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Soul Search

rpg maker for real this time i hope

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#1 Stars

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Posted 03 January 2016 - 04:35 PM

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It's happening again. I've got that RPG Maker itch. Except this time I am determined to make something that's not just fancy ideas that never come to fruition.

 

Enter my new game, with the project name Soul Search, so named for the Soul System I'm developing for it. I don't plan to make a big, long post detailing all the things I want to do with this game. I'm saving that for when I actually have something to show people. But the short of it is that this system takes a character's personality and derives a unique set of stats that affect their performance in battle as well as some social situations.

 

The main purpose of this topic is twofold. Firstly, I may occasionally prod you all for information along the lines of what was in my other topic regarding branching storylines. On that note:

 

 

Are there any character abilities or the like that you enjoy in RPGs that you wish you saw more often?

I've gotten a few answers to this in Slack (e.g., battles that are balanced for lots of buffs/debuffs, status effects like confusion that actually work on bosses), but any further answers would also be appreciated.

 

 

The other reason for this topic is for me to post updates on my progress in case anyone is interested. So far I'm primarily working on a GDD, which is something I've never done before, at least not to this extent. It feels weird to actually plan things out as much as I am before going in and fiddling with the database and picking out music and such.

 

So far I have:

> Most of the battle system planned out.

> Part of another system planned out that I will wait to talk about.

> A set of unique character stats. I don't think I've seen anything similar done in another game.

> A cast of playable characters with names, classes, and general personalities.

> A possible intro sequence, plot structure, and a small number of story hooks.

> Skills for most of the classes.

> The barest beginnings of an item list.

> A list of about a million plugins to make the game better/prettier/easier to make, mostly by Yanfly, HimeWorks, and Victor Sant.

 

Also if anyone has a question for me, I'll be happy to answer as long as it's not regarding something I'm holding back for the time being.


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#2 kspr

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Posted 04 January 2016 - 11:06 AM

Are there any character abilities or the like that you enjoy in RPGs that you wish you saw more often?

 

Shapeshifters! Characters and enemies that can both shift. whether it's into a stronger form like the Dragon Aspect shout in Skyrim, or enemies that change into more dangerous versions of themselves, or can be changed into other things by spells/abilities/items. 

 

Summoning similar to final fantasy 12, where you summon a big thing to fight for your character. 

 

An archive system like in Forbidden Siren. You collect documents like ID cards, journal pages, drawings, etc, and they're all accessible through an archive menu that lets you review them at any time. this is great for a game that you pick up and put down intermittently. 

 

branches and options that only unlock when invisible variables are met to keep the player guessing. ie if you catch 4-8 butterflies, you get to do this one thing. catch 9-16 butterflies and you do a different thing. catch exactly 8, and you get a special secret thing. 

 

items that unlock quests via unrelated characters. "oh neat puzzle box, let's see what happens if i do this" and you get a different branch, or it opens a new questline. i like having seemingly inconsequential stuff left after a game, wondering where it fits. 

 

fetch quests that aren't just fetch quests. actually, no normal quests. something besides just the normal go here, do that thing, get that item, hit that switch. an interesting character/story has to break the formula, but not too much. 

 

bestiary with extra unlockable info or features.

 

cross-class skills. a lancer/wizard can do things that a lancer/monk can't do. characters need clear class definitions so they don't end up just being different extensions of how the player plays. if there's no disconnection between the characters, then they lose their individuality. 

 

variables on items- too often you get an item that heals 40hp and ONLY 40hp the entire game. there should be some variance with it. in xp there was a variable you could edit that would do this on the item screen. idk if it's still in mv. 

 

at the end, don't be all like "aliens did it, lolz" 


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you awaken in the intestinal tract of satan. you must defeat the hydra to escape. your only weapon is righteous anger. 


#3 Stars

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Posted 04 January 2016 - 01:06 PM

I see lots of things I like, some I was planning to include and some I hadn't thought of.

 

I don't foresee party member transformations, but I could certainly have transforming enemies.

 

Definitely planning to include some sort of journal to keep track of events and encounters.

 

I seem to keep changing my mind on how much will change based on player actions, but there will certainly be consequences to the choices you make, and I aim to keep people guessing at least a bit in that regard.

 

Interesting quests that break tropes are a must, though I haven't settled on a structure for all of that yet.

 

At least one character will have a "Scan" type ability, and I've seen a plugin for a bestiary, so that's entirely feasible.

 

There won't be a class-change system, and there will be several skills that are shared by multiple characters, but I hope to mix them up in ways that make each character uniquely useful. The Soul System will also help in that regard.

 

You can have items that heal a percentage instead of (or in addition to) a flat number in MV if that's what you mean. If that's not what you mean, I do have a character whose specialty is making items more effective than normal.

 

It will be more likely that a wizard did it.


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#4 kspr

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Posted 04 January 2016 - 02:31 PM

xp defines "veriance" as the fluctuation in final action strength. it's good for items and skills you want to really leave up to blind chance


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you awaken in the intestinal tract of satan. you must defeat the hydra to escape. your only weapon is righteous anger. 


#5 Stars

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Posted 04 January 2016 - 03:05 PM

Ah, MV still has that for both skills and items, yes. And they even fixed the spelling.


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* * * Stars' Final Fantasy Challenge * * *

 

Final Fantasy I - Completion Time 14:11

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#6 Stars

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Posted 11 January 2016 - 02:49 PM

I've been working on stories for individual characters, and I would like to pose another question.

 

What are some backstory or character tropes that you love, that you can't stand, that you haven't seen before but think would be cool?

Things like the young royal who was raised by common folk and grows up not knowing their true heritage, or the amnesiac who may regret discovering what happened in their past.


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Final Fantasy I - Completion Time 14:11

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Final Fantasy IV - Play Time 04:01

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#7 Donkeymog

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Posted 25 January 2016 - 02:00 PM

I like characters who are clearly too old to be doing the things that they're doing.

Characters that think they've discovered meaning in something when it's clear that they're just deluding themselves.

Characters that do extraordinary things, but don't understand why other people think they're extraordinary.

Characters that wish you'd go away.

Characters that hold beliefs that are completely contradictory to the telling of the main story.

Characters that are paranoid that people are plotting against them, but are too insecure to verbalize their fears to the player.

Characters that are broken emotionally and there is no player action that can fix them.

Characters that are looking for somebody they've never met and may not exist.

Characters that forget your name.


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I wanted orange. It gave me lemon-lime...


#8 Stars

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 06:54 PM

^An excellent list for any medium of storytelling.

 

 

I'm thinking of changing my setting from the fairly generic western fantasy countryside I was heading toward. Since there's already a theme of heat and cold in the game system, a tidally locked planet with prominent hot and cold biomes seems fitting. Plus I've wanted to try a "science fantasy" setting for quite some time.

 

For those who aren't familiar with the term, a tidally locked planet is one that rotates at the same rate it revolves, so half of the planet is always facing toward the sun, and half is always facing away. There have been games and other stories that include such planets - often with an icy half and a desert or lava half, with a comfortable area stretched between them - but none that I'm aware of feature it as the primary locale.


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Final Fantasy I - Completion Time 14:11

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#9 kspr

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Posted 01 March 2016 - 06:05 PM

the moon is tidally locked. we only the see the same face. Gliese 581 g is tidally locked.  the habital zone of the planet would be a narrow strip from north to south. it would be fun to see how your world's geography could interact with that. maybe to get to another landmark, they have to cross a temperate mountain range to a frozen lake to get to a desert shore to go back to a town on the temperate side.


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you awaken in the intestinal tract of satan. you must defeat the hydra to escape. your only weapon is righteous anger. 


#10 Stars

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Posted 11 June 2016 - 01:31 PM

This project has been on my mind again recently. Mostly I've been considering the setting and, to a lesser extent, what kind of story/conflict to give it. I didn't really like where my older story ideas were going, so aside from some ideas I may appropriate from other game projects of mine, I'm basically starting from scratch.
 
What I want to talk about right now, specifically, is the rules of a tidally locked planet as a setting. The more I try to figure things out, the more issues crop up. One that didn't need to be an issue, but I made it such, is cardinal directions. North, south, east, and west make less sense considering how the climate and biomes are distributed on such a planet. I made a quick reference image just now to help people understand the rambling I'm about to engage in.
 
Tidally%20Locked_zpsr1bimutd.png
 
The planet still has north and south poles around which it rotates (like earth), but they are not used on a compass to indicate direction. The twilit equator (where most of the population lives) connects the poles, but following that line is treated more like moving east or west around earth's equator. The dark and light poles (the darkest and brightest spots on the planet) are treated more like our north and south on a compass. The lunar equator (equidistant from the north and south poles like earth's equator) connects the dark and light poles and lines up with the path of the planet's moon.
 
 
Another thing that bothers me more than it should is how to measure the passage of time. This is something that could probably be glossed over in the context of a video game, but I want to have it sorted out for my own sake. There is no day/night cycle, so there's no readily available way to determine what constitutes a "day." I decided to give the planet a moon (as mentioned above) to provide at least some celestial method of measuring time. A month (which is always equal to one revolution of the moon) is divided into a number of days, tentatively 25 days, or 5 weeks with 5 days each. Clocks are a requirement for tracking days.
 
As a point of interest, even though the north and south poles are not used to reference cardinal directions, they are the only two points on the globe from which you can always see the moon as it moves along the horizon. Anywhere else, the moon will be be "behind" the planet half of the time. Also, since there is no tilt to the planet's rotation, there are no seasons as we known them, making it more difficult to track the passage of a year. It can be done by measuring the movement of the stars from the dark side of the planet, but the people simply count ten months as one year, which is pretty close but still annoys most scientists. For the sake of my own sanity, they don't have any kind of "leap year" equivalent to adjust for this, and for the same reason, the people of this planet count hours, minutes, and seconds the same as we do.
 
That's all I have to say on the matter for the moment. I mostly just needed to talk that out to help solidify things in my mind, but feel free to comment on any of that.
 
 
EDIT:
 
Since I mentioned story at the top, I will also say that I'm trying to form ideas for a conflict that's not just "Hero has to stop Villain from destroying/ruling the world." I'm considering doing something that involves a pair of primordial colossi slumber at the dark and light poles being reawakened by two different parties who want to harness their power for something. Kinda like Pokemon R/S/E. Not really like R/S/E. But basically like R/S/E. Iono, I don't have anything more specific in mind that what I just said.


EDIT 2:

Actually, I'm not even sure why the people of this planet would bother keeping track of years (astronomers aside). They'd probably just stick with measuring the passage of time in months since those are observable.
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Final Fantasy I - Completion Time 14:11

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#11 3DS

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Posted 11 June 2016 - 05:30 PM

 

bestiary with extra unlockable info or features.

 

Like unlockable spells/weapons of some kind.


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It's in a fantasy setting.. like D&D, magic, elves, dragons..no hockey

 

 

I think this is my favorite comic ever already.


#12 legacyme3

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Posted 11 June 2016 - 09:50 PM

I have a question. Is time something you want in the game?

 

Because taking the time to think, at least from my perspective (someone who just likes playing games), I think it would be more interesting to tackle there being "no time" as a sort of plot point. I don't think the actual passage of time, in hours, weeks, years, etc is important to your general idea, if I'm understanding, properly. You can gloss over it in game, and you are doing it for your own reference, but have you considered that time really doesn't matter in this universe you've created? Time is a human construct, and I think human beings are just about the only beings who care about time, as a whole.

 

I like your concept, and await its formulation as a finished product.


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Dropping down a well that time forgot
With scars that show that we care a lot
In the sky we dreamt like a juggernaut
Of the things we'd do and what we saught


#13 Stars

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Posted 12 June 2016 - 06:57 AM

Time will be no more or less important than it is in most other games. I just won't have any need to code in a day/night cycle. The direction I'm leaning with the story, the main character will have, for lack a better term at this point, a 9-5 job, albeit one that sends him out into the field to do stuff. Can't have him stuck at the home office all day.

Also as I was falling asleep last night I already devised a calendar and a handful of holidays, so it's probably too late to decide to ignore the idea of time. xp Much of it is based on the passage of the moon, which as I mentioned before is an observable phenomenon, not a construct.

EDIT: I don't mean to sound like I'm shooting down your suggestions. I appreciate any kind of back-and-forth on stuff like this.
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* * * Stars' Final Fantasy Challenge * * *

 

Final Fantasy I - Completion Time 14:11

Final Fantasy II - Completion Time 27:03

Final Fantasy III - Play Time 07:24

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#14 legacyme3

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Posted 13 June 2016 - 05:22 PM

I didn't feel like my idea was shot down, so no worries


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Dropping down a well that time forgot
With scars that show that we care a lot
In the sky we dreamt like a juggernaut
Of the things we'd do and what we saught


#15 Stars

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Posted 30 June 2016 - 09:38 PM

BIG OLD THOUGHT COLLECTION POST GO!

 

Setting

 

The setting of this game has gone through multiple iterations, and the current and likely final version has gone through some brainstorming both in my head and in Slack. The broad strokes of the planet are more or less figured, but not all of the finer points have been worked out.

 

In summary, this tidally locked planet contains a reasonably advanced, industrialized society that lives primarily along the terminal line where light and dark meet. It has not been decided if there will be multiple nations or not, but they don't have a lot of room to spread out, so cultures will probably be fairly similar unless you go maybe halfway around the globe. On that note, I've considered the possibility of two distinct nations, each with a capitol at the north or south pole (the only two places whence one can always see the moon as it revolves).

 

Regarding the level of technology and society, I'm keen on doing something akin to 1920-40's America, partly because it's something I don't see used very often (i.e., almost never) in games, and mostly because it seems like people were snazzier dressers back then. Regarding the level of magic, most fantastical elements for now are relegated to two things: the creatures that live in the wastelands of light and dark, and magic crystals (or an undetermined magic crystal substitute) from which people can draw power. I'm leaning toward this power not being used too widely in society. Electricity works just fine as an energy source, and it's much easier to come by than the crystals. Magic power is something to be used on a personal scale: combat, healing...perhaps decoration/art? The applications of magic are something to be considered further, but in game terms, they can be equipped in order to upgrade items or gain abilities.

 

Regarding time, I've given this more thought and integrated some ideas from multiple sources. The moon is the primary reference of time. When the moon emerges from being eclipsed, that is the start of a month (similar in length to an Earth month). Beyond that, time is most commonly measured by dividing or multiplying a month. For example a quarter-moon, or just a quarter, is about a week for us. Things like birthdays may be celebrated every ten months, a ten-moon. Based on something I read while researching tidal locking and also somewhat inspired by Legacy, I like the idea that the people of this planet never sleep, or at least not like we do. Since there is no night, and therefore no pre-established time set aside for long periods of sleep, the people could sleep maybe an hour or two at a time whenever they feel the need. This would also fit logically with how most RPGs work, where characters often tend to sleep only when they're injured (or the story demands it) and would still account for the use of "tent" items and inns at any hour of the non-existent day.

 

I briefly considered the idea of giving the planet an axial tilt that would still allow for the changing of seasons, but that could potentially interfere with some of my ideas for the story. Plus I've grown attached to the idea that the climate is constant in any given location.

 

 

Story

 

On the story side of things, one big point I'm quite keen on is the idea that there are two primordial colossi slumbering at the brightest and darkest spots of the planet. How these beings will figure into the plot of the game is up in the air, but there are a few ideas going around, most of which involve people trying to harness or otherwise influence them for non-evil reasons that would result in a bad time for everyone everywhere. Perhaps some big company wants to use one or both of them as sources of theoretically unlimited energy.

 

One idea for the colossi that could go one of several ways is that even though they are presently dormant, they were both constantly on the move in the far flung past when the planet was not tidally locked and was thereby subject to a cycle of day and night. Some say that each was trying to either stay within the light or the dark and could never stop until the planet was tidally locked. Others profess that the movement of the colossi caused the cycle of day and night. Some fanatical group may wish to restore this cycle by reawakening the colossi. I imagine such a drastic change happening so suddenly would f*** up most of society, but can't you see? It's the way things are supposed to be.

 

It's worth noting that most people don't believe the colossi exist, but the idea of them is common knowledge.

 

This is somewhat going back to setting, but I will mention here that since the planet once had day and night, and people were not relegated to living along the terminal line, the rest of the planet is dotted with ruined cities that are either uninhabited or have been re-purposed if they're not too far out. Some people do live outside of the terminal line in the present day, though mostly these are scientists or resource-gatherers.

 

Since I was planning on implementing dialogue trees and a story that changes based on player actions, it's possible that the player could decide whether to disturb the colossi or keep things as they are. Brainstorming is still happening on this front.

 

 

Characters

 

The characters in this story were originally going to be members of a generic adventurers guild. Because this was originally fantasy-classic instead of 1940's science fantasy, and I needed something to throw my battle mechanics into but wasn't very creative about it. Now, the characters are members of a security firm...which is just my way of saying "industrial age adventurers guild" because I still haven't thought of anything better. xp They take contracts for various jobs ranging from security at local events to protecting caravans and labor forces leaving the terminal line and heading into the light or dark hemispheres. Over the course of the game they will receive multiple contracts from one of the brainstormed groups that wants to do something with the colossi. Once the characters figure out what's going on, they may have to decide whether to stop the plan or go along with it (whether for the money or because they believe it's a good thing to do).

 

I'm also playing with the idea of swapping perspectives between two groups of characters. It's possible that the two groups will start out with opposing ideas about the colossi, but if they come to some kind of agreement, they will join forces to make sure some plan or another fails/succeeds.  It may also be entirely possible due to player choices that they don't come to an agreement, and you lose half of your cast as playable characters, instead gaining them as enemies if you made really unfortunate choices. Either way, having two initially separate parties could allow for a broader look at the setting from the multiple points of view.

 

 

Mechanics

 

As for the Soul System...I don't believe I ever described what that actually is. I said in my first post that I have a stat system unlike anything I can recall seeing in another game. To be more specific, other than HP and MP, characters only have two numbers that resemble typical RPG stats: body and spirit. These represent physical and magical abilities, respectively. Physical and magic attack and defense are derived from these stats but are not primary stats themselves. The numbers that define the Soul System are the three soul stats: passion, intellect, and temperance. Passion represents the strength of a character's emotions, intellect represents the capacity to analyze things logically, and temperance is the ability to balance the two aspects.

 

In battle, all characters and enemies have a gauge representing the present state of their soul, or their Soul Temperature. The hotter a character becomes, the more they are influenced by their passion, the more powerful their emotion-based skills become, and the more susceptible they become to the powers of intellect. Magic based on passion tends to be bright and fiery. The opposite is true on all counts as a character becomes colder. They are more influenced by their intellect, their logic-based skills become more powerful, and they are more susceptible to raw passion. Magic based on intellect tends to be subtle and icy. The affects of temperance are not entirely nailed down. At present, strong temperance makes it more difficult for outside forces to influence the state of one's soul. It may also mitigate the weakness to the opposing stat when one is very hot or very cold. I'd like to think of more uses for it. Plans for temperate magic and skills are limited since most characters are expected to focus heavily on either passion or intellect in battle.

 

Various actions can affect a character's temperature. Taking damage typically makes one hotter, while defending oneself or an ally may can make one cooler. Some characters will have skills that can tweak the temperature of their allies or enemies, perhaps by taunting them or calming them. If a character becomes altogether too hot or too cold, they could attain great power temporarily at the cost of losing themselves to the fight. They may succumb to a berserk lust for battle, or else fall into a state of emotionless calculation.

 

Opposites tend to be the most effective against each other. Hot attacks do more damage to cold targets than to other hot targets. Characters focused around the body stat tend to do more damage to spirit-based characters and vice versa. This should allow for straightforward party management, whether the player wants balance or specialization.

 

Outside of battle, the soul stats will influence your options in dialogue trees. Either your choices will be limited depending on your personality, or some choices will have a lessened effect if they go against your character's tendencies. For instance an impetuous character with a high passion score may have trouble making cautious choices, or an analytical character may have difficulty being spontaneous. You may also need to probe the personality of the characters you're speaking to in order to determine what sort of approach would work best on them.

 

One other soul-related mechanic I'd like to include may be contingent on how the party is formed. I'd like to include what I've been calling Soul Bonds. For those familiar the term, they're basically Social Links, and it's been really hard not to think of them as S.Bonds in my head. I haven't given much though to the specifics of how this would work in the current setting (it was originally designed around the generic fantasy guild setting), but during the down time between major story events, the plan was that you could take your protagonist around and have them interact with various characters to learn more about them and go on side quests to that end. As you bond with a character, they would get new abilities become able to perform dual techs with you. Or if they weren't a party member, you might get better prices at their store. Things like that.

 

 

Theming

 

Dichotomy is becoming a prevalent theme in this game. It started with the idea of passion and intellect representing hot and cold personalities, which grew into a theme of fire and ice. This inspired me to change the setting (which I was starting to not like) to a tidally locked planet. I didn't know the term "tidally locked" at the time, but I remembered reading a book that was probably written by Asimov that mentioned a planet that was half volcanic wasteland and half icy wasteland with a rocky but habitable band in between, and the concept of it had stuck with me.

 

Emotion vs Mind

Hot vs Cold

Light vs Dark

Good vs Evil sold separately.


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#16 Stars

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Posted 09 July 2016 - 08:47 PM

Been having some fun translating my old stuff into an interbellum sort of setting, giving characters updated names like Calvin and Shirley and classes like Sleuth and Delinquent.

 

That aside, something on my mind lately is how to handle equipment and skills.

 

I'm keen on limiting the importance of weapons and armor, especially now that the setting is modern, and characters aren't going to be running around in chain mail and finding legendary swords in treasure chests. My current thought is that characters will have a weapon and a single armor slot (i.e., their outfit), and some sequences will lock what sort of armor they have equipped. Example, perhaps the party is at a...party...so everyone needs to wear a tux or dress. I hadn't considered until just now that different armors might change character appearance, but now I'm thinking about it since armor variety will be limited. I suppose to avoid complicating things, I'll probably just limit visual changes to particular scenes like the hypothetical party example.

 

I also had a recent thought regarding the learning of new skills that I'd like some feedback on. I should preface this by briefly explaining a feature I've been calling Soul Boosts. These are equipables that give a character passive bonuses (e.g., normal attacks gain a fire/ice element or you regain MP when attacked) when they hit certain Soul Temperature levels. Most likely these will be items that are equipped like armor, although I could also use plugins to make them more like materia or make them equipable skills. I barely remember how materia works in FFVII, but if the plugin allows a given item to have different effects depending on whether it's attached to a weapon or armor, I may go that route. I'll have to remember to look into that.

 

As for my idea for skills, my thought is that you can learn skills from a list by spending some kind of currency (like job points or just straight up money), but learning a skill will also require spending one or more of the Boost items. Players will have to choose, then, between equipping Boost items for a passive ability or losing them in exchange for an active skill. This could provide a use for older items that are no longer needed for their bonuses, or the player could expend powerful Boosts to learn a powerful skill right away (if they meet any other requirements). Most importantly, this could open up possibilities for character customization. A given character could focus on learning support abilities and hang onto Boosts that support this role, or they could learn a bunch of attack spells and equip Boosts that make them all the more deadly. Each character will have a selection of skills that reflect their different classes, but they won't necessarily have to be shoehorned into particular archetypes.

 

 

My apologies if any of that is a mess. It's late, and I'm trying to finish a podcast before falling asleep, so my ability to proof read is limited. I'll look over it again in the morning.


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#17 Monkeydog

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Posted 10 July 2016 - 12:24 PM

A few thoughts:

 

What is the battle system going to be like? I like everything about this, but if the battle system is meh (like the default RPG Maker systems) then I think it won't matter how great of an idea it is since battles will still feel stale. 

 

In regards to weapons, you could do something similar to Suikoden. In Suikoden, everyone had one weapon that could be upgraded for money. The upgrades would usually just increase the power of the weapon, and you'd be limited based on the skill of the smith you were having do the upgrade. 

 

In regards to how materia works in FFVII...There are various different types of materia: Magic, Command, Support, Summon, and the purple one (which is kinda like Support? it has a dumb name). You have a certain number of materia slots based on the armor/weapons you equip (so you may have a really strong weapon, but it might have no materia slots which sucks). There are two types of materia slots, single and double. Double is useful when using Support materia, as support materia in a single is useless (I'll get to that later). Depending on what materia you equip your stats change. So if you equip a Cover materia, your defense will go up, but if you equip Fire your magic stats will go up, but your strength stats will go down. There's also materias that specifically just increase a stat by a lot, like HP Plus. All materias have levels, for most materia it unlocks a higher tier of magic or ability, for Summons it increases the amount of times you can call a summon in battle. Magic/Summon materia are pretty self explanatory in what they do. Command is also kind of self explanatory, it adds things a party member can do. Examples of Command are Steal (which can level up to Mug), Throw, and Mime. Support is interesting, it supports the materia it's attached to. For example, All is a support materia, so the materia it's attached to allows you to cast the spell on all enemies/allies X number of times. There are other support materia, like Added Effect or Elemental that add an effect (like poison or confuse) or and element (like fire/ice) to an attack if it's attached to a weapon's slots, or defends against it if it's attached to an armor's slots. The purple one just adds stuff like support but can work on it's own, usually auto abilities like Cover or HP Plus. 

 

Anyways, your ability system sounds interesting, although I'm unsure if I've wrapped my head around it fully.


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#18 Stars

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Posted 10 July 2016 - 06:45 PM

At present I plan to modify the battle system with Yanfly's CTB plugin (among others). Maybe also his plugin that adds character portraits to the bottom of the battle screen.

 

I want the Soul Temperature ("ST" from now on) gauges to be something the player needs to focus on to maximize their party's effectiveness. This will be less important in battles with random foes but particularly important in longer fights. By default, characters start with their ST at 100 (out of 200), but there will probably be Soul Boosts that allow the starting value to be modified. Depending on their class, some characters will want to raise their ST while others will want it lower. In general this will make their attacks and such more powerful. Also, a lot of Boosts won't take effect until a character hits a particular ST, with minor Boosts being easy to activate and major Boosts having higher requirements. One of the few downsides to watch out for is that as your ST goes up or down, you become more vulnerable to cold or hot attacks, respectively (though this can be mitigated with Boosts).

 

A number of different actions can change a character's ST. Some of this can be changed by equipping Boosts, but by default, attacking or getting attacked by most attacks will raise your ST, and defending or using passive support abilities will lower your ST. Some special attacks will raise or lower ST when used. For the most blatant control of ST, there will be a variety of skills whose sole purpose is to change the ST of either your allies or your enemies. If you can determine whether a particular foe is more dangerous hot or cold, you can use these skills to diminish their power.

 

I've been brainstorming ideas for what could happen if a character reaches maximum or minimum ST. I rather like the idea that they temporarily become incredibly powerful, but you lose control of them during that time. Like they succumb to a berserk rage or a trance of cold calculation. At this point, I would happily consider suggested alternatives or alterations to this.

 

Aside from skills that do raw damage, I will of course include a variety of utility skills. Raw stat buffs and debuffs are not likely since this is partially covered by ST manipulation, but they may happen as part of other status effects. I have some fun ideas for incorporating status effects into other attacks. I've mentioned a theme of hot and cold, and that will certainly factor into a lot of skills and effects.

 

Each character will have a special ability that only they and perhaps one other character can use, and these will have their own menu command in battle. Some will be able to analyze enemies to learn their weaknesses and dispositions (i.e., hot or cold), some will be able to defend their allies or redirect attacks. Things like that. These special abilities will become more potent as you increase your Soul Bond with a given character.

 

Also worth noting is that a strong enough Soul Bond will eventually unlock dual techs. Because what's better than S.Links and dual techs? Combining them, of course!

 

* * * * *

 

I quite like the thought of characters just upgrading one weapon over the course of the game. May also do that for armor, but it may be harder to justify for cloth. Plus it may complicate the stats for outfit changes, but I had no actual plans for doing stuff like that. That was just me spit balling.

 

I appreciate the explanation for materia. At present I don't plan to use the "materia" plugin, but I will keep the option in mind.


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#19 Stars

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Posted 11 July 2016 - 01:13 PM

I was rereading posts, and it occurred to me that when you asked about my ability system, you were perhaps wanting a better explanation of the passion/intellect stuff? Just to be on the safe side, I shall delve into a break down of the character stats for a bit.
 
Characters have six core stats: Body, Spirit, Speed, Passion, Intellect and Temperance. Other stats are derived from these six, including HP, MP, (Magic) Attack, and (Magic) Defense.
 
Characters generally specialize in either Body or Spirit and either Passion or Intellect. These are the stats that typically suggest a character's class as well as their disposition.
Strong Body + Passion gets you hot-blooded fighter types that may charge at the enemy with a battle cry.
Strong Body + Intellect gets you the more thoughtful, cautious, or calculating fighters that may size up a foe before striking.
Strong Spirit + Passion gets you magic users that learn their craft intuitively, often specializing in things like fire, wind, and light.
Strong Spirit + Intellect gets you book-learned magicians that study to hone their craft, more likely focusing on ice, electricity, and darkness.
There will be characters with balanced dispositions and a focus on Temperance, but the specifics of their classes are still being worked out.
 
Physical Attack is derived from Body, a Weapon, and either Passion or Intellect (depending on whether a character's ST is hot or cold). A Body/Passion fighter will be at their best while hot, but if they somehow drop below 100 ST into the cold range, suddenly their attacks will be performed with Intellect, which is almost guaranteed to be weaker for them. Attacks will also get bonuses for high or low ST, doing up to double damage at 200 or 0 for normal attacks, with special moves often getting heftier bonuses. Very likely, special attacks that just do damage will use the same damage formula as regular attacks but with a better bonus, making it silly to use them if you're close to the mid line 100 ST.
 
Magical Attack works exactly the same, except replace Body with Spirit.
 
Physical and Magical Defense are similarly derived from Body or Spirit plus Armor, but they are not affected by Passion, Intellect, or ST.
 
Because characters tend to have either strong Body and relatively weak Spirit  or vice verse, physical attacks tend to be the strongest against spell casters, and magic tends to be most effective against physical fighters. Similarly, since raising your ST eventually gives you a weakness to cold attacks, and lowering your ST weakens you to hot attacks, Passion- and Intellect-based characters are similarly at their best when attacking their opposites. As such, a hot fighter and cold mage will mutually wreak havok upon each other, while two cold fighters will tend to do less damage to one another by comparison. This balances itself out in one-on-one fights, but in larger scale fights (I'm consider a party size of up to 5), the player will want to pay attention to whom they target with a given character to maximize damage. Or if there are fewer targets remaining, certain characters may want to switch to support while the most effective attackers focus on damage. Everyone will be able to learn some manner of support skills for such occasions.
 
As for the other two core stats, Speed does what it sounds like. It affects turn order, and might influence accuracy and evasion if I don't opt to completely remove those as factors from the battle system. May also affect critical hit rates.
 
Temperance is a stat that I still haven't fully nailed down. It represents one's ability to balance Passion and Intellect, not getting too carried away with one or the other. Effectively, this does several things. Perhaps most importantly, it makes it more difficult for enemies to influence your ST. It also makes you less likely to be hit with a critical. (Addendum: And it lowers your chance being hit with a negative status.) Some special attacks will also use it in their damage formulas in place of Passion or Intellect, but I'm not sure how common such attacks will be. I'd like to think of further uses for it and am open to suggestions.
 
Just so I don't leave them out, HP will be calculated based on Body and Spirit with a multiplier based on Level, and MP will be based on Passion, Intellect, Temperance, and Soul Bond, also with a Level-based multiplier. Also I keep saying "MP" because people know what that is, but all of my documentation refers to it as "WP" or Willpower. As a matter of interest, this whole concept originated from me wanting to do something based on the idea that one's soul is comprised of Mind, Emotion, and Will.
 
 
And lest I forget, a character's Soul stats will also have an influence on social interactions. As I mentioned in another post, I've been playing with ideas relating to this. Since the protagonist will have a particular disposition that might not always be the best fit for a given situation, I might include a system where the party selects a spokesperson when they need to navigate a dialogue tree with an NPC. This characters's Soul stats will affect what sort of responses they can give, or which ones are the most effective for them. As an example, if the party is dealing with a hot-blooded police chief who wants to storm the mob's hideout, a Passionate character will have an easy time getting the chief on their side, though they may have trouble calming him down. An Intellectual character may have a trickier time reasoning with the chief, but they can try to present a logical reason as to why he should wait for the right moment to move in.
 
And now I need to finish this up because my shift was over several minutes ago, and I'm pretty sure this has gone on much longer than I anticipated.
 
EDIT: Eeyup...
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#20 Tau

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Posted 29 November 2016 - 05:50 PM

How's this going?


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