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Pseudolonewolf`s Avatar Chimaera - Limb Targeting Fri 10th Sep 2010 12:23pm

Category: Chimaera

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If you intend to comment here, please make sure you've read the previous Chimaera-related news post, too: [LINK]
This one carries on directly from that one, based on some feedback.

One of the things that inspired me to make Chimaera at all was a text-based adventure game I made a few years ago, before MARDEK. In it, you could walk around and do silly things, and occasionally entered battles.
Since it was done with just text and I didn't have to worry about graphics at all, it was easy to do a rather elaborate *limb-based battle system*.
What this meant was that when you encountered an enemy, you could look what 'limbs' it had available, and you had to attack one of them. Each limb had its own HP, though the only HP bar displayed showed the sum of the opponent's limbs' HP.
A snake monster, for example, had a 'HEAD' and a 'TAIL'; destroying either would defeat the creature.
However, a wolf monster had a HEAD, NECK, BODY, RIGHT FRONT LEG, LEFT FRONT LEG, RIGHT BACK LEG, LEFT BACK LEG, and a TAIL. Each of these had different amounts of HP and defence stats, as well as evasion. You could go for the neck for a one-hit kill, but the chances of hitting it at all were very low. The head was similar, but the chances of hitting were higher and its HP was, too, so it wouldn't be a one-hit kill. You could also go for the torso for a very high chance to hit, but the torso had the most HP. The legs had moderate evasion and low HP, and if I'd coded this (I don't think I did), cutting off several would have severely affected the creature's combat performance.
Combat, then, was a chance of taking the 'slow but sure' route or gambling for a quicker victory.

You, the player, had limbs of your own. As a human you had a HEAD, TORSO, LEFT ARM, RIGHT ARM, LEFT LEG and RIGHT LEG (as well as a TODGER for the sake of many cheap laughs).
Each limb could have a different piece of equipment on it, which directly affected the defence of that limb. You may be very vulnerable to head attacks unless you wore a helmet, for example.
Having your limbs severed (even all of them) wasn't fatal. Having no legs would have affected your performance, though I never coded that. Missing arms directly affected things, though. If your sword arm was missing, you'd use your other arm to swing your weapon and have a much lower chance to hit. If both arms were missing, you'd use a headbutt.

This game, as I said, was one of the direct inspirations for Chimaera. I liked this text-based game but never finished it, so when I was looking at it a few years ago, I thought I'd like to use that limb-based system again somewhere, and that's where the idea for Chimaera came from.
When I tried working on it a few years ago, I focused mostly on the limb targeting aspects...
It proved to be quite a pain for various reasons though; graphically it was awkward to represent; it was much easier with just text rather than visuals.
So I decided for sure to scrap the idea for the sake of simplicity when working on Chimaera this time, but... various comments led to me changing my mind.

So, I probably will end up reusing this limb-based targeting system. But I can't quite decide how to do it.
It seems that other games have had similar things, but I've not really played any. All I've played is Vagrant Story, with a limb-targeting system...
In that, each limb had its own defences and so on, and the strategy was in analysing these defences and then choosing to attack one that your weapon could actually do significant damage to. Or something. As a result though, battles were mainly about finding this one limb (and doing a load of equipping of stuff in preparation), and then attacking it repeatedly until you won, since the enemy just had one HP score and any attack anywhere depleted this number, rather than separate limbs having their own HP.
It was interesting and everything, but not something I want to do with Chimaera as such...

Instead then, I suppose I'll have different HP bars for each limb... And I'll need to have different DEF stats for each limb too, and perhaps I will indeed do the elemental affinities thing, but with only the four natural elements (for the sake of avoiding too much complication). I'm still not sure about that though.
This means that though the target will have a HP bar, you won't need to lower it to 0 at all to win...

The text-based game allowed limbs to be *severed* entirely, but since this has graphics and animations, I can't easily do that so the limbs will merely have to be 'disabled' or something.
Limbs will probably have a bunch of stats that they'd give to the monstrosity as a whole. Legs might grant Evasion boosts, while arms grant an Attack boost. Each limb would also have a single Action or Passive skill.
Disabling the limb, then, would nullify its stat boosts - so hitting the legs reduces the evasion of ALL parts, for example - and it'd also disable its skill.

Perhaps then I could have different criteria for winning, instead of just 'reduce foe's HP to 0'.
Reducing the overall HP to something like 30% could be a win, perhaps?
Or lowering the HP of the 'body' section to 0...
OR disabling all of the opponent's Action skills, since otherwise it'd be a pointless battle.

You'd have to target a specific limb when attacking, but perhaps some attacks would inflict damage to all limbs at once? I'm not sure yet.

With this approach, I'm not sure to handle battles. Perhaps you'd be able to analyse a limb's stats precisely and in detail, so, say, rolling over the opponent's LEFT ARM would show its HP, DEF, elemental affinities, and skill...
If that were the case, then it might make sense to remove the timer aspects and gradual energy regeneration and go with a turn-based approach where you act once, they act once, you act once...

However, I could also have the limbs' stats mostly hidden, so all you'd see is 'LEFT ARM (undamaged)' or 'HEAD (severely wounded)', and it'd be a matter of trial-and-error or familiarity with those limb types to see what you'd be able to damage; you'd have to experiment while making sure to keep yourself alive.
With that system, I could do the faster-paced energy accumulation thing and the timer in tournament battles...
(It seems from some comments that I wasn't clear about the energy accumulation thing last time. It's like the 'Guts' in Monster Rancher, but for those who haven't played that, I'll try to explain. You'd start off a battle with about 50/100 energy. Skills might cost something like 10 energy for a cheap skill, or 20-40 for a very powerful skill. There'd be a set of buttons on the side for each of your skills, which would be greyed out unless you had enough energy to use them. Using a skill would subtract its cost in energy, obviously. Your energy would then increase over time; you'd be able to watch the number going up one by one, with something like a tenth or a fifth of a second between each increment. 'Time would freeze', perhaps, when an attack was actually being executed.
Like with Monster Rancher's Guts stat, I could also have the energy level directly affect the accuracy of skills. Having a high amount of energy would result in much greater accuracy than impatiently using skills as soon as you could afford them.)

So, uh... Feedback about all this would be appreciated, since I'm still not entirely sure how I want to go about it!


25 Commentson 16 roots

hardband`s Avatar
Rating Orb hardband 15 United Kingdom 25C 0F
7 years ago | (2)
Personally i don't like the limb targeting idea, but i'm sure if anyone can make it work it would be you! I prefered the energy bar filling up and choosing your attacks like that, as it makes the battles more frantic but to do that you couldnt have limbs. I'm sure youve already decided its turn based, so a certain limb could have a certain attack, so say you had a claw hand, that could use scratch, so disabling it would stop that attack. To win a battle you should have to disable "life support limbs". Basically you should have to destroy certain limbs which when all disbaled kill the monster. So, this means the player must balance between disabling attacks or life support limbs (rare limbs could be both). It would also mean the player would have to decide, when making there monster how they should balance life limbs and attack limbs, this would add a strategy of sorts but still keep it simple.
vinnie879`s Avatar
Rating Orb vinnie879 19 Netherlands MelancholicCholeric 79C 0F
7 years ago | (3)
i hope it comes out verry nice

btw click on mine 2 ;)
flamezlord`s Avatar
Rating Orb flamezlord 18 United States MelancholicPhlegmatic 27C 42F
7 years ago | (2)
I'm not sure if this would ruin the point of the battle system, but you could let the player pause during the battle to look at his opponent's limbs. Regardless, never giving the player an opportunity to examine the enemies' limbs would have serious problems for the strategic elements of battles.

Ultimately, though I don't really like this specific limb-targeting thing. Maybe if it was executed perfectly (which I don't think you can do on the kind of budget you have) it would work, but it seems like it would just make battle overly complicated. Plus, it's going to be a lot of work anyways.
Spe`s Avatar
Rating Orb Spe 16 United States PhlegmaticCholeric 108C 43F
7 years ago | (1)
So... Wait, if there is going to be a power regen thing based on time rather than turns, how will the battle system work? If it were turn-based, people could just wait for the power to build up each turn and repeatedly do powerful attacks, despite the fact that the timer may be running down. If it's not turn based but the game is still based on a timer and time-regen, what will you do? I don't seem to understand exactly...
Notajoo`s Avatar
Rating Orb Notajoo 25 United States PhlegmaticCholeric 9C 6F
7 years ago | (1)
Personally I have never liked the "attacking each limb" system in any game I have played with it before. It just over complicates it much like an over complex elemental system, as I mentioned in the first Chimaera post. I like the Monster Rancher combat system, with the energy regen over time thing, but having to select each limb for every attack will get old very fast imo. I don't really have any new ideas to add since pretty most all of them have already been covered by others, but I would much rather play at Monster Rancher style game with an added limb finding/crafting/attaching system and leave the basic battle system alone. That will lead to more things to do and plan out before the battles, but won't make the battles to complex and boring.
The Wolf`s Avatar
Rating Orb The Wolf 19 Australia CholericPhlegmatic 120C 284F
7 years ago | (3)
Expanding upon your attributes for libs and etc. Perhaps a limb should be associated with a stat depending on what part of the body it is.

For the 'wolf' monster: Legs could add agility, whereas the front legs also have attack as the wolf could use them to slash with claws... Each limb would add defense to the whole, and perhaps even have a defense modifier for each limb, so maybe the legs would have -40% def due to being weaker limbs... The head would have a high attack and defense, and it would be the basis for intelligence and perception (Or whatever mental stats used), the body would have most of the endurance stats and the tail would perhaps have an evasion bonus to the whole but like a -80% defense but +60% evasion... Something that would give the whole, the stats and attributes of a wolf, but when a leg is 'disabled' or whatever system, it would affect the whole by lowering agility, if the tail was 'disabled' the bonuses for that would disappear.

For the 'snake' monster: The head would have the basis for the intelligence and mental stats in addition to the attack, and a % to poison, separating the body to two main parts each giving agility and endurance would allow for a more measured approach.

So rather than just giving effects to the entire beast, the physical and mental stats of the creature would rely on the sum of it's parts.

Also with the targeting of the parts, perhaps a % hit rating should be given using a simple mathematical system of users accuracy (or just agility if you dint want to use too many stats) divided by the opponent's agility with an error % then add in any evasion bonuses or accuracy bonuses either monster has... There's a similar body part targeting system in Fallout 3 when using V.A.T.S. (Vault-Tech Assisted Targeting System) [Note: I wouldn't recommend playing it as it has a lot of gore] which allows for virtual dismemberment of opponents and removing limbs does affect enemies... Though it's still easier aiming for the head which is usually a death sentence... Hmm.

Anyway, I'll leave you with that even though it's basically just your ideas in my words...
Uxnorb`s Avatar
Rating Orb Uxnorb 15 Brazil MelancholicPhlegmatic 10C 44F
7 years ago | (2)
I think that mayble you could give the limbs damage levels of damage,the color system that someone else mentioned,and instead of having it's bonus fully disabled when it had lost all of it's HP you could gradually weaken it,like after going to the orange color it's status bonus would be reduced by 50% or something like that and when it lost all Hp it all bonuses along with it's attack would be disabled.

I also like the idea of vital or not limbs of the monstruosite,you could make the head or body the vital ones,since they probably transfer your orders to the body or bind everything together,respectively,and make them have a better defence and HP.

As for the battle system I would prefer the turn based one since it gives more time to think,but I also like the energy acumullation idea,mayble you could do the two together,like making the monstruosite get a certain number of energy points at the start or end of every turn and the amount it gets would depend on it's parts.

Also I have a question regarding the body types:Won't some of them have a better advantage over the others since they may be able to use more limbs,like the humanoid having HEAD,BODY,RIGHT ARM,LEFT ARM,RIGHT LEG and LEFT LEG,but the quadruped would have HEAD,BODY,FOUR LEGS and a TAIL,meaning it would have one more limb,which may give it a huge advantage,so what are you going to do?

Mayble making the TAIL part of the BODY or giving the humanoid other tipe of limb seems a good answerto me,but what does everyone elso thinks?
Alphanumerical`s Avatar
Rating Orb Alphanumerical 15 United States SanguineMelancholic 101C 5F
7 years ago | (6)
When you *defeat* a limb, instead of just losing the bonuses, they suffer a severe penalty to HP, like a status problem or something. Like, you kill Left Leg, and they get *mortally wounded* status, which, in a few turns, would turn to *infected wound* and then, in a few more turns, they would die. Of course, I say *turns* but I really mean whatever you want to use. Like *death in 30 seconds* or *death in 3 turns.* Makes no difference to me. I dunno. I'm not really sure about that. Maybe that would be really hard to code or balance... I dunno. As I said, I can't code worth crap.
Pseudolonewolf`s Avatar
Rating Orb A β Pseudolonewolf 23 United Kingdom MelancholicPhlegmatic 2257C 559F
7 years ago | (4)
For the sake of simplicity, limbs are merely 'shut down' when their HP is reduced to 0, not chopped off or anything, and since Chimaeras are not living creatures, having a few disabled limbs isn't fatal for them.
The HP, anyway, is based directly on a sum of all limbs' HP. So any damage dealt to a limb directly affects the total HP.
Alphanumerical`s Avatar
Rating Orb Alphanumerical 15 United States SanguineMelancholic 101C 5F
7 years ago | (5)
Well, yeah. That does seem sooooo much easier than my idea. So... uh... go with that! Not my idea!
Birdy51`s Avatar
Rating Orb Birdy51 17 United States SanguineMelancholic 5C 0F
7 years ago | (5)
On the issue of active time battling and examing limbs, my idea would be to let you examine the enemy monstrosity before hand, and then only have your memory of the limbs during the actual fight. It adds a certain sense of realism, as well as relieving a bit of clutter.

Since most people do like knowing what the enemy health is though, you may just want a small display in a corner highlighting the damaged parts of a monstrosity, as well as its type. For instance, if the enemy is a Humanoid, it simply shows a man with outstretched arms or something.

This system of course, is color coded by the time tested Green-Yellow-Orange-Red- Dead system, as well as having a bar below with the total damage that needs to be done before your enemy is nixxed. The only problem with this is that you won't be able to see enemy abilities on the fly. But, thats also a bit of the players fault for not being prepared! >:D

This system could also very easily transfer to your side as well, but considering its your monstrosity, you may need more detailed info during the fight. If anyone has a good idea to add on this feel free to leave a comment.

Hope I helped! ^.^
Pseudolonewolf`s Avatar
Rating Orb A β Pseudolonewolf 23 United Kingdom MelancholicPhlegmatic 2257C 559F
7 years ago | (3)
I've already been planning on doing this. The text-based game I mentioned had a display of a man with his limbs coloured based on how damaged they were, and it's in one of the old screenshots of the old version of Chimaera, when I tried working on it a while ago: [LINK] (the game won't look like that, just to be clear; I've started from scratch).

Being able to analyse the opponent in detail and switch your limbs around accordingly before battle sounds like something that would be wise to add, though.
Rin`s Avatar
Rating Orb Rin 15 Canada PhlegmaticMelancholic 11C 36F
7 years ago | (3)
I think that a tactical turn based battle system where you could see your opponents limbs hp, elements, etc sounds nice since it would allow the player time to consider which limb to attack instead of rushing them.

As for win conditions I think the ability to choose and fulfill any of the conditions you listed sounds good.

Please consider keeping the non natural elements as they're probably less complicated due to not being directly strong against another and instead not having a relationship or being both strong and weak against another.

other than that I generally agree with EmperorHiccup as limbs giving buffs would add more strategy.
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