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The Vessel of a thousand souls -- Action JRPG idea

06-09-2010, 12:46 AM
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 501
The Vessel of a thousand souls -- Action JRPG idea

The Vessel of a thousand souls (working title)

The Vessel of a Thousand souls is a game design inspired by the tales series, which essentially is a molding of a 2D fighter in an action JRPG world, whereby randomly generated battles play out as if it was a 2D fighter, the LMBS if you will. I would like to expand on that idea a bit here in this thread.

4 core focuses:
-Party Members
-dynamic gameplay
-dynamic enemies

Party Members

There will be 2 core roles:

You can only have one primary and one support character in the battle at a time but you can swap them in and out at will. The primary character is the character you control, while the support character will be AI controlled and act according to certain criteria set by the gamer.

I also want to play on relationships (good combinations) to add bonuses, and combos chains that may activate a special combo attack if sustained to a certain number.

You can make any character in your party a support character and a primary character.

4 archtypes:
2:dark magic
3:white magic
4:sage (summoner)

I want the arch-types to be locked in like a black magic arch-type can not learn vitality spells, and can only use black magic, and vice a versa. However you are free to develop the magic and skills each character can learn as you want but there is no cross-over skills or magic. The arch-types are locked into place.

the melee arch-type will be the most abundant type of character in the game and in the party and represent sub-types like a fallen-knight, an elf (archer), samurai, ninja, bandit, ect but they can equip any weapon they want and develop skills according to the weapons you equip them but they have an affinity to a specific type of weapon or fighting stlye and that affinity gives them extra bonuses when they are equipped with that weapon and they learn skills from that weapon faster.

black mages are the bad guys (if you will) in the story because i want the art of black magic to be just that evil because in the lore/story when wielding evil it corrupts the soul. so you will not have any black mages in your party until you get a little bit into the game, and that character is the vessel of a thousand souls and represent a major part of the plot. since that character has a thousand souls the character is less likely to become corrupted and can control the power more easily without losing control.

white magic are priestesses and monks. you will get only two in your party one priestess and one monk. they are the weakest in terms of offensive and attack power, and will not be effective fighters at all until they level up a bit, but they make ideal support characters, and along with the vessel of a thousand souls they can enchant weapons, armor, and accessories

sages is an optional character in the game but not a secret character. its a dieing art so there arent that many sages left. the sage is like a bridge to the spirit world and the physical world, and has the ability to summon legendary spirits to the physical world. so basically this character once you get him or her fights by summoning spirits to the physical world

secret characters/party members:

once you get the sage you can get the Avatar, a legendary spirit that can manipulate all 4 elements. its either you must summon the Avatar after you master the sage and defeat it in battle to acquire the character, or its a part of the story a secret side quest where you go to the spirit world with the sage and one other character and must defeat the Avatar or something like that before he or she decides to join your party...

-a half demon (like inuyasha) a secret very powerful melee archtype that you can find somewhere later on near the end of the game

-any others that you can think of?

Dynamic Gameplay

The gameplay will vary depending on the weapons you equip for your melee characters, and you can swap them in and out on the fly in the middle of a battle. In addition before/after battles you change up the weapons you equip.

Also there is a distinct difference in gameplay between the four arch-types and secret characters, each of them controls a little bit differently.

Dynamic Enemies

each battle will be dynamic in that:
-there will be a boss or alpha enemy
-the rest of the enemies will simply be support for the boss
-sometimes enemies will need to be hit by a certain skill before you can damage them
-story elements might influence some battles as characters will be adamant about fighting an enemy alone and such


the majority of the battles will be randomly generated battles:
-in the open world or in dungeons as you walk around battles will initiate
-sometimes in towns under certain conditions

There will also be 4 insanely difficult monsters (harder then the last boss kinda like the weapons from FF7) that roam around on the open world later on in the game that you can challenge

There will also be monsters and enemies that walk around on the battle field or town that can be challenged

Sometimes you have to defeat a character in battle before they join your party

You can turn the battle generator on/off

You can whistle to immediately initiate an area like battle so you don't have to walk around in circles when you want to level grind. when you whistle it sets up like an arena where battles will commence back to back and after each battle you have the option to quit or continue. Also after each battle they get harder and harder, and you get better loot and such.

sometimes the story forces you to fight battles as in you get ambushed and stuff like that.

Additional Thoughts

NPC characters:

As you travel you will pick up NPC support characters that play a part in the story and have a personality. You dont ever have to go out and search for them and recruit them with the exception of one (the beast tamer) they all just join your party as you progress through the game.

There will be:
-a cook
-a blacksmith
-an artisan
-a travel guide
-A beast tamer

these will be characters that are you get when the story evolves so you can create a mini town when you are in dungeons, or in the open wold when you camp. when camping you can also talk with your party members to get your equipment enchanted or just understand more about them.

The cook will cook food out of the loot you collect which will mostly be used to give the party special bonuses (strength up, defense up ect) . The cook learns recipes by traveling the world and meeting cooks from different inns or finding/purchasing them from shops. The cook will level up as you cook more and more meals and might even learn a recipe or two on their own. when you camp you go to the mess and talk to the cook select a meal out of the ingredients that you have and the cook will make it for the entire party.

The blacksmith will forge/synthesize weapons and armor out of the loot you collect. when you set up camp you will need to talk to the blacksmith to open the forge/synthesize shop menu. in order to make great weapons you will need to find or purchase blueprints.

Artisan's will be able to make accessories out of the loot you collect

The travel guide will allow you to fast travel from camp to a previous town, or location as in fast travel

the beast tamer is an optional NPC character that is basically the mount/pet guy where you will be able to capture creatures to use for mounts/vehicles or to call on these creatures to aide in battle. once you get the beast tamer you can go on monster hunts side quests, and start to capture pets, or get mounts that you can use anytime you want.


-no potions, elixirs, or phoenix downs ect
-instead there is ingredient drops that can be used to make food, used for synthesizing/forging ect
-all of the ingredients can typically be bought or sold with exception of some of the rare materials (but they can still be sold tho)
-loot just to sell for money
-scrolls for the magic; melee don't need them they just learn skills based on weapons, but for magic users you have to acquire the scroll then spend points to learn them
-blueprints for forging weapons, armor, and accessories


there will be many kinds of weapons

for armor there will be:
-outfits/sets no bangles no helmets ect
-these will show up on the characters and not be imaginary
-they can be enchanted to give special effects
-they can be bought, found or created


I consult with the 7 sages
06-09-2010, 01:21 AM
Joined: Nov 2009
Location: Colorado
Posts: 344
Would insta buy it. Tales series is my favorite series of games very closely followed by Fire Emblem and Super Robot Taisen (which is already happening this summer)

06-09-2010, 03:06 AM
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 501

General Controls

-virtual joystick bottom left for movement
-action button bottom right for interacting with objects
-mini map top right or left dont matter tap to bring up full map
-pause button/menu button pauses the game and brings up full screen menu

Battle Controls

Melee classes

Short range............................................. ........................

*these are melee fighters with swords, knives axes, poles ect equipped

-no VJ or anything just an empty space?
-or have a floating VJ bottom left like mini gore
-to move forward, just tap on the vj then slide it left or right
-dash forward: flick the vj forwards
-dash backwards: flick the vj backwards

-tap hold bottom right side of the screen (on the action button) also charges strong attack & also blocks at the same time
-swipe across VJ with other thumb to roll forwards and backwards
-do you need a roll?
-whats the difference between a roll and a dash?
-you can roll through enemies? idk?

-flick the VJ up quickly to jump straight up vertically
-flick the VJ up diagonally to jump up and forward

-flick the VJ down, can be sustained by holding VJ down
-just used for sweeps
-do you need a crouch at all?
-could use this for block? instead of adding block to the charge attack....

-tap and hold action button to do a charge attack which will also block
-this also charges a strong attack too
-charge up an attack and release with perfect timing to parry
-some enemy attacks can not be blocked and will not only break the block but cancel out the strong attack

-action button on the bottom right side of the screen
-just one button
-tap that button like crazy to do quick attacks
-tap and hold to charge up a strong attack (also blocks)
-when charging a strong attack you can still move, but just very slowly
-you can jump and launch strong attack in the air
-or launch strong attack it when crouching
-when charging strong attack you can roll to position yourself better
-if you are hit when charging strong attack you absorb the damage (block) but it also cancels out the charge forcing you to continue to hold or restart the charge
-flick down then tap action button to do sweep
-flick up to jump then tap action button to attack in mid air

-tap on the action button like crazy to do base combos
-each weapon type has its own combos
-as you level up the base combos get longer
-kinda like kingdom hearts, know what i mean?
-just basically continuous attacks

-small button right above the action button this is a skill hotkey
-tap and hold to bring up transparent on screen menu (slightly see thru)
-this menu will show all of the skills you have in your hotkey
-skills take sp (skill points) to use
-just tap on an icon to initiate a skill

Long range............................................. ....................................

*these are melee class party members with weapons like a bow, crossbow, guns, ect equipped

works essentially the same as short range except:
-tap action button to fire single quick blind shot (hits closest enemy)
-tap and hold on enemy to aim and fire a powerful direct shot
-strong attack initiates a very powerful long range attack but it is blind and only hits closest enemy
-all projectile attacks so when you tap on the action button you dont swing a sword you shot a projectile that is blind and hits closest enemy

Half demon class............................................. ................
-works the same as melee class but you dont have any skills
-instead you have a form change
-the button right above the action button glows when your ready to change forms
-the changed form is deadly

magic classes

should they be support NPC only? or no?

black............................................. ...........................

works the same as a long range melee class except:
-shots fireballs instead of arrows or bullets
-when you tap the skill button you are shown a hotkey of spells instead of skills

white............................................. ..........................

works the same as a short range melee class except:
-the attacks are really weak
-you can tap on character to quickly heal if priestess and buff if monk
-tap on button right above action button to bring up a hotkey of spells
-spells will work on both support and primary character

sage.............................................. ............................

works the same as long range melee except:
-animals or creatures will be used for quick summon attacks
-tap and hold will use powerful direct summon attack
-a button right over the action button will bring up a list of summons

avatar?........................................... ..............................
-fire is a black magic art would this class make sense?
-might remove this class from OP

last but not least:

-a banner that displays the HP and MP/SP for the primary and support characters currently engaged in battle
-might be able to fit in at the bottom

party swap:
-i want to be able to swap on the fly without having to pause the game
-maybe a banner with party member thumbnails that you drag and drop over the character you want to swap out too
-like drag it from the top all the way to the bottom banner over the support character or primary characters thumbnail to swap
-maybe a simple button or something to show and hide this banner?

of course you would need to test this first

I consult with the 7 sages
06-09-2010, 03:52 AM
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 501
Originally Posted by Drexra View Post
Would insta buy it. Tales series is my favorite series of games very closely followed by Fire Emblem and Super Robot Taisen (which is already happening this summer)

i actually got into the tales series late in the game via Tales of Vesperia on the 360, which i really enjoyed so i kinda went back in time to play some of the old psx titles like TOD2 emulator style with a hacked madcats 360 controller

I consult with the 7 sages
06-09-2010, 05:38 AM
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 501
to further refine the controls/gameplay:

VJ: (works the same for all classes)

-slide it left or right to move forwards and backwards
-slide it up or up and to the right to jump
-slide it down to crouch (block)
-flick left or right across the VJ to dash backwards and forwards
-no need to flick up or down....

call in pets to fight for you: (works the same with all classes)

once you have got the beast tamer you can capture pets and then summon them in battle. this will add a button right above the action button (the used to be skill button) tapping this will pause the game and bring up a pet menu. you can then select a pet or a team of pets (like a monster team from dragon quest) to fight for you but you have no control over them, all you can do is dismiss them, or wait until they win or die.

limit breaks (works the same for every class control wise)

when you can activate a limit break a contextual pop up button will appear simply tap on it to initiate the move or mode change depending on the class. it has its own charge time and does not use up sp or mp when you initiate it. as you take damage or deal damage it will fill up.

for melee class:

short range controls...........................

Action button:
-this is just one big button that handles attacks and what not
-tap to do quick attacks
-tap and hold to charge up strong attack

-gamers can assign up to 4 skills at a time
-the skills can be initiated by doing flicks on the action button
-flick up, flick down, flick left, flick right a total of 4 skills
-requires sp to use

-just like the tales series they involve utilizing skills
-combos are just different variation of taps and flicks (attacks and skills)

long range.......

Action button, but:
-tapping the action button will shoot arrows/bullets/ect blindly meaning they just hit the closest enemy for small damage
-the strong attack has been changed to where you have to tap and hold on the action button then tap on an enemy or multiple enemies to do a targeted power shot
-skills work the same just flicks across the action button
-so do combos

the limit break is simply a very powerful move

for magic:

all of the magic classes will use this;
-instead of a flat circle action button
-the action button shape will be more of a hexagon with 4 sides
-you flick left and right to rotate the hexagon
-you can assign up to 4 spells
-each spell can have multiple levels or types
-flick up or down to increase or decrease the level of that spell or change the type
-each spell will be casted differently
-you tap and hold on the action button to begin casting the spell
-you then will have to do some gestures with your other thumb
-either target a specific enemy by tapping on them, highlight an area, draw a line, ect

black magic............

is going to be a lot different then i originally intended. in this game world black magic is evil and therefore the spells themselves need to come across as evil and not be merely a generic elemental based art, so this will take a bit of creativity... but i know i want the spells to be all attacks not spells like sleep or silence. this is an offensive class so all the spells will cause damage some more then others, and some may even cause negative status effects as well.

white magic.................

is going to be all about vitality, buffs and reviving, with some attack spells opening up later on in the game or you use white magic against the living dead or something like that...


is slightly different then the white and black magic classes. in that you dont acquire scrolls to learn new spells but you must make a pact with a spirit by defeating it in battle before you can summon them. you will acquire many spirits but you can only assign 4 of them to the hotkey at a time. once you have made a pact and start earning exp the spirit will level up and gain new kinds of spells which you can alternate by flicking up and down

the limit break for magic allows the party member to change into overdrive mode and cast magic without depleting mp for a short while

secret classes:


-works just like melee class, can equip both short and long range weapons, can use skills. the only difference is the limit break. instead of doing one single powerful move the half demon class goes into into demon form.this recharges a lot faster then a normal limit break but when in this mode you lose control of the character until they return to their half demon form.

elemental class............................................. ....

bringing the avatar class back as a special character but its going to be called an elemental and it will be the generic elemental class. its still a spirit that you have to defeat on a secret side quest tho and you still need the sage to get it, but the elemental must possess one of your melee class bodies from then on out so you have to sacrifice one of your melee fighters to become the elemental and from then on they have a sort of split personality (hehehe)

you start out with all the 4 elements available to you from the get go but you must level up the elemental to gain better levels of these spells. there is only 4 elements and you change elements by rotating the action button, from fire to water to earth, to wind ect and you flick up or down to change the levels from fire to firaga, to a blue flame to lighting, ect.

any other secret classes you can think of?

I consult with the 7 sages
06-09-2010, 07:58 AM
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 501
further consideration:

im trying to lean away from using healing items all together...

by doing the following:
-hp/mp will slowly regenerate after a short while
-after each battle hp/mp bonuses are awarded to the entire party
-camping or sleeping at an inn will replenish hp
-magic will replenish hp

I'm trying to put more importance on using magic for healing, its quick fast and doesn't require packing around a ton of items and doesn't throw the breaks in the action experience. of course the rest of the game will have to be balanced for this to work.


i want camping to play a big role in this game and really be like a mobile town if you will complete with:

-shops every now and then from traveling merchants visiting the campsite
-talk to your cook to make meals that give your party members bonuses
-talk to your blacksmith or artisan to do forging/synthesizing (meaning its not in the main menu and you have to camp in order to do so)
-an inn to rest
-you can chat with your party members
-you can find quests
-get your equipment enchanted


i loved skits from the tales series and if i was to make an action RPG skits would be high up on my list


ahh the fun part!! im not real good at writing stories or dialog, so if you want to fill in the blanks be my guest

i want it to be:
-personal and character based
-mysterious and deep
-start off small and easy to follow but blow up into epic proportions
-very emotional
-lots of lore
-intelligent dialog that nods to new skills that characters learn or decisions that the gamer makes or battles that the gamer has fought ect
-intelligent skits that evolve depending on what the gamer does and how far the gamer is along in the story
-i want the NPCs and all the characters to have a personality and not just dry and generic dialog

all i have so far is that the story somehow revolves around the vessel of a thousand souls, the last survivor of an ancient civilization that somehow survived (idk how) and coincidentally ended up with a thousand souls of his or her ancestors, and last but not least was somehow cursed with black magic, which is evil and forbidden. he or her seeks nothing more then to rid himself/herself from the curse of black magic by to unfortunately master it and destroy the final boss without the evil corrupting the souls of course, sometimes it gets out of hand like naruto does in 9 tails fox form and the character loses control.

the world is very fantasy like, there will be demons and subsequently half demons, elfs, sages and many more inhabitants that brings the fantasy so the story has plenty to play off of.

I also want the protagonist to be a melee class who somehow gets involved and is the leader of the party. the antagonist will be the harbinger of the black magic or its source or something like that....possibly a demon most likely.

I would also like something that plays the role of the 'carrot on the string' and is intimately intertwined with the story something like the sacred jewel shards from inuyasha that the party has to collect or gather up. I want something compelling like that deeply embedded in the story. plus there is gamer driven incentive like gathering scrolls, recipies, blueprints, and pet monsters for an advantage, but thats not really a key plot point (although it could be) and dont forget about the sage too off gathering up and making pacts with legendary spirits and while i dont intend on that being the key plot incentive and mostly an additional gamer driven incentive but it could have a lot more weight on the plot and be very interesting to explore and much less generic then gathering scrolls and such

idk like i said im not good at stories

art style & graphics

i want the art style to be very anime-ish of course if its going to be an action jrpg it kinda has to be...

the graphics i want to be at least psx quality with pre-rendered backgrounds instead of grid based kinda like chaos ring


needs to have a fast frame-rate the combat is the core of the gameplay experience and it needs to be as fast as a console game and not scaled down, to slightly more faster then slo mo. it should be easier to pull off anyways since its more flexible from a design perspective as the world and the battle engines will be completely separate and therefore can be optimized

plus fluent and life like animations no rigidness

cut scenes

i would like to do many MANY in game cut scenes (that are well directed) with situations acted out both on the open world engine, and the battle engine. if possible i would like to go for FMV cut-scenes to that emphasize key moments in the game and serve as the reward for making it to a certain point. need to come correct with this for sure the cut-scenes are vital but need to be solid.

I consult with the 7 sages
06-09-2010, 05:43 PM
Joined: Sep 2009
Location: ummm Cali
Posts: 131
story ideas

DANG!!! You have obviously put a lot of thought into this. Would love to help you with it but I hardly know any programming. I could make some of the sprites and part of the story; let me know. First off, I didn't know if you wanted the "stereotypical" JRPG story (and by all means this is NOT a bad thing) or something a little different. For example, a ST (stereotypical) JRPG IMO consists of something like a chosen one or something who nobody realizes is this person, and the person him/herself doesn't know either besides weird dreams or some signs like that. I remember creating a JRPG (for PC) with a little different story which consisted of a kid from present times who is summoned into an alternate dimension/back in time to save the world/dimension (sorry I can't be more specific, its been a while ) Either way, and depending on how long you want the game to be, and also how serious, I would recommend that the vessel be a physical object able to be stored in an inventory, or something like that. A few takes on this could be the following:

1: This vessel was a result of an army of demons that tried to overtake earth, however a holy warrior with a shining blade was able to defeat them and shut their souls into a jar/chest (the vessel) so they could no longer take over the earth. One problem, however, is that the leader of the army of a thousand demons was able to posses a human boy, and, knowing that the holy warrior wouldn't kill the boy because of his innocence, would be free to release his army at a later time. This plan backfired, however, when the holy warrior sacrificed his position as a guardian of light (or something else) in order to expel the demon from the boy. The demon was wounded from the kindness in the warriors heart, however he threatened to kill the boy himself (this time instead of making the warrior do it) unless the warrior gave him the location of the vessel. The warrior agreed, however the demon decided to kill the boy anyway after the location of the vessel was given to him, telling the warrior "you can't stop me." The warrior then had to make a choice: either return to the sanctuary of light, giving him his powers back but killing the boy, or sacrificing his own life to save the boy. The demon thought he would choose to return to the sanctuary of light, after all it would be the warrior killing the boy if he left, (as opposed to earlier when the warrior himself would be forced to kill the boy directly), however the warrior chose to save the boy.
At this time, the demon thrust the warrior's sword into the boy's heart, but it was too late; the boy's soul and the warrior's had already fused. The sword, which glowed with the boy's courage, had not been able to pierce his heart, and the boy rose and attacked the demon (The now dead warrior's soul was taken into a fairy's fountain, in which it was given time to heal, and in time would become a guardian spirit for future generations of the boy). The demon threw the boy off of him and ran for the vessel, trying to release his army. The boy, all of a sudden aware of what the demon was planning, picked up the sword and ran at the demon, and struck one of his legs, the purity of the sword slicing through it in one fluid motion. The demon cried out in pain and cast a spell which shattered the sword and scattered its pieces. The boy than grabbed the key to the vessel and ran home, while the wounded demon lay there dying. 1000 years later or something, a mysterious baby boy showed up on the doorstep of a kind family. The couple than adopted the baby and raised him, not knowing what the weird necklace that he wore when he appeared meant, or why he had a scar on his heart. Meanwhile, an evil human who wanted to take over the world found the demon, and they decided to find the vessel and take over the world as a Hue, part demon, part human...
anyway I have more Ideas, tell me what you think

Currently Playing: Hybrid (The first one), Block Fortress
Waiting For: MC5
Hoping For: RCT!!!!!
06-09-2010, 05:55 PM
Joined: Aug 2009
Location: #317
Posts: 1,216
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Good Luck, cool idea, find a developer and good luck http://www.lostgarden.com/2005/08/wh...e-designs.html
this is a good read on the subject

You won't find me on the leaderboards.
06-09-2010, 10:00 PM
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 501
Originally Posted by paulm12 View Post
I would recommend that the vessel be a physical object able to be stored in an inventory, or something like that.
interesting i never thought of the vessel of a thousand souls as a physical object, which actually works well with the whole "carrot on the stick" approach and I really like the direction you took that. Good stuff!!

so the party must gather these pieces of the vessel of a thousand souls to forge a sword that can defeat the protagonist or the arch enemy?

thats exactly what i was thinking about it

it starts off simple (from a gamers perspective) all you gotta do is collect the pieces possibly for personal gain to defeat an enemy but then you get swept up into this timeless battle and learn the true nature of the pieces and then seek out to gather them up for good to defeat the protagonist and rid the world of its evil influence once and for all.

that is a perfect way to use the story to push a gamer to explore the world and find information on where the next piece is or where the pieces are and its more flexible and open that way, as its up to the gamer to decide which pieces they want to collect and in which order, well for the most part as some areas maybe closed off until you acquire a certain skill and such.

then along the way you come across numerous enemies doing the same thing and have to face many challenges to not only collect the pieces but save the villages or towns from its evil influence. you also learn more about the history and lore and the relationships and struggles of your party. its kinda like an inuyasha influenced story which honestly sounds like it would be awesome for an action RPG game

you any good with dialog too?

I consult with the 7 sages
06-09-2010, 10:03 PM
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 501
Originally Posted by swishinj View Post
Good Luck, cool idea, find a developer and good luck http://www.lostgarden.com/2005/08/wh...e-designs.html
this is a good read on the subject
thanks checked out that link too a very good read indeed!!

I consult with the 7 sages