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Game Design

Design - Balance & Spells

Hello there!

Following the release of Wonder Robot D I’ve decided to write a few blogs about the concepts I used to design the game. I'd like to share how I’ve applied these concepts when creating the game.

This time I’ll talk a bit about the spells for battle and how I balanced the game to make sure each spell has a chance to shine.

Balanced Combat with Distinct Spells
Having played a fair few RPGs. One thing that I think goes underdeveloped is the distinction between different skills and spells. In some games you’ll find you have Fire, Thunder, Ice, Water attack spells. But the only difference between each one is the element...

One of the aspects I wanted to focus on in Wonder Robot D was making spells distinct. I wanted to make it so the player feels each spell meaningfully expands your options and to create battles were each spell can shine.

Amongst the first spells you receive is Bubble Spray. A water spell 2 Power which attacks 4 random enemies. It only costs 5 energy which is one of the cheapest costs for a move that can do 8 damage:

WRD's basic damage formula is

Damage = Power - Defense

If there’s a foe’s defence is 0 or reduced to 0 Bubble Spray is at its best!

However an enemy only needs 1 defence to half the damage, 2 defence to nullify it. Plus if there more than 1 enemy in an encounter you can’t control how the damage is spread.

By thinking about the base mechanics and maths of each move. You can create situational skills where even before factors like elemental weaknesses are taken into account the player will consider their potential offensive/defensive options.

I found a simple way to balance this was to think about what kind of battles and enemies could be most effectively beaten by specific spell. To make a spell like Bubble Spray effective I knew tha as the game progressed there would still need to be enemies and bosses who have 0 DEF. Like-wise to make other spells such as ones which ignore defense useful I'd have enemies with higher defense and low HP.

Some other Spells
  • Gust: 4 Power, 1 Energy

  • Ignite: 2 Power, 3 Energy, 70% to inflict burn

  • Twice As Bright: 4 Power, 4 Energy, 8 power if HP < 50%

  • Bolt: 5 Power, 4 Energy, ignores 50% of foes defense

  • Snow Flurry: 3 Power, 4 Energy, attacks all foes

The power of the standard attack command is 3 regardless of level. This was used as a basis of what the spells were balanced around. A spell which costs energy will either be stronger than the standard attack of 3 or will have an additional effect.

Give Wonder Robot D a shot if you want to play a game with a balanced spell system.

Thanks for Reading!



Wonder Robot D is Released!

Hello Everyone!

After 1 year and 4 months of development I am happy to say Wonder Robot D is complete and available for download!

To mark the release of the game I’ve put together a new trailer showcasing the exciting events of Act 2 onwards(warning some spoilers):

It’s been quite an experience, this being my first serious project and with custom assets. The initial planning, trial and error, making mistakes and correcting them were all big parts of the process. I feel I’ve learnt a lot about game design and pixel art from this.

Through gradual improvement I feel I’ve made a game that I can be proud of. One hopefully many can enjoy playing.

I like to thank those who showed interest in the demo. I’m very grateful for your continued support.

Thank you for reading. I hope you all enjoy Wonder Robot D!



Release Date confirmed!

Hi Everyone!

As always I've been working hard at finishing Wonder Robot D. Back in June said that I felt like I was on track to complete the game earlier than the estimate of the 1st of September 2019.

I'm happy to announce that this is the case and I am planning on releasing the game quite soon...the 2nd of August to be exact. Up until then I'll be polishing the last little bits of the game and playtesting the final release.

I'll make a new announcement once the game is out with a release trailer. You'll be able to download the full game here for free in addition to itch.io

The demo is now up to 65 downloads between here and itch.io which is beyond what I'd expect so soon for my first game. Thank you for your continued support, I hope everyone is looking forward to the full game!

Thanks for Reading!



Wonder Robot D will be...Totally Free!

Hi Everyone!

I've been continuing to work at hard at making Wonder Robot D. It's quite close to completion now, pretty much reaching the home stretch.

Originally I set the game as commercial and was considering charging a small amount for the final release. However I decided I'd like as many people as people to enjoy the game as possible.

To summarise the new pricing strategy:

  • It's on the house.

  • Toll Free.

  • Cost Free.

  • It's 100 percent off 100 percent of the time.

  • It's free.

This means you'll be able to download the full game here once it's complete!

It's on track to being complete earlier than my target of 1st September 2019. But I'll announce the date once I can say for sure.

In addition I'd like to thank everyone for their support and interest. Between here and itch.io the demo has been downloaded over 50 times.

That's all for now. Thanks for Reading!


Progress Report

Wonder Robot D - Status Update May 2019

Hi Everyone!

It's been about a month since I've released the demo, so just giving a heads up on the progress. Wonder Robot D's development is progressing quite smoothly that I'm confident in the estimated release data of 1st September 2019 at my current rate provided no major changes in circumstances.

An estimate of completedness each element of the game as:

  • Scripting: 90%

  • Graphics: 90%

  • Dialogue: 80%

  • Maps: 90%

  • Battles: 80%

  • Music: 100%

I'm now in the phase of focusing on polishing and fleshing out the game. Most of the work left is expanding/adding or redesigning rooms, battles, mechanics etc. in existing areas in the full game.

The full game will be three acts and the demo covers Act 1. Act 2 is content complete and my main focus is finishing up the content in Act 3 and then polishing/testing Act 2 and Act 3 to fix bugs before the release.

That's all for now. Thanks for reading!



Wonder Robot Demo - Version 1.01 (Easter Update)

Hello Everybody!

I'm continuing to work hard at making Wonder Robot D. Today I'd like to announce the release of the first update to the Demo. Version 1.01.

This version includes new easter themed content and some bugfixes based on feedback!

Easter Update!
There is now a hidden entrance to a new area, Easter Cave in Mint Woods
Three easter themed items/equipment
Two Easter Slime enemies

General Changes/Bugfixes
Improved performance in Woodsley.
Fixed positioning of characters when re-watching pre-credits scene.
Adjusted a map in Deep Mint Woods to prevent walking through certain ledges.
Modified name input screen to reduce overlap of certain letters.

That's all for now. Keep checking here for regular updates on Wonder Robot D's progress and have a nice Easter!

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