Author Topic: Mega Man RPG Prototype  (Read 4179 times)

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Offline Ageman20XX

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Mega Man RPG Prototype
« on: July 07, 2013, 11:22:20 PM »


Hello everyone - my name is Adrian and I am the lead programmer of an ongoing fangame project called the Mega Man RPG Prototype.  

This project aims to create a progress-saving, no-download, no-install, no-plugin Mega Man RPG that is played in the browser and is therefore compatible on modern mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.  This project has been in development for over 10 years (albeit casually) ever since I was inspired by the Newgrounds Mega Man RPG uploaded in 2001 by Lord Evil.  Obviously the quality of that game and its sequel have not held up to the test of time, but the concept of putting the classic series robot masters in a turn-based battle environment was something that intrigued me and stayed in the back of my head all those years.  The collection of special weapons that Mega Man gets in the classic games already felt very RPG-like to me, and the rock-paper-scissors mechanic present in the elementally themed characters made the comparison to the Pokémon franchise difficult to deny.  I spent the next several years prototyping ideas in HTML, Flash, PHP, and even on paper during work hours.  I was obsessed with exploring the idea and it eventually turned into a Trading Card Game - unfortunately once I starting thinking about distribution the project fell flat and was abandoned.  

What we have here is the latest in that string of prototypes, except this one actually stuck and has been thoroughly fleshed out to an (almost) full game.  Because the game is current functioning as a "live beta" you can always play the latest version online and even though the final game not complete I'm constantly adding new characters, abilities, and features to the code to keep things fresh.  The game even has a fully-integrated Pokédex / Wiki hybrid database for all the robots and weapons, a realtime leaderboard of all the players and their current game statistics, and a full (placeholder) single-player campaign.  I've even added the equivalent of Mario Kart's "Ghost Data" so players can battle AI versions of each other during the course of the game.  Please take a look at some screenshots of the game in action:



Mega Man RPG : Home : http://rpg.megamanpoweredup.net/
Mega Man RPG : Gallery : http://rpg.megamanpoweredup.net/gallery/
Mega Man RPG : Database : http://rpg.megamanpoweredup.net/database/
Mega Man RPG : Leaderboard : http://rpg.megamanpoweredup.net/leaderboard/
Mega Man RPG : Prototype : http://rpg.megamanpoweredup.net/prototype/ <-- the actual game
Mega Man RPG : Credits : http://rpg.megamanpoweredup.net/credits/
Mega Man RPG : Facebook Page : https://www.facebook.com/megamanrpgprototype



Story

None!  Really, there's a placeholder "princess is in another castle" type plot right now, but honestly it is just filler until the "real" narrative is implemented.  What is the real story?  Not sure yet.  I know it will involve the robot museum's disc data, it will take place virtually rather than in the real world (maybe online or in a server like BN), the Stardroids and other key space robots will be heavily involved, and all three Doctors (the original "Sage Trinity" of legend) will all be playable and working together in a kind of single-player co-op (if that makes sense) where they can share robots and data across save files (each file being a different doctor).  That's really all I have so far, but when everything else is done I can worry about the story (the Miyamoto Method).  Of course, if any of you have story ideas that are burning inside of you I'd love to hear 'em.  :D



Basic Rules

You play as Dr. Light and you systematically go through "missions" to defeat all the bad robot masters, often adding them to your team upon defeat.  Battles are turn-based in function and behave almost exactly like a game of the Pokémon TCG, but the visual presentation is a cross between a play-by-post forum game and an almost slideshow-like canvas of prerendered scenes.  If it sounds very strange and niche, that's because it is.  I'm a web developer by heart but I've always wanted to make a fangame, so I combined two mostly separate concepts into one surprisingly fun and unique (if not slow-paced/casual) time waster.  Each player can have up to 8 robots on their side of the field and exchange blows with the target until their Life Energy reaches zero and they are disabled.  Once all of a player's robots have been disabled, they lose and the other player claims victory.  

Robots fight against each other using abilities modeled after the special weapons of the classic games (plus a few new ones) and gain experience upon defeating targets.  For every 1000 experience points a robot earns, they level up and gain boosts to their Energy, Attack, Defense, and Speed stats as well as potentially learn new abilities for use in battle.  Players also receive Battle Points after each encounter relative to how many turns they take to complete the mission and these points are use to rank players on the public leaderboards and to search out similarly-leveled challengers for the aforementioned "Ghost Data" battles.  Currently, new robots are unlocked by defeating them in battle during key missions, but in the future I would like to have them unlocked only after defeating them with Neutral Type moves exclusively (like the Powered Up games only allowing the Mega Buster to be used).  Once you reach a certain point you will unlock Dr. Wily and you will be able to play through his "story" and earn new robots and abilities along the way.  These robots can be transferred back and forth between doctors allowing for some fun power-leveling and the teaching of abilities a robot would not normally learn.



Special Weapon Types

The prototype's battle system revolves around 20 elemental "types", and much like the Pokémon games these types play a part in how much damage or recovery a robot inflicts or receives in battle.  Unlike the Pokemon games, however, robots of the same element (or "Robot Core") are not all the same in terms of weaknesses.  As an example, Fire Man and Heat Man have noticeably different sets of weaknesses, resistances, affinities, and immunities even though they are both Flame Core robots.  A robot's core type affects how well that robot is able to use certain abilities in battle (Flame Type abilities inflict 1.5x more damage if used by a Flame Core robot) as well as which ones can be equipped later in the Robot Editor (a Water Core robot can equip any ability that has Water as one of its types).

This multiple-weakness structure is complemented by another difference from the Pokémon games - the existence of dual-type abilities like the Leaf Shield (both Nature and Shield type) and Shadow Blade (both Shadow and Cutter type).  Abilities that have more than one type have the potential to much more damage to the target, but they also run the risk of being resisted, absorbed, or even cancelled entirely with a latent affinity or immunity.  This self-balancing mechanic has been really fun to work with and I hope you enjoy playing with it later in the game.  Because most abilities have an elemental type, knowing which ones are most and least effective on a target can play a large role in battle.  For this reason, using the in-game "Scan" option on targets (which does not take a turn!) is incredibly useful and highly encouraged when fighting new robots.  

As with most RPGs, abilities come in both attack and support varieties with some dealing direct damage, some having stat boosting or lowering effects, and others having a combination of both.  A robot's Energy is its life and if it falls below zero that robot will be disabled for the rest of the battle.  The actual amount of damage a robot does in battle is directly proportionate to their Attack stat versus the target's Defense stat, and works in the inverse too.  A robot's Speed helps to determine their turn order in battle, with faster robots always going first (unless one of them is using a faster, higher priority ability) and is made even more important by the fact that it affects evasion and accuracy of abilities - a faster target will be harder to hit, but a slower one will be much easier.  These stats can be boosted or lowered with special abilities, coming in both Neutral and elementary varieties.

Adding another layer of complexity to the battle system are Field Multipliers.  Each of the 16+ stages/fields you fight on during your adventure have a different set of elemental multipliers that affect how well certain abilities function in battle.  As an example, the Waterfall Institute field (Bubble Man's home stage) boosts the power of Water Type and Electric Type moves by 2x, but it cuts the effectiveness of Flame Type moves in half...  These multipliers, combined with weakness/resistances/etc, combined with robot core bonuses, combined with player-boosts, individual robot stats and weapon bonuses?  It gets pretty complicated... But that's where the fun is, right?  Especially in RPGs battle systems (at least I think so)!  Later on in the game, these 16 base fields are fused together in randomized, dynamic ways - stacking field multipliers on top of each other and making for some pretty intense battles.  Luckily, most of these calculations are done in realtime and are reflected in the menu buttons for each ability, making it easier to focus on the meta-game of exploiting enemy weaknesses.



Feedback and Questions

There is still much to do and things will continue to change as we add more members to the team, fully flesh out new mechanics, and continue to work from player feedback, but we hope you'll try the game and still be able to enjoy it in this early state.  Comments and criticisms are always very much welcome either here in this thread or on the community forums, even private message or email is okay - we just want to hear what everyone thinks of what we've created so far and we'd love any additional help or ideas you guys have for the game.  There's so much more I want to talk about and I could even fill up another page with FAQs, but I'm so excited to hear what everyone thinks it'll have to wait.  Please, please let us know what you think and even if you don't play, take a look at the website and screenshot gallery - this project is a true labour of love and I hope there are some like-minded people out there who appreciate what we've put together.  :)

Additional Notes

We are aware the game is "slow".  It's really by-design and is for the purpose of being easily accessible to many different types of users on many different types of devices.  The wait between battle commands is also due to it being sent to the server each time, but this is to allow easier updates and to prevent cheating (given the existence of leaderboards).  While these things may get better over time, they are not going away and are an inherent part of the experience.  For this same reason the music is very simplistic and there are no sound-effects.  The actual tracks will eventually be changed (I've just made a deal with TheLegendOfRenegade to use his Genesis Remixes) but overall the structure will always be this way.  I apologize for any inconvenience caused by this and the poor performance on older browsers and Internet Explorer, but I hope you'll be able to see through the bad and have fun with the concepts we are getting right.  Thank you for playing!

« Last Edit: January 26, 2014, 05:43:30 PM by Ageman20XX »

Offline Rin

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Re: Mega Man RPG Prototype
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2013, 12:31:42 AM »
Looks and sounds cool.
I'll definitely check it out soon, even though I'm not crazy about this type of RPGs. Especially the browser ones.

Offline Phi

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Re: Mega Man RPG Prototype
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2013, 02:28:43 AM »
Finally, a Mega Man fan game that actually looks promising.

You have my respect.

Offline Ageman20XX

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Re: Mega Man RPG Prototype
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2013, 02:56:16 AM »
Thank you both so much.  I look forward to hearing your comments once you've had a chance to play with the battle engine a bit - I'm eager to know what you think.  :)

Something I forgot to mention is that, once all the official robot masters have been completed (MM1-10, MM&B, MMV, etc.) I want to start adding fan-favourite unofficial robots as well.  It will start at semi-official characters like Bond Man, concept rejects like Honey Woman, and classic-series versions of NetNavis like Cosmo Man, but I'd also like to include completely original robot masters as bonus characters.  The first one of these original characters was created by be - a parallel to Roll but for Dr. Wily named "Disco" - the Loyal Apprentice Robot.  Her design is based on an idea I had over 10 years ago in high school but the sprite sheet and drawing below were created by myself recently in celebration of her being added to the game.  I've been out of practice with drawing for a while, so if there are any other artists out there that could do her justice I would love to see it.  :D

SWN-002 : Disco





I hope this game will become big enough that people will allow their characters in it.  I feel like the bigger variety of robots we have in the game the more fun it will be for players and the more replayable it will be in the long term.  Let me know if there are any fan robots you think are well-known or unique enough that they should get a place in the roster - it's always fun paying tribute.  :)

Offline Mirby

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Re: Mega Man RPG Prototype
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2013, 03:28:23 AM »
You should totally add DMN-001, Wombat Man. :D
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Offline Ageman20XX

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Re: Mega Man RPG Prototype
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2013, 04:03:21 AM »
You should totally add DMN-001, Wombat Man. :D

I took a look at your sprite sheet of him on deviantART, and he looks pretty good.  Very Shade Man and/or Pluto vibe.  I wonder what type Robot Core he'd end up being?  And what about his weapon?  The Razor Chomp seems like it would be a good Cutter Type move, but the animal aspect of his design makes me want to go with Nature Type as maybe a secondary?  Or maybe even Earth? Or Impact?!  What do you think? :P

Offline Mirby

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Re: Mega Man RPG Prototype
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2013, 04:17:13 AM »
Well Wily helped design the sprite and it was inspired by Pluto, so yeah.

Perhaps Cutter/Earth would work best. He burrows underground so he's cutting through earth, if you look at it that way. Since wombats are creatures who burrow and generally stay on the ground, I feel that combination would work best.
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Offline Ageman20XX

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Re: Mega Man RPG Prototype
« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2013, 05:21:31 AM »
Well Wily helped design the sprite and it was inspired by Pluto, so yeah.

Perhaps Cutter/Earth would work best. He burrows underground so he's cutting through earth, if you look at it that way. Since wombats are creatures who burrow and generally stay on the ground, I feel that combination would work best.

Awesome.  I just need to decide whether his primary core type will be Cutter (meaning he can learn any other Cutter attack) or Earth (meaning he can learn other Earth attacks).  Either way, Wombat Man has been taken into consideration and once I'm done with the official ones maybe I'll include him.  :)  Thank you for the offer!

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Re: Mega Man RPG Prototype
« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2013, 05:23:43 AM »
No problem! Primary core type should be Earth cause he burrows. The claws and chomping are secondary, really.

I'd suggest Bender Man too, but since he's just Bender from Futurama...

there's no Booze core type anyways, so it wouldn't work >0<
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Offline Ageman20XX

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Re: Mega Man RPG Prototype
« Reply #9 on: July 08, 2013, 05:27:08 AM »
No problem! Primary core type should be Earth cause he burrows. The claws and chomping are secondary, really.

I'd suggest Bender Man too, but since he's just Bender from Futurama...

there's no Booze core type anyways, so it wouldn't work >0<

Good point, and good idea.  :P  Also true about the Booze core, though Bender would be a fun bonus character.  XD