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Pseudolonewolf`s Avatar Figimon: Game Mechanics Tue 1st Mar 2011 4:46pm

Category: Figimon

This article follows directly on from the last one, so reading that first is a good idea if you want any of this to make sense! I'd rather not be asked questions that I already answered in the last post.

While I mean for the Figimon to be a 'toy', a fairly trivial distraction between proper game releases, I do want to put a bit of effort into it so then it can actually hold peoples' attentions at all.
Since it will involve battling wild figimon in the dungeons, there needs to be systems in place for statistics, battle flow, and all that sort of stuff I include in all my proper games.
I've been going over some ideas, but I feel that community feedback will be useful for refining them so then I can produce something that many can enjoy. It seems like a good idea to present what I've planned at this early stage so that your feedback could have the most influence (since I haven't actually made anything yet).

The Basics
I've come up with a sort of strange system influenced by Pokemon, Digimon, and - oddly - Dungeons & Dragons...
Each figimon would be a creature with a level and stats...

They'd have the stats that I usually use, though named in the specific way that I've named them in Alora Fane: Power (for physical attack AND defence), Spirit (for magical attack and defence), Vitality (for determining HP), and Agility (for turn order and accuracy/evasion).

Each of these stats would have a *fairly low value* throughout the figimon's life (derived from the base values for that species). That is, a base value might be 10 or 20, and it wouldn't ever get much higher than that.
Dungeons & Dragons did this out of necessity, using low numbers because the game was meant to be played with pen and paper, and smaller numbers are easier to calculate in peoples' heads.
Games like Pokemon calculate stats on Base Values for a certain species and the effort values that your Pokemon has earned... so you start off with stats around 10 at level 1 and in the 200-300 range at higher levels. I don't like that sort of thing, really... I mean, I don't *hate* it, but it just feels as if each point doesn't really matter.
In D&D, having 18 strength would mean that you were heroically strong; 22 strength would be superhuman. Finding an item that boosted your strength by even a single point was fairly exciting, and items that boosted a stat by *several* whole points (like +4) were extremely valuable and uncommon.

I really find this 'every point matters' system deeply appealing, and it's a theme I'll be reusing a lot in these mechanics and the mechanics of my other games...

Levels and Forms
...such as in the levels system.

JRPGs, including Pokemon, tend to include a max level of about 100, typically. Each level by itself doesn't really mean all that much; while level 30 is different from level 20, there's little difference between level 19 and level 21 (other than perhaps one of those levels being an evolution or move-learning level in Pokemon).

D&D, however (or at least the computer-based version of it in games like Neverwinter Nights; I've never played the pen and paper version), has much more satisfying level ups because you actually get to choose what happens at each one, and each one is significant.
I prefer to play as a Sorcerer, and I know that when I level up next, I'll get some new spells or get to change around some old ones, and it makes me really look forward to my next level.

The 'max' level is 20 though (before reaching Epic levels, anyway), which may not seem very high compared to JRPGs. But it means that there's a much bigger difference between level 4 and level 5; every level matters.
While I never pay much attention to my characters' levels in JRPGs, I always know what level my characters are in these D&D-based games.

SO. I have decided to use 20 as a maximum level in this Figimon thing. And I've decided to make each level *mean* something.

As in Pokemon and Digimon, the Figimon would be able to evolve to change their forms. Unlike Pokemon, each Figimon would have a set number of forms, so there wouldn't be any that didn't evolve at all.
The three forms that each would have would be named (like the 'Rookie', 'Champion', 'Ultimate', etc from Digimon): level 1 Figimon are 'Fledglings', then later they become 'Adepts', before finally evolving into 'Paragons'.
(If anyone can come up with a better word than 'adept' which means 'stage between beginner and master', that'd be helpful!)

These forms would basically be like a 'child', 'teenage' and 'adult' versions of each species, with the 'Paragon' being what it was supposed to look like and the earlier versions being underdeveloped forms working towards that goal.
While Beast Signer had growth trees with 'power forms' and 'magic forms' and stuff, I'm trying to make this simpler yet still interesting.
Evolution would happen at level 5, and again at level 10.

On every even level, you'd get to add +1 point to one of your stats. Remember, each point matters! This means that your level up is customised to your preference; you can work on a 'build'.
Every odd level, you get a skill... which I'll explain later.

Here's a chart:

The bit about level 21 is not something I've decided on yet.

Types and Elements
My games usually use elements, and it was probably assumed that each Figimon would have an element. That was the original plan, but after going over various ideas, I've ended up with something else.
It's rather inspired by Beast Signer's planned system, which itself was influenced by Pokemon and Monster Rancher.

Each Figimon would be of one or two TYPES. These types would be as follows:


So a Figimon might be Saurian/Undead, or Insectoid/Plantoid, or what-have-you.
These Types would affect the elemental weaknesses and resistances, as well as the skills that the Figimon could learn.

There'd be six elements in the game: Fire, Water, Air, Earth, Light and Dark. I would have liked to have used Aether and Fig, but for now I haven't for reasons you'll see in a minute. Maybe they'd come later.
Physical and Thauma may exist though for skills that are meant to be non-elemental.

Each of these Types (apart from Bestial) is a combination of two elements, as you can see on this grid here:

Some opposing combinations (fire/water, air/earth, light/dark) aren't used (at least, not currently).
Rather than planning the elements thing then trying to imagine what each pair could produce, I came up with some Types and just tried to shove them in *somewhere*... which is why a lot of these seem silly, most notably Spectral being Water/Light for some bizarre reason (when really it should be Aether).
None of this is set in stone, of course, yet.

These elements would determine the resistances of each Type, but not necessarily the weaknesses. Here's a chart of strengths and weaknesses; green means a resistance to that element, red means a weakness:

Hopefully it looks fairly balanced... even if some of them don't make a whole lot of sense (Pokemon type weaknesses don't though either, not really; why is Psychic weak against Dark, or Bug good against Psychic, other than for balancing reasons?).

The Bestial type is non-elemental and has no strengths or weaknesses.

Since Figimon would have two types, their weaknesses and resistances would overlap. Each green resistance on the chart means -50% damage from that element; red means +50% damage. So a Saurian/Draconic type would be immune to fire, but would take double damage from water.

Figimon by themselves would not have an element assigned to them (unless they DID, but I don't know...), but their skills would each deal damage of a specific element.

Again, I am influenced by Dungeons and Dragons in this regard.
In this - or at least the version I've played - spellcasters have their spells divided into ten 'levels', with level 9 being the strongest and level 0 (cantrips) being the very weakest. Level 0 spells might create a light source to see with, while level 9 spells rain meteors from the sky or stop time, for example.
Of course, the higher you level up, the higher level spells you can access. The highest level you can access is directly affected by your character's (class) level.

I'm doing a similar sort of thing, except there are only five spell levels.
D&D divides spells up into different groups; Wizards and Sorcerers can learn spells from the 'Arcane' spell list, Clerics and Druids learn spells from the 'Divine' spell list, etc.

Each Figimon *type* would have its own list of skills. For example, a level 1 Aquatic skill might involve blowing a bubble; a level 5 Aquatic skill would summon a tsunami. Every Aquatic type would have access to these skills... or the ability to *choose* them, anyway.

At every odd level, you'd be able to choose one single skill from one of the skill lists of your types, of the spell level listed in the level-up chart up there. A Draconic/Undead Figimon reaching level 5 could choose a single level 2 Draconic OR Undead skill to add to its repertoire, and these selections would be permanent.
It'd be the way of customising your build completely.

Skills would come in three types.
There'd be Attack skills, which involve physical strikes and use your Power stat;
Magic spells, which use your Spirit stat;
and 'Traits', which would be permanent, passive resistances and such, like 'Resist Poison 50%' or 'Absorb 5 Damage'.
Since you'd only have a limited choice of skills as you levelled up, I think that this would introduce quite a lot of customisation and variety.

MP or Stamina
To prevent too much progress each day, each Figimon would have an MP or Stamina stat or something which could only be restored using food or by waiting until the next day. This would limit the number of battles it could participate in. Higher level skills would drain more MP/Stamina, but the higher your level, the more you'd have.
You'd be able to buy food, of course.

The actual battles
Currently I don't know if it'd be possible to battle against other people on the site... It's something I'd look into, but multiplayer games are not easy to do and I've never done one before.
Instead, I merely meant for the 'game' to involve training your own Figimon in dungeons and deriving satisfaction from watching them grow.

Battles would be one-on-one, for the sake of easy development, though you might have a party which you could switch between as in Pokemon. You'd take turns, one by one, again as in Pokemon, exchanging blows until you or the opponent fell. Simple.

Levelling up would not be something that would happen quickly, since this isn't a *game* to be played at length, but a browser-based 'toy' or 'long-term game' which you only play for a few minutes each day. As such, you might level up a Figimon every other day or something.
Remember, this is meant to act as a minor distraction for months; it isn't a game with a goal. I feel I need to stress this because some people say things that suggest they don't understand that key factor.

So yes!
I've mentioned all this partly to show that I'm actually doing something, but also so then I can get early feedback to inspire me and shape the 'game' in a way that would be appealing to the widest audience.
Comments about these specific mechanics, or what you do and don't like to see, would be appreciated. Suggestions will be listened to, if not necessarily implemented (just because I can't do EVERYONE's suggestions, only the best ones)...

I've decided to add aether and fig after all; people seem to really like such mystical, arcane elements so it seems an easy way to increase interest.
To make it even clearer that these are mystical, obscure elements, each one has only one associated Type; aether becomes 'Spectral', fig becomes 'Psychic' (though I'd prefer to rename that if possible just because Pokemon already has the Psychic type (it has Fire and Water and stuff too, but so does everything else); maybe 'Mystic' or something? Psionic?).


Glacial has moved from water/dark to water/light, and water/dark is now 'Cosmic', a Space (as in planets, black holes, etc) oriented Type.

There are other types I wish I had room for, like 'Avian', so I may do some shuffling around in the next few days.

Also, you'll notice that each of the 'basic types' is resistant to either fig or aether, and weak against the other. I suppose it divides the types into 'spiritual' and 'mental' types... in a way (though it's actually more like mystical and mindless). It seemed the 'best' way to balance fig and aether on this chart.


33 Commentson 19 roots

bwkgreenman`s Avatar
Rating Orb bwkgreenman 13 United States 2C 0F
7 years ago | (0)
Why not have a personality test at the start? I always like games like that

Just a suggestion though...
Senile Sage`s Avatar
Rating Orb Senile Sage 19 United States Phlegmatic 1C 0F
7 years ago | (1)
Despite the fact that you probably won't see this since this post is old and buried under one that is more important I feel like the 'Cosmic' type should be addressed.
I think that the water/dark type being Cosmic is pretty strange to be honest. water + darkness = space? If you want the combination types to not be "silly" I'd probably change that one.
I feel like Abyss could be a possible alternate. It might not have quite as much potential as a type as cosmic but there would still be plenty there to work with.
seifer`s Avatar
Rating Orb seifer 21 Argentina CholericPhlegmatic 34C 8F
7 years ago | (1)
I understand that you don't want to make it multiplayer to avoid making a long project of it, but.... how about making the battle sistem simple enough so people can "figiduel" using a dice simulator? you can even make a "figiduel" chat with a dice simulator so people just copy and paste their figimon stats and battle.

Hope it is simple enough (I dont know how you add a dice simulator to a chat... some MMORPG have them, same with some forums)... anyways, I like the general idea of the game, adept sounds fine IMO.

Perhaps you can show us some base ideas for spells and passive stuff so we can start suggesting new ones.
Caucasiafro`s Avatar
Rating Orb Caucasiafro 17 United States PhlegmaticMelancholic 4C 0F
7 years ago | (1)
Well, this looks awesome. Its great to see you have quite a bit planned out. But i think it would be fun if there were things like fire/water. Considering it is possible to get burned by steam and whatnot...
Zakentos`s Avatar
Rating Orb Zakentos 17 Åland Islands 31C 5F
7 years ago | (1)
Due to the fact that I love all the games mentioned for its creation, I am greatly looking forward to its creation. I've found that games that are updated attract more attention and favor than games released completed. When its updated, people will check back on its progress periodically and will notice other projects will doing so. I honestly love your designs for your games and plan on playing these games as soon as their released. I think you should start with maybe eight figimon because it gives an early variety that can be expanded at a later date.
Purgatory`s Avatar
Rating Orb Purgatory 22 Canada MelancholicPhlegmatic 14C 31F
7 years ago | (1)
Pseudolonewolf, have you considered implementing a stacking 'rested' bonus which would be applied to Figimons with maxed stamina bars? I would prefer see it applied one stack per every instance that would've otherwise replenished spent stamina, and to have it last for X actions that deplete stamina. The reason why I would like to see such a feature implemented is because I think it would do the players good by relieving them of the pressure to regularly play your game under threat of being forced to miss opportunities to power up their Figimons.
gnome`s Avatar
Rating Orb gnome 19 United States PhlegmaticCholeric 386C 81F
7 years ago | (4)
My opinion is that you have far too many types currently, and that the system is getting far too complex right now. My view still hasn't changed since the last news update, really.. I mean, last I remember, this was just an upper-right corner widget, and now it's evolving into something with dungeons, tens of different types, numerous skills, evolutions, etc?
Think back to Beast Signer and Cardeck, and how you thought they'd be such simple ideas--what did you get caught up on? Designing the actual monsters (creatures, virtual beings, cards, whatever). Not to mention you want to add a battle system, and possibly multiplayer support?

By all means I think the revival of the Figimon is an excellent idea, but you're going about the process the same way you've been going about your past games, for example Cardeck, Beast Signer and Chimaera, which are put off indefinitely. And you say you're going to plan out everything *beforehand* so you don't add features midway and muddle everything. Cool, so now you're adding extra features *before* you start. It reminds me of Alora Fane, which was supposed to be a small, simple RPG, which now rivals the playtime of the MARDEK games.

I think that instead of writing down hundreds of ideas on paper (that's the easy part) and THEN deciding to create everything, and then abandoning parts because it gets too large, maybe you should create a very basic, very simple version of the game with only a few Figimon, and THEN add features once you've got everything stable and under control. This way, not only will the project be out sooner, you won't be disheartened when you can't finish creating the last 40 Figimon by your self-set deadline---you won't even have a deadline anymore if you just add content when you get to it.

I know what you're thinking, that you *are* going to add content later and that you're certainly not planning to make all the dungeons or the legendary Figimon now, but the fact that you're already planning so many things without actually having done anything is a little cause for concern. :P Make a small amount (working) first so that you familiarize yourself with the workload you're about to bestow upon yourself, and THEN you can go on and add as many Figimon and dungeons and spells and skills and perks and features as you like.
Pseudolonewolf`s Avatar
Rating Orb A β Pseudolonewolf 23 United Kingdom MelancholicPhlegmatic 2257C 559F
7 years ago | (6)
Making things before planning is the exact reason that many of my old projects have failed...
I used to have an idea, then jump straight into the development, getting the basics of the engine worked out first and planning (sort of) as I went along. I ended up losing direction quickly though because I wasn't sure what I was supposed to be doing, and I had to go back over things I'd already done in order to change them as I refined my ideas. This got wearying, and I had more to do than I should have...

I've been learning over the years what to do and what not to do, though. It's not like my mind is exactly the same now as it was when I was working on CARDECK or whatever. I actually managed to finish Clarence's Big Chance fairly quickly, and it started in much the same way that Figimon is starting now; trying to do something mostly familiar but a bit different, or something.

With this project, I'm planning things first so then I know exactly what I need to do. It all seems fairly simple to me since it draws on things I've already done before in the past, even though it may seem complex to look at me describe it.
Alora Fane would be out by now if it only required as much work as this does. What takes ages with my games is the content; the tilesets, the monsters, the music, the plot... that sort of stuff. Actually making the *engine* takes like two weeks or something like that, and it's usually the most engaging bit. (Actually, I get the feeling that CARDECK may very well have been released if I didn't have to worry about getting it sponsored when it was 100% done, because I did basically all the engine fairly quickly, but didn't want to draw the cards and abandoned it due to that... If I was able to show off the engine alone and people liked it, it would have motivated me to finish it...)
Since Figimon is essentially 'just an engine' with no plot and limited content, it shouldn't take very long. I've made so many dungeons and battle systems before that they shouldn't pose much of a challenge (the longest bit is the planning though), and these features were originally meant to be parts of the 'upper corner widget' version from before; I just never got around to them because my girlfriend visited like days after I started the Figimon, rather disrupting my plans with it.

Anyway, for ages I've been trying to come up with different ideas for a single 'just an engine' project which I could release once I'd set up the mechanics instead of worrying about music and story and tilesets and stuff, finishing everything 100% before going through a tedious sponsorship process... This Fig Coins idea gives me a great reason to try to come up with such a thing again, so I've drawn on previous ideas and come up with this Figimon concept.
And since MARDEK 3's release, I've been improving my mentality so that I know better how not to approach game making.
So I can understand why it seems why I'm doing what I've always done, completely overestimating my capabilities and so on, overcomplicating things, but it does feel like I have a better idea of things now than I have in the past.

Also, I'd probably release this thing as an open beta when I had one or two figimon and one dungeon, and add to it as I went along, perhaps having an 'Official Release' when there were enough Figimon to add variety. Since I don't need to sponsor it, I'll develop it openly, with people being able to observe it along the way. That'll motivate me, I think.
skeletalserpent`s Avatar
Rating Orb skeletalserpent 14 Canada CholericMelancholic 44C 38F
7 years ago | (4)
I possibly ought to put this into a proper thread, but whatever.

Here's a extreamly epic way to do things, which was discussed in chat:

There are to axises of Fig coins: Super and Normal, and exclusive. Despite the name, exclusives are worse. (Image it as Super exclusive, normal exclusive)
One super is worth 1000 Normals, or something. Most coins you get from non-buying are exclusive: They can't be switched from normal to super. Bought coins can, of course, be switched.

Now: Within the game world, each player has his own base, guarding his hoard of normals. At any time, he can set out on a quest to rob some other poor dragon of his rightful Figs. Using Figimons. This, in turn, means that you can get robed, but the whole normal/super system means that someone can't just steal the 100$ of coins you just bought.

I fully understand that this is a huge project, but it seems that upon finishing, you visits and whatnot would go sky-high. Amusing bases were always in the same place (causing huge patches of land were members haven't logged in for months or something), think of the amazingness: Alliances, mages raising mountains to fend of the empire, republics, *taxes* (Which are, at it's base, "here's some money so that you defend me and do police my city and whatnot").

I'd love too play a game like that. So would other people, I guess. It just seems like a awesome idea.

Oh, and figimon would serve as armies, or something. Maybe "squad-type" and "hero-type"? So you could have a 100 minion (D&D) diggions, and a hero-type flyer with a +3 keen rapier.

Please, please, someday, implement this!!!
Pseudolonewolf`s Avatar
Rating Orb A β Pseudolonewolf 23 United Kingdom MelancholicPhlegmatic 2257C 559F
7 years ago | (2)
That's nothing like what I want to do at all.
It's turning the project into something else entirely, and apart from not actually engaging my interest, it'd be much harder to make and maintain.
The Figimon is just meant to be a mild distraction between games rather than the main attraction of the site.
skeletalserpent`s Avatar
Rating Orb skeletalserpent 14 Canada CholericMelancholic 44C 38F
7 years ago | (1)
Beg pardon. I understand. Seemed like a good idea, that's all.
TTophat`s Avatar
Rating Orb TTophat 17 United States CholericPhlegmatic 42C 50F
7 years ago | (3)
It seems like you would have too many different types with the current system. There are 110 possible combos if order of types is irrelevant and you leave out double types and single types, I think (if I'm correct in assuming Beastial is an ordinary type). Along with that, it would be rather difficult to remember all the strengths and weaknesses of the various types you would come up against. Simply using regular Air/Water-ish types would simplify things a great deal, make the game a lot easier to manage, and result in more customization, actually.

It may be a bit hard to come up with things for every possible combination with the current system, and leaving gaps can cause surprising unbalances, like the overpowered nature of Psychic types in the first generation of pokemon. With only 8 basic types, and the rules I mentioned above, that leaves 28 types. Really, this leads to a much simpler game, but without any gaps in the system, would allow for a much more balanced and more original team. No one type that is the best.
Pseudolonewolf`s Avatar
Rating Orb A β Pseudolonewolf 23 United Kingdom MelancholicPhlegmatic 2257C 559F
7 years ago | (2)
Pokemon has even more types than this, yet somehow it's fairly easily possible to remember weaknesses and resistances after playing for a while.
I don't intend for there to be every possible type combination in the same way that there aren't Pokemon of every possible type combination... They're just options that I can use when designing things.
It's not meant to be a perfectly balanced system (though I'll balance it as best I can); as I keep saying, it's not meant to be a 'proper game' so to speak, just a bit of a 'toy' that people can enjoy between releases of my proper games.
Mikerosius`s Avatar
Rating Orb Mikerosius 17 Netherlands PhlegmaticMelancholic 3C 2F
7 years ago | (2)
Wow, a what lot of information these past few days. All you have written on this Figimon thing has got me quite excited. However, your posts left me with two questions:

If you're planning to have the monster types work like those in Monster Rancher (with the main- and subspecies thing), will there be a difference in the influence of both species a certain Figimon is created from? In other words: Would an Aquatic/Mechanic Figimon have the exact same stats as a Mechanic/Aquatic one, merely having a different look? Or would it differ in base stats or choosable abilities?

The second question is about the abilities, I think I've spotted a little hole in your plans on that.You mentioned that, for instance, a Draconic/Undead Figimon could choose between either a Draconic or an Undead ability upon reaching certain levels. How would this work with pure Figimon (Like Shamanic/Shamanic)? Would there be just the one skill to choose from, or are you planning on not having those pure breeds altogether?

Anyway, try to have fun making this, I'm certainly looking forward to it!
Pseudolonewolf`s Avatar
Rating Orb A β Pseudolonewolf 23 United Kingdom MelancholicPhlegmatic 2257C 559F
7 years ago | (3)
Monster Rancher was merely the inspiration for the 'types' idea back when I was planning to use it for Beast Signer; the types for the Figimon have more in common with Pokemon types. While in Monster Rancher, combining one type with another always results in the same thing (Zuum/Hare results in Spot Saurian, always, and Hare/Zuum always results in Scaled Hare), there's no combining in Figimon and as such, there could be many figimon whose types are, say, Aquatic/Draconic or whatever, without being 'related' in any way. Just like how there are many Normal/Flying type Pokemon.
They'd all have their own stats and appearances, as Pokemon do.

If there are any pure type beasts, then they'd only have the one list of skills to choose from, but this wouldn't necessarily be a problem. Each skill level would have a few different skills to choose from for each type, and there's nothing anyway to stop, say, a Draconic/Undead type from only ever choosing Draconic moves and no Undead ones. Having one type would merely limit your options.
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