RMMV Dark Souls - Inspired RPG & Octopath Battle System

Ravenith

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Hello there.

I've been working on an MV game that aims to incorporate many of the peculiar game and narrative design choices and techniques seen in the Souls series and Bloodborne.

Everything's been going great, except - obviously - for the combat part. I was building a battle system centered around calculated decisions and trying to make it as engaging as possible, when Fallen Angel Olivia's Octopath Traveler plugins came out.

A streamlined battle system like that would provide the combat aspect of the game with the necessary oomph, except for one thing: it's designed to work best with a party of 4.

On the other hand, one of the main themes of the game is isolation, and I feel that having an ensemble of 4 at all times kind of defeats that purpose.

So, I turn to the collective mind:

Do you think that combat using the Octopath Traveler BS could work with a party of 1-2? And if yes, how so?

Alternatively, do you think there's a way to keep a pervasive feeling of isolation and loneliness in the game, even with a larger party? How would you approach that?

Thank you for your responses!
 

Countyoungblood

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Are you aiming at a feeling of lonelyness because of feeling such about dark souls?

If so that was never my experience with the game..its a tough game but it never made me feel lonely nor did i ever notice a theme of isolation. Maybe its just personal perspective and not a theme. But then again your opinion may be a better sample of what players would feel.
 

atoms

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@Ravenith

What exactly are your main problems that you are most concerned with when trying to use the OTB for 2 party members instead of 4?

Perhaps look at different battle systems for the engine you are using, MV by the sound of it, and experiment a little to see what each can do for you then decide which one you want to use.

Personally I think any standard combat system can work with 2 party members including the OTB.

If you've done a lot of work on everything but the combat so far, you can also share some of that and ideas you have there and see if anyone has a suggestion on what battle system may work best for you with what you have. That may also help you further?

If I was making a game with a isolation feel to it, and that was major for the game itself and it's main feature to the extreme, and if then I had 4 or more party members, I'd probably keep the dialogue to a minimum so keep it quite silent, still I would allow every character to participate and say something at times, but not much interaction otherwise. Mainly there interaction would be shown through action, like the battles themselves. I would also try and use more quiet types of music and probably more black, grey type of tilesets for the maps with abandoned themed locations like forests and haunted-feeling-ish mansions perhaps. I'd also have more focus on sound effects over the background music. Like water flowing, rain, wind sound effects perhaps. A little spooky themed music but not to scary at the same time. Basically something similar to horror but with isolation instead of actual fear and shock. But, I'm not actually sure if that is what you are aiming for.
 

BlueWulf

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Darkest Dungeons seems to have nailed that kind of feeling pretty well despite your party being made up of four people, mostly because it used many of the techniques mentioned in the post above.
 

Plainview

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See, I actually found this interesting, when you said Soulsborne games use narrative and techniques to invoke the feeling of isolation: I agree with that. But combat, the games, and even some of the its narrative, actually do the exact opposite.

If anything, the games invoke a deeper sense of camaraderie and teamwork, even when you play the game alone. Like the ability to leave messages for other players, or obtaining information from NPCs that tell you what's going on in the world, or teaming up with other players, or even when the Bell of Awakening in Dark Souls rang each time a player online rung the bell themselves. It uses narrative and gameplay devices to show you that even though the world is bleak and the player is alone in the world, that there are others going through the same thing.

This is just my take on it, but there are several ways to invoke a feeling of loneliness. The easiest way, music. In Soulsborne games, there's very little music used when traversing the world, and any music that appears comes from areas that serve a significant purpose (Like Yahar'ghul from Bloodborne), or when you fight a boss.

There are also very few people in interact with. In Dark Souls, most of humanity are hallows and the only few characters willing to speak to you are too preoccupied with their own goals to be of any help, and in Bloodborne (which takes place mostly in one specific city) you're an outsider; no one trusts you and make no effort to talk to you. It makes it feel like your the only person you can depend on, before of course there's mulitplayer or whatever.

Can Octopath Battler provide the kind of isolation you're looking for? I think it can, personally, because the battle's don't have to be the be-all-end-all tool to invoke whatever emotion you want to convey so long as the other elements like the writing, the music, and the world itself can work in its place. But that's just me.
 

Countyoungblood

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If anything, the games invoke a deeper sense of camaraderie and teamwork, even when you play the game alone. .
agreed, I almost feel as if the game brings me closer to those i play with because of how cruel the game world is.
 

MMMm

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Make your other characters barely sentient eldritch monsters. Heavily imply that the only thing keeping them calm is your character's influence, and they'll go right back to terrorizing the world the moment you die.
 
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My current game used Demon Souls as a basis for a lot of its elements, it took me several months to really realise that most of the elements I borrowed didn't translate well to a turn based 2D RPG. The only real elements I have left are the Nexus, cryptic NPC dialogue/lore and the looping level design for dungeons. If you can find a way to get that Souls feeling coming across then I cant wait to see it!
 

Ravenith

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Wow, that's a lot of quality input! Thanks, everyone!

@atoms and @Plainview in particular have nailed it.

"Even though the world is bleak and the player is alone in the world, that there are others going through the same thing" - that's what i want to express. That sense of camaraderie, however, needs to feel... earned. That's why I feel it's imperative to first thoroughly convey a sense of isolation.

Your views have helped me reframe some of what I was thinking. I'm also going to take a closer look at Darkest Dungeons (thanks @BlueWulf !)
 

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