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Benholio

RPG: Equipment 'puzzle' ideas

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I've been trying to flesh out an idea that adds a puzzle element to equipping items for an RPG. For an example, see the catalyst system in Darkspore:

NTSUo.png

The catalysts were little gems that you picked up that would give stat bonuses. You placed them into a grid, and if you matched an entire row of the same color/type then they all got a bonus to their effect.

Now, in Darkspore, these were temporary items that only lasted for a part of a game session.

The idea I am working on involves equipping gems into some template to craft jewelry. Maybe the gems would have different shapes, and you have to fill the box tetris-style? Maybe the gems are in a grid and you have to match some aspect of them in a line? (Color, shape, etc)

The goal would be to make item choices more interesting than just picking the item with the best stats. Players may have to choose whether to use a weaker gem in order to better 'solve the puzzle' and get the puzzle bonus, etc.

Does anyone have any ideas besides gem-tetris and match-a-line?

Thanks in advance for any feedback!

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How about thinking of gems in terms of logic gates? Having four types of gems that correspond to logic gates which you can connect differently to get different results.

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When I read this topic, I immediately thought of Final Fantasy 7's materia system. It's an old game available for PC and Playstation 1. Might be worth checking out. Well... Final Fantasy 7 is worth checking out regardless of what you are doing.

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How about thinking of gems in terms of logic gates? Having four types of gems that correspond to logic gates which you can connect differently to get different results.


Interesting. I'll have to explore this idea, thanks!


When I read this topic, I immediately thought of Final Fantasy 7's materia system. It's an old game available for PC and Playstation 1. Might be worth checking out. Well... Final Fantasy 7 is worth checking out regardless of what you are doing.


Good one! It has been quite a while since I dusted off FF7. This will be good brush-up material.

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I think -- given this isn't the main focus of the game -- that a simpler system should probably be preferred to anything overly complex. As well as avoiding having to teach the player a more complex task to use the items it will be easier to see at a glance what they've done, and what they could possibly change to create a different effect.

Treating the gems as logic gates for example is pretty cool, and would certainly lead to some interesting possibilities; but it also means that anyone who doesn't already understand logic gates has to learn them, forever play at a disadvantage, or will just never really understand your inventory system. Logic gates aren't too complicated, but a lot of people won't understand them without some help, and some people may not catch on at all.


I'd stick with a simpler idea such as one of your originals where you match lines of items or fill a space tetris style; anything used in a simple casual game that doesn't take long to learn should be appropriate.


Sorry for not really contributing any new ideas as such, but I hope the input is helpful! smile.png

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Thanks, and the input is very helpful! Your take on complexity rings very true. It is a constant struggle to come up with something interesting with some depth and keeping it simple.

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Ever played the puzzle game tangrams? Essentially you have set piece you have to form into a particular shape. I could see that idea working with the idea you suggested.

What if you get gems and gem boxes. Each box has a different shape associated with it if you fill the box with gems in correct shape those gems and box vanish you get all those bonuses permanently add to your character.

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Thanks, that is a good take on the 'gem tetris' idea. Maybe when you filled the 'box' it would become permanently attached to the ring/item/jewelry piece and that is how you craft new items.

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Reminds me a little of darkfall online's "enchanting" system.

In it, using the enchanting skill/tool, you have 3 slots for ingredients and 1 slot for a catalyst and 1 slot for the item to be enchanted. Then they have a dozen categories of enchanting ingredients with 5 levels to each type, and 3 types of catalysts. The hardest monsters in the game can skin for a lvl 5 ingredient. Different enchanting "recipe's" use different combinations of ingredients/catalyst type.

Then, say the recipe for adding damage to a weapon is 5 eyes, 5 tooth, 5 claw and 1 nith catalyst. If you use all level 5 ingredients, you will add 30% to the weapons base damage, but level 5 ingredients were really hard to get, so maybe you don't have 5 of each type. You can use any level of those same ingredients, but it will drop the effect of the enchant based on the average of all the ingredient levels. So level 1 ingredients across the board might be 5% damage increase, a combo of 1, 3, 5 would give a 10% increase.

I'm doing something kinda similar but just giving each "ingredient" a different value, then finding the sum of the values and activating a different "mod" based on that number. But there's more than 1 combination of ingredients that can activate the same mod, at the same time there's tons of combinations possible.

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You might want to glance at the mining system for A Tale In the Desert. You get a pool of objects which have two different properties, shape and color. From these you select combinations of 3 or more that are either all the same or all different in each of the two attributes. The more interations you can make out of the whole pool the higher your base score. Each object can be used a set number of times; using it the max number gives a bonus but removes it from the pool.

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