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Advice on turn-based game movement

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Hi all,

I have been making a non-commerical turn-based game in my spare time. Eventually it will be in the style UFO enemy unknown. Currently it is in the style of games like "Lords of Chaos" and "Laserquest".

I am fine-tuning movement at the moment. Moving a unit requires action points depending on the terrain type. I wanted to add stamina and make movement drain stamina also. Stamina will also be drained when a "skill" is used. I have two current ways to do this in my code.

1) Everytime a unit moves it loses action points and stamina. <0 stamina to reach the next square means the unit cannot move ie is tired. However, I think this would become annoying, and i feel it would interfer with a units "skills", to the point that a unit cant use skills because of moving for a few turns, and must remain idle for 1 or 2 turns to get enough stamina back.

2) A unit has a "stamina limit" (for lack of a better description). For example, if a units stamina_limit is 0.80, this means that the unit will never lose stamina from moving once its current stamina is <=80%. I feel this allows a unit to lose stamina from moving, yet still be able to use skills.

What would be the flaws of using method 2? Is it really necessary for me to use stamina with movement in this way? Is it over complicating something simple? Would the user find it annoying or pointless?

If you have any thoughts or ideas i would be grateful to hear about them.

Thank you for reading.

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Assume that the aggressor has a melee attack that can only hit the adjacent tile. Assume that the target is attempting to flee from the aggressor. Both units have the same movement rate.

Now with your system consider:
1. Is it possible for a unit to flee from an aggressor?
2. How can you balance the system so that fleeing isn't completely useless or conversely a sure thing?

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Assume that the aggressor has a melee attack that can only hit the adjacent tile. Assume that the target is attempting to flee from the aggressor. Both units have the same movement rate.

Now with your system consider:
1. Is it possible for a unit to flee from an aggressor?
2. How can you balance the system so that fleeing isn't completely useless or conversely a sure thing?


Thank you for your reply.

I understand what you are saying, and is something that needs looked at. Under current system and that example, the target would flee and probably sure thing get away if the aggressor has already attacked (and used stamina). In early turn-based games, both units would be "locked in combat" and couldnt move away. I would allow a unit to escape, but would allow the other unit a free hit. This could be percentage based, without being too random.

I think that it will be challenging (and rewarding) to balance all aspects of melee combat, not just the mechanics but also how to make it interesting. With ranged combat, the player positions the unit, picks the type of shot, watches the shot animation, watches the damage (if it hits), decides wether to use last action points to shoot or hide etc. Whereas melee has the risk of just being, run up to unit, click attack (stamina dependant), till fight ends. (or flee which like you said could be 0% or 100%).

I would like to include stamina, but dont want it to become an issue unless the unit is running all over the place and using skills every turn, and is used as a limit to actions. In "rebelstar", the unit would have stamina, but the user would only see "Great", "tired" etc, which would limit the max action points available each turn. Using that would require an extra field (skill_points, for lack of a better name).

Not including stamina could stop all this over thinking and possible flaws, but could also remove part of the game.

Thank you for reading.

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I don't really see the value of having both action points and stamina, since they basically do the same thing. I assume that stamina recharges a bit on a turn when the character does nothing, while AP are fully replenished each turn, so there's a bit of an interesting tradeoff in leaving AP unused for the sake of stamina in some situations, but in a lot of situations it seems like an irritating and arbitrary limitation on what your characters can do.

Using your option 2 doesn't sound very appealing to me. An arbitrary reduction in stamina to point X and then moving is free just means that players will move as much as they want, in which case you might as well have a character's max stamina be 80% of your current max and make movement not drain stamina at all. The only balance to this that I can imagine is if some skills (that the player might use somewhat regularly) require > 80% of a character's stamina to use, but such an attack would be crippling to the user. And even then, the character just needs to not move for a single turn, to gain more than their arbitrary stamina floor and gain access to their awesome attack (after which they can continue to move for free).

That's not to say that you can't still have stamina. Soul Nomad had a system where stamina affected the effectiveness of a unit's attacks, so a stamina-drained unit was basically worthless. But it was very irritating to me, because most enemies are content just to hang out on the map, preserving their stamina while forcing you to deplete your own. It's just hard to balance, because melee characters will be less effective than ranged ones (based on stamina, at least), and while movement has tactical decisions involved with it it's still a necessity for the player. In your situation, I would try to come up with some new ways to use AP and stamina so that they are more distinct from each other, or ditch one or the other.

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I don't really see the value of having both action points and stamina, since they basically do the same thing. I assume that stamina recharges a bit on a turn when the character does nothing, while AP are fully replenished each turn, so there's a bit of an interesting tradeoff in leaving AP unused for the sake of stamina in some situations, but in a lot of situations it seems like an irritating and arbitrary limitation on what your characters can do.

Using your option 2 doesn't sound very appealing to me. An arbitrary reduction in stamina to point X and then moving is free just means that players will move as much as they want, in which case you might as well have a character's max stamina be 80% of your current max and make movement not drain stamina at all. The only balance to this that I can imagine is if some skills (that the player might use somewhat regularly) require > 80% of a character's stamina to use, but such an attack would be crippling to the user. And even then, the character just needs to not move for a single turn, to gain more than their arbitrary stamina floor and gain access to their awesome attack (after which they can continue to move for free).

That's not to say that you can't still have stamina. Soul Nomad had a system where stamina affected the effectiveness of a unit's attacks, so a stamina-drained unit was basically worthless. But it was very irritating to me, because most enemies are content just to hang out on the map, preserving their stamina while forcing you to deplete your own. It's just hard to balance, because melee characters will be less effective than ranged ones (based on stamina, at least), and while movement has tactical decisions involved with it it's still a necessity for the player. In your situation, I would try to come up with some new ways to use AP and stamina so that they are more distinct from each other, or ditch one or the other.


Thank you for your reply.

I understand everything you say and do agree. Using stamina for movement doesnt really do much most of the time and could frustrate the player, or force certain styles of play rather than being more open.

I will set up the following:

-Stamina is used for skills e.g. a normal attack, a special attack, setting a trap, etc.
-Stamina will not be used for normal movement, only action points.
-Units will have a "flee" skill. This can only be used when the unit starts the turn in melee combat, and allows the unit to move double (ie action point cost of tile movement is halfed), but uses up stamina each tile, based on the tiles stamina cost. This skill will probably reduce the units morale.

Thank you for reading.

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