Light World Blog: Turn-based systems

Not much of an update, but here’s what I’ve been up to:

I know Unreal Engine isn’t specifically designed for role-playing games, but I’ve since discovered that Blueprint is very flexible.  I’ve continued to refine the coding to make it a lot more efficient.  Of course, there doesn’t exist any tutorial on “how to make Light World”, so a lot of using Unreal Engine boils down to me just playing around with it to see what works.  It’s the exact same way I learned Clickteam Fusion ten years ago.

I’ve spent most of my time so far refining the combat system.  After all, it’s a central game mechanic.  I could have an excellent story to tell, but the game needs to be fun to play.  With me using a fixed camera, it can be difficult to react to enemies offscreen that your character should logically be able to see, making onscreen action particularly limiting.  My current solution to this is to have some kind of turn-based combat.  Very likely, I’ll have the game cut away to a separate battle screen sort of like old school JRPGs.  However, I’m still doing some trial and error on what sort of pacing there should be.  I want the user to be actively engaged.  It shouldn’t just be repeatedly pressing a button and waiting for your character to attack.  I’m seeking to make each battle engaging and unique in some way.

Of course, story is still important.  Since my last blog, I have developed a much clearer direction I want to go in.  I’m taking a few cues from my scrapped game Voyage of the Silver Eagle (a steampunk take on True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle) in that its about a female protagonist that matures over the course of the story being told.  As for the actual setting though, I’m going with fantasy because of all the creative possibilities the genre will allow me to do.  The enemies in the game are aspects of her mind – fear and negativity manifesting itself as physical beings – so they can pretty much look like anything.

Probably by next February or March, I’ll have a good chunk of things to show off.  After all, I’m working on this massive project solo.  In the meantime, I should have at least a new Clickteam Fusion game or two on the site before then.