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  • Reimagining Battle Network: A Classic Game Boy RPG

    [07.01.21]
    - Andreas Kuni

  • Reimagining Card Art

    Cards in MMBN had a description of at most 27 characters. For the more complex cards, it was near-impossible to understand how to use them correctly. Fortunately, some of the cards had artwork that acted like a second description, which was really important due to the many details and side effects of each card.

    GOPaws follows the same design with a bit more focus on storytelling. There is a recurring good guy and bad guy(s) that appear together in most of the art. This lets the player know how each card affects everyone on the battlefield. All the art was done by a contractor. The process was very simple. We agreed beforehand on the design of the 2 recurring characters and I wrote about 200 scenarios that he would illustrate. Example scenarios could be...

    • Bad Guy is leaning on a lightning rod that is about to be struck by lightning.

    • Raining meteors that have faces and are super happy.

    • Scary low-angle picture of a statue.

    And many more.

    Reimagining Upgrades

    MMBN had a really weird Tetris-like upgrade system where you would fit blocks into a grid and each block would activate an upgrade like more health, more damage etc. It was a fun system but not the essence of the game. Rather it was a way to limit how many upgrades the player could have activated at any given moment. 

    In GOPaws, you choose 1 out of 3 upgrades per world and they are always active. This works better for a Roguelike where you are constantly resetting your progress.

    Reimagining Random Encounters

    MMBN forced you into battle with random enemies at intervals when running around the overworld. This has some problems that are listed below together with a description of how the problem has been solved in GOPaws.

    1. MMBN problem: Random battle encounters coming out of the invisible air are annoying.
      GOPaws solution: Have each encounter represented by one of the enemies you will be fighting. Then let the player decide who to fight and possibly skip.

    2. MMBN problem: Fighting a single enemy is trivially easy because their attack patterns are too predictable because they were designed to fight in groups.
      GOPaws solution: All enemies must have 2 attacks that require the player to respond in different ways.

    3. MMBN problem: Some encounters have too many enemies with overlapping attack patterns that are impossible to dodge.
      GOPaws solution: All enemies have a movement phase, and an attack phase, but they take turns to be in their attack phase, so only one enemy can attack at any moment. 

    Solution 2 and 3 work really well together. Only 1 enemy will attack at any time, but they are all dangerous, so battle won't get easier as enemies are defeated.

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