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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsRuneCaller, Fantasy RPG.
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Author Topic: RuneCaller, Fantasy RPG.  (Read 318 times)
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« on: September 20, 2022, 03:09:31 PM »

My name is Dan, RuneCallers is a high magic, fantasy RPG with strategic turn based combat similar to older Shin Megami Tensei games and exploration similar to super nintendo style RPG's, Such as Final Fantasy, Dragon Warrior etc...

I am sure you have a lot of questions but I am here to answer them.

What the heck is a RuneCaller anyway?

RuneCallers are followers of deities controlling the makeup of reality who have been blessed (cursed?) with the ability to draw power from runes that litter the lands of their reality.

Ok gotcha so they use ... Wait! What are runes and how do they dang well work?

Runes are used in every day life to heal, hurt, empower, enslave ... the list goes on.

Lets take the first rune I created while messing around in Asperite trying to think of inspiration after having failed my art GCSE's many years ago:

This rune is known as strike, I initially created very abstract runes but felt players would struggle to memorise each rune as strike was a pretty cool pattern but didn't denote what it did visually.

Ok enough rambling, our RuneCaller stumbles upon a nasty goblin:

I know disgusting, but most sentient creatures (and I use the term lightly here) are followers of a deity in particular and are empowered according to their behaviour towards said deity. This goblin is empowered by the deity of destruction and hits hard, as hard as goblins tend to hit in RPGS which is admittedly not that hard in the grand scheme of things, so should be dealt with swiftly.

The RuneCaller uses some of their mana, a life force which can be spent to draw out the power of runes, and calls on strike, now their sword strikes true and hard, as hard as a level 1 character usually hits but its enough to hurt or potentially kill the pitiful goblin.

Runes can be used to heal as said and the RuneCaller could draw on the power of the Small Restore rune to heal some wounds, or perhaps the block rune to stop the said wounds forming.

As a RuneCaller progresses on their journey powerful cards are discovered, found, stolen, looted and unlocked for use. The RuneCaller keeps these runes in a pouch to be drawn from a handful at a time before needing to be recharged. The runes can be seen as a deck of cards, a handful as a hand of cards and recharging runes as a graveyard. As a RuneCaller fights they spend mana which must be recharged and they must choose how to spend this mana wisely to overcome mobs and bosses alike.

Above is a a snip taken from the game in development of a random encounter, Two goblin warriors and Two goblin archers are seen through the eyes of the protagonist, the backdrop is from the first dungeon setting in which a player must escape from a goblin cave to the outside world and make some difficult choices along the way.

The player can choose to strike, add temporary armour through blocking or heal, with each rune costing 1 mana and the player having a total of 3 per turn to spend.

The idea is to build the perfect pouch of runes for your playstyle:

Do you want to be a paladin? Ok take healing, buffing and light magic runes and laugh as hordes of undead disintegrate as they claw desperately at your thick plate. You probably work to gain the favour of the deity of creation and smite her enemies so will endeavour to do good.

Want to be a monk? Ok forget the armour, put on some bathrobes, Fill your pouch with melee runes and turn your fists, which you have named law and order, in to goblin smoothie makers, head shaving optional. You probably strive for balance and follow the deity of Balance.

Want to be a mage? Cram every spark, inferno and icicle blast in to your pouch you can find, slap on that hat of +5 mana and control the forces of nature, which deity you follow probably doesn't matter as much as you control the forces of nature for good or bad.

If for whatever reason you want to follow the deity of destruction or the minor deity of chaos then you will have to their bidding as well, there are options for whatever kind of playstyle you want planned with multiple endings and paths to take.

But Dan, Why would I want to follow a deity? Why are they interfering with the common people?

Glad you asked reader, honestly great question! The RuneCallers reality is like a grand boardgame in which each deity must play its part to shape existence as the RuneCaller and others know it. If they do a good job they get to ascend to a new level of reality in which they not only control space and matter but time as well, the complexity and implications of such a position are beyond my feeble comprehension so don't ask me to explain (lore build) but just accept that is how it is.

If a deity ascends then they must have a replacement, RuneCallers and other devotees perform deeds to push their deities agenda and the the ones who act the most are they themselves ascended to take up the mantle of their chosen deity.

A little back story:

Fate, a kind of Zeus figure has just ascended and a powerful king is due to take their place to watch over the other deities and help them reach decisions, a king of deities if you will. During the change over their is often a lot of commotion and power struggles as deities try to ensure their aspect of reality is going well or even dominating. Chaos, for reasons unknown to even itself, a minor god of confusion, randomness and disorder decided to poison Creation with a powerful elixer in her drink and caused her to sleep for nearly 100 years. After waking from the long slumber Creation sets about trying to undo the progress destruction has caused and build relationships with the other deities, playing catch up to try to bring harmony to the forces.

Thats probably an interesting point to join a story I think at least.

Enough with the TLDR:

Where is the game at?
Programming: It is hard for me to judge, I have a working turn based combat system, an inventory system, runes are prefabricated objects which can be set and reused to display on the screen or call themselves to influence battle. My character walks and knows where walls are.

Graphics: I have a template for humanoids which I am fairly happy with, a general theme for UI as well as a lot of UX but I am not completely satisfied with it, large portions of it especially the buttons are very amateurish, please view for yourself:

I see this as a foundation for how I want UI to feel but it still needs a lot of work to look "Professional" and I hope to grow as an artist. As I said I am not a strong artist but have always wanted to be and I am learning from tutorials on pixel art, design and video game art philosophy.

Mechanically: This would actually be the hardest part. I am a huge fan of DND and old school CRPGS and the style of combat I want to make is based on buffing, attacking, healing but with the focus on one character. I also love MTG, Slay the spire and trading card games, my TCG was Yu-Gi-Oh, I think the neighbourhood I was in was a bit too poor for Pokemon and definitely for MTG which I didn't play until university and lost a summer to it.

It seems easy right? Thats what I though too, You play a million RPGs so the flow and complexity of combat mechanic engineering should just come forth, like inspiration from the deity of creation but when I try to say to myself I've picked up this game and it checks all my boxes, RPG with magic check, turn based with tactics check, card based combat system ok this is too much, its what I would want to play if I was making my own game and I am. So why is the combat either too easy to where I slap the goblins before they hurt me or so punishing I feel like every random encounter will be an entire game of MTG let alone the bosses.

Do I heal outside of combat and so introduce healing items? How will they impact my game?

Do I let players heal fully after each fight but then it really is just MTG the video game.

Does increasing damage and healing give a spice to combat with a fun risk reward skewed towards the player probably winning?

How do I speed up combat so encounters take less than a minute or two but still have depth to where you aren't just auto attacking through waves of sprites, filler between subpar plot points and boring items?

What if min-maxers just break my game or lots of players find interactions between cards I didn't expect? Are these bad things because im guilty of this too?

These are all tough questions so where it is at now in a nutshell:
The seeds of the coding and logic are there, I am confident I can program what I need when I need it, this is my job after all albeit in automation fullstack as opposed to gamedev but a lot of things are transferrable surprisingly (Famous last words?).

The art is coming along with a vision forming for my artistic styling and direction, but after the vision comes the journey towards realisation. Will I reach the destination? Will you come with me and tell me to keep going?

The mechanics require a lot of thinking, with slight progress being made each day but it is hollow, the pieces need moves to make, need to know when to make them and they flow needs to fun, I want to introduce grinding for certain runes through loot dropping for those keen to make the perfect pouch but for the games main storyline to be completed without a lot of theory crafting about builds etc.

What am I working on now:

It is nearly midnight as I write this here in the UK, I am used to seeing this hour fly by as I hunch over my keyboard typing code for my game, I have a two hour university introduction session tomorrow as I head in to my final year of my degree and I think not in terms of what I have to do but what is going to get in the way of me progressing this game.

With that digression out of the way I will be working on mechanics, I want to create a kind of demo of the first area with combat taking place after thinking on this some more so that you can start some fights and see how it flows with this being updated as new enemies, runes, gear and mechanics are added so you get a feel for my vision of the final game. Does that sound like something you would want?

Thank you if you are still reading, honestly that fills me with hope.

Here is a temple to Destruction that I am currently working on in Asperite, just for you the reader
« Last Edit: September 25, 2022, 01:36:13 PM by ArmouredCyberDan » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2022, 01:31:26 PM »

I've been slaving away today after being a bit unhappy with the combat system.

I have swapped over to a Chrono Trigger style combat system which I think will better suit the more DND style combat of buffing, healing etc. I've managed to create lots of coroutines and have started working with delays so I am hoping to add some basic animations to the enemies which you now encounter as groups.

I think it will be a lot of fun to hunt for specific runes you want if you know which group to farm over and over, I hope to add some random chances of rare groups or monsters appearing. As it works right now you will hit trigger points (colliders as triggers) associated with a local group of monsters.

Art work still needs a lot of improvement but I have worked on the goblins today to give them a bit of variety from basic humans, I also created a zombie which you will fight as a miniboss to gain access to the first spell / debuff rune Poison Drop (2 poison damage, decreasing by 1 per turn) annoyingly an enemy dying from poison skips your turn ... the joys of bug hunting I suppose...

See also featured a new debuff, blind, which can be set on opponents. Any attack requiring a target cannot be made, I think it might be a bit OP right now but I am looking at ways to balance once combat comes along, I will show an example of some different team comps in the next few days hopefully with proper timing for messages displaying such as ("Goblin attacked!") wait 0.5 seconds ("But it failed") wait 0.5 seconds etc. to give a nicer flow to combat.

Right now though please check out the first video I have made, no animation, no good art work, amateur at best but Im having fun and hopefully a worthwhile game comes out of it at the end.

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