Button Press Battle Input

Tsukihime

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I was thinking of valkyrie profile today randomly.


Basically in this game you have the 4 playstation buttons each assigned to each character, and when you press the corresponding button, the character will perform an attack. You can press the buttons whenever you want, but the timing of your attack matters because the enemy could also counter-attack or guard while you're attacking, so you need to time it so that they don't get a chance to counter. You basically need to make two hits at almost the same time to "break" their guard, which might involve two different characters, or a single attack that can deal two hits together.

So I tried it myself: bound attack to a button that I put on the screen.
I even added two buttons, one for each actor.

This is the result.


There's a lot of issues that need to be addressed, but maybe this might be interesting?
Does something like this already exist?

Probably won't focus on this while I'm building the grid battle system but it's useful to think about compatibility for other types of battle systems.
 

magnaangemon01

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Looks interesting. Would definitely be easier than hitting the same button over and over again.
 

Oddball

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Instead of clicking on a button on the screen, why not assign them to different buttons on the keyboard. Like 1,2,3,4?
 

Tsukihime

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Instead of clicking on a button on the screen, why not assign them to different buttons on the keyboard. Like 1,2,3,4?
Mobile first design lol

But they could be bound to keyboard and gamepad buttons as well.
 

Wavelength

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Looks amazingly fun!!! I love any battle system that requires the player to act quick and think even quicker!

Several years ago I did play around with creating a "click enemy sprite to damage them" plugin for my own game, and more recently I worked on a commission that was a lot like what you're showing except it used hotkeys to instigate actions. In both, timing was indeed a problem, especially when an actor and enemy were attacking each other at the same time (and especially when it caused a KO to either one of them!). But for the most part, I felt it worked and was pretty fun.

I think we have a lot of similar ideas about what kind of battle mechanics make for fun systems, Hime! You've got some good taste :D

If you're making this as a public plugin (rather than a tool for just your own game), some non-basic features would probably be necessary to design good stuff, such as an easy script call the player could make to determine whether a battler is currently in the middle of an action. Guard moves would probably need a re-think to fit your system as well.

This would be a great system for MZ where a lot of the real-time elements will already be handled for you!
 

Tsukihime

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Looks amazingly fun!!! I love any battle system that requires the player to act quick and think even quicker!

Several years ago I did play around with creating a "click enemy sprite to damage them" plugin for my own game, and more recently I worked on a commission that was a lot like what you're showing except it used hotkeys to instigate actions. In both, timing was indeed a problem, especially when an actor and enemy were attacking each other at the same time (and especially when it caused a KO to either one of them!). But for the most part, I felt it worked and was pretty fun.

I think we have a lot of similar ideas about what kind of battle mechanics make for fun systems, Hime! You've got some good taste :D

If you're making this as a public plugin (rather than a tool for just your own game), some non-basic features would probably be necessary to design good stuff, such as an easy script call the player could make to determine whether a battler is currently in the middle of an action. Guard moves would probably need a re-think to fit your system as well.
It'll be a public release.

Checking if an actor is currently performing an action is definitely necessary.
Checking if they are currently being attacked, might also be necessary.

For example I want to implement a "counter attack" feature where if I press "guard" at the right time when the enemy is performing their action, it will cancel the attack and allow me to perform a counter-attack instead.

It would definitely require some thinking about how this would actually work.
Did your system support this kind of timing?

Cause I'm thinking what if you had 3 enemies attacking you, and you wanted to do some sort of "spinning" attack that basically nullified their attack and knocked them back.

This would be a great system for MZ where a lot of the real-time elements will already be handled for you!
What would be required is the ability to perform multiple actions simultaneously. MV doesn't support multiple actions: this is why in my video, I can slash and punch all I want, but only the last one gets applied to the enemy. In fact, both my actors would have still used up MP if the attack had an MP cost.

We'll have to see if there is support for that in MZ, but I would probably bet it wouldn't: each actor queues up their actions, and when the game is ready to perform the next action, they go and see who's next, grabs their action, and performs it. When an action is currently being performed, the game will say "hold on, you guys need to wait"

In a real-time action system, the game doesn't do this gatekeeping. It just says "GO GO GO GO". All it cares is whether you've filled out that "perform action" request form and then you're free to go and have fun slapping the enemy.

It also means the battle log will get completely swamped and you basically need to revise it. Imagine 5 Harold's slapping the enemy at the same time, your screen will be swamped with

Code:
"Harold 1 performs attack
"Harold 2 performs attack
"Harold 3 performs attack
"Enemy receives damage"
"Harold 4 performs attack
"Harold 5 performs attack
"Enemy receives damage"
"Enemy receives damage"
"Enemy receives damage"
"Enemy receives damage"
Depending on how long the attack animation takes, etc.
 

Wavelength

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For example I want to implement a "counter attack" feature where if I press "guard" at the right time when the enemy is performing their action, it will cancel the attack and allow me to perform a counter-attack instead.

It would definitely require some thinking about how this would actually work.
Did your system support this kind of timing?
My system used a frontview system and it was sort of asymmetric in that you were trying to click dots that would briefly appear on enemies to deal damage, while the enemies would periodically use skills against you. In that sense, I didn't have to worry about actions crossing, though killing enemies while they were in the middle of using skills did cause some rare, serious bugs, where sometimes they wouldn't disappear from the screen, and sometimes they'd even continue to use skills while dead (until the entire troop was wiped).

The one place where timing did matter a lot was that you could press a Guard button to reduce incoming damage from those skills, but the Guard had a limited duration that only refilled slowly.

The system you're aiming for in your plugin is pretty different in that it's more about taking advantage of short timing windows, which sounds like it could be truly awesome when handled by an expert designer.

Cause I'm thinking what if you had 3 enemies attacking you, and you wanted to do some sort of "spinning" attack that basically nullified their attack and knocked them back.
Damn if that wouldn't be cool to pull off!!

What would be required is the ability to perform multiple actions simultaneously. MV doesn't support multiple actions: this is why in my video, I can slash and punch all I want, but only the last one gets applied to the enemy. In fact, both my actors would have still used up MP if the attack had an MP cost.

We'll have to see if there is support for that in MZ, but I would probably bet it wouldn't: each actor queues up their actions, and when the game is ready to perform the next action, they go and see who's next, grabs their action, and performs it. When an action is currently being performed, the game will say "hold on, you guys need to wait"

In a real-time action system, the game doesn't do this gatekeeping. It just says "GO GO GO GO". All it cares is whether you've filled out that "perform action" request form and then you're free to go and have fun slapping the enemy.
Well, I assumed that MZ's Progress Time Active battle system would handle multiple simultaneous actions as "Go Go Go!", because people have pulled that off (to varying degrees of success) on MV, and also because even PS1-era ATB systems were able to pull that off... or so I thought. I just went back and watched a gameplay video of the original FF7, and I was really surprised to see that the battle actually "pauses" (no one can take an action, and ATB bars don't fill) whenever a battler is using an attack or skill. Input is still allowed, but as you mentioned, it's more like placing an action in a "queue".

Simultaneous actions are a matter you will have to dig deep into, especially if Action Sequences are being used and the characters are moving around (imagine a chain of A attacking B, while B attacks C, while C attacks D!). There are no easy answers to this and it's going to look bizarre at least sometimes. Then there are disables and KO's to think about: what happens if a battler is disabled or killed while acting, or during the start to another opponent's action sequence that was targeting them?

I wouldn't worry too much about the battle log. The battle log is an obsolete artifact of old-school games anyway, and any kind of competent designer that would implement a rapid, real-time battle system like you're enabling would surely get rid of the battle log and use popup numbers, skill name bars, and/or visual effects to get the message across instead.
 

Tsukihime

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My system used a frontview system and it was sort of asymmetric in that you were trying to click dots that would briefly appear on enemies to deal damage, while the enemies would periodically use skills against you. In that sense, I didn't have to worry about actions crossing, though killing enemies while they were in the middle of using skills did cause some rare, serious bugs, where sometimes they wouldn't disappear from the screen, and sometimes they'd even continue to use skills while dead (until the entire troop was wiped).

The one place where timing did matter a lot was that you could press a Guard button to reduce incoming damage from those skills, but the Guard had a limited duration that only refilled slowly.

The system you're aiming for in your plugin is pretty different in that it's more about taking advantage of short timing windows, which sounds like it could be truly awesome when handled by an expert designer.
I think our systems are quite similar. Mine might be a bit more generalized, which may be able to better address some of the issues you had run into.


Well, I assumed that MZ's Progress Time Active battle system would handle multiple simultaneous actions as "Go Go Go!", because people have pulled that off (to varying degrees of success) on MV, and also because even PS1-era ATB systems were able to pull that off... or so I thought. I just went back and watched a gameplay video of the original FF7, and I was really surprised to see that the battle actually "pauses" (no one can take an action, and ATB bars don't fill) whenever a battler is using an attack or skill. Input is still allowed, but as you mentioned, it's more like placing an action in a "queue".
Ya a lot of games are actually like that.
Chrono cross and chrono trigger I believe is like that too, even though you could do like "team skills".

If you're looking for examples of old simultaneous battle action, SNES-era games like Tales of Phantasia and Star Ocean had them already, which is closer to what I would like. Grandia I THINK also had simultaneous movement and attacks (you could run across the map and avoid getting hit in the process).

Simultaneous actions are a matter you will have to dig deep into, especially if Action Sequences are being used and the characters are moving around (imagine a chain of A attacking B, while B attacks C, while C attacks D!). There are no easy answers to this and it's going to look bizarre at least sometimes. Then there are disables and KO's to think about: what happens if a battler is disabled or killed while acting, or during the start to another opponent's action sequence that was targeting them?
In a real-time battle system you could have battlers all over the map performing actions independently of each other.

Action sequences would definitely need to be re-designed. If it's purely for "visual" purposes, it might not work well.

You might even need to build new collision detection systems. In a simple grid-based system, collision check is basically checking if someone occupies that tile (like RPG Map system)

With action sequences, their "real position" changes depending on where they are in their animation. Which is not bad either. Then when you perform that collision check in your skill, you can determine what should happen: maybe you launch a counter-attack, maybe you don't.

That approach might work. We can do simple collision check with like bounding box or polygons, though it gets complicated if you wanted to include things like weapon collision check (arrow shoots out, now you need to check that as well, etc)

I wouldn't worry too much about the battle log. The battle log is an obsolete artifact of old-school games anyway, and any kind of competent designer that would implement a rapid, real-time battle system like you're enabling would surely get rid of the battle log and use popup numbers, skill name bars, and/or visual effects to get the message across instead.
Ya we can just hide the battle log and just stick with popups and skill names. Much better.
 

Wavelength

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Great thoughts, Tsukihime!

Grandia (2 at least) didn't really allow for multiple simultaneous actions - multiple battlers could make progress toward the commands they've been issued (and move toward their targets) at the same time, but when it's to act, the action pauses while the animation is played and the damage is dealt. The Star Ocean and Tales Of series were mostly real-time action, yes.

If I were doing this, I'd probably make sure my actors never moved around mid-action; I'd stay away from Action Sequences. That way at least spell animations could be tossed toward a battler's anchor without any funny business. I'd save myself the trouble of building of collision-detection systems, and just worry about the need to handle damage calculations as skills hit rather than when they're cast.

But I have to say I'm very intrigued (and, as always, impressed) by your plans to possibly judge hitboxes as battlers move around in such a system!!
 

Tsukihime

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Great thoughts, Tsukihime!

Grandia (2 at least) didn't really allow for multiple simultaneous actions - multiple battlers could make progress toward the commands they've been issued (and move toward their targets) at the same time, but when it's to act, the action pauses while the animation is played and the damage is dealt. The Star Ocean and Tales Of series were mostly real-time action, yes.

If I were doing this, I'd probably make sure my actors never moved around mid-action; I'd stay away from Action Sequences. That way at least spell animations could be tossed toward a battler's anchor without any funny business. I'd save myself the trouble of building of collision-detection systems, and just worry about the need to handle damage calculations as skills hit rather than when they're cast.

But I have to say I'm very intrigued (and, as always, impressed) by your plans to possibly judge hitboxes as battlers move around in such a system!!
For grandia 1, most (if not all) special skills had their own dedicated action processing, but regular attacks (or critical attack) didn't stop the game.


Star Ocean and Tales both had a mix of time-pausing actions, and actions that didn't stop time.
Actually I guess this allows you to create avoidable and unavoidable attacks.

A small fireball flying across the screen can be side-stepped. A huge meteor with its own dedicated animation, can't be avoided even if you try to dive for cover.

But ya for simplicity I would avoid all the moving stuff. It's not necessary if I just wanted to bind commands to gamepad/keyboard/touch input.

Valkyrie profile would require dynamic collision checks during skills because enemies could be tossed in the air, thrown all over the place, etc.

For collision detection, I would grab a pre-made detection library and try to figure out how to work it in.
I think people that build action battle systems would have a better idea how to build it because they've already done all the legwork for things like projectiles, real-time combat, collision checking, etc.

Just thinking about the system, it's already getting quite complicated.
I'll probably re-visit the idea when I have a plugin for "multiple actions" at the very least.
 

Wavelength

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It's coming along well, though! I'm really looking forward to seeing what a "designed" battle (designed to be challenging and enjoyable rather than just showing off the tech) looks like with your system! I bet it's gonna be a showstopper.
 

palatkorn

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I think if it's an extra button It seemed to be much more awesome as I attacked. Until one level, this combo button will come out to be pressed. Like a dragon ball game You have to press the formula to release the power.
 

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How would you get past the turn system if your characters are going to be using these attacks repetitively?
 

Uzuki

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If I could comment would there be a way to implement a combo system into it? A game that recently does this kind of battle system is Indivisible. In which you press the button corresponding to the character on the gamepad. One of my biggest grips with the game is that there's no incentive in the battle system to do combos outside of breaking guards, launching enemies and do big combo. A good way to get people to actually want to learn how to time attacks and keep combos going is to inventive them with rewards. Maybe if a character has a certain accessory on the party regains health after getting 20 hits or getting a 50 hit combo does a big explosion on the enemy. Something to give it a reward for planning out and learning the moveset of characters. Another would be having different attacks activate depending on the direction you press on the direction pad like Down + A does an AOE while Forward + A makes the character launch an enemy.
 
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Tsukihime

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If I could comment would there be a way to implement a combo system into it? A game that recently does this kind of battle system is Indivisible. In which you press the button corresponding to the character on the gamepad. One of my niggest grips with the game is that there's no incentive in the battle system to do combos outside of breaking guards, launching enemies and do big combo. A good way to get people to actually want to learn how to time attacks and keep combos going is to inventive them with rewards. Maybe if a character has a certain accessory on the party regains health after getting 20 hits or getting a 50 hit combo does a big explosion on the enemy. Something to give it a reward for planning out and learning the moveset of characters. Another would be having different attacks activate depending on the direction you press on the direction pad like Down + A does an AOE while Forward + A makes the character launch an enemy.
I think combo reward system would be interesting

Valkyrie profile has it so that in addition to guard breaking or counter negation, each combo adds to a combo gauge and once you max the gauge, additional hits yield extra drops which could be exp or items.

So I think your "20 or 50 hits" combo counter would be a good solution.
 

Sword_of_Dusk

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I think combo reward system would be interesting

Valkyrie profile has it so that in addition to guard breaking or counter negation, each combo adds to a combo gauge and once you max the gauge, additional hits yield extra drops which could be exp or items.

So I think your "20 or 50 hits" combo counter would be a good solution.
It's been a while since I've played VP, but combos have no bearing on whether you get those extra drops. Hitting an enemy while they're in the air (juggling them, in other words) can produce magic crystals that boost the experience yield. Hitting them while they're laying on the ground, they can generate these reddish-purple orbs that lower the CT (Charge Time) of any characters who currently have a CT higher than 0. In either case, treasure can drop in addition.

What the combo gauge controls is access to the party's PWS/Soul Crush moves. When it hits 100, you can perform one such move. Initiating the move drops the gauge to 80, and should the PWS/Soul Crush get it to 100 again, another PWS/Soul Crush can be used. The gauge will drop to 60 upon use of the second one, and getting it to 100 again allows the use of another. The gauge drops to 40 once you activate the next, but a fourth and final one can be used if the gauge hits 100 one last time. The third and fourth PWS/Soul Crush in a chain will do extra damage, but I forget how much.
 

Tsukihime

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It's been a while since I've played VP, but combos have no bearing on whether you get those extra drops. Hitting an enemy while they're in the air (juggling them, in other words) can produce magic crystals that boost the experience yield. Hitting them while they're laying on the ground, they can generate these reddish-purple orbs that lower the CT (Charge Time) of any characters who currently have a CT higher than 0. In either case, treasure can drop in addition.

What the combo gauge controls is access to the party's PWS/Soul Crush moves. When it hits 100, you can perform one such move. Initiating the move drops the gauge to 80, and should the PWS/Soul Crush get it to 100 again, another PWS/Soul Crush can be used. The gauge will drop to 60 upon use of the second one, and getting it to 100 again allows the use of another. The gauge drops to 40 once you activate the next, but a fourth and final one can be used if the gauge hits 100 one last time. The third and fourth PWS/Soul Crush in a chain will do extra damage, but I forget how much.
Oh, was it tossed in the air. Maybe that's why I wasn't getting drops lol.
But ya that makes sense, some sort of mechanic that encourages players to figure out how to chain their combos to maximize drops.
 

NinjaKittyProductions

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VP 1 and 2 have been some of my favorite rpgs from the Playstation 1 and 2 eras. I have been wanting a battle system of the like for awhile now since vx ace... and have asked multiple times if anyone knew of one that existed. I can tell you from my search that it does not. I would love to see this plugin come to fruition! I eagerly await the day it arrives ^_^
 

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