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Friday, January 23, 2015

Polishing Battle Gem Ponies


     This week I'm talking about the icing on the cake. The stuff that doesn't need to be there, but its precise makes a good game great. I'm sure new bits to add to my list of flourishes will pop up during development, but these are the things I can think of now that make my game pop when I play in my head.

     Most of these details are small and not very exciting on paper, but one is an interesting concept that really stands out to me. In the actual game it would be a nameless effect, but in the design document I'm calling it a Hype Moment.

 Hype Moments

     You know those queues in fighting games where the screen gets dark and a character portrait goes up before something awesome happens? I want BGP to have that. But only on very special occasions. I want fanfare for those game changing moments where the player should be shouting "YES!!" already.

    When it happens, the screen will go dark, a horizontal line with the attacker's portrait inside will appear, an echoed version of its cry sounds off, and the screen flashes before the attack animation plays. All very quick, and all very exciting.

     Things that trigger this effect include:
  • Getting at least x4 class advantage with stab damage (when user is the same class as the move).
  • Landing a critical hit on a red HP (10% health) target.
  • Moves doing double normal damage (or any boost from another move or condition). 
  • Surviving a nearly fatal blow (turn green/yellow HP to red) then attacking opponent who is in red. 
  • Using stab moves with base power of 120 or higher.
  • Finishing off a Rival, Maven, or Champion's team.
     To keep the effect from being overused I'll make it so it has a lower chance of playing in succession. This is supposed to excite the player and get people to physically react to what's happening on screen.

A lot goes into making a menu look and feel nice.
    Among the list of things that make the game a little better are lots of interface effects that make navigating the menus enjoyable. A lot of time will be spent managing your pony and customizing a team for multiplayer, so why not make sure it's not boring?

   A particle effect here and flash of color there go a long way. I'll be doing everything I can to keep the game from having the static feel that bores me in many turn-based RPGs.

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