How should I approach battles in general

Marluwuxia

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Hello! I'm making my first game and I have a lot of ideas going through my head. How should I approach battles without making them too overwhelming?

I have made a taped together persona system that utilizes elemental weaknesses with Oliva's shield break system. Though I guess you could say it's almost a full on Octopath Traveler battle system and I wanted something more engaging when battling. Since I played Deltarune Chapter 2 pretty recently, I used SRDude's Undertale system for fun bullet hell engagement.

This is something I thought about since Toby Fox made a special mechanic in the Queen fights in the Deltarune story. At the moment I thought to have the Undertale mechanics set to special bosses and regular story bosses, should I continue this route or have all enemies have some basic undertale attacks?
 

Trihan

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I don't have a concrete answer for you, but I'll chime in with some useful advice:

"Not everyone who reads this post will have played the games you've based your mechanics on, and some will have no idea what anything you just said means."
 

Marluwuxia

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I don't have a concrete answer for you, but I'll chime in with some useful advice:

"Not everyone who reads this post will have played the games you've based your mechanics on, and some will have no idea what anything you just said means."

Ah you're right I'm sorry about that, what I'm trying to say is that I'm trying to put two inspired battle mechanics together. To not overwhelm quantity over quality, should I implement them in regular battle or have them exclusive to special/boss battles.
 

GregorDuckman

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Hello! I'm making my first game and I have a lot of ideas going through my head. How should I approach battles without making them too overwhelming?

I have made a taped together persona system that utilizes elemental weaknesses with Oliva's shield break system. Though I guess you could say it's almost a full on Octopath Traveler battle system and I wanted something more engaging when battling. Since I played Deltarune Chapter 2 pretty recently, I used SRDude's Undertale system for fun bullet hell engagement.

This is something I thought about since Toby Fox made a special mechanic in the Queen fights in the Deltarune story. At the moment I thought to have the Undertale mechanics set to special bosses and regular story bosses, should I continue this route or have all enemies have some basic undertale attacks?
Something to keep in mind about stringing together battle systems or special events like that is keeping in mind exactly what you intend for the player to feel in that moment, and do your best to put yourself in the shoes of a player and be honest about whether that feeling comes across or not.

Undertale is a very intentional deconstruction of RPGs so making battles something unexpected like a bullet hell is already playing with expectations, and then carefully stringing the player along with gradual changes to that formula continues to play with expectations and that's the experience of that game. For the sake of spoilers I won't say anything more specific than that.

The point is, Undertale has "Undertale attacks" for a very deliberate reason that isn't just "to have Undertale attacks". If that's your only reason for putting them into common enemy encounters, you're not controlling the player's expectation and they'll probably get sick of playing them eventually. In that case, using them to draw big significant contrasts in boss fights might be the better choice. Nier Automata, and the Nier raid in FFXIV, do something very similar very well in their boss fights too, with narrative relevant reasons - they're not just there "for their own sake".

And to further play Devils advocate, if you can make these shooter segments really compelling and fun enough to have in regular encounters as well, do you even need a traditional JRPG battle system at all?
Questions to think about.
 

ATT_Turan

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To not overwhelm quantity over quality, should I implement them in regular battle or have them exclusive to special/boss battles.
To me, the point of interest in boss battles is usually the time when I can fully use all of my knowledge about how the combat system works. Using the various buffs and debuffs I might not use during shorter combats, taking advantage of skill synergies, that's what makes a boss battle interesting, not just a sheer slog that takes a long time.

Therefore, if I got to a boss and it was randomly a completely different combat system just for them, I imagine I would be put off by that.

If you feel strongly that you want to have a second combat system, I would recommend it as something for other major story points. For example, the Suikoden games are all about you playing in a regular JRPG party but also organizing and running an army. So there are story battles where you go into army mode (and they work differently in each game in the series), but they're all some kind of turn-based strategy thing.

But actual bosses that you fight one on one are the regular them against your party, and you're pulling out all the stops and using all of your knowledge and resources in the regular combat system to succeed.

So I guess my answer to your question is...neither. Or just have the shooter battle be your regular battle mode.
 

Marluwuxia

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Something to keep in mind about stringing together battle systems or special events like that is keeping in mind exactly what you intend for the player to feel in that moment, and do your best to put yourself in the shoes of a player and be honest about whether that feeling comes across or not.

The point is, Undertale has "Undertale attacks" for a very deliberate reason that isn't just "to have Undertale attacks". If that's your only reason for putting them into common enemy encounters, you're not controlling the player's expectation and they'll probably get sick of playing them eventually. In that case, using them to draw big significant contrasts in boss fights might be the better choice. Nier Automata, and the Nier raid in FFXIV, do something very similar very well in their boss fights too, with narrative relevant reasons - they're not just there "for their own sake".
Thank you for your input, I already first thought to have it exclusive to special fights due to the fact I have 2 different things I want to mix because they're fun mechanics. Though a whole new mechanic like the Undertale's bullet hell box could be off putting.
To me, the point of interest in boss battles is usually the time when I can fully use all of my knowledge about how the combat system works. Using the various buffs and debuffs I might not use during shorter combats, taking advantage of skill synergies, that's what makes a boss battle interesting, not just a sheer slog that takes a long time.

Therefore, if I got to a boss and it was randomly a completely different combat system just for them, I imagine I would be put off by that.

If you feel strongly that you want to have a second combat system, I would recommend it as something for other major story points. For example, the Suikoden games are all about you playing in a regular JRPG party but also organizing and running an army. So there are story battles where you go into army mode (and they work differently in each game in the series), but they're all some kind of turn-based strategy thing.

But actual bosses that you fight one on one are the regular them against your party, and you're pulling out all the stops and using all of your knowledge and resources in the regular combat system to succeed.

So I guess my answer to your question is...neither. Or just have the shooter battle be your regular battle mode.
Good points here, I was back and forth because of how foreign the idea is to shove a completely new mechanic to bosses. I'll have to think more on this, I'll consider your idea to use it in certain plot points. Thank you.
 

gstv87

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battles *should* be a good counterpoint of abilities, but that's only achievable if your AI is good to the point of learning from the exchange, and not entirely up to random chance with some modification of probability.
you have to be able to predict the movements of both parties to a certain extent.

there is no "adequate" AI for this.... either you make them too smart and unforgiving, or completely random.
since that can't happen, you have to make them engaging or rewarding: a good combo here and there, with attractive visuals, and the chance of rare loot.
too quick and excessive loot, and the player will just run through them.
too long and no loot, and the player will try to avoid them.

Therefore, if I got to a boss and it was randomly a completely different combat system just for them, I imagine I would be put off by that.
the entirety of "It Takes Two" revolves around this.
and it's got overwhelmingly positive reviews from everyone.
 

ATT_Turan

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the entirety of "It Takes Two" revolves around this.
and it's got overwhelmingly positive reviews from everyone.
I'll take your word for it. But I would submit that one game that managed to do an odd thing well doesn't (shouldn't) affect my general opinion of game design :wink:
 

gstv87

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I'll take your word for it.
do a search on youtube, if only at least to see the actual game, it's pretty good.
I guess their success is due to it's visual aspect and engaging story, because the gameplay itself is a collection of very simple mechanics.
emphasis on "collection", because yes, they change from boss to boss, but the core mechanics are always the same: push, shoot, jump or stomp.... four buttons of a game pad.
 

ATT_Turan

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they change from boss to boss, but the core mechanics are always the same: push, shoot, jump or stomp
That sounds much more consistent than the completely different systems the OP was asking about.
 

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