Friday, June 15, 2012

Game Design Philosophy: Reserved Point System + Team Attack/Trigger System

Game Design Philosophy:

I consider myself a traditionalist when it comes to my game design philosophy. I like to take the simple classic concepts that made the fun of the games of the genre what they were, and expand (or put additional twists) to it. 

Rather than continually try to do things different from well-respected games, I want to look into what made them fun, use this as a basis, and expand on it.

Reserved Point System:

In recent years, RPGs (and MMORPGs for that matter) made it way too easy to be able to restore HP and Mana. I wanted to take the easiness of that out, and mix it from the old way of playing through RPGs where the player had to know to conserve their health and magic to be able to make it to the end.  

The amount of Reserved Points is shown in the menu. It accumulates over time during regular gaming.

I hate the concept of grinding, I am more of a "fight as you progress" kind of guy. As long as you don't escape every single battle on the journey, you'll be able to get through the basic story. (Though, that's not to say you may not make it if you try to rush through things!)

Anyway, the Reserved Points system is designed to try to curb against excessive grinding against save points, by having points that regenerate to a cap, and they can be spent at any save point. The points are capped depending on the chapter the player is on, for the chapter 1 demo that will be released soon, the cap will be 300.

As mentioned above, the Reserved Points can be spent at any save point, and the points built up will transfer into given hit points and ability points for party members.

The only way I see use for abuse is that the player will sit idly waiting outside the save point for reserved points to fill up. I'm not sure whether I should keep finding ways to force that not to happen, it seems grossly inefficient and kills the fun aspect. On the other hand, I don't want it to become so mindlessly easy that they kill enemies for experience points, run right back to the save point and abuse that as a grinding point. If anyone has suggestions, feel free to lay them on me!

Team Attack System:

Selatria uses a modified traditional turn-based system in which I like to call the Augmented Team Attack System. 

The game starts off like a traditional turn-based RPG battle system. Player inputs commands for the party members in a sequential order, and the moves execute via the priority of the action mixed with the speed of the characters and the enemies.

The twist to this is the addition of Trigger abilities, which four characters get to use. In the example video I posted below, Melanie is what is called a "trigger character". Trigger characters have abilities (appropriately called Triggers) which can cause chains among those in the party.


Melanie casts trigger ability "Heal Blade" (heals herself and adds Regeneration)
Mage (if in the party) chains with ability "Recover" (heals all party members)

Depending on the trigger ability used, different party members may join in. This is what is known as an attack/ability chain. Anyone who chains off an ability will cast their chain spell at 1/2 price of what it would have been if it had been used via a command from the player.

Mage uses standard ability "Fire" - costs 6 AP.
Mage chains off Melanie's "Fire Blade" ability with a "Team Attack: Fire" - costs 3 AP.

As the game progresses, Trigger abilities and Team Attacks will be the primary mode of fighting. The combos and compatibility between members who can execute chains off of each other will not be explicitly stated in-game. It will be up to the player to discover what abilities chain off of which, and how to execute the best chains possible. There are 8 different characters in the game when it will be completed, and the entire game will contain at least 64 different chaining combinations.

There will only be a few in Chapter 1, but you can take a look at a preview of the system. If I can find additional artist in the future, I may add a Chain graphic when more than one person goes off of the ability. We'll see!

Additional Screenshots:


Character Faces: Jonathan Flynn
Music: Luke Simpson
Status Effect Icons: Gyreck
Monster Art: Erik Boismier/Jonathan Flynn
Sound Effects: Donald Brown

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