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Pseudolonewolf`s Avatar About Chimaera Wed 8th Sep 2010 11:34am

Category: Chimaera

Minicity links:
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[LINK]

(Hmm... I've yet to finish the MARDEK Walkthrough or upload MARDEK 3 because recently, I've been trying to avoid all things MARDEK, sort of, due to how much focus I put on it before that; I'm 'sick of it' in a sense and 'need a break' at the moment. However, I will decide now that I'll get back in to the 'MARDEK state of mind', finish the walkthrough (mainly the commentary; the Wiki and goznor.com probably provide other information about skill lists, etc, so I don't know if I need to bother), fix a few bugs in the game, and upload it to Newgrounds, uh... next week. Next Monday, let's say. Yes, now that I have a set date, I won't have to worry about when to do it, or something. I'll prepare myself mentally until then.)

I am currently working on Chimaera, as I said before. I want to talk about it a bit here because I feel uncertain about what to actually *do* with the game, and feedback will give me a better idea of what people might want to see, as well as fuelling my inspiration and giving me ideas.

The game is, basically, a battle engine. You are a Scientist who raises a single 'Monstrosity', which is a Frankenstein's Monster type of thing, assembled from various parts. The main gimmick - and the reason for the name - is that you change around the parts, the limbs, to alter the appearance, stats and skills of your Monstrosity.
You battle against other Scientists - as well as wild, escaped monstrosities - one-on-one in an arena for sport, to earn money and trophies.

Monstrosities would have different Body Types - I've got five planned at the moment: Humanoid, Theropod (dinosaur-like; raptor specifically), Arthropod (Insectoid; probably like a mantis), Quadruped (cross between a wolf and a horse, covering all four-legged animals), and another fifth one which you unlock at some point.
These body types would each have their own set of skills and limbs and such, and base stats. One might be an 'agile fighter' while another is a 'tank' and another a 'mage', but mainly the stats depend on the equipped limbs.
A Humanoid might have the Limbs 'Head', 'Torso', 'Left Arm', 'Right Arm', 'Left Leg', and 'Right Leg'. I wouldn't want to make it too much more complicated than that at this point (hands and feet were originally different limbs, and I wanted to do things like Wings, but... maybe in a sequel).
Changing limbs would affect the appearance but not the animations... so you unfortunately couldn't do things like giving a humanoid monstrosity a slug lower body, or make a centaur, or anything. That's just too complex, even if it would be 'cool' or whatever.

The game starts by letting you customise your Scientist... Or rather, just their face, like in Beast Signer.
You then get to choose one of the body types for your monstrosity (I suppose the others would be unlockable later).
Then you're sent to the 'Lab', which will be your main hub for most of the game.

In the Lab, you can do several things. You can:
- change your monstrosity's 'equipped' limbs, and check its stats.
- buy new limbs or sell old ones with the money you've accumulated.
- craft new limbs.
- participate in 'training' or 'tournament' battles.
- (Rest, perhaps, to restore the monstrosity's HP?)

Limbs are the main type of item you get, but you can also get components/reagents, which you can use in the crafting thing. You'd craft an item by choosing three reagents and combining them in a mix. Each available limb in the game would have a unique 'recipe' of three components to craft it. If the three you randomly tried to combine match any of these recipes, you'd get the limb (and its recipe would be 'unlocked' so you'd know how to make it again).
Limbs could also be 'dissolved' into their component parts.

There are two types of battles: Training and Tournament.
Training battles are against wild monstrosities, which are randomly-generated based on your own monstrosity's current power level. You fight until the death, and when you win, you get slight stat boosts (hmm, perhaps I could allow you to choose what type of enemy to fight, one for each stat, and you get the biggest boost for the stat you chose to train?), and there's also a chance you'd get some of the limbs that the opponent had, or the reagents that made them up. You'd not get any money though.

In Tournaments, you'd be entered into a 'round robin' set of battles, against pre-made Scientists and their monstrosities.
Each battle would be 60 seconds long (perhaps), and at the end of that time, if nobody had been KO'd, the one with the lowest HP would lose.
Any wounds would carry between battles, but you'd have a chance to use healing items between rounds, which could be bought from the shop.
Winning a tournament would give you a cash prize, a Trophy, and a special bonus prize which would usually be a limb or a rare reagent.
Tournaments are the main source of income, but they're only on certain days.

They're also the way to attain *ranks*. Each tournament has a certain 'rank' level - E to A (or maybe S) - which you need to be to enter it. Some special tournaments are 'ranking tournaments - perhaps they could be every month - which, if you win, increase your monstrosity's rank.

The game would work on a calendar system of sorts, with each battle (or rest) taking up a whole Day.
I'm not entirely certain yet how I'll handle this...
Originally I was going to do what Monster Rancher (the game I've been inspired by to make this) did and have time flow in Weeks, where there are four Weeks - so four actions - per Month, and the real months of the 12-month Gregorian calendar. Time flowed on infinitely in that, so you could play for a thousand years and your young assistant wouldn't ever get any older, nor would the world ever change. Which was sort of silly, but left gameplay free and open and stuff.

I was thinking of doing it differently though, and giving the game a 'time limit' of sorts, so it'd END after a certain number of years - it could be as many as ten or as few as two or three. This way, I could have a plot that unfolds on specific days in specific years.
At the end of this set number of years, you'd perhaps get an ending based on your performance, with a 'good ending' if you managed to attain the highest rank and do certain plot tournaments, or a 'bad ending' if you didn't.
The years could have a number of days like 100 or 200; maybe ten months with 20 days each or something like that. It's not set on Earth, after all (but Theanos, as it's a prequel to Beast Signer; the plot would show the events that lead up to Beast Signer's setting, with recurring characters and such).
At the end, you could perhaps start a 'New Game+' and carry over things like Trophies to your next game in order to complete everything easier next time around. You could also perhaps buy a very expensive time machine near the end, which you could use to send items back to a future New Game+?

I'm not sure about this idea of giving players limited time to do everything, though, so I'd be interested to know what people think.

Anyway, most of the game is the battle system, so I may as well get onto that now since this is the main bit I'm not sure about.

I wasn't sure originally how to handle turns or techniques...
At first, I wanted to do a simple turn-based thing. The first person to act is determined by a coin flip, then you take turns, one after another, executing a single attack each time. Standard, but perhaps boring?
Another idea then is to have an 'energy' value, which increases over time by an amount determined by your body type and Passive skills. This would function like MP, and different skills would require different energy costs (all of them would require SOMETHING). This means you could either attack quickly with many weak attacks, or you'd have to wait a long time to use your powerful attacks. It also means that I could add in the time limit in tournaments, which I couldn't do very well with the turn-based approach.
So I'm probably going to do that...

Also at first, I was considering having monstrosities learn skills permanently in some way or another, but instead what I'll do is give each limb its own skill (which could be shared with other limbs, rather than being completely unique to that limb). That means then that your 'equipment' directly determines what you can do.
Some skills would be Action ones - like, say, 'Flame Breath' or 'Ripping Slash' - while others would be Passive - like 'Regeneration 5%', 'DEF+10%', or 'Energy Accumulation Boost'.

Each Monstrosity would have the following stats: HP, Attack, Defence, 'Special Attack' (maybe 'Mind'), 'Special Defence' (maybe 'Resistance' or 'Spirit'), Accuracy and Evasion.
Each could be trained individually, perhaps... You'd get a 'permanent boost' to them after battles, but mostly they'd be determined by the limbs you'd equipped. Each limb would grant various stats; it might add to or lower some.
This means then that I could have some limbs with great stats and a poor skill, others with great skills but poor stats, etc.

I'm unsure whether to bring elements into the game, or whether it'd overcomplicate things...
I imagined that rather than having a single element, monstrosities could have an array of 'elemental affinities'; a different value for each element. Each limb would grant a certain boost to an affinity while perhaps lowering others.
The affinity value would affect the damage dealt and received by skills (which would each have a single element). If your Fire affinity was, say, 100, then you'd do 100% damage with fire attacks and receive 0% (maybe I could reduce this to 50%), while if it was -100, you'd take double damage and do none (you'd do none with any negative affinity value).
I obviously still need to refine this, and I'm not sure whether it'd lead to ridiculous overcomplication. I am trying to make this as a simple game, after all, so I want to avoid stuff such as that.

Hmm, I think I've covered the main things now... What else...?

There'd be a 'Limb Catalogue' and a 'Trophy Case', giving three ways to 'beat the game', sort of.
The Limb Catalogue would be a reference list thing of all the limbs in the game, with most of the slots being empty until you'd acquired that limb (or maybe they'd be faded if you'd SEEN but not acquired the limb). Each one would also have a recipe listed alongside it, which would be unlocked when you managed to randomly craft that limb from three reagents.
Filling it would be a goal for some people.

Each tournament would give a separate Trophy, and you'd collect these in your Trophy Case. Tournaments would all be pre-written rather than randomly generated or anything, so completing all of them would be a goal.

The other goal would be reaching rank A or S (whichever I made the highest) and defeating the strongest Scientists there (probably an 'Elite Four' type of thing).

Hopefully I've covered everything...
I'd like to hear whether this is a game that'd appeal to any of you. Suggestions, ideas, and opinions about specific parts are also appreciated!
38 comments

 

38 Commentson 25 roots

Spe`s Avatar
Rating Orb Spe 16 United States PhlegmaticCholeric 108C 43F
7 years ago | (5)
And also, I forgot to mention this is my last post...

I think that the idea of a calendar is good, but there should be an infinite mode, with no story line, just do your own thing. Y'know, for the people who don't like their game to end just because you've been playing it too long, and who don't necessarily like replaying the same story line.
Notajoo`s Avatar
Rating Orb Notajoo 25 United States PhlegmaticCholeric 9C 6F
7 years ago | (3)
I really like the idea in general, as I've always liked the Monster Rancher games and others like it, but there are a few things mentioned that I wouldn't really care to see. One would be the time limit, because as I play a game I like to be able to unlock everything in one play through. I know that's a personal preference, but I figured I would give my opinion on it since that's what you were asking for anyway. If you did make it so that there were a time limit, I would like to see everything carry over to the New Game+, such as the stat's you've gained from fighting, all the limbs, trophies, recipes, etc. The reason being is that I hate to loose what I've already worked for, just to have to do it all over again to unlock a few things I missed. If everything carried over, then I could just breeze through it the 2nd play through and pick up what I missed rather easily, instead of "grinding" my way back to my former strength. You could also possibly make it an option on whether you want the certain things to carry over when you finish with a time machine that you mentioned, to allow people to enjoy the New Game+ with as much or as little as they personally prefer. I have played a few games like that in the past and it seems to be a good system.

As far as the elements go, I would prefer it to be a simplified system if it exists at all. To be honest I've never been a fan of overly complicated element systems in games that require you to switch your equipment, or in this case "limbs", between every battle or every few battles. If there is an element system in a game like this, I think you should also consider listing the enemies element before you fight them, and if in between tournament fights, also give a chance to switch limbs. The reason I say this is because, say I have a "Fire" based creature that I prefer to use and I go into a tournament. The first enemy I fight is weak against fire so I win fairly easily, but the next enemy is strong against fire and I stand no chance of beating them. Unless you planned each tournament so that they were all one or two "non-conflicting" element types, this would be inevitable and would be rather annoying, especially if you can't redo battles that you loose.

Hope those suggestions help a bit. I do love the general idea though and I can't wait to try it out.
Spe`s Avatar
Rating Orb Spe 16 United States PhlegmaticCholeric 108C 43F
7 years ago | (1)
I like the idea of this game. I am impartial to the element idea, though. It might make it a little more interesting, but might cause problems...

Anyways, I'm not so sure about the whole idea of an actual in-battle timer or anything, only lasting 60 seconds or so. It feels like it might become "rushed" and that doesn't seem to go well in turn-based battles, in my opinion. Now if it were a sort of active-fighter type game, the timer would work, but I know that's not what you are going for. I think you should do the same thing, but limiting the number of turns instead. And same with the "Energy Regen" thing, I think it should be a certain amount each turn.

Well, that's all I really have to say on this project, I know that whatever you do it will turn out well!
flamezlord`s Avatar
Rating Orb flamezlord 18 United States MelancholicPhlegmatic 27C 42F
7 years ago | (1)
This project does seem interesting to me. Just my thoughts on the overall time limit: it depends on how long you intend for the game to be. If the game's going to be a 20 hour ordeal (like Mardek 3), I'd be highly opposed to such a timer. I simply don't have the patience to play a game for twenty hours multiple times and fail to get the good ending because I'm not good enough at the game. However, if the game's only meant to last for an afternoon, such a system seems reasonable to me.
bill12358`s Avatar
Rating Orb bill12358 15 United States 6C 0F
7 years ago | (2)
I think that the battle system in Chaos of mana (on Kongregate: [LINK] (I don't know how to do that [link] thing that you do) would be great for this game. It allows the creatures to have a speed stat easily visible and you could have your mana go up 1 every time the marker reaches the end. You could wait for 0 mana cost and lose your turn, but be able to use attacks that cost 2 mana on your next turn instead of 1.
bill12358`s Avatar
Rating Orb bill12358 15 United States 6C 0F
7 years ago | (2)
I just realized it does that [link] thing automatically when you post a link. Oops!
Minnakht`s Avatar
Rating Orb Minnakht 16 Poland PhlegmaticSanguine 121C 84F
7 years ago | (3)
So, basically, it'll be sort of like the battle system of Final Fantasy XIII, where a bar fills up and you spend amounts of it to execute various attacks, each with a different length cost? Sounds good, in fact. I like the idea. Maybe to promote not launching attacks as soon as you can, some skills could get the monstrosity temporary damage reduction, but temporary, and a higher level of current "energy" would make all attacks a bit stronger. With a nice percentage. Or so.

...of course, balance is important, and that might be hard, with one set of skills being just better at dealing damage to anything. But, since skills are bound to limbs and weapons being progressively better in all games, I guess that will be acceptable if balance isn't there.

I guess that the different body shapes would have innate bonuses to damage of certain parts while being weaker at others, and/or HP. With the theropod having bonus head damage but lower HP and the quadruped having higher HP and weaker... something. Maybe "slower" forelegs, since they are actively used for support... that sort of stuff.

For elements: Well, I guess those could work, but if you want a simple project, just put four of them, as everything else does - the four natural ones. Especially that the Moral and Spiritual elements don't sound like something you could apply to artificial life... And the effects of them wouldn't be great, too.. attacks having elemental affinities if they want to, body parts having minor affinities, say 20% most.

Oh, I don't know. It's your game, too... I'm sure that with your experience you'll do a better job. Although, once the game's released, at least I'll get to know what it looks like and how it really works, and by then I can suggest stuff... yes, that sounds about right.

Oh, and if you need money, you can try releasing the sequel on the same engine and everything, just with some extra/different content but same mechanics. Left 4 Dead did that, and... well, it worked. And players disliking the new content can still play the first game. Yes. Not that I assume you know that game, I guess a gory zombie FPS isn't something you'd like. Shame, Valve makes mostly those, and they're a great company... they even delay stuff a lot, like you!

Jarl`s Avatar
Rating Orb β Jarl 13 Norway SanguinePhlegmatic 60C 1F
7 years ago | (2)
The first thing I thought when I read ''time limit'' was that I will barely get any time to play the game and advance to a stronger beast, and such. I'll be honest, I've never been fond of games where you can only play for a limited time. But the thing you suggested, a time machine, is exactly what would appeal to me, and probably other people. I mean, increasing the lust for playing it.
A sandbox mode would be nice. As a reward for completing the game on a certain difficulty, maybe? I'm thinking a tad about young people who'll complain and give you 1 star on the game for it being short or too.. ''linear'' or something.
I'm thinking about this unlimited gameplay, ''play for a thousand years and never grow old'', which would perhaps be a nice reward, I suppose? For completing the game on its fullest? But still..
TyRex`s Avatar
Rating Orb TyRex 18 United States SanguineCholeric 9C 8F
7 years ago | (1)
I think a time limit for the course of the game is essential for a battle based game like this because without a time limit people would end up mindlessly grinding training fights until they became so powerful that even they couldn't lose the boss battles. You should include a "sandbox" kind of mode where there is no time limit so that no one will complain, but the main game should be restricted to a 100 day kind of system.

The ability to dissolve limbs into their component forms will make it a lot easier for people to get the best equipment, or at least their choice of equipment, very quickly. Perhaps you could make crafting take up a day in the game to discourage repeated crafting and dissolving. This would also make it much more difficult to complete the Limb Catalogue.

The increasing energy idea for battles, if I understand it correctly, sounds like a great idea since turn based games need the in depth storyline (like Mardek) in order to keep them addictive. The only problem is that increasing energy types of games usually result in a monotonous spamming of one slightly overpowered move. I think that the best way to avoid this is to somehow create a system where a person goes into a battle not yet knowing what they are going to do, but instead has flexible plans based on their opponents strengths, weaknesses, and actions. And I have a few ideas for this:
- The elemental system you're thinking of is definitely the biggest help, but it might force people to pause the game at the beginning of virtually every battle in order to scout their opponents (I'm imagining it the way it is in Mardek). My idea to counter this is to make scouting one's opponents a common, low-energy battle skill that reveals their stats and either doesn't stop the battle, or only pauses the battle for a few seconds. This would keep the battle flowing more, and perhaps let people feel like they have a choice to scout their opponents rather than just an inclination that they should.
- Incorporating various buffs, debuffs, and status effects could also add to the strategic element. These things could be totally separate from your passive skills idea, and many of them could have a time limit to their effect. This could certainly make the timed tournament fights interesting.
- A recharge time of skills could be added in order to reduce the amount of skill spamming as well as greatly increase the need for a variety of skills.
- Some items could be usable within the actual battles themselves. The extreme of this idea would be to add some kind of non-monster controlled thing which affects the battle (ex. the arrow tower in the Epic War series).
- Perhaps different opponents could have different attacking styles/personalities which the player would have to consider. This could be implemented a number of different ways and I have no idea how difficult it would be to add.

I guess what I'm saying is that strategy in a game appeals to me a lot more than flashy graphics, and I really really hate button mashing.

Oh, and by the way I am definitely one of those people who cannot wait for the release of Beast Signer, even though it's probably 10 years away, so I'm sure I'll be happy with whatever you do with this game if it's a prequel.
Karuru`s Avatar
Rating Orb Karuru 20 Netherlands MelancholicPhlegmatic 5C 1F
7 years ago | (3)
Although I`m very interested in this game, mainly to find out more about the beast signer universe, I would like to give my 2 cents on a few things.

You seem to be going for replay value on this game, based on the New Game+ system. I`ve recently played the game Dead Rising Case zero, a short game (as a prequel to the upcoming Dead Rising 2 ), that uses a similar system. I liked the system so much that a game with about 1,5 hour of new gameplay about 6 hours and still counting.

Why? Because I could continue where I left off as all achievements and character stats were carried over. In each playthrough I could set a new goal without the need to worry about not reaching other goals and so slowly building up to the 100% game completion. The strong points of the game that stimulated multiple playthrougs, were the aforementioned save system (able to save at any time and restart) but mostly the combination with the short maximum time of a playthrough. The limited time for to many objectives combined with easy way to keep your character is was what made this game appeal to me.

If completing the multiple objectives in multiple playthroughs is your objective than maybe you should think about a short time time limit ( 2 years with 100-200 days each taking a minute at the least still seems like a really long time for a game that would be replayed multiple times, unless of course there are really that many objectives), as it is a mayor part of the challenge in such a game.

The time capsule idea seems like a good idea to stimulate multiple playthroughs, though making it very hard to acquire will decrease this stimulant as it might be hard to reach in the first playthrough(s) if your still learning.

The limb crafting system seems very interesting, although I hope it is challenging enough to get rare reagents. It seems like getting back the reagents for body parts you dissolve would lead to common reagents would pile up if you`d get them back. Would we be able to sell them perhaps?

About the elements. You already seem to have a lot of options for different attacks with the limbs containing different attacks. If there is enough variation between those attacks, elements seem unnecessary.

Overall the game sounds like it would become very interesting and remain interesting for quite some time.
Mark`s Avatar
Rating Orb Mark 15 United States Phlegmatic 267C 4F
7 years ago | (4)
I must say I’m excited! From what you have said in this post, Chimaera will be a fun game! However, I’d like to make a few suggestions.

1. I don't think elements should be in this game, but rather "monster class". What I mean is that you can choose what class your monster is and you could use the limbs that apply to it. If it were to be a "Warrior class" or something similar it would inflict heavy damage and attacking would be its most valuable trait. Also its limbs would be bigger and more intimidating. There could be a few different classes such as "Speedy" that would have monsters who hit for less damage, but strike first and more often. Also a "Mage" if you include magic in the game. This way you can't destroy monsters with type advantages like Pokémon, but you would use actual strategy. Warriors wouldn't always do best against one specific class and vice versa. These classes would not be the same as body types such as "Humanoid" or "Arthropod" because with a different class a monster will have different abilities. A mage would lean moves involving magic. A speedy monster could learn a move that strikes two or three times at once and with one more accurate hit, but less effective.

2. I think most of us here at fig hunter love your games, but we are sick of turn based battles. Instead of turn based fights with the "battle mode" that Mardek, Beast signer, and Deliverance have you could fight the same way you could in the older Legend of Zelda games. Instead of taking turns you can freely move around during the battle and dodge attacks and so can the enemy. A speedy class enemy would be much harder to hit this way. A warrior would hit harder, but would be slower. A mage would be able to hit from a distance. Also the different classes of monsters could learn certain passive skills more quickly and each passive skill could have its own level. You could increase the potency of the skill by leveling it up until it gets maxed out. This would cost money of course.

Well that is about all of the suggestions I can think of. I can’t wait for a new game to finally be finished other then Mardek and Raider. Oh and Super Mega Extreme Cyber Ortek Flier too.
Pseudolonewolf`s Avatar
Rating Orb A β Pseudolonewolf 23 United Kingdom MelancholicPhlegmatic 2257C 559F
7 years ago | (3)
The Body Types are basically the equivalent of 'classes' since they do have their own sets of skills. The 'humanoid' one might be balanced, the arthropod a 'debuffing tank', the quadruped a 'mage' and the theropod a vicious physical fighter. Any limbs could only be equipped by a certain body type - you couldn't equip a 'theropod arm' on a humanoid, for example - so it's not like skills would be interchangeable between body types.

I am trying to keep this project *simple*, and turn-based battles are much, much, *much* simpler to code than anything involving moving around, etc.
Personally I am disappointed that turn-based battles have gone out of fashion in modern games, since I like them myself. I include them in my games because few other people are these days, yet some people *do* like them; you certainly can't speak accurately about 'we' being sick of turn-based battles since that's just your personal opinion.
Anyway, with the 'energy' thing, it's not going to be 'turn-based' as such.
Belthazor`s Avatar
Rating Orb Belthazor 15 Cyprus MelancholicCholeric 2C 3F
7 years ago | (2)
I wonder if the player will be able to fight computerized versions of other people's Monsters...That feature would be great!Anyway,Chimaera project sounds good and I am waiting for the game's release!
Mark`s Avatar
Rating Orb Mark 15 United States Phlegmatic 267C 4F
7 years ago | (2)
I see your point. I never really considered the difficulty of making a whole new style of games then you are used to. I do like turn based battles though. Pardon my exaggeration. I own a big number of games with turn based battles at home.

Also by keeping the game simple would there be equipment for monsters other then the limbs? Personally I would prefer just the limbs. Oh and would it be possible to customize the limbs themselves? I also like the idea of a time limit that ends the game that you mentioned because if I was playing the game for many years I may want a new monster and start all over.
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