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File: 1408153818968.jpg (107.08 KB, 400x400, 262110__safe_idw_artist-co….jpg)


Continuation of the plot of the Super Mario RPG-style RPG game we were rambling about in the general.

Image unrelated


So the basis of the plot so far, feel free to point out things I missed.

1. Big Bad's Initial Attack
2. Mane 6 get blasted off and separated
3. Canterlot is held by Celestia and Luna
4. Meanwhile the mane 6 have to regroup, stop the shenanigans around Equestria
5. Defeat the Elements of Discord bosses to bring some harmony back to Equestria
6. Canterlot is the penultimate town, you regroup there and formulate a plan with the princesses
7. Attack the big bad
8. If your friendship levels are high enough you get a super special ending


The big bad looks like a baby dragon or something. Looks are deceiving, etc. Not actually a baby dragon.

Elements of Chaos each have an opposite theme to an element of Harmony. The Big Bad may or may not be a part of the elements of Chaos. They might just be working for him/he might be using them causing chaos while he works on taking over.


File: 1408154506602.png (28.64 KB, 1186x260, BigBadPlanningStages.png)

Here is the initial idea for the big bad. As we've discussed in the thread, he/she will be a reincarnated dragon that is several millennia old. This time around, they have a change of heart and seek to make the world a perfect utopia, so they're set on taking over and doing things 'the right way' their way.

During the game, they appear to be a baby dragon, somewhere around Spike's age. They might have a cutesie appearance, but their ambition is clear. Of course, they're actually several thousand years old, so they have a lot of experience with machines, alchemy, and, surprisingly for a dragon, a great handle of the dark arts.

The big bad pulls the strings from the shadows, choosing not to reveal themselves until near the end. In order to beat them, your party must have made enough friendships throughout the game to power up the EoH and destroy them.

To get the true ending, though, you have to befriend every Equestrian, completing all sidequests. This enables a final battle with the big bad's trueform, an age old dragon. Beating this will remove their castle and prevent them from being a problem ever again.


Only thing I'd change here is to make it so an underling of the big bad is the one that blasts the group apart. After gathering your friends together, you're able to beat them up and progress forward, meeting the Elements of Discord and continuing on.


There was also talk of a secret area. What would that entail? Special loot/powerups? A secret new ally? Does it affect the main story at all?


So you need all the mane6 before you fight any of the Elements of Discord? Beforehand any bosses you fight aren't the elements of Discord? How do you "progress forward towards meeting the Elements of Discord"? Are you just saying that's how the progression si laid out?

Should we call them the Elements of Discord? Should the joke be Discord made those a long time ago and just forgot about them?

I'm not sure we should be talking about the secret area before the rest of the game.


I'd say that yes, you'd need to either free all of the Elements of Harmony and THEN go for the Elements of Discord… or, perhaps, the Elements of Discord could be holding onto one of the Elements of Harmony and you'd need to save them before dealing with the Element of Discord in that area… either way could work. That method would also prevent you from being able to use god tier powers, like the Element of Harmony Beam…

Also, during the story, like I was saying in the thread, you'd either come upon some of their messes and have to fix things in other towns first or stumble upon completely unrelated enemies that are taking a chance at claiming some of Equestria for themselves, such as the Changelings. This would help extend gameplay and make it so that you don't have access to very powerful abilities right off the bat.

This sounds better. Saving an Element of Harmony from an area under an Element of Discord's control before you deal with them would be cool. Add in the other enemies that are invading Equestria and I think we've got some good story worked in here already!

Now, if I may ask… what about the battle system? One anon said limiting the party to a certain number was good, but another thought having them all on the field at the same time would be best. What do you guys think?


What if the Mane 6 do all appear on the battlefield, but you can only choose like 2-3 of them per turn? Maybe there's an action points counter that limits how many moves they can make per turn?

Super powerful abilities, like Pinkie's Party Cannon, might take up like 10/15 action points, leaving you with just 5 points left. Maybe only one other pony could do a simple regular attack with that many. Maybe you could get 5/6 of your ponies to attack in one turn if you make them all do regular attacks so they only spend a meager amount of points to do basic attacks?

Something like that might work.


Limit their health bars accordingly and that might work.


THAT is actually a really clever work around.


File: 1408155481429.png (36.44 KB, 1407x476, Some Anon's ideas from the….png)

Posting this for archival purposes and to show respect for Anon's ideas


That sounds cool enough.
You could do a basic attack with all of them, a special attack with 2 or 3, even maybe combining the effects, or just use 1 powerful attack with one pony.

It's perfect and not something complicated.


This sounds like a great idea. In this sense, you can switch it up and have a lot of different strategies/moves available, but it doesn't become overwhelmingly one sided. If you combine this with a Mana system so the player can't just sit there and spam 1 or 2 super powerful magic abilities every turn, that would work well.

As long as >>10293 were true, I think that would balance the battle system well. Either you limit their health or you just make characters later in the game much, much stronger. They'd have to be in order to deal with a big group of 6.


Alright, more systems/details here folks. What about a weapons/armor/accessories aspect? Would we copy something like Chrono Trigger or SMRPG? Maybe there's a Weapon/Armor/Shoes/Accessories menu?


What about a cooldown system? Any move other than the basic attack has huge cooldown, to prevent you from just alternating between the supermooves of each character. It's also persistent between battles so if you ended a battle with Twilight's super move you won't be able to start the next one with it.

But you can shorten the cooldown. Have the character who used it have a rest option. It costs a small amount of Action Points but reduces the cooldown with like 3 turns instead of 1


So are we good with including this part into the game's story?

>This sounds better. Saving an Element of Harmony from an area under an Element of Discord's control before you deal with them would be cool. Add in the other enemies that are invading Equestria and I think we've got some good story worked in here already!


Hmm… Either a cooldown system or perhaps something not unlike a fighter game where you need to buildup a 'specials' meter before certain abilities are available. This would make sure that you'd need to do a good variety of moves in order to build up your specials gauge so that bigger, special moves are available.

I was imagining keeping track of cooldowns on all of the moves in code… hoo doggie, that'd be scary

I'll vote yes. I think the Anon that suggested that was onto something good. It should let the game's story flow smoothly so long as each of the Elements takes some questing to free/join up with you.


But that could still be abused. If a player found a specific combo chain, they could simply do just the right pattern to charge up the meter enough to spam a certain move.

Maybe you could incorporate some sort of pattern recognition that'll look for stale moves? Like it will detect repeating patterns and award less and less special gauge charge as it's repeated?


>Trying to keep track of cooldowns on all the moves in code

How is that difficult? When a move is used you add it to a move cooldown list with the time remaining.

You can't use a move if it's on the list.

At the beginning of each battle round you iterate over the list and subtract time from each item on the list. If a time for a move reaches 0 you remove it from the list and can use it again.


We should use a very simplistic thing here. If we want to keep close to the cartoon we can't have AJ wearing a diamond armor, fighting with the burning mallet of Grogar and having a Golden Apple of Discord accessory that makes her crit more often.

Each character has 2 specialized items. AJ could have "armor" that increases HP and Defense but gives her a speed and dodge penalty and horseshoes since she uses her hind legs. Dash could have some goggles items that increases her accuracy and also some horseshoes

Like for example at the beginning of the game we get Big Mac's horse collar. It works great for AJ since she is more of a tanky character but you could equip it on Dash. Problem is that you reduce her speed and you either don't equip horse shoes and lose some damage or goggles and get a accuracy penalty.


I suppose that wouldn't be too bad. I'm sure there would be a clever way to pull this off and keep the number of checks to a minimum. The cooldowns would also apply to the enemy team as well so you don't get spammed by bosses.

I don't think the Special gauge is a bad idea, either. Programming-wise, it'd be really simple to implement and has the functionality of the cooldown. Both of these solutions work as anti-spam.

Which one is best, though?


Either way, don't worry about how to implement anything right now. We should worry more about what we want to do and we'll figure out how to do it when we have a bigger picture of everything.

I'm personally heading off to work but there seems to be a few of us here. Keep up the talk.


Oh! I like this. So we'd have a unique slot, then a general accessory slot? Every pony could equip the unique items, but they have different effects on different ponies?

I imagine Rarity would be able to get pretty dresses and scarfs, but if you gave her Big Mac's Harness, she'd lose a bunch of stat points. Big Mac's Harness gives AJ a strength bonus, though… stuff like that? Maybe pretty dresses give Rarity magic buffs, but it screws up Rainbow Dash because it's clunky and she's embarrassed.

That'd be really fun, actually. It's kind of like playing dress up, but the articles actually have an impact on how the pony performs in battle.


I'm probably gonna play some games for now, but I'll definitely be around in the threads tomorrow. I want to keep fleshing this out. It needs to be a thing! We're too good at creative thinking not to make something like this.


A unique slot and a general accessory that is shared with another pony that has a need of it. For example
AJ has Horse Shoes(+DMG) and Armor(+HP, +Defense, -Speed, - Dodge)
Dash Horse Shoes and Google(+Accuracy)
Twilight Book(+Magic, +attack) and Maybe Friendship Letter which offers various bonuses to her stats and maybe skills
Rarity Book and Dress/Scarf (+small bonus to defense, maybe magic too, +Speed)

Now AJ/Dash and Twilight/Rarity have both the same "weapon" so you'd have to decide to who you equip what.

Also there aren't slots. Anyone can equip anything, just that the unique items are optimized for a certain pony. But that doesn't mean you can't be creative.

Let's say in a boss battle one of the enemies is Lightning Dust for various reasons. She has low HP, high attack and high dodge chance. She also prioritizes Dash as a target.
Now because Dash is the one with a high accuracy thanks to her goggles and Dust has a low HP you could equip AJ's armor on Dash for this battle so Dust can't one shot her and make the battle much harder or, again for this battle, you can equip a pair of goggles to Pinkie so if Dash is KO'ed you still have a chance against Dust.


File: 1408158094525.jpg (76.19 KB, 600x635, sockets of harmony.jpg)

Just putting this here in case it's ever needed it won't be

To reiterate, much like the badges of Paper Mario, each pony can "pin" a power to one of their Element slots (Kindness powers go into the Kindness slot, and so on). So we can limit each Element to a particular theme and allow each pony to be kitted out with a variety of powers; pin all the attack powers from each Element, or use a mix of different powers to find a good synergy.

In this advanced example, pins could also change other pins. The next Element in order gains a simple buff, while the second one over gets a behavior change. Different pins will, of course, have different effects. Again, because each Element has a fixed set of power pins, and effects are passed along in order, these modifiers can be balanced against each other more deterministically.


I still don't get it. I played the first Paper Mario but don't remember pins going into specific slots. I'm assuming this is from a later game.

So each character has one of these circles? And you put badges inside each of those circles. And each circle has an element of harmony type? And you only put kindness-based badges inside the kindness slot, etc?

I don't understand this sentence:
>So we can limit each Element to a particular theme and allow each pony to be kitted out with a variety of powers; pin all the attack powers from each Element, or use a mix of different powers to find a good synergy.

From what I can figure out this is basically ability/passive effect slots that limit the number of abilities/passive effects you can have equipped (and usable) to five each, one of each type. Is that right?


It was inspired by Paper Mario in that badges represented very specific and discrete bonuses, and they took up badge points that limited how many badges you could use (either active or passive bonuses). Mario wore the badges, while all partners had a fixed moveset that unlocked with linear progression.

You're right that this locks a character to five moves, one of each type. It essentially limits the set of available moves for any given character. This helps reduce choice bloat in combat and encourages use of multi-character combos since no character will be able to completely cover every role by themselves. (Every pony can use an Honesty power, but only the one, so they miss out on the potential advantages of other Honesty powers.)

We can also use pins to distribute powers a little more evenly in early stages of the game, because a character with a pin in one slot cannot equip further pins of that type, so naturally it will be distributed to another character.

Going with the Elements of Discord idea, each one is themed against a particular Element of Harmony, thus pins of that Element may have different drop rates in that Discordant's realm of influence.


Pins may have variant behaviors in the Element Pin system:
Mods adjacent slots only
Mods one other slot
Mods other slots in no specific order
Does not modify other pins or slots
Ignores modifiers
Gains different modifiers
Can be fused with other slotted pins to create a superpower occupying two or more slots
Prevents another slot from being pinned
Prevents another slot's pin from being used
Changes another slot's Element
Can use a different Element slot

And so on. (Hm, might be better for a roguelike)


So one of the ideas is these pins can effect one another. I want to understand your example better now.
In your example Applebuck is effecting Shock? In what way? Could this effect be abstracted in a way that makes it predictable what would happen if we put a different Loyalty pin there? What about the behavior change to the Kindness pin?

From a development standpoint I'd hope it's at least semi-predictable to generate these reactions without manually defining somewhere "Applebuck buffs Shock this much, it buffs this other Loyalty pin this much. Here's the list of behavior changes it causes to all these Laughter pins." Actually I guess that depends on how many pins there are. I guess since a pin only goes in one place it will only ever effect a finite list of a certain type of pin. If there's only like 10 of each pin I guess brute-force defining each of these interactions wouldn't be too terrible.

Not being critical or anything, I genuinely want to learn more about this idea.


Yes, even with a small number of pins and a small fixed set of modification behaviors the chart for organizing modifiers between pins would grow exponentially. Which is why if this system were used it's important to decide how pins affect each other, if at all.

For me, it's vastly important to illustrate the interdependence of the Elements of Harmony. I'm a big fan of gameplay and story being linked together in theme or philosophy. Taking a traditional RPG build and slapping a pony skin on it does not do justice to the themes. Moreover, the learning, selection, and use of character skills/spells/abilities is a major gameplay element of RPGs. The system for it should be engaging and easy to understand while presenting a deeper layer for advanced players to experiment with.

Character actions are character expression, and character expression is ultimately player expression. Letting players play with the ponies as they see fit is in the spirit of roleplaying, not just filling a role but bringing it to life with your personal touch. It echoes the way Lauren Faust gave us FIM: she had her own vision of the ponies should be like and expressed it through them.

Anyway, my initial model assumed that a single pin would have set modifiers that are brute-applied to the next pin(s). The example Crystal Shield will always add armor-piercing to Honesty pins, and always turn Loyalty pins into reactives. Of course this means nothing to Honesty pins that don't interact with a target's armor, and Loyalty may already have reactives or passives that wouldn't make sense for conversion.

Alternately we could generalize Crystal Shield's modifiers; an Honesty buff might add extra armor to the target, or an Honesty passive might have an armor boost attached to it; a Loyalty passive would get a power boost whenever the wearer is hit. In the same way, Applebuck's physical bonus can be generalized: it can boost the physical damage component of attacks, add a physical defense bonus to buffs, and so on.


In the end, though, I don't think it's essential to use the pin interactions. Just having the five slots and a variety of pins available should be good enough, for the reasons I stated here >>10312: preventing skill creep and allowing customization



Alright, I do understand it now.

You do bring up an important point though:
You shouldn't just slap a pony skin on top of a traditional RPG.


So, it's been a while… but I was one of the initial people that proposed this idea.

If there's anybody around that's still interested, I'd love to help create something like this. I think making a tribute to pones would be a great idea, especially since there's not too much pony stuff happening right now during hiatus. It'd be easy enough to get a rough draft in place for the movement/battle systems…

I would love to light a new fire and start something new. Something we can swarm around and call MLPG's greatest accomplishment.


I'm still here. And I'm still interested.

What do you want to rough draft out first?


One person has to take the reins and make all the big decisions.


Agreed. Which is why I'm not taking that position
I'll definitely put some effort into it though. I'm just not making this my baby.


>Anyway, my initial model assumed that a single pin would have set modifiers that are brute-applied to the next pin(s). The example Crystal Shield will always add armor-piercing to Honesty pins, and always turn Loyalty pins into reactives. Of course this means nothing to Honesty pins that don't interact with a target's armor, and Loyalty may already have reactives or passives that wouldn't make sense for conversion.

This is sorta like the system they went with for Transistor, though instead of a "each pin affects the next one" it was a deliberate "this pin in this slot with these pins chosen to modify it".
Each skill in the game had a main ability that it had when loaded into a slot to be used directly as a skill, a property that it modified other skills with when put into the modification slots, and a third property that applied when put in a buff slot that applied continuously to your character.


That does sound similar Except this system talked about here sounds like the pins can only go in their element slot.


The person in charge doesn't necessarily have to provide a huge chunk of the work. It's just important somebody somewhere is generating and detailing shit out. I'm personally not about to create a design document.

But we do have the beginnings of a game story here in this thread. That and the super basic concept of how combat progresses is what we have as a structure. Either could be abandoned though if something better or more fleshed out comes along.

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