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The DJ of Allacrost

A few ideas

Postby The DJ of Allacrost » Mon Feb 07, 2005 7:51 am

Just a few ideas and comments.

1. This may be hard given the ambitious task of porting the game to Linux, Win, Mac, BSD, game boy, sega, etc -> I'm exagerating a little, but I love the fact that you are making this available to anyone with a computer. Anyway, would it be possible to have joystick support? Not really joy stick, but nowadays the controls have become as sophistacted as the Xbox, PS2, and Nintendo controls, and there's something that works so much better with a control than a keyboard.

2. If that's too easy for you, how about taking advantage of the analog stick to control whether a character is running or walking?

3. I like your idea of some kind of way of knowing if a character is going to give new dialogue. While part of the fun of an RPG is figuring out when to stop pushing "b" or "x", when the person one is talking to has a lot to say, it can be ridiculously annoying to have to go through it again just because the player wanted to make sure they got all the information.

4. I love how your sprites look! They are somewhere better than FF6 but not quite FF8. If I could offer just one constructive criticism based on the screenshots on the site -> the houses look a little flat. Work on making them look a lil more 3D.

5. Wow, this is quickly becoming more than a few ideas, but once you get the river unplugged.....

Have you given any thought whatsoever to cut scenes? In your case it appears to be better to have animated cutscenes as opposed to full-on 3D cutscenes because of the silliness of awesome 3D graphics interspersed with sprites. Although I can't draw to save my life, I do have video editing software that could VERY easily be used for creating cutscenes, were I to be supplied with the requisite drawings. I don't know how that fits or if you consider cutscenes to be an interuption in an otherwise smooth flow of gaming.

6. And finally, who knows if all of this is too late because the last post in here is from June of last year....

But I'm not really in favor of Biohazard's recharging of the magic. I like being able to run around in the forest for [real life] hours if necessary to garner all the gold necessary to buy all the ether in the world so that I can cast spell after spell.
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Postby Balthazar » Mon Feb 07, 2005 8:26 am

Holy thread necromancy Batman!

1. Due to the immense task of getting proper device support over three operating systems, I doubt joypads/sticks/controllers will be used.

2. Running/walking is irrelevant. The characters will move at a constant speed, and that speed will be set high enough that travel is not tedious. We all thought that holding a button to run (which you do 99% of the time) was a little silly, and the analog problem is mentioned above.

3. Thanks, we agree.

4. Well, it's hard to compare sprites of FFVIII, as VIII didn't use sprites, it used models :P However, to say they are better than VI is quite a complement. I will be sure our artists see it. As far as maptiles go, they were produced in a "crunch" time, and are already being reworked and added to.

5. We will be having cutscenes, but they will be stills. We simply don't have the staff to do animation.

6. It's been so long, I really don't remember how the magic works, but that's why we write things down. :)
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Postby Roots » Mon Feb 07, 2005 1:11 pm

Balthazar wrote:Holy thread necromancy Batman!

1. Due to the immense task of getting proper device support over three operating systems, I doubt joypads/sticks/controllers will be used.

5. We will be having cutscenes, but they will be stills. We simply don't have the staff to do animation.



1) Tim, INCORRECT! SDL has joystick support enabled and I'm working on building it into our game. So any joystick/gamepad/whatever that SDL is able to recognize should be able to work. I agree that only having a keyboard for user input is kind of...lame. :eyebrow:

5) Plus you have to realize we are distributing this game over the net, not on CDs we are selling. Having cut-scenes is going to soak up a huge amount of bandwidth and 56K'ers and below might be less willing to d/l the game and give it a try if they see an enormous file size.
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Postby Balthazar » Mon Feb 07, 2005 7:08 pm

I stand corrected.
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hurray!

Postby DJOtaku » Mon Feb 07, 2005 7:54 pm

Um, I was a bit of a dweeb and forgot to login yesterday so henceforth where you saw DJ of Allacrost, that is me. hehe...now I have a real user name.

I'm happy to hear about the joysticks/controller support. So I guess whichever peripherals are available to the sytem should also be available to the game, if I understand correctly.

I completely understand the cutscene problem with bandwidth. Perhaps something like Xvid (to keep the game open source) would reduce the files to a small enough size, but if not -> FF6 is, IMHO, the greatest RPG ever and it didn't have cut scenes (not on the original snes anyway) so that's all cool.
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Movie Cutscene Alternative

Postby BigPapaN0z » Tue Feb 08, 2005 7:42 am

After looking over this thread a bit more indepth, I was wondering something. Instead of trying to do a CG render movie, have you considered possibly using vector animation? Seeing as how everything in vector is points and planes, why not? File size wouldn't be an issue, it would just depend a little more heavily on the CPU. Also, doing vector would allow to do more of an anime style cutscene and not look bad. :shrug: Just my 2 1/2 cents :D
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Postby Burnsaber » Tue Feb 15, 2005 1:21 pm

About the cool-down and "dont use the same skill over and over again"-thing. How about if you penalize the players EXP from battle if he uses too few skills. Like everytime you use a skill in battle you get +0.2 (or something like that) to "battle exp multiplier", that cannot be greater than 1. Let me explain by example.

John imashbuttons kills an 1000 EXP monster by using 2 different skills/attacks making his battle exp multiplier 0.4. That means that he gains 1000X0.4 = 400 EXP! Oh boy, should of have used more skills/attacks!

John iplaywithstyle kills the same monster with six different skills making his multiplier 6x0.2=1,2 but because it cannot be greater than 1, John gets 1000x1=1000 EXP! Ye-haa!

I myself don`t like "cool down"- style limitations bacuse the reason that Roots pointed out. What does the warrior/mage do in his cool-down time? Stares at the enemy? Weeps?
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Postby Balthazar » Wed Feb 16, 2005 1:58 am

That's an interesting idea. But at the same time, we dont' want someone spamming the "uberspell" of the game (thinking Ultima) to end battles quickly while still gaining some xp, gold and possibly treasure.

Also, penalizing xp is generally not the best idea. Bonuses are usually good, but penalties are very unattractive gameplay wise.
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Postby Roots » Wed Feb 16, 2005 2:35 am

Did we have a feature planned limiting the player from doing successive attacks? It's been so long since we discussed these things I can't remember. Even if we did, with the MAPS battle system that should be taken care of because (in theory) casting Ultima or whatever should consume a lot of skill points and since SP isn't easily rechargable, the player would be digging their own grave if they only relied on their most powerful attacks. :approve:
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Postby Eve » Mon Mar 14, 2005 12:39 am

Balthazar wrote:5. We will be having cutscenes, but they will be stills. We simply don't have the staff to do animation.


A still cutscene? Ummm, somehow that reminds me of Unlimited Saga. They have a still pictures, it changes sometimes with the character facial emotion, but it's not animated. Maybe it's a good idea to use such method for cutscenes?
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Postby Roots » Mon Mar 14, 2005 3:09 am

Eve wrote:
Balthazar wrote:5. We will be having cutscenes, but they will be stills. We simply don't have the staff to do animation.


A still cutscene? Ummm, somehow that reminds me of Unlimited Saga. They have a still pictures, it changes sometimes with the character facial emotion, but it's not animated. Maybe it's a good idea to use such method for cutscenes?


The 'cutscenes' in the game will be like the game Fire Emblem for GBA. Rather than waste time trying to roughly animate the scenes, I'd much rather just have a still image that is jaw-dropping. It's more artistic that way. :angel:


Fire Emblen is an awesome game BTW. :)
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Postby Eve » Mon Mar 14, 2005 3:28 am

Roots wrote:The 'cutscenes' in the game will be like the game Fire Emblem for GBA. Rather than waste time trying to roughly animate the scenes, I'd much rather just have a still image that is jaw-dropping. It's more artistic that way. :angel:


Fire Emblen is an awesome game BTW. :)


I guess still pictures has it's own attractive point you can say?

I've heard of it, too bad I don't have GBA :( So I'll just stick with my beloved ps

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Postby Balthazar » Mon Mar 14, 2005 5:37 am

It's like a comic book or a graphic novel basically.
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Postby Classic_gamer » Mon Mar 14, 2005 12:22 pm

Roots wrote:The 'cutscenes' in the game will be like the game Fire Emblem for GBA. Rather than waste time trying to roughly animate the scenes, I'd much rather just have a still image that is jaw-dropping. It's more artistic that way. :angel:


Fire Emblen is an awesome game BTW. :)


Yeah, Fire Emblem is a good game. Though I found it a little annoying during the really long cutscenes, pressing the a button over and over again.

One of the good things about it though is the fact that you can focus more on the story and start forming your hypothesis's' without having to get distracted by character movement.

And one more good thing about this cutscene style is:

Roots wrote:5) Plus you have to realize we are distributing this game over the net, not on CDs we are selling. Having cut-scenes is going to soak up a huge amount of bandwidth and 56K'ers and below might be less willing to d/l the game and give it a try if they see an enormous file size.


Thank you for considering 56K'ers
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Re: OH MY GOD, MY HEAD HURTS

Postby Guest » Sun Sep 25, 2005 11:01 pm

Balthazar wrote:Well, that was an ordeal to read :eyespin:

Now then, let me take a look at all of this, and if anybody posts before me, I'm gonna cry.  :cry:  (I would like to point out at this time that Roots posted two seconds after I wrote that. :bash: As such  :cry:  :cry:  :cry: . Thank you)

EDIT: Actually roots posted TWICE!  :axe:

*ahem*

I'm basically gonna scroll around the topic and answer things in no particular order, and this post should be a long one, as I haven't posted in this topic yet (not that that stopped Roots at all).

I will preface this that since World of Warcraft is an RPG of sorts, and it has lots of good ideas, I will be borrowing some.  However, most ideas taken are generic, and have probably be done before anyway.

Skill/Spell Learning
Avoiding grind is key.  If you buy books, players grind for gold.  If you learn spells at given levels, players grind for exp.  However, if you are required to learn certain languages to read spell books, and these translation books are only available in new areas, then you remove the grind.  Think the "Book of Mudora" in LoZ: Link to the Past.  

Basically, when you reach a new "land" there will be spell books to be found.  Howver, they will be written in the ancient language of the local inhabitants.  In order to decipher the spell books, you need to find a sage/  visit a library/ find a book in a chest, so that you can read the language.  This means that a player can attempt to go through the game at a low level, and still get the spells, or grind if they want to if they are stuck on a boss, etc.  It would also prevent grinding between releases (which would make exp or gold requirements useless anyway).  I think this will also add to the game's depth, as it adds some history to the world.  This could also work with the relative system.

As far as fighter skills go, how about they have to visit the local arena/dojo/archery range, etc. and be trained by the master there to learn their new skills.  This way, they're not reading stuffy old books.  You could tuck away masters in the mountains/forests/caves for rare skills.

I like the idea of charge/cast time for spells, and cool down for skills. :approve:

Combos
Single character skill combination combos are best presented in the Enix game Robotrek.  Depending on your equipment, you could create different skills based on your "feet"/"back"/"hands".  Depending on the movement, these would take off a certain amount from your turn guage (how long until you get to do an action).  However, this would be a significant amount of work.

In doing research for my RPG engine, I found that a fair number of users want multi character combos.  Either like Chrono Trigger, or even the Twin magic in FF IV.  I therefore vote for this (even if it makes more work for me) because it will please the folks out there.  And that's what this is all about.

Items
I think having items sparkle AND the ? is a little much.  Most of the game seems pretty sophisticated, and then there is this bit of hand holding.  The tabs in Chrono Trigger sparkled, and it was more than enough to find them.  I say one or the other not both.

Giving elements to players
Biohazard mentioned being able to cast Fire on an ally and have them gain properties of that element.  I think that it would be pretty neat, but that it should be a seperate spell, instead of the normal attack spell.

Skill Spam
I like the idea of increasing cool down for spamming the same ability over and over again.  This will make the player think about the battle more, rather than going on auto pilot.

Equipping Abilites
Someone mentioned that in NWN or something, you could have 100 spells, but only use about 15 at a time.  I think this would be interesting.  You could then specialize in which skillset you wanted (attack/defense/support).  However, I also do not like the idea of having a seperate level for each.  Again, too many numbers.  With the limited book design, you could specialize per battle, which I think is enough custom to satisfy most players, while not being overly complex.

Mage Weapons
Mage weapons amping power is good, but make it a two edged sword (err..wand?).

Sure the ROD OF THOR! could give you mega lightning damage, but man does your earth magic suck now.

Save Points
Basically just limit them to a reasonable number.  I don't think a penalty is worth it.  Maybe you can save outside the dungeon, and then save half way/two thirds of the way through?

Magic Bar System
It takes a percentage?  That's a lot of thinking perhaps.  Really, it is exactly the same as an MP based system, but with relative instead of absolute values.  You could do exactly the same thing with MP, and just reduce the casting costs.  Perhaps reducing the casting costs could be made a support ability?  Otherwise you're stuck at full cost, but can use an extra/more support abilites.

Protect
Why not?  But don't overdo it.  Concentration should still be risky.

The End!
That's all my thoughts.  Man you guys type a lot.   After I finished reading it, I had to go install Thunderbird and let my mind settle before I replied. :eyespin:

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