0 reviews
  • Add Review
  • Subscribe
  • Nominate
  • Submit Media
  • RSS

Game Mechanics Part 16/17

  • LMPGames
  • 09/07/2023 06:06 AM
  • 406 views
Game Mechanics Part 16/17

It’s time; the final game mechanics blog post. These were obviously meant to be separate, but due to the delay in posting, you’re getting a mega-blog today. Today we’re going to be talking about all of the mechanics that I said we would talk about and then never got around to actually covering throughout the other blogs in addition to everything related to the Advanced Weapon Plugin.

We’re going to talk about quest indicators, the field journal, critical story moments (this was bought up in the auto-save mechanic discussion), saving changes, an update on battle weather, skill bundling, and then the AWP and all of its related extensions.

This is going to be a big one, so get something to eat/drink and settle in for a nice wall of text.



____________________
That floaty thing above your head

RPGs have struggled forever on how to tell the player when an NPC has a quest for them. There are hundreds of game systems developed to figure out how to do this in an effective way. MMOs tend to favor the floaty icon as do many other genres, some games, like Trails in the Sky, have specific locations where you can get quests from. Others prefer to leave you completely in the dark and let you figure it all out for yourself (like Chrono Trigger).

Emilar will feature a hybrid of these three mentioned styles of quest system as we have discussed before. There will be quests given at specific locations, quests that you will happen to stumble onto that will both be recorded as quests in the Quest Journal or won’t be until you obtain enough information to trigger the quest to start.

There will also be NPCs that will have quests for you to undertake. For these NPCs, the floaty icon mechanic will be used. There will be four icons in total; four colors used, and two styles.

First, you will know that an NPC has a quest for you when you see a question mark floating above their heads. The color of the question mark will tell you what general type of quest it is. Blue question marks indicate a general side quest of some type (fetch and kill mostly) while red question marks indicate a special quest. These special quests have a greater chance of being mini-arcs with multiple quests and will usually give you good rewards.

Once you have taken a quest from an NPC, the icon will change to an exclamation point. A yellow exclamation point means that you have not completed one of the quests you have undertaken from this NPC. The exclamation mark will turn green when you have a quest that you can turn in for the rewards for that quest.

I am working on figuring out a way to make these work properly, with a scoping mechanism. Here is how I want them to work:

If you have not taken a quest from an NPC that has one, it should have a question mark of the appropriate color.

If the NPC has multiple quests for you to undertake, special quests should have priority so the question mark would be red.

If you have taken on a quest from an NPC, but there are other quests they have for you, then a exclamation point should be shown instead of a question mark; active quests take priority over new ones.

Completed quests should have priority over uncompleted ones, so if you have multiple quests from an NPC and one of them is finished, then there should be a green exclamation point over that NPC. Once you turn in that finished quest, the exclamation point should either be green if there are other completed quests or yellow if there are unfinished quests.

If you have multiple quests finished, the NPC should process all of them without you having to talk to that NPC multiple times.

The icons used may change as we get closer to release; technically what I am using right now are placeholders, but I may decide just to use them.



____________________

Your army diary

With all the new menu options being added into the game, it became apparent quickly that shoving them all into the main menu was not going to work. In addition, there needed to be something that you were given after completing training that made sense within the context of the game.

Enter the Field Journal.

The Field Journal will be a hidden menu option until you finish your Guard Force training. Once you are through it, you will be given a field journal used to record important information relating to your job. This unlocks the menu option.

The Field Journal will be broken down into the following categories:
Party Information
Battle Statistics
Codex
Mission Journal
Evaluation
Magic Loadouts
Write Entry (Save)
Read Entry (Load)

The Status, Save, and Load options in the main menu will be removed once the Field Journal has been unlocked. The Quests section will also be removed; this section will contain only basic information on quests. The Mission Journal will be the full system. Here is what each section of the journal is specifically used for.


Party Information
This section contains a submenu for character status, general relation information (related to the character relationship and anima systems), and Felto’s personality matrix which how many points each Anima aspect has and will display a star graph similar to Persona’s social stat graph to visually display the information as well.


Battle Statistics
This section will contain the number of battles fought, the number of kills each character has made (this may be broken out into more detailed statics by type for tracking for Soulbinder), time spent in battle, total EXP/Gold gained from battle, and other more unusual statistics.


Codex
This section is the Codex plugin that we covered in Part 2 of this blog series. It is a massive plugin that covers a lot of ground. For the most part, it just keeps all of the information you learn about organized, but within that there are ways built in for you to use that information strategically.

For example, there are system built into the Bestiary that allow you to create optimal grinding sessions, help you track down the best locations to find things or get exp, and that will help you deal with some of the more interesting Grand Class mechanics, like the kill count for Soulbinder.

Then there are ways that I will use the Codex to allow you to investigate certain lore topics which may lead to the discovery of quests, unique equipment, special dungeons, and super bosses. It isn’t just about tracking numbers and information, it is about dragging you into the lore for the game and giving you a way to keep track of progress toward non-story related goals.

There is also a progress tracker for you to enable if you want to that will track your progress towards 100% completion. Certain categories won’t be visible though, such as secret locations, even though they are factored into your overall completion of the game.


Mission Journal
This is where all of the details of the quests you have undertaken are kept. I will be using YanFly’s quest journal plugin for this so each quest type will be subdivided into a category. There will also be sections for complete and failed quests.

Within the Mission Journal there will be other sections as well, Quests is just one part. Think of this as a sub-sub menu. There will also be a synopsis of the story thus far so you can keep track of where you’re at and there will also be a list of the major choices you have made.


Evaluation
This section of the Field Journal will be used to track how your superior is rating your job performance. There isn’t much tied to this mechanic except for the gold stipend you get at the start of each chapter. There may be some other minor story branching that happens based on this mechanic.

In this part of the journal, you will see the actions you have taken throughout the game, large and small, and their impact on your evaluation. There will be a visual indicator of some kind that shows you how close you are to the next stipend grade.


Magic Loadouts
This section will contain each active party member that can use magic and allow you to assign them a loadout to use in battle, clear a loadout, create a new one if you have an open loadout slot, and to edit an existing loadout.

Many of the mechanics for the Field Journal are in place, but the journal plugin itself still needs to be created, so there’s some work to do here for this one.



___________________

No save scumming for you (maybe)

One mechanic I mentioned and we never went back to discuss was related to auto-saving. I had stated that there may be some situations where auto-saving would not happen. These situations are called Critical Story Moments; points at which the story has a chance to swing wildly depending on your choice and choices you have made up to that point.

Initially I wanted to implement this as a standard feature which would just happen. I am now strongly considering making it a togglable option that can add an extra layer of difficulty to the game if you choose to use it.

The reason for the change was that maybe you want to see what would happen if you picked a certain option, but didn’t really want to continue the game after making it and instead wanted to continue after making a different choice. With this system in place, you would have to play the game again and then choose the other option; not a good player experience.

Instead, by default the game will still auto-save before these moments and you can save beforehand if you choose to. If this setting is turned on though, auto-saves won’t happen.



___________________

Saving is changing, again

So, I have been going back and forth over several possible saving mechanics. From only auto-saves, to point based saving like in most old school RPGs, to allowing you to save whenever and where ever, or only being able to manually save in certain circumstances. There are too many options to choose from.

Instead, I will do something completely different from all of these. Auto-saves will still happen under the following conditions:

Before entering a new location (when you leave a map)
When triggering a boss battle
Before a Critical Story Moment (if the setting to disable this is not turned on)

Manual saving will be allowed; however, you will need an item to save and it will be consumed on save. I am working on the lore background for these items at the moment. You will be able to buy them at most shops; I am not sure of the price yet. It will probably be heavily dependent on balancing.



____________________

Battle meteorologists are rioting in the streets

So, I mentioned about wanting to try and see if I could figure out how to implement a mechanic where there would be weather in battle and that would have an impact on the conditions of said battle; like fog causing a drop in hit rate. I still want to do this, but I don’t think it will make it into the initial release of the game. I need to do some more research into the weather plugins I have found and see if I can figure out how I would need to modify them to implement an effects system.

None of the ones I have found do that out of the box.



____________________

Not your average status effect damage

I forget if we covered this before, but if we did you can just ignore this section. If we did not, then here is some insight into how status effect damage is going to be calculated.

As with spell damage, I wanted to move away from simplistic formulas in favor of something a bit more in the weeds. One thing that prompted this was my desire to fix Poison. I do know we talked about this before, but to recap RPGs have been doing Poison wrong since what feels like the start.

Poison usually does damage once your turn is over and does damage based on a percentage of health. Well-constructed games can work around the percentile nature of how Poison generally works; RPG Maker is not an engine that allows this to be done well though.

So, I made several changes. The first one was to make Poison do damage after every action you take with a character, not at the end of their turn. The second one was to make Poison’s turn tracker tick down after each application, which isn’t possible to do other than by battle turn by default in RPG Maker. The third was to create a damage system to remove the percentile nature of Poison.

This damage system is what we will be discussing, because I applied it to many of the status effects and it isn’t a simplistic system.

So, the overview. How this damage system works is by taking the stats of the caster at the time of casting and storing them. These values are then used each time the status effect would do damage. This allows the system to make sense; why would a status effect cast on you three turns ago do more damage on turn 4 because the caster got buffed?

If the caster was immobilized for the duration of the status effect, it would make sense. Because the caster is physically maintaining the status effect on you each turn, any kind of buff or debuff should be applied then. Most games don’t do this (DND does for some things).

Instead status effects are generally used as a “cast it and forget it” kind of situation where once the spell that causes the effect is cast, the caster isn’t required to maintain it and can do other things. In this situation, the damage should be locked in unless some other innate factors of the status effect change.

As an example of the above statement, consider an effect that makes gravity-styled attacks do more damage. If the effectiveness of this status effect is increased through some means, the damage from gravity-styled attacks should also increase.

So, at the time of application of a status effect that either does damage over time or that impacts damage from other status effects or attacks, the relevant stats are stored. Each time the status effect activates, these stats are looked up and used to calculate the damage that should happen.

Let’s use Poison for an example. Let’s say you are casting Poison on a target. Your Magic Attack Power (MAP) is 45. This value is stored in a game variable object. Each time the target takes damage from Poison, the game will look up this value and pull the 45 out to stick it into the damage calculation. The target's Magic Defense Power (MDP) is 38.

The current formula for Poison damage is:

Math.floor(10 + (originMAP * 1.50) - (userMDP * 1.25))

Given the MAP and MDP given, your initial damage with Poison would be 35 damage. If the entity taking damage is a player character though, the formula also takes into consideration accessories that reduce poison damage. If you had one of these, the damage would be reduced by a percentage before being applied to you.

If your MAP gets debuffed by the enemy at some point before Poison wears off, it retains the same damage it did before the debuff.

Many status effects operate in this fashion.



____________________

Weapons deserve levels too

Alright, it is finally time to talk about the Advanced Weapon Plugin. This is a massive plugin, probably about as big as the Codex plugin, if not a bit larger.

The Advanced Weapon Plugin is, at its core, a weapon refinement plugin. It allows you to power up your weapons and unlock additional stats, status effects, and other features for your weapons. Not all weapons can use all parts of this system. Most of the weapons you obtain through the beginning of the game (first 18 hours) will only be able to be improved; the other systems are not able to be used on them.

The plugin breaks down into the following major areas:
Improvement
Refinement
Synthesizing
Durability
Enhancing


Improvement
The Improvement system is a leveling system. It works by spending EXP and gold at a Blacksmith NPC to level up your weapons. As you fight enemies, your weapons will obtain 25% of the EXP in combat. Weapons will only gain exp from battles, items that give your characters levels or exp won’t apply to your weapons. Weapon exp is then spent as a resource to level up your weapon.

Leveling up a weapon will increase its base stat values, unlock additional chance to hit for existing status effects, potentially unlock new status effects, unlock new weapon skills, and potentially some other special features as well.

If the Durability system is turned on, leveling up your weapon can also increase its durability.

Eventually your weapon will reach its level cap. All weapons will have one, the rarer the weapon is, the higher the cap will be, that also means that upgrades are more spread out for rare weapons and that there are more of them. Rare weapons will also tend to have more powerful upgrades.

Once your weapon reaches its level cap, it cannot be improved through the Improvement system any longer and you will have to take your weapon to the next stage if it is able to use the refinement system.


Refinement
Once you can no longer level up your weapon, your next option is to refine it. Refining resets your weapon’s level back to 1, but retains all the upgrades you unlocked. Think of it as a New Game+ for your weapons.

Upon refining a weapon, you will get a flat increase to the stats of your weapon depending on what that stat is.

For base parameters (atk/def/etc), the increase is 5% per refinement level.
For special parameters (Hit %/Eva %/etc), the increase is 1% per refinement level.
For extended parameters (Exp %, Pharmacology/etc), the increase is 0.5% per refinement level.
For status effects, the affliction chance in increased by 10% per refinement level.
For durability, the increase is 15% per refinement level.

In addition to these buffs, as you level up your weapon through the next Improvement Cycle, there can be additional upgrades to unlock. Mainly this applies to weapons from later in the game, but you may occasionally find an instance of an early weapon with improvement cycle unlocks.

I am still trying to figure out how I will let you know if a weapon does have these Improvement Cycle unlockables. I don't want to implement a tier system, but that might be the easiest option.

Many weapons that can be used with the AWP early on will have a max refinement level. As you get higher in rarity, this cap also gets higher and eventually you will be able to find weapons that are uncapped. At that point your only limit is the time you want to put into improving and refining, which translates to grinding for exp and gold.

So, you have this weapon you have been using for a while. It’s at its +8 refinement level cap. What else can you do with this weapon; you may be wondering. Well, you can always combine it with another weapon.


Synthesis
Weapon Synthesis is the process of taking two weapons and combining them. In doing so, you combine the upgrades and abilities of the two weapons together. How much of the upgrades are carried over depends on which weapon is the donor weapon. The donor weapon is the weapon that is to be combined with the base weapon.

Base parameters from a donor weapon are carried over at a rate of 30% for base parameters that are non-zero on the base weapon. If you bring over a new base param, one the base weapon doesn't already have, it goes up to 60%.

The values for Ex and Sp params are 20%/40% for Sp params and 15%/30% for Ex params.

For status effects, an existing status effect’s affliction rate will be increased by 25% of the donor weapon’s affliction rate. If you bring over a new status effect, 60% of the affliction rate is carried over.

If the durability system is enabled, half of the durability is carried over.

Once a weapon has been synthesized, it can no longer be improved or refined. Instead, to continue upgrading it, you must synthesize another weapon into it. This becomes progressively harder over time because of the requirements to synthesize.

To synthesize two weapons, they must both be improved to their level cap and must have the same refinement level. Upon synthesizing the weapons, the refinement level of the fused weapon is increased by 2, even if it goes above the refinement level cap.

So, if your weapons were +3 refinement level, the resulting weapon is now a +5 and you have to get another +5 weapon to synthesize the base weapon again.

You will also be able to rename the fused weapon once you have synthesized it and after each subsequent synthesis. Synthesizing does not, on its own, add anything to the stats of the weapon; any improvements are reliant on the donor weapon used.


Durability System
This is an optional system that can be turned on from the options menu for most game difficulties. Brutal and higher difficulties turn this setting on and it cannot be turned off. When enabled, weapons will have durability.

Each attack made in battle with a physical component (so magic physical attacks count) will deplete the durability by a set amount based on the specific skills used and the number of hits it makes. The amount of durability consumed will depend on the specifics of that skill. If it hits multiple enemies multiple times, your going to see a large durability cost for that.

Once the weapon reaches 0 durability what happens depends on if you have the Break option selected.

Breaking
You can choose to have weapons break when they reach 0 durability. This means that the weapon is rendered basically useless until reforged at a Blacksmith. All damage done by attacks with physical components will have their output reduced to 5% of the total damage done. So, if your skill attack does 100 damage, it will do 5 if your weapon breaks.

Repairing a broken weapon will be expensive. It will require 90% of that weapon’s exp and a fair amount of gold that will be calculated based on the weapon’s level and refinement level.

Broken weapons cannot be improved, refined, or synthesized.

In this mode, weapon’s gain 40% of your exp in battle instead of 25%. In addition, Durability is increased by 10% and the durability damage taken from attacks is reduced by 20% to make it a bit farer for long-duration battles.

In this mode, you can purchase repair items from the Blacksmith, but their overall effectiveness is reduced so they repair less durability.

Standard
The other option is “Standard”. This is the default functionality for the durability system. Once a weapon "breaks" you will do 1/4th the damage you normally would. Weapons can be repaired using items instead of having to go to the Blacksmith. These items can be used in battle as well.

Weapons with 0 durability can still be improved, refined, and synthesized.


Enhancing
The Enhancement system kind of works like the socket systems in ARPGs and the magic upgrade system in this game. Certain weapons have several enhancement points into which you introduce materials that the weapons then absorbs when heated (partial lore on the system here). This allows you to add some large-scale changes to the weapons. Unlike the ARPG systems, changes mage by the enhance system cannot be undone; they are permanent.

You will only find weapons able to be enhanced in treasure chests, they will not be sold, and any weapon can have an enhanceable variant. There may even be ways to make non-enhanceable weapons enhanceable using certain high level crafting components.

Examples of enhancements are:
+25% exp gain
+10% Strength
+18% to all damage

There may also be rare enhancement items that can add unique abilities to weapons but will be hard to find/obtain.

Enhancements are done using enhancement items. These can be found out in the wild or made through crafting. Some of them can only be found while exploring though. Some can also be crafted, but to craft these items, you will need to be Crafting Level 5 or higher.


____________________

How does magic work in this game, anyway?

You have probably noticed throughout these blogs that I have said that magic isn’t arcane in my game. Let’s expand on this now because I feel that this topic needs explaining to better illustrate the next AWP mechanic we’re going to cover.

In Emilar, magic users do not derive their power from natural sources around them. Instead, they manifest the spells by conceptualizing what that spell is, they are essentially willing it into existence. This process requires mental energy which is then consumed. Hence why MP means Mental Points in Emilar. All spells require MP to use them and as with their Magic Point counterparts, the stronger the spell, the more MP required.

One key aspect of this bit of information is that this process only applies to Humanoids. The spells of monsters and other non-Human creatures are derived from the arcane and are, in fact, stronger than their Humanoid counterparts. This means that non-Humanoid enemies are not subjected to this next mechanic we will talk about.

To restate, MP stands for Mental Points and the use of magic drains Humanoids mentally. This cost system operates just as it would in other games, but here comes the catch.



___________________

Mental fatigue is real

In Legend of Emilar, magic is a tactical resource. You can’t just go shooting off stuff willy-nilly and expect not to get clapped on harder enemies. There are a multitude of systems that enforce this from limited magic loadouts to cooldowns that apply across an element and others.

This next mechanic is the most impactful of them all because it will change how you proceed in battle using magic. As you consume Mental Points by using magic, your effectiveness also decreases. This applies to any spell that would do damage or heal HP, including spells that could cause status effects that do damage over time.

How it works is that your current MP is divided by your max MP to get a percentage. Under 75% of your max MP, you will start to lose effectiveness with your spells; the damage or healing they would do is reduced by 20%.

Under 50%, they are reduced by 40%. At 25%, the reduction is increased to 75%. After you go below 25%, the reduction doesn’t increase.

So, let’s say you have 45% of your MP left and you go to heal a party member with a spell. The calculated heal value is 350HP. Because you are at 55% Mental Fatigue, your spell will only heal for 140HP. Similarly, if you cast Poison and normally Poison would do 35 damage, at 55% Mental Fatigue you're only going to see 14 damage out of it per action.

I am considering adding another gauge to the normal battle gauges that tracks Mental Fatigue, but it would really just be an inverse of the MP gauge. So, it almost doesn’t make sense to do so unless there are other ways for the MF to be increased. If other things can increase your MF, then this system needs to change.

So, here are two proposed implementations for this Mental Fatigue system.


Implementation 1
The system works as stated above. Mental Fatigue is based strictly on your MP% remaining and there are strict value ranges where the effectiveness of your magic is reduced and by how much it's reduced. The gauge is linked to your MP gauge.

Pretty simple.


Implementation 2
Instead of the above explanation, the Mental Fatigue system will work like this:
Each magic-using class has a Mental Fatigue parameter; possibly larger for more advanced classes.

Each time a spell is used, it causes a certain amount of Mental Fatigue to the caster. This would be dependent on the strength of the spell and what it targets. A weak spell that targets all allies will have a higher MF cost than one that only targets a single ally, for example.

Enemies may have attacks, status effects, and other abilities that can increase your MF. For example, a status effect that causes Mental Fatigue to the afflicted each turn which reduces your magic effectiveness.

The MF gauge is not linked to your MP and your MP% left is not a factor in increasing your Mental Fatigue.

I am favoring Implementation 2 at the moment because it adds a unique mechanic to the game that can be utilized in several ways. With the first implementation, it is strictly based on how much you use magic and when. The second one, the enemy can place you in a situation where your magic is severely impaired if you have no ability to counter what they do. This allows me to craft battles that are much harder because of the weakening of your magic.

For example, consider a boss that can both cause the Enfeeble status effect and has a status effect to drain your mental acuity. This could lead to issues with both healing your party and doing significant damage through spells and offers a way for enemies to weaken more complex spells like Phys/Magic compound class spells.

There will be items to reduce your mental fatigue in either implementation of the system.



___________________

You’re a mage, aren’t you? Why aren’t you using mage things?

The next AWP mechanic is also magic related. You know how in most games mages get staves or rods as weapons? Sometimes they may also get maces (clerics). But why do they get these weapons? The answer is, there is no actual reason; it’s just a fad that caught on and has never changed in like 30 years. Some game, probably Final Fantasy, did it and everyone else copied them and that game probably did it due to Tolkien. Other than aesthetics, there is no reason for them to be restricted to those weapons.

That isn’t the case in Emilar; there are reasons why you want to stick to certain weapon types with magic-users. This is the Focus system; yes, influenced by the DND system of the same name. Each magic-using class has at least one weapon they can attune with in addition to fighting with no weapon at all.

Magic-users use these Focus weapons to focus their mental power and get as much effectiveness as they can from their spells. They can also use their body to do this and thus don’t have to have a weapon to get the full power out of their magic. The downside there is that they don’t get the damage increase that comes from using a weapon.

Mages can use rods, staves, and books as their Focus weapons, but they can also use daggers and maces. Using a dagger or a mace will reduce the effectiveness of their spells, though, by 25%. It may be possible to find a dagger or a mace, or to create one, that can overcome this 25% drop in power if it adds enough Mental Attack Power (MAP).

Clerics can use maces, staves, and books as Focus weapons. They can also use gloves, rods, daggers, and short swords with the MAP penalty.

When it comes to the Compound classes that mix spells and physical skills, the Focus is the primary weapon type for the class. For example, for any of the Lancer/Mage Compound classes, the Focus weapon is a spear.



___________________

Should I go one-handed or do I need two hands?

The versatile weapon system is another one I have mentioned before or even done a full-on section on, but we’re going to cover it again here. This won’t take too long.

Certain weapons can be used in different ways; this normally will apply to swords, but I might also include rods and staves as well. This will be manifest as being able to set a weapon as a one-handed or a two-handed weapon.

In practical terms, versatile weapons have two usage modes they can be shifted between for different boosts. Using a versatile weapon in one hand will reduce their damage but increase your attack speed and allow you to wield something in your other hand be it a weapon or a shield. This applies to staves too.

If you switch to the two-handed mode, you lose the boost to your agility and the additional weapon/shield, but you can do more damage and, in the case of a physical weapon, it will add armor penetration to your attack so some amount of enemy defense will be ignored.



___________________

Ranged weaponry is actually ranged

One of my piffs with a lot of RPG Maker games is that Bows aren’t real. Sure, they might give you a weapon called Bow, but it's actually just a generic weapon with no differences in mechanical function within the battle system.

In Emilar, ranged weaponry will require ammunition and the ammunition will add more damage and different effects as well as have an impact on what abilities you can use.

Each weapon will have an ammo type; bows and long bows will use arrows, crossbows will use bolts, and guns will use bullets. There will not be a separation of bullet types for different types of gun weapons; at least not right now. Maybe, if I get enough feedback on it, I will implement specific ammo types for guns at a later time.

Weapon skills for ranges weapons will require you to have a certain amount of ammo to use them. If you don’t then those weapon skills will not be available to you. This leads to a problem though, what if you have no ammo at all and then can’t attack? Normal attacks are gone, after all.

I am still working on how this system should work and the lore around it; however, in those situations, you can use your HP to use those abilities. At least that is the plan right now. I don’t know how or why this is possible yet, in terms of the story. I am trying to find some fallback plans in case it becomes too wild to justify blood-sucking weapons (maybe they are all cursed? But then who cursed every gun in the world and why?).

One way or another there will be a way to deal with situations where you have no ammo.

In the skill selection menu, for abilities that use ammo there will be an indicator of the type of ammo, the amount required, and the amount you have. Skills that require ammo will list the type they need in the Codex.

I am working out a way to add ammo information to the skill description as well; if I can find one that works then I might be able to just display the types of ammo you have and the amount somewhere on the screen and leave the skill selection window alone.

Ammo will be a collective resource. All ranged characters will use the same ammo pool. Ammo is stored in the party inventory. So, if you have several characters with classes that use arrows be sure to stock up on enough so that they can function in battle.



____________________

Bundles of skills

The last game mechanic we’re going to discuss is skill bundling. While there are already some other mechanics that limit the spells you can equip, there isn’t anything on the physical skill side that does this. This means that while your skill list may be manageable, it will still be messy at times.

Skill bundling solves this issue once and for all. I mentioned this a bit a while back I think when talking about elemental magic and how similar elements would be combined into a sub-menu. Well that was this mechanic I was talking about.

Currently these are the plans for how this will work. All weapon skills will be bundled under a Weapon Skills selection. Class Skills will be bundled under their own heading. Additional Skills will be the next one, this one is for skills added by the equipment you have on other than weapons (some accessories will grant you use of skills). Then finally, each element of magic gets a bundle as well.

This should mean, baring me forgetting a type of skill, that your skill selection menu should only have the following options:

Weapons Skills
Class Skills (non-magic skills and physical magic skills)
Additional Skills
Fire/Water/Light/etc. Spells (magic-users only)

When one of these is selected, a sub-window will open with a list of the skills within that category for you to pick from. I don’t know if I will bundle within the sub window or not, I would rather not but if enough feedback comes in that Compound classes have too many listed skills, then I may consider it.


That’s it! 17 blog posts over ~half a year. We’ve covered all of the game mechanics currently implemented into the game or that are planned. I may add in new mechanics as the dev on the game continues and there may be tweaks and other changes to the mechanics as described here in these blogs. I will try not to cut anything that has been covered in these, but if I do need to I will make new blog posts.

Similarly, if something changes with a mechanic or something new is added, I will probably make a new blog post at some point once enough changes have been compiled or I feel that it should be disclosed (like before the demo is released).

So, what I will be doing now is releasing lore blogs that give you more details about the game world and the people in it. I will likely have some updates to the characters page to add in some new ones soon as well. These lore blogs will be slower coming, maybe once a month, and will cover two or three topics. In terms of length, I would expect them to be fairly chunky most of the time.

If you have been following along with these game mechanics blogs, thanks for doing so! Please feel free to go back to older ones and ask any questions or add any comments or feedback you may have. Part of the process for this game is making sure that player feedback is taken seriously and incorporated where it makes sense and early on in the game dev process you have a much better chance of changing something than once it has been set into place so if you have anything please let me know.

Thanks and I will see you in about a month with our first Lore Blog where we will be discussing three of the ten nations in Elisnar.

Posts

Pages: 1
Man this is dense. I like a lot of what I have read, but I do want to make some comments about everything so I'll go in order from the blog.

Quest Markers

I like that you are considering multiple ways of obtaining quests. A lot of games pick a single system and then stick with that system. That's fine, but in a real scenario you would be able to find things that would lead you to a quest or overhear discussions ala Skyrim.

I think that using two styles of marker is enough. The fact that the color can chance depending on the type and status of the quests the NPC has means that can work fine.

I also like the consideration you are putting into how marker priority will work; I feel that is something even AAA devs are shit at.

I would suggest getting some kind of stylized icons tough instead of using a generic ?/! type icon. Something with a bit of flash can go along way here.


Field Journal

This is my first time hearing about some of the stuff you have planned here. I like it. Making menus a bit more complex to segment information, but in a reasonable way that makes sense within the game world too. A lot of games have shit menus, like Starfield. It can be hard to navigate the menus in that game.

Making sure menus are concise in the information that they hold and that everything is easily reachable are key things here and that seems to be where you are headed. So good job on the design here.

I like that the menus are reactive to the story too; you will still have access to the information early on, just in different locations and a more limited amount of information. That is a cool little idea.

I like that you are calling out something too many games ignore; a synopsis of the story. So often I leave a game for a while and when I come back it can be months, even years. I don't remember a damn thing that happened and there is no way to find out.

Adding in that feature will be a godsend as well as the fact that you are taking it a step further and including the choices we have made as well. Amazing foresight there that, that will be a problem. Then again, considering you play a shit ton of RPGs I am not surprised to see this, to be honest.


Saving

I kind of like this idea of preventing auto-saves at certain points. Overall, I think auto-saving can be good but also can be bad. It depends on how it is implemented.

That said I like the second change. It isn't often that a game uses an item for saving, I actually don't know of any RPGs that do this. The only series I can think of that do, is Resident Evil.

Auto-saves limit the bad potential of this where you can't save if you wanted to and it also sets up situations where if you don't think ahead and prepare, you can't save manually at a point where you might want to. I can see some having problems with that, but at the same time I think games are too hand-holdy these days. They should have some amount of punish to them if you aren't thinking ahead and preparing before a large quest or something.


Battle Weather

That's fair. As long as players know it will be coming at some point I think most will overlook the disjointed feeling of area weather not being reflected in battle.


Status Effect Damage

I was there when you came up with the system. I will say now what I said then; you have some crazy ideas that I would never think of. Watching this system unfold was awesome. The amount of time you spend thinking about mechanics and how that can be used is nuts. If only many AAA devs put that level of investment into their games.


AWP

Some new stuff here and I like it. I know you were struggling to figure out how the system should be applied. It seems like you finally found a way to get it to work with all weapons again, but in a way that doesn't unbalance the game.

Right on. I also like that you are considering instances of regular weapons that have special properties. Was that because of how you are going to change the AWP to use YanFly's instance system?

Nice to see that "Level Up" now has a proper name lmap. I also love the idea that weapons can unlock new skills as they are improved or even during this new Improvement Cycle thing. That is an obvious, but amazing, extension of what you were already doing.

That is going to make weapons so much more valuable to level up and give you a a reason to do so other than numbers go up. It also gives you incentives to refine too.

I like that durability is an optional system that we can turn on or off in the options, but I also like that at higher difficulties it is forced on. Making game system mechanics be tied to difficulty is a cool idea and allows for playthroughs on higher difficulties to present us with unique gameplay moments.

I also like that you fully embraced the weapon break idea, even if it is an option we can turn off. I like that it has positive benefits too, so we have a reason why we would use it as opposed to just increasing the difficulty. That is premium game design.

The Enhancing system is entirely new to me, but makes sense because it branches off the item crafting and magic upgrade systems quite nicely, so it makes sense for it to exist.

I also like that there is a hard limit for the system though too. It means your choices with it matter a lot. No take backs.


Mental Fatigue System

I knew some of this, but it seems you are thinking about changes too. For what it is worth, I am 10000% behind "implementation 2"; that sounds like an amazing game system that will make battles feel more unique even against enemies you have fought a lot of times because how that specific battle can unfold can be drastically different.

I love this system though, it is so cool to see something like this which is heavily influenced by the story and lore for the game show up as a game mechanic. I know you have said in the past that there are specific reasons why the system works this way; looking forward to learning why because this is easily the most interesting mechanic to me.


Magic Focus

You have mentioned these on stream before. I like the idea, gives more customization and choice for how your characters are equipped and I like that you called out the fallacies about how equipment is used in RPGs. I don't think people think enough about that kind of stuff, so cool to see here in an RPG Maker game.


V-Weapons

This was also a cool idea. More options are always a good thing, as long as they are implemented correctly and the whole game doesn't collapse into a buggy mess. I got some faith though.


Ammo System

Another one I was there to see the creation of; I thought you were a bit cracked for putting an ammo system into an RPG Maker game, but the details here and stuff you have said since you created the initial version are bringing me around to it. I want to see more though, before I pass my final judgement on if I like this or not.


Skill Bundles

YES. I LOVE THIS. This is one of my biggest problems with RPGs, messy skill systems. RPG Maker games, especially large ones, have some of the most atrocious skill management. This tries to deal with that instead of saying "Oh well, it's an RPG. What do you want me to do about it?".

I will need to see it in action to give proper feedback about allowing additional grouping within groups though. Like, how many skills will actually fall under the Class Skill category for Compound classes? I think those are going to be the biggest offenders here.


Overall though man, this has been cool to read through. All of these blogs have given me a lot of hype for the game because you are making some great decisions and the thought and consideration those decisions imply means that other parts of your game are being given that same level of thought.

I can't wait to start learning more about the lore for the game and see how you've built all of that. It will give us an idea of what to expect of your writing style and how thorough you are in terms of world-building.
author=TrashCanEnthusiast
I would suggest getting some kind of stylized icons tough instead of using a generic ?/! type icon. Something with a bit of flash can go along way here.


Agreed, I would like to do this if practical.

author=TrashCanEnthusiast
I kind of like this idea of preventing auto-saves at certain points. Overall, I think auto-saving can be good but also can be bad. It depends on how it is implemented.


Yeah, this was one of the reasons I held back from comitting to auto-saving initially.


author=TrashCanEnthusiast
Right on. I also like that you are considering instances of regular weapons that have special properties. Was that because of how you are going to change the AWP to use YanFly's instance system?


Exactly.



author=TrashCanEnthusiast
I also like that you fully embraced the weapon break idea, even if it is an option we can turn off. I like that it has positive benefits too, so we have a reason why we would use it as opposed to just increasing the difficulty. That is premium game design.


Yeah, I starting thinking about the breaking system and asked myself if I was playing this game, why would I choose to make weapon durability work that way. My answer was "I wouldn't use it unless I wanted more challenge". So I added in some benefits to incentivize use of the system; the carrot and the stick metaphor comes to mind.



author=TrashCanEnthusiast
I knew some of this, but it seems you are thinking about changes too. For what it is worth, I am 10000% behind "implementation 2"; that sounds like an amazing game system that will make battles feel more unique even against enemies you have fought a lot of times because how that specific battle can unfold can be drastically different.


Encapsulates my thoughts on why I would also pick implementation 2 really well. RPGs need to have emergent gameplay. It is not enough that there are battles, battles need to be spontaneous and provide challenge occasionally. This type of system allows for some of that.



author=TrashCanEnthusiast
You have mentioned these on stream before. I like the idea, gives more customization and choice for how your characters are equipped and I like that you called out the fallacies about how equipment is used in RPGs. I don't think people think enough about that kind of stuff, so cool to see here in an RPG Maker game.


I think it's the opposite actually; I find that many RPG Maker devs have really good ideas that it seems that AAA devs no longer are capable of making; mostly because publishers won't let them. There was a time when AAA game dev was more creative though.

So I don't find it odd that you would find things like this in an RPG Maker game, I feel it is pretty common with well-designed RPG Maker games.



author=TrashCanEnthusiast
This was also a cool idea. More options are always a good thing, as long as they are implemented correctly and the whole game doesn't collapse into a buggy mess. I got some faith though.


My worst nightmare is that this game ends up being a Bethesda-level game for bugs. It is going to require a lot of playtesting, but I am committed to trying to get the game as stable as possible. If I feel it is too buggy, I will absolutely delay the release as long as it takes.



author=TrashCanEnthusiast
Another one I was there to see the creation of; I thought you were a bit cracked for putting an ammo system into an RPG Maker game, but the details here and stuff you have said since you created the initial version are bringing me around to it. I want to see more though, before I pass my final judgement on if I like this or not.


That is a reasonable statement. To be honest, I am not sure I even like the idea, but it makes more sense than ranged weapons having infinite ammo that doesn't have technologies that allow that ammo to add extra effects. I feel that in this world, gun ammo at least would have the ability to store magic if items can.



author=TrashCanEnthusiast
I will need to see it in action to give proper feedback about allowing additional grouping within groups though. Like, how many skills will actually fall under the Class Skill category for Compound classes? I think those are going to be the biggest offenders here.


Yep, that is what I foresee being the most iffy right now; Compound classes. They will have a selection of skills from the lower trees including their own, so it's almost like 3-4 classes in one.


author=TrashCanEnthusiast
Overall though man, this has been cool to read through. All of these blogs have given me a lot of hype for the game because you are making some great decisions and the thought and consideration those decisions imply means that other parts of your game are being given that same level of thought.

I can't wait to start learning more about the lore for the game and see how you've built all of that. It will give us an idea of what to expect of your writing style and how thorough you are in terms of world-building.


Thanks for all of the suggestions so far. Some of what you have said has made me thinking a bit more critically on some systems as I have been working on these blogs. So you have already had an impact on the game.
Thanks for taking the time to do these blogs and to interact on them. Also thanks for taking the feedback seriously. I am so pumped for this game now, I feel like your vision for it has been getting more clear and better as time has gone on and these game mechanics blogs have really hit home just how much planning your are putting into this.

Looking forward to learning more about the game world!
Pages: 1