Fae Tactics Game Play Dev Pt.1

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This is the first of a series of small posts I’ll be making about the design and development of the core game play in Fae Tactics. This post will briefly go over the combat system as a whole and the follow up post will go into some details about specific parts.

As with all of our projects there are a large number of influences from our life long love of games. If I had to narrow it down the two most important influences to this particular project are Final Fantasy Tactics, and Culdcept Saga. What we were aiming for was a combination of the now classic tactical combat of FF Tactics with the collectible and strategic deck(party) building found in Culdcept Saga. Before we started any of the main development there were a few design constraints I established with the intent of keeping the scope in check (Haha) as well forcing creativity in the design of the game. The main one of these constraints was no combat menus. With this in place I designed as much of the combat as I could to be context based. Now let’s take a look at exactly what that meant.

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The combat progresses in Rounds and each one has a player turn and an enemy turn. On your turn each of your units can Move and/or take Action. One way to bring depth to the combat system with no menu was through the movement system. Each Unit has stats for Move Distance and Jump height. How far and how high a unit can go greatly alters how that unit can be used strategically.

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mov_icons Selecting an empty space within range will cause the active unit to move there. There is of course standard moving by walking and jumping up/down on terrain, but some units also have passive movement skills that alter how they can move. For an examples, units that have the Aquatic move skill can walk on both land and water and receive a buff while in the water. Units with Aerial move skill have an increased evasion chance as well as being able to move over most terrain and avoid triggering traps. Positioning is also very important since attacking from behind decreases the targets chance to use reaction skills and attacking from high elevation grants bonus damage.

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atk_iconsSelecting a space occupied by an enemy unit will cause the active unit to make an attack action. Each unit has multiple attributes for their attacks that I will go into more detail about later. For now I will only talk about attack types which each unit has one of. Units with Arch attack type have a greater vertical reach (both up and down) than standard attack types, but deal reduced damage to units directly next to them forcing them to keep their distance from the target. Melee attack type units can perform combo attacks if they are standing adjacent to an enemy unit that is currently being attacked by one of their allies.

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new_icons14Selecting a space occupied by an ally will cause the active unit to assist that unit. Assisting can grant various stat boosts as well as Enchants (We’ll talk about Enchants and Curses later) and even reviving wounded allies. The type of assist used is determined by the Element of the assisting unit. I will explain more about this in a post about critical damage which is also determined by element.

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Building and customizing your party is a very important part of the game. There are many factors to take into consideration when selecting your party. Factors like movement skills and attack types mention above, as well as other traits and abilities we have yet to show you. Your party can have up to three “Leader” units and up to three “Summoned” units. Leader units are the main characters of the story and each have there own set of unique skills. If a leader unit dies that’s game over. Summoned units on the other hand are re-summoned at the start of each battle and can freely be used to scope out or set up your enemy. That doesn’t mean you should use them recklessly though, having the right summoned units to support your leaders throughout the battle can make a huge difference. There is also the fact that summoned units that die during a battle don’t receive  the bonus victory Xp awarded at the end of a battle. In another post I will go into the details of customizing, upgrading, and obtaining your party.

That’s it for this first post about the game play in Fae Tactics. We look forward to showing you more about the combat. (All sorts of cool stuff like spell talisman and super moves!) We’ll send you off with some of the awesome music Sam English has composed for the game so far, bye for now.

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Fae Tactics Update: We have a composer!

music-update

Development on our SRPG, Fae Tactics is still coming on strong! So strong, that I forget to update you here on the Endlessfluff blog. If you follow us on twitter you might already know this but…

 Fae Tactics now has music and it’s the beautiful sounds of SAM ENGLISH!

It has been a treat to work with Sam so far. His style and melodies are a perfect match for the style we’ve been developing for this project. (we really enjoyed Vagante’s OST. Check that out )   I knew we’d be thrilled if we could hire him as composer but I didn’t anticipate how pumped I’d get after hearing each new track he creates. Things are brewing here in our little office… good things, highly inspired work. I wish I was 100 times faster so we could share the whole game the way we envision it with you, but quality takes time and effort.  For now, why don’t you listen to Sam’s tracks: Wasteland Battle while observing some new screens.

 

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The battle begins!

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Rough look at talisman selection

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Aquatoise has quite the helpful passive ability!

So what are we shooting for at the moment? We are currently working toward finishing the first 1/4th of the game. At this stage we are having fun by adding in things we didn’t plan for but we are also carefully keeping the entire game and its needs in mind. We can’t afford for the entire game to take too long in production so we would like to finish this first chunk of the game in the coming months. That sounds like a long time for this first chunk of the game but it includes a lot of preliminary programming framework and design passes. These things take a lot of tweaking. We anticipate development will go faster as we move forward.

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Cheers!

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Fae Tactics Isometric Tile Concept Art!

Hey, it’s the start of the week and for a lot of people it’s going to be a long day. So even though I recently made a post, I thought I’d share with you some concept art I poured my heart into. The first two images you probably already saw in my last post where I showed the transition from concept art to in game graphics.

So, here are more concepts of areas.  At this point in development, we only have a few that have been translated to game sprites but you can get an idea of what’s to come.
Indoor_humble_pencil Indoor_humble

Like I stated in my last post, these are illustrations that inspire isometric tile sets. A tile set for the purposes needed in ‘Fae Tactics’ consist of grounds, ground decoration, elevated grounds, slanted ground, objects you can step on, obstructions, and beauty/thematic doodads and possibly other different types because with each illustration there is always a new item that Kyron is interested in trying to implement in the game. The drawing above introduced hanging doodads (chandelier).

Gremlin_CitiesGremlin_Cities_colors

A lot of the stuff I draw in these concepts, I’m not actually sure if we will be able to implement into the game but if I were to limit myself when designing a location, I’d end up with something really stale and I’d probably hate it and toss it in the garbage.  So, I draw whatever crazy sh*t that comes to mind and I’m really lucky Kyron’s such a badass. He always seems up to the challenge to try to make it happen, whether through some visual tricks or clever coding.
Wastelands

Our game development chemistry has been pretty strong lately. It has been really fun to push ourselves into new territory. Wastelands_color
I’d like to share my internal thinking because this might help another artist out there who’s stumped or has artist’s block.  My best ideas come when I pretend I’m actually standing there, on the wood, or grass or rock. When I mentally place myself in that location I can better imagine what would be around me. In general, I like to observe my surroundings, so when I’m drawing these, I don’t want to be bored. I try my best to think up the kind of stuff I’d love to see. Or I try to imagine where I would sit my cup or rest my head.

Wetlands

I got a little carried away in the ‘WetLands’ drawing above. I added a raccoon stealing a baguette. I’m not sure if we can add that to the game, but it adds character and could inspire situations.
Farmlands Here’s a funny one. I really wanted a witch to raise radishes from the dea…. from the garden.  That one is perhaps a bit too complicated.
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For artists that are interested in knowing what tools I used: The illustrations were drawn with a .3 Mechanical pencil (Graphgear1000) on letter size printer paper.  Then the drawings were scanned into Photoshop where I colored them with basic brushes.

CryptsHope you enjoyed that!

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