Jun 3, 2016

Epic Boss - Dev Diary 1

8:38 PM Posted by Lucas Izumi , , No comments

And it's time for more news about the new project! By now I'm calling it "Epic Boss", but the name may change until release. So, as always, my first concern is always implementing the main mechanic. This game is all about combat and strategy, so the combat system was the first thing I worked on.

The core
It works like this: you control a party of 4 members. Each one of them can make an action and there is an order. The character in your first slot will act first, then the one on the second slot and so on.
For each action you execute, the boss will respond! This can create several extreme situations and you'll have to work around it!
For example, if the character in the first slot was dealt damage and poisoned and you've set your healer to the last slot, maybe when you have your chance to heal, the first character may already be dead.

After all four characters do their actions, the boss will attack. Once he is done, the turn starts again.

I've designed nine different characters for players to choose. You can select a same character multiple times, creating a party of only Halfling Rogues, for example. And since order of members matter, with nine characters we have 6561 possible party combinations (!!).

Up until now, I've implemented seven of the nine characters in the game. All of them fully working. Along with them, one epic boss was also implemented, so now I'm starting to make play tests on the Alpha version.

Problems & Solutions
The game contains status ailments. They are conditions that affect characters attributes or actions either positively or negatively. When implementing it I struggled to make them behave the way I wanted. Since they could be inflicted at any time, my first approach was to designate a specific coordinate on the screen to each one of the status. It worked but it was insanely ugly. Just imagine a few squares, one next to each other. Now imagine that the third square is associated with the poison status. If the character gets poisoned, that square will get the poison icon. If the first and second squares also hold an status, its all fine. But if they don't, there will be a huge blank space and the poison icon will be just standing there.
To make it better, I made a script that checks for blank spaces. If there is any active status after the blank space, I move all of them, covering it. The image below explains it better:
In the image, 2 status are active. For some reason the "red star" status was removed. Now there is a blank space before the "purple" status. The script can "see" that space and make every other status to the right, move one step to the left!

So, this is what the game has by now:
- 7 functional characters;
- 1 functional boss;
- Mana system;
- Status Ailments;
- Characters, Skills and Status descriptions;
- Hit animations;

After this wave of tests, it's time to correct any bugs that eventually show up, implement the last 2 characters and start designing the other bosses.

See you guys next time!