Spirited Heart

Life simulation game in a fantasy world: http://www.winterwolves.com/spiritedheart.htm
Disintegration
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Re: Spirited Heart

Post by Disintegration » Wed Sep 21, 2011 7:52 pm

YW :)

Some of my 'what-if' ideas ...

My thoughts on running combat:

1. Magical: To hit = (Dexterity - 10)/100 * Magic. Damage inflicted = (Concentration - 10)/100 * Magic. Damage absorbed = Magic/400. If the player chooses not to attack in a given round, then he can use To Hit probability to evade. Each time magic is used in any way, a certain amount of Magic points are deducted from 'current' Magic level (does not affect the 'permanent' Magic level). If he chooses to use magic at or below zero 'current' Magic skill level, then he starts deducting from his 'current' Stamina level.

2. Physical: To hit = (Combat - 10)/100 * Combat. Damage inflicted = (Strength - 10)/100 * Combat. Damage absorbed = Combat/400.

3. Various magic and combat items can modify one or more combat calculations. While mundane items like knife can be bought from local armory, magical armor is not something that can be found in store shelves. Not to mention, someone who is neither a soldier nor an established arms merchant possessing military equipments is going to attract unwanted attention from the imperial security folks!

******
My thoughts on jobs: Impose pay grades for each job, depending on the levels of attributes or skills. This roughly simulates job experience and promotion. So, a a soldier with Combat 80 & Stamina 70 is going to get a bigger check, compared to another soldier with Combat 60 & Stamina 60. But the privileges of higher pay grade carries a price: Greater position of authority = more severe the punishment in case of failure. (For example, an officer running away from combat is not going to be punished the same way as a conscript.)

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jack1974
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Re: Spirited Heart

Post by jack1974 » Wed Sep 21, 2011 8:00 pm

Interesting ideas, on combat I don't know if the sequel will have the same statistics as the first one (but probably yes). The formulas you posted look quite good to me :)
About the magic items definitely will have different levels of those, and I was thinking even with requirements. A new feature I plan to add is "levels". You'll have levels of every skill, each level will be a value of 100. So having 540 in combat will mean level 5 and 40/100 in combat skill. Limiting the values to 0/100 and stop makes the game too short I think.
So your idea of jobs will indeed be implemented, each promotion in level will also mean you get promoted in your work, higher pay but also higher penalties if something wrong happens.

Disintegration
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Re: Spirited Heart

Post by Disintegration » Wed Sep 21, 2011 10:38 pm

Still more brainstorming ....

My 'what-if' combat resolution was based on the stats used in the current version of SH. I stayed away from anything more complicated, because I fear that having SH to become too stat-heavy may turn it into a stereotypical stat-unwieldy RPG. (I have played a bit of stat-heavy tabletop RPGs in the past. Too much stat-crunching diminishes the fun part, both from the player's perspective as well as that of the game master's. Overall game concept and story lines seemed more important in the long run.)

Other expansion idea that I can think of is to increase the roster of NPCs. Specifically, a roster of non-romantically involved but politically influential NPCs, such as city mayor, traveling merchant, banker, resident scholar, inventor, alchemist, smuggler. Getting to know one or more of these influential personalities becomes important for the girl's career. Each personality may provide goods/services for a price. Also, their presence affects random encounters, both positively and negatively. Each one of them require 4 key stats: Social, Decorum, and Reputation, plus an appropriate skill (e.g., Research for resident scholar). Decorum and Reputation requirements depend on his/her hierarchy.

Insofar as SH's economy is concerned, good to see that it avoids stereotypical RPG-plunder-based-economy in which cash flow problem can easily be overcome by hosing down countless number of monsters and cannon-fodders. This is one of the excellent feature from SH.

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jack1974
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Re: Spirited Heart

Post by jack1974 » Thu Sep 22, 2011 8:19 am

Yes definitely planning to have more NPC with special roles as the one you described.
About the economy, if I add combat I'll be somehow forced to add crafting based on resources, but I consider what you wrote. However I don't know how to circumvent that problem - fighting monsters could only improve XP/skills? I should provide some reward at least :)

Disintegration
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Re: Spirited Heart

Post by Disintegration » Thu Sep 22, 2011 8:05 pm

As for monetary reward for defeating monsters, an alternative to cash reward would be to have salvageable items (usually weapons, armor, and some supplies) which could be sold at a marketplace. The type of an opponent makes a huge difference. (A knight carries lot more valuable goodies than a brigand, for example, but getting into a fight with a knight is very rare.) However, looting by itself does not diminish the need for a steady source of income, unless the girl is allowed to be in charge of a gang of bandits or a military unit.

Another way of look at combat encounters is to how much of an incentive would you like to provide to the player? The more after-combat looting is allowed, the more the player is likely to seek combat. Or .... make combat dangerous and unpredictable, even for the girl with good combat-related stats. In this case, combat is to be avoided unless the girl is desperate: Higher rewards = higher risks.

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jack1974
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Re: Spirited Heart

Post by jack1974 » Thu Sep 22, 2011 9:50 pm

Well combat would be 1 vs 1, and was thinking about dungeons mostly. I could do a bit like Recettear indeed, where you get XP but also items to salvage or resell. I was even thinking special items that boost various stats, not necessarily related to combat (Amulet of Charisma for example). And have the combat moderately dangerous. This way could be a sort of shortcut or alternative path to normal stat grinding.

Disintegration
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Re: Spirited Heart

Post by Disintegration » Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:38 pm

One way of making combat dangerous is to have seriously negative consequences in case things do not go as planned. For example, if the girl gets curb-stomped (but short of entering the afterlife!), then her Health and Morale go down the drain. Depending on the severity of damage received, it could take weeks for her to get her Health back. If the injury is bad enough, she could lose s significant chunk of her Strength, Stamina, and Combat. In addition, she has goes through a trauma in which her Morale will also take weeks to recover. If the trauma is bad enough, she could lose a signficant chunk of stats like Concentration, Dexterity, Wisdom, plus one or more skill points. Healing potions are available, but the most they can provide is to have her recover at a somewhat faster rate. If she has good friendship and/or relationship, they could help lessen the trauma and help her recover quicker. Depending on who has whooped her rear-end, she could also lose Reputation. If the combat result is moderately unsuccessful, then she will still take penalties, but within less extreme bounds. Needless to say, combat in general takes away valuable time she could have used to work, study, and train, even if she only suffers from bruises and scratches.

Speaking of stat-grinding, I think this area alone deserves quite a bit of brainstorming.

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jack1974
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Re: Spirited Heart

Post by jack1974 » Fri Sep 23, 2011 7:52 am

Yes that's an interesting suggestion - but I would need to balance it carefully. For "hardcore" players it won't be a problem, but I had many "casual" players that are already pissed off by the small stats decreasing that happens already in the Spirited Heart Deluxe :) Though is true that in the case of the combat, they wouldn't be forced at all to get into it. It should be a way to "risk" something, with big rewards. So players who feel more brave could try to get a big boost with combat, while those who prefers to play safely can keep doing their daily activities/jobs :)

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Re: Spirited Heart

Post by Disintegration » Fri Sep 23, 2011 6:01 pm

The current version of SH already has 'easy' and 'normal' modes. I think this is good enough. A more complicated approach would be to have a game setup table that has a list of sliding scales. Possible options:

1. Tax rate: Range: 0% to 50%. This sets the average tax rate. The actual tax rates fluctuate around it. Higher setting also results in more volatile fluctuation.

2. Romance difficulty: The higher the setting, the more the girl must invest time and money to develop and upkeep relationship.

3. Unused skills decrease: Zero setting means no unused skills decrease over time.

4. Training difficulty: Higher setting means stats increase at a slower rate. Also, the girl's health and mood have stronger impact on stat increases.

5. Ordinary random encounters: Zero setting means the girl does not go through random encounters like illness and going out of the town to see her friend's marriage ceremony.

6. Game save allowance: Per week or per month. If the latter option is chosen, the player can only save game at the beginning of a month.

Overall: The player can customize game difficulty to suit his/her taste. However, if the overall game setting is a bit too easy, then he/she cannot unlock some special scenes and events.

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jack1974
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Re: Spirited Heart

Post by jack1974 » Fri Sep 23, 2011 9:41 pm

Thanks that's a very good suggestion - a bit like many "sandbox" games were you can adjust the difficulty of several aspects of the game. Will surely remember this when I start working on SH2!

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