My New Idea Creature Mechanics - Creature's Natures & Ability Tree System
#1
• Creature's Natures & Ability Tree System •

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The one... but strong as seven!

Whoa! Mother of dirt! WT...?!

OK, OK, everything is fine, just please, sit comfortable in Your home throne and listen carefully...

I really love when I have one or few very precious creatures much more than dozens of useless, weak and soap-afraid cannon meats...

This is what I love in DK games - You've never need a big amount of creatures, sometimes only 5-8 would be enough to conquer the land, but... still there is not enough for me, every creature, on the same level is exactly the same (except it's name and blood... but it doesn't matter!). Of course sometimes have really many creatures as cannon meats goes well, but usually longer.

ATM game is not balanced, we can make many Dark Dwarves and fight with huge amount of enemies... what a slaughter! Big Grin I like it too, but I think a player should feel that any his/her, single super amazing creature is very important (Hmm a little Sims here Big Grin), because... each of them has very unique abilities, weapons, nature or whatever else that would really give the advantage to a player to conquer the land and no one can stop him/her! The strategy is not only laying on good paths, but good... erhm.. bad hearts (or gizzards)...

Going straightforward this way I would like to present You... a new

Creature's Natures & Ability Tree System!

WoHooHaHooHoo...


OK, some of the features I've spoken mainly in Pokémon games, Disciples and... Soccer Manager. I parted this thread into 3 parts, but strictly connected to each other, because all roads goes to creature!
  1. The same creature type - different natures/attitudes
  2. The same creature type - unique abilities
  3. The creature's ability tree system
1. The same creature type - different natures/attitudes
Imagine that Your Dark Dwarf is coming out from the portal. You see his name - it's Henry. 1 minute later another Dark Dwarf is coming out the portal. You see his name - it's Rupert! Rupert has lighter hammer and and horn more twisted than Henry's horn... but w8 a minute... Rupert has different nature than Henry!
Rupert is an Enthusiastic Dwarf, Henry is Lazy Dwarf... These two seems to be really different, huh?

Each of attitude has pros and cons. For example: Dwarf with Enthusiastic nature is doing his work faster than normal dwarf, but if has nothing to do he gets angry faster. Lazy guy has decreased work efficiency, but it is very hard to get him annoyed, because he usually don't need to do anything, he could just lie on the table ignoring dangers.

Of course creature's nature could affect on it's other factors like:
  • fear factor - is it courage enough to challenge this freakin' Cyclotaur?
  • base stats like attack, defense, speed could went up/down.
  • happiness - is it gets angry faster? Likes to bother anyone while eating?
  • hunger factor - creature need more or less food?
  • leadership - is it a good leader? Raises motivation of surrounding units in battle
  • work factor - can creature works faster than other?

2. The same creature type - unique abilities
Works the same as above, but traits about creature abilities. For example:
Our Henry has Hardened Hammer ability that gives him to hit stronger. Rupert has got Belly Strike that gives him additional and unique ability to strike the enemy with his belly, so that could back off the enemy for a meter - good defensive ability, especially when it comes to fight as a tank and You only have range attack units.

Of course it is possible that one or more Dwarves from 10 could has the same nature as other in group and even the same ability.
We can choose really many variations of natures/attitudes (here is example http://www.gurusoftware.com/GuruNet/Pers...actors.htm)

If it comes how this all could show to us... maybe like in DK? Firstly we press [?] button on our pannel and we could see it's all infos in floating square, pop-up window (like in common RPG games when we click on item) or the info. We could make keyboard shortcuts that will allow us to pan camera automatically after using certain made combination to target creature.
It could happen by just right-clicking the mouse button on creature, but it will depends what we could do with mouse in the finished game. Short description of creature's name, skills etc. could be shown like now - just a long text bar on the top of the screen.


3. The creature's ability tree system and no-level appearance changing
In cooperation with Mello Tonin! Credits to him, thank You!
Like in common RPG games for every abilities we can make trees (for special abilities too), but how about divide abilities to two categories additionally, where we could DISABLE exp. leveling system (like in DK, from 1st-10th level)?

Ability categories:
  • Combat - typical skills like Fireball, Belly Strike etc. While using them more and more raises its power/effect time/range etc.
  • Work - Raises the productivity/ work speed of creature. I think there is no need to make several work abilities, just one raising while working.

There won't be any levels here, but points - each usage of an ability increases amount of points to the certain limit.
Each skill tree has a base and extension.
A newly spawned character will start off with base skills and then You can set once:
  1. The way which extensions will be develop (if the skill has more variants than one You choose only one of the branch) - from the base to the last extension.
  2. Priorities - so which skill should be develop the most and which less (of course it won't totally make that creature will only use the most prioritized skill)
As they gain skill and slot the skills that the character will use this will influence the gear that they are wearing and get better looking as they increase in power - this could replace better looking creatures with higher levels for creatures that without floating numbers above their heads just looks more dangerous, powerful and so on - You could easily (or not so much) distinguished which have what powers, for example: Magical characters could display auras and melee could display some really awesome weaponry perhaps imbued with magic which could also give off an aura.
Imps will get in game certain tasks and certain task could dictate their appearance which they could have attire and tools displayed for the particular task. So like if digging, they could start off looking as they do, pickax in hand, and as they improve they could get a back pack, a hydraulic drill, or whatever.

How the abillity tree will look like? Let's show the example of Combat Ability:
    Skill base:
  • Belly Strike: knocks down the enemy creature and turns it down for 1 meter (point limit: 1000).

    Skill extensions:
  • Belly Bang: gives an additional 1 meter of turning enemy down for Belly Strike. (requires Belly Strike points: 666, point limit: 1200). <- this like every other skills are not a new skills, but more unlocks gives creature additional power to basic form of ability - with in this case is Belly Strike.
Now if a creature will reach required amount of points previously set way of developing skills chose automatically the way and computer choose only one of this:
  • Bounce!: gives an additional 1 meter of turning enemy down for Belly Strike (requires Belly Bang points: 456, point limit: 2000). So now Belly Strike turns down the enemy for 3 meters (not as at the beginning only 1).
  • Knockout: additionally has 30% to stun for a 3 seconds after using Belly Strike (requires Belly Bang points: 567, point limit: 1800). As You see that skill requires more points, but it doesn't mean that is more useful than 'Bounce!'. This skill is better if You want keep enemies farther form Your mages behind Dwarf. Remember if You've choose 'Bounce!' You won't be able to choose 'Knockout' too.
..........and so onnnnnnn... if it's not enough.

As we see all we need is setting the tree and priorities once, than everything will go automatically - of course we could change the way for the next extensions anytime.

Appearance
[Image: qvq4.jpg]
Pic.1. Differences between two the same type of creature. (we can disable showing attack/defense etc. stats, instead we could make a place for special ability description and it's extensions.

Summary
We could reallllllly make many various tactics - not only depending on training monsters, makes them happy or digging, setting traps in right order etc. What do You think? Especially if the player will have limited amount of resources available. Player will feel that he has to take a good care of his precious creatures twice more. With many upgrades/armors given to our creature, with suitable abilities and
And could be really funny with inventing creature's abilities! Big Grin
Some creatures could be immune to various skills so, even if You would like to train a skill on a monster that is immune to that skill - it won't work, so choose skills for Your skills wisely. };c])

We can also add that as many points an ability has (as the number of points is closer to point limit) as more powerful is the skill... but it would probably take to much memory to calculate this raising power of an ability each time when creature uses this ability.

We should make all creatures valuable to avoid 'uselessness' of any - like useless for example were bug and fly in DK, temple didn't help them to avoid being throwing to The Endlessly Deep and Black Hole of The PORTAL... that idea may help solve that problem.
Spec: Win 10, ATI 7800 HD, res: 1280x1024x75. I support The Venus Project & Resource-Based Economy
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#2
I like these ideas, but it may be hard to keep track of the skill tree on an individual basis. Having a creature skill tree that increases the ability of an individual based on activity like you mentioned would be really cool, but I think it would be best to keep these trees from being a per character instance. That's just too much management.

So as you expand the skill tree for a creature, you could hybridize a mechanic from another game I like to play from time to time called Cultures. Each character window has a list of skills with bubbles you fill as you acquire skill. This allows you to prioritize one skill over another. Perhaps the skill tree could add these skills to the creature info window as the tree grows. Then you could choose what skill they incorporate to their personality by spending skill points which accumulate either over time or through work/combat.
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#3
I like that you put so much time and effort in your post Big Grin

It might complicate things a lot when u put in a big system like that, some parts of it are interesting tho!

I like the abilities part, i just think all of the same kind of unit should have same abilities. Also, it gives a satisfying feeling when a unit levels up. Besides that, I always loved to see the lvl a unit has when i saw them walking in the dungeon.
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#4
(07-10-2013, 06:24 PM)Anakha Wrote: I like that you put so much time and effort in your post Big Grin
I know, there is a lot, maybe to much to read. Wink

(07-10-2013, 06:24 PM)Anakha Wrote: It might complicate things a lot when u put in a big system like that, some parts of it are interesting tho!

I like the abilities part, i just think all of the same kind of unit should have same abilities. Also, it gives a satisfying feeling when a unit levels up. Besides that, I always loved to see the lvl a unit has when i saw them walking in the dungeon.
In this part seems You don't like every aspect I wrote above, so if I understand well, You would like to have every abilities, (no natures?) in one species of creature the same and You would like to see level system?

(07-10-2013, 05:47 PM)Mello Tonin Wrote: I like these ideas, but it may be hard to keep track of the skill tree on an individual basis. Having a creature skill tree that increases the ability of an individual based on activity like you mentioned would be really cool, but I think it would be best to keep these trees from being a per character instance. That's just too much management.

So as you expand the skill tree for a creature, you could hybridize a mechanic from another game I like to play from time to time called Cultures. Each character window has a list of skills with bubbles you fill as you acquire skill. This allows you to prioritize one skill over another. Perhaps the skill tree could add these skills to the creature info window as the tree grows. Then you could choose what skill they incorporate to their personality by spending skill points which accumulate either over time or through work/combat.

Hmm, maybe if we would make something to creatures that already know higher extensions (their work animations, fight style could be different, looks more effective, powerful, magic), something that would really distinguish units with upgrades/better skills would satisfy more people? I just would like to avoid level systems, people don't have levels, in many games too, instead of that looks more powerful, magic and dangerous - like in Warcraft 3 - if You have some auras or equipments on hero he looks far more stronger/dangerous than it's basic 1 lvl form.

If it comes to ability trees, Mello You give me some idea with mixing what You said with something quite similar I think - maybe something like automatically setting they way to achieve skills would be far better? Creature when non possessed shots with everything it has, so You don't have influence on what skill a creature will develop better, but You could set at the beginning when creature comes, the way it will extend it's skill in tree. Knowing the nature of creature would help us with setting which way a creature should go. You could set priorities which skill should be train the most then too, so You will have some influence on witch way creature will go if it comes to skills tree - as I understand You said.

So all You would need is to set the way of achieving skills and priorities which the most should be develop. One time - everything set, many possibilities and strategies, not only boring the same as in DK. Big Grin
Spec: Win 10, ATI 7800 HD, res: 1280x1024x75. I support The Venus Project & Resource-Based Economy
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#5
Sebt wrote: "In this part seems You don't like every aspect I wrote above, so if I understand well, You would like to have every abilities, (no natures?) in one species of creature the same and You would like to see level system?"

I think the nature part makes it so that there will be a lot of unit managing at the start of the game. Id like to think that the game is more about dungeon management than about specific unit management. Having tank units with all same skills and ranged units with all same skills would be enough management for my liking. If you add different kinds of natures u might end up with units that dont play well together or units with natures that i dont want in my specific dungeon. I do like the idea of units having certain moods though. Having good mood increases damage on the ranged units for example and good mood on tank units increase health or something.

In order to make the nature option work, maybe an idea is to use some kind of hero unit, or rare unit or unique unit, whatever you want to call them. This would limit the unit management to only a few special units.

I would love a level system like in DK1, this brings back so many nice memories! Smile The current health icon thats above the unit, is perfect to put a lvl number in! Smile Im not sure if theres gonna be a training room, but that would be a great addition Smile I also think this would save a lot of time for a developer.

Edit: I just thought about fighting another "keeper" Id like to instantly see if I wanna attack now or lay down traps. Using lvl in the current healthbar that are easy to see, make the choice faster and easier.
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#6
(07-10-2013, 08:28 PM)Sebt Wrote: I just would like to avoid level systems, people don't have levels, in many games too, instead of that looks more powerful, magic and dangerous - like in Warcraft 3 - if You have some auras or equipments on hero he looks far more stronger/dangerous than it's basic 1 lvl form.

Yeah, I agree levels are too generic. Having characters walk around with 1 - 10 hanging over their heads is kind of lame. This idea about changing the look based on skill is a good one. A newly spawned character could start off with some really basic attire and as they gain skill and slot the skills that the character will use this could influence the gear that they are wearing and get better looking as they increase in power. Magical characters could display auras and melee could display some really awesome weaponry perhaps imbued with magic which could also give off an aura.

It would be cool like with Imps, we could assign them to a certain task (as I know this has been mentioned before) and that task could dictate their appearance which they could have attire and tools displayed for the particular task. So like if digging, they could start off looking as they do, pickax in hand, and as they improve they could get a back pack, a hydraulic drill, or whatever.
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#7
(07-10-2013, 08:47 PM)Mello Tonin Wrote:
(07-10-2013, 08:28 PM)Sebt Wrote: I just would like to avoid level systems, people don't have levels, in many games too, instead of that looks more powerful, magic and dangerous - like in Warcraft 3 - if You have some auras or equipments on hero he looks far more stronger/dangerous than it's basic 1 lvl form.

Yeah, I agree levels are too generic. Having characters walk around with 1 - 10 hanging over their heads is kind of lame. This idea about changing the look based on skill is a good one. A newly spawned character could start off with some really basic attire and as they gain skill and slot the skills that the character will use this could influence the gear that they are wearing and get better looking as they increase in power. Magical characters could display auras and melee could display some really awesome weaponry perhaps imbued with magic which could also give off an aura.

It would be cool like with Imps, we could assign them to a certain task (as I know this has been mentioned before) and that task could dictate their appearance which they could have attire and tools displayed for the particular task. So like if digging, they could start off looking as they do, pickax in hand, and as they improve they could get a back pack, a hydraulic drill, or whatever.


I think this would be so much work to pull off as a developer. The game is very nice so far, but still has a way to go. Im not sure, but i remember Rasmus mentioning that he wants to complete the game in a year.
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#8
(07-10-2013, 08:47 PM)Mello Tonin Wrote: A newly spawned character could start off with some really basic attire and as they gain skill and slot the skills that the character will use this could influence the gear that they are wearing and get better looking as they increase in power. Magical characters could display auras and melee could display some really awesome weaponry perhaps imbued with magic which could also give off an aura.

It would be cool like with Imps, we could assign them to a certain task (as I know this has been mentioned before) and that task could dictate their appearance which they could have attire and tools displayed for the particular task. So like if digging, they could start off looking as they do, pickax in hand, and as they improve they could get a back pack, a hydraulic drill, or whatever.
That's what I though that could look, but You told more about that, I like Your idea very much. May I add it to the first post here? Of course credits will be given to You. Tongue
Spec: Win 10, ATI 7800 HD, res: 1280x1024x75. I support The Venus Project & Resource-Based Economy
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#9
Mod away my friend. We can share the credit tho...I'm not greedy
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#10
(07-10-2013, 08:52 PM)Anakha Wrote: I think this would be so much work to pull off as a developer. The game is very nice so far, but still has a way to go. Im not sure, but i remember Rasmus mentioning that he wants to complete the game in a year.

Don't tell me You don't like it because it's only in Your opinion too much to work Tongue, take a look on Rasmus work now - he is like tornado! I think he will have more team members, someone who could help him in cresting Dwelvers - what's more, almost every suggestions were added now to the game. Tongue

I like that You bring me Your suggestion to make this idea as simple, effective and extraordinary as possible, even if You don't like it. Big Grin Everything depends on Rasmus, so I would like to find with You too solution to make it real and as easy as possible to implement. Smile
Spec: Win 10, ATI 7800 HD, res: 1280x1024x75. I support The Venus Project & Resource-Based Economy
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#11
Not sure if you read already but I edited post #5 a bit, maybe you like it more now Smile
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#12
(07-10-2013, 08:44 PM)Anakha Wrote: In order to make the nature option work, maybe an idea is to use some kind of hero unit, or rare unit or unique unit, whatever you want to call them. This would limit the unit management to only a few special units.

I think is another really good idea. When Warcraft III introduced this as a feature, it really helped add another dimension to game instead of just following the same gather/build/recruit/attack process you see in most RTS games. Now you could focus on a single unit that would bring added benifits to your normal troops, and they got stronger as you used them.

(07-10-2013, 08:44 PM)Anakha Wrote: I just thought about fighting another "keeper" Id like to instantly see if I wanna attack now or lay down traps. Using lvl in the current healthbar that are easy to see, make the choice faster and easier.

Perhaps instead of having to look at level as a numeric amount their territory boundary could be color coded based on a comparison between the total strength of it's army. So an enemy who was well outside your ability could be Red, a tough opponent would be Orange, a manageable but still stronger opponent would be Yellow, an equal could be Green, and then Blue, White, Grey...yadda yadda and so forth. That doesn't have to be exact, but merely as an example.
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#13
(07-10-2013, 08:58 PM)Mello Tonin Wrote: Mod away my friend. We can share the credit tho...I'm not greedy

Done Big Grin

(07-10-2013, 09:07 PM)Anakha Wrote: Not sure if you read already but I edited post #5 a bit, maybe you like it more now Smile

This system could make a boss from every creature - I don't like idea with making bosses that looks unnatural to it's warriors etc. One strong as 100 bosses, I haven't seen a man or animal enormously stronger than other, super heroes are kinda boring. For me bosses ruined many games making a single unit totally usnusable and like a nothing...

I understand that You like the old system, it's OK for me. You pointed that that there shouldn't be to much creature management - I agree. Every time if You see something that You can make easier just say it, do it, feelings and logic is an oxymoron, I would like to hear why my idea is not good as it should only from the second side. Big Grin
Spec: Win 10, ATI 7800 HD, res: 1280x1024x75. I support The Venus Project & Resource-Based Economy
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