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Game Design Theory / Ronin: GDT & Project

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Seppuku Arts
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Joined: 18th Aug 2004
Location: Cambridgeshire, England
Posted: 18th Apr 2012 18:29 Edited at: 18th Apr 2012 18:39
Back when I was a new to Dark Basic Pro I was but a teenager, one easily distracted and overly ambitious teenager who wanted to pull off a great project but lacked the ability and attention span. The project was called 'Ronin'. In order to embarrass myself you're welcome to look at the thread here.

Anyways, I'm a much better programmer/modeller these days and I have Unity3D on my side to help make it more manageable. Plus a great deal in the design has changed/improved since then. I liked the original concept, hence I want to see it through. It doesn't mean I've stopped doing Abeyance either, this is just suppose to be something I'm doing with a couple of friends (as they won't be much help on Abeyance).



How Will it Be Manageable?

Figure I'd put this up first, because it is a big project and it's only recently I've actually properly considered methods of how to make projects manageable. There's 4 things that will make this managle:

The First: Unity3D. A lot of the work is already done. It's an excellent tool and its scripting isn't that difficult to get used to. Once the major scripting is done, it really is mostly a case of drag & drop and editing different values inside of the editor. In a way, like using FPSC, but customised to my gameplay methods.

The Second: Reusable segments. Rather than model out each area, I'm making various components I can reuse across different areas. People do it a lot already.

The Third: Simple hand drawn textures. To keep the texturing quick, simple and effective. It will appear cartoonish, but the style will work together and hopefully look good enough.

The Fourth: You can already see in this thread. Character modelling can be time consuming, particularly when you've got a lot of them. You've got to model them, UV Map them, texture them, rig them and then animate them. Sod all that hard work. I've only have 2 rigs, aka, the male & female body rigs. It is a generic 3D model for the body, just missing a head, hands and feet. Textures will be different per character and because the rigs have all limbs accounted for, I can just attach extra pieces to the skeleton to customise them. Akai may have boots, a helmet, facial hair, gauntlets and extra body armour, whilst Ratis will be dressed entirely differently.

Basically, this:



The Premise:

This is a turnbased role playing game that has some real-time elements (it will be explained). There are a total of 9 characters and you can control up to 3 of them at any one time. It's set in a fantasy setting akin to feudal Japan, it follows a character by the name of 'Akai' who became disgraced when he failed to protect his master during an invasion from an enemy clan. He ends up working as a mercenary in a port town help Western traders protect their goods from pirates & thieves. Teaming up with him is a privateer by the name of Ratis. The story gets into more depth from there and I'm not going to cover that.

The Battle System:

The important thing in any RPG. You have 3 types of characters in battle. You have you 'melee', your 'range' and your 'magic'. For an example of this, Akai The Samurai is a melee fighter, Ratis the Privateer is ranged fighter and Miko the Shintoist is a magic fighter. As such the battle works in a formation. You have real-time control of the melee user's movements whilst the range & magic fighters will hold their position. You sent commands to each in battle. The melee fighter has the ability to pull the enemy away from the other too, think of the concept as 'tanking', like you would in an MMORPG. Unlike an MMORPG, you're playing tank, melee DPS, range DPS, magic DPS, support & healer at the same time. Hence the turn based elements.



What you're looking at here is the prototype for the battle system, with a bit of debug data. 83 with a decimal after it is showing the battle calculator's values for the melee user. 'Retainer' and the number after is the target & their HP. The menu below is Akai's available 'Bushido' skills. Basically you're in control of those 3 sets of menus. Do not worry about the Kanji symbols, they're a part of a system I've not worked in yet, so that'll be a future update.

[edit]

Might as well add my basic formula for my battle damage calculations:


In non C# terms that's:
StrengthMod = PlayerSTR + MainhandWeaponDamage + OffhandWeaponDamage

RandomMod = Random Number between playerSTR & Strength Mod
Damage = StrengthMod + RandomMod - EnemyVIT
Clamp damage to between 0 & 9999



The Classes

As I said there will be a total of 9 characters and they're set out into different classes:

Melee:
Samurai, Drengur, Ninja

Range:
Privateer, Kyudoka, Gunslinger

Magic:
Shintoist, Kijutsushi, Froðmaður

I figure I'll leave it at that. I'll post more as there's more. I'm not going to type out my whole game design document, but I figure I'd get started with something on here.

29 games
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Posted: 23rd Apr 2012 13:16
This looks pretty cool.

It's interesting to see how you're cutting down the amount of work you're having to doing. How much of this is a lesson from when you did the DBP version?

Quote: "Simple hand drawn textures. To keep the texturing quick, simple and effective. It will appear cartoonish, but the style will work together and hopefully look good enough."


When it comes to graphics, I think art style is more important than realism. The trick it make it feel as if everything belongs together in the same world. Things that look out of place will jar on the player's sense of suspended disbelief.

Hope you get it finished this time.
Seppuku Arts
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Posted: 23rd Apr 2012 14:07
Cheers.

I'd say from the original DBP version I've learned a lot, because in the DBP version I thought because I knew the commands and although my 3D modelling was amateurish it was good enough to make something that'd kind of work and I'd be able to pull it off. So basically since working on it I've thought about how I might try and make a project like this more manageable.

I did experiments with ideas for management when I started Abeyance for NaGaCreMo 2012 where I'd combine 2D and 3D, but actually found that animating 2D sprites was still time consuming. The current idea for 'character' management just came from playing too many MMORPG's, when you think about it, all they're using is a base mesh (or so it appears) and adding bits to customise it, of course, what they do is a little more complicated, but it seems to be a useful way of doing it.


Quote: "When it comes to graphics, I think art style is more important than realism. The trick it make it feel as if everything belongs together in the same world. Things that look out of place will jar on the player's sense of suspended disbelief."


Agreed, I've not actually settled on the art style, I've done some experimenting when wanting a break from the coding, basically I'll want something effective and manageable. The art style is kinda being covered in my media thread. I posted this in there, but I'll post it here too.



I am quite liking this kind of style (it'll look better when I get the stencil shadows shader from the asset store, as Unity's built in shadow shaders are for the Pro version only), so the character isn't too cartoony and I can try and get away with building an atmosphere for the scenes. Of course, style isn't important yet (coding first, art second), but it's one of those things I like to think about. For level textures, I'm literally just using CGTextures.com (free royalty free texture resource) and using a textured brush in Gimp for the character (which makes life easier), though in that shot you can't really see it.

TheComet
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Location: I`m under ur bridge eating ur goatz.
Posted: 21st May 2012 23:57
Just clicked on your sig to see what the hell it was, as everything is starting to look Chinese on these forums lately...

It looks like you have this project planned out perfectly to the finest detail (don't blame you, you had a few years ) and so far it's looking great! Keep up the good work there mate.

TheComet

Seppuku Arts
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Posted: 22nd May 2012 01:50
Cheers for the comments. It's Japanese - though Kanji are Chinese characters, so I can't fault you for that.

Because I don't want to suddenly ditch Abeyance to work on this, I'm keeping Ronin in the background. The coding between the 2 projects kinda complement each other. Abeyance essentially is the simplified version of Ronin in terms of coding as I am porting Abeyance over to Unity3D, it should make sharing pieces of code easier (I am more confident in my knowledge of Unity3D and literally started the Abeyance port today).

I'm sure I'll post some updates when I've got something more substantial, I will admit playing an MMORPG has got a little in the way of things, but I've started behaving myself again.

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