Fantasy-style Games Without a Battle System

StrawberrySmiles

The Talking Fruit
Veteran
Joined
Nov 23, 2012
Messages
1,722
Reaction score
545
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
I would like to avoid having a battle system in my game. The formulas, the weapons, the skills, and so on - they overwhelm me too much. Especially when I'm working alone.


My story is set up LIKE an RPG in the sense that when the main character travels somewhere, like a forest or through a cavern, other characters accompany her. Essentially making up the RPG-like party. And it wouldn't make sense for all of these areas to be peaceful, of course - some home to aggressive monsters. But I think just walking from one place to the other could get boring very quickly.


My question is simple:


What kind of gameplay could be used for an "epic fantasy" styled game that features no battle systems? Ideas and existing games as inspiration would be helpful.


Thanks!
 

Thalzon

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Mar 3, 2012
Messages
1,743
Reaction score
2,052
First Language
English
Well, there's always puzzles, but good puzzles are going to take at least as much thought and effort from you as battles, if not more.
 

Plueschkatze

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Aug 4, 2016
Messages
513
Reaction score
1,520
First Language
German
Primarily Uses
N/A
Yeah point and click or telltale-like storytelling with choices or even do something like most horror rpgmaker games do, no actual fighting but sequences where you are chased or something. (Take a look at Ib,  the witch's house, mad father and so on)
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Chaos Avian

Abyssal Wing
Restaff
Joined
Jul 16, 2012
Messages
3,231
Reaction score
783
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
You could use the field mechanics of classical DnD or Etrian Odyssey, but without the combat. Such as interacting with the environment proccing different events, such as a party member getting poisoned, finding an rare item, a location that you may have to return to for quest or story reasons, secret paths, shortcuts, etc.
 

GoodSelf

Zhu Li! Do the thing!
Veteran
Joined
Jul 23, 2016
Messages
525
Reaction score
937
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
Bartering and trading comes to mind - visiting different cities to buy low, then traversing to another to sell high.
You can complete puzzles and harvest resources too.
 

consolcwby

(2015: afk...) 2018: BAK! :P
Veteran
Joined
Aug 25, 2016
Messages
205
Reaction score
334
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
I agree with everyone here! @StrawberrySmiles you should take a look at games like Myst and Riven to get ideas on how to integrate puzzles into the environment. I hate the games, but loved the puzzles!
 

Wavelength

Pre-Merge Boot
Global Mod
Joined
Jul 22, 2014
Messages
4,608
Reaction score
3,855
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
You could go for puzzle/quest mechanics, or you could make the game very dialogue/choice heavy, or you could branch into another genre for the gameplay (see Puzzle Quest or Long Live the Queen or Recettear, which had a lot of the trappings of RPGs but were arguably games of another genre).  It largely depends on the story you're telling and the adventure and world that you want your characters to partake in.  What kind of gameplay is appropriate for these things?


In addition to that, I want to bring up the possibility that maybe you're trying to cut out a battle system for the wrong reasons.  You say that:

I would like to avoid having a battle system in my game. The formulas, the weapons, the skills, and so on - they overwhelm me too much. Especially when I'm working alone.


It sounds as though the main reason you don't want to have combat in your game is either because you find the act of designing combat too difficult, or because you think it inevitably gets too complicated with all the different stats, equips, skills, enemies, etc.


If it's because you find designing combat too difficult to do - find someone who enjoys it!  There are definitely forum members around with a lot of talent for combat design and a lot of patience for working in the database, but less love for crafting the nuts and bolts of the adventure itself.  If you can prove that you're serious about making your game - find someone to work with that has similar game-creating philosophies to you to be your better half!  Just be sure you're ready to give up a little bit of creative control.


If it's because you feel like your combat systems always become too complicated - may I recommend considering a different type of combat system?  Action battle systems can usually get away with a small number of enemies and a very small number of skills.  Card-based combat often completely does away with items and equipment.  In the early days of gaming, re-skins of "Rock Paper Scissors" could literally qualify as combat in adventurey games - these days that's probably too sparse a system, but with just a few strategic upgrades this kind of simplistic fun should not be underestimated.  For an interesting take on making an Action Battle System simple, I would recommend a look at the free RM games Eternal Senia (VX Aceand Homage (XP).  Eternal Senia is particularly interesting in that the standard means of combat was literally "touch monster, both of you attack until the monster dies", it only had four skills, and while it did have mechanics like Equipment and Crits they could have been completely removed with zero impact on the experience.  And yet, the combat was a lot of fun because you could slice through rooms of enemies at breakneck speed, and because the later enemies and bosses made it interesting by requiring you to dodge projectiles.


It doesn't always need to be super-complicated, or chock-full of content, to be good.
 

StrawberrySmiles

The Talking Fruit
Veteran
Joined
Nov 23, 2012
Messages
1,722
Reaction score
545
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
I really like everyone's suggestions! I'll plan to study those games as well.


@Wavelength - It is due to the first problem. I've tried using a very simple evented ABS, but that was too hard to get going. LeTBS (my favorite KIND of combat) is still in development. I've thought of card-like because they don't rely on things like agility, and magic attack, and so-on. I even had an idea about the player equipping the characters with 5-8 abilities (like a small deck) and having the combat turned/round based. Rows made a difference. I had a feeling I could do this with the scripts available, but I couldn't come up with proper skills or anything. ;_;


So sadly, I AM taking an easy way out by finding an alternate means. D:


I haven't asked anyone because each time I get a potential partner, they vanish after like a week. XD
 

Dr. Delibird

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
May 16, 2014
Messages
260
Reaction score
133
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
I haven't asked anyone because each time I get a potential partner, they vanish after like a week. XD
I can totally relate, even being on the other side where somebody is looking for team members or somebody to help out with something then I invest a good portion of my time into their project only for them to either vanish or axe the project :/ (If I had more readily available internet right now I would totally offer to help you with a battle system and all the stating goodness but alas I am currently going day to day with whether or not I have access to the interwebs x3).
 

StrawberrySmiles

The Talking Fruit
Veteran
Joined
Nov 23, 2012
Messages
1,722
Reaction score
545
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
@Dr. Delibird - Heh, don't worry about it. XD I'll probably have to set up a recruitment thread at some point, but I'll have to make maps for screenshot purposes as my MAPPER for the Resurrection Jam seemed to have VANISHED.


*sigh* What's new...? >>


Thanks everyone. *bows*
 

Kes

Global Moderators
Global Mod
Joined
Aug 3, 2012
Messages
21,453
Reaction score
10,858
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
Just a reminder to keep this on topic i.e. about mechanics design and not recruitment problems.


Thanks.
 

Wavelength

Pre-Merge Boot
Global Mod
Joined
Jul 22, 2014
Messages
4,608
Reaction score
3,855
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
@Wavelength - It is due to the first problem. I've tried using a very simple evented ABS, but that was too hard to get going. LeTBS (my favorite KIND of combat) is still in development.I had a feeling I could do this with the scripts available, but I couldn't come up with proper skills or anything. ;_;


Yeah, most of my suggestions of different types of battle systems were more for the scenario that you feel competent at creating battle systems, but didn't like that they always felt too cluttered/complex once you made them.  If it's a matter of difficulty or frustration with building combat systems, then you definitely should find someone else to join your team and work on the game's combat-related content & mechanics.

I've thought of card-like because they don't rely on things like agility, and magic attack, and so-on. I even had an idea about the player equipping the characters with 5-8 abilities (like a small deck) and having the combat turned/round based. Rows made a difference.


As a quick exercise, let's choose a class, a type of weapon, and a set of 8 skills that might interact with one of your unique mechanics (Rows).


These should all be possible with creative use of Yanfly's Plugins for MV.  See especially Battle System Core, Skill Core, Buffs & States Core, Row Formations, Target Core, Auto Passive States, Instant Cast, and Area of Effect.


Sentinel - a moderately effective damage-dealer that also uses positioning to protect allies.  Whenever this character is directly in front of another ally, that ally gets 20% protection (damage reduction) from physical damage.


Spear - this character's basic attacks also deal damage to any character directly behind her target.


Skills:

  • Vicious Blow: Deals heavy damage to a foe and an enemy behind that foe.  If there is no enemy behind that foe, knocks that foe back one row.
  • Radial Cutter: Deals damage to all foes in a large area.
  • Double Strike: First, deals damage to the target foe in the front row and all enemies in the row to the "left" of that foe.  Then, deals damage to the target (again) and all enemies in the row to the "right" of that foe.
  • Impale: Can target any row (if your Row system doesn't allow melee attacks to target any row by default).  Pulls the target foe forward to the front row.
  • Spear Parry: Quick; reduces damage taken this turn by 80% and causes the Sentinel to counterattack any enemy that attacks her this turn with a Vicious Blow.
  • Guardian: Gives an ally 50% reduction to physical and magical damage this turn, and positions the Sentinel directly in front of that ally if possible.
  • Stand Behind Me: Moves the Sentinel in front of a target ally if possible (otherwise moves her to the front row) and lowers that ally's Target Rate to 0 for 2 turns.  The Sentinel's Target Rate is doubled but she receives a 50% Defense boost.  This skill cannot target an ally in the front row.
  • Rally: Gives a 20% Attack and Magic boost and a 100% Speed boost to all allies in the same row as the Sentinel (including herself) for 3 turns.  This action costs a lot of MP, but does not expend the Sentinel's turn.



One thing to note about class design - pay heed to the way that most of these skills interact with the Row system but they do so in different ways, meaning that there will be situations where Skill A is better than Skill B, and situations where Skill B would be the better choice.  This class is thematically consistent, but still provides a lot of interesting tools, I think.


Also notice how interesting combos can be made from using multiple skills in a particular order.  For example, you can use "Stand Behind Me" to draw the fire to the Sentinel, and Spear Parry to make it advantageous for her to take hits.  You can use Guardian on a back-line ally to move the Sentinel to the middle row, where she can use Rally next turn on her DPS-style allies.  You can use Impale to move a fragile enemy monster to the front line where it is unprotected, and then Double Strike next turn to unload tons of damage onto it.

So sadly, I AM taking an easy way out by finding an alternate means. D:


I haven't asked anyone because each time I get a potential partner, they vanish after like a week. XD


I've had a mixed bag of results when working with people - some bad results, but enough good ones that I'd recommend it when you're serious about making a great game but don't have the skills to do everything yourself (and very few people do).  In general, I've found that if you're the one recruiting and setting the general direction of the project, then you need to really sell people on the vision of the game - why it will be great and why you need them on board to make it great.  Set priorities, actively seek your teammate's input, and don't be afraid to ask for updates if you don't hear from them for several days.  Doing all that, you still can't physically grab and control someone to force them to work on your battle system :D  - so be sure to find a partner who is actually committed to the same dream you are, and who has proven in the past that they are take their commitments seriously.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

StrawberrySmiles

The Talking Fruit
Veteran
Joined
Nov 23, 2012
Messages
1,722
Reaction score
545
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
@Wavelength - You see for that "exercise", it seems so awesome to me. I could never think of something like that.


I hear the complaints of "I just pushed attack through the whole dungeon" all the time, and with me in the reigns, that might have happened. I don't want people to think my game is boring. I need to find someone with a creative-as-heck mindset like you.


I'm remembering more and more games that have no combat, but still tell a "big" story with other features too. I kind of wish there was a big list of "similar" games or game features. D:
 

IamGilgamesh

Game Developer - Rapper
Veteran
Joined
Sep 5, 2016
Messages
74
Reaction score
31
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
Without combat, a big thing is to have something at stake. Something like a puzzle holds their time and their pride at stake. You could do a room with falling tiles where you fall, and you don't get hurt, but you gotta go walk around to start all over again. Mysteries, quests, stories, exploration. Just give'em something in return for their time. No one wants to go through all the hooplah of a quest and puzzles and mazes if there's no EXP, or loot, or plot closure, or trophy or SOMETHING. That's why mobile games are all incentive oriented.
 

Warboss74

Villager
Member
Joined
May 20, 2015
Messages
24
Reaction score
13
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
You could set up QTEs to replace traditional combat. Think of Beyond: 2 Souls as an example.
 

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

Latest Threads

Latest Posts

Latest Profile Posts

Guess I'll rework all the existing screens in my game. Except of the save/battle screen. For this I will be lazy and use Yanfly. With my current pace it'll take a few months.
Electro Swing--it's like swing--but with electros.
Is it wrong to look like a dead fish at all times :)
What worst could happen when your driver said "I know a shortcut"?

Forum statistics

Threads
93,629
Messages
914,118
Members
123,212
Latest member
nuwandw
Top