*** To start, it's still turn-based. But not in the way that RPG Maker is by default; instead of selecting each character's turn at the start of a round, and then watching the round play out, there's a gauge that lists the turn order (based on each participant's agility score), and you enter your characters' actions when it's their turn, and then they do it, and the next turn happens. The best comparison would be Persona 4. But unlike Persona 4 (aside from at the very end), some enemies can make multiple attacks during their turn.
*** The menu in combat for each character has the options Attack, Guard, Skill, Magnum, Analyze, Weapon, Job, and Escape.
Attack uses the character's basic attack,
Guard is the standard Guard command, though it also restores a little HP and MP.
Skill opens the menu to use a character's skills and spells (they should be on the same menu rather than separated, as they are by default).
Magnum is unavailable unless the character's TP is maxed. When used, it consumes all TP, and activates the "Magnum Charge" skill for that character's current Job. TP increases by a small amount whenever the character hits an enemy with an attack or damage-dealing skill, or is hit with a damage-dealing attack from an enemy (TP remains as-is at the end of battle, carrying over to the next one).
Analyze allows you to select an enemy and--if you've killed that specific type of enemy before--see which elements they're weak and resistant to. Analyzing an enemy does not consume the character's turn, and can be done as many times as you want.
Weapon allows you to change the character's equipped weapon. This does not use up the character's turn, but can only be done once per turn.
Job allows you to change the character's current Job. This does not use up the character's turn, but can only be done once per turn.
Escape works much like the standard Escape command. If the escape is successful, combat ends, as normal. If the escape fails, then the turns of all other characters in the party are skipped, until the character who originally tried to escape has to take their turn again, at which point it returns to normal.
*** Like in Shin Megami Tensei, elemental weaknesses and resistances are vital. If an enemy is hit with their weakness, in addition to taking more damage, their turn is pushed back in the turn order by 1. This is why the Analyze ability is present; so that the player doesn't need to memorize it for each enemy, but to keep it fair, it's unavailable the first time they face a given opponent.
*** There are various Jobs available, like in many Final Fantasy games. Jobs function like Classes in the basic engine, but are changeable from the pause menu, or during combat (only one character can use a given Job at one time). Jobs change the character's basic stats, traits, available skills and spells (the character has access to all skills and spells that the Job has assigned to it, if the character is at or above the level assigned to the skill or spell on that Job), and available Magnum Charge. The player starts the game with some basic Jobs, and unlocks additional more powerful Jobs when they advance in the story. As for leveling, any EXP earned is applied to both the characters and the Jobs assigned to them at the end of combat. Player levels increase their maximum HP and MP, while Job levels affect the stats like ATK, DEF, AGI, etc. When a Job gains a level, the Job remains that level regardless of who it's assigned to (for example, if the Sorcerer Job reaches level 5, then it remains level 5, even when a different character is using it).
*** OPTIONAL: The final detail of this combat system is a timing minigame, reminiscent of Shadow Hearts or Paper Mario, except slightly simplified (every command functions the same way and uses the same button). Whenever a character uses a basic attack, or damage-dealing skill or spell, before the animation plays, a gauge appears. A cursor moves quickly back and forth on the gauge, and it stops when the player hits the button to confirm. Based on where the cursor lands, the effectiveness of the action is impacted:
A small section (red-colored) in the center of the gauge doubles the damage dealt.
Larger sections (yellow-colored) on either side of the red section cause it to deal damage at 150% effectiveness.
The largest sections (green-colored) on either side of those cause it to damage normally.
Smaller sections (blue-colored) on the edges of the gauge halve the damage dealt.
*** I don't need a side-view for this system; the default first-person perspective works fine.
That's about it. I really want to make this project a reality, and if it turns out to be profitable in the end, you can profit off this work. Anyone who's interested, please let me know.
Edited by Kotaro, 06 April 2012 - 03:10 PM.