B: Nandrew Stuff

I decided that, in order to help honour the spirit of this competition, my prototypes should be extra disposable. So I have a disposably-named thread to keep that in mind.


Okay, so try this one first, folks. It's my take on party-based RPG combat:

Dwarves vs Alien Freaks (v0.01) https://www.box.com/s/w6bjuxud1y1v19f01to7


And because I haven't devised a proper tutorial or feedback system, let's use this little helper:


Defeating all three randomly-generated aliens is your goal. For an alien to die, all of its gems (red, yellow and blue) need to be knocked down to zero. For a dwarf to die (that's you, buddy) only ONE gem colour needs to be depleted. So yar, take care!

In each combat round, one of the aliens will take a turn to attack, draining one of its gems to deal colour damage to one of your dwarfs (usually whoever's in front). The arrows above show who's attacking and who's being attacked. Impending damage is circled in green.

To deal with this attack before it resolves, you're allowed to choose ONE dwarf and select ONE ability (shown circled in pink). This will buff gems of the appropriate colour and often move dwarves around. The movement bit is important, since enemy attacks don't target the dwarf, they target the SLOT the dwarf was occupying -- understanding this is super helpful.

Every time you win a combat situation, your party level goes up by 1 and the situations become harder / more interesting. Every time you lose, you slip down 2 levels.

If you want to see the maximum complexity this prototype has to offer (and start seeing which ideas I'd want to put into a full project), try getting your party to at least level 4.


  • Hmmm, I can't figure out exactly how the combat works. Which leads to a colour code game where I check incoming, look for the highest value on my peeps and the just click the correct colour button. :P Is the only way to kill the aliens to wait for them to spend all their gems on attacks? And you said that the alien attacks the slot the dwarf was occupying. But which slot, the one of the dwarf you selected or the slot that is in front? Maybe it's just too much for me at this time of night :P
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    I played it until level 7, and I feel pretty pleased with myself about that, (though the looming numbers on the aliens frightened me in such a way as to make me think that that point was the precise right moment to quit).

    It's a fun puzzle to figure out. I felt that the "your party has leveled up" was a little disappointing seeing as the members didn't persist as I had expected them to, though I was fine with the rehiring mechanic.

    It's pretty damn simple, which was the point. I can't imagine it being simplified much more (although I suspect some JRPG's do, to their detriment).

    I suppose, and this is maybe a personal thing, I'd like some of the buffs to be flavorful. I understand that the enemy is attacking with 1 red... but it might be nice if it was going for a "pacifying attack" or something, and to buff your hero you might feed him "anger beer" or something.

    Though exposing the values is great for learning the system, which is why I hesitate before suggestion obfuscating the system. Though there may be a compromise...

    However, for the purposes of the competition I'm fairly certain that flavour is unnecessary.

    I liked the emergent moment when my last dwarf was at the back and I had two free turns to buff him up while dodging the enemy attacks as I charged my dwarf forward.

    Not that it really matters, but in some ways the emphasis for distinguishing the character classes is the reverse of the emphasis in party based RPGs. In party based RPG's the role the character fills is often based on his/her attack. Tanking is one of those roles in party based RPG's, however in DVAF all the characters are tanks (aside from the healer) and the roles are based on how they tank best.

    I guess it fits then that they're dwarves, dwarves being the tanks of Middle Earth and all.
  • @Rigormortis I'll try explain the next version a little better if there is one. :P

    Clicking any ability will move your dwarf forward one slot (swapping places with other dwarves where applicable) and buff that colour by one gem.

    Each colour has one additional effect:
    RED: deal 1 gem damage to the front monster's lowest stat
    YELLOW: gain extra yellow if the selected dwarf doesn't take damage this round
    BLUE: deal 1 gem damage to the attacking monster's highest stat

    @BlackShipsFilltheSky awesome on the emergent moment thing! I felt that it was a really satisfying part of the system.

    If working on this further, I'd plan on giving each of the colours more of a personality. There's a (very slight) trend towards this already, usually shown in enemy attacks: red is strength (aggressive and damage-dealing), yellow is stamina (builds up quickly and defensive) and blue is spirit (AOE, backline attacks).

    The special HEALER dwarf on level 4 is probably the clearest mark in this direction, as using his "spirit" ability triggers an increase in his party's "stamina" :)
  • I wanted to ask. Is there a reason to damage any particular stat of the aliens? Is there an advantage of removing all their red point for instance? I suspect this affects what type of damage they do, but I couldn't figure out exactly what. (Obviously this is early stages, I'm curious to see what you're building up to, feels like there is room for a lot more strategy).
  • In theory, by attacking the correct colour you're lowering the monster's overall damage output in the long term. So blasting Red is a high priority on, say, a creature who does double damage on every red attack (when I say double damage, btw, I don't mean two enemy gems are spent in the attack: just one gem expenditure for a two gem assault)
  • Hey, here's another one. I call it "Dwarves vs Alien Freaks".

    Download 0.01: https://www.box.com/s/sg85mnjhhupyxqlakqry


    This was originally designed with the brief idea of "XCOM with digging". It took a weird left-turn somewhere because there was a heavy emphasis on AOE and friendly fire.

    You lead a small band of dwarves through some underground chambers, hunting down aliens, smashing through dirt and basically trying to clear as many rooms out as possible before the aliens overpower and overwhelm you. Along the way, you'll pick up vital tools to increase your damage and threat range, but the most powerful weapons are often the ones that are most ready to kill your allies! Wheee!

    So, do you go full offense in a gambit to clear more rooms, while increasing the risk to your own party? Or do you nerf your attacking capability to reduce cases of friendly fire (and increase your risk of being overwhelmed by aliens instead)?

    A few basic controls you need to know:

    - When not in combat, move from room to room by using the four arrow buttons at the bottom of the screen (then hitting "confirm" when you see a room you feel good about)

    - In combat, each dwarf takes a turn, then the aliens move. You can move in one of four directions, and you'll always make an attack after you move, in whatever direction you're facing. Take care here, you'll ALWAYS make an attack, even in non-convenient situations!

    - When not in combat, you can pick up and swap items by left-clicking and dragging. To get an estimate of the THREAT range of an item (very important, by the way), hover your mouse cursor over it and hold the right mouse button

    The rest you can see for yourself, methinks. Challenge yourself to clear as many rooms as possible, it generally gets unbearably tough by about Evo 4 (and that's after you know what's going on!).

    Don't worry too much if you're getting teamkills, that's actually a prominent part of the challenge and you'll have to think carefully to avoid swinging an axe into the skull of a nearby friendly. :)
  • I die more by friendly fire than any other danger!
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