Feedback Turn-Based Tactics Time Manipulation Game

Discussion in 'Game Design, Development And Publishing' started by NanoSharkProductions, Dec 15, 2018.

  1. NanoSharkProductions

    NanoSharkProductions Member

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    Hello, GameMaker Community.

    I am currently working on a Game Design Document for a turn-based tactics game, which I'll use to eventually make a working prototype with GameMaker Studio 2.

    I have a really neat idea that involves heroes using the power to manipulate time to gain the upper hand against their foes. I feel this idea is unique and would make it stand out from other tactics games.

    ==THE COMBAT SYSTEM==

    The game is centered on the turn-based tactical combat system, which takes place on a grid. Each battle has a specific objective for clearing it: such as killing all or a certain amount of enemies, reaching a goal area, reaching a round count, retrieving a relic to bring to home base, and others. There are 3 or 4 heroes that the player can use in combat. Once the battle starts, the player starts its turn. Much like XCOM, the game allows the user to cycle between heroes and actions in any order. Each hero begins with Energy, which is used toward movement and weapon attacks. Each Movement and Weapon action has a certain Energy cost. However, heroes can also use Time abilities, which is powered by Clock Fragments. Players can pick up Clock Fragments on the map via movement or collect them by killing enemies. Each Time ability has a cost in Clock Fragments. The enemies eventually acquire Time abilities as well.

    ==TIME MANIPULATION METHODS==

    The different methods in which a character can manipulate time is through four categories:

    Round Warping: Some characters can manipulate the round counter by warping to a particular round number. This is an external way to control time as objectives measure length by the round counter. Characters could use this way of time manipulation because some maps have an objective of reaching a certain round count or objectives that involve avoiding going over a certain round count. Also, time-based terrain and objects are reliant on the Round Counter as they explode, activate or deactivate after a certain number of round increments. Reversing the Round Counter does not reverse the timers on time-based terrain. Round warping does not boost or reverse a character’s age as natural round increments affect age.

    Event Warping: Some heroes and enemies can also defy the natural course of combat. For instance, a character of this class can undo the most recent change of an ally or enemy’s stat as well as its own stat. This is great for age-reversal techniques. Heroes and enemies can undo the opponent’s turn as it naturally occurred and warp to a future event by concealing itself for a turn or turns and reappearing at the time it warped to. Heroes and enemies can also freeze time when its HP reaches zero. In this scenario, the two characters’ health are restored and they face off against a rematch. and the winner of the rematch unfreezes time and maintains health on the battlefield.

    Individual Speed: Each character has its own speed of time in the game. There are two types of individual speeds: dexterity and aging speed. Not only can an ally or opponent change a character’s dexterity or aging speed, but the character can change its own too. When a character’s dexterity is 0%, the character is immobilized. When a character’s aging speed is 0%, the character does not age. A character can even inverse its dexterity or aging speed, or reset it back to 100%. A character can also decrease or increase any character’s age directly.

    Team Speed: In addition to individual characters having their own dexterity and aging speed stats, the hero and enemy teams can be globally affected in the same way by multiplying the team speed by its own individual speed. A team’s dexterity and aging speed is 100% at the start of any battle but can be altered by any individual ally or opponent by increasing or decreasing it by a certain percentage.

    ==CLASSES==

    Each character has a class, which determines what Time abilities it can use. Classes also determine the effectiveness of a character's attacks against other classes. The five classes are:

    Booster: these characters can use round forwarding or time boosting. The skills that Boosters have are Round Up (increasing the Round Counter), Energy Blast (increasing the dexterity of itself or an ally), Team Spirit (increasing the dexterity of its team), and Timer Plus (double the rounds left on timers of time-based terrain).

    Backtracker: these characters can use round reversal or time slowing. The skills that Backtrackers have are Round Down (decreasing the Round Counter), Energy Drain (decreasing the dexterity of an opponent), Slowing Chant (decreasing the dexterity of the opposing team), (double the rounds left on timers of time-based terrain), Half-Timer (reduce the rounds left on timers of time-based terrain in half).

    Ageshaper: these characters can alter the ages and aging speeds of both individuals and teams. The skills that Ageshapers have are Time Savory (decreasing the aging speed of itself or an ally), Prolong (decreasing the aging speed of its team), Age Down (decrease the age of itself or an ally), Time Rush (increasing the aging speed of an opponent), Shorten (increasing the aging speed of the opposing team), and Age Up (increase the age of an enemy).

    Showstopper: these characters can freeze time. The skills that Showstoppers have are Round Infinity Life (freezing the aging speed of itself or an ally), Infinity Team (freezing the aging speed of its team), Immobilize (freeze the dexterity of an opponent), Team Stopper (freezing the opposing team’s dexterity).

    Gamechanger: these characters can defy the natural course of combat. The skills that Gamechangers have are Undo Stat (undo the most recent change of a stat toward any character) and Turn Warp (warping to the next round by hiding and respawning the next turn).

    I was hoping to get some input from developers and game designers on here as to what I can do to improve gameplay. What do you guys think? What would make gameplay more interesting or compelling to play, based on the info I provided?

    Thanks a bunch!
     
  2. Psycho_666

    Psycho_666 Member

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    This is.. SUPER ambitious...
    I really hope you have experience with making games already ,cause if this is your first game, I will recommend you start with maybe doing 1 class as its own game, then another class, etc etc.
    This game sounds weird, and weird is good.
     
  3. NanoSharkProductions

    NanoSharkProductions Member

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    Thank you for taking the time to reply, Psycho_666. I have a lot of experience with GameMaker, but I was just wanting input on how it sounds and what can be done to improve the mechanics. In other words, I am not talking from a developer/coding standpoint, rather from a mechanical and design standpoint. Do you think there is anything to add to make the system more fun?
     
  4. Psycho_666

    Psycho_666 Member

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    From what I understand your "time" powers will basically be "turns" manipulation in the turn based game, right?
    One thing I didn't quite get is the aging thing. What does the aging mean?

    Other than that - it seems pretty fleshed out system.
    Not really sure if some stuff aren't kinda redundant. I mean one guy can turn one round back, while the other guy can stop the time and basically don't increase the round counter, or is it that reversing the round counter reverses all actions taken in the last turn, but then you have a class that reverses the actions taken in the last turn...
    Maybe it's me not quite understanding the mechanics. It's nice you thought indept about it.
     
  5. NanoSharkProductions

    NanoSharkProductions Member

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    Essentially, time will be turns in this circumstance.

    I did not quite explain aging well: I'll explain it more in-depth here. Aging speed means how much a character's age increases every natural turn increment. Aging, after a while, decreases a character's strength, defense, and dexterity. I put this in place to accommodate for the time/turn mechanics.

    One other thing I forgot to mention is that reversing and forwarding the Round Counter does not impact stat changes (like HP, age, aging speed, etc). The reason why characters could manipulate the Round Counter is some maps have an objective of Reaching a Round Count or Avoid Surpassing Round Count. Also, maps can have time-based terrain. The terrain, like a wall, has a timer on it to determine how many more Round increments are left before a wall detonates. A hero could increase the Round Counter by 1 and an enemy could decrease it the next turn and it provides a challenge to the player.

    It does seem redundant to keep forwarding and reversing the Round Counter simultaneously, but that is why I added Clock Fragments, to limit the player and enemy, thus partially preventing chaos.

    Thank you for responding. If there are any more confusions or you need further clarification on providing feedback, let me know.
     
  6. Yal

    Yal Member GMC Elder

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    IMO it feels like you've spent too much time thinking up cool concepts and too little time thinking about how to actually implement them, it's a vital part of a GDD. Details like picking up time pieces on a world map might be a bit soon if you haven't figured out exactly how the core mechanic works yet :p

    If you want to be able to manipulate time directly by travelling into the future or past, you will essentially need to store every state of the entire playfield, both the current and the past and the projected future (the future that happens if everything keeps doing what it's currently doing), which includes things like "simulate every AI turn in a predictable way whenever the player goes into the future"). You could be interested in checking out this Squidi300 idea, it's similar to what you're making and could leverage the system you'd need to make for time travel anyway - essentially, you do time events that splits the board up into two alternate version, and can take turns on ANY potential future and past board, and to win, you need to win in any one of them, but you game over if you game over in any one of them, too. Then you could just add in a system that makes changes in the past ripple into the future, and bam, time travel four-dimensional chess is in place!

    This is making it sound like you want turns to be non-discrete (e.g. you can take 0.6 turns or 2.25 turns based on your local timeframe), this makes a lot of things more complex (e.g. if you take 2.25 actions, does that mean you take 2 actions, 2 actions and one shorter action, or that you take 2 actions and start a new action but it doesn't finish until your next turn?).
     
  7. NanoSharkProductions

    NanoSharkProductions Member

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    Hello, Yal.

    Sorry it took so long to respond. Before I say anything else, thank you for responding to my thread. I've seen you around on the forum, giving some good advice.

    I have been focusing on concepts and need to give the combat system more thought. Clock Fragments are more of a way to limit time-based abilities to make combat not so chaotic or difficult for the player (because AI can do Time later in the game as well).

    The future and past board idea that you suggested seems brilliant, I will check out that link.

    What I was going for regarding the turn count is rounding decimal numbers to the nearest whole number to get a total turn count for each unit.
     

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