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  • Results from Game Design Challenge: The Pen is Mightier than the Fist

    [05.24.16]
    - Danny Cowan

  • "Kuroi Karasu", Unaffiliated

    The basic idea is to use turn based RPG mechanics to deliver a fighting game experience, through recreating dynamics unique to fighting games with mechanics associated with RPGs.

    The aim is to present a game that will help players new to the fighting genre to understand its most important concepts like commitment, spacing, and frame advantage.

    The game will feature two opposing characters (possibly two teams of up to 3 or 4 characters with variable team size for each player) that battle each other on a 2D segmented stage (movement is in discrete steps rather than continuous.) The goal is to deplete the opponent's health meter or have more health when the timer runs out.

    Players can use actions (choose from a menu) presented in 3 categories: Movement, Attack, and Defense.

    The course of the battle will be governed by an ATB-like system where each action will take some "charge" (that I call startup) time to execute (similar to the time used to charge up a spell) and a cooldown period.

    Whenever a character is ready to act, the game pauses (or slows down for a moment) giving the player some time to select his next action. A player can always choose to not take an action and concede his turn. Actions cannot be interrupted or reverted in the middle by the player. Opponent's actions can interrupt (counter) the player's actions, if the proper counter is selected.

    Movement actions give the player options to advance, retreat, or stay in place, alongside some options unique to each character. They also provide options to advance/retreat with different amount of segments. Movement actions take some time to travel but have no cooldown.

    Attack actions provide 3 types of offensive maneuvers that have to be defended against in different ways (through defense actions.) Some attack actions can be defended against with in more than one way.

    Each attack action has a set range (discrete number of segments that defines the effective range of an attack) and a set startup (charge time) and cooldown.

    Each character has access to few basic attacks that can be used whenever an action can be taken and others that require a resource to be used.

    Each attack will have a different outcome depending on whether it hits, is defended against properly or completely misses the opponent, and will have benefits and drawbacks in each situation.

    Defense actions provide options for the player to defend himself against the opponent's attacks, either by head on defense to reduce damage or by avoiding the incoming attack.

    The gameplay will revolve around how players can use their movement to get to an advantageous distance (number of segments where they can use an attack while their opponent can't) from their opponents and how they use the startup and cooldown of their actions to keep their opponent guessing how to defend and score damage before the clock runs out.

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