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Alexey Makarov

Completely custom skills mechanic for RPG

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Hey, guys!

 

I have a core idea for game mechanic, but it's not completed and I'm looking for anyone to discuss it.

Will be glad for any feedback.

 

UPD: here is the latest version for now: https://goo.gl/bsYjX9 (google docs)

UPD2: also here is a Discord channel to discuss.

 

It's not game/theme specific, but for example let's talk about fantasy-style (MMO)RPG game.

 

In current games EVERY skill is pre-defined by developers, and players can only learn/unlock some skills after some conditions.

I'm going to implement a mechanic which allows to create literally anything right in game.

There is few games for programmers, which allows to code skills – I'm not talking about such things, my idea is aimed for casual players.

 

So, basic things:

1. everything is made from "elements" (or "particles")

2. player can somehow control such elements (e.g. with telekinesis)

3. any skill is an algorithm which form/compose/move such elements in one way or another

 

For example:

Fireball: need to collect some fire elements from environment, compress it and then push it in some direction.

So, when fireball hit a target, target's structure (which is also made from some elements) is affected by fire elements (for example, it could make a damage).

 

Almost any usual magic skill from existing games could be implemented in this way.

Most complex skill are those which affecting target's properties (e.g., increase player's speed)

And I still can't figure out how to implement teleportation & portals in that mechanic.

 

And, more important, not sure what to do with skills for "physical" characters – warriors, archers, rogues and so on.

 

Second issues is about UI/UX for such mechanics: don't know how to make a skills constructor which allows to build any skills and in the same time looks not complex for players.

 

I'm not yet talking about balancing or viability of such mechanic in real game, just trying to make some kind of Proof of concept.

 

Again, will be glad to get any feedback/questions/suggestions/thoughts.

Edited by norlin

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If the player's body is made from one or more types of particles, that might allow physical characters to fit into this system.  You might have one type of particles for muscle strength and one for muscle speed and one for skin toughness...

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If the player's body is made from one or more types of particles, that might allow physical characters to fit into this system.  You might have one type of particles for muscle strength and one for muscle speed and one for skin toughness...

Yep, thanks, I thought about this option.

In this case, all "physical" skills could be manipulations with such "physical" elements, in opposition to "magic" elements – but than not entirely clear, why warriors can't manipulate magic "elements" and why magicians can't manipulate "physical" elements...

Of course, it could be just hard-coded inside mechanics, but I'm trying to avoid any hard-coding for skills. Rather to create a kind of very basic physical laws.

 

p.s. to be clear, any type of character should be able to control everything, but still, there should be preferences for those who choosing one way or another.

Edited by norlin

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This idea sounds something similar to what Ive made in the past and going to convert into a playable game next months. But I dont go for the idea that "fire particles" exists. To not tell too much here, everything in the world has an ammount of energy that floats in harmonic with each other energy arround it. A talented character can feel that energy and try to manipulate it by using his own energy to affect it.

 

To go for your fire example lets take a look what fire is. Fire is heat and heat is physicaly just quickly movement so to generate heat you need to quickly move some particles by adding energy to them. So you have a heat wave up to here. To make fire of it you need something that is able to burn like carbon.

 

Based on this physical schema I build up everything that could be named "magical" except the fighting skills and whatever a good RPG also have. These skills are trained when using certain weapons, block, shoot and whatever someone could do. I like the TES skill system in this way.

 

Fire is a more simple skill like healing but such things like portals are more complex. You could either have them the way that portals speed up someone lightning fast to the end like teleportation would do or drill a whole into space what is the theorem of wormwholes in quantum physics.

Necromancy is also very difficult.

 

To have static effects like "enchantments" I decided to make it possible to transfer some ammount of energy into an object (a crystall or gem) that will continiously drain it to the enchanted object in some special way (like a burning weapon)

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You could either have them the way that portals speed up someone lightning fast to the end like teleportation would do or drill a whole into space what is the theorem of wormwholes in quantum physics.

Well, that's obvious, yes. But how to implement it in the same system as other skills? I mean, you have "energies", I have "particles" (it's also a kind of energy, just I've choose particles for easier visualization, for now). But how player should affect such energies to "drill a hole" or "speed up" someone with those energies?

 

 

Necromancy is also very difficult

For me, I'm thinking about some kind of "mind" particles (or mind "energy") which is core in-game representation of any AI or player.

So, roughly, player can "take" mind particles from, say, a wolf and then bind this particles to a dead corpse (bunch of "flesh" particles) -> then wolf AI will control such corpse.

 

So, as I understand, you didn't make any custom skills system for warriors? they just hitting with their weapon and than constantly increasing their damage for this type of weapons? I mean, there is no special abilities for warriors? (such as "stunning hit" or AoE hit – multiple enemies at once, or kind of "push" – to repel an enemy, etc...)

into a playable game next months

Do you have any page for your project? With description/examples/etc...

Edited by norlin

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Well, that's obvious, yes. But how to implement it in the same system as other skills? I mean, you have "energies", I have "particles" (it's also a kind of energy, just I've choose particles for easier visualization, for now). But how player should affect such energies to "drill a hole" or "speed up" someone with those energies?

 

 

Energy as its base is yes, some kind of particles the photons we are summarizing in magnetic radiation of different lengths and atomic radiation alpha-/beta-/gamma radiations but any of this is irrelevant for know. If I would go depper into detail I would tell too much for now but I can say that we have seperated that energy into categories based on the four elements and then you could do two kinds of actions, draining and enclosing. Making ice for example you drain energy from water by targeting a creek for example.

Its more something of principle of cause and effect with a lot of physics and thoughts of "how would something react on that" design.

 

At some point a game needs to make rules and even your concept needs such rules to work properly. For us this was the best solution to make something flexible away from the good old skill trees. I for myselfe hate fixed skill trees where you need to unlock skill X for getting skill Z and also dislike the concept of classes in RPG games. Therefor my favorite game arround at the moment is still TES Skyrim.

 

 


So, as I understand, you didn't make any custom skills system for warriors? they just hitting with their weapon and than constantly increasing their damage for this type of weapons? I mean, there is no special abilities for warriors? (such as "stunning hit" or AoE hit – multiple enemies at once, or kind of "push" – to repel an enemy, etc...)

 

 

The question is why do you need an extra skill for dashing someone with your shield? Do you need a skill to open a door or eat some potatoes .. I dont think so. So why should you need a skill to take a wepon and hit someone, the answer is you dont need it. As I already mentioned, I like the TES skill system from oblivion or skyrim where you train your skills by just using them. We will have some kind of realtime combat system where each move could follow another one to make a floating combat style without always hitting the attack button. The more often you use some weapons the better will your skills be with that wepon for example damage and hit ratio or you may zoom a little with a bow.

 

 


Do you have any page for your project? With description/examples/etc...

 

 

Except some google docs for game design there isnt anything yet to show

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The question is why do you need an extra skill for dashing someone with your shield?

Because at the moment there is no controller which allows to control ANY character movement as I can control my own body.

 

Hmm, I've played Skyrim but mostly as a mage, don't remember how it works for warriors... At least, as I remember, there is an ability to block with a shield. Will check it, thanks.

 

you train your skills by just using them

Again, it allows only to improve simple hits with some weapon. There is no feints/tricks and so on.

Edited by norlin

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There is no feints/tricks and so on

 

 

Shouldnt the main question here be what do you expect for feints/tricks someone could do?

Maybe youre over designing something on the track to be unique?

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Shouldnt the main question here be what do you expect for feints/tricks someone could do? Maybe youre over designing something on the track to be unique?

It's not about "unique". Instead, it's about most of RPG games – almost every game has a special abilities for warriors. Stun hits, disarm enemy, bash with shield, parry a hit, make a feint to trick enemy.

Also, abilities such as a backstab (which is not just stab from the back, but special hit which causing more damage – so, warrior need to learn in somehow).

 

Again, in case of sci-fi virtual reality with full immersive and full character body control, it's unnecessary. But we still have only keyboards/mouses & gamepads, nothing more (for common games).

 

p.s. and anyway, no one will want to play a warrior when warriors can only hit while magicians can control everything and make hundreds of different things.

Edited by norlin

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If the player's body is made from one or more types of particles, that might allow physical characters to fit into this system.  You might have one type of particles for muscle strength and one for muscle speed and one for skin toughness...

Yep, thanks, I thought about this option.

In this case, all "physical" skills could be manipulations with such "physical" elements, in opposition to "magic" elements – but than not entirely clear, why warriors can't manipulate magic "elements" and why magicians can't manipulate "physical" elements...

Of course, it could be just hard-coded inside mechanics, but I'm trying to avoid any hard-coding for skills. Rather to create a kind of very basic physical laws.

 

p.s. to be clear, any type of character should be able to control everything, but still, there should be preferences for those who choosing one way or another.

 

I would recommend you don't make it impossible for warriors to manipulate magic elements or for mages to manipulate physical elements.  What's the point of having a flexible system but then forbidding hybrid classes to be made with it??  But preferences, sure, you just have to allow the character to invest points or quests towards increasing their control of one element or another.

Edited by sunandshadow

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