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Tactical RPG video game on small map with one character / piece (looking for help)

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kurismakku
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Hey everyone !

I am making RPG video game where player explores small levels, captures monsters, and tries to reach the key points on the map. There is one map per chapter, but maps can be later revisited.
This is how currently first map looks like : http://puu.sh/gx0l2/90f3171a1a.jpg
This is just example, and it's possible to add more height, paths, walls, bigger map and various shapes.

Movement around the map should be like it is in standard JRPG games, you have one piece ( character ) and you click with mouse on the map to make him move to that spot. Spots should have different events and objects and each time piece moves to next spot the check should be triggered. Of course if player clicks on tile that is far away, character will still walk through all the spots between his current place and target destination, so all spots events will be triggered while walking towards there.

On map player can encounter enemies ( they needs to be either random encounters or they need to visible and moving around - in that case player would need to be able to avoid them, lure them, group them etc. ).
Combat is done in separate screen - it is similar to Pokemons, but with Match 3 mechanics.

Player's team becomes stronger by capturing monsters. Each monster have specific ability, and in each new chapter monsters have stronger stats than stats of monsters player currently have so player needs to capture them all the time, and find the best combinations. Final destinations will usually have boss that will test did player capture monsters enough, and did he developed the good strategy.

The main problem is the map, I never played any game like this, where player needs to chose the right paths to get to the destination. This game should be about surviving, about choosing who player wants to fight with, how many fights he want to do, how difficult he wants to make the game for himself, how much he wants to risk to get more rewards.

So I am looking for advices, board games with similar mechanics or even better video games with similar mechanics that could help me design the rules of map that would create the interesting video game.
I was hoping to find something in tactical JRPG games genre, but no luck so far.

Thank you for your help !

Soulfinger
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Try playing with the

Try playing with the Neverwinter Nights map editor. The deluxe edition is $10 on GOG and should be a great education for plotting maps. It is quite a bit more robust than what is in the image you've provided, but if nothing else, it's a fun game. Pretty sure it still has an active community built up around designing new maps, adventures, and mods.

Of course, you may want to rethink making yet another Pokemon clone about collecting and fighting monsters. It was done to death even before a new generation of Android apps dug up the corpse and repeatedly rode it back into the ground. Having it cut to a separate screen for combat is the real clincher.

Jarec
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Two of the harder games (in a

Two of the harder games (in a sense, that you need to think about what you can take on and what not) I've been enjoying these days are the Dark Souls and Etrian Odyssey games. Both of these games seem to limit the players advance with the amount of healing stuff he gets.

Etrian Odyssey might be in a way something you're looking for. In that game you really need to be thinking about an escape plan once your healers mana reserves are getting low.

Both games also reward the player delving deeper by opening shortcuts that let you skip the earlier parts of the dungeon once you get back there.

larienna
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By the title of the thread, I

By the title of the thread, I thought about XCOM.

The strategy in that game consist in:

1. Staying in cover.
2. Secure ground as you progress to prevent flanking and back attacks.
3. Distribute your team skills and power over the map to avoid a situation where a character needs a medic but he's at the other side of the map.

Another game you can take a look at that I have not played much is final fantasy tactics.

kurismakku
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Thanks for comments

Thanks for comments everyone.
I guess this system could be a bit too complicated, it seems no one seen games like this, and I need to design this game safely.
So I am totally fine if we go standard RPG route.

Levels could be defined by :
- shape & rooms & size & theme
- minimum number of monster encounters - if player plays it safe
- maximum number of monster encounters - if player plays risky
- available monsters for catching - stronger than in previous chapter
- boss monster - with weakness vs some monsters in area & with resistance vs other monsters in area
- tiles - clouds, random encounter chance, treasure,boss,key,locked doors, story,traps,heal stations, teleports

Clouds hide the spots on the level so player doesn't know exactly what to expect from start. Here I got idea to maybe try something like MineSweeper where player needs to think which clouded area he wants to enter, and he have some kinda detector that tells him chances of what to expect.

Types of main/side missions :
- reach spot x
- reach spots to unlock certain spot
- capture x monster
- beat the boss
- ...

SENSE OF PROGRESSION IN LEVEL MUST BE SUPER VISIBLE
-> this is super important because I want that player feels how he is working towards the goal

decisions :
- in which direction I want to explore - maybe have some mechanic for trying to find something - treasure hunting ?
- do i want to go for treasure chest ? do i want to finish side quests ?
- am I satisfied with monsters I captured or I want to try to capture more ?

After combat, monsters health doesn't recover so player needs to try to win battles in way that he doesn't lose much health. Inside of the combat, usually the creature player uses the most for attacking will also receive the most damage. While creature is not active it recovers health by amount that depends on the regeneration stat. ( during combat player can switch through 3 monsters )

ITEMS - this items can have multiple strength levels
- potion - heal full health - more player waits - more valuable it is
- revive - fallen character with 50% health
- items that affect next battle - deal 25% more damage, deal and receive 50% more damage, receive 50% less damage,

Here I got idea that maybe captured monsters could be used as items.
In any case it would be interesting if captured monsters that player doesn't use could be used as some kinda resource to survive the level or solve the puzzles.

Soulfinger
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kurismakku wrote:Thanks for

kurismakku wrote:
Thanks for comments everyone.
I guess this system could be a bit too complicated, it seems no one seen games like this, and I need to design this game safely.

How is it that nobody has seen a game like what you are suggesting? I am obviously confused, because this all seems like standard stuff. I don't understand how you have never played a non-linear game with resource management, nor am I clear on what it means to design a game safely.

kurismakku
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Soulfinger wrote:kurismakku

Soulfinger wrote:
kurismakku wrote:
Thanks for comments everyone.
I guess this system could be a bit too complicated, it seems no one seen games like this, and I need to design this game safely.

How is it that nobody has seen a game like what you are suggesting? I am obviously confused, because this all seems like standard stuff. I don't understand how you have never played a non-linear game with resource management, nor am I clear on what it means to design a game safely.

I didn't see you suggested any game similar to what I am describing ?
Neverwinter Nights have combat on the map and player controls multiple characters. You also mentioned Pokemons, but except capturing monsters and having weakness / resistance there is not much similarity here.
I didn't get in details about combat because combat is not important here, like I said, it happens on separate screen.
Problem is the map, like I said combat doesn't happen on map it just activates on map, what we have right now is small maps where player needs to decide the order of interaction with objects, but so far with all people I talked with no one played game like that.

Jarec
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Well, there might not be a

Well, there might not be a game exactly like you're describing, but the elements are present in a lot of other games.

What I see here is that you really want to have emphasis in resource management and strategic decision (characters well being vs. the tiles he can take on).

I'll throw out Etrian Odyssey again, the flow of that game is all I can think when reading your concepts. It's different in game play, but very much about making decisions based of your party's well being.
You might find some lets-plays at Youtube for it...

Also, Puzzle Quest and a game called Rebuild (both can be found at Google Play store for free if I recall) might give you some ideas for your project.

kurismakku
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Jarec wrote:Well, there might

Jarec wrote:
Well, there might not be a game exactly like you're describing, but the elements are present in a lot of other games.

What I see here is that you really want to have emphasis in resource management and strategic decision (characters well being vs. the tiles he can take on).

I'll throw out Etrian Odyssey again, the flow of that game is all I can think when reading your concepts. It's different in game play, but very much about making decisions based of your party's well being.
You might find some lets-plays at Youtube for it...

Also, Puzzle Quest and a game called Rebuild (both can be found at Google Play store for free if I recall) might give you some ideas for your project.

I checked Etrian Odyssey too, but it seems this game have big maps, lot of paths, and there is no many interactive objects or decisions, but player just avoids monsters that are walking around in paths.
But maybe this are first levels and becomes more complicated after, could you explain how it works ? I guess asking for games wasn't so good idea because it would take me way too much time to play them all.

I was working more on this, and I found solution that could work with small maps. Basically I could have dungeon objects on the map, to enter dungeon player just needs to click on it, and dungeon is basically just series of battles. Each dungeon could have description on how difficult it is, what monsters are present there, what is the reward, when the dungeon is cleared how it affects the map ( for example it could add poison status effect to all other dungeons on map ). So player would need to chose the order of entering dungeons, and this would be really important. Dungeons would also give keys that would be used to enter locked dungeons in the level. So to finish the map it wouldn't be needed that player finishes all dungeons, only few of them, and since game is about surviving, it would be super challenging to actually finish them all.

To add more to example where finishing dungeon causes poison status effect to all other dungeons, both player and all enemies would have drained health constantly during battle.
for example
Player decisions:
- do I want to leave this dungeon as the last one ?
- do I want to enter this dungeon at all ?
( since I can get keys from other dungeons too )
- would this poison status effect actually make it easier for me to clear some specific dungeons since health of enemies will drop down too ?
- how long I will stay in this dungeon, how much health I will lose ? How much health I have, how many dungeons there is, are enemies in dungeon resistant to poison, am I resistant to poison ?

So there is many factors, and I think this system have good replay value.

Soulfinger
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kurismakku wrote:I didn't see

kurismakku wrote:
I didn't see you suggested any game similar to what I am describing ?
Neverwinter Nights have combat on the map and player controls multiple characters. You also mentioned Pokemons, but except capturing monsters and having weakness / resistance there is not much similarity here.
I didn't get in details about combat because combat is not important here, like I said, it happens on separate screen.
Problem is the map, like I said combat doesn't happen on map it just activates on map, what we have right now is small maps where player needs to decide the order of interaction with objects, but so far with all people I talked with no one played game like that.

So, if I understand you right, you want examples of games that play exactly like the game that you are proposing to make? It's a standard JRPG, so you are looking for stuff like the Phantasy Star series, the older Final Fantasy, and Dragon Warrior type games where you walk around the map, trigger encounters, and transition to a combat screen. Except you want to condense it onto a smaller map. Then the combat is tile matching like many of the app games. There is one of those that I'd recommend looking at, but they are all so generic that I can't even remember the title. Puzzle and Dragon maybe? You match up different colors of magic to defeat a creature and then are rewarded with an egg or a monster that you can evolve back at town. This sounds like what you are proposing once the player enters one of these dungeons that they reach via the overland map.

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