EidolonDreams

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I've scrolled through a lot of old threads about people wanting to make FFT-style games, but don't see much in the way of... useful info.

What is it exactly that makes it so hard to do that most people have apparently given up on it?
 

ATT_Turan

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At the sake of sounding snarky...everything :stickytongue:

RPG Maker isn't designed to make that style of game, so if you look at the functionality that's coded into it compared to the functionality you need for an SRPG, there's relatively little overlap.

What does RPG Maker do that you'd want? If your game is more like Shining Force than Final Fantasy Tactics, you might make use of walking on the map. Some of the menus are probably the same, looking at the character info and equipping them. You can use the code for displaying messages on the screen. That's kind of it.

The entire built-in battle system, which is really the meat and potatoes of the game, is useless to you. Instead, you need to code your own battle system entirely; that's everything from how you input the commands to what the menus are and how they're displayed, how turns work, how movement works, how the targeting works and is displayed, how the skills resolve and are displayed, etc.

The existing spritesheets for characters, unless you want a very crude-looking game, don't have any graphics except movement, and if you reprogram the engine to use the battle spritesheets, they don't have the graphics in any direction except horizontal, so unless you are okay with the game looking kind of crude, you're talking about designing a new spritesheet format, programming the game to use it, and getting the artwork for it done.

Then an entire A.I. needs to be written for the enemies, which is not a piece of cake - there are trained game developers who specialize in that for professional studios.

It's a major undertaking, which is why all of the plugins you found were either abandoned or are still in major states of development after perhaps years.
 

Andar

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What is it exactly that makes it so hard to do
the post above already told you the technical limits.

however, those limits could be overcome as the many topics about this prove that the interest is there, if not for some soft limits that no one managed to tackle yet.

the work of creating a strategic battlesystem is too much for any single person, but there have been team that solved the problem for older makers like VXAce. It still took even a team years to complete, but I know at least one team succeded (unfortunately their work isn't available publically).

but as far as I have seen most of the people who tried to tackle the workload so far either tried to do so alone or had a lot of wrong assumptions about how much work this is.
and your own question in this topic goes into exactly the same direction: you didn't understand how difficult and how much work something like that is.

and that goes for two steps, the second one has barely been mentioned yet.

The second problem is the AI for enemy movement and attacks.
"General" AI programming is basically impossible, you have to write a specific AI for each different enemy unit. And that means that even with templates for AI, each such script/plugin has to be finetuned by the user of the battlesystem, with different finetuning for different units. The plugin programmer can never do this.

An SRPG-type plugin will NEVER be "plug'n play", but depending on the person trying to use it more like "plug'n pray".
That is (in my opinion) the biggest reason why even the existing scripts and plugins for strategic battles rarely get shared - without a finetuned enemy AI they are worthless, and the programmers can't make a documentation easy enough for any script-kiddy to be able to program an AI.

Because of course it has to be a bug in the plugin if the teenager with only basic mathematical knowledge fails to program an enemy AI, it can never be lacking knowledge and experience. And everyone claiming otherwise has to be insulted because it could never be user failure...
 

coyotecraft

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Part of it, I imagine, is coming up with a narrative that is conducive to the battle system.
You know, they're generally taking place in wide open fields or city streets. Not in towers or dungeons. You're going to be taking down armies and hoards as one encompassing encounter. I think you have to be prepared to think of your characters in terms of groups, factions, rivalries & alliances. You can't have rebels without a cause. The empire must be damaging their lives on a personal level.
So there's a fair amount of world building to work out. And then sort out. Because I think you have to deliver exposition with some respect to the battles. It's going to unfold in a certain order.

I mean, I look at Compile Heart games with tactical battle systems. They only have a cast of 4-6 characters and somehow the rest of the world is barely suggested to exist.
 

ATT_Turan

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Part of it, I imagine, is coming up with a narrative that is conducive to the battle system.
You know, they're generally taking place in wide open fields or city streets. Not in towers or dungeons. You're going to be taking down armies and hoards as one encompassing encounter. I think you have to be prepared to think of your characters in terms of groups, factions, rivalries & alliances. You can't have rebels without a cause. The empire must be damaging their lives on a personal level.
I don't think that's true. X-COM: Enemy Unknown has party sizes the same as a typical JRPG, and you are rarely fighting more enemies at once than you would in a JRPG random encounter. There are also plenty of battles inside UFOs and bases that are really identical to a dungeon.

Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter and Arc the Lad: Twilight of the Spirits both had typically small JRPG party sizes and didn't use particularly large fighting areas.

Divinity: Original Sin has one protagonist unless you're playing cooperatively with a friend, and has you fighting a handful of enemies at once in very typical RPG environments.

I would agree that if you do want to have battles with armies and hoards at once, an SRPG format is the way to go, but I don't see any reason that the game has to be large scale just because your combat system involves positioning.
 

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