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Designing a balanced, turn based RPG system?

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Okay, I've been trying to come up with a straight forward stat system from the ground up. Using theories on stat functions, this is the best I've come up with while trying to limit the number of individual stats to a handful.

==========================================
PLAYER STATS

LIFE: DEF You're classic run of the mills hp bar.

ENERGY: OFF All techniques run on energy.

PSI: OFF/DEF A bar that is used both offensively and defensively. Related to Accuracy, agility, and speed. If out, evasion/aiming are lessened. Basically represents your focus. Have you ever been able to hit something when your dizzy?




ATTACK: OFF Attack power.

DEFENSE: DEF Defense power.

SPECIAL: OFF/DEF Affects power ups{be it offensive or defensive} and healing moves.




ACC: OFF Mostly effects the ability to hit a target.

AGI: DEF The ability to dodge.

SPD: OFF/DEF Both an offensive and defensive stat. Determines if the attack reaches your opponent before theirs does. If both are equal in speed, then both either do damage calculation at the same time or the attacks subtract power from each other before reaching their target depending on the attack type.




Here is the format that techniques use.

OFFENSIVE TECHNIQUE

POW: Attack Power, multiplied off the attack stat and divided against the defense stat.

AIM: Multiplied of the accuracy stat and divided by the agility stat.

SPD: Multiplied off the speed stat.




DEFENSIVE TECHNIQUE

PRT: Protect. Multiplied off of defense.

PAR: Parry. Multiplied off the accuracy stat.

SPD: Multiplied off the speed stat.




SPECIAL TECHNIQUE

STR: Power of the special technique. Amount of power a stat up technique gives. For healing, the amount that is healed per tick.

DUR: Duration of the technique, the longer the better.

SPD: The speed in which the technique activates. The slower, the less costly, but also the more risky.


==================================

I think everything went well except for special techniques. I still need to work the stats to it out. Basically, I'm trying to keep the parallel of giving every stat the potential of evenly affecting the gameplay should the same amount of effort be invested in such stat. If a person relies on defense a lot in their strategy, it should give them an equal chance to win against somebody who relies on offense a lot. Special techniques will use player stats so that those who actually invested in their special, although lacking offense or defense, will be able to use gimmicks and unusual techniques to match orthodox strategies.

I'm doing this in order to better understand stats in games and hopefully to better be able to come up with a system that will be both fun and intelligent to work wtih. Is the belief in putting stats into parallels in order to make sure the game is balanced well founded?

Originally, it was parallels of two like HP- EN, OFF-DEF, ACC-AGI, but there were some stats that didn't seem to have parallels, so I decided to go with groups of three.{And in the process, create a third bar next to HP, and ENERGY named PSI.

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The way I see it, this would be a boring system if whatever you invest in, you have an equal chance of winning. If stat customization is important in your game, you need them to have a circular relationship. For example, Attack > Defense because damage grows faster than defense. Defense > Speed because it absorbs more attacks and reduces incoming DPS more than slower, more powerful attacks. Speed > Attack because it allows you to evade the strong attacks. Depending on where you invest your points, you will be better at countering some builds, but worse against others. Then, what you need is a combat system that allows any build to beat any other build as long as the good decisions are made. Players would rage if they always had 0% or 100% win rate against specific builds. Got to let player skill decide the outcome, not the stat build. Having a good stat build would help you, but not be the deciding factor.

Also, what you need is to define your combat system. Designing stats first will lead to problems because you will try to fit your combat system to the stats and that might not always work. For example, what if you want to create a distinction between healing and damage skills by having some characters good with heals and bad with damage skills? You can't with your current system and that might limit you down the road if you want that distinction. If you don't, then it's fine.

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I find your circular system to be interesting. It seems to be a good way to balance a game.

The system is meant for skill based combat. For example, how some games have stats that when skill is invested into, will make it easier to win over any other stat. For example, in some games, defense based builds trump both attack and speed based builds even when the game was intended to give all sides an equal chance. While other games, everybody will make builds with high attacks due to it being proven within the game's system to be "easier" to win with.

The system I'm trying to build, will allow any build an equal chance to win{and by that, I mean granted both players are equal in skill.} Basically, I want to make a game where two people using completely different builds will have an equal chance of winning if the players are equal in skill.

That is why all stats must be equal to each other so that both sides will be able to fight evenly. If any stat, when all are at equal value, acts more powerful than the others, then something is wrong. I witnessed this in a game I played a few years back. I was under the assumption the stats would be as dynamic as other games I've played. I was messing around and making builds with only a single high stat, with other stats being at 5. When I had "60 luck", despite being a stat for combat, did very little in any situation and my character kept dying. When I made a character with "60 str", they were doing far better than a character of equal level with "20" in all stats. When I made a character with only "60 agi", they were doing so-so, almost like the value was 30 when compared to the experience I had using a character with "60 str". Add to that that most techniques in the game were related to the str or magic stat. If there were techniques that multipled off agi or luck, it would allow a character who invested solely in that stat to be able to compete equally with other stat builds and allow for versatility in choice of techniques when fighting in a game. This is the goal I'm trying to accomplish.

I believe a game where all stats are equal in value per unit will allow for a metagame that is creative and complex. I believe trying to determine a stat set that can accomplish this will lead to an entertaining game.

To [b]answer [/b]your question to determine the distinction between a [b]healing[/b] type and [b]attacking[/b] type, the system I have presented already answers that. The "Special" stat listed relates to the power of healing. If somebody invests in a high special stat, they won't have enough to put into the attack stat, so they will be good at healing and not in attack. It looks this prototype system is doing well then. :} Hmm, in my original post, it says special is related to healing. :{ Also, If somebody invests in attack and special, and not in defense, they will be very frail, but able to heal to avoid being KO'd, although such a build would have to manage energy wisely, as trying to heal and attack will empty the energy bar quickly{I forgot to mention that both HP, ENERGY, and PSI have minimal regeneration, so if somebody isn't attacked for a long time, they will eventually regain all their HP back.}. Also, the reason Special is classified as OFF/DEF, because there are techniques that use the special stat to up attack power. Do you have any other questions about this system?

Another balancing feature is a system that determines the number of techniques a player may have. For example, say it uses a value of 100 as the limit. Some techniques will have a value ranging from 2 for weak moves and 30 for the most powerful techniques, both healing and attack. In this way, it would be impossible to tack on all the best techniques and make the player have to think of a balanced list of techniques. Perhaps a list mostly made up of techniques with values of 10, and a single technique of 20 so that any situation can be handled. That is the best that can be done in this system. A skilled player would make the best use of the techniques they have picked to compliment their stat build. To simply put it, attack techniques for an offensive build, a variety of techniques for a balanced build, and defensive techniques for a defensive build.

I think even a system with a limited number of stats, if well designed, can work well.

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I understand what your trying to do, but it's difficult to actually see how this would work out without more context. I mean, even in the example you gave of bad balancing, with luck being much less effective than strength, that could just be a numbers problem. Every point in luck might just need some X% bonus in whatever it does to make 60 points of it equivalent to 60 points of strength. And with that in mind, the system you came up with could be just as unbalanced if the effect for every point invested doesn't balance out.

And just because the stat system is balanced, doesn't mean the game is. I mean, it looks like your assigning arbitrary values to techniques based on what you perceive to be their worth. Unless all your abilities are just variations of ATK X 10 = Damage Dealt, balancing all the different abilities would be a lot more difficult and time consuming than making a balanced stat system.

The circular system is pretty much the classic game of rock - paper - scissors, and if you want to, you don't need to redo your stat system to fit that. You could do it with classes instead.

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[quote name='Fulgrate' timestamp='1310954382' post='4836593']
The system I'm trying to build, will allow any build an equal chance to win{and by that, I mean granted both players are equal in skill.} Basically, I want to make a game where two people using completely different builds will have an equal chance of winning if the players are equal in skill.
[/quote]

That is the problem with all this. If any 2 builds must always be on equal footing, the whole stat system becomes an illusion and provides no meaningful choice to the player. This means I could throw my stats wherever and keep 50% chance to win? What's the point of going with an offensive build over a defensive build other than flavor?

Like ICTimez said, even if the stats are balanced, the game might not be. You may balance the stats for 1v1 combat, but it might break down in 5v5 combat. You end up with an optimal build for 5v5 combat which is equally effective in 1v1 and everyone ends up with that build.

Like I said, you still got it backwards. Create the combat system first. Make it interesting without any stat. Then you will be able to derive the stats you need and have a base to figure out if it's still balanced or not. From a player perspective, the stats usually come before the combat system because it's tied to character growth. But from the designer perspective, it's the opposite and the stats are knobs he added afterwards to allow players to tweak some parameters and allow progression.

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ICTimez: About the arbitrary numbers regarding the techniques. Even though in the example they are indeed arbitrary, but in-game, there would be a formula to determine what those numbers do. For example, a technique with a power of 10 means that it has 10 points to divide between its stats of Atk, Spd, Acc. It could be 5,2,3 for a strong attack or 1, 3, 5 for an accurate attack. Although there should be a formula if the game has more stats to handle so that it doesn't get out of hand.

True about your other points. I still haven't determined how 1 str can be of equal value to 1 spd and so on. Perhaps a mathematical formula would help?

About classes, I thought about it, perhaps some classes give stat modifiers, like being a dragon would give 50% to attack and defense to simulate the power of that kind of beast, but take %50 from speed due to their incredible size. A knight would just have a modifier of x1 in all stats? Well, either way, part of a feature I want in the game is that the player decides what "class" their character could look like based on the "theme" they give to their character. They could give a stat set that would simulate that class should they choose or go with any stat set they could possibly desire. I expect players to make whatever their favorite thing is wether its an alien or whale or even something human like a warrior, it all depends on the user. Thats what customization is all about.

Tiblanc: You got me there, it would probably fall apart in team battles. I think the system would need to get more intricate when it comes to number of stats in order to cover many possibilities regarding combat.

I'm not sure what you mean by create a combat system. Do you mean the attacks and weapons? If so, I already have that covered then. :) Allow me to demonstrate a few old examples from last year. It's from a different game design I'm working on.

[img]http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz337/FragrantX/interrupt/GD10.png[/img]
[url="http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz337/FragrantX/interrupt/GD1.png"]http://i841.photobuc...terrupt/GD1.png[/url]

I plan to make new examples soon, as I can illustrate like this now:
[IMG]http://i.imgur.com/Yt3Lv.png[/IMG]

[url="http://i.imgur.com/HHTvu.png"]http://i.imgur.com/HHTvu.png[/url] http://i.imgur.com/ZO4sl.png [url="http://i.imgur.com/Yt3Lv.png"]http://i.imgur.com/Yt3Lv.png[/url] [url="http://imgur.com/NsVUD"]http://imgur.com/NsVUD[/url] [url="http://imgur.com/ODAlc"]http://imgur.com/ODAlc[/url] [url="http://imgur.com/R8KlF"]http://imgur.com/R8KlF[/url] These are characters that are possible to make in the game's creation engine. Which is why it's important I figure out a good fighting system for assigning stats to such characters. Different sizes, different shapes, different overall appearances. All possible in a creation engine that allows you to build starting from basic shapes and working your way from there until you have something that you like, you can give them color schemes, put the eyes, arms, anywhere. Although I'm sure most people would want the eyes on the head, I think some more imaginative people would put eyes on the chest and make a creature with 4 arms and various other things. Basically, what you make represents you somehow if that is what people choose to do, or you could just make something that looks like your favorite animal/character/object etc.

All I know is, I'll find a way to make this game reality, it's too fun not to let it exist. Of course, I need to learn about stats a little more which is why I'm studying this simple system, if I can make a simple system work, then that will help me learn how to better design and improve the more intricate system I'm workin on.

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If you go with a class system that gives a 50% bonus to some stats, then the optimal strategy would be to dump all your points into these stats because it will give you a higher stat total. Since you are supposed to have a 50% win rate against an equal stat total build, it's logical to go with whatever gives you the highest stat total. At that point, every dragon dumps their stats in attack/defense and none in speed. This gives the players an illusion of choice, not an actual choice.
By combat system I mean what will form the base of an actual combat, not the graphical fluff that comes over it. These are the core mechanics upon which the whole system is built. They are also the choices the players make during combat and their risk/reward. This is what will differentiate your game from any other game out there. You usually want 1 or 2 generic core concepts upon which the whole game is built. Things like FF13's stagger gauge. Everything in that game is related to that gauge in some way. Some moves increases it, others benefit from it being high, etc. It must be easy to understand and give you a lot of ways to build upon this. That PSI gauge would be a good starting point. You could also go for a generic RPG system.

Next you need to build upon these mechanics. Figure out what actions players will take in combat and what their effect will be. Figure out the combat flow and what players can do to turn the battle in their favor and what can be done to prevent losing the advantage. Don't bother with stats yet. You need to make sure this part is fun because it will account for the majority of the time spent by players. It should be easy to learn, hard to master and provide enough tactical depth to spawn strategies(unless you want your game to be 100% about character customization). Take note of every parameter you need in these formulas. These are not your base stats, they are combat useful stats and are usually derived from base stats in some way. You could easily have 20+ of these stats.

Then you can figure out the base stats. Take the combat useful stats and see which are related according to the customization you want to provide to the players. See which are opposite. Figure out a reduced stat set that will become the knobs players can tweak to develop character builds. This is what I meant by healing and damage magic. Say you want to have a healer which is not good at throwing fireballs, you need to separate the HealPower stat with the MagicPower stat. If you say that SPECIAL influence both these stats, then it's impossible to have a healer that's not good at throwing fireballs. That's a side effect of having a reduced stat set and why you must have a strong game design at this point so you know what's acceptable and what's not. You also need to make sure extremes do not break your game. See what happens if you wildly vary the values or what happens when players grow to max level and tweak the combat system until nothing breaks anymore. It could be possible that there is no way to fix it, at which point you throw it away and start again.

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Sorry, that I can't really comment on your game. I love thinking about CRPG design, too, but ballancing battles from a stats perspective a bit too micro for me.

Anyway, what I really want to say, if you don't mind, is that the early gameplay design pick is hilarious. Do you think you would make a webcomic?

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[b]Tiblanc:[/b] Yes, the suggestion of a class system using % increases in stats is a poor design choice and would indeed create imbalance in the form of stat hoarding. I wasn't thinking well when I even suggested it on the spot.

About combat system, oh you meant THAT. I apologize, I was just confused since the original subject was regarding the mystery of stat parallels, but if presenting other aspects would help you better able to analyze, then I am obliged!

I present to you some old notes, while made for the game that uses the "U.M." stat system, still applies to this game as stat calculations and other aspects will simply be more centralized and less complex. {I was planning to make a in-depth presentation covering nearly all aspects of the game from customizatoin to game play, but was going to do it with my new art skills. When I do, it will be a seperate thread as this thread was just a discussion about stat parallels.}

At the top, we have the flow chart regarding how the system goes. Below that, an in-game graphical explanation.
[img]http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz337/FragrantX/game/GAME3.png[/img]
{Note stats that are mentioned not present in what I presented in the original post, this is due to the U.M. system having 3 sets of 6 stats {relating to the three aspects system of the game} to determine various aspects of combat. Sounds frightengly complex, but to me, it's kind of fun. Although I can see that a casual player would lose interest if they see that many stats, which is why that system also comes with a "user friendly" mode for those who don't want to mess with stats and be given a simpler version to work with. Players who want to go hardcore with their characters stats can go to advanced mode, doing so will allow even more unique builds to be made. Part of the reason I'm doing this "stat simplification exercise, is to learn of a way to present these stats in a more user friendly manner without losing the games ability to make unique builds and techniques}.

Another note I found is that while you wait for your opponent to make a decision regarding a skill/technique, you can look around the battlefield{that game is meant to be 3d, the game presented in the original post is meant to be the 2d, simple stat version of it.} The game freezes when somebody is making a choice, and you have 10-20 seconds to make a choice{think speed chess}, although you can edit the amount of time to wait.} Another thing I want to mention is that you can zoom the camera in and out, to either get a better view of whats happening, or get a wide view of the area.
[img]http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz337/FragrantX/game/GAME2.png[/img]
The options in that bubble that appears next to your character are attack menus, for example "Offense" will contain a list of offensive techniques, as pictured in the flow chart in the other example. Defense will have defensive techniques and so on. I think the last two are self-explanatory.

The meter at the bottom is the "U.M.", which is a system I devised to determine "tunrs". Although, the above examples should hint at what it does, I'll discuss it in the topic regarding the game itself.

Here is a full view of the example in the other post. It should be a big hint at what "U.M" determines.
[img]http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz337/FragrantX/interrupt/GD1.png[/img]

Of course, I can't use "U.M." in this 2d system with these stats, which is why I'm trying to design something new entirely. Like you mentioned, the Psi bar is a start, although it acts more like an energy bar but for determining calculations involved in other aspects of techniques.

The question regarding what determines if a healer is also good at fireballs. I'll take a look at the stats presented in the op to prevent confusion with my other system. For this system, the offense stat, as annoying as this sounds, determines fireballs as well as physical attacks{yes, this annoyed me at first, but theres more.} What deferentiates the two is the other page on a characters abilities: the attributes page.

On this page are various attributes, such as elemental typing, and the stat set that determines if you're good at healing, special attacks, or physical attacks, the "soul aspects". These being FORM, POWER, and MIND. Form being related to physical attacks, Power to elemental/spiritual attacks, and mind relating to all things psychic. These stats are set and always static, you pick them on the creation of your character, and they have a cap of 15. With the norm being 5. So a regular stat set{Form, Power, Mind} would be 5,5,5 for somebody who is average in all aspects. Now for a healer, they would have 1,6,8. A person who is good with fireballs would be 1,12, 2. These stats would act as modifiers regarding abilities. In this way, if a person is able to do both healing and fireballs, they will be average or below in both since their aspects would be divided between the two, a "jack of all trades, master of none" type of deal.

I got this "soul aspects" from the game that uses "U.M." although this version is more simplified. The icons you see on the character page are Form{Fist icon}, Power{Exploding icon}, and Mind{Psi symbol}. Those word bubbles are examples of offensive techniques and special techniques a character may have.
[img]http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz337/FragrantX/game/GAME6.png[/img]

A later version. Also listing various offensive techniques.
[IMG]http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz337/FragrantX/PrimalX/Monkey.png[/IMG]

More examples:
http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz337/FragrantX/PrimalX/Ape.png
http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz337/FragrantX/PrimalX/AG2.png
http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz337/FragrantX/PrimalX/AG3.png
http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz337/FragrantX/PrimalX/Wasp.png
http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz337/FragrantX/PrimalX/Dragon.png

Also, if there's any questions about weapons, the examples should provide answers to that, as there can be anything from medieval style swords to things as mundane looking as magnifiers{which in game would assist with energy/light based attacks, just how swords help physical, intertia based attacks by concentrating the force into the blade.}

Thank you for response though, you bring up various good points which I wish some games would follow, as there was this game I remember that stuck dodging, accuracy, and attack speed unto one stat, making everybody invest only in speed to win all their fights. Anyways, tell me if my notes helped answer any questions you had. The mark of a good game designer is a person that thinks all those possibilities out when designing even the simplest of systems.

Also, in regards to two equal yet different builds played by equally skilled players having only a 50% chance of winning: I think there is more to it than just that. Even if the players are equally skill, there are other things to account for: Mind games, feints, picking the right move for the right situation, making the most efficient use of energy/mp/meter{depending on the game}, and other factors that would still lead to a fun, entertaining, and intense metagame to watch. Also, let me bring up the example of Chess, one of the oldest competitive games, yet still enjoyed by many, despite both players having equal chances of winning due to having the same "build". There have been many intense matches of chess, due to the mind games involved. I think a new game, that can evolve much further, will arise in the future.

Also, what is your analyses on this match? A game where both players are equally skilled yet have completely different styles of play due to having different characters that have different attack techniques.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qqKlK8-4glw
[b]
Giauz:[/b] Thanks, I have put the full version of that pic in an example in the response above.

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[b]Tiblanc:[/b] Yes, the suggestion of a class system using % increases in stats is a poor design choice and would indeed create imbalance in the form of stat hoarding. I wasn't thinking well when I even suggested it on the spot.

About combat system, oh you meant THAT. I apologize, I was just confused since the original subject was regarding the mystery of stat parallels, but if presenting other aspects would help you better able to analyze, then I am obliged!

I present to you some old notes, while made for the game that uses the "U.M." stat system, still applies to this game as stat calculations and other aspects will simply be more centralized and less complex. {I was planning to make a in-depth presentation covering nearly all aspects of the game from customizatoin to game play, but was going to do it with my new art skills. When I do, it will be a seperate thread as this thread was just a discussion about stat parallels.}

At the top, we have the flow chart regarding how the system goes. Below that, an in-game graphical explanation.
[img]http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz337/FragrantX/game/GAME3.png[/img]
{Note stats that are mentioned not present in what I presented in the original post, this is due to the U.M. system having 3 sets of 6 stats {relating to the three aspects system of the game} to determine various aspects of combat. Sounds frightengly complex, but to me, it's kind of fun. Although I can see that a casual player would lose interest if they see that many stats, which is why that system also comes with a "user friendly" mode for those who don't want to mess with stats and be given a simpler version to work with. Players who want to go hardcore with their characters stats can go to advanced mode, doing so will allow even more unique builds to be made. Part of the reason I'm doing this "stat simplification exercise, is to learn of a way to present these stats in a more user friendly manner without losing the games ability to make unique builds and techniques}.

Another note I found is that while you wait for your opponent to make a decision regarding a skill/technique, you can look around the battlefield{that game is meant to be 3d, the game presented in the original post is meant to be the 2d, simple stat version of it.} The game freezes when somebody is making a choice, and you have 10-20 seconds to make a choice{think speed chess}, although you can edit the amount of time to wait.} Another thing I want to mention is that you can zoom the camera in and out, to either get a better view of whats happening, or get a wide view of the area.
[img]http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz337/FragrantX/game/GAME2.png[/img]
The options in that bubble that appears next to your character are attack menus, for example "Offense" will contain a list of offensive techniques, as pictured in the flow chart in the other example. Defense will have defensive techniques and so on. I think the last two are self-explanatory.

The meter at the bottom is the "U.M.", which is a system I devised to determine "tunrs". Although, the above examples should hint at what it does, I'll discuss it in the topic regarding the game itself.

Here is a full view of the example in the other post. It should be a big hint at what "U.M" determines.
[img]http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz337/FragrantX/interrupt/GD1.png[/img]

Of course, I can't use "U.M." in this 2d system with these stats, which is why I'm trying to design something new entirely. Like you mentioned, the Psi bar is a start, although it acts more like an energy bar but for determining calculations involved in other aspects of techniques.

The question regarding what determines if a healer is also good at fireballs. I'll take a look at the stats presented in the op to prevent confusion with my other system. For this system, the offense stat, as annoying as this sounds, determines fireballs as well as physical attacks{yes, this annoyed me at first, but theres more.} What deferentiates the two is the other page on a characters abilities: the attributes page.

On this page are various attributes, such as elemental typing, and the stat set that determines if you're good at healing, special attacks, or physical attacks, the "soul aspects". These being FORM, POWER, and MIND. Form being related to physical attacks, Power to elemental/spiritual attacks, and mind relating to all things psychic. These stats are set and always static, you pick them on the creation of your character, and they have a cap of 15. With the norm being 5. So a regular stat set{Form, Power, Mind} would be 5,5,5 for somebody who is average in all aspects. Now for a healer, they would have 1,6,8. A person who is good with fireballs would be 1,12, 2. These stats would act as modifiers regarding abilities. In this way, if a person is able to do both healing and fireballs, they will be average or below in both since their aspects would be divided between the two, a "jack of all trades, master of none" type of deal.

I got this "soul aspects" from the game that uses "U.M." although this version is more simplified. The icons you see on the character page are Form{Fist icon}, Power{Exploding icon}, and Mind{Psi symbol}. Those word bubbles are examples of offensive techniques and special techniques a character may have.
[img]http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz337/FragrantX/game/GAME6.png[/img]

A later version. Also listing various offensive techniques.
[img]http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz337/FragrantX/PrimalX/Monkey.png[/img]

More examples:
[url="http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz337/FragrantX/PrimalX/Ape.png"]http://i841.photobuc...PrimalX/Ape.png[/url]
[url="http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz337/FragrantX/PrimalX/AG2.png"]http://i841.photobuc...PrimalX/AG2.png[/url]
[url="http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz337/FragrantX/PrimalX/AG3.png"]http://i841.photobuc...PrimalX/AG3.png[/url]
[url="http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz337/FragrantX/PrimalX/Wasp.png"]http://i841.photobuc...rimalX/Wasp.png[/url]
[url="http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/zz337/FragrantX/PrimalX/Dragon.png"]http://i841.photobuc...malX/Dragon.png[/url]

Also, if there's any questions about weapons, the examples should provide answers to that, as there can be anything from medieval style swords to things as mundane looking as magnifiers{which in game would assist with energy/light based attacks, just how swords help physical, intertia based attacks by concentrating the force into the blade.}

Thank you for response though, you bring up various good points which I wish some games would follow, as there was this game I remember that stuck dodging, accuracy, and attack speed unto one stat, making everybody invest only in speed to win all their fights. Anyways, tell me if my notes helped answer any questions you had. The mark of a good game designer is a person that thinks all those possibilities out when designing even the simplest of systems.

Also, in regards to two equal yet different builds played by equally skilled players having only a 50% chance of winning: I think there is more to it than just that. Even if the players are equally skill, there are other things to account for: Mind games, feints, picking the right move for the right situation, making the most efficient use of energy/mp/meter{depending on the game}, and other factors that would still lead to a fun, entertaining, and intense metagame to watch. Also, let me bring up the example of Chess, one of the oldest competitive games, yet still enjoyed by many, despite both players having equal chances of winning due to having the same "build". There have been many intense matches of chess, due to the mind games involved. I think a new game, that can evolve much further, will arise in the future.

Also, what is your analyses on this match? A game where both players are equally skilled yet have completely different styles of play due to having different characters that have different attack techniques.
[url="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qqKlK8-4glw"]http://www.youtube.c...h?v=qqKlK8-4glw[/url]
[b]
Giauz:[/b] Thanks, I have put the full version of that pic in an example in the response above.I DID make a webcomic. :lol: Here's a link:

[url="http://www.drunkduck.com/Ultranimal/5334687/"]http://www.drunkduck...animal/5334687/[/url]

Unlike, the design for my game, I don't have extensive notes or planning regarding it's structure{story wise}, so it petered out as I had only few notes on it.It's only 8 pages, but some of the fights in there are possible within the U.M. system I designed, like "illusion style techniques". In the simple system, it would have to behave differently to represent "illusion" like stat downs or wrong target effects.

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I'm not too sure what U.M. stands for or the details of it, but I think I have a good idea of what you're trying to do.

The appeal of chess comes from it's huge branching tree. Even though with enough computing power the game could be solved like tic-tac-toe(it's been solved for smaller boards), it's impossible for humans to analyze every possible move. This is why you can develop strategies.

Fighting games rely on mind games. Characters fight differently, but strategies develop around effective moves against other characters. High level players can pull off combos and special moves in their sleep, so it's all about timing and preparation. If you know your opponent is likely to use X move, you can prepare Y counter, but if he knows you are preparing Y, he will use Z and so on. It's the perfect example of Rock-Paper-Scissor evolved.

You could borrow from these 2 genres easily by exploiting that timing bar. I'm not sure if this what you meant, but let's say you can choose when your move goes off on that bar. The longer you wait, the more powerful it becomes. Both players pick a move and place markers on the timing bar. Depending on the type of move, you compare the distance between the attacker and the defender and the type of move used. The distance will change the outcome of the turn. For example, you have an Attack move and an Evade move. If the Evade happens close enough to the Attack, it misses. If it's close but not close enough, it's a glancing hit. If it's far, it's a full hit. Right there, you have a decently working combat system where it's all about managing risk. You could risk doing a strong move, but your opponent knows this and is more likely to place his Evade there. So you can choose to hit for low damage more reliably or try for a strong hit that has a high chance of missing. This will give you the mind games of fighting games in a turn based environment.

You could expand this system by having different type of offensive and defensive moves(evade, counter, block, etc). You then have to pick the right defensive move to match the offensive move. This would impact the effective range of the defensive effect. For example, the timeline is 10 seconds. Evade vs Attack would have full effect within 0.5 sec and partial effect within 1.0 sec. Counter vs Attack would have full effect within 1 sec and partial effect within 1.5 sec. Similarly, Fireball vs Evade would have 1.0 and 1.5 sec and Counter would be 0.5 and 1.0. So if you suspect your opponent will throw a Fireball at you, you pick Evade which gives you a 3 second window where you reduce the strength of the incoming attack.

Back to stats. Instead of increasing the damage and defensive value of moves, have them affect the effective range of specific moves. For example, Attack is tied to Accuracy, Fireball to Power, Evade to Evasion and Counter to Defense. If you have good Accuracy, using Attack means you have a higher chance of doing full effect because your opponent range is reduced. Attack+Accuracy vs Evade without Evasion could make the range 0.3/0.6. Similarly, Fireball without Power vs Evade+Evasion gets you 2.0/3.0, which almost guarantees you to evade the attack.

This remains balanced because it ties directly into the mind games from the basic game and does not affect the power of moves in any way. If you know your opponent has a strong Power, you know he's more likely to use this type of move, so you should use Evasion based moves most of the time. This is like fighting games with characters who have a strong long range game vs another with a strong short range game. The first will use moves which keeps his distance while the other will try to close in. They both know this and will try to find an opening to get or retain the positioning advantage.

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Tiblanc: U.M. stands for universal meter, because the meter at the bottom affects everybody on the map.

I see what you're saying about chess. Also, you're analysis on fighting game is interesting. I thought there might be some elements of chess in all competitive games{at least when it comes to mind games.} I wonder how game developers feel when their games are turned into popular tournaments?

You're analysis on what you thought U.M. is is great, an somewhat different beast that could be made into its own system since it mostly works differently. "U.M." actually a system that breaks away from tradition. It does away with the turn based method entirely to allow for a fluidity in fighting while still retaining the ability to choose an attack with time frozen. If I could animate it, that would be easier to show what I mean. The analysis on the attacks is closest though. In the "U.M." system, there is a lot of "barely dodged" effects, where the character, after the calculations are made, gets grazed by an attack that they nearly got hit by, and get some damage from it. It also makes it so that if your characters evasion technique is far greater than the total accuracy a technique can garner, the dodge will be done with such ease, that the cost of it will be proportionate to how much effort was needed in dodging the attack. In this way, a very fast character will only incur a fraction of a techniques cost if the effort was minimal. There are a lot of affects in the "U.M." system relating to energy, especially with offensive attacks. For example, if a character has high energy limit, good manipulation, but low power, and they use a basic fireball technique, its appearence will be that its at half size, however due to their stats, they have the option of going into "edit mode" and modifying the technique, so that they can take advantage of their strengths and make it so that when they use the fireball technique, it will be composed of 8 fireballs and fire like a shotgun{This style of technique is good for hitting agile targets, as one of the fireballs is sure to hit over the wide area.}

There are numerous features in the U.M. system that I'm hyped about. Although, the system you describe is a little more real time. In my system, if somebody throws a fireball, it might end up a surprise, or if you've been managing your energy well, you can counter it, it's during that exchange that I expect the most mind games to start. You won't really know when your opponent will attack until they actually do. You're system is good though, you should try it out and see how it does. I have two other versions of the system that uses 3 sets of 6 stats, but U.M. is what I consider to have the most potential.

Regarding your comment about turning damage and defense values into stats that effect range, I'm on the fence with even my own analysis of range. I was thinking for the simple system that range would be based entirely on the techniques and the characters stats would provide accuracy and priority modifiers. In the U.M. system, the only time an "attack" stat is used in accuracy is in certain techniques that call for it. In U.M. there is a stat related to form called "strength", representing the physical power of a character. They can use this stat in not only physical based moves, but in some "linear" evasion techniques best used by strong characters as well as mobility techniques. The strength stat can sometimes be used to "throw" a ranged attack, affecting its various stats, same technique can be launched using launcher type weapons that use potential energy in their function like bows, slingshots, and crossbows. If a character who is weak with no potential energy weapon throws the very same technique, its range and speed would be comical in appearance.{The reason their are techniques that call upon different stats in their calculations is to simulate those very techniques in a way that represents what they do{jumping would be strength based} so that some builds don't get completely walled by others and have a chance to fight back.} I mean, the "linear" dodge technique launches a strong character off a surface in any variation of a vertical direction at a speed proportionate to the power of the punch they used to catapult themselves. If this "dodge" was speed based, it wouldn't make sense as some of these characters have low speed stats. The ability to evade/defend in other ways is important I believe. If a high speed character used the "linear" dodge technique, they would barely lift of the ground or even make anything that remotely looks like a dodge if their strenght is extremely low.

Your last paragraph makes a good point, a game should try and achieve that quality: to make it versatile enough to allow for mind games while keeping itself balanced. You made a good system to support this example. Thanks for your analysis.

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I'm still having trouble to see the core concept. How is it different than say FFX? Characters took turns based on their speed value. It was real time with pauses when you picked an action. A lot of games have used a similar system too, so I'm not sure which turn based tradition you're doing away with. You should go ahead and write a quick prototype to test it out and see how manageable it is. I got my hands full already so prototyping the system I described won't be possible anytime soon.

With what you describe, you should be able to create a balanced system with these stats as long as no combo completely overpowers another combo. For example, if your speed is so fast that you can always get first shot completely negating your opponent's attacks, then you have an issue.

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I think I would have to prepare a full presentation with images, as I would prefer to illustrate the features and mechanics. {Something some turn based games don't have is being able to take a turn during the foe's turn, which is the counter system of the game.} The difference between this and the FF system is that you could pick the turn at any time {which is what the universal meter manages}, and the only limit is your energy bar. An unwise player would be attacking every tick possible with their stats until they run out of energy, leaving them unable to take any other actions until they regain their energy{I expect a good player to manage their energy wisely as this system encourages it}. Although, I'm only familiar with the FF system of the 90s with the bars that don't let you move until they fill up. I'm not sure if FFX improves upon that system?

The situation you described might be a problem in team battles, as a really fast character with those kinds of stats, even if they have that kind of speed, they will be lacking in attack power and won't be able to do much afterwards if they can get a powerful first shot that will stun the foe{they themeselves will be in pause due to the force of their own attack.} In team fights, this might be a problem if player #1 in team b does said move against player#1 on team a, and player #2 in team b does a follow up super attack on the stunned foe while their ally is momentarily stunned from their own attack. Of course, this all depends on the stat builds.

Also, your skills at analyzing games deserve praise.

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I see, it's the take a turn any time I was missing. So, the game is more like a fighting game than an RPG I guess. As long as you properly exploit this mechanic, that should be interesting.

About team battles, this is the kind of things that would lead to punish moves. For example, you use a move that places a mark on an enemy and if they attack someone else, they suffer some penalty like being easier to hit, requiring more energy, getting damaged and so on. Since this is more of a timing and planning game than a numbers game, these things are easily integrated later on.

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It would be a combination of both. I'll have to make a proper presentation sometime to showcase the game's features.

That is an interesting suggestion regarding penalties. I think my system is self-correcting enough though, like in the example where a character that is too fast will not have the stats to support the force, and be in a stun state from using a technique that overexerts their stats. For the player who makes the KO move after the partners stun attack in that example regarding team battles, even though they won't be a in a stun state like the quick ally, they will have most likely used up most of their energies and be unable to attack immediately after, however, if their team mates are skilled, they will keep the KO'd players allies engaged for enough time to allow enough energy recovery for the other two to do some basic moves or attacks{although it will be a while for them to fully regain their power, which the other team must immediately attack them afterwards}.

The way the system is built, any attacks that take more than 30% of the energy bar are not safe due to the strain they'll put on the characters limit bars.{They are bars that act like cooldown seperate from the energy bars, which keep people from spamming strong attacks. An attack that takes 30% of the energy bar will most likely take 99% of the "cooldown" bar{or you can call it the acid bar as it simulates acid build up in the muscles from over-straining.} If somebody alters their stats so they have an increased acid gauge, they will have to take from somewhere, like their offensive abilites or defensive abilities, in this way, the game is self-correcting, I guess the only way to see how it will turn out is to make the game itself. When a game is balanced, their is variety in every match and nearly every play style is represent{a few games have been successful at demonstrating this}. If a game turns out imbalanced, it will become apparent in time as most players will gravitate only to certain characters and the metagame will revolve around only a few out of hundreds of play styles. I hope the game achieves the former.

The acid bar/gauge is another thing relating to the customizable size of a the player's character.{Acid gauge being affected by size is up in the air along with heart/energy core/mind being affected.} Bigger characters, although being larger targets, have proportionate acid gauges, while smaller characters have the advantage of being smaller targets, will have lesser acid gauges.{Their is also "size" for power and mind. Power appears as an aura around the character in edit mode when highlighting the energy core category. Mind appears as an electromagnetic ball with the center being at the head. Their appearence and color can be customized and it will actually be visible when using attacks that primarily use that stat during combat. Their is so much in this system that it's best if I just made a visual presentation sometime in order for it to be understandable. I'm can clearly see the game in my head and actually play it. Hyper visual imagination is quite helpful in letting me play something that doesn't exist yet. I must get this game out of my head and into the real world soon. I guarantee that it will at least be quite interesting.

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Hey, remember the camera system I described in U.M.? How it's able to rotate when you play your "turn" and how "turns" activate during attacks, allowing for some epic scenes?

Look, in the latest trailer for UMvC3 that was shown at CC just yesterday, they use an epic style camera to pan over a frozen scene during an attack. This is part of what I was describing, so I guess I can point out to what I was talking about with this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oLJhGZcADP8

What I spoke of looks like that, except from the player's screen who activated their turn, they would have an action menu in the form of a speech bubble{homage to comics}, like in the 2D examples in previous posts.

Since I'm between jobs, {due to moving} how about I take this opportunity to try and find an entry level job in the game industry in order to work my way up the ladder and make the system I speak into an eventual reality?

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Your video is broken.

As for going the entry job route, it may or may not work. Ideas are a dime a dozen and getting dozens of people to work on it means that it has to have more potential than whatever these dozens of people could come up with. I wouldn't go in there thinking they will create your game right way. It may take years or, at worst, may never happen.

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Okay, that link is fixed.

I think this idea has potential. It's been simmering for nearly 10 years, I would add things here and there until I finally got this. 10 years ago, this idea wasn't much, I knew I wanted to make a new system for fighting, but didn't know how. The concept was nothing more than a 3D action, multiplayer game back then. I say entry level, because I know I ain't getting no team in an instant nor will anybody listen to somebody who is unproven. Otherwise, I would have said "I'm gonna make a team now!":blink: Entry level is starting at the bottom. I wish I had done this 10 years ago, when somebody said the same thing to me regarding the game industry. I had most of my energy focused on an unproductive lie that has a grip on most of society. When I found out it was false, I had much regret, and had I spent that energy on something productive, I would have a byproduct as a result. At least I still kept game design as a hobby to work on the side all these years.

I don't have much to lose, there are things I can't recover{like my years} or ever have now in life, but at the very least I can still salvage somekind of career either in the comics industry or game industry. I'm willing to work for peanuts if thats what it takes to make this awesome game into a reality. There is nothing else in life that will take hold. Others have a wife, or a family that they have to focus on, I have none of those, so I'm perfect for this kind of lifestyle. That is probably part of the reason why I was reluctant at 16-17 to work in the game industry, but now I know what decisions must be made and I also have years worth of notes ready. I have also gained much insight from playing various different games, so I think I could beat whatever the 16-17 year old me would have been able to do. If I waited 10 years, whats another 2 to 5 gonna be? I'll just be writing more notes and refining the system even further until I get my chance to make it.

Either that, or I just enter the comics industry. :D I tried it a few times in the past, although I don't think I'm very good with stories.{I'm trying to become better at telling an interesting story to match the art. Hope I can make something good this year.}

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