With Depths of Boatmurdered wrapped up, it’s time to launch headfirst into the next game. Specifically, Unnamed Tactics RPG!!
I’m going to be logging my development, um… adventures here at Rad Codex. But before we embark on that journey, we’d better look at our (metaphorical) map to see where we are, and more importantly, where we’re headed.
Where We Are
Unnamed Tactics RPG uses the same custom C#/XNA engine that Depths of Boatmurdered used. However, instead of being action-oriented, everything is going to be turn-based; even outside of combat, enemies will only move when you do. As such, the engine has a number of hidden systems that it’s time to re-enable. Systems such as a mouse-driven interface:
Although a lot on this screen is new, most of it should be pretty self-explanatory. In the center, our party and their respective inventory windows. On the bottom, the currently selected character’s inventory. On the bottom left we have a small stat window. And if you click on those heads, you can swap the leading character.
We also have the corest of systems:
There’s a lot going on in this image, so I won’t go into it all here. But the important part is that we have a turn-based combat system where each character gets a move and an action on their turn. Combat doesn’t take place on a separate screen — it occurs where you encounter the enemy.
Where We’re Headed
As you might guess from the screenshots, the goal is a game where combat is an in-depth, tactical affair, sort of like what you’d find in a game like Fire Emblem or Advance Wars. Unlike those games, the player will be controlling a small 4-man party, who will be deeply customizable. Not just in appearance, but in abilities. Each character can change ‘Class’ at any time, learn abilities from those classes, and equip them for use in combat. If you’ve played Final Fantasy Tactics or Final Fantasy 5, this system is going to sound very familiar.
Combat isn’t the only focus though. Unlike Final Fantasy Tactics, you can explore the world by walking around in it. This is the part of the engine Depths of Boatmurdered relied on, and it plays very much like Zelda, minus the action. You’ll be able to pick up items, talk to NPCs, and find hidden secrets (the best games need a wealth of hidden secrets).
The world is also interactive. If you cast a fire spell on a wooden bridge, the bridge will burn away. You could also freeze a lake over with ice. This plays a large role in combat, where you can obstruct your enemies by changing the environment. It may also be necessary for bypassing obstacles when exploring.
Hopefully this will all come together to create a fun, engaging game world that never feels like a setpiece.