Hello, I’d forgotten that I’d written some of this back in Te Anau (whoops). This post has a lot of “my line of thinking” design notes.
Since it’s been about a month since my last RPG Maker post, I think a reminder is necessary. I realized that my framework was already flawed in regards to game development & I was supposed to start thinking about a prototype for combat.
So, how then do I go about combat in this game?
Other than some vague design goals, I’m not really sure. I don’t want to touch any scripts for this project but features I’d like to try would require it. Things like terrain use & positioning, or an active time feature.
Instead I’m making do with the default system, which is very much like the earliest Final Fantasies. For every member of your party, you chose an action via a menu system. Default actions are Fight or Escape, with Fight leading to Attack, Special/Magic (where you can choose other abilities), Guard, or Item. Once all party members have been assigned an action, combat plays out & the above repeats, until you win, lose, or escape the fight. There’s no time factors for choosing an action & you can’t skip characters.
I really want to change the actions available, but there’s little I can do. I can change action names & what Attack/Guard does without touching code but that’s about it. I was thinking of changing Attack to something like Scan, but I want this to be a free action, which RPG Maker doesn’t let you do.
All characters & enemies have the following properties which can be renamed:
- Three resources:
- Hit Points & Max HP – amount of damage they can take before death.
- Magic Points & Max MP – usually spent to use magic skills.
- Tech Points – non-magic version of MP but behaves differently. By default, you gain it when you take damage & every character has a max of 100.
- Six attributes:
- Attack – amount of physical damage
- Defence – lower physical damage received
- Magic Attack & Defence – work the same way as the above but for magical damage
- Agility – turn order in combat
- Luck – chance of being affected by a status effect
There are also several minor “rate” parameters that are more hard coded than the above:
- Hit – chance of an attack hitting
- Critical – chance of critical attack
- Evasion, Critical Evasion & Magical Evasion – chance of dodging a physical/critical/magical attack
- Magic Reflection – chance of reflecting magic damage
- Counter – chance of counterattacking
- HP/MP/TP Regeneration – percent recovered per round
- Target – chance of being targeted
- Guard Effect – strength of damage reduction when using “guard”
- Recovery Effect – percent of HP/MP received from effect
- Pharmacology – additional percentage of HP/MP received
- MP Cost – additional percentage to MP cost
- TP Charge – rate of TP received
- Physical/Magical Damage – percent of physical/magical damage received
- Floor Damage – percent of damage received from map
- Experience – percent of experience received
For deciding stats, I’m thinking of using an average base value & expanding from there, for instance 100 health. With this I can ask questions like, “how many hits should it take to bring this down to zero?” 2-3, maybe 4. So enemies would then deal an average of 25-50 damage at a time. How much do I want equipment to affect these values? So on & so forth. I’m also going to use existing RPG systems, like D&D, as a guide for initial stat values.
Other design thoughts/notes:
- What if enemies had different states? E.g. defensive, aggressive, cautious, etc. It would make things less predictable & force the player to adjust to what the enemy is doing. The question though is how do you show what state they’re in?
- Perhaps use an elements/type system, like in Pokemon, where the type determines strengths & weaknesses. Perhaps even have spirits who change types. This could work quite well thematically.
- This could also be applied to equipment & player characters.
- I could change Guard to Rest & have this as the main way of recovering MP/TP.
- I’d like to use MP for all attacks & skills. I don’t want to limit MP to magic users.
- TP could be used to show the morale of the player characters. The higher their TP, the more afraid they are.
- I’d like the effects of potions to not be instant. Either the effect is delayed a turn, or gain something on turn 1 & gain minor effects on subsequent turns. There is the case of combat ending while the effects are still happening however.
- I wonder if I could utilize player movement outside of combat as something. Perhaps +1 TP per step (or -1 if I’m using TP as morale).
Hmm, I think I have several things to go with, but the only way to know is to playtest it. I guess it’s time for my first prototype. I may come up with a demo for the next update but I want to go through the process of making a physical prototype as well. Demo or not, I’ll note my findings in the next update.