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RPG combat design issue

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Im designing a turn based combat system the ideal for my game would a nice transition from the normal game (exploration + talk dialogs) to the combat aspect, in other words i would like the turn based part to take part in the same area (without transitioning to a virtual battlefield like final fantasy games for example) any tips on how to implement this? I have problems figuring this out especially if some neutrals are standing by when the battle takes place

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a) remove the neutrals? (not realistic)
b) make the neutrals flee? (realistic)

any problem with the second option? :)

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make neutrals non combatants? simple boolean variable check when creating possible target list or something like that.

It really depends on how you set up your UI and your game engine componants on what is the best way to do it.

If you give a little explination on how you select people and move around and determine when your in a battle it would be easier to give some good ideas :-D

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well the way i see it is to make a initiative list (characters involved in the fight will be put on a turn list depending of a value, lower value == gets to attack first, higher value == gets to attack last)

every time you finish performing an action you are set back down the list the amount that equals the cost of such action

i was thinking of just leaving the npcs static on the field but that means that npcs would be subject to collateral damage which is something im not interested in handling

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i was thinking of just leaving the npcs static on the field but that means that npcs would be subject to collateral damage which is something im not interested in handling


I think it would be awesome. Accidentally destroying a village with a huge, world-shaking spell like the kind you see all the time in Final Fantasy.

How about making the NPCs into spectators? They move aside and then sit there and watch and don't take damage from the fight. You could even use it as part of a quest, where a guy has to watch you fight (and you need to fight well) in order to trust you with his Object of Great Magical Power.

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If you look at Chrono Trigger, they do all the combat in the same environment as the exploration and it works really well. They don't have random encounters, but rather all the enemies are wandering the field (or hiding at a specified location). Mind you there are no combat sequences in villages as far as I can remember, but you can always have NPCs flee or just not be allowed to be targetted.

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Have neutrals run off-screen or enter houses and disappear or throw themselves to the ground and not move. Depending on your game they could still be targets and/or obstacles.

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Guild Wars (real time RPG) have neutrals that you can attack. When doing so, they will retaliate, else they will ignore you.

The combat starts when the enemies are within a given radius (which varies, where enemy 'scouts' have a detection longer range). They usually stick to patrol patterns, and break the pattern when you enter their detection range.

You could make neutrals flee when they are within detection range, and when you are attacking / being attacked.

When under fire from enemies, the NPC will then refuse to talk to you until it is safe. If the NPC is being attacked while in a dialog, break the dialog so both of you can defend yourselves. Then the dialog can resume / restart after the combat is finished.

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Original post by tonyg
Have neutrals run off-screen or enter houses and disappear


Another vote for this. In Fire Emblem, neutrals generally only appear in cutscenes; typically the cutscene is scripted such that any remaining neutrals flee, and (initial) enemies (or maybe just some of them, while others were already around) appear from fortresses etc.

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Im currently writing a design document for my battle system , anyone would like to discuss this further?

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