More on the Core Game Design

So, I’ve been thinking a lot about how to round out the core gameplay and finally go about programming it.  It seemed to me that there are some things lacking in the offensive parts of battle gameplay.  I am modeling an RPG in some ways, so it makes sense to start thinking about how an RPG would model combat and put that into my gameplay model.

What I’ve come up with is to base combat on how well a player is doing to create words and how good of a weapon he has equipped.  Within the game, there will be many weapons that are available to either find or to be bought at the store.  Each of these weapons has a particular attack strength.  This is the base amount of attack that will be made to the opponent.  If a player makes a particularly strong word (indicated by word score), he will get a blow against his opponent using the equipped weapon.  The attack strength is then subject to modifiers.  There are two modifiers, strength and defense.  Strength is applied based on the word.  If it was a seriously strong word, you’ll get some extra strength to add to the hit.  Defense is what the opponent will carry with him.  It is based on his armor.  If the defense is non-zero, it will have some effect to the attack to reduce its severity.

So basically this boils down to you having an ATT (attack) and DEF (defense) variables.  Each is controlled by the equipped weapon and armor.

Let’s run through an example:

  • You spell a strong word such as ORGANIZATION.
  • Upon confirmation, you will get the MP points to replenish magic, but since this word is over the word score threshold for an attack, you get to deal a blow to your opponent.  This happens automatically.
  • An animation of the attack plays.
  • Your opponent’s DEF is subtracted from your ATT.  If the result is less than or equal to zero, it is set to one.
  • Any modifiers for a strong word score are then added to the result.
  • The result is then subtracted from the opponent’s HP.

It will be easy to add many diverse weapons because they are really just a set of simple attributes.  A more elaborate system could also be used.  For example, a particular weapon might have a magic component that also deals more attack based on, say, how many vowels you have or some other state you may have (maybe an item?).  This leads to much more strategy in how you decide to equip weapons.

Defense will also be important because without that, you will be dead pretty quickly.

The last question about the core gameplay revolves around fouling.  Recall that a foul is when your blocks touch and pass through the foul line at the top of the board.  This will result in a hit against the player and it will be quite severe.  You really should try not to foul!  It could deliver a blow as high as 25% of your HP regardless of level.

Spells still play a large role in the gameplay.  Spells do things to change the board (in a positive way for yourself, or a negative way for your opponent).  They also can do damage or heal too.  It will take a good strategic balance between spells and combat to successfully battle opponents.

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