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stenny

cRPG Combat - Tactics or not?

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Goodday to y'all[smile] Let me first introduce myself here (for I've not been here in this part of the forums before). I'm a composer, and program as a hobby (although that does start to take serious forms), and am currently in the process of designing an RPG. Yes, I know there are thousands of them, and yes, I know people ask for originality. That's why I'm here... I've arrived at the designing of the combat system. I am well aware of the fact móst of the people here don't want another 2 billion combat screens with some cutscreens in between them, and so it got me thinking. What is it that people don't like in those combats anymore, and I got to the conclusion these two things have something to do with it: no originality and length, and they both have to do with each other. With no originality, I mean another fire-, thunder-, water- or windspell, another superattack by the sword-wielding main hero, and another potion and ether to replenish health. And if there's no originality, a battle coming up each 5 seconds isn't quite fun. It gets boring quickly... So, I decided to handle both two points. Add more strategy, and shorten the battles. And that's my point. Dó you want strategic battles á la Fire Emblem, Advance Wars, Final Fantasy Tactics, but of course not thát deepgoing. Dó you still want to keep the 'enemies on the left side of the screen, heroes on the right side'-type of screen with more tactics? Do you want more tactics at all? And, íf I happened to lean more towards a tactical battle, would you mind if they'd be long. And with that I really mean long. Adding strategy to a battle involves time and planning, and in a two seconds fight you don't those. Don't get me wrong, I'm a big time fan of the old SNES-type of battle systems, and I'm neither putting tactics in my battles just because everyone else wants it. But I like tactics too, and this is more of probing what'd be best. I hope people take the time to read this piece of text (that's way longer than I intended it to be), and reply. Now is the chance to have influence! -Stenny

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Long tactical battles are fine as long as you don't throw one at the player every five minutes, that would quickly get very tedius. A scalable system which works fine for both short and long battles would the best option IMO. Although it's not an easy task to design such a system.

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Yes it indeed would be quite difficult.

On the other hand, if you're looking for easy tasks and laziness, you shouldn't get into programming[lol]

-Stenny

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Quote:
Original post by stenny
I am well aware of the fact móst of the people here don't want another 2 billion combat screens with some cutscreens in between them

I think the main problem with cut scenes is that the player isn't playing anymore; they're simply watching a movie, and being railroaded along through the story. If the enemies are storming the gates, and things look grim, maybe I want to rush forward and die in a blaze of glory. If I'm given the chance to do it, I'll believe I at least have a chance of succeeding, and I'll usually give it a try. If I lose, I'll know its (probably) my fault. At least give me the opportunity. Unfortunately, most games simply don't allow this, and force you to flee in these circumstances. Games nowadays seem to provide little risk or choice.

Quote:
Original post by stenny
With no originality, I mean another fire-, thunder-, water- or windspell, another superattack by the sword-wielding main hero, and another potion and ether to replenish health. And if there's no originality, a battle coming up each 5 seconds isn't quite fun. It gets boring quickly...

In a lot of cases, combat is won through attrition and/or simple logistics. If I've got more hit points, more heal potions, and deal more damage, I'm going to win. Usually, there seems to be little in the way of tactics other than brute force (Attack, Attack, Attack, Heal, etc.), and the player is pretty much destined to win. This gets stale very quickly.

Quote:
Original post by stenny
And, íf I happened to lean more towards a tactical battle, would you mind if they'd be long. And with that I really mean long. Adding strategy to a battle involves time and planning, and in a two seconds fight you don't those.

You may want to allow for both simple and extensive tactics. If I'm level 23, fighting a lowly goblin, I'm probably not going to want to spend much time thinking about what to do. You could have a basic attack option, which could be done from the top menu, where everything is pre-selected for a standard attack (or, allow the player to setup a character's basic attack ahead of time). If the player doesn't care, they can select this, and be done with it. However, you could also have a 'tactical' attack option, where you select how to attack, where to strike, defensive options, stance, etc. for those who like all those options, and when its necessary

However, long isn't necessarily bad. If the combat is engaging and fun, there isn't any reason why it can't run for quite some time. Probably a good way to keep the player interested is to throw in something new every once in a while, so the player isn't constantly relying on the same tactics:

- Set up a fight in a narrow corridor, so only one character is engaged with multiple foes, and the others have to use long range attacks like bows and polearms, or spells.
- Put them up on several high, narrow ledges, where they need to worry about falling off.
- Have combat in a room where they need to move every turn or take damage.
- Combat underwater, where missile weapons are useless, and spells don't always work the way they should (fire might be impossible to use, but electrical might be devastating to everyone).

If combat is very long, you may want to give the player some mechanism for getting out of it, so they aren't stuck with completing it if they need to shut down. Saving would probably be the easiest, but also the most open to abuse.

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1- it doesn't matter how long the battles take but the amount of time you spend battling should be the same

2- no step by step random encounters, try to be more creative than enemies just springing out of the floor

3- check out earthbound, you can avoid enemies and if your at a high enough level they try to avoid you

4- try to avoid having all enemies re-spawn the second you go to another screen

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Ever heard of a game called Lordinium for the Palm? Methinks it's right up your alley in terms of combat systems. The sword stroke system is really addictive when you figure it out. Would suggest a sort of visuals system to add a bit more oomph.

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One of my favorite combat engines for a cRPG is the Grandia II one (and by extension, the Grandia III engine, which is basically the same). There's a couple of big things going for it:

1) The positions of players and enemies actually matter, unlike in Final Fantasy-style "linedancing". Clustered enemies can be hit by area-of-effect attacks; enemies in a line by ray attacks, et cetera. Some monsters force the players into tight groups, following up with a "bomb" attack to hit them all. Positioning could be handled better; you don't actually choose where your characters are, but rather, after each action, they move to a random nearby location (and monsters pretty much just wander), so that could be handled better.

2) You can see what attacks are coming before they arrive. Every participant in battle has a token on an action gauge, which has three stages - waiting, preparing, and acting. Progress during the waiting stage depends on your speed stat; during preparing it depends on your skill with the desired action (some actions, like blocking or moving, have no preparation time), and acting is when you're actually doing the action. The neat things here are twofold: one, once an enemy starts preparing an action, you can see what he's up to and try to deal with it, and two, you can cancel enemies out of the preparing/acting phases by hitting them with certain attacks. The game becomes in part a matter of trying to manipulate enemies such that they never get a chance to act, which is considerably more interesting than the war of attrition mentioned earlier.

3) You can see enemies before getting into combat with them. No random battles; skillful navigation of the dungeons can let you avoid most fights.

Now, boss fights in the Grandia games can become basically like boss fights in other games; since the boss's attacks will hit you no matter where you are, your positioning doesn't matter; since the boss is only one enemy, his position doesn't matter; and he's fast enough in the preparation and acting stage that you probably won't be able to cancel him much. But against standard monsters, the Grandia engine is very strong, providing a good balance between the predictability of FF-style combat and the frequently long battles of tactics games.

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This may not be the answer you're looking for, but I'd say one of the most important parts about designing a game, even a small hobbyist game, is choosing your target audience and then sticking to it.

Continuous massive sales of every new Final Fantasy game proves that there are many people who still love it. There are also people who are tired of it, and people who never liked it to begin with. There are many types of people in the RPG crowd. Some of them play mainly for the story, and wish there were more cutscenes and less battles. Some hate cutscenes and story and just want to tinker with their stats and play long, tactical battles. Your game can't make everyone happy, so you should come up with a solid goal and then do some research into what the audience for that type of game likes. Don't concern yourself with what jaded ex-Final Fantasy fans have to complain about with the latest FF: they're probably not going to get your game, but will get the next FF no matter how much they swear they won't. Rather, concentrate on the fanbases of tactical RPG's; find out what has worked so far and what might bring some small innovations to the genre.

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Wow, I never expected thát much replies! Thanks guys!
Ok, based on what you said and some thinking by myself (yes, I think too[lol]), I got a, what I think, quite nice idea.

My game looks quite like Golden Sun (I'm sure you've heard of that). Tilebase maps linked with each other make up a vast world. I'm using height in the maps as well, and so I'm able to make some quite intriguing maps. Now, I wondered, why not use those maps for combat too?
What if I located several positions in the maps where e.g. Goblins have set up a camp, or where other monsters lurk. And when you invade the area of those Goblins, you'd have to engage in a fight. This way, it'd be possible to evade battles, and you can also see them coming. I could also use the movement idea (which I have had for a long time) and use the maps as a battlegrid.
This would resemble sort of a combination between FFTA, FE or AW and Chrono Trigger.

There is still quite some linearity here though. Monsters are always located on the same spot, and if they don't I'll have to make áll my maps combatready (and thus scrap puzzle maps).

@derickdong
Quote:
I think the main problem with cut scenes is that the player isn't playing anymore; they're simply watching a movie

True, but still 2 million random encounters can become lame. You're right though, and I'm actually trying to solve that.

Quote:
- Set up a fight in a narrow corridor, so only one character is engaged with multiple foes, and the others have to use long range attacks like bows and polearms, or spells.
- Put them up on several high, narrow ledges, where they need to worry about falling off.
- Have combat in a room where they need to move every turn or take damage.
- Combat underwater, where missile weapons are useless, and spells don't always work the way they should (fire might be impossible to use, but electrical might be devastating to everyone).

Yes, I've got some of those points covered now. High narrow ledges, and the movement in general. Battling underwater would be nice, but I don't think that's possible with the current state of game. Making use of the environment would be a nice add-on though.

@Kaze
Quote:
- try to avoid having all enemies re-spawn the second you go to another screen

Hmm, Yeah. I'll try and have a look into that.

@InvalidPointer
I did a search on that game, but it seems it's for a PalmOS, whatever that is

@Derakon
Quote:
1) The positions of players and enemies actually matter, unlike in Final Fantasy-style "linedancing"

Linedancing! Wonderfull, just wonderfull! You just made my day![lol]

@makeshiftwings
Quote:
Continuous massive sales of every new Final Fantasy game proves that there are many people who still love it. There are also people who are tired of it, and people who never liked it to begin with. There are many types of people in the RPG crowd. Some of them play mainly for the story, and wish there were more cutscenes and less battles. Some hate cutscenes and story and just want to tinker with their stats and play long, tactical battles. Your game can't make everyone happy, so you should come up with a solid goal and then do some research into what the audience for that type of game likes. Don't concern yourself with what jaded ex-Final Fantasy fans have to complain about with the latest FF: they're probably not going to get your game, but will get the next FF no matter how much they swear they won't. Rather, concentrate on the fanbases of tactical RPG's; find out what has worked so far and what might bring some small innovations to the genre


You are so right. I, myself am one of those FF fans! Still, that doesn't mean I don't like other systems. In fact, I've enjoyed Fire Emblem just as much. One of the main rules I think of when designing a game, is that in the first place Í need to like the game myself. And that pleasing other people comes second, after all you can't please all (that's a double all[smile])

Anyway, please reply and tell me what you think of the battle system idea. And thanks again for that massive load of replies!

-Stenny

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I thought I'd chip in, since I've been working on a game with similar goals to yours. [smile] I don't have any insights or suggestions that haven't been given already, so instead I'll share with you what we decided to do with our battle system, and why. First I'll share a mock-up picture of it (ignore the black grid lines, they are just there as a positioning reference)




Our major goals with the game (and hence, with battles are):

- Design the game such that the major focus is on gameplay and story, not advanced 3D graphics and physical simulations.

- As much as possible, remove the tedious, meaningless, and micromanaging aspects of many historical and modern RPGs.

- Require a high level of strategic thinking and planning from the player, and less mindless "button mashing" found in many RPGs.


Now here's a list of notable points about the battle system in our game, and why we have them.


Multiple Attack Point System (MAPS)

This is one of our main features. Basically, both enemies and players can be attacked in multiple locations (head, torso, arms, legs, tail, etc.). Each attack point has different strengths and weaknesses, so the player has to continually seek out weaknesses in their opponents to exploit (and the opponent may notice this, and cast a spell to protect the particular weakness being exploited). In one word: strategy. That's what we wanted from this feature.

Along with that idea, when the player finds a weakness to an enemy (for example, by casting an ice spell when the enemy is weak against ice), we inform the player of the new weakness discovered and retain it in a little box on the bottom right of the screen. That way the player doesn't have to "guess" on whether he or she found a weakness or not by looking at the damage dealt.

No Random Encounters

Personally I don't mind REs that much, but we had a strong demand to eliminate them from our game after our first demo was released, so we did. [smile] Now you can try to avoid enemies as you watch them chase after you on the screen.

Longer battles, fewer battles

Battles that last less than a minute are not very interesting or fun; they're mostly annoying IMO. So we decided to try to make battles last a bit longer than most RPGs, but have fewer of them.

Enemy levels match player levels

This is a feature that was present in FFVIII, where enemies would be as strong as the player was. We're building on that idea by allow enemy levels to be within a certain range of the player's average level (a Gaussian Random Distribution, actually). The idea is to not let the player become a demi-god later in the game capable of mowing down anything in his path, but to provide a continual challenge instead.

Eliminate the "Fight" command

Player's would often abuse this command in other RPGs, and simply button-mash it until the battle was won. That's boring, so we got rid of it altogether.

Skill System and Skill Points

Instead, we give characters a series of "skills" that they may use (attack, defense, and support types). Each skill consumes a certain amount of skill points (SP), similar to MP. This means that now not only are magical spells limited by a finite point counter, but also advanced physical attacks and defensive maneuvers as well. There are some "innate" skills that don't require any SP as well.

SP is also not easy to regenerate. We're not going to make a plethora of "ethers" or whatever available to the player to use. Instead, they have to fight battles knowing that any SP they consume in this battle will affect their options in the next battle. This effectively limits the player's ability to continually wipe out the enemy party with their "ultimate devastating attack", and forces them to fight somewhat conservatively. Again: this is all done in the name of strategy. [wink]

Stamina Bar

Similar to Grandia II, there is a global stamina bar showing where each actor in the battle is, so you can get a good prediction of who is going to attack next. Also, skills have a warm-up and cool-down time period associated with them, which is also borrowed from Grandia II.

Swap System

Like FFX, we allow the player to swap characters in and out of battle with their reserve party. Unlike FFX, we limit the number of swaps the player can do, and don't provide them with additional swaps very often. Thus, the player can't abuse this system like many player's abused the one in FFX.

Status Effect Intensities

We made our status effects have four intensity levels. Basically, this means that you can be inflicted with a relatively harmless "Poison Lvl 1" or a disabling "Poison Lvl 4". We wanted to utilize status effects to enhance the strategy of our battles, so the player may choose to ignore a weaker status effect, but would be unwise to not heal a stronger status effect.



Phew, well those are a few features anyway. [lol] I didn't mean to advertise, I just wanted to share with you how we approached the same sort of problems that you are now tackling. Hopefully they give you some insight, or some ideas about how to design your own battle system. Well, good luck with your game! [grin]

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Hah! I've played that! Hero of Allacrost right? Seemed rather nice and something like I was planning to do yes :). It was a quite early demo though, if I have a look at your battlescreen right now.

Quote:

- Design the game such that the major focus is on gameplay and story, not advanced 3D graphics and physical simulations.

- As much as possible, remove the tedious, meaningless, and micromanaging aspects of many historical and modern RPGs.

- Require a high level of strategic thinking and planning from the player, and less mindless "button mashing" found in many RPGs.


Ok, I'm gonna write those down, save them up in a .txt file and memorize them for the rest of my life. I think you're absolutely right, especially on the first one. I'm gonna focus on the music too (since I'm after all a composer, and programming is just a hobby).

Quote:
Longer battles, fewer battles

Battles that last less than a minute are not very interesting or fun; they're mostly annoying IMO. So we decided to try to make battles last a bit longer than most RPGs, but have fewer of them.


I think I'm gonna go with that one. 'Sgonna take a hell lotta programming, if I'm really gonna do what's spooking around in my head right now, but it's worth it.

-Stenny

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Glad to be of service. Also happy to hear that you've played our demo before. [grin] Yes, it was a very early demo, but we needed to get something out the door to help our momentum. We actually have another demo that should be ready to be released by the end of this month, or sooner, which will be a significant improvement over the first.


I'm also glad to hear that you feel so strongly about our three "mission goals". [smile] If only more indie game developers out there would focus more on these, and less on the latest greatest MMORPG they want to make, it would be a better world. [lol]

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Original post by Roots

Multiple Attack Point System (MAPS)

This is one of our main features. Basically, both enemies and players can be attacked in multiple locations (head, torso, arms, legs, tail, etc.). Each attack point has different strengths and weaknesses, so the player has to continually seek out weaknesses in their opponents to exploit (and the opponent may notice this, and cast a spell to protect the particular weakness being exploited). In one word: strategy. That's what we wanted from this feature.

Along with that idea, when the player finds a weakness to an enemy (for example, by casting an ice spell when the enemy is weak against ice), we inform the player of the new weakness discovered and retain it in a little box on the bottom right of the screen. That way the player doesn't have to "guess" on whether he or she found a weakness or not by looking at the damage dealt.


interesting...

So basicly all you did was increase the number of targets players have in battles? And what happens once players figure out how to exploit those weak spots? How would the game keep battles from being just more of the same mindless exercises?

Quote:

Enemy levels match player levels

This is a feature that was present in FFVIII, where enemies would be as strong as the player was. We're building on that idea by allow enemy levels to be within a certain range of the player's average level (a Gaussian Random Distribution, actually). The idea is to not let the player become a demi-god later in the game capable of mowing down anything in his path, but to provide a continual challenge instead.


So what is the point of leveling up the characters then?

Quote:

Eliminate the "Fight" command

Player's would often abuse this command in other RPGs, and simply button-mash it until the battle was won. That's boring, so we got rid of it altogether.


So instead you require players to go through the process of picking out those pesky enemy weakpoints time and time again?

Quote:
If only more indie game developers out there would focus more on these, and less on the latest greatest MMORPG they want to make, it would be a better world.


Why? Why bury yourself with all that compitition?






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Hi, I've been thinking about this stuff for the last few days, ever since a game idea started to sprout in my head.
What i'm thinking of is this:

-Strategic "free movement" combat system (like in FF Tactics and Fire Emblem).
-Active battles with "energy" bars: different attacks take up different amounts of energy, but unlinke the "mana points" type thing, the energy bar recharges quickly. (I think I'll also have the mana points-type thing, however.)
-No distinction between "the world" and battles; when enemies are encountered, you can avoid them or attack them at will, and other enemies can come along and join in the battle if they so desire.
-I've always thought special environment conditions are nice because they add variety to battles, such as different terrain features (cliffs, trees, rocks...), or conditions that affect certain types of attacks like someone mentioned before about fire not working underwater but electricity being very damaging.

So my idea is kind of a hybrid between tactical and real-time systems (sort of like Chrono Trigger, except your team members are able to move around).
The main thing I'm unsure about is the movement system; to make the world and battles "in the same realm" I would have to make the movement system the same, and that means allowing team members to pretty much move at will during battles, which would make it less tactical and more like a real-time type of thing.

Sorry if I'm kind of vague-sounding, it's just that I decided to try to design and make a small rpg a few days ago, so I'm still thinking of new ideas and changing old ones...

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Original post by MSW
interesting...

So basicly all you did was increase the number of targets players have in battles? And what happens once players figure out how to exploit those weak spots? How would the game keep battles from being just more of the same mindless exercises?


The enemy AI will be smart enough to figure out that the player is repeatedly casting ice spells to afflict their ice vulnerability, for example, and it would react by using a skill of its own that enhances its defense against ice elemental. Or, if it is more of an aggressive type, it would instead focus on the weaknesses in the character party and attack them, forcing the player onto the defensive if they don't want to sacrifice a lot of damage.

I admit that we won't quite know for sure until we put theory to practice, but you have to admit that its less mindless than executing the same action over and over again, with only the occasional healing spell in-between.


Quote:
Original post by MSW
So what is the point of leveling up the characters then?


Characters gain more skills as they level, and they gain more skill points allowing them to use high-level skills more often in battle. The player won't be able to defeat boss characters (or even normal enemies) if their level is too low (ie, you wouldn't be able to turn off XP gain and cruise through the game on level 1).

An analogy to your statement might be "Why should I study and make myself smarter? The smarter I get, the smarter the people I'll be surrounded by (in university, research lab, etc) and I won't feel very smart around them so what's the point?". Not the best analogy, but hopefully the point comes across. [smile]


Quote:
Original post by MSW
So instead you require players to go through the process of picking out those pesky enemy weakpoints time and time again?


Two words: cursor memory. [smile]

I admit that it does sound a little bit tedious though. But its a better alternative than having the player brainlessly select "Fight" every turn IMHO. And whoever said that the player had to always exploit weaknesses? They can choose to fight their battle whatever way they want; just because an enemy has weakness A and B doesn't mean that the player can't attack the enemy with a high-level skill X that doesn't exploit either of those weaknesses.

Quote:
Original post by MSW
Why? Why bury yourself with all that compitition?


I don't make games to make money. I make them because I enjoy making them, and I also enjoy playing them. If a gamer was hoping that there are not any great games out there so that his/hers can shine above all else, I'd say that person is not a real gamer; they are a business person in the business of making game.

Simply put: I just want to play more games that I truly enjoy. [smile]

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I admit I'm not much of a RPG player. I find most of the games in the genre dry, dull, and go out of thier way to make things needlessly overcomplicated.

I'm not trying to put your game down or anything like that...Just trying to show that some of your solutions to RPG design issues can be seen as yet more of the same.

Which is why I pointed out that multi point targeting thing...If a game offers you a particular choice that is better then the rest, then its not really much of a choice.

If players discover that the left thigh of a monster is a weak point, they will exploit it whenever they can...which negates even allowing the player to target any other body part.

Really if you want to add real depth (and not just illusionary complexity) then every player choice has to have consequences. No choice can allways be the right one.

for example:

1)If you are takeing on a wolf. your fighter can hit the wolf in the head for twice the normal damage, however the wolf will automaticly do four times the damage in its next attack plus has a 30% chance of calling another wolf to battle...
2)however the fighter can hit the wolf in the tail for regular damage, but the wolf then has a 80% chance of calling up to three other wolves into battle...
3)or fighters can hit the mid section of the wolf doing only 10% damage, but causeing the wolf to forefeit its next turn and thier is still a 50% chance the wolf can call a brothern into battle...

Which would you choose?
Obviously your choice would depend on a number of other issues. But if you are going to allow players to target particular body part then I highly encourage you to find a way to balance each of the body part choices against each other in interesting ways...then present situations where players can exploit certain choices in non-obvious ways (example: say that when you hit a certian monster in a particular body location, it then moves back two map squares before chargeing forward four...On normal battle maps the forward charge could be devistateing...but on maps that take place high in the mountians, those 2 squares back could send the creature over a cliff)

And don't leave the player characters out of this either...the choice to use a health potion should have more consequences then just haveing one less in inventory.

Most RPG developers don't do these sorts of things because such a system doesn't require giveing the players tons of options (won't require lots of armor and weapon equipment choices, etc.)...it actualy can work better with fewer yet focused options (a healing potion that restores 50% health can work better then haveing a number that restore 10 hitpoints and some that restore 50)...Plus such a system can be a pain to balance because it isn't as dependant on number crunching stats.

But you can do what you like...just throwing in my $.02

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@MSW

You dó have a good point there. For some reason I've never been a real fan of multiple hit targets, and I think that's the problem (or rather solution). I like you're two cents[lol].

@Roots

Quote:
Characters gain more skills as they level, and they gain more skill points allowing them to use high-level skills more often in battle. The player won't be able to defeat boss characters (or even normal enemies) if their level is too low (ie, you wouldn't be able to turn off XP gain and cruise through the game on level 1).

An analogy to your statement might be "Why should I study and make myself smarter? The smarter I get, the smarter the people I'll be surrounded by (in university, research lab, etc) and I won't feel very smart around them so what's the point?". Not the best analogy, but hopefully the point comes across.


Sure, and let's not forget. Although monsters dó level, in FF VIII there was still a huge difference between a ruby dragon (amongst the strongest of foes), and a Bite Bug (one of the weakest, they're on of the, if not thé first foes you battle), both of level 40.

Quote:
I don't make games to make money. I make them because I enjoy making them, and I also enjoy playing them. If a gamer was hoping that there are not any great games out there so that his/hers can shine above all else, I'd say that person is not a real gamer; they are a business person in the business of making game.

Simply put: I just want to play more games that I truly enjoy.


I thought I couldn't agree with you more on the previous statement, but now I like you even more[smile]. Wow, never thought more people like us existed[lol].

@epilef
Quote:
Hi, I've been thinking about this stuff for the last few days, ever since a game idea started to sprout in my head.
What i'm thinking of is this:

-Strategic "free movement" combat system (like in FF Tactics and Fire Emblem).
-Active battles with "energy" bars: different attacks take up different amounts of energy, but unlinke the "mana points" type thing, the energy bar recharges quickly. (I think I'll also have the mana points-type thing, however.)
-No distinction between "the world" and battles; when enemies are encountered, you can avoid them or attack them at will, and other enemies can come along and join in the battle if they so desire.
-I've always thought special environment conditions are nice because they add variety to battles, such as different terrain features (cliffs, trees, rocks...), or conditions that affect certain types of attacks like someone mentioned before about fire not working underwater but electricity being very damaging.

So my idea is kind of a hybrid between tactical and real-time systems (sort of like Chrono Trigger, except your team members are able to move around).
The main thing I'm unsure about is the movement system; to make the world and battles "in the same realm" I would have to make the movement system the same, and that means allowing team members to pretty much move at will during battles, which would make it less tactical and more like a real-time type of thing.

Sorry if I'm kind of vague-sounding, it's just that I decided to try to design and make a small rpg a few days ago, so I'm still thinking of new ideas and changing old ones...


Yes! That's sorta what I was looking for! I think I'm still gonna let the players enter battlemode though, but that doesn't mean the screen/state changes. It's just another way of travelling.

-Stenny

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A timing based reaction system would make battles a little more random and fun.

Little warnings could pop up when the enemy is attacking, and give the option to quickly press a button to guard against, or counter the blow. Whether or not the warning pops up can be based on a "Perception" stat, and a counter blow based on another quick press after the initial guard, and whether you can or not based on a "dexterity" stat.

Could go into any game, really, if you're willing to take the time to code it.
(And I either missed this in the previous posts, or I'm just spacing it, but is this a 2d or 3d game? You said it was tile based, but you also said its using height in the maps as well. So is it drawing anything from 3d games, or is it strictly 2d?)

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Original post by H4rb1ng3r
A timing based reaction system would make battles a little more random and fun.

Little warnings could pop up when the enemy is attacking, and give the option to quickly press a button to guard against, or counter the blow. Whether or not the warning pops up can be based on a "Perception" stat, and a counter blow based on another quick press after the initial guard, and whether you can or not based on a "dexterity" stat.

Could go into any game, really, if you're willing to take the time to code it.


This feature is present in Super Mario RPG. We considered putting it into our game too, but unfortunately its not very palatable with a real-time system, because when an enemy is attacking the player could very well be selecting an item in a menu, and we thought that trying to force the player to do menu selection and "reactions" was a little too much. Works great for a turn-based system though.

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Tactical bits in RPGs are great as games on their own. Tactical in more traditional RPGs is great too, and common in pretty much any PC (read: D&D) RPG. Though alas, not so many of those in recent memory...

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I wasn't really thinking about the classic console RPG battle system when I posted that, so in that context you're right. I was thinking more along the lines of an adventure game, like a more interactive Zelda: Link to the Past. Or, to reference a game that has actually used this, a 2d God of War.

If you wanted to use a modified system with a reaction combat element, you could allow button combinations used in battle instead of menu systems. To use an example:

S - Physical Action
A - Last Stance
D - Next Stance

W - Use Spell
Q - Last Spell
E - Next Spell

X - Use Item
Z - Last Item
C - Next Item

Arrow Keys - Movement

From these controls, you can have a system that has dodge and guard actions by having the aforementioned pop up alert the player to move out of the way (Press Left or Right on the Arrow Keys), to counter the player could press the physical action button after dodging (For additional depth, depending on the stance the character is in, a different attack can be issued by the counter).

This would take some additional work over the traditional cRPG battle system, but it would mix it up a little. If I was going to go this far, I'd rule out the cut away battle system and have it a full blown adventure game with some traditional RPG elements thrown in, but that's just more work. That's just my two cents.

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Could go into any game, really, if you're willing to take the time to code it.
(And I either missed this in the previous posts, or I'm just spacing it, but is this a 2d or 3d game? You said it was tile based, but you also said its using height in the maps as well. So is it drawing anything from 3d games, or is it strictly 2d?)


2D. But there is height implented in the maps. I.e., you can't just through a linear path in a mountain area, no, you can climb ladders, stairs, and stand almost anywhere.

Quote:
This feature is present in Super Mario RPG. We considered putting it into our game too, but unfortunately its not very palatable with a real-time system, because when an enemy is attacking the player could very well be selecting an item in a menu, and we thought that trying to force the player to do menu selection and "reactions" was a little too much. Works great for a turn-based system though.


I thought at first this was a bit kiddy, but now I'm more into it. Not just a single miss/hit factor, but let the player have more influence on it. I'm not sure if this wouldn't get boring though, I should add a random factor in the keys to press or moves to make.

Quote:
This would take some additional work over the traditional cRPG battle system, but it would mix it up a little. If I was going to go this far, I'd rule out the cut away battle system and have it a full blown adventure game with some traditional RPG elements thrown in, but that's just more work. That's just my two cents.


Well I dó want to stay with the RPG genre, so I'm gonna add a battle mode. The idea is just to have the battle mode/screen/state on the same map as you walk. This adds some more originality AND people don't go crazy of the screen flashing white when entering a battle.

-Stenny

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One game that pulled off the menu systems well was Chrono Trigger. This was due, in part, to no cut away when you go into a battle, and a range system, where attacks hit in a area, so anyone inside that area was struck. This allowed for strategy inside a cRPG, which is actually pretty rare.

Use an emulator just to play with the combat system (you can only have the emulator on your pc for 24 hours if you don't own the game, so make good use of the time.)

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I know the game. One of the games a cRPG designer should've played anywayz, in my opinion. As I've previously mentioned, Chrono Trigger is sorta the way I wanted to go, but then with a more gridbased (16*16 tiles) movement and a turnbased system. Try combining games like Fire Emblem or Advance Wars with Chrono Trigger and you're on the right path.

-Stenny

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