Game Updates: Smarter Battle System A.I. and Solidifying the Core Game Loop

Battle System
1 So far the technical components for the basic battle system are almost complete!

Currently, there are some bugs that are causing allies to sometimes target themselves, which is really hilarious as it causes them to try to continuously punch themselves in the face!

Besides the targeting problems, the rest of the game is looking pretty good. One issue I’m having is working with Directional Abilities, as in Abilities that can only be fired in a single direction.

These abilities don’t require targeting, but getting an A.I. character to know when to use a Directional Ability has been a bit challenging.

I’m trying to utilize a way for the characters to know when they are facing Right or Left and then use the selected ability when an enemy is in detected range.

However, the issue is that valid targets are determined using a circle radius. But this directly conflicts with waiting until an enemy is in a LOS before using an ability because, there are many other options for abilities the character could use instead.

So… yeah… haha!

2 Besides the couple of issues, things are progressing pretty well!

One thing I wanted to do was look at changing the orientation of battle.

Right now battles take place in a separate game environment called the “Battlefield” after the player collides with an enemy.

But I want to experiment with having battles take place within the map.

I’m thinking that it might make the game feel more cohesive if I do that instead.

Another reason why I’m thinking of doing it, is because I was thinking that it would be a nice way to show a bit of tribute towards Secret of Mana, where this game draws some inspiration from.

Solidifying the Core Game Loop
1 I’ve been thinking very hard about how the main game loop will be designed.

So far, I’ve been considering a system which involves the following features:

  • A Year Based Game System, where Each Chapter is another Year where the player must embark on a journey to collect favor from the Divines and defeat one of the 7 Sins
  • Emphasis on Relationship building:
    1. The player will be able to choose two out of six total available party members to accompany them for the rest of the chapter. From their, the player will have the opportunity to see how the relationship between the characters depends (as well as learn more about Marin)
    2. Many events will occur where the player will be able to interact and learn more about the party members. There will also be opportunities to make decisions that can influence the quality of Marin’s relationship with her party members
    3. Things like giving gifts, chatting, and going on special missions to improve relationships will be included
  • The game map will be node-based, and the player will travel between nodes. There are 4 types of nodes:
    • Town Nodes: Where the player can talk to NPC’s, buy weapons/suplies, and accept new quests
    • Special Area Nodes: Areas where the player can travel and explore. The main purpose of these areas is to act as areas of interest where quest locations/objectives can be reached
    • Area Nodes (Or Event Nodes): Areas that do not offer location to explore, but will occasionally trigger events (main and side-story related) like cutscenes where the player can bond with the party members etc..
    • Dungeon Nodes: Areas that lead to dungeons
  • A Dungeon Crawler/Monster Huntery Vibe: The player will need to travel to various dungeons in order to defeat the demons at the end and win favor from the Divines. Many dungeons can be revisited in order to yield better items. Because the game will emphasis the revisitation of dugeons, there will be systems put in place to ensure that each dungeon will be capable of producing a different experience.
    1. For example: The first dungeon Zygon Path will be a long stretch of trail that eventually leads to the Demon of Theft. However, after defeating the dungeon, the next the the player returns, the monsters will be much stronger than before.
    2. In addition, if the player visits that dungeon at night, the dungeon treasures, appearance, monsters, and final boss will change.
    3. And lastly, once the player reaches a certain level, or satisfies a speciifc condition, they can unlock a new path in the dungeon that leads to a whole new set of challenges never seen before.
    4. The purpose of this system is to allow a fun and somewhat arcade-like experience that is cost efficient, but still entertaining without exhausting the player with the same content over and over.
  1. The player will always assume Marin Heartwright as the party leader
  2. Every “year”, the player will choose two to three (out of 6 available) party members and travel with them to clear the dungeons in a particular zone and then ultimately defeat the major boss (one of the 7 Sins)
  3. By circulating through different party members each “year
Conclusion
That’s all I’ve got for now. As this information above all came to be after weeks of thoughtful planning and research.

I’ll come to further solidify the game’s concept overtime. But soon I’ll be releasing the game’s tech demo so I can determine if my ideas have been headed in the right direction!

Author twill14
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