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Old 04-30-2012, 11:09 AM   #3
Fernando Di Sciascio
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Default Re: Help on Game Design Challenge: RPG Battle Systems

Hey, Bob! Thanks for helping me with my entry. I'm just sorry that I wasn't able to come here and read your post before submitting my entry. Anyway, I'm glad for what you did for me. I ended up trying to change some things on my own (specially the ones I found not clear enough). That's how it ended up (changes are in itallic, what should have been changed is in bold and red is what you pointed as "should be deleted"):

Button-Based Command (BBC):
The game is an action-RPG whose battle system is designed to work best with a PS3 controller because of its non-visually interfaced colored buttons.

The player is given 4 party members, each with a thematic color (purple, green, red and blue) that match the PS3 buttons (□, ∆, O, X). From that, each of the latter action buttons controls the actions of the character that matches its color. By default, a simple button press commands the character with the matching color to use the “attack” action and a holding press commands him (or her) to use the “magic” action button (though this can be changed later).

When in battle, the actions the player takes have two layers: the menu and the combat. The menu is always the first one to come up in a battle. From there, the player picks which enemies are going to be targeted by which characters and the battle plan for the battle.

A battle plan is a set of pre-determined commands that a player may generate to suit his needs without having to go through a full customization in-battle. For instance, a player might prefer to substitute the “attack” command of the green character by the action “Elemental Magic”. From that point on, the simple triangle button press would result in the use of an elemental magic by the green character. Battle Plans save all of these command changes in a single set (option) in the menu.

After the player selects the targets that each character will take and the battle plan to be used, the battle starts. If the player needs to change his strategy during the battle he can activate the menu by pressing the SELECT button and dismiss it the same way after the strategy is selected.

When the battle starts the player is taken to the battleground: a 3D environment with a hovering camera that maintains all characters and enemies in the player’s view. Also, the character’s movement is automatic. The actions that the characters can take are determined by an ATB gauge that adds to a counter every time it fills. The speed which it’s filled is calculated differently for each character and enemy (depending on speed and other factors).

All actions (except guarding or dodging) spend a single counter point, be it an attack, magic or whatever. When commanded to attack, for example, a counter point would be consumed and the ordered character would deliver a blow to his/hers target.

Lastly, there is the guard/dodge command. While holding L1 and pressing a character’s button the player commands a character to defend an attack or dodge it. If timed right, the attack would be dodged without harming the character.

This system’s idea is mixing all the options of a classical menu-based RPG with the speed of the action-based ones without having to give up the control of any of the character’s actions. Plus, with the use of ATB gauges and dodging features, the player’s challenge and strategies need are maximized.
As you see I did some changes. A few, but some. I changed the "without player's control" for "automatic" in order to be able to use more words, omitted the "computer/machine" (words + not really necessary) and I changed the "at no counter points" for "without harming the character". The previous way seemed to reaffirm something stated before.

I also made the last paragraph more like the way I wanted it to be understood. Looking back, I should have named it "Single button command" instead of "button-based command" for obvious reasons... Well, I wish I could have corrected its writing based on what you posted here but now's too late. Thanks for helping me, anyway. =)
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