What I wanted to do for a while now is give people an idea of where things are, as most of 2018 and 2019 were spent completing the engine for the game, we are finally at the point I wanted to be years ago: where we actually make the game!
My focus right now is to complete a very rough demo that will show the basic mechanics of combat, help me clear some bugs out of the engine, get much needed player feedback, and show a basic gameplay loop which is basically this:
- Manage Units
- Enter Combat
- Gain XP/JP/SP
- Back to #1
The demo currently centers around the unit management grid, which is the menu based management system we love so much.
The section revolves mostly around the UI and will feature various options as to what you can do to alter your current party, these options are listed below.
- Unit Sorting: You can sort your units to change how they appear in the unit grid.
- Equipment: Change a unit's current weapon/armor, this section includes a work in progress UI whose main point is to be functional, not pretty. Items can be equipped based on the unit's current class, and all equipment can be selected to view further info on it.
- Jobs: Here you can view each of the ten basic jobs and even purchase a job if you have enough SP. When you purchase a job, it's sort of like permanently learning it. Currently it costs 300 SP to learn a new job and when learned you'll be able to freely switch between any job that unit has learned. When a job is changed, all abilities, passives, and equipment are removed so you will have to visit these sections to get your unit back to fit condition.
Again, this is not how the system would work in-game, while there may be some similarities, this is purely for functional purposes. I need to be able to test things like job switching, and stat balancing.
- Abilities: Here you can equip/unequip learned abilities or even choose to learn new abilities using SP. The abilities you can learn, for now, are dependent on the Jobs you have unlocked. When you unlock/purchase a job, the starting ability for that job is added to the pool of abilities you can learn. Down the line, as you increase Job Rank, more abilities will become available for purchase. There may also be a pool of shared "general" abilities that units will have access to depending on things like Nationality, Gender, Unlocked Jobs, Alignment, and more. These general abilities will help give you options early on, but are currently not implemented.
- Passives: Pretty much the same as Abilities, they are also based on unlocked Jobs and can be purchased with SP. I still haven't decided on having specific types of passives grouped together like in FFT/FFTA/FFTA2 where you have Reaction Passives, and Movement Passives. For now, passives are all in one group.
- Summary: I'm still debating on whether or not to add a unit summary screen since when a unit is selected, it will show basic stats in the top left no matter what screen you are on. The summary screen, if added, would include more specific stats, like # of kills, total damage done, etc.
- Save Allows you to save your data, currently given 3 slots, again this is not how the actual game will work necessarily.
- Training Battle This is where you would go to begin a training battle. Currently it will jump right into a fixed battle and have you place your units. In the actual game you will move a representative unit around the actual world map, from location to location. You will have access to things like shops, quests, training battles, and hiring units depending on the location you're currently at. This would also change the battlefield to represent the location. I do not know if I will include a small implementation of this for the demo, or keep it going straight to battle. I would like to be able to change up the types of battles so I can test multiple things with one demo.
So it is relatively close to getting a release, but there are also some visual cleanups that need to be done. Also this will be a closed process as it's less of a game demo and more of an engine demo at this point, so it's extremely rough and will require a few people who have the time and ability to properly check out every nook and cranny that exists. It most likely will not be very fun at this point due to it's complete lack of balance and very limited scope, but as laid out above, it will have a game loop of sorts where you can acquire more SP and unlock Jobs/Abilities/Passives.
Stay tuned for more info and also some screenshots!