I’ve had this idea for the past few weeks, amongst others, of a short game where you play as an unusual girl who wakes up in a forest populated with spirits.What I’ve got planned so far is:
- The girl wakes up in a “great tree” inhabited by a forest spirit. The girl appears innocent at first but has a hidden side to her. I want to keep her origins ambiguous.
- A couple of parental figures that will play major roles.
- Spirits of the forest & a group of hunters on a mission.
- At the most, 3 other companions, though only one of them will likely be compulsory. Ideas at the moment include a member of the hunters & a giant spider (still trying to figure how that one would work).
- A few choices that affect the story.
- About 6 areas, including a temple & a hunter encampment.
- A mixture of random encounters & encounters that are present on the map.
- An optional “roaming” boss (roaming in the sense of appearing at different locations depending on the time).
- A single playthrough would probably be 1-2 hours long, though I’d like to make it replayable to some degree.
The main thing I’ve been trying to get my head around with RPG Maker is character/encounter stats; more specifically what numbers to assign & what kind of skills to create. While I have a general idea of how stats like “Agility” & “Luck” affect combat, to what degree they affect everything & what numbers are considered too low or too high is ambiguous to me. I guess I won’t properly understand it until I start testing. There is a stat called TP that the system seems to use as a limit break or rage meter that might be useful. I want combat to actually feel dangerous. I don’t want to share the route that many Final Fantasy style JRPGs take where most encounters are easily defeated by spamming spacebar & healing the odd time. I want them to be short but lethal if you’re careless. Boss encounters would require a strategy to survive (though I’d like bosses to have multiple viable strategies). Most characters & encounters will generally be at a low level (about levels 1-10), though I don’t want character level to be the deciding factor in combat. The story is still very much up in the air; I may simply make it up as I develop the game. I do have a basic idea of how the story would begin, which might be enough to start making something with. However, I’d like to get a basic game design document together before making anything. Next: Flesh out concept & work towards a design document.