The most amazingly awesome game ever that will probably never be made, continues to be made in my head, at least, and in these blog posts( First and Second). Which are required reading to know where I'm coming from. I was inspired yet again to continue blabbing about this crazy idea I have, when someone e-mailed me and actually offered to start coding the game for me, but wanted to know what type of battle engine I wanted. That got the engines burning full throttle to nowhere, and this post is what came of it. So, for the coder, please let me explain the craziest idea yet: A revolutionary new step for JRPG style Battle Engines.
I originally stated this game would have a fast paced JRPG like battle engine, but I didn't fully know how different I wanted it to be. It would be very very easy for me to whip out RPGMaker and put the idea's I have for a story in the game with an incredibly generic fighting system and then 2 people might play it, me and my friend, and that might is for me. While I grew up playing every JRPG I could get my hands on, the fights have grown a bit tired and brainless for the most part, and if I were actually making this game, it would attempt to be a complete revolution of what the JRPG engine is known for, but in someways could still be considered quite JRPGish.
The first thing I definitely wanted to avoid was just hitting the same button to make your guys attack until the enemies die, about 80% of JRPGs are just like that.
The second thing to avoid is overly complex menu options, especially for the first part of the game.
Third big no no would be for there ever to be a moment in a fight where a player could possibly think, this is boring.
Things to include were turn based ACTION, and FUN strategy, and to keep it fast paced.
So, I pondered over how any of this could actually be possible if its going to keep its JRPG roots, and this is what I came up with.
This would represent why I'm not making games.
There are a max of 10 members on your team, each a different color, White, Grey, Red, Blue, Yellow, Green, Violet, Orange, Brown, and Black. They don't all join you at once, some don't even join till much later in the game. Starting out you'll just have two, and gradually grow from there. Each color is tied to an element, in the picture above we have White=Light, Blue=Water, Red=Heat Green=Earth, and Yellow=Electricity for the party members on the left. Like most rpgs, every element will have another that its weak to or strong against, light is strong against dark and notice the black center of the enemy, thats not blank! So, theres at least one party member that can do decent damage to each of the colors on the enemy side.
The picture above is the start of a boss fight. Stats can be shown when a button is held down, but otherwise only floating numbers appear when things are attacked. HP are called DP for Deci-Pixels and each of your pixels has 10, along with each of the enemies. Every pixel on either side is its own entity, and will move or attack on its turn. On your first turn, no menu will pop up, just your pixel will glow, in the pic the White pixel is selected. You then select an unblocked enemy you can attack, preferably one you would do the most damage to, you can't target any pixels that are behind another. If there are no weak enemies to attack, you could also move to a spot behind any of your own pixels, putting a stronger pixel in the front. You'll never actually move away from your center pixel, and the enemy won't move towards you, all attacks are ranged.
In the fight above, even though it looks like you just need to clear the left side to get to the black spot in the center, the enemy can also move or attack on each of its pixel's turns, so they could possibly continue to block the black pixel until the very end.
Obviously, the battle ends when one side wipes out the other.
While this all sounds very complicated trying to type it out, I think anyone with a controller in their hand could easily pick up on how it works. To try and summarize: theres no menu choices early on, its either move or attack, and its best to attack with the strong element against a weak one, and hide a weak one against a strong.
As the party members continue to grow however, things get much more complicated later on, but the initial gameplay will still be around, but I don't even want to think about that right now. If you made it passed the first paragraph, let me know what you think!