No, he won’t be in the game, but that would be cool.
I thought I’d try something new, so instead of having an “official” update as far as progress for Gun Sage, I want to do this instead. I’d rather throw my ideas out there just to see if it ilicits any sort of good, bad, mediocre, whatever response. Right now, I’ve yet to even get another copy of RPG Maker, so that said, it’s been a matter of gathering stuff and very little else from a physical completion angle.
Level Ups, Stat Boosts, Proficiencies
The actual finished product will have a more detailed consequence for how level ups work, but for RPG Maker’s sake, I wanted level ups to be relevant, but very, VERY hard to achieve. As a result, the amount of required XP for leveling up is going to be super high (we’re talking somewhere in the ballpark of having to take down tens or potentially hundreds of enemies to level up once).
Since leveling up will occur so infrequently (usually just for boss fights), I wanted to have it where when you did level up, all stats increase, but literally only by one or just a few points per level up. I MIGHT have it where you learn skills by leveling up, but mostly I want that to be more organic. As a result, it really does come down to prescribed NPC interactions as well as building skill proficiencies, which aren’t that hard to make happen in RPG Maker XP.
Basically the way it works is every time a skill is used, it calls a common event. 1 “skill point” is applied to the skill count every time it’s used. When it hits a certain amount of points, the skill levels up, increasing its overall ability and potentially allowing you to learn new skills. Furthermore, a tendency to use one type of skill vs. another plays into combat theory and psychology, which is something I’ll discuss a little later.
The good news is depending on the type of skill, leveling up different skills also yields immediate stat bonuses. Again, it’s usually just one point toward something, but it’s still relevant. This means that both in and out of combat experiences help to mold your character over time.
Workouts, Muscle Tension, Learning Exercises
In the previous version of Gun Sage, I had it where there were workout centers you could go to that would allow you to spend MP (motivation points) to beef up different stats of your character, but that was as far as I took it. In this one, I still want MP and a few other elaborate tricks, but I also want it to be a little closer to real life. What I want to implement is muscle soreness and stiffness, which leads to a lack of flexibility.
The purpose? Well, the more tense you are, the stronger your attacks, but the less skillful they are. The more flexible you are, the less strength that’s applied toward your attacks, but they’re more skillful. What does that mean? Well, it means stronger attacks have more of a tendency to knock the enemy off balance, break guards, knock down enemies, and in general be able to incapacitate and/or strike fear into the hearts of enemies in a single blow.
The more skillful a technique is, however, the higher the success rate, the higher the critical chance, the quicker it is, there’s a chance of double/triple hits as well as follow up strikes, and other things can occur such as reversals, more skillful defense and dodging, etc. In other words, the more tense you are, the more offensive ability, but the more flexible you are, the more defensive ability.
“I can only dodge…EVERYTHING.”
Furthermore, there will also be the ability to “overdo it.” In other words, there will be immediate muscle tenderness, but it’s possible there could be temporary muscle damage if the exercise is done wrong, if you push it too far, if you have a tendency to train the same thing over and over, or even if you just plain work out too much and too often.
Finally, I want there to be a way to learn different exercises, exercise types, and advanced exercise methods by NPC interaction, workout experience overall, experimentation, etc. I want the exact same thing to apply to learning from different books and such so that you can increase combat mentality, diplomacy skills, and so on.
Character psychology, I think, will be Gun Sage’s key focus. I have a very standard storyline that I want to riddle with all kinds of fucked up stuff, but I want it to be fucked up from a very intelligent, mentally intriguing angle. I want it to mess with you based on decisions you make in the game without realizing you’re actually making decisions that the game is tracking.
A lot of these are simply who you talk to, who you don’t, what you say, what you don’t…you know, standard RPG faire. But I also want it to revolve around different combat decisions, side quests you opted in or out of, and different decisions you had to make on the fly that you weren’t even aware were decisions in the first place. I want all of these things to build a psychological profile of sorts that may or may not match the player’s psyche.
There will be a lot of automatic decisions that are made in the game without your input based on decisions you HAVE made manually in the past. This way I can create a more interesting storyline with lots of OH SHIT moments that will really grab the player’s attention based on input they’ve provided.
In the previous version of Gun Sage, I showed off the branching paths technique by having it where if you won the bully fight, you would get different allies later and as a result, you would go through an abandoned armory. If you lost the fight, you would instead get bullies as allies later and go into the sewers instead. This changed a few things because it meant you had a stronger party, almost like an artificial easy mode and more allies overall, even though you were being ordered around, meaning it would be harder to establish your character as a leader later in the game.
Since you also ended up going different pathways, it also drastically changed the gameplay and next couple of maps you went to. I intend to keep this, but add the psychology aspect to it, meaning every time you play you could potentially be playing an entirely different experience that will branch accordingly, especially during cutscenes.
One of the trickier issues I wanted to address in Gun Sage was that of relationships. Honestly, while I like how relationships are set up in games like the Fable series, it’s never really felt like an actual relationship. Now sure, that’s mostly because they’re not meant to be. If anything, those relationships are meant to be more like trophy husband/wife relationships where you go out adventuring and send them money to do what the fuck ever…often rarely visiting for seemingly months at a time.
Since Gun Sage will be mostly linear, I want the relationships (or lack thereof) to be significant and memorable. Now, I could’ve gone the simple route and said something like if you’re a brainless musclehead then you get a blonde, you get a brunette if you’re brainy, and you get a redhead if you’re charismatic, but I wanted to take this a step further.
If you’re a brainless musclehead, I want you to get the exact opposite. Yes, I’m talking a geeky chick, maybe even an overweight one. Or, depending on certain decisions, possibly a husband instead. Or perhaps you get multiple partners because you’d rather have open relationships because why the fuck not, you’re a goddamn hero. Or possibly nobody at all and constantly be lonely or perhaps not care, depending on your personality.
Maybe your character prefers the solitude, despite sexy bitches literally throwing themselves at you. It’s all possible and as a result, it’s all up in the air. Naturally, most of this I plan on fleshing out later in the game, but I wanted to show at least SOME of this in the first chapter…in the form of your lover (or potential lover) being killed before your very eyes.
Yeah, chapter one’s all about rage, by the way. In any case, that’s about it for now. Let me know what you think!