Battle Design Topics II

A discussion area for general design issues that staff would like detailed feedback on.

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Roots
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Postby Roots » Sat Jul 21, 2007 7:19 pm

ChopperDave wrote:
I never said that there were two support modes


There are 3 locations an actor may be: friendly support, front line, and foe support.


Why 3 locations? Two should suffice.


Think about it. It makes no sense for both friendly and foe support units to be together in one location.
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Postby Jetryl » Sat Jul 21, 2007 9:16 pm

So, anyways, as has been said, I think any "outrageous plans" should be ignored for the august release, and we should focus on the earlier plans people had had for updating the interface (moving from the current side-anchored action menu, to the menu at the bottom).
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Postby ChopperDave » Sat Jul 21, 2007 9:37 pm

Think about it. It makes no sense for both friendly and foe support units to be together in one location.


Ohhhh. I thought you meant three locations for the characters in the party, not three locations to cover all actors. Nevermind :eyespin: .

So, anyways, as has been said, I think any "outrageous plans" should be ignored for the august release, and we should focus on the earlier plans people had had for updating the interface (moving from the current side-anchored action menu, to the menu at the bottom).


Correct, and Roots has made some solid progress in that direction :approve: .
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Roots
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Postby Roots » Sat Jul 21, 2007 11:36 pm

Jetryl wrote:So, anyways, as has been said, I think any "outrageous plans" should be ignored for the august release, and we should focus on the earlier plans people had had for updating the interface (moving from the current side-anchored action menu, to the menu at the bottom).


I guess you haven't played the latest build in a while. The interface updates (moving the window location) were done about a month ago. :rolleyes:
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Postby rujasu » Sun Jul 22, 2007 1:51 am

Roots wrote:I guess you haven't played the latest build in a while. The interface updates (moving the window location) were done about a month ago. :rolleyes:


Or he has played the latest build, where the battle menu isn't coming up at all because everything's broken. :|
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Postby Roots » Mon Jul 23, 2007 8:47 am

More thoughts:

#1: I've been thinking maybe making support mode actors weak against melee mode actors and vice versa wouldn't be such a great idea after all. Maybe instead support units could be slightly weak against melee mode actors but can hit any target, while melee type actors can only strike nearby targets, but introduce no particular weaknesses while in that mode.


#2: I had initially envisioned movement to be something that is sudden and near instantaneous, but I think it would be better if movement was somewhat gradual. I also thought that maybe it should require a full turn to select a new target (where movement would automatically take place) before an action could be made, but now I'm double thinking that as well. What I'm imaging is that (for a melee mode unit) if you select an action and then choose a target that is out of range, the unit will automatically begin moving closer to that target, so it will take longer to execute the action than normal since the distance has to be traveled. Maybe the actor's stamina rating can somehow determine their movement speed in battle? :shrug:


#3: For support unit movement, well they don't really need to move except when they are switching between melee mode and support mode. When switching to melee mode, they'd make their way to their target. When switching to support mode, they'd retreat back to the support lines before they were able to take actions there.


#4: Perhaps a melee unit can not move if it is being targeted by at least one other melee unit that is within range, unless it is given a retreat command to try and escape from its engagers.


#5: Now a problem with this gradual movement is that there's not much screen space, so we'd have to move the actors very slowly (even though they should be running) so that there is a significant cost for movement in battle. Or, maybe what we could do is expand the battle field. Imagine if our battle background was 2x-4x as long as it currently is (height unchanged). We'd still show the same view perspective (and maybe allow a zoom feature), so you couldn't see the entire battlefield at once. The camera would automatically focus on actors taking action, or the player could scroll left or right using the two left and right trigger keys (hah, they have a use after all :). This would also make it possible to have absolutely huge battles with 8 or more characters and maybe upwards of 20 enemies for large battles. :eyespin: The major draw-back to having this kind of feature other than the limited view of the battle field would be the battle backgrounds, which would have to somehow be made to cover the entire background (they are already 1024x768 images, so making one 2x to 4x as big is a huge, huge cost).
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Postby Linds » Mon Jul 23, 2007 11:00 am

Roots wrote:Or, maybe what we could do is expand the battle field. Imagine if our battle background was 2x-4x as long as it currently is (height unchanged). We'd still show the same view perspective (and maybe allow a zoom feature), so you couldn't see the entire battlefield at once. The camera would automatically focus on actors taking action, or the player could scroll left or right using the two left and right trigger keys (hah, they have a use after all :). This would also make it possible to have absolutely huge battles with 8 or more characters and maybe upwards of 20 enemies for large battles. :eyespin: The major draw-back to having this kind of feature other than the limited view of the battle field would be the battle backgrounds, which would have to somehow be made to cover the entire background (they are already 1024x768 images, so making one 2x to 4x as big is a huge, huge cost).
I kinda like this idea. Could make for a much more involving battle experience if we dynamically zoomed in/out of the action.
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Postby Cornut » Mon Jul 23, 2007 9:39 pm

Well I know I just joined the project a week ago, and I'm not entirely up to date on all the 'ideas' and features that are yet to be implemented...but I'll throw in my opinion here.

I love the work you guys have done, and when I played the demo I thought the battle system was pretty solid as it was. But as a jaded RPG fan, I found it to be fairly typical and not necessarily engaging in any new way.

But I think that Jetryl proposed some great ideas that could be fleshed out into a great battle system. I think the problem with RPG battles is that they are so systematic, and they lack any resemblance to a real life fight/battle.

I've always tossed game ideas around in my head, and one of my ideas for battles was very similar to what Jetryl was proposing. My idea was for larger fights or skirmishes to represent battles as opposed to just fighting enemies all game. It involved having your 3-4 controllable 'main' characters, and up to 16 hired mercenaries or soldiers who fought on your side but acted on their own accord.

I don't really see that for Allacrost, but I did envision the battles taking place by having each character 'engage' an enemy. Once engaged you could attack only that enemy. If you are attacked by an enemy you are engaged in, your defensive abilites would be better, but if you were attacked by an enemy you aren't engaged in, your defensive wouldn't be as strong because you are focused on another enemy. This also allows for 'teaming up' on stronger enemies, and focusing your defense onto the stronger enemy, the possibility for strategic use of long-range attack, etc. There was more to it.... but its basically just a less thought-out version of what Jetryl was saying. I think it would add a lot of dynamism to the battle, and also simulate what happens in real-life battles.

So I guess this is just my long-winded way of saying that I think its definitely an idea worth considering, and as a RPG player, sounds very interesting and most importantly, fun. :approve:
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Postby prophile » Tue Jul 24, 2007 9:46 am

Roots wrote:#1: I've been thinking maybe making support mode actors weak against melee mode actors and vice versa wouldn't be such a great idea after all. Maybe instead support units could be slightly weak against melee mode actors but can hit any target, while melee type actors can only strike nearby targets, but introduce no particular weaknesses while in that mode.


Sounds good.

Roots wrote:#4: Perhaps a melee unit can not move if it is being targeted by at least one other melee unit that is within range, unless it is given a retreat command to try and escape from its engagers.


Maybe just lower its defence while it's moving? That way, if it tries to move away from another melee unit which is attacking it, it takes more damage.


Roots wrote:#5: Now a problem with this gradual movement is that there's not much screen space, so we'd have to move the actors very slowly (even though they should be running) so that there is a significant cost for movement in battle. Or, maybe what we could do is expand the battle field. Imagine if our battle background was 2x-4x as long as it currently is (height unchanged). We'd still show the same view perspective (and maybe allow a zoom feature), so you couldn't see the entire battlefield at once. The camera would automatically focus on actors taking action, or the player could scroll left or right using the two left and right trigger keys (hah, they have a use after all :). This would also make it possible to have absolutely huge battles with 8 or more characters and maybe upwards of 20 enemies for large battles. :eyespin: The major draw-back to having this kind of feature other than the limited view of the battle field would be the battle backgrounds, which would have to somehow be made to cover the entire background (they are already 1024x768 images, so making one 2x to 4x as big is a huge, huge cost).


Two 2048x1024 images in RGBA is about 16 MB of GPU memory, but you wouldn't really need any more than that.

EDIT: If you take them down to RGB (advisable) it's 12 MB.
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