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choffstein

New RPG Battle System Concept

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Hello everyone. I was recently developing my battle system for an RPG and wanted to see what everyone thought of it. As a side bar of sorts: I am a huge fan of elements from Action RPGs, Tactical RPGs, and Standard RPGs. I try to combine these into my new form. It is difficult to know where to begin...so I figure I will start with out of battle movement. The best way to think of this is as standard FF or "party follow" movement...where you control one character and the sub-characters follow immediately behind. Upon entering a new "zone", the appropriate monsters are spawned. Think Lufia...NWN...etc. No random monster encounters: once you wipe an area, it is clean until you reenter the area. So how does a monster encounter begin? They either begin with the player moving and "touching" an enemy, or the enemy touching the player. Depending on the angle at which the player characters or the enemy is standing, you either are "Suprised", you "Suprise the Enemy", or you get a standard battle sequence. These are much like most RPG battles that you probably have played. Once the battle begins, instead of going into a battle screen, or doing the battle as an Action RPG does...the players get into "formation" (which is player defined...). An "Arena" is then set. This is where it possibly gets complicated. Any character can move anywhere in the "zone"...but only enemies within the "Arena" are capable of being attacked. The Arena is defined as a square whose boundries are any the leftmost character in battle, the rightmost, the topmost, and the bottommost. When I say character, I mean either PC or Enemy. Once a character has been "brought into battle" (enters the Arena zone), they are considered to be part of the enemies within the battle. Characters in a battle have complete freedom of movement in the zone they are in (Think zones like NWN...a player can move anywhere in there). If the player sends his PCs to the four corners of the map, then all Enemies are included in the fight -- however, the PCs probably wont be able to attack. What makes this difficult and intriguing is trying to remain as close as possible for effective attacking while trying to include as many monsters in the fight as possible. Or perhaps it allows the player to flee more quickly when the PCs are all grouped together. The choices effect the gameplay. The battles are turnbased, by "speed". Every time a new enemy enters the "Arena", they are put in the list of characters. Every time a character is deciding what to do, the battle is frozen. So when it becomes the Player Character turns, the battle is frozen, and the player is able to decide what to do with his characters. There is a small exception to this "frozen" rule however. If I set my character to attack a character across the map, he continues to move during all turns until he reaches the target, at which point he will attack. This is where "tactics" are involved. If I see a character coming to attack my character, may be able to set my character to defend if the order is correct. If the cycle gets back to the attacking character before he has completed his action, the player has the ability to continue the motion, or create a new motion. So what about "ranged" attacks? There is in game "distance" that defines if a player is able to attack. If they are unable to attack, they move until they are able to attack. For the players sake, we will assume that their "attacking radius" is highlighted during their turn of combat. The conditions of combat are simple. Once all enemies in the Arena are dead, the player wins. To retreat, a character must reach the edge of the Arena. For a successful player character retreat, all PCs must reach the edge of the arena. The "non-main" PCs are then "warped" to the main PC. So to recap: Turn based by speed. No battle "scene." All players within the "Arena" are involved in the battle. Players "moving to attack" are not paused during decision making scenes. The "Arena" is defined as a square whose boundries are created by the "outtermost" characters in the Arena. Once a character is involved in a battle, they remain in the battle unless they retreat, and are required to be killed for victory. Once enemies are destroyed, they are completely removed from the "area." If all enemies are destroyed, the area is "purified" -- which means no monster encounters can occur because on monsters exist (until the player returns to the area). Any questions? Do you like it? Do you hate it? Suggestions? I tried to stay away from the total cliche RPG style, while still remaining what makes the RPG genre so unique. Thanks for reading! -visage [Edited by - visage on October 6, 2004 6:58:41 PM]

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It sounds like Vagrant Story and a turn based version of the Tales series :lol:

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Sounds pretty good.
You're removing a lot of the things that annoy a lot of players.

One quick idea i have is this:
Instead of pausing the battle when its a players turn, have the ability to que several commmands ahead of time, so the battle can progress.

Keep your list of who goes next, based on speed. If its an enemies turn, let the player be able to give commands to the next PC in line while he waits for the enemy's turn to get over. If the player can give that command before the enemy is done moving, let him order the next PC, and so on.

If the player is deciding a long time, and it comes up to PC's turn of whom the player is still deciding, then of course, pause the battle. Also, make sure to give the player the option of un-doing commands that are not yet exectuted (ex. if circumstances change, the player is changing strategy, but the player has already decided 5 moves ahead)

I realize this may change the dynamic of your game, and might not work for your particular game, but im just throwing it out there (because one of the things that annoy me in RPG's is unnecessary waiting)

um, what else...
can't think of nothing, but ill post back if i can.

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Your system reminds me a lot of Mario and Luigi : Super Star Saga from teh GameBoy Advance. That was, purportedly, a small deviation from Paper Mario for the Nintendo 64.

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Quote:
Original post by visage
The Arena is defined as a square whose boundries are any the leftmost character in battle, the rightmost, the topmost, and the bottommost.

Maybe I'm not understanding this correctly, but if the characters all moved closer to each other, wouldn't the arena get smaller and smaller and eventually be so small everyone would be squished together and unable to move?

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Quote:
Original post by HanSoL0
Quote:
Original post by visage
The Arena is defined as a square whose boundries are any the leftmost character in battle, the rightmost, the topmost, and the bottommost.

Maybe I'm not understanding this correctly, but if the characters all moved closer to each other, wouldn't the arena get smaller and smaller and eventually be so small everyone would be squished together and unable to move?


I'm assuming you can move away, to expand the arena.

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I appreciate everyones responses! Thanks!

@cbass2: I dont know if I quite understand you. Are you saying to continually set player actions, no matter whose turn it is? Then, on their turn, perform the first action in the queue? The reason you said you suggested this was because you dont like unnecessary waiting. Where do you see the unnecessary waiting in RPGs? Letting the enemies attack? I think I get around this waiting by once a "choice" has been made, it goes right to the next character. So if I choose some super-effect spell that takes 5 minutes to complete (ff7 anyone?), I dont have to wait. My other characters continue to move while the spell takes place. Does that solve the waiting issue for you?

@HanSol0: You can move anywhere you want...but can only attack enemies in the arena. However, once an enemy is in the arena, he is considered as a possibility to define the arena. So if you move all your characters close together, and enemies that have already been included in the battle, the enemies will define the boundries.

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I think that cbass2 has a point here! That's a very cool idea. This will make the game faster, and put the strategy level to other category.

I think that you should try to implement that, because you can add a lot of interesting things to this system. Maybe you can add some dual or triple techniques (like Chrono Trigger), and with this "ahead turn" system you will be able to select the dual tech in a new tactical way!!!

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Would the battle be 'realtime' when players are not giving orders? I.E. will you and your enemy be moving at the same time? The gameplay mechanics wouldn't have to be realtime, but you could set it up so that it looks like it. I think that would really help a system like this.

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nagromo: only if they are currently performing an action. So I my character is set to attack a character across the field, he will move in realtime until he attacks. At which point, once he has completed his attack, he waits for his next command (it may already be in queue -- a la cbass2). So everything is essentially "real time", but attacks and actions are queued in speed order of characters.

I have thought a lot about the queue idea and decided that I like it a lot! It really does open up a lot of opportunities! good diea guys!

I thought what might make things interesting is if speed had more relevance, instead of simply who went first. Speed could be reletive in how many times a character can attack. For example, if I have a character with speed 1, and a character with speed 2, the character with speed 1 should attack 2x the amount speed two does. So if my boss has speed 50, and my character has speed 35, my character should attack 50/35 more times than the boss...though the boss could be more powerful. It allows for "faster, less powerful" characters to even out the field. I mean, having a fast character who can attack and retreat to a safe distance in the time your character can "try" to get an attack off would be a great tactic.

Herm....*scratches chin*.

Any more ideas? I love this forum.

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