Friday, February 10, 2012


Here is what I have been thinking about this whole time:

  • Arm Strength: Powerful arm movements. Affects melee damage, and climbing
  • Arm Dexterity: Quick, flexible arm movements. Like in martial arts. Contributes to actions like parry, flurry strikes, and acrobatic movements.
  • Arm Endurance: Maximum stamina for melee attacks.
  • Leg Strength: Powerful leg movements. Affects melee damage for kicks, faster travel time (i.e. speed)
  • Leg Dexterity: Quick, flexible leg movements. Contributes to actions like evading, dashing, tumbling, acrobatic melee, and proper footing in melee attacks
  • Leg Endurance: Maximum stamina for movement.
  • Hand Dexterity: Fine motor skills. Contributes to actions like skullduggery, playing of musical instruments, or using firearms.
A high leg strength but low leg endurance means the person can do a short burst of fast sprinting, but he will tire away quickly.

A runner with leg endurance means he may not move fast, but in the last 200 meters of a marathon, he's still going at the same pace, while the others are too exhausted. Essentially he's a distance runner.

Separating arm strength and leg strength was because I figured there are brute-like enemies who have overbuilt upper body muscles, but slender legs. Top-heavy, as they say.

Separating arm dexterity and leg dexterity is maybe too much though. Though I understand there could be martial art styles that concentrate on kicks only. I think I won't go that far though, so I'll combine them.
  • Arm Strength
  • Arm Endurance
  • Leg Strength
  • Leg Endurance
  • Dexterity: Quick, flexible movements of limbs. Like in martial arts. Contributes to actions like parry, flurry strikes, acrobatic movements, dashing, evading, and proper footing.
  • Hand Dexterity
Having separate endurances for arms and legs meant that I'd separate stamina for arms and legs. Meaning the legs can get tired but the arms don't yet.

I figured they could be combined as well, as when someone is exhausted, he wouldn't be able to use both arms and legs anyway, so it doesn't make sense to have separate stamina for arms and legs.

The stamina they use are shared, in a way, though consumption wouldn't have been proportional for both depending on the action done (movement would consume more leg stamina and only little arm stamina, attacks consume arm stamina and a fair amount of leg stamina, because proper footing when attacking can also be tiring).

It then made little sense to separate endurances for arms and legs. So combining them:
  • Arm Strength: Melee damage for punches and swings.
  • Leg Strength: Speed. Melee damage for kicks.
  • Endurance: Maximum stamina to expend when doing actions, like moving, attacking, etc.
  • Dexterity: Quick, flexible movements. Like in martial arts. Contributes to actions like parry, flurry strikes, acrobatic movements, dashing, evading, and proper footing.
  • Hand Dexterity: Fine motor skills.
I'd then rename Dexterity to Agility, then Hand Dexterity to simply Dexterity:
  • Arm Strength: Ability to exert powerful force using the arms. Melee damage for punches and swings.
  • Leg Strength: Ability to exert powerful force using the legs. Speed. Melee damage for kicks.
  • Endurance: Ability to sustain force for an extended period of time. Maximum stamina to expend when doing actions, like moving, attacking, etc.
  • Agility: Quick, flexible movements of limbs. Contributes to actions like parry, flurry strikes, rolling, tumbling, evading, and proper footing. Also contributes to melee damage. Reduces charge-up time for melee attacks.
  • Dexterity: Fine motor skills. Nimbleness of fingers.
I could change Arm Strength to simply Strength and Leg Strength to Speed, but I have characters that are slim, lithe, but have high kick damage, essentially high Leg Strength. It would not make sense that their attributes reflect a high strength score when they are slim and lithe.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Garwolf Gives Up

I was mulling about how Garwolf gets his forceful closure with Serin and this is the scenario that always plays in my mind. It is unusual that this pessimist bypasses the first four stages in the Kübler-Ross five stages of grief.

Garwolf trudges on, disregarding his grevious wounds. "I need to save her", he says. 
Mayev can only watch in despair. Is this what love really entails?

Arriving at the scene, he staggers and stops, lets out a soundless gasp. Once he remembers himself he darts for a place to hide. At this point it all feels rather foolish. What a stupid notion!

He stays quiet and lets them pass in peace. A sigh escapes his breath as their last footstep echoes away. His vision lingers as his thoughts wander, "I wonder what do heroes do, when the world doesn't need their brand of saving."

Eventually Mayev finds him passed out. Dead birds dot the path.

Garwolf finds himself in a lady's room, his wounds dressed.

"Do not banter. They still bleed." Mayev inspects his face, her concern more than physical needs.

His face limps like a lifeless manikin, drawn in a perpetual stare, without joy, without hate.

"Sometimes," he speaks tentatively, "Sometimes I wonder. What it feels like to give up and surrender." He direct his gaze at her. "It would be so much easier.", he whispers.

While she could not escape the flattery, she shakes her head, "You need to rest."
As she closes the door, she could not help smiling.

Mayev kisses him, but something wasn't right. It was like kissing an unresponsive doll.

"No, no, no, no!" "What are you doing? Fight back! Fight back! You always fight back!"

To be continued... Garwolf will find himself fighting one last time before hope is fully stolen.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Bosses That Roam The Level

This is a good idea. The podcast mentions this great hate for the classic boss level wherein the boss is waiting at the end of the level within a closed-space arena. While I really have no intense hate for it, I also like his suggestion: bosses that roam the level.

A lot of games already do this:
  • God of War: where sometimes the boss is the level
  • Enslaved: where this mechanical gigantic dog chases you, though the events are largely scripted: defeating the boss is done in multiple parts, normal gameplay is interspersed with encounters of the boss, where it finishes with either you or the boss retreating, until you encounter it again, and in the final part the boss is meant to die
  • Dead Space and Resident Evil: where an invincible boss chases you around the level and the only way to kill it is to lure and trap it in a special way
  • Clock Tower: where a serial killer hides in various places in the mansion. unfortunately, the game has you needing to investigating those various places as part of the game

Its true that sometimes the arena-type boss level gets shoehorned forcefully into the narrative (why is the boss patiently waiting for you at the end of the level?). And sometimes when you see those health stations just before a big door, its a relief for the player, but it doesn't make sense in the narrative.

Do you guys know of any other games that do this?

Friday, February 3, 2012

Tactics Ensemble: Movement

This is an experiment on the movement mechanic of the combat for Victis.

The violet area is the limits of where the tiny white guy in the middle can move to.

While the game is turn-based, the map does not make use of grids. Basically I just used my idea from Death Zone Zero, which in turn, got its idea from RTS games in general. If you've played tabletop wargames, things work that way.

Movement is calculated as a stamina cost per meter, not a predefined value. He has, in this example, 100 stamina points, and movement is 2 stamina points per meter.

Other actions like attacking also consumes stamina, so the player has to be mindful of deciding when to conserve stamina for movement or actions. Basically the same with Action Points of XCOM games.

Furthermore, climbing upwards has a higher stamina cost of 10 stamina points per meter, which accounts for the irregular shape of the movement range.

The currently selected destination is shown with the X-mark on the ground there, with the distance to that shown at the top left, together with the total stamina cost to move there. You can see the stamina cost is roughly twice the distance. This is correct since again, I've set it to be 2 stamina points per meter. The disparity is from the fact that the terrain is bumpy, and since climbing upwards is more costly, the destination's stamina cost reflects this.