Weapons, Difficulty, Achievements, Oh My!

Testing out some of Sasha's poses.
Testing out some of Sasha’s poses.

Hey, how’s it going guys? Things have been pretty busy lately, what with school and all.
For the most part, it’s awesome yet tiring. My classes are surprisingly fun, I’ve met
some awesome people (mostly freshmen), but I’ve been really tired. Note to self,
don’t go to bed until 5 AM for the entire summer, then try going to bed at 11 PM the
night before school. That will not end well.

Anyway, I’ve mostly been catching up on sleep, relaxing, and doing some game dev
this weekend. I learned one very important thing over the past few weeks: use your
own method for making a design document. 
Until earlier this month, I’ve been
using this template from a game design book, which was filled with pointless info
I didn’t need for the game as well as ridiculous formatting.

Now, the current GDD is much shorter, simpler, and easier to read. Perhaps once the
game is done, I’ll release it for public view.

Anyway, I was working on the intro, and I realized something – I hadn’t even started on
the weapons! I mean, I’d done the battle items, rings, etc. but not the characters’
weapons other than their starting weapons. So, after some brainstorming and
planning, I’ve come up with something I’d like to share with you guys.

Compared to other RPG’s, there’s a pretty small number of weapons available for
every character (nine, to be exact).  They’re listed in tiers:

  • Starter weapon (two for Sasha for story reasons)
  • Low-Tier (under $1000)
  • Mid-Tier (around $2000)
  • High-Tier (around $3000)
  • Ultimate weapon (received in sidequests)

Every tier except Starter & Ultimate have two weapons available for purchase.
The first three are immediately available while the next two are available after
a story event.  All weapons increase agility and attack.

That’s not all, however. The two weapons in a specific tier have different effects
and elemental affinities to them. For example, for Lucas in Mid-Tier:

  • the Adventurer’s Bow has high agility, low attack, but a high critical rate
  • the Poisoned Bow has low agility, mid-attack, but a high chance of inflicting Fatal Poison (stronger version of Poison) against an enemy

…And so on, and so forth. The player will have to decide which one to spend their
precious money on and strategize accordingly. Will they sacrifice high attack power
for extra critical hits, or sacrifice attack power for a high chance of inflicting
poison against enemies and bosses? Decisions, decisions…

But what if the player has BOTH weapons? They’ll be able to strategize further, since
you can change weapons in the middle of battle. Is the poison effect going too slow
for you? Change your weapon to make faster, critical attacks! The player can
FURTHER strategize due to different characters having different weapons.

For example, Lucas might use the Poisoned Bow, but Andrea will be able to use
her Critical Claws which has almost the same effect as the Adventurer’s Bow.
The main difference being that the attack is reduced further, BUT Andrea
can use TWO claws at once (and they don’t even have to be the same)!

There will also be different effects for most, such as some weapons being more
effective against fire-based enemies, have healing powers, etc. In some cases,
a lower tier weapon may be more effective than an ultimate weapon!

That being said, that brings up the issue of difficulty. Each stage, up until
a story event, can be completed in any order, and the stages after said
event can also be completed in any order up until the final stage. Balancing this
is going to be VERY tough. I plan on the Prologue stage being pretty easy,
but I want to create a balanced curve throughout, with the stages after the
story event being much more difficult.

I implemented an “enemy level” system, which has enemies level up with the party,
similar to Final Fantasy VIII. However, I won’t make it as STUPID as FFVIII,
in which that it’s actually more BENEFICIAL for the party to be a low level. In fact,
having a higher level in the game makes the game stupidly difficult.

This system won’t be final. I’ve thought about making a hybrid of
Dragon Quest VIII’s stat attribute system and Final Fantasy X’s Sphere Grid
system. If I did that, the Victory Rank system (which effects how much XP,
items, and cash you get at the end of each battle) may need to be removed.

I’ll have to get back to you on this. Sigh…

Anyway, ACHIEVEMENTS! Yeah, I have a total of 20 planned out.
I’m not entirely sure I’ll utilize them in the final game, though, and if I do
a few of them may need to be cut due to technical issues. If anything,
it’s just a rough draft in case the game gets on Steam, PS4, etc. or if
I do an in-game achievement system, similar to Game Dev Tycoon. 
(that game is awesome, btw)

Well, that’s about it for now. I’m off to watch more of Attack on Titan, 
and play/watch some more of the Parappa the Rapper series. If you guys
have any feedback or ideas on any of what I’ve said, feel free to drop a line.
I’d totally appreciate it. 😉 For now, here’s some more screenshots!

A house in Alivia Town.
A house in Alivia Town.
Part of the intro. HUD is changing soon.
Part of the intro. HUD is changing soon.

Later!

(P.S. – the website theme may be changing soon, just a head’s up)

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