Dark Soulsish Tactics

Discussion in 'Game Mechanics Design' started by kovak, Apr 21, 2016.

  1. kovak

    kovak Silverguard Veteran

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    Actually i got really inspired by Dark Souls Board Game kickstarter demo. I'm probably just porting what i've seen there, but i need to write about it somewhere and i really wanna see it in a digital game, this is too good to be alone in a fricking board (no offense, but this sheep is a mine of gold). Remember to think about isometric view and possibly with some transparency to see behind walls when needed if there's no rotation command.


    To start of when you die your stuff will drop, you are revived at the last bonfire you lit (checkpoint), you can pick them again by going to where you died, i have no idea about how it would be in terms of rules. This is something that i'd avoid using in a digital version cuz frick multiplayer and nobody needs to deal with this sheep on a turn based game for frick sake.

    Compared to how the encounter starts it would be different from most of tactics games. 1st the boss chooses a target and he then starts using his abilities  reggarding the range since some of them are related to mobility and he will use them no matter what and following a pattern (pretty much like in dark souls), a few times the pattern would change though. Bosses are usually big or are divided into 2 to 3 unities or has a small number of minions to aid him, on thoses cases both the unities and the minions will act according the boss abilities instead of having their own AI pack (which may be harder to code i suppose).


    On the other hand the party unities would use stamina (action points) to move and perform other actions (attack, use items, cast spells). The board game makes the player to use the same resource pool for both stamina and health, each unit has 5 hp potions charges known as estus flask, they can recover health, but can't recover stamina. As far as i've understood the game you recover stamina by skiping your turn or by performing less actions per turn, you can perform as much actions as you want, you may even die doing so cuz you will have less health to deal with the boss attacks. Here is where i would diverge and go with classic elements IMO.

    I'd simply use action points, each unit besides bosses would have 2 action points and you would recover those points when ending your turn, they could stack by skiping your turn, but this would happen once to prevent from abuse. The fact that you can perform 2 actions per turn doesn't mean you don't need other kind of resources and i think that making it closer to Tactics Ogre would make it more interesting since that game had a MP and TP gauges (like in RM deppending on its version ofc).

    Enemies can't dodge so they have higher health pools, player's units can block using their damage to retaliate the damage taken or dodge to take no damage, both actions doesn't make them to move though.


    Enemies can't attack in all directions either, it allow player's units to perform flanking actions to eliminate problematic enemies and give more depth to formations.

    Well, the rest would be up the creativity of the developer. This iss pretty raw yet since i need to play the board game, i really do, the concept is nice and "easy" till the YOU DIED message.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 21, 2016
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  2. AwesomeCool

    AwesomeCool Bratty and spoiled little sister Veteran

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    I honestly liked the system that board games uses for bosses (and is probably one of the reasons it is getting so much money so fast).


    I should note that I think the pattern being only shuffled once initially (till things like low health) is not only because it adds strategy, but to make the fight different each time ontop of it (to make it feel fresh for repeated games).


    So perhaps this type of system would be better for a rogue like (which the board game seems to be replicating)?  As each time you encounter the boss in successive playthroughs they will feel different combat wise, yet have strategy to them.


    The party system could replace the multiplayer system (player controls the party) and the bigger the risk, the bigger the possible reward of the combined health and endurance bar could be really good if balanced well (a video game equivalent would probably not want to rely on chance as much though, as board gamers are MUCH more acceptant of it), but terrible if not well balanced (would be easy to make the reward to great or the risk to high).


    Perhaps even have the health bar act as the only resource (for spells, weapon skills, movements and everything), to really add an interesting dynamic .  Maybe even have it so the less the character uses, the more they regenerate the next turn.


    Note: Glad I am not the only one interested in this battle system.
     
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  3. kovak

    kovak Silverguard Veteran

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    If i'm not wrong the board game has humanity and it can be used for upgrades, idk if they will use it to cast spells or if there are rules about what happens when you don't have any humanity left. That's something i would avoid at 1st, w.e it could be interesting to see it on a tactics game.

    Maybe it could be used to act both as income and to cast spells or each unit has its own humanity pool and use another thing as currency. If there's no humanity left and the unit stays for a long time without it it could be turned into a hollow (like in the lore) and you would lose the unit or have a encounter based on it that would trigger a random event (like an ambush). Final Fantasy Tactics had something similar based on Bravery or Faith, if both were too high or too low the unit would leave the party for some immersive reason, i really hated it at 1st, then started to love it, but it wasn't soo deep like remeeting those guys who left your party somewher else.
     
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  4. LightningLord2

    LightningLord2 Psionic Bird Thrower Veteran

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    I didn't play very much Dark Souls, though in general I think you want to take a fair share of inspiration from the PC game as well.


    Stamina:
     


    Very simple to do in MV with Yanfly's TP Mode plugin. You adjust the TP mode(s) the player gets to regenerate over turns and make them the primary resource of offensive and defensive skills. Try to go for a variety of manuevers with different effects, though, just blocking and rolling is difficult to implement in a turn-based system.


    Classes:
     


    I think there was 8-10 classes in Dark Souls, which mainly differ in your starting stats and what gear you find in the Undead Prison. You grind by gathering souls from your enemies and spending them at a bonfire to increase your stats. It does not have spells like most RPGs do, they along with ammunition work like consumable items.


    Enemies:

    Go ahead and give them the same TP/Stamina restrictions as the players, so you can open up to some tactics involving keeping track of TP or even manipulating them to an extent. Otherwise, just follow the general advice on how to make enemies interesting and how to make a proper difficulty curve. Though you might want to look into how to properly include positioning into combat.
     
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  5. kovak

    kovak Silverguard Veteran

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    I wish i could do it, but i'm no programmer.

    This would fit an isometric game, all i see works within a 3d board, i can't see it happening in a simple turn based game yet.
     
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  6. LightningLord2

    LightningLord2 Psionic Bird Thrower Veteran

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    It's okay, just make good use of whatever battle system you have on hand.


    One thing I can add to enemies:


    Encounters in Dark Souls are static - you'll find the same enemies with the same tactics in the same areas. What's notable is that most checkpoints are behind boss fights rather than in front of them, enforcing attrition for each of them. Furthermore, healing up at those checkpoints causes all enemies to respawn, so going back to heal is mostly like starting over (except you keep all the gear and souls).
     
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