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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!