I’ve spent the day toying with a new way to do the battles in glorg. I wasn’t really happy with the way they worked in the version I submitted to gamma, but nor could I figure out a good way to make it more interesting.
So, somewhat inspired by Ben’s writeup on his devblog for Aztez I decided to figure out the different states the combatants could be in. This graph illustrates the original battle system:
States with an asterisk mean that the player can exit them when he wants to. So the only choice the player has here is when to exit the idle state, leading into the attack. Then he has to wait for the post attack to finish before getting to the idle state again.
This means that any time spent in the idle state is time you could be making damage, so the best strategy is to bash the button like an idiot. While that is good fun for a minute or so, it quickly becomes pretty tedious, especially since there was no real way to be good at it.
Today I made this graph (along with a small test application) :
As you can see this is considerably more complicated. The player starts out as idle, being idle now also means blocking, something that wasn’t possible using the old system. So if you do nothing, you’re still reasonably safe.
Once the player presses the button we move into the charging state, this makes the character lower his guard, opening up for damage, but the longer he holds the button the more powerful his attack will be. Once he releases he goes into the pre-attack followed by the actual attack and then the post-attack. These phases are primarily for animation purposes, but they also affect how much damage you will take if hit during them.
If the player charges for too long or is hit during any of the non-blocking phases he will be dazed for a short time, leaving him open to attack.
The problem I am facing now is to illustrate all these states using animations. My battle prototype uses simple colors and it’s quite confusing at times, but hopefully it will all make sense once there’s a little monster flailing around a rabbit on a stick instead of a stupid box changing colors. As always.