This is the first of a series of small posts I’ll be making about the design and development of the core game play in Fae Tactics. This post will briefly go over the combat system as a whole and the follow up post will go into some details about specific parts.
As with all of our projects there are a large number of influences from our life long love of games. If I had to narrow it down the two most important influences to this particular project are Final Fantasy Tactics, and Culdcept Saga. What we were aiming for was a combination of the now classic tactical combat of FF Tactics with the collectible and strategic deck(party) building found in Culdcept Saga. Before we started any of the main development there were a few design constraints I established with the intent of keeping the scope in check (Haha) as well forcing creativity in the design of the game. The main one of these constraints was no combat menus. With this in place I designed as much of the combat as I could to be context based. Now let’s take a look at exactly what that meant.
The combat progresses in Rounds and each one has a player turn and an enemy turn. On your turn each of your units can Move and/or take Action. One way to bring depth to the combat system with no menu was through the movement system. Each Unit has stats for Move Distance and Jump height. How far and how high a unit can go greatly alters how that unit can be used strategically.
Selecting an empty space within range will cause the active unit to move there. There is of course standard moving by walking and jumping up/down on terrain, but some units also have passive movement skills that alter how they can move. For an examples, units that have the Aquatic move skill can walk on both land and water and receive a buff while in the water. Units with Aerial move skill have an increased evasion chance as well as being able to move over most terrain and avoid triggering traps. Positioning is also very important since attacking from behind decreases the targets chance to use reaction skills and attacking from high elevation grants bonus damage.
Selecting a space occupied by an enemy unit will cause the active unit to make an attack action. Each unit has multiple attributes for their attacks that I will go into more detail about later. For now I will only talk about attack types which each unit has one of. Units with Arch attack type have a greater vertical reach (both up and down) than standard attack types, but deal reduced damage to units directly next to them forcing them to keep their distance from the target. Melee attack type units can perform combo attacks if they are standing adjacent to an enemy unit that is currently being attacked by one of their allies.
Selecting a space occupied by an ally will cause the active unit to assist that unit. Assisting can grant various stat boosts as well as Enchants (We’ll talk about Enchants and Curses later) and even reviving wounded allies. The type of assist used is determined by the Element of the assisting unit. I will explain more about this in a post about critical damage which is also determined by element.
Building and customizing your party is a very important part of the game. There are many factors to take into consideration when selecting your party. Factors like movement skills and attack types mention above, as well as other traits and abilities we have yet to show you. Your party can have up to three “Leader” units and up to three “Summoned” units. Leader units are the main characters of the story and each have there own set of unique skills. If a leader unit dies that’s game over. Summoned units on the other hand are re-summoned at the start of each battle and can freely be used to scope out or set up your enemy. That doesn’t mean you should use them recklessly though, having the right summoned units to support your leaders throughout the battle can make a huge difference. There is also the fact that summoned units that die during a battle don’t receive the bonus victory Xp awarded at the end of a battle. In another post I will go into the details of customizing, upgrading, and obtaining your party.
That’s it for this first post about the game play in Fae Tactics. We look forward to showing you more about the combat. (All sorts of cool stuff like spell talisman and super moves!) We’ll send you off with some of the awesome music Sam English has composed for the game so far, bye for now.