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RidiculousName

Game Combat Mechanic Examples

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I'm asking something a bit different for this forum. I've noticed many questions in this forum ask something like, "is X a good idea?"  What I'd like to see is examples of how other people did similar things to what I want to do, and maybe some suggestions for what would be best.

Basically I'm trying to create a game where you play as a bandit leader, and you set up ambushes for various travelers, ala Robin Hood, but with a bit less giving to people other than yourself.

The game I envision has you managing equipment, bandits, and location to increase the success of these ambushes. Therein lies the problem, I'm not sure how to set up a deep system like that. It's not that I lack ideas, but that I am unsure how to refine it down, and translate my idea into actual game mechanics.

Part of it is, while I'm a fan of RPGs, I don't really know how they work. I've never exactly been a minmaxer and while I understand more armor is reduces damage, more attack increase hit-chance etc. I don't really understand how these systems work in detail, and I don't know how to find out.

So my question is, how can I find out about these systems so I can modify them to suit what I want to do?

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Most of these systems are transcribed pretty literally from pen-and-paper RPGs. There are quite a lot of good resources on those floating around the web, and dozens of variations depending on what you are trying to achieve.

A lot of modern games have significantly simplified these mechanics from the days of Armour Classes and THAC0, however. It's not uncommon to see games that just have straight up hit points, attack strength deals 1:1 damage to hit points, and armor provides provides percentage-based reduction of incoming attack damage. To increase tactical variety, you usually have elemental damage types (at least physical vs magic, but maybe fire/ice/etc too). Then you get to have resistances in the various elements (basically, they work just like armour but for fire/ice/etc). Point being, things can get as arbitrarily complicated as you like.

But you generally don't want complexity for the sake of it. Balancing/tuning these systems becomes nightmarish as they increase in complexity. Take a look at some of the patch notes for Heroes of the Storm. Blizzard (who is very transparent about balance changes) is tuning values by as little as 0.25% per bi-weekly patch, across hundreds of characters.

It's probably better to start from the other end (what types of gameplay do you want to enable? What tactical options do you want to give your players?) and then try to design the combat system to support those goals.

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Thanks for the answer. I'll take a look at your links.

Right now I say I'd like to try and keep it as simple as possible while still giving the player a sense of accomplishment. I'd like to easily be able to add complexity and depth as I continue development too.

I'm a bit overwhelmed by my options at this point. I will continue working on it.

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As a basic requirement on combat system I  would say you may want to display some disavantages of heavier armors so that the game will not progress into full plate armour thugs dangling of the trees or something similar. Such disadvantages may be wearing of stamina, slowing down really rapid moves like sprint, worse maintenance in the wilds, vision etc.

Friend of mine did very neat system covering that quite a bit- so there could be regular character path way going as half naked barbarian. Let us please know, I am interested in the setting as well ;-).

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Well here's a bit more about my idea. I plan to make full-plate very expensive, rare, and difficult to sneak around in. Thus preventing bandits from taking full advantage of their ambushes,

So far I've come up with the idea of making a few basic types of weapons and armor. Each is made of either copper, bronze, steel, mithril, or adamantium. Each has a quality level. Both of these will affect its price and level of protection.

So the things that will affect whether your bandits come back with loot would be:

    Their physical stats (strength, dexterity, endurance, willpower, intelligence)

    Their equipment.

    Whether there are enough bandits to win in a  fight, and a small enough number to go undetected until ready to ambush.

This is why I want to know more about typical RPG systems.

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Posted (edited)

1. Is it focused on management? (hiring/recruiting/training members, dealing with resources/trading/upgrading your camp)
Is it focused on tactical combat? (positioning your units, having armour-piercing weapons good vs some kind of armour, drinking potions, etc) Is it realtime or turnbased? Do you see the battle from above, moving your guys around or is it auto-resolve? Is it 3D or 2D?

2. Is it fantasy or realistic? Is it medieval times? You mention copper and bronze, this wasnt used at all for weapons and armour. You would have iron and different quality of steel (in medieval times). Probably better to have general quality as in "crude sword" and "mastersmith sword" reflecting the skill of the person that made the weapon.

3. What is the flow of the gameplay? Do you just run fight after fight? Do you need to heal your guys in camp between fights? Do you plan what to ambush? Do you get choices of things to ambush? (small caravan, kings convoy, lonely farmer).

4. What is the scope of your troupe? If you have just 5 guys full rpg-details is fine (STR, CON, WIL, maybe traits, lots of details when it comes to equipment), if you manage 10 or more guys, be VERY careful as adding to much details will just be annoying and not be a good way to add depth to the gameplay.

5. Do you have the means to generate the graphics / content you plan to include? If not, reduce the complexity so you can actually finish your game.

You can also look into the game "battle brothers" if you want an exampel of well implemented (detailed) tactical combat.

Edited by suliman

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Posted (edited)

To answer your questions:

1:

Quote

Is it focused on management? (hiring/recruiting/training members, dealing with resources/trading/upgrading your camp)
Is it focused on tactical combat? (positioning your units, having armour-piercing weapons good vs some kind of armour, drinking potions, etc)

I'm going for both combat and management.

Management will involve using stolen resources to build and upgrade facilities in your hideout. Occasionally moving your HQ (at the expense of time and loss of some loot/upgrades) to avoid it being found and destroyed. Positioning your raiding bands to areas depending distance from HQ, risk, type of goods, and amount of goods. I envision a starting player will have just one band, but as they grow they may gain as many as five.

Quote

Is it realtime or turnbased? Do you see the battle from above, moving your guys around or is it auto-resolve? Is it 3D or 2D?

Both management and combat will be turn-based. The management aspect will be an overmap of the area surrounding your hideout where you can dispatch bands to prey on travelers, and a hideout screen that allows you build and upgrade your facilities.

Combat will be seen from above. It will be at an aspect ratio like most of the older 2D Zelda games. Combat may be auto-resolved or fought out. Fighting between characters will usually be very short and bloody. characters will die often, and the player will have to rely on ranged characters to take out a good portion of the enemy at first. It will usually take just two or three turns/attacks to kill a character. The game will be 2D.

2:

Quote

Is it fantasy or realistic? Is it medieval times? You mention copper and bronze, this wasnt used at all for weapons and armour. You would have iron and different quality of steel (in medieval times). Probably better to have general quality as in "crude sword" and "mastersmith sword" reflecting the skill of the person that made the weapon.

It's a traditional fantasy setting. I plan to take a few liberties with armament just to make things a little more interesting. I plan to add in a quality system for weapons armor and many types of generic goods once the game's basic structure has been finished.

3:

Quote

What is the flow of the gameplay? Do you just run fight after fight? Do you need to heal your guys in camp between fights? Do you plan what to ambush? Do you get choices of things to ambush? (small caravan, kings convoy, lonely farmer).

The flow of the gameplay should be mostly combat, but with perhaps %20 to %30 of player time spent on the management aspect.

Other than recuitment, and upgrading weapons/armor, I plan to have you focus more on keeping your bandits happy with booze and whores than healing them. Bandits may survive some minor wounds, but serious healing will very late game or not at all. Rather, your bandits will slowly spend their cut at your hideout or in a nearby town, and then, when they're broke again, they'll sign up for another "job".

The game will determine the success of the bands you sent out at turns end. This will be determined by their leader's skills, the groups stealth ability, the cover the terrain provides, and whether the area you sent them to is well frequented.

If they find a caravan you're given three choices, auto-resolve combat, manual combat, or to avoid. To aid making this choice, the caravan's type will be given along with some general information about its strength. There will be different types of caravans and caravans on different routes will tend to carry different items. "Caravan's" could be a single person, or a detachment of an army.

4:

Quote

What is the scope of your troupe? If you have just 5 guys full rpg-details is fine (STR, CON, WIL, maybe traits, lots of details when it comes to equipment), if you manage 10 or more guys, be VERY careful as adding to much details will just be annoying and not be a good way to add depth to the gameplay.

I plan to have a basic stat system in place. Raiding bands will vary in size between five and twenty-five men. I don't think it's necessary to have a lot of detail for them, and their stats will improve on their own. The player just controls character equipment and movement in combat. I want to make a stat system that improves based on use, not level.

5:

Quote

Do you have the means to generate the graphics / content you plan to include? If not, reduce the complexity so you can actually finish your game.

You can also look into the game "battle brothers" if you want an exampel of well implemented (detailed) tactical combat.

I believe I have the basic knowledge. I need to learn more Pygame and random map generation, but at least as far as the math and logic goes, I think I can manage it. I don't really like Battle Brothers since I feel its combat system is not actually very deep, and yet almost it's entire focus is on combat.

 

Thank you for your advice. You made me think about the game design in ways I hadn't before. I will try to reduce it as needed. I think right now I will focus on learning pygame and designing what I would call the "skeleton" of the game. Once I've got that written and programmed, I can focus on adding things. That's my plan anyway.

Edited by RidiculousName

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Posted (edited)

Wow, I just found this thread and I would like to say I like what I see.  good job on your game design.

 

One example of combat that was used in pan and paper times that you could use is this.

 

Attacker rolls a 1d20 to get a random number between 1 and 20.  If the defender has a defense rating of 15, then the attacker will "hit" on a die roll of 15 or more.  (Basically a 25% hit rate).

If the attacker rolled a number less that 15, the attack is a miss and combat is over for this round for the attacker.

If the attacker rolls 15 or more, then the attacker hit the defender.  The attacker rolls again for damage.  The die the attacker rolls for damage will be based on the equipped weapon.  A dagger is generally 1d4 or a sword is 1d6.    If the attacker has two weapons equipped, the off-hand weapon is generally half of the primary weapon, so a second dagger would be a 1d2 and a second sword would be a 1d6.

So for my example, let us say the attacker rolled a 18.  It is a hit.  He then rolls his 1d6 and scores a 4.  The defender will take 4 points of damage.

This is an example of a simple combat system. 

If you want to go further, you can assign a number to become a critical hit on the initial attack roll, generally a roll of 20 is counted as a critical hit and the damage from the damage roll is increased (sometimes doubled).  A critical miss, a die roll of 1, could result in the attacker hurting them self or taking increased damage from the defenders attack.

Other things you can do is make your weapons stronger.  Say for example, if the attacker is using the Great Ax of Power, he can score a critical hit on an initial die of of 19 or 20.  In other words, has a critical chance of 10% instead of the 5% from the previous example.

Wooden Sword of Destruction +1  ..., is the name of a weapon that you can add +1 to the initial die roll and the damage roll.

 

 

Edited by Mercury Gate

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What is the goal of the game? Or is it true sandbox? (meaning you just manage your band and there is no goal or end).

Is there different scenarios/maps?

Is there an end? Do the gameplay change from early to late game?

Can you loose? (I understand you can loose a fight and get some guys killed, but can you fail your entrie game?)

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What is the goal of the game? Or is it true sandbox? (meaning you just manage your band and there is no goal or end).

I may set up some sort of goal, but right now I haven't thought of a goal or end.

13 hours ago, suliman said:

Is there different scenarios/maps?

I eventually want to add a lot of different sorts of maps, but right now I am working on a fairly generic procedurally-generated map.

Quote

Is there an end? Do the gameplay change from early to late game?

Well, my idea is that as your band grows you can begin to prey on larger and better protected caravans and travelers of various sorts.

Quote

Can you loose? (I understand you can loose a fight and get some guys killed, but can you fail your entrie game?)

I'm not sure. Right now, I'm focusing on map generation.

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