How would you make a RPG?

This question was asked on another forum, or actually, the question was “the perfect RPG” but if you would design the perfect RPG I would shoot you and anyone involved before it is finished, because when you’ve played the perfect RPG all the fun is over…

But feel free to talk about how you would want to make a great RPG, just not perfect…

I’ve already got a rant about this, but it’s in swedish, so I’ll have to translate it first (which might take a while, because it’s about 8-9 screen of text O_o), but this is what you could write about:

How magic would work (if there is any). You could use a system from other games, or create your own.

How the battles work. See above.

Other stuff about how the game works (like puzzles ‘n’ stuff)

The story and the general mood of the game. Is it fantasy? Futuristic? Slapstick comedy or dark and brooding?

The music. How would you use music to set the mood in the game?

The characters. Who are you? Are there any other people in your party or are you alone? Where do your hero come from, a.s.o.

Other. Are the any other things you want to say? Plot twists, secret stuff, hidden endings? White it here…

Right, I’m off to translate my rant on my game… :mwahaha:

Come on people, you’re gamers. Make the game of your dreams :slight_smile:

This is my rant on the subject:
I know it’s way too much, but I was bored :stuck_out_tongue:

Of course it would be fantasy.

Magic: A bit mixed.
You would get objects like materia, but once you’ve given them to someone, they’re stuck there (they merge with your own body.)
Each person would be of an element. The are more powerful with spells of their own element, and less powerful with spells of the oppostite element.
You can’t have spells of two opposite elements on the same person (like fire and water), that would rsult in nasty sideeffects, like death or at least extreme pain.
And since you attach the materia-thingies to your own body, you wouldn’t use MP to cast spells. You would use your own life force, i.e. HP (Lennus anyone?). There won’t be any “I cast ten ultimas and drink a strange herbal potion” in this game. If you go crazy and cast to may spells you die!
That’s alos a reason to give people spells of the right element. A heal spell won’t be worth it if the result is total crap.
Summons are extremely rare.
Not because people can’t summon stuff. It’s because it’s so hard to control them.
Sure, almost anyone can summon a dragon, but even the archmages have trouble controlling a dragon that just had it’s nap interrupted by some idiot that transported it to the other side if the world.

Battlesystem: Sort of Vagrant Story:ish. You should be able to walk around as much as you want. Not just stand still, whack, stand still again.
You can always run away. All you have to do is run away from the enemy until they lose you.
But I won’t have a chainsystem like VS. It will be more like the timed hits in SMRPG/Paper Mario. You will get higher rate of critical/dodge if you time it right. But you will be able to survive witout it, it’s just easier if you can. (I know that it was basically autocritical in SMRPG/PM, but I think that’s a bit too powerful if people who love VS play it. (My chainrecord is at 22 chains right now.))
You would have a shortcut menu for spells. (Like Vagrant story. In VS it’s like this:
L2+triangle=healing, L2+O=attack, L2+X=raise strength/defence vs different elements and L2+ square=general assistspells (poison, mute, detect traps, unlock a.s.o.))

Heroes: You would be able to play it yourself, or with a friend, but there’s never NPC following you (everyting is in real time so it would be a real problem if they wander around where you don’t want them to).
You will decide at character creation which element you have. It will affect spells, and combat like in Tactics Oogre. (You get higher attack/lower defence vs enemies of the opposite element.) And it will be the opposite when fighting someone of your element (lower attack/higher defence).
You will be part of an organization that want’s to overthrow a corrupt government, blah blah blah… “You get the drill.”
This means that you don’t have to have people with you, but you can, before any mission, “recruit” a friend from the organization, so he/she can join you.
All characters will get stronger, even if they’re not on a mission. They’re doing other stuff for the group, nut just sitting at home and getting old.
They won’t gain skills in what you want the to though, they’ll just do random, less important, stuff for the organization, so they’ll get better at random skills. (A warrior might have to sneak into a keep and will get better stealth, while a guy with an axe might have to use his fists in a barbrawl…)
Nobody would have to use just one weapon. You would be able to use any weapon you want, and start with a basic skill in all weapons. When you use a weapon, your skill with that,a nd similar weapons will go up, while other skills will go down.
If you e.g. use a great axe, you’ll get more skill with great axe, but less skill with things like daggers because you train strength to swing the weapon more than finesse and aim. If you use a bow you’ll get good accuracy with ranged weapons, but you’ll bea easier to hit in close combat because you’re not exatly used to people whacking you. They’re supposed to die 50 ft away.
It would be the same with skills, you start with a basic skill in everything and it increases/decreases depending on what you do.
If you sneaka round a lot, you’ll get good stealth, but you pobably won’t be as good at kicking ass. This means that some missions might get almost impossible for everything except a classic “thief” while you might need a warrior for missions that need brute force.
This means that it will be a good idea to have a friend with a different character than you, so you can let him do the mission while you sit at home playing cards.
(All the missions in the main campaign would be possible to finish, no matter what kind of character you’ve got, but some sidequest could be really hard.
It might be alomst impossible for anyone except a “sneaky bastard” to get into a well guarded fort to steal some secret plans, while an archer might be the best for an assasination.

Story: Pretty dark story. (Also Vagrant Story:ish)
You will be from a resistance group that wants to overthrow the government. Even if the government isn’t exactly a “think like us or die” kind. it’s still not good.
the story shall go forward by quests, you gather info, kill people the group don’t like, manipulate politics, a.s.o. There will be a little something for everyone, not just hack-and-slash.
Of course you wouldn’t be able to talk to people about your resistance group a lot, but you will be able to talk about ordinary things, and some people will be recruitable to access more story/sidequest. But if you try to recruit the wrong person, you’ll get in trouble. It might be someone who tells the guards, or even a spy!

General game stuff: You would never have to get stuck in the game and forget story because of puzzles like “move box A to position B to get over obstacle C”.
The puzzles would be like finding the key to a door, or getting a guard to leave his post.
But you would be able to “cheat” your way past these puzzles too. Pick the lock, kill the guard, stuff like that. You’d never have to get frustrated over stuff like that you can’t lift a damn box, you have to push it. You would get the frustration from story stuff instead. Your contact gets arrested by the government, a spy reports what your next move is, a.s.o. (You’ll get a realy good whopping from your superiors too, if you were the one who recruited the spy. :P) Or because you didn’t have time to assainate someone before his bodyguards appeared.
And there won’t be any “I’m gonna kill the boss! Just gotta open the tresure chest, kill a random enemy, save, find secret rooms, level a bit, sleep to regain HP, save, here I come!”
For a few reasons. First of all: Time is ticking and the enemies won’t stand around waiting for you to kill you. They’ve got better stuff to do.
besides, you won’t be able to sleep/drink a potion to regain HP. Medical help or magic is the only thing that works, unless you’ve lost HP by casting magic. The you can use potions/sleep because you haven’t taken a physical injury, you’ve just spent energy.
(But the energy will stille be HP, because when you cast spell you get weakened, and if you cast too much spells you die!)
This can mean that you will be injured when some bonus missions appear, but you will usually be able to know about them before they appear, so you can plan which missions you want to do…
If you die, you’re dead.
You can’t load a saved game to get a dead character back, the game will same characters separetly, you can only save progress.
This might seem a bit nasty, but you can at any time cancel a mission by just walking away. And you can usually try again later if you cancel them.
(That evil noble is still living in his manor. If noone noticed you you can try to assainate him tomorrow instead.)
And of course others will mess with the story too. It won’t just be you and the government. It might be other groups that wants something or other. It might be mercenaries that you or the government hire (sometimes even snatching them from the other team >:D) and it might be a big hungry monster that’s just passing by. They will randomly appear and interfere and you can choose how you want to get rid of them.
You can of course go to that group of trolls and beat the crap out of them, but you can also sneak in and kill their leader. That way they’ll be to busy arguing about who should lead the group they won’t be a threat anymore.

Music: I can’t really say which music I will have, it all depends on where you are and what your’re doing at the moment.
If you’re sneaking into the King’s treasury, ti will be a discreet song that gets a bit ominous as you get closer to the guards. (This will mean that you can listen to the music to find out where the guards are. Think of it as an experienced thief’s sixth sense for avoiding trouble.)
But if you’re hacking monsters the song will be a bit moer agressive. it will change to a nicer/happier (sort of) song if you’re kicking their asses, but if you’re seriously injured, the song will sound like what they’ll play on your funderal.

Other: This game will be pretty much story, and the story will be affected by your actions.
You can get a lot of different endings (but many of them are basically the same, depends on what you did, where you went, who you killed…)
Some scenes might be:
You and your friends are led, in chains, towars the executioner. (But to get this ending you have to suck, a lot.)
You overthrow the government with force, the land gets beter but the people are suspicious of you.
Your group is still fighting the “bad guys”. This might happen if you didn’t draw very much attention, no spies, but not a lot of succesful missions either.
You might be able to convinve the people to revolt against the government and start this fantasyworlds first democracy.
You can also be able to become a spy for the government, (probably by recruiting a spy/contacting one/being contacted ny one) then it will end with the desrtuction of your little organization, your friends are executed while you get a large sum of money.
You will even be able to stab your buddies in the back after the government is gone, and then you become the new king and raise taxes ‘n’ stuff. (This end will be availible if you let your frinds down when they’re in trouble, and probably if you’re really greedy (if it’s not nailed down you steal it, and later you return after stealing a hammer.))
You’ll get money and power, but not love and respect.
If you do this, you’ll see how someone that looks like you gangs together with a group of friends to overthrow you, just like the game started. :slight_smile:

Or in short, you will start in the organization, but you will be able to decide if you will work for it, for the government, or even trick both and take everything yourself.

You might want to wait more than an hour during the time most members are probably sleeping before you complain about lack of response.

How magic would work (if there is any). You could use a system from other games, or create your own.
Like FFIV. That way, character individuality within battle cannot be eliminated.

How the battles work.
I liked the battle system of Grandia II - it was very realistic. I would take that and mess with it a little.

Other stuff about how the game works
FFII growth system, but I wouldn’t make it so difficult. I would probably combine that with typical levelling systems.
Side Quests would be kept to a minimum. I would have a few really good ones, but not enough to detract from the actual story.

The story and the general mood of the game. Is it fantasy? Futuristic? Slapstick comedy or dark and brooding?
Dark and brooding (for the most part).
Fantasy.

The music. How would you use music to set the mood in the game?
Hire someone else to figure it out :stuck_out_tongue:

The characters. Who are you? Are there any other people in your party or are you alone? Where do your hero come from, a.s.o.
A regular rotation of party members and centered around a main character, like FFIV. I don’t want too few characters, but I don’t want a large army to figure out. If I have to, I’ll have FFVIII or FFIX’s number of characters.

Other. Are the any other things you want to say? Plot twists, secret stuff, hidden endings?
Subliminal messages through and through :stuck_out_tongue:

I know that most people won’t answer for a while, I just needed a reason to make a new post, other than to post my rant… Besides, I got to double post. :slight_smile:
Uh, did I say that out loud? Uh…
>>
<
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“Amnesia dust in the face!”
runs

How magic would work

Magic would be an inner ability(Kinda Like Terra/Celes in FFVI) with one notable exception. Not everyone can learn magic. Only the few who are blessed have this power. And like D&D, you could only cast a certain amount of spells PER DAY(until you go to an INN/TENT). Trying to cast more will either result in: Death. A weaker version of the spell. Falling unconsous. Damage to you.

How the battles work.

Hmm…in my RPG, it would have diferent styles of battle…Against bosses…it would have a First-person view(IE you see the monser from the front). Against normal enemys, it would have a side view like in most RPGs. In certain bonus areas…A system like that of Zelda…and in an arena…I suppose a fight like Street fighter or some other fighting game would be used.

Other stuff about how the game works

Game would not be linear at all. Although yes, there would be a certain thing to do, you wouldn’t have to do it until you felt like it, as there would be a TON of side quests to accomplish for special weapons…secrets…new characters…etc. Level system would be based on how much of a certain type of monster you kill(IE killing alot of monsters with large hp and str, eventually you would begin gaining those stats}.

The story and the general mood of the game.

The story would be set in a futuristic fantasy, and the mood would be dark and brooding, with a little bit of comedy at times to keep the players from falling into the game TOO MUCH…

The music.

I would use music to describe the mood PERFECTLY. And at times, there would be no music at all(Flashback scene, frozen time, etc.)

The characters.

I would have a maximum of 50(yes 50) characters in the game, however, only 3 could be with you at anygiven time(counting the main, so 2 people technically). Around 1/2 way of the game, you would get a base to leave characters so you wouldn’t have to search the world AGAIN to find characters you want on your team. Leveling everyone up is NOT required, although certain people would REALLY help at certain places.

Other.

There would be an arena…a mini-game place(ARCADE), and what you equip would actually show on your char in battle(ala Legend of Legaia)

This is really all I can think of this early in the morning, but I think I did nice work describing something that would be a great rpg!

This IS a good topic, Poke, but most of us are too passive to think about how games should be, at least long enough to write it down.

Not ME, thought! I’m ALWAYS thinking about how RPGs should be!! But, err, I’ll need some time to gather all my notes. I’ll try to post them here soon!

Edit: Rats, I gotta go update my story over in the Media Board. Tommorrow, OK?

There is no perfect RPG, because all the different aspects of RPGs work better or worse depending on their situation. A single hero is sometimes better than a party, there’s no superior one. Having RPGs different every time is what keeps them fresh and entertaining. I’d prefer innovation than to have good elements of previous RPGs linked together.

Originally posted by Dark Paladin
You might want to wait more than an hour during the time most members are probably sleeping before you complain about lack of response.

I find that highly ironic considering most members here are North American, and Sweden is at least 5 hours ahead of all of us :stuck_out_tongue: So no, currently at 10:00 PM I would hope not everyone is pathetic like me and WANTS to go to sleep.

How magic would work (if there is any). You could use a system from other games, or create your own

I’d develope a classic magic system, but also one that was my own. Take for instance, I’d use 10 core elements (my favourite seem to be Earth Air Fire Water and then broken down to Haze, Plasma, Lightning, Wood, Shadow and Holy). Beyond them would be the extreme magic, Cosmic, Gravity, Time, Spirit Summoning (call a phantom or inheirit an ancient particular ability) Mind Control (Telekinesis, Telepathy, etc) and I still have more to think of to balence out the other 10.

How the battles work. See above.

Not sure, both something I’d like to think about. Probably an FF based system, or some system in a PS2 game I saw…dunno the name of it, but you basically could pick every move and hit your character could then execute. It was an RPG and it’s battles seem drawn out if you were anal about your moves. But something like that, and I’d have lots of freedome and movement between players, meaning I could switch a team anytime. My core team has 9 (girls) so a unit of three would work.

The story and the general mood of the game. Is it fantasy? Futuristic? Slapstick comedy or dark and brooding?

Dark, brooding, fantasy, in another realm.

The music. How would you use music to set the mood in the game?

I’d call in the dude that did Witch Hunter Robin soundtrack and also the team or person that worked on Valkyrie Profile and Chrono Trigger. Booyaka.

The characters. Who are you? Are there any other people in your party or are you alone? Where do your hero come from

9 girls. Not little teenyboppers either, think a twisted, disturbing pyschological version of sailor moon, but without the uniforms. They all live in Japan…somewhere’s. The 9 characters are all a portion of my personality in some way, so if you fuse them together, you get me. I should also mention this whole game idea is based on a novel I have been writing for years.

My brain hurts now I’m starting to develope good ideas but I’m too damned lazy tonight to write a chapter, nor go on about this, but it was very…intellectually stimulating.

With great difficulty.

A couple years ago, I was actually thinking about MY RPG would be like, but after a while I gave up. But here’s a few ideas I just threw together:

How would magic work?
Well, I’d have special gaunlets, each one with one of the four elements (fire, earth, water & wind), which were discovered in ancient ruins. They would lacth on to a character’s wrist (but not permanently, and be able to draw ‘mana/lifeforce’ from them, to cast the spells. As they fight, they absorb the energy from dead mage enemies, to increase their own power. Once they are strong enough they can Summon, but it would leave the character near dead, whenever used.

How would battles work?
I’d allow the characters to roam ‘freely’ around the battle field, while fighting. During the battle you would control one character, while the computer controls the other two (with an AI you set), but you could switch between them whenever you need to. However when it comes to bosses, the battles are one-on-one duels, this is because whenever you fight a boss it always brings along a ‘sidekick’ or two, for the others to fight, and when you switch they change places in the fights.

Other game stuff
To ‘level up’ the characters need to have a gaunlet attached, which will not only draw in the souls of mage type enemies, but of all enemies. These souls ca then be used to increase a certain stat area, i.e. Strength (HP, defense, physical strength), Magic (magic defense, magic strength), Speed (evasion, agility, running speed, attacking speed)

Mood of the game
The mood would have a very futuristic & dark/brooding mood to it.

Music
I would have styles of music for each character that showed a good representation of their personalites. And a main piece that set the scene of the world they are in.

Characters
You would have three characters in total, each one coming from a different background, and having very different reasons to fight. But there would be one common factor that linked them all together, like they all experinced/saw the same encounter with the enemy when they were younger. Each of the characters would special in one of the three stat areas (Strength, Magic, Spped), and would be lacking in the other two.

Other junk
Well, Id’ probably have a mixture of enemies, but the main one being Demon Warriors. Each one with their own set of troops, that are the same ‘type’ as their boss.

I think that’s it. Well that would make a pretty good RPG, in my opinion.

OK, NOW I can rant!
:mwahaha:

Rather than describe how ONE game should be, I’ll tell you what my philosophy would be, if I were an RPG maker:

First, the whole point of an RPG is to allow the players to PLAY the part of a character in a story, right? However, the majority of RPGs only allow us to fight the battles; we get no choice on who the hero is, or to affect the story in any way (except for doing subquests).
My RPGs would give people the CHOICE of who to play; mainly by allowing them to create their own characters (PHANTASY STAR ONLINE is a good example of what I mean). Of course, the problem with such games is that, since the programmers cannot guess what EVERY player will be creating, they cannot write stories that touch their characters personally. Another alternative, for those that want a more personal experience, would be to give a series of pre-created characters to choose from, reflecting as much variaty as possible; each would have his or her own story subplots to play. SAGA FRONTIER is an example of this.
Choosing WHICH NPCs join your party should also always be a player choice (except where required by a certain subplot.)
As for the story interactivity, multiple endings are a must; at the very least, there should be at least two endings (one good, one bad) to give players a feeling that their choices matter. Subquests help with this, but I would make most of them available from the start. Also, the choice of WHERE to start the game would be useful, since it would affect which sidequests are available at the start (I hear FFXI has this feature.)

Other features I would implement:

*Having choices during CONVERSATIONS. Not just “press the A button and the NPC spills his beans”. Maybe a multiple questions choice? Something like the options you got when negotiating with Demons in the PERSONA games, but usable with everybody? At least with the IMPORTANT NPCs. (Some conversations in RPGs that I enjoyed a LOT where the dates in THOUSAND ARMS where you had to answer your dates’ questions with multiple choice answers. Another instance was the fact that you could control (sort of) Cloud’s attitude in FF7; you always had the choice to give either a nice guy answer or a bad guy one in all his conversations; this, I think, had an effect on whom he eventually took out on a date: Aeris, Tifa, Yuffie, or… Barret? :eek: ) Reading minds in GOLDEN SUN was fun too!)

*Buying Items: There would be two kind of shops, one for regular equipment and others (more rare) for magical equipment (or hi-tech ones, depending on the game). It just makes no sense that your average cornerstore sells Excaliburs or Plasma Cannons, does it?
As for the equipment itself, it would be categorized by the body part on which it could be worn (head, right hand, left hand, body, feet) I think in FF4 it was like that (someone please correct me.) I just like the idea that, if you’re using a TWO handed sword, you can’t use a SHIELD at the same time! (To make up for this, you would get the option to change items in combat (except armor!) although it would cost you a turn.) Also the space for carrying items would be limited; each character would have a bag that could carry only so many items, plus, there would be places to store your extra equipment, ala SUIKODEN. And in the right settings, infinite storage WOULD be available, but not at the start of the game (Remember the Fat Chocobo from FF4? Eeeuh!!)

*Learning Abilities: there would be two kinds of abilities: Skill and Powers. Skills are normal abilities; any character can learn them by training. How this training would be presented in the game? There are two options; maybe you could actually play minigames and earn points to buy the skill- example: play a cooking minigame and gain the Cooking Skill. OR, maybe you could just drop your character somewhere, come back to pick him up later, and he has learned the skill. Both options might be available in the same game, if some skills are judged to be fun to learn, and others not so much.
There would be two kinds of skills: Combat and Noncombat. Combat Skills would be all kinds of fighting tricks, from martial arts attacks to increasing your chances to dodge. NonCombat skills would be the kind you could use outside of battle (DUUH.) Most games don’t have this kind of skills, but there ARE several things that could be useful to do: for example, a Monster Knowledge Skill would let you know a monster’s stats BEFORE you encounter them; an Item-identification Skill would allow you to USE those pieces of equipment you found in dungeons (don’t you find it strange that, in most games, you find a magic wand and AUTOMATICALLY you know what it does and how to activate it??) The game with the best skill system I’ve yet seen is STAR OCEAN II.
As for Powers, these would be all the special abilities that real people do NOT have- things like Limit Breaks and Magic! To get them, you would have to undergo special Sidequests, like bathing in magical waters at the bottom of a cave or finding a cyber-sungeon to give you implants. SAGA FRONTIER had a magic systems were many types of magic had to be gained via subquests.

*Saving the game: this might sound minor, but I feel that the option to save the game at ANY point should be part of ALL RPGS. With today’s technology I don’t see the need for saving points anymore. Not to mention that it would help to cheat in certain minigames (you save when you’re in a winning streak, reload when you’re losing. :hahaha; )

*Sleeping: In nearly all RPGS, sleeping restores ALL your HP, MP and cures ALL your status effects. HOW? That just isn’t realitic… unless one redefines what HP are. We used to assume they meant the damage you could take, but I think instead, they should represent your capacity to tolarate pain. I would use a system similar to the Life Point system from the SAGA games, but with a few variations- you would have both HP and LP, with LP only being lost as a side effect of SOME attacks; likewise, they would be harder to restore, needing potions or spells; HP would be recovered much more easily. A character out of HP is unconscious; a character out of LP is DEAD and can only be recovered with the appropiate spell. Sleeping restores HP, and cures SOME ailments but not others (such as curses or poison.)
Also, the option of sleeping in the wild should be available via buying tents, as in most FF games (except they would be multiple-use, not single-use- why would they be?)

*The Passage of Time: like in most RPGs, there is no need to be too realistic about time; time would be considered to pass only when some event is triggered. Note that sleeping IS considered an event, so if you get the message “come back tomorrow” get your characters to a hotel, and THEN you can come back and pick up where you left.

*Monsters & Bosses: Most monsters will NOT give you money or items when you beat them (where were they carrying them, in their mouths??) with the exception of Humanoid monsters (people.) Instead, most monsters would leave MATERIALS behind (Flesh, feathers, that kind of stuff) that could be either sold for money, or used to make Items (by special shops in towns, or by using the appropiate skills.) No EXP points, either- instead, abilities increase when used (FF2 anybody?)
Bosses would be as in most games… with one important difference: they would have better AI. Some Bosses do some REALLY stupid things, like healing themselves when they’re not hurt, or using attacks that the heroes are immune to. Bosses are supposed to be the game’s main villains- they should have the brains to prove it!

*Combat: I find random encounters unrealistic; I prefer games were not only are the monsters visible, but there is a LIMITED amount of them (so, if you want to, you could kill ALL the monsters in a dungeon, THEN explore it carefully. Of course, if you LEAVE the dungeon, THEN the enemies would come back. Except bosses, of course. Striking an enemy from behind earns you a “First Strike” start to the battle; of course, the same applies for the monsters hitting YOU from behind.
Combat would be in real time; with the option to freeze the game to reconsider your options at any moment. Options in combat would include: TALK (yes, talk!) to get advice during battles from your friends (I stole this idea from DRAGON WARRIOR 7!); RUN (to escape from battle, individually, ala LUNAR; good to save characters about to die); ATTACK (as in, ALL RPGS, duuh), DEFEND (reduces damage AND increases chances to dodge) and ITEM (also good for swapping weapons, as mentioned above.) Other commands (such as MAGIC) could be earned thru the game. There would also be the option to switch in other characters that you might have in reserve, ala FFX.
The field of combat would have enough room to move the characters around, but not necessarily as large as in fully Tactical games; LUNAR is again a good example of what I mean. They would also have special bonuses or penalties in certain fields (like a Snowy Field increasing Ice magic and decreasing Fire Magic.)
Finally, there would be the option of putting the fight in “auto”- useful for when you go thru lots of boring battles (like when leveling up.)

That’s all I can think about for now… lucky for you guys! :mwahaha: More later IF I can think of something.

My thanks to Pokefreak for the oppotunity to rant. :mwahaha:

Heh, don’t thank me, thank the people at RPGuiden (Swedish forum), they’re the ones who asked it first…

MAGIC:
You can use magic whenever you want. There isn’t even any MP! However, using magic costs you all of your actions for the round. You cannot move and cast, attack and cast, or anything. Also, magic, while not being powerful, can be used to power combination attacks, which you will see in the following.

All spells are neutral. You can use them to attack or support. However, there are far more elements than the four main ones. Of course, the four main ones are the most useful, but here are a couple that would be there.

Light, Darkness, Height, Multiplication, Emotion, Magic (pure magic), Sun, Moon, and I’m sure there’d be others.

For example, in the following combination :

Character 1 (1) - Jump
Character 1 (2) - Double-Jump
Character 2 (Magic) - Wind
Character 1 (3) - Close-range attack

2-Man Combination Technique - Dear Falling Angel.

The animation would show winds assisting the character’s ascencion in the air, as he would fall on the opponent using an animation that is weapon dependant.

BATTLES:
Each character has different maneuvers. Like, for example, “Go into Close Range”, “Attack”, “Defend”, “Jump”. Each character starts with 2 actions each turn, and the further in the game you go, the more actions you can do, with an undetermined maximum (most probably 5). Each character has a long-range attack and a short range one. Short range are the usual weapons. Long-range weapons range from ninja stars, hand crossbows, bows, knives, javelins, all sorts of throwable items.

On the screen, there’s a grid with the character picture or the enemy’s with a number besides it. This number is the amount of actions taken this turn (1 for the first, 2 for the second). The position in the grid is determined by speed, agility, and the strategic combat skill.

If the enemy hits for 10% of a character involved in an unfinished combo’s HP, then the combo is interrupted and all actions taken up to that moment are in vain.

The purpose behind the combat system is not to frustrate the player with uncalculable stats, but more to have them put in total control of their party’s unity. However, with that comes a high price. I also want the player to know, when or if he gets beat, that it wasn’t because of the monster that was too strong, nor because of the low-levels of his party, that it was because he and no one else, fucked up.

Since there wouldn’t be any MP, to prevent over-abuse of the most powerful techniques, there is an energy bar that gets filled as the combat advances. When you get meter, you can use the most powerful combos that require meter (maximum meter storage is 3, and it doesn’t carry over battles, meaning, you can’t decide to carry over meter from earlier battles to boss battles).

The battles are done in real-time combat, except for the strategic decisions.

A sample combo would be the following :

Character 1 (1) - Jump
Character 2 (1) - Channel spiritual energy to Chara 1*
Character 1 (2) - Close-Range Attack

2-Character Combo Tech : Downwards Spirit Crush.

Here, channelling spiritual energy would cost meter, so Character 2 would need to have meter before being able to use it. Purely physical attacks wouldn’t cost meter, but more actions would be necessary to use them.

I’d want the camera to zoom in on combos, and keep a general view of the scene if there aren’t any being performed. Of course, combos wouldn’t have a duration of 3254423564ut54325553245 hours, but they’d still be cool to see. I’d also like three different animations if possible, because otherwise, it just gets redundant.

PUZZLEZ:
As far as puzzles go, I’d do two kinds of puzzles. Magical ones and physical ones. Physical would be pushing blocks, switches, basic RPG fair. Magical puzzles would be a bit different. You would need to cast a spell to get your party to float to safety, you would need to cast another one to burn down a rope, or various things. It’s all a matter of figuring out which spell to cast. Although I would most likely do an hybrid of the two when the gamer hits a point in the game where the two are mastered.

YO SKILLZ, FEWLIO:
Skills in this game would be learned from different masters. However, what are skills. Skills are different abilities you can use in and out of combat. For example, the skill “Double-Jump” lets you do a second jump after your first one, and is the key to use the technique Dear Falling Angel. If you do Jump, then Jump, your character will jump, land and do another jump. He needs the Double Jump technique to use it. Each master has a condition to let you learn his skills (the condition DOES make sense with the master, though). To learn the double-jump, you must have legs that are stronger than steel (in-game terms, you need to have jumped often, like, say 100 times, in combat.) The requirements would be more difficult, and as time goes on, you will need to learn another skill AND fulfill a requirement to learn one, like a skill tree.

Out-of combat skills are skills that help you in combat, like the Strategic Combat skill, which, when mastered (out of combat skills follow three levels, apprentice, companion, master), lets you pick the place of your character in the speed grid. When it’s apprenticed, you can use it within one block of your speed range, when at a companion level, it’s two blocks. Other out-of-combat skills are skills that you can use to manufacture various helpful items ala SO2. However, skill synergy will play a much better role than in SO2, where pretty much everything rode on one single skill.

Also, some combos cannot be discovered, they have to be learned.

MOOD/SETTING/ENVIRONMENT (RATIO 2):
I’d feel that this would work better in a light-hearted, funny scenario. Not necessarily something that has to be cheery, but something that doesn’t take itself seriously. Jokes would get cracked, the characters wouldn’t be serious, much. The gameplay while seemingly overly complicated, hides a greater control over the characters while in battle, and I want to give the player that control over the characters out of the battle. A light-hearted exploratory environment would be best-suited as a representative of the gameplay, which focuses a lot on exploration. Exploration of the combo system, exploration of the world map. The more the gamer explores the world, the more he finds out about it. I want the game to end when the gamer wants it to end. Each character will have a storyline to resolve in distant lands, as each is searching for something, or someone, and as the gamer explores and finds new things, old lands evolve. As such, each game will be different. For example, when the gamer finishes the game, he might want to start a new one, but centering his exploration more on the northeast, unlike the southeast like his last game. I want the game to have lots of replay value, and have the gamer have complete control over the world he decides to explore. Of course, the game does not let him choose all of his stats and everything, as it’s based on exploration, not creation.

MUSIC & CHARACTER DESIGN:
The music. Here’s my main problem. My main musical favorites are Yoko Shimomura, Ryuji Sasai, Studio Blue (Rage of the Dragons) and Ishiwatari Daisuke. The one who would fit better is, of course, a Shimomura-like soundtrack, mostly like a Live-A-Live one. However, as much as I adore Yoko Shimomura’s adapatation depending on the things she is presented with, I feel that Ryuji Sasai’s composing style, mixed with Studio Blue’s catchy, character-emphasised tunes and Ishiwatari Daisuke’s pure badassness for certain songs (I would most definitely want an Ishiwatari Daisuke-type song for battles and bosses). The thing is that such a composer is hard to come by, and most likely doesn’t exist.

I’d say the music needs to be guitar, or other cord instruments (piano also included), and must fit the mood of the game at ALL costs, nothing too epic, which is why the guitar is the most perfect instrument. Except for the action scenes, I’d say acoustic guitar would work very well, with a hint of electric, and a few wind instruments to symbolize freedom (flute mostly). Percussions are also a must, but I’d keep them to tam-tams, and for action scenes, drums (with cymbals and hi-hats.)

CHARACTERS:
Games like this tend to use children as they usually are the most open to new experiences. However, a character that has always interested me was Ernst in Uncharted Waters : New Horizons. I’d want my main character to be pretty much like him. Not necessarily a reknowned warrior, but someone with an interest in the world around him. His story? Someone who feels like the world he lives in isn’t “complete”, and sets out to seek uncharted lands, new cultures, various things like that. Over the course of the game, he will be joined by different characters, depending on where he goes. However, at first, you will start with 3 characters including the mapmaker (the “hero”), and you will discover more characters. I don’t want people to choose characters on their strengths, I want people to choose characters depending on whether they like them or not. Of course, each character will have gameplay differences (for example, a barbarian will not equip heavy armor as it restricts his movements, but won’t equip a dagger or a short sword as it’s not big enough) that are explained through the storyline. I also want certain characters to have character-only combos that aren’t necessarily strong, but that just add another dimension to their personality.

That’s mostly it, of course, the idea can be expanded far more, but that’s what I’d want to play.