Need help with my game

edited in General
These last few weeks, Terri and I have been working on a new game. I'm not going to go into detail on what it's about right now. You can however read the blog post pertaining to that topic if you're interested.

Originally, the game was going to be turn-based, but after writing the basic AI, I came to the conclusion that a game where you control multiple characters, each of which can do something else per turn, might get a bit tedious. For instance: some will move as far as they can, some will attack, some will move a bit then attack, some will skip the turn entirely. All of this needs to be represented on the (already busy) UI as well.

So far, I'm thinking of scrapping the team-based concept entirely.

Do any of you have an idea how we can still make it work?

Play it here


  • Hurr. I love the art, and how shooting dead bodies causes them to bounce. :P

    I think I enjoyed myself the most when I placed all of the heroes into one group and controlled them all simultaneously. It was rather satisfying killing things in one click. Jumping between heroes was rather disorienting; if you were to go in that direction, then I think it'd help to have a ~0.5s camera pan when you switch characters so that it's more obvious where each of your party is in relation to each other, especially if, say, you decide to split the party up and explore more ground in a shorter time.

    If I think of other turn-based games, I think the ones that I enjoyed that were successful (e.g. Civ, Desktop Dungeons, @Nandrew's hex RPG game whose name I forget, chess) had a really strong emphasis on how important each turn was. You had to plan your moves really carefully, because not doing so would end in some kind of really big punishment later on. Right now, with my being able to move around freely, and with there being no AI, it's really hard for me to see what kind of weight there is to my decisions, and therefore whether team-turns would be fun or annoying.

    (The only party-based turn-based RPG I've played is maybe Baldur's Gate 2, but to be honest I really only enjoyed it because of the story and writing, and not because of the actual gameplay, which I felt was tedious. And I think Bioware may have noticed that, with their dumping party combat in later games, or making it so you only really had to control your main character, with the other party members being primarily AI-controlled.)

    I don't know how much that actually helps, but I hope it did. :P
  • Thanks for the feedback, it helps ;)

    So far, we're thinking of either having you only control one player and setting 'stances' on the other or just limiting the party to around 3 characters.
  • I love the body bouncing too :D. Although I did feel a bit weird after doing it for 2 minutes continually :/.

    I think Elyaradine's comments are pretty spot on, but I'll try to comment from another angle. I think why turn-based games are so satisfying is because each decision you make in a turn carries alot of weight and the effect of that decision is very apparent in subsequent turns. At the moment there isn't a clear end of turn - unless you include the switching between characters - which makes the effect of the decisions made quite diluted.

    I think you should either make it fully turn based and restrict movement per turn for each character. Or, you should make it realtime and use AI to control the other members in the party while allowing control switching between characters. Which you choose depends on your design vision

    It might be interesting if you went the turn-based route and made it a tablet, local-multiplayer game with each player controlling a character in the party :)

    If you want to go the turn-based route you should check out the new X-Com for a great execution of party, turn-based combat. :)

    The stuff you mentioned in your blog post also sounds intriguing and would be cool to see implemented.
  • Alright everyone, stop defiling the corpses of the little monsters. Shame on you! :D

    I really need to give X-Com a try. I've played the old one, is the new one very different in gameplay?
  • Hmmm, I played a little last night. Something I think that could help is splitting the game into two states. Basically "In Combat" and "Not in Combat". When the player is in combat all the moves are turn based and you have to issue individual party orders. When the player is out of combat they can do group selections and move all of them at once.

    As far as the x-com thing goes...I only ever played Apocalypse(one of my all time favorite games) but that game might offer you another solution. The realtime speed variation. I never played the game in turn based mode, but I did use the real time pause button and behaviors a lot. So I would leave the squad members on aggressive and have the game pause when an enemy was sited. That way I could give initial orders and unpause again to let the guys shoot down the aliens.

    Hopefully this gives you some ideas. Unless I totally missed what you were actually asking
    Thanked by 1Bensonance
  • @Rigormortis: Spot on, thanks. The idea of splitting it into two states is an interesting concept.
  • Want play! Too tired. Morning happening.
  • Where you at @dislekcia? Still in SF?
  • San Jose, just got back from snowboarding in Tahoe. Absolutely shattered.
  • Very cool. Jealous. When you have time, I'd love to have your thoughts on the gameplay for this. Also, the general direction of the game (link in first post).
  • Looking at the game made me think... What if it were anything like Syndicate? To me that had the most awesome group control dynamic - sure the crowd were "stupid", but they could each pick up a weapon, and fire at targets, and could be pumped or dumbed depending on a few parameters. To me that kind of approach to crowd control, while keeping your "individualism" on each character by letting them do things (and controlling them with parameters, maybe like basic "commands" like attack close, attack far, run away more, etc would be enough... Not a full-blown full control macro editor, but just a bit of influence over what they do.

    Looks good! :)
  • Incoming feedback:

    -Art style is really neat
    -Difficult to see where I'll move when I click, the half-size grid is confusing
    -Hah, I can keep shooting old corpses, that's kinda fun because the death animation looks neat
    -Ok, not really sure what's going on with enemies, none of them attack me... What are these stats about?
    -What does the equip button do? I don't have a shield...
    -I clicked the equip button and can't attack anymore, cycled through all the options of shield, sword, shield + sword, have I run out of arrows?
    -Whoa! Zoomed in via the scrollwheel. That's pretty neat... Zoomed out too. Can't move while zoomed out, awww.
    -Can't move at all now. Have tried at all levels of zoom.
    -Okay, scratch that. Can still move, had simply de-selected my character for some reason. Still can't shoot though.
    -I can stand on spiders at the moment by clicking on the other side of one, which makes me walk over it (that's odd) and then double-clicking my character to make it stop. This is while zoomed out a click or two of the scrollwheel. Much harder to do at native zoom.
    -Can't interact with anything on the floor, character keeps asking for things to fight. Will go stand on a goblin.
    -Found more dudes. They seem to stand on top of each other a lot.
    -Still can't kill things :(
    -Find it strange that I can't select individual characters by clicking on their status bars.
    -Have found a warrior, this character can actually fight things, but only when he's the only character selected.
    -Can attack super fast with warrior by deploying Starcraft APM spam and clicking a lot.

    Going to stop there...

    I feel like there's something here that I could really be into, the art alone is great and the feel of the little characters is neat. I just want something to be intrigued by. The combat needs to grab me somehow, wondering how to do that... Maybe make the attacks grid-based sort of like an adventuring version of advance wars? Make each character really simple so that you don't have to micromanage them a ton (I know there's little micro now, it's just that the stats hint that it might be a possibility)?

    The split between combat and movement could be cool, or you could make the levels a lot tighter and do away with a lot of the extraneous movement. Then all movement would be related to combat much more obviously and tactically. That could be awesome.

    Good luck! Certainly looks really good, give me more game to play :)
  • Thanks for all the feedback!

    The game is really early stages at the moment. I'd like to get the general gameplay mechanic down before moving on to the finer details.
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