Spell design for turn based combat

Discussion in 'Game Design, Development And Publishing' started by CloseRange, Dec 11, 2019.

  1. CloseRange

    CloseRange Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2016
    Posts:
    999
    Currently I'm designing a turn based battle game.
    The current idea is there are 8 "heros" to choose from and each of them has 3 minions to choose from. I have no idea if heros and minions is a good name but It's what I'm using for now.
    Anyway minions are what actually attack and fight, and each minion has 4 spells.
    so with just 8 heros that's 24 minions and 96 spells.
    and an extra 12 spells any time I want to add more heros.
    Before I go full in on this idea I just want to know how hard you guys think it will be to make 96 unique spells. Should I just rethink my idea to make it more managable or is it not as hard as I think?
    btw it will be 4 minions vs 4 minions so healing spells and multi target spells will be included.
     
  2. Yal

    Yal GMC Memer GMC Elder

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2016
    Posts:
    4,178
    It's easier to make content if it follows a predetermined format, so that you can just use different parameters and the engine just handles all combinations you come up with. For instance, Pokémon moves has the following parameters:
    • Elemental type (affects what targets it is extra / less effective against)
    • Physical or magical (or "support", for moves that will not deal damage)
    • Power
    • Accuracy
    • Power points, or "the number of casts per long rest"
    • Side effect chance (0 if has no side effect)
    • Side effect type (buff, ailment, debuff)
    • Side effect subtype (e.g. for ailment, whether it's paralysis or poison)
    • Side effect severity (mostly used for buffs)
    There's a handful of other parameters such as whether the move is sound-based or makes contact, but those just exist as afterthoughts to accomodate certain abilities. The interesting part here is that these 9 parameters allow for hundreds of moves! Some moves are almost identical except for their elemental type (Flamethrower, Thunderbolt and Ice Beam being the main elemental attack trinity, for instance), some moves are almost identical but one is physical and one is magical (Waterfall vs Surf), some moves fill similar niches but are tuned more towards damage or ailments (Spark has a 50% chance to paralyze, Thunderbolt is stronger but only has a 10% chance to paralyze)... small differences like these just are small differences, but can make a huge difference in utility. You don't need to make hundreds of radically different moves, you could have some spells just be tweaked more towards one playstyle or "feel". For instance, one minion could be focused on raw damage but have lower MP, so they're more useful for burst damage. Another minion could have weaker spells but they have a high chance to cause status ailments as a side effect. A third minion could have purely support skills, having the hero do most of the heavy lifting themselves.
     

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