After doing turn-based and platformer games, I decided to go for something different.
Twisted Fates: Tactics is an attempt to create hybrid of RPG and RTS genres. The complete layout of the game is still undecided, but ideally the player would be controlling small squads (think of a party in an RPG) consisting of characters of various classes, conquering a map, sector by sector (in Jagged Alliance fashion).
The game is tentatively titled Twisted Fates: Tactics and takes place in the same universe as an iPhone game Twisted Fates (out soon!).
Each squad acts as a single entity, and only the leaders are controlled. The team members automatically follow the leader, and perform actions depending on their class, so the combination of classes, and the way you deploy and use the squads plays a strategic role. The balance of attack and defense is important, as a squad with lots of healers may get overwhelmed by a number of enemies, and likewise a squad with insufficient healers will gradually grow weaker as the enemies damage the members. Each character can be chosen to act either offensively or defensively, though most classes excel in the other. If you're confident in the healing strength of a squad, you can switch a priest to offense, which makes him/her cast spells that hinder enemy actions, such as Holy Light, which slightly sets back the enemy's next attack.
Careful maneuvering of the squads is also important, as you don't want to attract multiple enemies at once, and when you do, you may want to genuinely consider retreating.
Characters will have a few basic statistics that grow if you keep them alive through battles. Each class can also evolve into a mastery class (possibly two options). I want to keep this part fairly simple though, so there will likely only be three stats, Offensive, Defensive and Speed.
New classes can be obtained as you progress in the game and conquer sectors on the map.
Note that there are no resurrection spells. Your characters will permanently die if their health falls to zero.
Nothing too fancy. A fantasy world overtaken by an evil being. Player is part of a resistance force. Possibly set in a game universe also familiar in a soon to be released iPhone game, Twisted Fates, which I made all the graphics for.
Goals for the project (so far)
-Squad members can perform adequately enough on their own.
-A dozen or so classes, with at least one mastery class for each. That... is a lot of sprites. O_o;
-Variety of actions for each class. At least an offensive and defensive action.
-Challenging scenarios/sectors, with retreat being a genuinely important option.
-I plan to avoid the need of pathfinding possibly completely by keeping the maps open. The type of terrain will affect movement and such a bit though, so planning where to travel will make a difference. Some tiny obstacles may be present though, such as trees and rocks.
Classes being worked on currently
Offensive: Sword Attack (melee)
Defensive: Block Enemy Attacks (reduces damage)
New class: Medic (see screenshot 2)
Alternative to Healers. Uses conventional healing techniques instead of magic. Stronger effect than magical healing, but needs to be done at close range, obviously. Thus the medic needs to run to the damaged ally first, before they can heal them. Allies are healed on first-come-first-served basis, so multiple enemies can overwhelm them fairly easily. Ability to deal damage to enemies with a knife attack gives them a slight edge over Healers in situations where the enemy needs to be defeated quickly.
No attack/healing sprites yet, but seems to work ok otherwise. Still need to tweak their priorities, as they have a tendency to run into enemies when trying to heal allies though. xP
-Some new bushes/trees/flowers
-The default enemy used thus far has new sprites, and is now Swamp Slime. These enemies are wildlife, and obviously common in swamps and marshes. Overall not meant to be very dangerous. Possibly going to give them a ranged attack as well. Some sort of slime ball maybe. We'll see.
A problem with the medics nearly drove me nuts, until I realized the whole behaviour system for the allied units was messed up. It's now different, and the medics, as well as other units, should perform the correct actions, as per set behaviour mode. Many hours lost, but it was a good thing to discover. :3
*Some new scenery items
*Swamp Roots, otherwise harmless plants found near swamps, it slows down movement of characters passing over it by roughly 30%. A poisonous variant is a possible addition in future.
*Rough version of minimap added. Currently shows friendly and enemy unit positions. Can be clicked to view the relative area pointed at with the cursor, etc. It's a minimap, duh.
*Squads can be selected with mouse now. Previously it was keys 1-3 only. Quite basic, just hadn't bothered doing it before.
*Squad data is now stored in an array, and moving between sectors is possible, although only via fixed entry points on each edge. I'm thinking about making it possible to exit and enter a sector from adjacent X/Y position. It'll mean I need to be careful with the map design though, so that characters don't end up spawning inside obstacles and what have you.
*Character data slots condensed. I'll make stuff like attack data, character level, etc available via some sort of pop-up window. It's the kind of stuff you don't really need to have available all the time.
I think I've decided on a slightly different progression formula to the game. Originally I was planning to allow the enemies to retake sectors if their numbers grow too great in an adjacent sector. This would've meant running back and forth between sectors to make sure threat levels never grow too big. This will still hold true, but only in a select few areas. Enemies spawn from a magical gate in a sector, and the adjacent sectors can be retaken if the gate is allowed to spawn enough enemies. The result should be that the enemies will be strong in key points of the map, and whenever their numbers grow too big, they'll split the forces by retaking an adjacent sector, resulting in an opportunity to take the gate sector with less resistance, with the cost of allowing other sectors to be retaken while waiting for that to happen. Overall I'm hoping the progression to feel more RPG than RTS... I think. :3
Also of note is the decision to add more 'neutral' enemies, mainly wildlife, like animals, swamp slimes, insects, etc. These will always respawn when re-entering a sector, but they're generally weaker than the intelligent enemies that try to dominate the map. Wildlife can be used as side quest objectives, training targets and as aesthetics to make things look more lively. A sector rich in wildlife may be conquered if no intelligent foes are present.
6 out of the planned 42 sectors total are now mostly designed, aside from couple of houses, NPC's, village decorations and local wildlife. Basically, scenery is those sectors is nearly complete, the rest still in the works.
Been mostly just expanding the scenery. Also couple of buildings to show the local culture. Should look better once there's some more decorative stuff around, and NPC's. Oh, and moving behind trees makes them transparent, to make finding your characters easier. Traditional. :3
*Map format is currently going to be 7x6 sectors, 2000x2000 pixels each. Rather small, but I figured this game is more about battles and simple maneuvers than exploration and free-roaming. I haven't yet decided if the player moves about freely between sectors, or if each new sector is just selected on the map and the player gets there instantly.
*A few pieces of coastline scenery added. The game begins at a coast sector, so I needed to do some soon anyways.
*Two additional trees.
*A few new batches of grass and flowers.
*Damage model changed from random-minimum-to-maximum to fixed values based on Offensive/Defensive stats. I figured there aren't enough RPG components (like a stat that affects the chances/accuracy) to justify randomization. Random damage may however be a feature for some specific class or attack.
*Attack/heal strengths, buff and debuff lengths, etc, now increase based on character level. In case of attack damage, the strength increases roughly 20% per level. Buff and debuff increases vary.
*Character levels now show on the HUD. However, I don't like how much it takes space, so I'll probably condense a bit. I want the bottom right corner to have space for a minimap, yet I also want there to be enough info to cover at least three squads.