Monday, August 9, 2010

Convergence Battle System

So it seems I update this blog about once a year (literally). Well with RL crap aside, I've hit a burst of inspiration and am not going into full production mode into Convergence again (surprisingly, after Starcraft 2 just came out). I've promised myself I will devote a few hours to the game every week and I'll try to update this blog at least once a week with some kind of progress or picture. I really do want to get this game done, if nothing else, so I can move on with life. Heh.

At any rate, I'll be explaining the battle system of the game in this post. While Conv does use the default rm2k3 battle system, I've made modifications with it to make it more interesting. I was inspired by Romancing SaGa: Minstrel Song's MP regeneration in its battle systems, which allowed you to keep using your abilities instead of the usual RPG thing we're used to of sticking to weak attacks and hoarding all your MP for a boss or something. I wanted to liberate the player from that agony by implementing a similar system.

As such, Conv's battle system revolves around recovering MP, or in the case of this game, it's called AP (Ability Points). You can essentially keep using your skills, but you're not gonna start with full AP. Rather, you will start with a set amount of AP at the beginning of battle and try to gain that as you keep fighting, either by passing turns or performing certain commands. Everyone has a maximum of 100 AP across the board which doesn't change. There are abilities that will initially be available of course, but stronger abilities may require more saving up. In addition, HP is always fully recovered at the end of battles. With these two mechanics in place, you can practically go all out on every battle and not have to worry about possibly hurting yourself later (unless you waste items or something). Added to this, characters are always to recover a part of their HP by defending (with some exceptions, to be covered later).

But of course, battles in general will be harder to reflect this. The game uses touch encounters instead of random battles, which means fewer but more meaningful battles. If you've played FF13 you know what I mean - most of these battles won't be pushovers you can solve by mashing the attack button unless you really want to take forever with it. Of course this will take some testing to get right but I've got some interesting ideas, and this is all programmed into the system already.

Back on the AP system, there are 3 character types. All of the playable characters in the game fall under any one of these three types, which recover AP in various ways.

ATTACK TYPE - Attack type characters recover, or gain AP by attacking the enemy with a basic attack command. These characters tend to have low starting AP and must gradually build up their AP count to utilize stronger attacks or finishers. These characters are geared towards dealing damage but can be put at a disadvantage if not constantly attacking, as they may be unable to use their strongest skills.

BALANCE TYPE - Balance type characters regenerate a fixed amount of AP over time. Although they don't get as much as the other two types, they always regain AP no matter what actions they perform. These characters tend to be more versatile in their battle roles.

BURST TYPE - Burst type characters start with higher AP but are unable to recover AP except by defending. Although they recover the most AP out of the three types, they must essentially waste a turn in doing so. These characters are built more for saving up AP then using a string of abilities before having to recharge again.

There are variations of each of these depending on the character, but otherwise this is how the system works. Relatively simple, but at least it keeps things a bit more interesting than the default. I'll be updating with more game-related info as we go along.

Here, have an animation: