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Arbak

Movement speed and attack balancing on 5x8 board action game

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Hi all, 

 

We are making simple action-RPG game featuring 5x8 (scalable) tile-based grid (see attached mockup). Player can move 1 cell left/right/up/down. Player character have only short range attack, so he should try to get near enemy without taking too much damage and try to hit him from sides/back.

Enemy  has the same movement pattern, but each has specific attack patterns, e.g. one can hit only straight ahead of him to whole column, the other only diagonally, the other can strike both etc.  

Player can upgrade his HP, attack damage and possibly speed/stamina. 

 

So the problems I'm currently having are as follows: 

  1. Game is not turn based (at least visually at shouldn't look and feel as one), but it seems hard to find correct speed balance between player and enemy, without giving either of sides huge advantage over another. If I set the speed of both to same value, enemy will always win because of various long range attack patterns. 
  2. Player should try to get to enemy's back or sides, otherwise he'll be attacked if he appears in the cell straight ahead of enemy. Depending on enemy's attack patterns, this goal can vary from "very hard" to "impossible". 
  3. I want to achieve a single formula to calculate each next enemy's HP and attack, and player's attack as well, using possibly same or similar formulas. It should be linear or logarithmic progression, ideally using same numbers as in player's base stats (HP). E.g. Enemy 1 HP = (playerHP)*2, Enemy 2 HP = Enemy 1 HP + 20%, and so long. Same for the damage. But I'm sure that there's a better way to do it, so advice is welcomed.
  4. Can I calculate specific probability of getting to enemy without taking damage, knowing only his attack patterns, speed, and board size? Like Enemy 1 has 3 attack types, each covering 4 cells. Board is 5x8=60 cells, all enemy attack types combined can cover (damage) up to 3x4=12 cells. Knowing only this much, can I somehow calculate how easy is this enemy to beat? This is important to achieve reasonable balance and difficulty progression from level to level.

Thanks. 

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Game is not turn based
That's the core of your problem. You used a mechanic from tactical turn based games and try to apply it to action gameplay. I don't think it's feasible (with a lot of work you probably could make an acceptable/below mediocre game using this combination, but I don't see any benefits or appeal here).

 

Check Archon (C64), they did what you try. But... it was another era, I don't think a game like that makes sense nowadays. Plus it was an action strategy and you were moving pieces on a chess like board and the action part was on a separate screen (so unfair action battles was part of the game).

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You used a mechanic from tactical turn based games and try to apply it to action gameplay. I don't think it's feasible (with a lot of work you probably could make an acceptable/below mediocre game using this combination, but I don't see any benefits or appeal here).

 

Yes. you're right.

After a few days of struggle, we've turned to "turn-based" system.
Now we think in this direction: character makes and finishes his move, and only after enemy makes his move. However, there are a few problems here as well:

1. E.g. certain enemy can only hit diagonal cells to him, but moves up/down/left/right. On the 5x8 (or 6x10, whatever) board, how I can easily calculate if there won't be a cell where I can stand and enemy won't have a chance to hit me there with his current attack pattern? It is relatively simple example, but I wonder along with adding more complex patterns, how it is possible to calculate if current attack can cover all possible cells on the board where I can stand?
2. In a case where I have only short range/melee attacks, and enemy has long range attacks, our movement/attack patterns shouldn't be similar, because otherwise one side (enemy) will always have advantage, and I'll always have troubles getting close to him. So the obvious solution is to alternate player's movement, and to make it possible to move diagonally and/or 2 cells ahead. While enemies in their default behaviour move only up/down/left right. What would you suggest?

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What's your promo pitch? Who is your taget player? How you would convinced them to play?

 

I have found out answering these sometimes help on the design stage. Like if you want to target FF Tactics fans or Advanced Tactics fans or someone else.

 

 

Maybe check design goals of my game, this "manifest" helped me focus and sort out what features the game should have (note the "I hate" parts, I found these especially usefull during designing). I highly recommend writing something like that.

http://www.pocketspaceempire.com/2015/11/12/core-design-goals/

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