Back to this. Let’s get started by going over what I wanted from this game. I think I ended up deciding that I wanted to have a game that was almost an alteration of the Zelda for Gameboy game.
Zelda for Gameboy Screenshot
What I wanted to borrow was the overall input control scheme, the simple level design, and simple visual look. The graphics look nice and aren’t intrusive to the play experience. The levels are standard and there are no problems getting around in the game. I really liked how you would go into the subscreen and select an item for use by simply highlighting it and pressing the button you desired for it to be used with. It’s the simple things that appeal to me.
From here, we take elements from Diablo and Diablo II, and sneak them in. I want to recreate the whole Diablo experience – I love it as it is, but there are so many things I’d like to change.
Diablo II Screen Clips: Item Drops, Inventory
The greatest appeal that Diablo had for me was the item dropping. As I played it more and more it was obvious that beating the game wasn't anywhere close to being the game's goal. Blizzard made this game for people to make wicked strong characters, maybe to kill one another with, maybe just to do shitloads of damage and walk all over the monsters in the game. You can build your characters in two ways: level them up, or find better items.
Levelling up your character gets harder and harder to do if you only stick to one area, so you tend to move through to harder parts of the game so you can gain experience faster. The problem with moving forward is that levelling up doesn't really bring your attack and defense up as quickly as a good weapon or armor can. Because of this, the game turns into a treasure hunt. Why am I saying all of this? Shit, I don't know. But I do know that I fuckin love treasure hunting.
The most important thing I wanted to take from Diablo and give to Zelda was random item drops. That also means I want to give stats and levelling to Zelda too. I'd also like to give classes and specialized skill trees over too, but I might be wishing for too much there.
I liked the special mini-boss monsters that always dropped magical items, you tended to hunt them down just because of the guaranteed magic drops. A friend of mine, Jeff, played it so much, he often said he was just going on a few "Baal runs" - I guess you can't get better drops anywhere else in the game. That's sorta disappointing - I think I'd rather be hunting for rare monsters for the best drops in the game, because there isn't any real hunting involved there. You just go hit up Baal and see what he hands out.
Another game I want to draw on is Sword of Mana. Really, the entire Mana series is pretty much the same game - but there are a bunch of things that I don't think I can do without.
Sword of Mana Screen Clip
Another cool game with too many fucking problems. I liked that you could time your attacks and make small combos for extra damage. I also liked that the different weapons worked differently - it mattered that you chose the spear instead of the sword, for example, because of the massive range increase. Was there even a spear in this one? Oh well, you get the idea. Another important factor this game has is that your weapon and magic skills get stronger through use. If you take 3 hours and do nothing but hit monsters with your sword, your sword skill is going to be kick ass whether you did a single point of damage or not. The graphic style and hit detection system (except how you could fucking MISS on a strike) is simple but efficient.
The last game I'm going to mention for now is Crystal Chronicles. For one, the game only needs the input requirements that a Gameboy Advance can provide: A D-pad and 4 active buttons. Simple controls are the best controls. The other reason is how they pull off doing it in 4 buttons. How could you possibly fit so many actions into so few buttons?
FF:CC Screen Clip
Notice how by your pic there's a command - in this case, 'Thunder'. Thats the command you've got selected, and is performed by pressing the (A) button. If you hit [L] or [R], you scroll through a series of commands. Thats pretty much it. You choose what goes in the list, and change it in-game as you play if you want. It kinda makes me think of the potion belt shortcuts in Diablo II.
Jesus, there's a ton of things for me to have to go over for this. Thankfully I'm only going to tackle one thing at a time. I guess the first thing I should look at is the item drops. Sleepytime now.