Mark Fuhrman
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Hi all-
I'm currently working on a sci-fi story driven adventure game, based off of the metroid video games (specifically metroid prime). It is single player only, and I've got a lot of the concepts mapped out. My main concern is if the battle system will be interesting enough, even though it isn't the main focus. It doesn't have to be "Wowzers!", but since the player will be battling a lot, it can't be yawn-inducing either.

Brief overview of the game
Players crash-land on a planet and begin to explore. The "map" of the planet is gradually built by the players as they explore each new room by drawing and placing new map cards onto the table (think the maps in the metroid series). They will be encountering aliens to battle, springing traps, scanning the rooms for information, finding equipment upgrades, weapons upgrades, etc, some of which will allow access to other areas or upgrades.

At two somewhat controlled points in the game, a "mini-boss" will appear, which you will have to fight, and then near the end, a "final boss". I have currently designed six bosses, which could appear in any order as mini-bosses OR the final boss.

There is a time element to the game, where every action you take costs you in time. If you take too much time before you fight each mini-boss, they trigger an event that makes things more difficult for you (ie some of your weapons may be temporarily disabled, an earthquake damages you, you may have to fight additional normal enemies in each room, etc.). The final bosses, on the other hand, simply continue to grow stronger the longer you wait to fight them. So hurry up!

Additionally, each boss (when acting as the final boss) has a unique "disaster" event which will trigger at a certain point, depending on what it is- like the typical "planet is exploding, race to the ship", or rescue the stranded crew members before it is too late, etc. Most of these events will be easier for you the more scanning for information you did throughout the game, although that means that you were taking more time, so there's a trade-off.

All the mini-boss/final boss events will have short "story texts" to read beforehand (2-3 paragraphs), and maybe a few more throughout the game to really give it that "adventure" feel.

That's the game in a nutshell. There's plenty more details, but hopefully it's enough to give you a picture.

My goals for the battle system
Despite what it sounds like, I'm trying to keep the game pretty short and simple- most everything will be done by one D6. I want the combat to be no exception (there may be multiple rolls of the die, though). I would really like it to move along quickly- I recognize it isn't going to be as quick-feeling as playing a video game, but I'd like it to at least not drag on forever.

My current system
Given all this information, I'd like your opinion on what I've got so far:

-Each player has a few stats. Speed is who goes first in battle (doubling as how long it takes you to travel between each map card, but that has no relevance to the battle system). If your stealth is high enough, you could potentially avoid some of the normal battles if you desire. Agility is how likely you are to dodge attacks. Then you have health, which can be increased when you find armor upgrades. Each weapon that you have (and each attack by enemies) has an accuracy and damage stat as well.

Essentially combat goes like this: Highest speed goes first. That player adds their accuracy stat for the weapon along with a die roll, and compares it to the opponent's agility. If the agility is higher, the attack misses. Otherwise it does the damage associated with the attack/weapon, and any other effects the attack may have. Then it's the other character's turn.

Some of the effects will be: reducing agility for the battle, disabling weapons/attacks, outright freezing/paralyzing the opponent (so they skip a turn), poison, and the like.


So... how bad is it? Don't be afraid to hurt my feelings.
 
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Beau Bocephus Blasterfire
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For a game to interest me, it has to have interesting decisions for me to make, this includes combat. If I'm just rolling, adding/subtracting and comparing, it will get old quick. I need a choice of some sort thrown in the mix, even if it is more or less a mindless one.
 
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Mark Fuhrman
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bbblasterfire wrote:
For a game to interest me, it has to have interesting decisions for me to make, this includes combat. If I'm just rolling, adding/subtracting and comparing, it will get old quick. I need a choice of some sort thrown in the mix, even if it is more or less a mindless one.

I would agree. I guess I didn't list the choices that were made. Essentially where the decisions lie will be in what weapon you decide to use for each attack during battle. At the beginning of the game, you will be limited to your normal gun "power shot" and missile launcher. Power shot does small damage and has moderate accuracy, missile launcher does much more damage, has somewhat dubious accuracy, and you have a limited number of missiles (until you can find an ammo station on the planet).

Later on, you will gain new weapons (Ice Cannon- ability to freeze opponents, Blast Rifle- super high accuracy, Super missiles- crazy damage but low accuracy, bombs- disable opponents attacks), as well as upgrading your weapons (adding more damage power to some, accuracy to some).

Does that help? Does that make it any better, or is it still pretty mindless?
 
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B C Z
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#savetheanimals
 
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Freelance Police
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This battle works. Reminds me of Talisman. Move on.

You *could* do something like have a deck rather than dice. Each card in the deck would have a dependent effect on the opponent's stat and weapon, rather than the usual tired "die roll against target number" mechanic. Or use fancy dice like FFG's surge dice.



 
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adam wilson

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Sam and Max wrote:
This battle works. Reminds me of Talisman. Move on.

You *could* do something like have a deck rather than dice. Each card in the deck would have a dependent effect on the opponent's stat and weapon, rather than the usual tired "die roll against target number" mechanic. Or use fancy dice like FFG's surge dice.


Some other thoughts along the same lines;

Roll several dice at once and let the player spend currency to re-roll one or more.

Give the dice #'s non-numeral values like hit, block or miss rather than just giving them a number to beat.

Give a dice # a negative effect, like Weapons Jam, it will add tension and force players to think out attacks before hand.

 
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JT Schiavo
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Since time is already an important resource, why not incorporate it into the battle system?

Using your current system as an example, maybe you have to spend time to add your agility to the die roll? This represents your character taking time to analyse the situation and act precisely. You can spend one time unit for a +1, or two time units for a +2, all the way up to your Agility stat, since no amount of extra time will make your skill better at that point.

Playing it safe or up against a hard monster? Spend that time, but know you'll pay for it later. In a rush, see if the die roll is good enough, and if you aren't lucky you just take the damage and keep going (if you can).

It incorporates into other mechanics, keeps things simple, and adds a meaningful decision to combat beyond selecting a weapon.
 
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Mark Fuhrman
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Ooooh! These are good ideas; thanks so much! I had considered incorporating time, but it was less fluid and didn't really add any interest to the decision making process, so I kind of abandoned that idea, but now I can see how that might work a little better. I'm pretty new to combat systems, having not played too many dungeon crawlers/rpgs or the like (mainly just Mice & Mystics and Descent 2e which are both slightly more complex than I'm looking for), so I don't have too many ideas in this department.
 
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Magnus Carlsson
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Rolling single d6:s is extremely random. I would consider adding more dice to make the odds a little more predictable. For the numerical d6, just adding one more would get you a nice curve with center on 7.

But I agree on previous poster that it's much easier with custom dice having hits and misses. you don't have to calculate all the time. Instead you add/withdraw dice.

Your weapon could have a start number of dice, then you can spend time to add more dice. Up to a weapon maximum.

Monsters and bosses can have a set number of "dodge" points that you must top to create damage.
 
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Johnathan Ness
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Another option would be to add an armor stat, which simply reduces the damage done by a weapon. That would allow some weapons to be weaker, but armor-piercing, or for a boss to have low agility, but high armor, and just give different flavors to each. It would make weapons upgrades that much more valuable and even allow you to grant your character armor and a boss or two that are armor-piercing.
The time element sounds interesting. If you wanted to incorporate that, building on what JT said, you could also spend a point for increased accuracy or to perform a more powerful attack.
 
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