Making battles more unpredictable?

Discussion in 'Game Ideas and Prototypes' started by Soulrender, Dec 3, 2019.

  1. MechScapeZH

    MechScapeZH Veteran Veteran

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    Totally agree with @bgillisp- testing one's own game only goes so far. My game was awful until others tested it- I'd suggest getting people to do so right away.

    I think this is the best solution to your problem.
     
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  2. bgillisp

    bgillisp Global Moderators Global Mod

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    Right. For example I thought my final boss was easy, as I beat it at level 44 with weak equipment. Then it turned out that no one else could beat it, even after I gave them a save at level 99 and best equipment. See, turns out I was able to beat it due to knowing the pattern so I knew exactly when to guard, exactly when to heal, etc. Others didn't. But it took testing to find that so I noticed it and fixed it.
     
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  3. MrNybbles

    MrNybbles Veteran Veteran

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    One way to do this would be to use different damage type resistances for enemies (not necessarily just elemental types).

    For example, Skeletons might be weak to Crush damage due to a lack of flesh covering their bones, but resistant to pierce damage (due to the lack of flesh covering their bones).

    Another way to do this would be some sort of combo attack system where the first attacker would do a Guard Break (these should be really high priority skills so they go off first) and other characters would then be able to do full damage for the rest of the round.

    Combine these ingredients and you might get something spicy.

    If there is a visible indication of what kind of attack is best at breaking their guard then you could also have them change their vulnerability after recovering from the guard break. Makes sense for them to not just try the same thing that just got them hammered, right?

    [Example Skeleton Damage Resistances]
    140% Crush <- Hates Crush damage (and Mondays)
    20% Pierce <- Strong against Pierce damage
    90% Slash <- Not fond of Slash damage
    100% Heal <- Vulnerable to Heal damage
    160% Holy <- Weak against Holy damage

    I think Octopath Traveler did something similar, but with enemies vulnerable to different weapon types.

    Either way you need to give clear feedback when an attack is effective or very effective.
     
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  4. Uzuki

    Uzuki Kawaii on the streets, Senpai in the sheets Veteran

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    I feel like gamedevs have become scared of the word gimmick. What you should NOT do are bad gimmicks. Gimmicks that require info that the player doesn't have, ones that needlessly make the battle longer, gimmicks that clearly favor one party over the other to the point that it stops being fun for the player. Use gimmicks, sparingly, and you can spice up most of your encounters. Maybe have a slime enemy that splits apart when you use physical attacks on it. Or an enemy that explodes after a certain number of turns. And don't keep gimmicks limited to enemies, give the player a chance to exploit those options too! If there's an area where an area has a lot of HP Draining enemies, you can make a state that would damage instead of heal when they use it on the character with the inflicted state. Or work more on synergy setups with your characters. There's nothing more fun than playing with different skill or equipment setups and finding one that can tear through an area.
     
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  5. bgillisp

    bgillisp Global Moderators Global Mod

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    @Uzuki has a point. To give an example, in my game I gave one character the skill Dissassemble, which KO's instantly any robot they encounter. Now to balance that you usually encountered robots in packs, but still you could get them in a few turns that way if you had to.

    Now, to let the player know they were facing robots I had a machine sound play at the start of the battle if one or more of the enemies were robotic. Granted, usually you could tell visually but machines can look odd too.

    Anyways, so I had a youtube/twitch streamer play my game and they were tearing through all of these robots and hit a boss and they heard the sound. They were like there is no way he would...then he tried it. You can see the response here:

    Ok, why won't twitch direct link? I wish this forum would not embed the link. Anyways, try this, you'll have to copy and paste the link to see it.
    Code:
    https://clips.twitch.tv/AdventurousStormyVelociraptorSoonerLater

    So it can work.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019
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  6. MechScapeZH

    MechScapeZH Veteran Veteran

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    I 100% agree with what both of you said- devs are afraid nowadays of making their stages different. There's this prevailing mentality of "all the stages must be consistent-" but having totally different stages makes a game fun! I think the best example of successful gimmickery in an RPG (at least that I've seen) is Kingdom Hearts Coded- mainly an action RPG like the other entries in the series, but there were sidescrolling platform stages, shooting stages, even a turn-based segment that mimicked SNES Final Fantasies- these segways into different genres made the game memorable, but a lot of devs would hesitate to do the same.

    Also, @bgillisp- I'd be remiss to not mention- that clip was G L O R I O U S. Absolutely GLORIOUS. (How'd you get a Let's Play of your game anyways!? That's awesome!)
     
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  7. bgillisp

    bgillisp Global Moderators Global Mod

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    @MechScapeZH well we have a few streamers in our maker casual area, ask them. @HawkZombie is the one who streamed my game.
     
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  8. MechScapeZH

    MechScapeZH Veteran Veteran

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    I see, thank you!
     
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  9. Soulrender

    Soulrender Veteran Veteran

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    @bgillisp - I have demo on itch.io and even reviewed game by @Randor, but charts are ... no matter - my fault because I did not promote it properly and what I've done with promotion was made poorly. My post in lost in hundred other projects

    Anyway. I read all posts since yesterday and I've think I have got few ideas to make battle with bosses (especialy with them) more interesting and unpredictable:

    - Skipping a fragment of quest X will disable one random (or specific) hero from party.
    - Add some special FX in battle background instead static image (but what would be good? I thought about using mp4 video file but I couldn't find a good plugin for that)
    - Change default message windows (as it is in my video) to this format
    - Perhaps add random event (for example random lightning strike that hit both as enemy and party member
    - Start using party gauge plugin for enemy and charge it for boss and when it reach certain point, boss will unleash his ultimate skill
    - Add mechanic that will alow player to combine skill with item or potion.
    - Using GAB windows plugin add player single-liners like in "The Expendables"
    - Work more on balancing parameters magic / physical evasion/reflection.
    - Make more interesting spells for bosses (I'm not speaking about visual aspect, but mechanical)

    What do you think about that?
     
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  10. MechScapeZH

    MechScapeZH Veteran Veteran

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    For the battlebacks- https://forums.rpgmakerweb.com/index.php?threads/galvs-animated-battleback.68280/
     
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  11. Soulrender

    Soulrender Veteran Veteran

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    I made some changes in this entire battle and turns out...
    I am able to kill that skeleton boss in battle intro, before real battle begins :D
     
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  12. MechScapeZH

    MechScapeZH Veteran Veteran

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    Easily or with a certain combination? Be careful of going to the other extreme and making it too easy.
     
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  13. Soulrender

    Soulrender Veteran Veteran

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    Easily - I reduced that boss skill resistance and max HP value, but due the bad weather (I'm meteoropathic) I made mistake in calculations. Fooutunately I'm getting close to make that battle not too long and not to short without making difficult life for potential players.
     
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  14. Wavelength

    Wavelength Pre-Merge Boot Moderator

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    My instinct is that this is your issue. If the player is going to repeat their moves, or most turns feel the same as each other, that's the prime part of why your battles are feeling stale. Do your best to change up the flow of battle from turn to turn. Have resources that rise and fall throughout a battle. Make sure that the ideal move for a turn is based on holdover effects from other turns, such as buffs, debuffs, disables, combo skills, and field effects.

    Additionally, if you're really looking to make things unpredictable, consider having semi-randomized inputs of some sort. Designer Board Games tend to be a great place to look for inspiration on this. For example, you could randomize small buffs and debuffs to give to monsters at the start of the combat, or you could have randomized resources that can be gathered that spawn every few turns, or you could even randomize the actor's list of possible skills each turn from a "deck" that the player can customize.
     
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  15. Soulrender

    Soulrender Veteran Veteran

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    I think I got it perfectly what I wanted:
    I'm able to kill boss in 3-5 turns when I charge divine skills (wich ignores enemy's defense and deals full damage to any type of armor), but
    I've made for "weak" player additional booster - Magic Wells, each drink increase skill damage by 50 for present party members (don't work for party members with knockout state and for members that will join later in game). There are so far 3 wells located in island. With current damage skills formulas and states they apply to enemies additional 150 points damage is fair result to make battle shorter, but not to short. perviously when I mentioned that I kill boss in starting cinematic this value was 600. Finally I've realized that not everybody will play to develop characters powers so if someone will stuck then it will be his problem, either he starts new game or just delete it.

    (if someone would be interested I start posting on my youtube channel walkthrough so you could check it without downloading it and continue discusion in this main topic)
     
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  16. ExtremeYandereWolfychu3

    ExtremeYandereWolfychu3 Wolfychu Youtuber Member

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    Well in rpg games they have designated safe places, like save points, towns and villages. You could set up a hidden boss battle here.
     
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  17. CrowStorm

    CrowStorm Check my résumé, your residence is residue Veteran

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    1)
    Basically, this. If you're falling asleep playtesting your game that doesn't mean it's so boring it puts all players to sleep, it just means that you yourself are seriously burnt out on it. bgillisp already said it better than I could and before I could.

    2)
    I have messed with these often and hard and consistently received the complaint that--for instance--very high EVA (on either side) makes the game too unpredictable. Now, I need to stress that these were people complaining about something in the game they didn't like because it leaned too heavy on the RPG, but still..."making battles more unpredictable" is exactly what you're asking for and exactly what this does.

    Unless you're asking how to make it more unpredictable WHEN battles will happen? Suddenly unsure.
     
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