Zelda 2 style Random Encounters

Discussion in 'Game Mechanics Design' started by Zephyr Games, Aug 24, 2015.

  1. Zephyr Games

    Zephyr Games Villager Member

    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Westchester, New York
    First Language:
    English
    I know they're more than just a little controversial among some folks, but what did you all think about how Zelda 2 did their "random encounters"? Instead of having the move onto a square check a rng to decide if you had a fight, it would spawn 3 enemy sprites at 3 of the 4 cardinal directions then have them move around at random to define if they run into you. Running into one another caused combat to occur in a changed game mode.

    We're thinking about using similar mechanics (with probably enemy sprites not shades) that spawn within a distance of the user every ~10-15 seconds (the last wave despawns as the new wave spawns) and running into them triggers a zone specific turn based strategy game. Think a cross between Shining Sword and FF:Tactics. A potentially non-random battlefield based on the part of the map you're in, with a semi-randomized lineup of enemies based on the sprite type you colided with. These would be the "Random" combats in the game as you traverse the world, where as storyline ones would potentially have larger battlefields with a lot more enemies.

    Thoughts? Have any of you seen anyone get the "sprite spawning" method of enemy encounters to work in RM? We're just wondering if we're going down the right path with this.

    Thanks in advance for your time!
     
    #1
  2. Ramiro

    Ramiro Now with an army of Mecha-Ralphs! Veteran

    Messages:
    860
    Likes Received:
    366
    Location:
    Argentina
    First Language:
    Spanish
    Not at all, people usually does the modern version of enemies actually on the map and avoid random encounters altogether.

    Of course, random encounters are an old mechanic because there was technical limitations? or because the game forces you to do some padding (wich means adding hours without adding anything to the content), this comes hand by hand with grinding, of course.

    Zelda two is a midpoint between both, and has more features like just spawning three enemies, they only span on certain tiles and the battle changes according to where you battle them, wich means if you touch a road and a battle, the battle is.. none and you skip it.

    This IS posible in ace without any scripting at all (in previous makers is posibble, but the area markers on ace does this so easy)

    I don't know if this "works" it was a bit annoying on zelda after all... But probably because zelda is not that kind of game you would expect.
     
    #2
  3. Kes

    Kes Global Moderators Global Mod

    Messages:
    20,405
    Likes Received:
    10,415
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    RMVXA
    I think you are being a tad too sweeping in your generalisations.  Because people's preferences vary greatly, and the player should be able to play in their preferred style if at all possible, a good few developers give the choice of on-map or random encounters. Some others only give random. 

    And no, it is not axiomatic - at least today - that having random encounters is done for padding purposes "adding hours without adding to the content" or for grinding.  And, by the way, I've seen outrageous padding done in games with on-map encounters, so don't assume that on-map developers are automatically on the side of the angels.

    I would like, for once, to have a discussion such as the OP is suggesting without it descending, yet again, into cliched responses about random encounters.
     
    #3
  4. Zephyr Games

    Zephyr Games Villager Member

    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Westchester, New York
    First Language:
    English
    As Ksjp mentioned, this is less a "hey did you like what Zelda 2 did" and more of a "how would you like to see it done."

    There are great instances of enemies on map to create the "random" battles. SRPGs do it all the time with enemies showing up on map locations. Chrono Trigger had enemies that if you ran into them generated a battle. Earthbound did something very similar. 

    What we're thinking is some cross between these. Enemies aren't just all over the map, but show up around you as you roam based on your location. Combat, which takes a little bit of time being turn based, doesn't happen unless you run into them. We'd love to hear if the community thinks this is at least an intriguing idea. And what thoughts they might have on the viability/things they'd like to see.
     
    #4
  5. Ramiro

    Ramiro Now with an army of Mecha-Ralphs! Veteran

    Messages:
    860
    Likes Received:
    366
    Location:
    Argentina
    First Language:
    Spanish
     

     

    They don't do the zelda-eske encounters when they don't do random encounters, that's probably why I say they always (when not using random encounters) prefer this method.

     

     

    Then why you don't explian the purpouse of "the reason why random encounters exists" insthead of saying "that is not the reason" and don't really provide any counter-argument ?

     

     

     

    Earthbound does not have Zelda II encounters, they have the modern version of them as I described previously wich enemies directly on the field.

     

    By the way, if you see a chronno trigger speedrun, just for once, know than many "forced encounters" are totally avoidable (and you can run away from all others)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 24, 2015
    #5
  6. Kes

    Kes Global Moderators Global Mod

    Messages:
    20,405
    Likes Received:
    10,415
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    RMVXA
    Random encounters exist for the same reason that on-map encounters exist - some players prefer them, and as a developer I'm interested in reaching as wide an audience as possible.  And please note, both I and the OP have asked that this not descend into the usual unresolvable argument.  Perhaps we could stick to what the OP wants discussed?

    @Zephyr Games

    When you say "show up around you as you roam based on your location" - what is your mechanism for doing that?
     
    #6
  7. Zephyr Games

    Zephyr Games Villager Member

    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Westchester, New York
    First Language:
    English
    Sorry Ramiro, but before this gets WAY off track, let's focus more on what folks want to see in "random" encounters, rather than whether specific games out there fit the mold to each person's thinking. We'd like to blend some of these wonderful old models together if possible for the non-storyline map fighting and giving the user the ability to grind a bit while being able to avoid them going forward.
     
    #7
  8. Zephyr Games

    Zephyr Games Villager Member

    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Westchester, New York
    First Language:
    English
    @ksjp So we were thinking that perhaps we could use something similar to Zelda 2 the enemies spawn near you (nowhere near as close to Zelda 2) and wander at perhaps the slower plodding speed seen in some modern games on the map. Think Ni No Kuni or Dragon Quest. Then they respawn periodically, the old ones fading away and new ones spawning around your current location, every X number of seconds. To keep up with you.

    Edit:
    And that could easily lead to some additional mechanics like enemies running away if your avg level is too high, auto winning per earthbound, etc. 
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 24, 2015
    #8
  9. Kes

    Kes Global Moderators Global Mod

    Messages:
    20,405
    Likes Received:
    10,415
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    RMVXA
    Oh dear, before replying, I just need to say

    Zephyr Games, please avoid double posting, as it is against the forum rules. You can review our forum rules here. Thank you.

    I was thinking also of the rate at which they spawn, whether the troop is determined by region/map drawn from a long list of possible troops for that map, or some other form of selection, how this fits in with the overall structure of your encounters, including boss/semi-boss battles, is this just overworld, or dungeons or both?  I don't think that this aspect can be discussed without some reference to the rest of the encounter mechanisms.

    Like a significant number of people, I have never played Zelda 2 (or Zelda 1, for that matter), and so I'm not entirely sure I've got the right picture in my head.  At the moment it sounds an interesting blend.
     
    #9
  10. Zephyr Games

    Zephyr Games Villager Member

    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Westchester, New York
    First Language:
    English
    Sorry about the double post, new to the forums :)

    Well let's see, modern examples! Ni No Kuni does a great example of this on PS3, where it randomly spawns bad guys on the overworld map. Just one at a time there though, I would prefer to spawn 2-3 but 2 would be a good compromise. Another is the most recent Dragon Quest on DS. In both cases random spawns on the map around the player's sprite/character that appear in visual range and tend to fall under three categories if the user gets close enough - Ignore / Chase / Flee. If the sprites make contact, combat occurs. In those games, more traditional RPG combat. In our case, perhaps more FF Tactics style combat. This is intended for overworld maps and dungeons with a smaller "active" set of the user's party. Larger storyline battles will take place in larger maps with more spawn points for the full party roster (or near full) to participate in.
     
    #10
  11. bgillisp

    bgillisp Global Moderators Global Mod

    Messages:
    11,784
    Likes Received:
    11,822
    Location:
    USA
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    RMVXA
    I've disputed doing something similar via the following method:

    -Have a few events off  of the visible map. These will be your random spawns. Set page 1 no sprite, through on, no event, move route should be custom, then within each move route, set it to random x times.

    -Turn on a switch when it is 'close' to time to spawn the random fight

    -Transport the events to the player's location (via a parallel process), then turn that switch off.

    -The events will go through their random steps at this point in time. The player cannot see them.

    -After a few random steps, turn through off. Event is still invisible. Add a couple more random steps, then turn on a new switch in the move route (there's a command for it).

    -When that new switch is on, you should go to page 2 of the event. Page two should have the monster graphic, appropriate move routes, and event touch should trigger the battle.

    What this does is it spawns the event only if it is on a valid spot on the map (as turning off through late in the steps would make the last couple random steps unable to happen, and the move route would never finish). Once you are done with a battle, turn off the switch that turned on page 2 of the monster event, and turn on the switch that says we are close to time to spawn a random fight.

    With some use of waits (or lack thereof) you can keep the spawn at a high or low frequency. Also since the monster events are already on the map you would avoid the issue that tends to arise with event spawn scripts. Regions can be used to change the encounter based on zones.

    Only step I'm unsure of is how to unspawn them if enough time passes. Might take a parallel process, and I'm trying to avoid those.

    Also, I have only played with this idea. It will need some obvious perfecting. But that's the general idea.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 24, 2015
    #11

Share This Page