Author Topic: Brainstorming for turnbased combat  (Read 4116 times)

indieLöver

  • Newcomer
  • Posts: 3
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
    • Email
Brainstorming for turnbased combat
« on: March 14, 2014, 06:02:16 PM »
Hello,

I am currently planning on making a game that involves turnbased combat.

So, what I got so far:
All the characters are robots, and all robots are built from different parts; a body with limbs attached. In combat you can target one of your enemy's limbs (for example, a katana-arm), and if enough damage was dealt, you can actually cut the limb off, so that it's ability cannot be used anymore (weapon arms can be disabled, legs cut to prevent dodging etc.).

Different limb types:

Melee arm (like katanas and chainsaws) can attack only the front row and only harm one target. They are good at breaking shields.
Gun arm (like beams and missiles) can target anywhere, even backrow. Weak against shields. Effects differ greatly depending of the type of the weapon: beams deal low damage to the enemy itself while being good at cutting limbs, missiles deal high damage but hit random targets, shock/ion weapons can stun the targeted limb for a turn and so on...
Grapple: can steal a limb, if the targeted limb is at enough low health. The stolen limb replaces the grapple for the rest of the fight.
Shield: Prevents enemies attacking the robot from shooting anywhere but the shield, until it's destroyed. Weak against melee.
Flamethrower: Does great damage to the whole target, melting it, but all the parts of the target will be unlootable after the fight.
Plasma Torch: Can be used to either repair one companion or cause minor melt damage to one part of an enemy.
Leg: Better legs give the character more speed (can attack more often) and a character without any functional legs can't engage to use melee. Also, a legless character can't dodge.
BODY: The main part, where every limb is attached. When destroyed the character is defeated. Different bodys have different numbers of limbs that can be attached to them. Also, they can grant some special abilities.

Loot:
So, after the fight player can loot the enemies. But here comes the twist: Cutting or melting a limb makes it broken, so it cannot be obtained! When you notice that one of the enemies uses a powerful weapon, do you destroy it for your safety or do you hope to destroy the robot before it causes too lethal damage and leave the weapon intact, so that you can obtain it after the battle?

OK, TIME TO GET TO THE POINT:
My plan here is to make the combat have a lot of strategy, and so that only a small amount of luck involved. Maybe you guys have some tips to MAKE TURNBASED COMBAT MORE STRATEGIC AND CHALLENGING?
Also, what do you think about my early thoughts?

This project is only in the consept stage, nothing has yet been made. Also, if you have any more questions I'll be happy to answer. I was planning making it with LÖVE 2d game engine, because that's what I'm most comfortable with.

Thank you allready,
indieLöver :)

Endorya

  • Rogueliker
  • ***
  • Posts: 513
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • The non-purist roguelike lover
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Brainstorming for turnbased combat
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2014, 03:23:06 PM »
So far looks good but tell me more about it:

- How big or small can battlefields be?
- How big will confrontations be numbers wise?
- Are combats fast paced or slow paced? Slower paced tends to add way more strategy elements.
- What actions will there be available during combat?
- Will you use an action-points system as in fallout to perform all sorts of actions or is the player simply limited to a number of actions during his turn, regardless of their type?
- Can robots repair? Will there be support / repair robots?
- How many robots can the player control?

I think that having classes of robots adds tremendous strategy elements. Some robots might be agile while others slow, some might not fire at all but act as a shield, others might just be there to add bonuses / penalizations to other robots.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2014, 03:28:33 PM by Endorya »
"You are never alone. Death is always near watching you."

indieLöver

  • Newcomer
  • Posts: 3
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Brainstorming for turnbased combat
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2014, 06:51:32 AM »
- How big or small can battlefields be?
I was thinking something like 2x2 grid for both sides, player and the enemies.
- How big will confrontations be numbers wise?
Sorry, but could you explain this question to me? (confrontations? Numbers wise?)
- Are combats fast paced or slow paced? Slower paced tends to add way more strategy elements.
slow paced, there will be no rush on making your decisions
- What actions will there be available during combat?
Every limb will have one type of use, like I listed above. So depending on what kind of layout you have built, you have different kind of options. A robot with a plasma torch, katana and two legs can attack with the katana or torch. Plasma torch can also be used to repair allies. But a robot with three legs and a chainsaw has only one option -attacking with melee. So the options really depend on the set of limbs you chose to make. More legs means the robot has more speed, and enemies need more effort to cut all of them, but less legs means more slots for arms, and that leaves you with more choices in combat.
- Will you use an action-points system as in fallout to perform all sorts of actions or is the player simply limited to a number of actions during his turn, regardless of their type?
I thought about one action per turn, but a faster robot would have more turns. But the problem with this would be that using items would hardly be worthwhile, because it would result in taking more damage.
- Can robots repair? Will there be support / repair robots?
Well, there will be tools like the plasma torch, that can be used to repair allies. I also thought about class system (repairbot, militarybot, nerdbot) but I can't think enough things to make these classes differ enough from each other. So maybe you could just make unique robot mixes, by making different combos of parts you find from your enemies.
- How many robots can the player control?
Well, 2x2 is 4, so that would be the maximum, I think...
I think that having classes of robots adds tremendous strategy elements. Some robots might be agile while others slow, some might not fire at all but act as a shield, others might just be there to add bonuses / penalizations to other robots.
I agree with this. The idea I have at the moment has one problem: there might be some builds that just.. function a lot better than others.
So hopefully that was helpful.. but I'll probably start really working on this tomorrow, starting from making the basics work, animations and such.
Thanks for some smart questions. Oh and I probably forgot to mention: the combat will look something like pokemon or fire emblem, though I haven't played too much of those myself. One of the latest strategy game experiences have been Hearthstone (card game), which by the way is AWESOME. But thanks. I'll start posting to this topic, when I make some progress.

Endorya

  • Rogueliker
  • ***
  • Posts: 513
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • The non-purist roguelike lover
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Brainstorming for turnbased combat
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2014, 01:19:04 PM »
How big will confrontations be numbers wise?

I meant the total number of robots (from all sides) in battles but I guess you have answered that already. Are all robots' chassis all alike? I mean, will there be drastic differences in terms of their bodies total weight, like tiny vs huge robots? Will some chassis have more slots than others?

I don't think that the key for the robot's mobility speed lies with the number of legs but with their power core output and waist engines and the type of legs themselves. Also not all robots should feature legs, some could have tank tracks unless you are trying to recreate something like a Mech Warrior game.

Another thing you could exploit for tactics is managing the robots energy output. Imagine that each turn the robot's core produces a certain amount of power that is stored inside its capacitor and this energy is then used for everything, moving, firing etc... If the robot spends more energy than the amount it can recover each turn, it risks itself shutting down temporarily, leaving it completely vulnerable to enemy attacks. How much energy the robots' capacitor can store depends on how many batteries the robot has included. So you could add strategy elements with this system during its building phase as well as during combat. Some weapons or special attacks could require vasts amount of energy leaving the robot's capacitor empty requiring some turns before the robot's capacitor could be full again. You could even deactivate certain parts of the robot that consume passive energy to accelerate the energy recovering process. Activating and deactivating components could have a 1 turn lag to make it even more strategic.

There is simply too much that could be done with an energy based robot. Some weapons could not require energy to be used like ballistic weapons, while beam weapons would entirely depend on energy; the same thing would apply to energy shields. So The player should ponder what type of weapon to use for each situation.

Just some thoughts.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2014, 02:35:22 PM by Endorya »
"You are never alone. Death is always near watching you."

indieLöver

  • Newcomer
  • Posts: 3
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Brainstorming for turnbased combat
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2014, 04:40:02 PM »
How big will confrontations be numbers wise?

I meant the total number of robots (from all sides) in battles but I guess you have answered that already. Are all robots' chassis all alike? I mean, will there be drastic differences in terms of their bodies total weight, like tiny vs huge robots? Will some chassis have more slots than others?

Well there should definitely be some bigger boss enemies, and some robots like repairbots could be smaller than the other (repairbots could share a similar look to R2-D2). And I thought about spiderbots (at least as enemies). I'm not yet sure about more slots, at least for limbs. Maybe the robots could have some other slots like datachips in their "brains".

I don't think that the key for the robot's mobility speed lies with the number of legs but with their power core output and waist engines and the type of legs themselves. Also not all robots should feature legs, some could have tank tracks unless you are trying to recreate something like a Mech Warrior game.

Yes, you are right! My thought "more legs, more speed" was actually ridiculous! Thanks for pointing it out. I would like the game to be considered as scifi (so the technology should be at least somehow convincing)

Another thing you could exploit for tactics is managing the robots energy output. Imagine that each turn the robot's core produces a certain amount of power that is stored inside its capacitor and this energy is then used for everything, moving, firing etc... If the robot spends more energy than the amount it can recover each turn, it risks itself shutting down temporarily, leaving it completely vulnerable to enemy attacks. How much energy the robots' capacitor can store depends on how many batteries the robot has included. So you could add strategy elements with this system during its building phase as well as during combat. Some weapons or special attacks could require vasts amount of energy leaving the robot's capacitor empty requiring some turns before the robot's capacitor could be full again. You could even deactivate certain parts of the robot that consume passive energy to accelerate the energy recovering process. Activating and deactivating components could have a 1 turn lag to make it even more strategic.

Wow, your idea is brilliant! That could work as a replacement for fantasy genre's mana cost. But not only that. Some powerful weapons, like railgun, could take so much power to fire, that it has a great chance of putting the robot into "overload" state. Of course, that would be avoided by focusing enough recources to upgrade the capacitator. The energy mechanic would create some interesting risk vs reward situations. Also, the energy consumption could limit your actions for the turn, so that you could make as many actions per round as you wish, but more powerusage means a higher risk. And every arm/tool could be used only once per turn.

There is simply too much that could be done with an energy based robot. Some weapons could not require energy to be used like ballistic weapons, while beam weapons would entirely depend on energy; the same thing would apply to energy shields. So The player should ponder what type of weapon to use for each situation.

Just some thoughts.
Cheers, you are a genius! I am certainly asking help from the right people. ;)

Endorya

  • Rogueliker
  • ***
  • Posts: 513
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • The non-purist roguelike lover
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Brainstorming for turnbased combat
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2014, 05:14:40 PM »
Well, I glad that I was useful.

I think you first "assignment" should be, before anything else, creating all robot parts and see how the robot assembling should work. By doing this you will also be developing the combat system as you will keep foreseeing the utility of all these robot parts and all robot building possibilities coming out from it. Then I guess you should move towards game story and world building. At least this is how I would proceed.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2014, 08:37:51 PM by Endorya »
"You are never alone. Death is always near watching you."