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November 24, 2014, 01:29:01 PM
TIGSource ForumsDeveloperCreativeDesigntranslating fighter mechanics
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thunderhead.hierophant
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« on: November 09, 2012, 09:08:21 AM »

So the direction I'm going with my design is towards a competitive turn-based, squad-based tactical game.

I'd like to model the mechanics on Street Fighter-like games, but I am woefully unacquainted with concepts of high-level play of such games. 

Just as an example  of something I had in mind, I've got a "hierophant" character, which is analogous to a summoner from FFT.  However, he would be able to cast a summon that only triggers if somone stops a move action in the AoE.  Useful for area denial. 

If anyone wants to discuss what makes fighters work here, I want to incorporate the concepts into my framework .
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InfiniteStateMachine
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« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2012, 09:22:16 AM »

you want to model street fighter mechanics to a turn based squad game?

I'm not saying it's impossible but it certainly seems like torture.
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antoniodamala
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« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2012, 09:31:02 AM »

I know that heroclix made an adaptation of the street fighter game: http://wizkidsgames.com/streetfighter/

How it plays out i don't know, only have played heroclix once and it was with a marvel team. It had quite a lot of abstract rules, if it was more acessible would be amazing.
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Catguy
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« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2012, 12:34:48 PM »

http://www.sirlingames.com/collections/yomi Sirlin did exactly this, translating high level fighting game play (him being a top level SFA3 player) into a cardgame -- you can find a lot of design articles about yomi and other games he's been involved in on his blog.
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thunderhead.hierophant
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« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2012, 04:18:40 PM »

@ Catguy:  that was about exactly what I was looking for.  Thanks!
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Graham-
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« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2012, 02:49:15 AM »

If you throw down a piece of your design, with complete descriptions of mechanics - just a piece - I'd be willing to add "fighting game depth" to it, at least just a smidgen. I know a little about fighting games and a lot about creating complex play spaces from a small set of controls - that's what fighting games are all about.

Also, others would jump in.
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thunderhead.hierophant
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« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2012, 03:54:39 AM »

If you throw down a piece of your design, with complete descriptions of mechanics - just a piece - I'd be willing to add "fighting game depth" to it, at least just a smidgen. I know a little about fighting games and a lot about creating complex play spaces from a small set of controls - that's what fighting games are all about.

Also, others would jump in.

OK...this is as WIP.

I'm not ready to divulge the exact dice roll mechanic, but, depending on the relationship among the #'s on the dice, a player can:

1) roll again spending an extra roll or keep the roll.
2) roll again w/o spending an extra roll or keep the roll
3) earn an extra roll, then roll again w/o spending an extra roll or keep the roll

So if a player has no extra rolls remaining and isn't in condition 2 or 3, he/she is stuck with the roll.

So the player with initiative rolls, then the defender.  To complete an action, the player with initiative must outroll the defender by a certain margin.  If he/she outrolls the defender by a wider margin, the player with initiative  is in "Bonus One (B1)."   If the player with initiative outrolls the defender by a ridiculous margin, the player with initiative is in "Bonus Two (B2)." Underrolling the defender is either a whiff, a counter, a counter(B1), or a counter(B2).  Players decide post-roll what action to take. 

Besides being countered, a player loses initiative by: 
1) KO'ing a unit w/o using a finishing move
2) Using a finishing move w/o KO'ing a unit
3) Not having a legal move at the bonus level they've rolled

Now right now I'm thinking teams of 9 units chosen in any combination from 11 classes.  Each unit has different combo starters.  There's also a concept I have called "combo depth" which consists of 6 levels.  On different combo depth levels every unit may have legal moves at different bonus levels.  @ level 5, all successful hits lead to finishing moves, so what a player wants to do if they can't finish a unit is loop back to an earlier level before level 5.  In case it wasn't obvious, different unit moves can combo into moves by other units...a player might execute a shield bash with a Vanguard and then cobo into a B1 nuke by a Wizard.   Basically I've got to weave this tapestry of situationally useful moves by different units.

Oh, and there is a concept of "momentum."  Certain moves increment/decrement your next roll, with a hard limit on how much your roll can be affected.  Powerful moves/moving slow units would decrement; fast movers and jabs would increment.

So that was off the cuff.  Let me know if anything is unclear.
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Graham-
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« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2012, 07:07:34 AM »

Ok, I'm not sure I understand. First the fundamentals.

The teams take turns. One teams has "initiative." Both teams role. The team with initiative acts first, picking a move from a list that is determined based on the difference in roles.

Does the team without initiative get a counter move? Or must they wait until initiative is lost? (Thus resulting in large turns of single-team move-taking).

Combos can be shared between units of the same team. One unit can start a combo and another unit can carry it forward. Level 1 moves lead into level 2, which lead into level 3. Though that's only in general. Some moves lead back to a lower level. The higher levels have finishing moves. Are they also stronger?

We have to clear up some of these things then we can talk about fighting games. Your game sounds interesting.

Also, by roll you mean a die roll right? This is a video game?

Is there only one squad per team? So 9 units per team? Are they all in the same squad? Does that mean they all participate in the same battle? Or is there a giant field of independent skirmishes?
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thunderhead.hierophant
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« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2012, 02:53:49 PM »

OK.

First of all, you're rolling multiple dice and you see the results of each roll.  Managing when to spend extra rolls  is huge, as is deciding which rolls are good enough for the situation.

So yes, approximately 9 on 9, on one grid.  The player w/ initiative (let's call him/her the attacker ) rolls first, and when they're satisfied with their roll, the defender makes an opposing roll.  Depending on the difference between the rolls, either the attacker chooses a move or the defender counters(or, if the rolls are very close, it's a whiff--attacker loses positive momentum and must begin @ combo level 1 again).

The attacker continues to chain together moves as long as he/she outrolls the defender, moving deeper down the combo levels.  There are finishers @ all levels, depending on the unit class and bonus level.  Like said, some moves loop back to earlier combo levels.

Different units have moves at different combo levels and bonuses.  Ideally, one has a team with moves at every configuration, because if a team doesn't have a move at a given combo / bonus level, they surrender initiative.

Hope it's a little more clear now.
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Graham-
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« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2012, 03:01:27 PM »

Yeah, a lot more. Still more questions.

Do all units on a team act on the same combo level? Can I choose which unit attacks freely? So like, I roll, attack with unit A, roll, attack with unit A, roll, attack with unit B, roll, attack with unit A? (going combo level 1, 2, 3, 4?)

Does the grid represent position? So chars have positions and can only attack near them? You mentioned AoE. Is movement a type of action like an attack?

How many moves does each char have? At each level? I imagine each player has a card for each char in front of them. Are chars customizable?

Each player chooses from the same set of 11 chars?
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thunderhead.hierophant
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« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2012, 03:36:04 PM »

Well I should start off with some prelims:

When I first made this post, I was thinking a multi-player orientation.  Now I'm thinking more traditional RPG.

Also, I started out with just the dice-rolling as a gambling game.  Then I started designing a 1 on 1 fighter with most of these concepts, and even tested that a bit against humans.  Now I'm where I'm at.

That all said,

All units on a team do act on the same combo level, as you imagined.  Grid represents position.  Movements are actions on the combo level progression -- some units you can't move to start a combo.

Since I'm now thinking Traditional RPG structure, that means progression, builds, etc.  I imagine a player will choose certain moves to "equip" @ different combo / bonus levels,  in addition to items.  The 11 classes I have now will be the generic classes -- prolly no multi-classing. 

I was thinking today I need some kind of stun counter on units,  ie, hit w / attack, stunned for X moves or until initiative is regained.  That way, you couldn't whale on one unit for 5 turns and then hit anothr with a dragon punch--you'd have to hit that unit at least once before unleashing certain power moves.
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Graham-
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« Reply #11 on: November 20, 2012, 01:27:33 PM »

Does the opponent have to wait to regain initiative before he can do anything?

Like if I have initiative, and I'm attacking, can my opponent make any decisions at all? He should be able to, but I'm not clear if he can.

Sorry it took a while to reply.
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thunderhead.hierophant
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« Reply #12 on: November 20, 2012, 02:02:56 PM »

Well, for every action, you have an opposing roll,  so while one player is making attacks/moving units, the other player is making rolls, deciding which rolls to keep and when to spend extra rolls.  The defender has the advantage of knowing what the attacker kept, so he/she knows what number to beat.

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Graham-
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« Reply #13 on: November 20, 2012, 02:16:26 PM »

Ok, so this is my first thought.

In fighters there is this concept of position. You are always moving/combo-ing into opportunities. Then when those opportunities arrive you make new decisions based on what the opponent is doing.

It is important that the attacker takes into account his position and his opponent's position. That means a lot of what happens during one players initiative has to carry over to the other's.

By "position" I mean anything that defines a single player's state: his combo level, the health of his guys, their physical positions etc.

How interesting is the decision-making of the defender? Is it all calculations? In fighters if I'm on the defensive I'm still considering my opponent's likely patterns, and trying to get into a position, or at least a mind-set, that will help me defend what's coming, or to be in a position to counter-attack when I get the opportunity.

From your description it sounds like the defender is only calculating, as-in just trying to reduce the damage. Though I suppose that could be interesting. The defender holds on for dear life, trying to master his opponent's possible attack patterns - so he knows how to disperse his rolls best. Then when it's his turn hopefully he is in the right position to counter.

In fighters when I attack I set up a position. When the opponent attacks he messes with my position. It's like in Chess, I have a plan, then my opponent's plan messes with my plan, then I have to adapt my plan after defending his.

It's important that in your game each player has to consider what the opponent might do when he regains initiative, and include that in his plans. In other words, there has to be much more than health at play. In fighters when I attack I change the shape of my body, where my vulnerabilities are, where my danger points are, how far away I am, what attacks I can react to and which ones I cannot.

So in a sense, in a fighter my opponent's attacks change which "combo level" I am at. Or at least they restrict how I can respond, then my responses determine which combo level I am at. My options shift heavily depending on what my opponent has done.

See what I'm getting at?

« Last Edit: November 20, 2012, 02:28:11 PM by Graham. » Logged
thunderhead.hierophant
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« Reply #14 on: November 20, 2012, 02:44:09 PM »

Thanks for the thought provoking response.

Sometimes I think about this game in chess terms.  Say you retain initiative for four turns, and you use it to charge forward with two of your units, leaving your opponent in position to isolate and destroy them when they get initiative.  This would be analogous to setting up a suicidal pawn structure.

What I'm getting at is that since the main tactic in TRPG's is piling on one enemy at a time, both players would have to try to have an adaptable unit position structure that would be resilent enough to survive a major combo, should the player lose initiative.

When I think of the game in fighter-ish terms, I imagine each player trying to get into a unit position structure that could isolate one or more units, similar to trying to get into a position to capitalize on a mistake.

The defender, knowing the attacker's roll, can choose how to react...whether they try to counter a low roll or minimize damage from a high one.
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Graham-
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« Reply #15 on: November 20, 2012, 02:57:33 PM »

mm....

Think in more abstract terms.

Think about how much an opponent's position can modulate, and how much that can affect your ideal strategy. You want the ideal strategy to flex hard with each initiative switch.

You're focused a lot on physical position. That's not enough, unless all the possible combo-maneuvers are deeply dependent on position.

If you lay out something that shows possible maneuvers, i.e. an example game being played out, I can show you in detail.

--

Isolation could be a core tactic. Then you have to think about stuns, knock-back, being slowed. Maybe some attacks can only be executed if no damage was taken in the previous turn, or some are AOE in various shapes, and some require particular positioning of teammates to execute, and so on.
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thunderhead.hierophant
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« Reply #16 on: November 20, 2012, 03:21:54 PM »

I'll have to give that a little thought.

One of the reasons I'm focusing so heavily on positioning is that I'm planning on putting in passive effects within a certain radius of a unit.  For instance, Healers are a sort of "set-and-forget" unit, having the ability to heal all units slightly in a given radius once the power is activated, every time initiative is regained.

There'll be debuffs, too. For instance, a poisoned unit will take damage every time it executes an action for an initiative turn.

But, like said, I'll need to give it some thought. Right now I'm trying to set up cost curves for progression, using the paradigm that each class is like a color in M:tG.
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Graham-
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« Reply #17 on: November 20, 2012, 03:33:29 PM »

Ok, so don't do that yet. If you want fighter-like mechanics you need to put those in first. Trust me.

It's fine that you focus on positioning. I didn't mean to knock it. What I meant was that you need a core mechanic that every other mechanic relates to: is affected by and affects. Position can be this. You just need all of your moves to impact position in interesting ways, and be dependent on position.

---

You can do cost progression first. You'll just find yourself redoing it once you add more fighter mechanics. The more you add the more you redo.
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thunderhead.hierophant
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« Reply #18 on: November 20, 2012, 03:47:48 PM »

Thanks for the tip.  Actually I was getting pretty hung up on it.

I guess the question I have now is:  should I create a static system based on what I see the end-game as being like, and work backwards?
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Graham-
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« Reply #19 on: November 20, 2012, 03:53:19 PM »

I'll clarify first. The order in which you design mechanics is up to you. It's important to follow your inspiration. I was just trying to iterate that "fighter mechanics" will be more core than progression. Imagine designing power-ups in Mario before figuring out how the jumping works. Unless of course your game is more about the leveling than the fighting... though I don't know if that makes any sense.

Is the end game the most interesting part to you? The way I'd design is to think about the kinds of experiences I want players to have. I'd say things like, "depth of Street Fighter," and "personal play style of Street Fighter," or "very tense end game." Then I'd prioritize them, then design mechanics that try to deliver them, in the order I have.

What's the most important thing your design needs that it doesn't have?
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