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Dekasa

Real-Time Casting Action

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Dekasa    127
Ok, I've run into a problem. Game is a 2d, top-down, action rpg. Since time constantly moves forward, and there are ways to be a good fighter, I wanted a way to be a good/better caster. Currently, all you do while casting is move a little circle to where you want your spell to cast, wait the allotted time that the spell takes, and press a key. I want to make it so you had to DO something to cast, or maybe cast faster. Not button mashing, but it can't take too long either. Something around 3-8 seconds. I thought of having random keys from the list of keys pop up, one at a time, and you had to hit so many in the correct order, then you cast. Example: 1. Player selects fireball spell from quickspell list. 2. Number of keys needed to be pressed is determined based on spell, intelligence of character, and random modifier. 3. Key icon/image/letter pops up above character's head. 4. Player presses button. 5. Repeat 3-4 as necessary, either punishing for wrong answer or just not counting it. 6. Spell still must be moved into position (so that it hits an enemy). 7. Once all keys necessary are pressed, attack button comes up above their head, once it is pressed, spell casts in desired location. I want to know if this will work, or if I should try some other way of doing this. They need to be able to move a cursor around, I definitely don't want to have a spell randomly attack an enemy. I'm just not sure if this is feasible to the player. I believe it'll allow for very quick casting for a high-level mage since they won't have to press many keys, and will effectively make high-level spells take longer to cast. What do you think? Is it dumb, is there a much better way, any suggestions? Thanks!

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Bacon and Eggs    163
Sounds to me like the Dance Dance Revolution(FlashFlash) of Magic Casting. Which, would probobly work given enough planning on how things look and if accuracy counts.

I'd say try it. See how it plays.


Guitar Hero for the Bards...

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I wanted to say that I like your idea a lot, I also dislike the press and wait style of casting and this gives a little more control to the player which is great. Would the 'begginer' caster have the same length of type as a higher spell caster? It would seem the work into it would be the same except of course the access to stronger spells and the ease of using the easier spells increase if this is what you are saying. Only advice I can give, it may be difficult to continue moving if someone is searching for different keys al over the keyboard, evasion being pretty important for a defensively weak spell caster (if this is how it plays). Maybe confine it the keys above the movement arrows? Then, if you weren't concerned with keeping everything real time, you could possibly freeze gameplay and have a timer for input? Sorry for the long post and hope that helps.

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Dekasa    127
Well, the keys they'll be using to cast will be randomized from the keys they usually use - the attack button (which will always be last, so you know when it will actually 'cast'). So it's assumed that they'll probably be pretty bunched together, and only consist of 6-12 keys, but I might make the casting set be specifically defined, too, so you could choose your own. The biggest problem I foresee is that you'd want to hit the buttons to cast faster and move the spell at the same time, but I guess if you can do both, that's what'd make YOU a better caster.

And as you grow to a higher level/higher mage/better mage/focused mage, you'd raise your intelligence, so you'd cast faster. The usual spell you're using, will probably average around 6 keypresses because a higher intelligence character will also have higher level spells, so they'll even out, but a high level caster will be able to cast their older, weaker spells in 2-3 keypresses, with maybe some being only 1 (instant cast).

Thanks for your ideas so far, any more?

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Sandman    2210
While I appreciate the idea that you want the player to have more interaction with the spellcasting process, I personally don't think random button mashing is the way to go. It lacks any real context in the game, detracts from immersion, and I suspect it would just feel like an arbitrary obstacle that the game designer has thrown in to make life difficult.

If implemented in a console style, beat-em-up fashion with fixed key combos for spells it would probably be better, but I still think there are less artificial ways of involving the player in the process.

For example, how about this:

Casting a spell consists of two basic activities: Channelling mana and shaping/controlling that mana. Both of these take a certain amount of time, and are somewhat in conflict: Channelling more mana makes the spell harder to control.

To cast a spell, hold a mouse button down. A targetting reticle will appear. The reticle will jitter about randomly, gradually settling down to being stationary as the caster gains control of the spell. However if held down too long, the energies invested in the spell start to grow too large to control, and the reticle will start to jitter again.

The player thus has several points of interactivity. Releasing the mouse at the 'sweet spot' of the spell, this getting an accurate result, and using the mouse to keep the reticle over the target, allowing the potential to cast the same spell effectively in less time, or perhaps in more time but with more power..

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Dekasa    127
Well... that' neat. But, I'm not using the mouse, it is very much console style. I thought of having a beat-em up style combo, but the caster character inherits 12 spells, wouldn't that be a little intense to memorize? And it's top-down, so I really wouldn't want to use the movement keys in it much, but then again, maybe it would work nicely, and would separate good casters from "normal" ones (those who cast faster than other players). Maybe that will work, thanks for all the suggestions.

*new idea*
I bet I could have a key that starts off the casting sequence. So say, you push your defend key, then a specific combination, would that work better? I just don't want players moving around a lot trying to do this combination attempt, always bugged me.

Also, a player wouldn't have to "search" for the keys, they'd be randomized from keys they already use, so they should know where they would be.

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Edtharan    607
I agree with Sandman. Random button mashing will break the immersion. Also, this control schema sounds to be very different than that of your standard Fighter type character. If this is the case, then this will cause confusion in your players and they will have to switch constantly between different control schemas to play the game. This puts more cognitive load on the player, they will make more mistakes because of it (and if these mistakes cause them to loose a battle then they will blame your control system - and therefore your game). Needless to say, this is not a good outcome.

An interface should make it easy for a player to play your game. The best interface is one that the player is not even aware of. Random button mashing (or even set patterns of buttons to mash), if not already part of the control scheme will cause conflict between the player and the interface, simply because it is different to what the rest of the control system is like.

What ever you do with the mage, make sure that the other classes also have the same schema applied to them. If you want to have the mages need to randomly button mash to get the most out of their spells, then have the fighters do the same thing to get the most out of their attacks.

Or, if you use a combo system for the mages, use a combo system for the fighters, etc. The combos don't have to be exactly the same for the fighters and mages, but both will have to have them.

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