Hey guys! I'm working on a game that combines turn-based tactical strategy with puzzle elements/time shifting. Soo Disgaea + Zelda + Braid. It'll have a better name too, I swear.ART GAMEPLAY
(some of this stuff is just notes for me. also constantly changing.)
- turn-based puzzles
You'll have several characters in your arsenal at any point. There will be a ton of characters total, but often the party will split up and you'll be given some subset of characters for each area. Along with fighting enemies, you also solve puzzles where the environment changes after every turn. Eg. there might be a wall that drops a little every turn and you need to figure out how to move each character during each turn to get through in time.
You'll also be able to go back in time to previous turns if you've screwed up a puzzle, to reduce frustration. Dungeons will be nonlinear and the player will almost always have multiple puzzles that they can solve at once, when they're not fighting.
I would like puzzle elements to be as interactive as possible. A plant might burn under fire, but it might also grow with water, or blow away with the wind, or be picked and stored as an herb. I'd like the player to enjoy experimenting with puzzles as much as they do solving them.
Something else I've been considering, which goes hand in hand with the large state space, is puzzles with multiple solutions. Mostly because I hate games that force you toward a solution even though other ones should theoretically be possible.
I see some scope creep coming along, so I'm going to ignore the above for now.
I hope to deviate from classical turn-based tactical games here by making enemies more diverse in their behavior. I'm not looking for the most intelligent AI here, but rather AI with their own unique ways of getting under your skin. Moreover, except for some specific cases, enemies will plan their moves independent of others. This may result in a
scenario, which I don't mind and totally encourage!
- soul strands
- finally figured out what this does! fwaaah
There are four normal elements, fire, earth, water, and wind; then there is the soul element. The soul element has the power of giving life to/enchanting objects. The only way to to use soul is by performing a soul strand, where you connect multiple characters together in a closed loop. Since the game is on a hex grid, the sides of the loop must be along the six hexagonal directions, but otherwise it can be of any shape. Different characters have different amounts of soul, and more soul means that you can form larger loops. After a soul strand is initiated, all objects within the loop are affected.
- skill ghosting
When a (magical) skill is performed, it leaves behind a ghost of excess energy on the affected tiles, and if another skill is performed on the same spots, it gets a boost in power or some other effect. So it could be advantageous to perform a bunch of skills that overlap each other.
Each character will have a set of fundamental skills that they will use to solve puzzles, as well as extra skills that they can learn from weapons/other characters that may help in battle. Since you can't choose the characters, puzzles will be based on the characters given.
My idea for now, subject to change, is that instead of stat growths based on one level-up, each stat gets its own level. Both attacks and skills add experience to one or more stats. The advantage is that characters are much more customizable depending on how you play them, and different characters will become stronger at about the same rate, if used the same amount. The disadvantage is that it's harder to keep track of more levels, and levelling up stats individually might feel less satisfying.
Characters will not have classes. I want to encourage experimentation with character growth and the kinds of roles they play as much as possible.
- character interactions
Unfortunately the plot will be pretty linear outside of some town subplots. That's okay though, cause I'll have the best story ever
I do want to put emphasis on writing and character development. I'm aiming for characters that the player will like and remember. I want them to be fun and crazy, but also multidimensional.
You can freely walk around towns, shop, do mini-quests, etc. The story takes place on a bunch of islands floating in space. It'll have a weird ethnic/steampunk/sci-fi theme to it.
The game is being made in Unity. I'm using 2D sprites with a hexagonal grid over 3D terrain
I'm hoping to get a super basic puzzle done by December/January cause this will be my final project for my game programming class. I'll find out whether this idea is feasible by then, and if so I'll keep on developing.SETTING
So the game begins after the third nuclear war/meteor strike/other apocalypse, which makes earth completely inhabitable and also wipes a lot of technology. During this time, a couple of land masses either separated from earth or fell into earth's orbit, and they now float above earth.
The few humans that survived took residence on these islands, and many generations later, the human race is flourishing once again. The evolution of civilization pretty much restarts - the current world is in a peaceful golden age and more diverse than ever before, with influences from ancient and modern cultures alike. This includes the rediscovery of magic, which was lost after the ancient civilizations.
Moreover, the apocalypse caused a drastic shift in the ecosystem, so you'll find all sorts of strange creatures inhabiting the islands. Bit of a far stretch, I know
but worth the fun.
The game starts with Perplexi and her merry crew as seemingly simple adventurers that dungeon-dive for rarities. And then everything changes when they meet Ven. And that's as far as I'll say!
Some areas I have in mind:
The mainland - the most frequented area in the game, and basically the hub for commerce and travel. Extremely advanced compared to the other areas, has a spacey scifi theme.
The desert - huge, covers half of the continent, contains several tribal kingdoms.
Ara Lude - wind-themed island. It floats lower than most of the other islands, so it's completely enveloped in clouds. CHARACTERS
Perplexi is the unofficial captain of NOMAD, an eccentric gang of explorers. (NOMAD has 5 members when you start, but gradually you amass many more.) She literally knows no fear. Excitable, hotheaded, always looking for a good fight. She holds a strong sense of justice and enjoys playing the part of Robin Hood. Sometimes lacking common sense; loves getting the crew into trouble.
She wields a lightweight hammer and specializes in wind damage. She's extremely fast and hits hard, but doesn't have the best aim.
Passeus is the unofficial secretary of NOMAD. He has the ability to seduce nearly all female town NPCs, which is great for getting free items and lodging. He's quite narcissistic, but good-humored; he's the level-headed one of the crew. He and Perplexi often exchange banters.
He uses bows and specializes in earth. Slow and sturdy, high attack and accuracy. He's cursed to break his weapons after a few uses.
I might redo him, he looks really weird ...
Ven was found dying in the desert and taken aboard NOMAD. (You meet him after the first dungeon) A quiet, melancholy daydreamer who can walk while sleeping and doesn't respond until you've called his name a couple of times.
Although frail, Ven has an incredible mana capacity and high magic attack. His element is water, but he's adept in pretty much every element. Begins with very little soul.Progress so far (OLD):
- figured out grid tile placement
- showing sprites with SpriteManager. There are rendering issues I'll resolve later ...
- calculated reachable tiles for each character
- moving the character without animation for now
I'm working on skills next.