STRATEGY RPG GAME IDEA

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I am itching for a new genre and I have thought of making a strategy RPG game, I have a few mechanics in place, much like Age of Empires where you research technologies but don't advance through ages. Assigning villagers/workers to tasks such a gathering food, chopping wood and stuff. But I am having a hard time bringing it all together, so to speak.

I need some more ideas on how I could make this work, I'm not thinking along the lines of an RTS or a turn based strategy game but a new kind of strategy game where I can make full use of in RPG Maker, I am infact just asking how would I go about developing a new strategy game in RPG Maker.
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.
5363
Step 1 is to not use RPG Maker. I'm not sure why you would start with RPG Maker if you're not making an RPG. It will be miserable and you will be working against the program at every turn, instead of the program helping you.


Step 2 is to figure out what you actually want to make in way more detail than "a new genre that I haven't figured out how to make work."


Step 3 is to start coding a system that works with those details in your program of choice.


But frankly, if you were even considering RPG Maker, then you're clearly in way over your head dude. For creating a new genre of strategy games, you will need real programming skills, along with a fair amount of experience making strategy games of existing genres, and an extremely specific plan of exactly how your game will play before you even begin.
As I see it, the first issue will probably be pathfinding. RPGmaker is not well suited to that. I've been toying with a pathfinding workaround using terrain id and the distance equation to try and come up with the best route. You can compress it into a smaller number of events and use a master variable to track which unit is being solved for at any time, but it isn't exactly fast.

I think pathfinding for a strategy rpg MIGHT be a little easier, since the player probably doesn't directly control a unit's movement, they just tell it where to go and it goes there. With both player objects and enemy objects following the same set of rules, there SHOULD be less slip-ups.

I'd suggest making multiple tiles of each ground type with different ids. That way you can draw a path around objects and keep units moving reliably, instead of requiring a set of calculations whenever one of your "feeler" events hits a roadblock. You will still need a "case by case" set of events to deal with things like player built structures getting in the way of existing routes.

I know it is probably rudimentary, but regardless of what I'm working in, my first step in any pathfinding attempt is getting the test object I'm solving for to be able to navigate a maze by itself.

I know a pathfinding discourse is probably not what you were looking for with this topic, but a game with a strategic bent is going to require some finesse in that department. Outflanking an enemy that gets stymied by a hedge doesn't give the player a great sense of accomplishment.
Well personally I think it all depends on the type of game you want it to be so to speak. As you said, you are not shooting for an RTS so I think its entirely possible to make a strategy type game in RPGmaker. Anyway, what kind of combat (if any) are you considering? and are you thinking a game where you are controlling the actions of units (pretty much like an RTS) or where you are just simming who does what, more like harvest moon or something?

Like lets say, you want to tell certain NPC's to go do something and have them appear to do the command you gave them, there are a few ways around this, easy. Or are you talking RTS style like Age of empires or Starcraft, where multiple units are acting on their own after being given a command?
author=Killer Wolf
I've been toying with a pathfinding workaround using terrain id and the distance equation to try and come up with the best route.


It's been done - http://rpgmaker.net/tutorials/547/
author=Link_2112
It's been done - http://rpgmaker.net/tutorials/547/

Thanks! I thought I'd seen reference to an article about it at one point, but I didn't recall if it was here or back on GW, so I just went ahead and designed my own system from first principles.

EDIT - I must have been thinking of a different article/tutorial, because it looks like that one is recent and the one I remember hearing about was months/a year+ ago... my time compression is acting up again.
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.
5363
I didn't mean to imply that it would be impossible to do in RPG Maker, just that I think it would be extremely painful. You will be working against the maker instead of with it. A strategy game maker or a general-purpose game maker would be better suited.
Ok, well if any of you have played FF6 and if I rememeber correctly there was a part where the whole crew were stuck on the mountain and empire soldiers were moving slowly towards you, if they were able to get to Bannon you would lose and it would be game over, so the minigame allowed you to move your squad in real time while empire soldiers were moving towards you as well.

Before that little strategy minigame started, it allowed you to make up squads of 4 characters and you could select which characters going into a 4 man squad,where you can switch between squads with a press of a button and control each squad separately. I was thinking of doing something along those lines but then I think that when you account for stuff like ranged units it would cancel their benefits, for a combat system I was thinking of heavily customizing the DBS.

I don't think I'll need to implement path finding with this type of strategy game I have in mind. I think it would play out like a game of chess, of course I need to make unit types and stuff but if you have seen the FF6 video it is much like a game of chess, where Bannon represents the King and the soldiers are the pawns and so on, I think it would work out great.

This is what I was talking about:
kentona
I am tired of Earth. These people. I am tired of being caught in the tangle of their lives.
21237
I implemented that in Hero's Realm.
author=kentona
I implemented that in Hero's Realm.
How did you handle ranged units? Or was it done in the normal default battle system?
You might look into the Shining Force games from the Genesis era. They had tactical movement, and they cut away to a specialized "attack view." With a fistful of variables and some events, you could mock up the basic shell for it.

The movement would probably come back to a pathfinding issue, unless all of the enemy's movements are pre-baked. Then, you just do touch encounters for melee and a distance solution for ranged attacks, after which you kick it out to the DBS.

The trick is to have events in the DBS that will track the damage done to party members/enemies, and a "after x turns" to kick you back out to the normal map. At the start of each mini-instance of the DBS, you use the variables for enemy health to chop them down to the current value, opposed to the defaults set in the database.

You could also track the position of other player units and enemies, so that if enough are in an area, they could join in on that combat instance to gang up on an enemy or get ambushed by them. (A slight outgrowth of something I'm playing with for my western.)

If I get some extra time this weekend, I may try to knock something together you could use as a jumping off point.
kentona
I am tired of Earth. These people. I am tired of being caught in the tangle of their lives.
21237
author=supremewarrior
author=kentona
I implemented that in Hero's Realm.
How did you handle ranged units? Or was it done in the normal default battle system?
I meant, I did the FFVI style battle in Hero's Realm, where you could toggle between multiple parties, and the enemy advanced in groups, and if one of the enemies ran into one of your parties, a standard DBS battle was initiated.
author=Killer Wolf
do touch encounters for melee and a distance solution for ranged attacks, after which you kick it out to the DBS.

The trick is to have events in the DBS that will track the damage done to party members/enemies, and a "after x turns" to kick you back out to the normal map. At the start of each mini-instance of the DBS, you use the variables for enemy health to chop them down to the current value, opposed to the defaults set in the database.


That sounds like a wikked idea
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.
5363
That's basically how the tactical battles in SaGa Frontier 2 worked; Suikoden 3 was also kind of similiar. SF2 gave you control of your party members for the one turn, while Suiko3 put them in autobattle mode. Both ended after one round, which seems smart, but means you can't use RM2K3.

In SaGa Frontier 2, I remember that if you engaged an enemy unit in melee combat, it got a turn in the battle to fight back; if you attacked it with a ranged attack, it didn't. Also, if you engaged an enemy in melee combat while one of your ranged units was adjacent to the enemy, arrows rained down at the beginning of the melee combat, dealing minor damage to all enemies. I can't honestly say I remember how ranged units worked in Suiko3, or if it even had ranged units.

Both SF3 and Suiko3 are normal RPGs that just have a few of these tactical battles. Shining Force 1 and 2 meanwhile are full-fledged tactical RPGs that use that system for the whole game. The Fire Emblem series also handles combat pretty similarly to the Shining Force games.

There's also Ogre Battle for the SNES, I guess, as another example of an RPG with weird tactical battles. Someone else can explain how that game works because I never got very far in it.
I don't think the concept is prohibitive for Rm2k3 use. If you put a variable for "party turns" that counts up whenever a battle command is chosen, and check it against the number of members in the party, you should be able to kick out of the battle event when you reach your total. You can limit enemy actions with switches. Have a 'Melee enemy being attacked at Range' switch, so that even if the kick-out event hitches a little in the dbs, the enemy can't attack the archer that is out of his natural range. Or even better, have an enemy skill turn on the switch that kicks the party back out of the battle event.

Then, when the party actually engages an enemy at melee range, switch the attacked at range switch off, allowing the enemy's attacks to function normally.
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.
5363
The biggest problem with RM2K3 is if you allow enemies and allies to both take turns in the same battle segment. There is no simple way to determine when everyone has taken a turn - you can't just count the turns because one of the players or one of the enemies might have died before its turn. You could try to do complex events to check each character and enemy individually to see if they're dead or paralyzed, calculate the number of remaining units, and then end the battle when the number of turns was reached... but then what if someone gets a turn before they die? The battle will end prematurely. You could use status effects to track who's gotten a turn, but then you have to make every skill and command - including items - inflict that status on the *caster*, which means you'll have to use battle events to apply that status based on MP usage or whatever the hell else. The problems will keep piling up and the simple act of figuring out when everyone's gotten a turn will become a gigantic humongous pain in the ass.

I suppose it's not a completely impossible problem to get around, but using RM2K, RMXP or RMVX would just be vastly simpler. I do still think using a game maker designed to make tactical RPGs would likely be even simpler, since your description sounded more like a tactical RPG than a traditional RPG...
I'm not denying it would be easier in a maker better suited to the end product, but there are still plenty of workarounds.

Have a ticker for party member turns nested in their commands (NAME uses FIGHT/ITEM/SKILL/Fill it with Piss command. Party Turns + 1), and have enemy attacks turn on switches. Use a tracker with the condition SWITCH is on & Turn + 1 to add to a TURNS variable. Create a separate event to track if each enemy's turn variable has increased by 1, and have it kick out of the dbs. You could even use another switch to turn an enemy's ability to act off. It would be something of a pain, requiring a couple of switches per enemy type, and it would also mean that duplicate enemies in the same instance would have to have different switches for the same functions, but that is probably still quicker than learning a new scripting language from scratch.

Admittedly, this is all off the top of my head. I'm going to try and stitch a couple systems together over the weekend to see if all of my suggestions really are as feasible as I think they are.
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.
5363
I forgot enemy attacks could turn on a switch at the same time as doing any normal battle command or skill. That does make things simpler.

Mind that supremewarrior hasn't responded in a while and might just be all like "what no that's not what I want at all, I want something like a cross between Suikoden 2 wars and Plants vs. Zombies." So I'mma wait for him to give more detail about his ideas before I make any more suggestions.
author=LockeZ
I forgot enemy attacks could turn on a switch at the same time as doing any normal battle command or skill. That does make things simpler.

Mind that supremewarrior hasn't responded in a while and might just be all like "what no that's not what I want at all, I want something like a cross between Suikoden 2 wars and Plants vs. Zombies." So I'mma wait for him to give more detail about his ideas before I make any more suggestions.

I've been experimenting and it's easy to make turns for the player and enemy, that's not a big issue here. I can also apply variables to enemy events to track whether they are within range of my range units to attack, actaully a turn based strategy game is very well within the limits of RPG Maker 2003 as is any other game engine. But I think a CBS would be needed to handle the combat more efficiently but it's totally possibly with the DBS.

I have been following Kasezui's tutorial and they have helped a lot as he has contributed a bunch of tutorials on the implementation of pointers that relate to making a TBS and it's been an interesting read, I recommend people to read them.

I did not realize that making a "new genre of strategy games" was more difficult than I thought.

I want to brain storm here, how could we make a game that involves strategy and strategic placement of troops/units? Without using the usual RTS, TBS and etc...

Findings of what I have so far:
TBS Movement early prototype
Theres still a few problems concerning generating the proper move field(The blue squares) but I will sort it.
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.
5363
author=supremewarrior
I want to brain storm here, how could we make a game that involves strategy and strategic placement of troops/units? Without using the usual RTS, TBS and etc...


You'll have to more specifically define exactly what it is you don't want to use before anyone can offer alternatives.
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