be consistent and either make the enemies walk or make the players slide.

quote:
another concern is, my battle system might already be complex enough (meaning the player has a great many choices each turn) i dont want to overwelm(bore) the player with too many commands to give each round.

Make the number of commands usable per unit in battle as small as possible. The simpler the user interaction is, the more fun the game will be, regardless of the complexity of the system being controlled. Take Final Fantasy Tactics (PSX) - Aside from a few standard actions given to everybody (move/attack/wait), each character had two other actions, determined by their class(es) (there were more, but the others were passive/automatic, so they didn''t show up in the menus). Of course there were tons of commands available between battles, but the player had to choose just two of them to be active at any one time.

quote:
some advantages to a moving battle is it adds depth:

-melee fighters can break through enemy lines to attack the enemies back row.
-back attacks for added damage
-sometimes forces archers to use their backup blades

Forcing archers to draw their swords is just bad planning on the part of the player.
quote:
-spell casters to use short range only spells that are ussually more potent
-makes each character (or class) more unique by giving them more distict roles (melee fighters must defend archers and spell casters) also, it makes multi-talented characters more valueable

I would avoid multi-talented characters as much as possible. Giving each character a single (possibly unique) talent adds more strategy.

quote:
well, i figure this post went on long enough. If you have any comments, feedback, or questions for me, post away...


-RabidCow

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quote:
Original post by Coz
Not only weaknesses but streghts too. How much hard do you want this game to be? And how fast?

obvously the system will include strength's too
ill expand a little further on my stystem

the way it stands right now, each weapon (or armor) can have up to 6 (or 7 i cant remember) damage adjusters. most weapons will infact only have 0,1 or 2, but i left a larger number for the "super weapons" i might build later in the game. Damage adjusters include things like: fire, ice, poison, holy, on and on... (my list is up to 40 or so right now but it can be expanded as i think of more.) For each damage adjuster, the magnitude is represented by an integer (~ -32000 to 32000). positive would mean strong and negative would mean weak.

when a player attacks with a weapon (say a fire sword) that has 200 physical battle power and 400 on a fire damage adjuster. first the damage would be calculated for the physical attack. this is done using the the enemies physical defence. then the damage would be calculated for the fire damage. when the enemy is defending the fire damage, the damage is calculated in the same way again (using 400 this time); however, after it is calcuated the value is multiplied by the enemy's ("fire damage multiplier"/100) ie if it is 100 (this means the enemy has no special weakness or strength against fire), the enemy would have the equivalent of an attack of 600 total... this is getting too wordy ill put it in chart form:

attack with a 200 physical weapon with 400 fire attack:

enemy's fire damage mulitiplier.....|..total attack power
---------------------------------------------------------
-100.(enemy strong against fire)....|..-200 (enemy is healed)
0....(fire damage does not affect...|...200
......the final attack total).......|
100..(enemy takes standard damage)..|...600
300..(weak against fire attacks)....|...1400 (hurt badly)

total attack = PhyAtt(PhyDmgAdj/100) + FireAtt(FireDmgAdj/100)

this is all transparent to the player. he doesnt know the exact numbers (except the physical battle power of the sword). he just knows that the sword is called "fire sword" And when he strikes and enemy, all he sees is the "total attack" (be it positive or negative)

as far as how hard, and how fast the game will be...

the difficulty will all depend on the player. im shooting for somthing mildly hard, to challege a seasoned player. the beginning might be relativly easy though.

the game will have random battles (love em or hate em) but depending on how well the "tracker" in the party is they can be frequent or infrequent.

what im going for is long(er), more infrequent battles. Although i may design for battles to last a certain amount of time (~6 to 12 "rounds") this can change either way depending on how well a player can handle it (he knows weakness and has the appropriate equipment, or he's a silly newb that presses "A" as fast as he can(alla FF and doesnt pay attention to what hes doing and how much damage is being dealt)

the pace of the battles should hopefully progress pretty fast (a round can be short) the player can be choosing the next command while watching the short battle animations.

hopefully that is more clear now.

quote:
Original post by Coz
Is that engine free? Asking to see if I can get more details on it.

yes, free, open source, [link="http://gamedev.sourceforge.net/"]SGDK (website)[/link]. it is mainly used for side scrollers. I am very heavily scripting it. im using it to draw my tiles and sprites. And im also using its map edit to create my maps. i, making the rest of the dev tools and coding the rest myself.

it fits my purposes well, and my project is moving along nicely (nicely <> quickly:D)
quote:
Original post by Coz There is something I don't quitte get. Can the player give more than one command during each turn?

a party can consist of up to five characters. for each character's turn they can choose a single command.

some commands have sub-commands: an archer can choose which arrow to fire from his quiver and whether to aim precicely or fire the shot off quickly
each command has a different "recover time". drinking a potion tied to your belt takes little time, but digging through the pack to find the rarely used special potion might take a while.

quote:
Original post by RabidCow
Make the number of commands usable per unit in battle as small as possible

im going to have to disagree with you there. im targeting an audience that will hopefully appreciate more customization of their strategies/tactics. as stated above, there will sometimes be sub commands after a command has been given. obviously, im going to try to make this as smooth and natural as possible and develop some optional AI to decide both sub commands and commands (especially for healers or tanks)

quote:
Original post by RabidCow
Forcing archers to draw their swords is just bad planning on the part of the player.


it just another option the player has. suppose a group is hunting werewolves, so the prepared archer has siver arrows in his quiver. but he also has a blade in his sheath that deals "holy" damage. the group is suprised by a group of zombies. An experienced player will know that zombies are weak agaists "holy" weapons. so he draws the weapon from his sheath since he knows drawing a weapon from a sheath has almost no time penalty, and he attacks the zombies for huge "damage bonus" as explained above.

carrying a backup weapon in a handy place is "good" planning by the player in this instance.

quote:
Original post by RabidCow
I would avoid multi-talented characters as much as possible. Giving each character a single (possibly unique) talent adds more strategy.


yes, it does add more strategy and most playable characters are certainly "pre specialized."
the player decides how the "main" character developes. most other characters are predispositioned for certain skills, but they can also "re-specialize"
specializing in one thing is certainly beneficial. a "jack of all trades" won't be "great" at anything with my design, but he may still have his uses.

also, a secondary skill is valueable even if it takes training time away from the main skill. There will certainly be points in my game where certain skills or attacks are worthless, but having a balanced group or a secondary skill can aleviate this.

also, RabidCow, thanks for all the game recomendations. my rpg playing experience is rather limited compared to most people here. i haved played concole rpg's for a great while, for some reason i can't get emersed in 3d rpg's (although that other post that lists off a bunch of recent 2d rpg's has me very intreged)


As far as my original post, im leaning towards not making PCs or monsters moveable. it seems it just opens a whole new can of worms that i havent planned for. i think i have just played too few games that do it to really be able to design, implement, and balance it well.

thanks for the replies, you may keep the feedback/questions coming.


[edited by - cbass2 on May 29, 2004 12:53:06 AM]

[edited by - cbass2 on May 30, 2004 1:21:08 AM]

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