Hello all, it's Cassel, developer of <Ratopia>.
Last month, I found out that DevDiary was only about the problems,
Almost without kind of systems have added for the battle.
So here we go, chapter 2 of the Battle System DevDiary!
But before, I’d love to mention about how we’ve been doing last May.
This year again, we’ve participated in Korean game show, PlayX4.
It was quite hard to stand all day since we mostly work sitting on a chair.
But it was a great joy! So many came to visit us and asked the date of release.
And we talked about games, daily lives, the future, and etc… So much of joy.
Thank you again for the visit.
Soldiers on holidays: the best players
Great physical condition makes great ruler... I guess?
On Friday I could not stay at the booth since there was result announcement of Gyeonggi Game Audition,
And thanks to all of you, we got the second place!
Again, we will do our best, thank you all for cheering us.
So that’s basically all for the May, hope you all too had a great month.
Now, let’s talk more about <Ratopia>’s battle systems.
In <Ratopia>, player can defend the city by his/her own.
In peaceful time the one may wonder as administration mode,
but when in battle, you can draw your sword and attack the enemies in the aimed area.
Fast enough to be an assassin in early days
This is the most basic that the player would meet,
But since <Ratopia> is basically a game in simulation genre,
I wanted to emphasize more on training soldiers and ordering them.
I wanted the direct battle to be only sudden or support method for the battle to protect the city.
Still, though it was flat and a bit boring, quite many liked the direct battle,
So I thought this could also give a joy if we polish it a bit more.
But as a 2D side view with tile map system,
the system was quite limited to improve the actions of the game.
The first idea was to add rolling or dodging skill to the leader character,
But there were too many to be considered.
Firstly, dodging means that there is a crucial attack from the enemies that need to be avoided.
This could not be a problem when there’s solely a leader to be played.
But with the soldiers to be ordered later,
this means that the soldiers need to have enough HP to withstand the attack,
Or they also need a function to avoid the attack.
This has to be followed many AI improvement and balancing.
In addition, on tile map system the rolling can only possible on left or right side,
And on stairs and cliffs, the move would stop all the sudden so I thought it would be unnatural.
Other than that, there were button assignment problems and
using dodging as a method to move faster were in my mind so I’ve decided not to put dodging.
The next idea was to make various basic attacks to the leader.
While pressing interaction button the character will do combo attacks,
and on the final attack of the move the leader can deal a massive damage.
This gave some chance to enhance the motion and sound.
Well I guess he just wanted to rest
This would allow the player to decide whether to take risks for more damage or to retreat for safety,
And it was simple enough to be put.
This also has a very high scalability that a simple weapon addition could grant the user to have various joys.
<Ratopia> has a fixed view point on the player character.
In addition to that, as the time goes, the player needs to manage larger areas.
So the battles could happen in the are out of camera,
And there will be moments that the player cannot react fast enough for the incident.
The method to solve such problem is to train the soldiers to defend the city automatically.
Just as the other structures, and jobs given to the ratizens,
Soldiers too gets a job title when assigned to the military facilities such as training centers and barracks.
But this we need to decide how will they get paid and spend their money.
Making them get paid when they act was quite hard to be measured.
This would mean that the leader supposed to make people to revolt every period,
Or poorly design the city defense system so that enemies would penetrate, in order to make them earn properly.
This was not really a great picture to be played,
So instead we’ve made them to get paid every day from the country.
Just like the real world, strong defense in <Ratopia> now needs bunch of money to be maintained.
This, however, made players to play really ‘efficiently’.
Now, because of the upkeep, people began to assign soldiers when needed,
Making those young soldiers to perish even they get their first salary.
Your sacrifice (for me) will always be remembered…
To solve this issue, two possible solutions were suggested.
The first was to make them use up some resources before becoming soldiers,
And the next was to make them need some time to work as soldiers.
The first made it seems like they are making their equipment in the barracks, a bit weird,
But was really effective on preventing players repeating to assign and dismiss.
Moreover, if each types of soldier to need difference resources,
A structure could hold various levels of soldiers together.
Hmm... so easy, it just works like the other structures!
But as the time goes, some not-understandable situations happened.
So many were remaining as a civilian even they were assigned even a day before!
What we found out was that they were keep doing other things like cleaning, playing, resting while transporting resources.
This made it impossible to assume when the soldiers would be properly trained,
And if the soldier’s wealth runs out in the middle of transporting resources needed,
It was possible that they would never become a soldier.
So we had to make new solutions for this solution,
Especially we wanted to keep some design reasons.
What we wanted was to keep the upper class soldiers to need more valued resources,
And in addition to that, we wanted each type of soldiers to have different training time,
But with possible-to-expect time spending.
This time, we’ve added various military structures.
Each of those will need different resources to be built,
including the resources those were needed to train soldiers.
This will make those harder to build, but will make training time easier to be measured.
Level of the soldiers could be diverted by separating them into different buildings.
For example, previously it was like spearman and swordsman were separated,
But now it is like spearman(Lv1) and swordsman(Lv1) is put together,
while Lv2s are in different military structure.
Though now a structure cannot hold various leveled soldiers,
Now it was better to separate biome-specialized soldiers from the others.
Various soldiers from various military structures
<Ratopia> has limited population, and the player is needed to build a utopia with that scarce ratizens.
This means that there will also be a limitation on the number of the soldiers.
Thus in order to defend the city against the reinforcing outer enemies,
Structures that would not need population were needed.
Those structures can be categorized into groups below.
Barricades and gates that would take damages from the enemies to earn some time.
Spike traps and Earthquakers that would deal damage to enemies passing by.
Ballista and Trebuchet that would throw projectiles to the enemies.
Battle Horn and armory that would buff the nearby allies.
As mentioned on the previous DevDiary, some of the planned structures could not be added yet
since they had many issues to be solved such as Death ball and shooting AI.
But the traps did not take much of calculation, and seem to have no problem,
so they could be quickly designed and added.
The first were traps such as Rat in the Box and spike trap, which were in the <Ratropolis>.
Sometimes, working could be enjoyable. Adding those were.
Traps were really effective.
In fact, way too effective that they were problematic.
Compare to their effectiveness, they had no expense to be spent additionally, after they got built.
Meaning that, there were no risks at all like training soldiers.
This will make you Rest in Peace
Of course soldiers have some pros that they can cover much larger area compared to the defense structures,
But comparing them with ever-lasting structures were nonsense.
So we’ve added a simple penalty to the structures.
They will now lose a bit of their health for each of the attack,
Making them in needs of maintenance after certain time.
Those who repaired the structures will get paid, so this will make some upkeep.
The diminishing HP system made the users to take care of the structures,
But this also made them to be a bit too cumbersome to manage.
I guess we need to test more and solve such issues.
As various soldiers and structures added,
The joy of defensing the city got increased.
Hope you all enjoy the system too when you play the game,
As we are also struggling hard to introduce you the better game!
Oh, before too late, from June 19th there will be some event on Steam called the Next Fest.
There, you will be able to enjoy the full version of the game, but with again, limited in 12 days of in-game time.
Hope you enjoy, and please give us a lot of feed backs to improve the game.
That’s it for this month!
Hope you have a great month again,
I’ll meet you on the next DevDiary.