• Announcements

    • khawk

      Download the Game Design and Indie Game Marketing Freebook   07/19/17

      GameDev.net and CRC Press have teamed up to bring a free ebook of content curated from top titles published by CRC Press. The freebook, Practices of Game Design & Indie Game Marketing, includes chapters from The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, and An Architectural Approach to Level Design. The GameDev.net FreeBook is relevant to game designers, developers, and those interested in learning more about the challenges in game development. We know game development can be a tough discipline and business, so we picked several chapters from CRC Press titles that we thought would be of interest to you, the GameDev.net audience, in your journey to design, develop, and market your next game. The free ebook is available through CRC Press by clicking here. The Curated Books The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, Second Edition, by Jesse Schell Presents 100+ sets of questions, or different lenses, for viewing a game’s design, encompassing diverse fields such as psychology, architecture, music, film, software engineering, theme park design, mathematics, anthropology, and more. Written by one of the world's top game designers, this book describes the deepest and most fundamental principles of game design, demonstrating how tactics used in board, card, and athletic games also work in video games. It provides practical instruction on creating world-class games that will be played again and again. View it here. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, by Joel Dreskin Marketing is an essential but too frequently overlooked or minimized component of the release plan for indie games. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing provides you with the tools needed to build visibility and sell your indie games. With special focus on those developers with small budgets and limited staff and resources, this book is packed with tangible recommendations and techniques that you can put to use immediately. As a seasoned professional of the indie game arena, author Joel Dreskin gives you insight into practical, real-world experiences of marketing numerous successful games and also provides stories of the failures. View it here. An Architectural Approach to Level Design This is one of the first books to integrate architectural and spatial design theory with the field of level design. The book presents architectural techniques and theories for level designers to use in their own work. It connects architecture and level design in different ways that address the practical elements of how designers construct space and the experiential elements of how and why humans interact with this space. Throughout the text, readers learn skills for spatial layout, evoking emotion through gamespaces, and creating better levels through architectural theory. View it here. Learn more and download the ebook by clicking here. Did you know? GameDev.net and CRC Press also recently teamed up to bring GDNet+ Members up to a 20% discount on all CRC Press books. Learn more about this and other benefits here.
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
AaronWizardstar

Non-random evasion in turn-based games?

16 posts in this topic

I've been thinking about the Playstation game Bushido Blade (here's a video). It's a fighting game without health bars. A character dies instantly if struck in the head or torso.

 

The one-hit kills place a premium on evading and blocking attacks. This makes sense from both a realism and a cinematic perspective. e.g. Batman typically has to do backflips or something to avoid gunfire.

 

Bushido Blade, as an action game, leaves the evading and blocking to the player. I'm left wondering one thing: how would I possibly adapt this for a turn based game?

 

In every turn based game I've seen evading attacks are represented by a random chance for an attack to do no damage; a "to-hit" rating. If I combine that with Bushido Blade style one-hit kills then a character's life is entirely in the hands of the Random Number Gods ("The only people who should roll dice are those who are prepared to roll a 1.").

 

Are there any non-random ways to represent evasion in a turn based game?

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A game I played had a defend mechansim where a character could defend instead of attacking. This would skip your chance to attack, but would reduce the damage done to said character. This was especially interesting when battling ranged units.

 

Technically this isn't evasion, but it's a similar concept.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's a few games, like Gladius and Costume Quest, where minigames and QTEs come into play. There, they modify your damage or evasion chances, but you could probably come up with a decent system based around it.

 

For example, the attacker could perform a precision-timed event to determine where their attack lands, or how powerful it is. The defender might be guided along an evasion sequence, and the resulting damage could be based on the difference between their results.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can add a delay to every action (or at least to slower actions), giving you a natural opportunity to evade it (provided you have enough time).

 

Say you are going to act next in 5 ticks of game time, and your opponent begins an attack that takes 6 ticks to land. Your turn will come up before the attack connects, letting you either move out of the way of the attack or perform a guarding action. Hitting someone is then a matter of either timing your attack right so they don't have time to evade it, or positioning yourself such that they cannot physically move to evade it.

 

Then like a fighting game, you can have different amounts of hit/block stun on moves, or punish someone for missing an attack provided you can move and attack while they are recovering from missing their attack.

 

This would work best in a team based game, otherwise it would be too easy to just pick the optimal move at all times and avoid everything. You'd also want area of effect and other such wide angle attacks to limit evasion and be able to be used to position your opponent where you want them. Same with attacks that push your opponent around, being able to shove a blocking opponent into the path of another of your character's attacks would make for an interesting mechanic.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So here's how I see the problem:
 

A) You have your turn, you spend it to do one or limited amount of actions

B) You must evade the next attack or you die

=> C) No other choice but to choose evasion as an action or one of them on every turn

 

So you seem to need some form of evading that isn't just an action you choose on your turn. I don't think some quicktime event like requiring a keypress each turn would be too fun or meaningful gameplay either.

 

How about working with chains of actions that must be proper in order not to die against the current opponent? You could attack, but you must only perform certain kinds of patterns in order to keep your defense and evasion abilities intact enough? Maybe eventually you could "stagger" the enemy so you don't need to worry about defense so much and can land the big damage moves? Would be a bit like FFXIII reverted back to turn-based combat and with defense and forethinking playing much more significant part.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like some of the existing ideas, but just to throw an additional approach into the mix, you could have specific actions counter others, so that choosing the correct action can prevent or evade an attack without necessarily simply "wasting" a turn on an evade action.

 

Taking a card-based fighting game as an example, you might be required to play an identical attack (or a non-identical attack of the same type/school/class/whatever) in order to counter.

 

This sort of approach would probably work best with a system of "simultaneous turns", or where some information is hidden until each round is resolved, as it would become more obvious and essentially be a forced choice if you knew up-front what the other player had chosen and which of your moves would act as a counter.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are there any non-random ways to represent evasion in a turn based game?

Like jbadams suggested, double-blind choice. Both players/AIs make their decision simultaneously before seeing what the opponent decided. This promotes predicting and "reading" the opponent, and tends to make the game massively deeper than it is with visible information.

 

David Sirlin's "Yomi" card game is all about that. You can try it at fantasystrike.com. His earlier, simpler game "Kongai" at Kongregate is also based on the same thing; Kongai is dead as a multiplayer game but you could check it out for inspiration.

 

Another possibility is that after the opponent launches an attack, the player gets a chance to react to it with different defensive moves like block and evade. These would of course need some kinds of tradeoffs; maybe evading puts you to a state where you can't immediately evade again and any attacks you make are weaker ("off balance") while blocking eats into a limited supply of stamina/energy.

 

Or a combination of the two with limited double-blind. You could see the opponent is launching an attack, and get to pick a response afterwards, but you won't know if the attack is real or a feint before you do. Then, "do nothing" or "attack" might also be valid defensive options because they are good against a feint.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How about every turn each player issues both offensive and defensive actions.  An offensive action is an attack, and a defensive action guarantees you immunity from some specific attack or set of attacks for X turns?  High level characters have a variety of offensive actions they can take, and thus have a higher probability of bypassing the defenders defensive actions.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I remember playing Super Mario RPG.  In it when you are attacked you could reduce damage or even evade attacks all together depending on your ability to press specific buttons during enemy attacks.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I remember playing Super Mario RPG.  In it when you are attacked you could reduce damage or even evade attacks all together depending on your ability to press specific buttons during enemy attacks.

 

That was fun - I recently bought the game in the Wii virtual store, and need to finish it. They refined and polished that mechanic even better in Paper Mario 64, and Paper Mario: The Thousand Year door. [video of combat] - anytime Bowser breaths fire, the "Nice!" is the player clicking the action button at the correct timing, to reduce damage. If he does it perfectly, it entirely blocks damage, IIRC.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A game I played had a defend mechansim where a character could defend instead of attacking. This would skip your chance to attack, but would reduce the damage done to said character. This was especially interesting when battling ranged units.

 

I didn't read all the other comments, so I might be repeating something. But with SillyCow's comment as a basis, here what I feel:

 

Imagine a game where, in your own turn, you attack and the opponent can defend. Vice versa in his turn. Depending on what you choose to defend and how you defend against it, that will affect how you can counterattack him in your next turn. This way, you will get a turn-based game that is also, to some lesser extent, reactive and immediate.

 

Consider a turn-based card game such as Magic: The Gathering. The entities are cards but the principles are very much the same. You have the ability to play certain moves at certain phases of either your turn or the opponents. Depending on what you specifically play, this can have consequences (either good or bad) for any of the subsequent turns. On one hand, you might play a powerful Wrath of God or Armageddon spell that kills all in-game creatures or lands respectively, including your own. On the other hand, you might want to place that extra Land or other ability that either gradually (over time) or instantly (after a countdown) makes you stronger.

 

Now try implementing these mechanics into a turn-based fighting game between 2 Bushi. No armies, no lands, just the Bushi/Samurai in a turn-based version of Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat. Instead of creatures, you could have Chi buffs in soft spots that the opponent could try to attack with his moves. Instead of Lands, you could have Mindlessness or similar that over time gives you a greater ability to recall the various sword moves that you've learned thus far. The sword and other attack moves would be the equivalent to the spells in MtG. And so on.

 

Shouldn't be too hard.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You could take a look at Waving hands / Spellcaster / Warlocks / Firetop Mountain for a turn based entierly non random battle mechanic thats pretty neat.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another idea:

 

What if each character/unit/player/whatever had an "evasion" score.  Either an attack value would have to surpass evasion in order to be successful, or if you kept random chance the percentages could be modified based on the evasion score.

 

Every move chosen would also have an evasion modifier.  Say for example that possible evasion scores are from 1 to 20.  You might choose to perform an "evade" action, which is otherwise useless but boosts your evasion score to the maximum value of 20, but if you instead choose to attack you might choose a weaker attack that provides a higher evade value (say 15) or an average attack that provides an average evade value (say +10), or if you're really confident you might choose an absolutely devastating attack that modifies your evade value negatively (-10).  You then have a balancing act where you can still choose any attack, but want to try to keep your evasion score high unless you're sure it won't matter.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just a piece of thought; most turn-based games use one of two(or both) mechanics;

first is critical hits, which is basically the same mechanic as one-hit-killing or not, but balanced, usually such a game has ways of healing or even saving (critically) hit characters as well.(which is where the player-interaction comes in again)

Luck in a game is, btw, not just not a bad thing, if balanced out, it also gives randomness to a game, if you're going to make any kind of game that has even the slightest amount of replayability(or even better, some kind of multiplayer) you need to randomize things so the game doesn't behave the exact same way every time and becomes boring and predictable.(remember, there are often only a few objects(characters/items/buildings/fists) in a turn-based game that interact with each other.

The other is "type" meaning a fire-attack will do reduced damage against a water-creature for example; in FF tactics adv. the player got items that could diminish, negate or even absorb type-attacks, which meant that if an opponent did a fire-attack your character could get reduced damage(there were 2 levels of reduction iirc), no damage or even get healed. Pokemon is another example where creatures belonged to a type and could learn up to 4 different attacks which could all be of a different type.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I saw someone mention the quicktime event based dodge further up the thread. I was really impressed with the Gears of War approach to reloading (anyone unfamiliar, you are able (but not forced) to press the reload button a second time during the animation and if you time it correctly can reload faster with more powerful bullets. However, if you time it incorrectly reloading takes significantly longer).

 

This had an impression on me, simply because of the risk/reward element to such a commonplace and fundamental mechanic of the combat.

 

You could try swiping backwards on a character about to receive an attack to dodge, but if the input is not received within a window the character takes increased damage for the hit. This would also allow enemies to make feints and appear to attack one enemy but instead attack another at the last moment.

 

(On a personal note, I had purchased Bushido Blade when I was quite young and it had stuck in my minds for years without me able to recollect it's name. Thanks for the reminder!)

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another idea:

 

What if each character/unit/player/whatever had an "evasion" score.  Either an attack value would have to surpass evasion in order to be successful, or if you kept random chance the percentages could be modified based on the evasion score.

 

Every move chosen would also have an evasion modifier.  Say for example that possible evasion scores are from 1 to 20.  You might choose to perform an "evade" action, which is otherwise useless but boosts your evasion score to the maximum value of 20, but if you instead choose to attack you might choose a weaker attack that provides a higher evade value (say 15) or an average attack that provides an average evade value (say +10), or if you're really confident you might choose an absolutely devastating attack that modifies your evade value negatively (-10).  You then have a balancing act where you can still choose any attack, but want to try to keep your evasion score high unless you're sure it won't matter.

 

I think this is the right idea.  Couple the "evasion" score with a "hit" score and the battle would consist of constantly manipulating the two scores so that you're evasion is higher than the opponents hit score and vise versa.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0