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Idea: JRPG battling by making a script

edited 2014-06-10 00:03:11 in Media
Creature - Florida Dragon Turtle Human

(Sorta a followup to the earlier idea, but this is a separate idea.)


JRPG battles are interesting the first few times when you figure out the mechanics of how your abilities work, as well as what enemies can do.  Finding what your spells do, and coming up with strategies for dealing with battles ranging from throwaway encounters to particularly difficult ones.

But then after that, it can sometimes feel like you know what you need to do already based on monster HP values and are just going through the motions of inputting the commands at the right time.

What if you could, instead of inputting the commands yourself, develop a script for each enemy formation?

I think this idea might work quite well for turn-based non-tactical battles.  In every area, you don't just log the enemies that you run into, but also log a set number of enemy formations -- the first time you see them, the game makes you battle that formation manually, but thereafter, you can go into your menu and devise a script for that formation (or keep battling it manually to experiment with different strategies, if you so choose).  If the battle goes off-script -- such as a party member being KO'd or running out of MP -- then the game automatically reverts to manual control.  And you can also choose to revert to manual control anytime, if you want to try something new.

(It might get a little more complicated for active-time or tactical battling, but it's also possible there.)

I think this would make it bit less tedious to go through lots of random battles.


  • If you're making a game that is so boring that you're considering having it play itself so that the player doesn't have to be subjected to it, then the solution to that problem should be to redesign your game so that it's actually fun in the first place.

    In particular, if you have the problem that it isn't fun for players to keep fighting exactly the same encounter over and over, then just... don't make them do that? Have fewer encounters (and don't use a per-step random encounter system or a enemies-chase-you-around-on-the-map-and-initiate-combat system), make them faster paced, make them more varied, etc., and ideally have game mechanics that are complex enough that a battle against the same enemies isn't completely determined from the beginning.

    Alternatively, make resource management throughout a dungeon actually matter. Ideally, that's supposed to be the reason random encounters are usually kind of trivial -- they aren't hard to survive, but they cost you some amount of resources (potions, MP, etc.) that has to be able to get you through the whole dungeon. But that rarely actually matters since JRPGs usually make it extremely easy to get more items than you'll ever need or not have to worry about conserving MP or whatever.

    Or if you do want to go with scripting, might as well make the game center around that, and have it be a programming-type-thing (presumably with some kind of drag-and-drop, visual thing, not asking players to learn a proper scripting language or anything) and just totally automate every battle (with maybe a limited ability to interrupt and either input some manual command or change the script or something mid-battle for when things are going badly).

    This idea as it is just kind of seems like the "remove the attack button!" idea that a lot of indie RPG devs have, where it's kind of just not really addressing the underlying problem but just sort of making it so that the player doesn't have to physically click on a button labeled "attack" every turn even if the battles still end up repetitive and boring.

  • Creature - Florida Dragon Turtle Human

    Actually, the resource management bit is sort of what I was going for, on a broader scale.  With a script, it's less about individual tactical decisions such as choosing the right enemy to target, and more about preparation -- making sure you have the HP to survive enemy attacks and the MP to cast the spells you need, for example.

    For scripting I was thinking of something simple, such as "Turn 1: fighter attacks angry bear, wizard casts fire on angry bear, cleric [if anyone has <50 HP] casts heal on unit with least HP [otherwise] attacks angry bear; Turn 2: fighter uses Flurry to attack Wasp Hive (which also hits all five surrounding Wasps)", or something like that.


    This would be more for if we mean the battles to be little things that add up to a bigger aggregate drain on resources.  If we mean for the battles themselves to be the focus of attention, then I'd suggest having fewer but more complex battles.  But for the above scenario, I'm talking about those cases of "I want to move on with the game and I've already seen all these different enemies and beaten them like 20 times over why am I still running into them every ten steps or so only to mash the A button fifty times each time? arrgh".

  • Doesn't this already exist in the form of Final Fantasy XII's Gambits?

  • Final Fantasy XII was severely underrated. It's not often you see an FF game that actually manages to be subtle.

  • There is love everywhere, I already know

    I wouldn't call FFXII subtle, the story just didn't exist between Basch's brother being evil until the end, where you somehow still save the world. If you mean the gameplay, it mostly made gambits/basically everything useless because all you ever really had to do was basic attack and heal unless there was an elemental enemy.

    Magic and summons were a pain to use/unlock (though that is basically all FF summons ever, but on top of that there was just all the why in regards to how hard they were to pull off even if you limited yourself to using them once in a while), limit breaks did little to actually help you out even if you chained them like a madman and techs beyond basics were even less useful than magic.

  • I think it's that the conflict had themes of nationalism and politics that made it somewhat fresh compared to every other FF game being about some world-ending monster or god.

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