Jump to content
  • Advertisement
Sign in to follow this  
Gorgoo

Questions on a different type of RPG battle system

This topic is 4316 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

In an RPG I plan to make, the object of battles isn't to defeat your opponent through physical combat, but to wear down their will to fight until they stop attacking you, the main character (being a chef) doing this by feeding them food until they're too full and satisfied to attack. Obviously, the game is meant to be more comedic than serious. But I still want it to be fun, of course. So, I've been trying to think of an alternative to the normal "menu button" RPG battle system, and have come up with this. Instead of a health bar, you have a grid. Upon feeding your enemies, blocks drop into their grid. When your enemies attack you (or feed you, insult you, etc.), blocks drop into yours. Depending on the type of attack, they can be different shapes and types, and I'll probably use a Mr. Driller style where similar blocks combine together, so using a lot of the same type of attack will make it easier to defeat your opponent. When you initiate a special attack, though, how many blocks you drop is determined by a small minigame (Probably something where you have to press buttons at the right time) depending on the type of attack. Since the main theme of the game is food, you might need to catch popcorn (and drop one block for each piece you catch), or flip a burger at the right time to make it twice as powerful. And since the attacks don't do "number" damage, but drop into your opponent's grid, there's no clearly "best" move. Only what fits the current situation. My problem, though, is that it's been criticized by people I've described it to as "Too stop-and-go", and they're right, in a sense. With the minigames, it might be a bit too slow. But I don't want to do away with them, because that's one of the main parts in the game. So, should I keep it as it is, or redo parts of it? And, of course, any other comments on the battle system would be welcome.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement
Quote:
Original post by Gorgoo
Instead of a health bar, you have a grid. Upon feeding your enemies, blocks drop into their grid. When your enemies attack you (or feed you, insult you, etc.), blocks drop into yours. Depending on the type of attack, they can be different shapes and types, and I'll probably use a Mr. Driller style where similar blocks combine together, so using a lot of the same type of attack will make it easier to defeat your opponent.

An interesting change. I like it. Concerning the similar blocks, though, I'd think that it would be wiser to award the player for using a variety of attacks, rather than the same one over and over again.
Quote:
Original post by Gorgoo
When you initiate a special attack, though, how many blocks you drop is determined by a small minigame (Probably something where you have to press buttons at the right time) depending on the type of attack. Since the main theme of the game is food, you might need to catch popcorn (and drop one block for each piece you catch), or flip a burger at the right time to make it twice as powerful. And since the attacks don't do "number" damage, but drop into your opponent's grid, there's no clearly "best" move. Only what fits the current situation.

I would take all of those minigames, like the hamburger flipping and the popcorn catching, and make them actual minigames outside of the battle system. Just looking at it now, I think I would become incredibly bored with combat after about 10 minutes with all the minigames in there. The only way I can see the minigames working is if they're done really, really fast, requiring the player to think/react quickly. For example, the overdrives in Final Fantasy X had a minigame, so to speak, when activated. With Tidus, you had to stop a bar that bounced back and forth and if you hit X at the right time, you'd get a more powerful attack. Wakka had slots that appeared, and you played a very quick game with that--depending on the combination of the slots, he did different attacks. And for Auron, you had to press a combination of arrow keys and buttons to make his overdrives stronger. If your minigames were as quick as that, then it would be better. Having a minigame for every attack, though, would be disastrous.

So instead, you could just have special attacks like FFX's overdrives that have a minigame attached to them, which would make more/less blocks depending on how well the player does there. For the rest of the attacks, I would simply devise an equation that took a pre-determined amount of blocks for each attack then added a random amount more depending on the character's level/skill. Or something like that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I've never actually played far enough into FFX, so I haven't played with overdrive attacks, but from what you say, that sounds a lot like what I was planning. Most of the minigames will be an abstraction of the real thing, recognizable as it but not actually near what cooking is like. My example of "catching" popcorn is probably more what the minigames would be like.

I thought of performing minigames outside of battle, and may do that as a form of "item synthesis", as well, but during a fight, I'd rather have some sort of player input in the fight aside from choosing their attack. The idea of normal attacks that don't include minigames is good, too, though.

As for the comment about more diverse attacks, you're probably right. But what would you think of having certain abilities that "heal" (destroy) all adjacent blocks of the same type as the one they land on? That way, you'd be rewarded for using the same type of attack at some times, but by using it too much, you risk your opponent healing to near-full strength.

Another problem I realized, though, is the inability to have more than one enemy. I don't mind having one party member, but at some point in the game I'd probably want the player to fight multiple foes at once, though the screen would get cluttered with too many grids. One idea I have to solve that, though, is to have groups share a grid. Since it represents their will to fight, it would make sense for a group to share one. And a cowardly enemy could possibly leave the fight when the grid is half-full, in some cases. Does that sound like it'd work?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You should take a look at Puzzle Pirates. Their "battles" are played on a tetris-style grid.

http://yppedia.puzzlepirates.com/Swordfight

There's a mostly-free version of the game that's awesome to play, and you can really get a feel for it. I could see a similar style of attack for food products - instead of dropping swords, you might drop foodstuffs.

(small edit) Just to expound a bit more, the mini-game allows for both multiple allies and multiple adversaries. Its pretty simple to learn, and can be either light if the foes are few and simple or very challenging if you're fighting multiple individuals and already have a lot of blocks cluttering up your workspace.

There's a lot of minigame-style battles you can do with food...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by Gorgoo
As for the comment about more diverse attacks, you're probably right. But what would you think of having certain abilities that "heal" (destroy) all adjacent blocks of the same type as the one they land on? That way, you'd be rewarded for using the same type of attack at some times, but by using it too much, you risk your opponent healing to near-full strength.
As you've described the system, it sounds like once you fill up the opponent's grid, they lose, like someone would lose in Tetris. Yeah? So I'm wondering what the benefit would be to group multiple same-colored blocks together in the opponent's grid to get combos Bejeweled-style, because in games like that it's usually a good thing, whereas here such a combo would help the opponent. It seems to me like the attacks should throw random-colored blocks into the opponent's grid, and then when the opponent tries to heal itself, it can then try to form combos to eliminate all of those adjoining colors, if any. Maybe the stronger the attack, the more random the colors are. So a weaker attack would generally put more similar-colored blocks into the grid, making it easier for the opponent to recover. Then, when the opponent heals, he can choose what color of blocks will drop into his grid to heal him or something. Maybe have stronger attacks put trapped blocks into the opponent's grid that do weird things when other blocks fall on it. Just brainstormin' here.
Quote:
Original post by Gorgoo
Another problem I realized, though, is the inability to have more than one enemy. I don't mind having one party member, but at some point in the game I'd probably want the player to fight multiple foes at once, though the screen would get cluttered with too many grids. One idea I have to solve that, though, is to have groups share a grid. Since it represents their will to fight, it would make sense for a group to share one. And a cowardly enemy could possibly leave the fight when the grid is half-full, in some cases. Does that sound like it'd work?
One grid for the entire enemy would be wise. You could have it setup so that the stronger the opponent(s), the larger (i.e. taller and/or wider) the grid. So, a boss would have a very tall grid, and a group of five ants would have only three rows or something. Your idea to have more and more flee as the grid gets closer to filling up is good, but you'd have to have it work in the opposite effect too--if the opponent heals, then the critters who fled earlier should return.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by Omega147
As you've described the system, it sounds like once you fill up the opponent's grid, they lose, like someone would lose in Tetris. Yeah? So I'm wondering what the benefit would be to group multiple same-colored blocks together in the opponent's grid to get combos Bejeweled-style, because in games like that it's usually a good thing, whereas here such a combo would help the opponent. It seems to me like the attacks should throw random-colored blocks into the opponent's grid, and then when the opponent tries to heal itself, it can then try to form combos to eliminate all of those adjoining colors, if any. Maybe the stronger the attack, the more random the colors are. So a weaker attack would generally put more similar-colored blocks into the grid, making it easier for the opponent to recover. Then, when the opponent heals, he can choose what color of blocks will drop into his grid to heal him or something. Maybe have stronger attacks put trapped blocks into the opponent's grid that do weird things when other blocks fall on it. Just brainstormin' here.


Have you ever played Mr. Driller? In that game, if a block is falling (usually down towards you), and it hits a block of the same color, it will stop, and "stick" to that block. My idea was to do something like that, so that you could form "floors" and such at a certain height on their grid, so that wherever subsequent blocks would fall, they wouldn't hit the bottom. But then, if you didn't cover the group of blocks fast enough, your enemy could "heal" away the entire floor, causing your entire group of blocks to fall. I can see how that would pose a problem, though, by allowing comboes of sorts.

Previous to this, though, I planned to make a group of different block types, based on what sort of attack caused them. But if I made the blocks different colors (with no real meaning attached to the colors) instead, would that be better?

I should mention, though, that aside from special abilities, you can't get rid of blocks. Healing items might rid you of some, but forming a line in your enemy's grid won't get rid of theirs. But yes, you do defeat your enemy by filling their grid. As for stronger enemies, you're right about that. But too many different sizes of grids would be hard to do, or at least it seems that way to me. However, what I could do is have enemies that are stronger have more than one grid. Basically, if you were to fight a weak enemy, you'd have to fill their grid up once (Really weak enemies' grids might have blocks in them already.), but for a boss, upon filling it up, the blocks would disappear and you'd have to do it again. This could possibly be accompanied by a number to show you how many more grids they have.

Although, in many RPGs not knowing how much more health the boss has is part of the difficulty. But in a game where you know that the boss is going to lose when its grid fills up, having to restart the process several times without knowing when it'll end might get annoying.

Also, about Puzzle Pirates, I've played that before, and while it is an extremely fun game, it's not quite what I'm going for here. There, the entire swordfighting minigame was about moving your blocks around in order to set up comboes, and the only difference between opponents (besides how skilled the players were) was their drop pattern, determined by what weapon they owned. In this, special attacks drop different groups of blocks on opponents depending on what kind of move you're using. Popcorn, for example, might drop randomly-placed single blocks across the grid, while a hamburger would drop a large group of attached blocks all in one area.

Also, the multiplayer aspect in Puzzle Pirates was well-done, but you were only controlling one person at a time. (The rest was either teammates or AI.) And you were only attacking one at a time. But in this game, to have one person have to deal with multiple opponents in the style of Puzzle Pirates would be extremely difficult. I could look into it, as it'd be possible to have "minigrids" for opponents that show up fully on the screen once you click on them, but I'm not sure if it'd make the game too unnecessarily hard.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by Gorgoo
Have you ever played Mr. Driller? In that game, if a block is falling (usually down towards you), and it hits a block of the same color, it will stop, and "stick" to that block.
I haven't played Mr. Driller. Sounds kind of fun, though. I'll check out a demo or something if I have the time.
Quote:
Original post by Gorgoo
But if I made the blocks different colors (with no real meaning attached to the colors) instead, would that be better?
This is what I originally thought you were going to do. Although, the other idea doesn't sound bad either.
Quote:
Original post by Gorgoo
However, what I could do is have enemies that are stronger have more than one grid. Basically, if you were to fight a weak enemy, you'd have to fill their grid up once (Really weak enemies' grids might have blocks in them already.), but for a boss, upon filling it up, the blocks would disappear and you'd have to do it again. This could possibly be accompanied by a number to show you how many more grids they have.
I like this idea. Keeps the grid the same size, always, and you can increase the difficulty by, as you said, starting the opponent with a grid already partially filled or by giving a counter on how many times they had to fill the grid. Might be hard to keep track of this, though, if you make it possible to reverse the grid counter through special healing (you'd have to preserve the previous grids and their respective block placements).
Quote:
Original post by Gorgoo
Although, in many RPGs not knowing how much more health the boss has is part of the difficulty. But in a game where you know that the boss is going to lose when its grid fills up, having to restart the process several times without knowing when it'll end might get annoying.
Yeah, this is a tricky one. You'd be displaying a health bar that doesn't actually reflect the opponent's true remaining health. I was thinking, perhaps just hide the grid altogether for bosses whose health you don't want to reveal? Then the player has to judge their attacks based on the reaction of the opponent. Like, they'd throw popcorn, and the boss could reply with munching sounds (as if he's eating the popcorn and it's having no effect on him), but if you fed the guy a hamburger, he might moan with some sort of stomach pain (thus he's being "damaged"). Something to consider.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by Omega147
Might be hard to keep track of this, though, if you make it possible to reverse the grid counter through special healing (you'd have to preserve the previous grids and their respective block placements).


That's a good point, and it could get tricky. I could always use 2-dimensional arrays, but it might require a lot of them. I could just make it so that healing to a past grid would result in the former grid being empty. But what if there was a limit to healing, and that brought you closer to that limit? An idea I had thought about was to make healing items be things such as water and sodas, which "refresh" you, and renew your will to fight. But I could include a bar to show just how much you've drank during the fight, and if it reaches the top, you can't use liquid items any more during that fight. Healing an entire grid would take an item that would use a lot of your limit to healing. (Something like an espresso.) So you could heal "back" a grid, having even it be empty, but not be able to heal much after that, or you could wait until you can heal away a large group of blocks on this grid, and have it use only a small amount of your limit.

Quote:
Original post by Omega147
I was thinking, perhaps just hide the grid altogether for bosses whose health you don't want to reveal? Then the player has to judge their attacks based on the reaction of the opponent. Like, they'd throw popcorn, and the boss could reply with munching sounds (as if he's eating the popcorn and it's having no effect on him), but if you fed the guy a hamburger, he might moan with some sort of stomach pain (thus he's being "damaged"). Something to consider.


That's a good idea. And it would definitely allow boss battles to be much more suspenseful. Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by Gorgoo
I could just make it so that healing to a past grid would result in the former grid being empty.
This probably wouldn't work too well, because it would be really easy to fully heal yourself--if you heal and essentially empty your current grid (and then some), then you could just quickly heal again on the previous, now empty grid, and thus heal your way back to the first grid without having to pass through the grids' blocks. If that makes sense. By wiping the previous grid clean, you're healing the opponent/player that much more than if they had to heal their way through the filled up grid.
Quote:
Original post by Gorgoo
But what if there was a limit to healing, and that brought you closer to that limit? An idea I had thought about was to make healing items be things such as water and sodas, which "refresh" you, and renew your will to fight. But I could include a bar to show just how much you've drank during the fight, and if it reaches the top, you can't use liquid items any more during that fight. Healing an entire grid would take an item that would use a lot of your limit to healing. (Something like an espresso.)
You're beginning to describe The Sims' bladder meter here. The more you drink, the more you have to use the bathroom. But yeah, I like this idea. The espresso you mentioned could heal a large amount of health instantly but would fill the drink bar up a lot, too, whereas if you drank a lot of sodas (the weaker healing item), you'd heal only little by little, but in the end with the sodas you could heal more than you could with the espresso without filling up the drink bar as much--think of it like headache medicine: "This one's quick-acting, but this one's long-lasting. When do I need to feel good?" - Seinfeld.
Quote:
Original post by Gorgoo
So you could heal "back" a grid, having even it be empty, but not be able to heal much after that, or you could wait until you can heal away a large group of blocks on this grid, and have it use only a small amount of your limit.
Another approach to this whole healing thing could be to have it so that healing doesn't actually destroy any blocks in the grid, it just prevents more blocks from being added--heal future damage instead of present. This would be the equivalent of taking medicine to pre-emptively stop a stomach ache or other illness from occuring; or rather, it'd be like saying "No!" to delicious food, but as we all know, we can only say no so many times before we give in. :) With this approach, you'd eliminate the need to keep previous grids, as blocks aren't actively being removed. Then with certain special healing abilities that do destroy blocks, you could make it so that they only destroy blocks if there are any in the current grid--healing when there are no blocks in the grid would thus be a waste. I think this way would also be much more representative of an actual stomach--when you put food in your stomach, you can't just take that food out (i.e. "healing") without using the bathroom or through some other method; the special healing where blocks are destroyed could then be equivalent to throwing up, as odd as that comparison may seem.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Advertisement
×

Important Information

By using GameDev.net, you agree to our community Guidelines, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy.

Participate in the game development conversation and more when you create an account on GameDev.net!

Sign me up!