ANY ADVICE FOR MY SECOND GAME?

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Hi!
I'm starting the planning of my second game, and I'd like to ask your opinions.
Well, here's what I have so far:

*Turn-based ARPG with pseudo-active time battles, and a custom event-based battle system, similar to that in Riviera: The Promised Land, if anyone here played it.
*A gold-based, exp-free, level up system. The player pays for levels. Haven't seen this anywhere else, so I'd assume it's my original idea ;P
*Event-heavy, minimal-to-no custom scripts if possible.
*There'll only be two usable characters, one for the normal mode, and the other for newgame+/rambo mode.
*Item skills and attacks (not sure what to call this...). Just like the one found in Riviera. (Where you choose items to use prior to the battle, and attacking uses up one point from the item's 'durability' points.

So, anything you could add/point out/dissuade?

Thanks!
Played Riviera: The Promised Land, actually.

Since you go for a turn-based RPG, you need to consider much more than these game-mechanical features. These features need to be picked according to the game you are trying to create, as they are supposed to enhance the experience. Or better yet, to form one coherent experience together.
Try to barely outline a story, the world it takes place and then consider what would go well together.

What's the heart of your game? Battles? Characters? Story? Atmosphere? Depending on what it is, you may feel the need to add different features.
I'd assume battle by the looks of it.

If money is such an important value, for example, you might also consider using money as a central theme for the game. Kingdoms fighting because their own bank went bankrupt as a funny one, or crime becoming a serious problem .. or whatever your mind comes up with.

I'd say it is a possible base. I don't know how well they'd fare together, but item-bound attacks are a nice additive to make each single weapon more important.

If gold is your exp, what can be bought aside from your level? Can you invest into anything that might rival the use of a level up?

How do you intend to implement the "pseudo-active time battles"? Turn-based usually cancels out any action part. How do you imagine it to work exactly?
It would also help to explain how it does work in Riviera.

Durability could be a pain, since you need to be much more careful in regards to balancing. Unless you can buy them. You might think about adding that feature.

(I won't be able to tell you what of it might be a huge pain to script, of course)
author=Kylaila
How do you intend to implement the "pseudo-active time battles"? Turn-based usually cancels out any action part. How do you imagine it to work exactly?
It would also help to explain how it does work in Riviera.

Well in Riviera, turn progression is determined by 'wait' values that decrease slightly with each passing turn. If a character reaches 0 wait, he can make a move (use an item to either attack, buff, or debuff). Afterwards, the 'wait' will be reset to max. Normal ATB, right? But there's a catch: wait only decreases after a turn is taken, whether by friend or foe, and not over time. So, it is a bit like ATB, but not quite 'active'.

author=Kylaila
What's the heart of your game? Battles? Characters? Story? Atmosphere? Depending on what it is, you may feel the need to add different features.
I'd assume battle by the looks of it.

If money is such an important value, for example, you might also consider using money as a central theme for the game. Kingdoms fighting because their own bank went bankrupt as a funny one, or crime becoming a serious problem .. or whatever your mind comes up with.

I am actually going for this. Money makes the world go 'round, as the saying goes.

This idea connects with the value of gold in this world. With gold, you get everything. From weapons, items, skills, and even stats. They'd all be paid for.

The finer details like balancing and stuff will have to wait until after I start with this project...


Thanks for the concise reply!
LockeZ
I'd really like to get rid of LockeZ. His play style is way too unpredictable. He's always like this too. If he ran a country, he'd just kill and imprison people at random until crime stopped.
6138
Two games come to mind that used a single currency for both leveling up and buying items/equipment. Dark Souls, and Candy Box. I'm not sure I can come with two games more different from each-other...

Note that the currency wasn't actually "money" in either game. It was souls in one and candy in the other. These are obviously pretty central themes to the games - they both also named the game after the currency. I think in Candy Box, it's also used as MP?

Both games seem to use the single currency to create harder choices for the player. You'd think only having one currency would simplify the game, and it kinda does - it's easier to learn. But the gameplay becomes much harder because you have more choices as a player. You can choose how to spend your souls - but what options will improve your powe the most? Both games give you tons of options, way more than you can afford. You constantly feel strapped for cash, because if you ever had any good amount, you'd have spent it on leveling up if nothing else.

This is probably a good way of doing it. It works well in both games.
I see...
So to maximise the value of the 'currency', I have to keep it in high demand, and on controlled supply. I think I am starting to flesh out the idea more now.

Thanks LockeZ!
The currency will automatically be in high demand if it's used for leveling. The reason gold often isn't in high demand is usually because you're able to afford anything you really want. With gold used for levels, you will not run out of things to buy until everyone reaches max level.

Something to think of is that exp usually inflates faster than gold. I remember one game where at the beginning, you got 3-4 per exp from enemies, while fairly late game, you got 10 exp per gold. If you're using the same currency for both, they need to have the same inflation rate.
Buy up levels? Nott eguiments only?
Good idea... but it wasnt sounds good if i buy at levels same price anyway.
from 2 to 3 is cheaper than 3 to 4...
price should growth, but not much.
Actually, I think I might change my mind. Shops will not sell equipment/items. Equipment/items will have limited uses each, and will only be found via chests, events, or enemy drops. This should make each item way more valuable than it should normally be.

Then, I'd put up shops that sell charms that either repair equipment, or increase the enemies' drop rates. The shop will also be the one that 'sells' levels, stat bonuses, and clues/hints.

I think there would be even more pressure on the player with this plan, so I'd like some feedback on this. Is this a good plan or not?
LockeZ
I'd really like to get rid of LockeZ. His play style is way too unpredictable. He's always like this too. If he ran a country, he'd just kill and imprison people at random until crime stopped.
6138
I think it would work.

It's not actually uncommon to let the player pay a trainer for experience/levels, though usually this is only a supplementary way of getting experience points, and usually the number of times you can do this is limited. In Elder Scrolls games, for example, you can pay a trainer to raise your skill level in a certain skill (which is the Elder Scrolls equivalent of gaining experience points) - but each trainer can only train you up to a certain level in that skill. In Ogre Battle, I think there's a shop where you can buy items that increase your stats, but there's a limit to how much money you can earn because you can't refight any battles. In Skies of Arcadia, you can buy an infinite number of stat-boosting items and it totally destroys the game's balance!

Linear growth formulas like EggLynx is talking about are basically always a terrible idea, at least in games where you can keep growing indefinitely by grinding. Killing level 5 enemies needs to get you power way slower than killing level 50 enemies, or else no one will kill anything other than the weakest enemies in the game. But if level 50 enemies give you more experience, then earning those higher levels needs to cost proportionally more experience also. This is true regardless of whether the levels are gained automatically or not.

Because of that, you're going to have a very hard time coming up with good prices for anything that the player needs to buy over and over during the game. Healing items and inns are the obvious ones, but now you want to add charms also. For the charms that increase enemy drops, you may need to make charms that only work on enemies level 10 and lower, and then more expensive charms that only work on enemies level 20 and lower, and so forth. For the ones that repair equipment, you may want to instead just have a blacksmith in each town who you pay to repair equipment, and he charges a percentage of the item's cost, so that better items will cost more to repair. For inns, you may need to make the cost increase with the player's level, or increase based on the amount of HP and MP the player is missing.
For some reason, it's getting a bit complicated. This is going to take a while...
Thanks everyone for your help!
Sunflower Games
The most beautiful user on RMN!
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@LockeZ

The Elder Scrolls: Morrowind is broken because you can pay trainers to train you. It's so easy to get gold in that game if you know what you're doing. And if you train in one area multiple times you can raise your Attributes (ie. strength) +3 every time you level up (and you can choose when to level up.)

(In Morrowind it pretty much equals using speech craft to convince guards to attack you, so its not illegal to kill them. Use a special sword to paralyze them, then change equipment to kill them. Take their armour and sell it.)

(Oblivion is a bit harder to cheat, but you can use Conjugation to summon monsters to attack and level up. Though Oblivion actually limits the number of times you can be trained and who can train you.)

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