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March of the Magi: game ideas

10-12-2010, 10:58 PM
#1
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 501
March of the Magi: game ideas

March of the Magi is for all intents and purposes a zelda clone... which means this is a list of ideas, concepts and thoughts on how i would do an action adventure RPG on the iphone

core focuses:
-huge world to explore with tons of treasures to find
-fast paced action RPG combat
-top down perspective for sure! very much like the classic mobile zelda games; a Link to The Past and The Minish Cap
-simple goal (save the princess or some entity) but a deep evolving game experience as you go about trying to accomplish that goal in a fantasy world that is afflicted with conflict and struggle

additional themes & story elements:
-the game opens up in a very chaotic time in the game world
-where 2 sides are pitted against each other:
-1) those who view magic as evil and only wish to eradicate it from the land for the greater good
-and 2) those who view magic as an ancient art form that is neither good nor evil but depends on the heart of the wielder, but nevertheless only wish to preserve it for the greater good
-this additional theme will add depth to the experience as the gamer will indirectly influence the outcome of the struggle during their quest to rescue the princess or entity
-its also a great way to present gamers with moral choices that may affect gameplay and future events
-which will add phenomenal replay value
-so basically a world that is full of life, fantasy and hope for the future but is currently suffering from misery and distraught over a conflict and struggle against and for magic

art style;
-vibrant and detailed environments and sprites
-a mythical medieval fantasy world

name/branding;
-"march of the magi" is not a finalize name set in stone its just a working title

other possible names could be;
-The Legend of Magi
-Magi of something
-Magi Tales
-ect

up next gameplay and controls

I consult with the 7 sages

Last edited by cubytes; 10-13-2010 at 02:10 AM.
10-13-2010, 12:37 AM
#2
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 501
gameplay;

im having a conflict of interest here trying to design the gameplay systems. a part of me wants to stick to the original zelda formula religiously and be a total copy cat and another part of me wants to keep the experience in tact but redesign the system completely incorporating elements from other RPG genres and franchises...

im leaning more towards recreating the experience of zelda with an entirely new and more complex system...

for instance;

health and MP;
-i kinda want to stick to the same system that zelda uses in terms of health even the fact that you have to find heart pieces to increase heath
-i would also expand this concept and have mp fall under the same system where to replenish your MP you have to find orbs that drop or appear same way as hearts would in zelda games
-the main reason is to prevent interruptions to the flow of action to where the gamer doesn't have to pause the action to use collected healing items

tools;
-tools like the hammer and hook shot and boots ect played a big part in the zelda experience
-but im wanting to relegate that into character abilities...
-to where instead of finding a hammer out in the world just lying around somewhere you have to complete a string of quests to recruit a beefed up character who has the ability to break rocks when he is in your party or has a hook shot ability ect

party;
-zelda has never had a party in the traditional sense
-im wanting to use a party to add depth to the single player combat by allowing the players to assign strategies and also hotkey party member attacks
-you can also set strategies like go all out or only support character
-a party would also make cooperative play possible and make sense
-im wanting a total of 6 characters at least each with an attribute that allows them to access or get thru a certain area; but you can have only 3 in your party (on the field) at a time.
-but there is no limit to how you can swap members in and out of your party you just have to do it via a menu
-also wanting to have secret characters too
-the party members could essentially wipe out the need for items/tools so every ability that is central to the zelda experience could be relegated to a character ability this includes a big brute character that can break rocks, another character that can change night to day, one that can teleport party and perhaps a few more abilities like a summoner, and a time traveler that can turn back time if you goof up and fall to your death (similar to prince of Persia)
-you can also swap control across your party members
-each party member will have a unique weapon type
-the main character will fight with swords or different variations of swords
-another may use and axe or hammer
-one might use throwing weapons like throwing knives, boomerangs ect
-another may use long range bows, cross bows, ect
-another may use a lance, or javelin ect
-ect

equipment;
-you could have; weapons, armors and accessories that have different attributes
-a whole set of weapons and multiple variations of the weapon type for each character; with each weapon having its own unique attributes
-multiple sets of armor for each character each with their own set of attributes and of course each set of armor may also change the appearance of the sprite
-accessories will be tied to armor in that the amount of accessory slots will vary between different armor sets. some will only have 1 slot others multiple slots ect
-the accessories just give you bonus stats like extra damage, extra speed, both offensive and defensive elemental attributes, and special bonuses like cut mp cost in half ect ect

items:
-the only kinds of collectible items that would be needed in the game is
-gold to purchase stuff (and stuff can be sold for gold)
-equipment (weapons, armor, accessories)
-and key items that are needed to progress the story; it wouldn't be a zelda like experience if you didn't have to collect multiple key objects to progress the story
-however im wanting to shy away from usable items such as potions, ethers, status effect remedies in the traditional sense

the concept of magic;
-im leaning towards the accessories being used as the primary means of equipping and using magic in the field
-in that you will have to equip an accessory in order to be able to use magic; you will find many accessories each carrying a unique kind of basic elemental or non elemental attack spells
-the concept of magic will be described in detail in a later post
-the previous status boosting attributes that i originally intened for the accessories would instead be tied to special rare weapons and armor
-magic use depletes mp
-party members who are not under your control will not cast magic therefore they will not need to worry about collecting mp orbs
-the player can only cast magic, the AI will not cast magic

abilities;
-most of the abilities each character has (replacing tools) will be initiated in context but only if party member is currently active on the field
-however for unique abilities such as turn night to day, teleport or summon you will have to assign them to your party. then switch to manually control them upon which an additional icon will appear, then you just tap it to initate the special ability (consumes mp)

other then that i def want to stick to the core zelda experience which focuses on exploration, action, platforming and loads of dungeons and puzzles to solve. i would definitely shy away from the traditional JARPG (zenonia) like experience which focuses on action grinding and story driven linear experiences

now the fun part designing the controls

I consult with the 7 sages

Last edited by cubytes; 10-13-2010 at 01:11 AM.
10-13-2010, 01:49 AM
#3
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 501
controls;

movement:
free floating VJ; meaning it will not be static and persistent on the screen but rather only appear when/where you place your thumb. lift thumb off the screen it fades away, put thumb back on screen and it fades in right under your thumb

action button;
-one finger friendly button on the bottom right
-tap to do attacks
-tap and hold to block & charge a spin attack (which will allow you to strafe as well) release to unleash the spin attack
-you will also use the action button to charge, aim and cast magic with a simple gesture
-basically you tap hold then drag action button slightly away from its location like it was tied to that location by an invisible rubber band. once it reaches it maximum threshold or distance from which it can pulled away from the starting position the spell will be ready to cast. if you do not pull it all the way it will not cast. when the spell is ready to cast you aim it by rotating the button using the trajectory it will travel when it snaps back into its starting position as the guide to aiming the spell in the game world, to unleash the spell you simply lift thumb off screen and voila
-one more thing; jumping this will be done by flicking up quickly vertically across the action button


there will be 2 squared (beveled edged) hotkey place holders;
-these will be located across the bottom of the screen and placed in an organized fashion
-these placeholders will be filled with party members face thumbnail when a party member is assigned in them
-if you dont have party members yet they will not be on the screen
-if you only have 1 additional party member there will only be one on the screen
-the second placeholder will appear when you recruit your 2nd party member and they will automatically be assigned to a place holder
-when you recruit your 3rd party member you will be able to do the swap gesture
-this will also show you their health
-this hotkey icon/button is how you will swap party members
-it is also how you will initiate party member attacks (as if it was a skill)
-and change controllable party member on the fly
-just tap on it to initiate party member attack as if it was a skill in the direction your character is facing, the party member will simply attack in that direction; if character has melee weapon they will simply charge and attack anything in there path; long range character will hold position and simply throw or shoot their weapon in that direction
-tap and hold on it to fill a bar that fades in across the top of the icon/button/placehold once it fills you will immediately switch control to that character and the character you were previously controlling will fill in the placeholder
-if you change your mind and dont want to switch you just lift thumb off the screen before that bar fills; but it fills pretty quickly
-if you want to swap party members in and out of your active party quickly you just tap on the icon/thumnbail/hotkey/placeholder then drag it up and it will take the thumbnail icon and pull it out of the hotkey
-this gesture will pause live action and bring up the character specific menu page where you can drag and drop characters in and out of the 2 hotkey placeholders essentially swaping them in/out (you can also access this page via the game menu as well)

game menu;
-top left or right (does it matter?) there will be an item bag icon
-just tap on this icon to pause game and bring up the full in game menu

radar/mini-map;
-in the top right or left (opposite of the game menu icon) there will be a radar/mini map
-just tap on the radar/mini map to expand to a full size map where you can set waypoints and have a more detailed map to figure out where you have to go
-additionally you can access the map via the game menu

misc control details;
-special abilities like change night into day, teleport and others will be done via an additional on screen button that appears right above the action button when you take control of a character with such an ability
-simply tap on this icon to initiate the ability which will immediately initiate or bring up a menu where you can choose other options like a specific destination or specific creature to summon
-the rest of the abilities like breaking rocks or hook shoot will be done via context sensitive pop ups if you have that character in your active party regardless if you are controlling them or not
-talking to NPC, opening treasure chests or lifting pots or chopping boxes is all done by walking towards the object and tapping the action button (although some heavy objects may require you lift them with your brute character manually)
-as for the time traveler character if they do make the cut; you will have to have them in your active party (you dont have to manually control them) when you are falling and/or registered as imminent death, a context sensitive pop up will appear several seconds before you die, you will be able to turn back time by tapping and holding on the button in this pop up, to stop the reverse time process you simply lift finger off screen and the pop up will fade away immediately. however this action requires mp and if character runs out of mp before you turn back time right before imminent death you will not be able to escape death and thus be given the game over screen and will have 3 options; retry which will put you right back into the action (maybe with a penalty?) load (a manual save), or quit.

as of right now im satisfied with this control scheme (i may reiterate it later) but if anything this will be a good starting point...

now the fun part:
-drawing out conceptual art
-composing the music
-pounding out the dialog/story
-and developing/programing

all of which are skill sets i unfortunately lack

I consult with the 7 sages

Last edited by cubytes; 10-13-2010 at 02:48 AM.