Inspiration Behind Battle Technician Series

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This article aims to explain the mindset and inspiration behind each of the volumes in the Battle Technician series.

Battle Technician Volume 1


Battle Technician Volume 1 is the first of a new battle plugin series. We aimed to finish up the other battle systems that we have had in mind for VisuStella MZ and others.

Battle System - ETB


OliviaAvatar.png This is an article written by Olivia.

The RPG Maker MZ plugin, Battle System - ETB (Energy Turn Battle), introduces an innovative battle system inspired by the addictive card game Hearthstone. The plugin's development was fueled by the desire to incorporate the engaging back-and-forth mechanics of Hearthstone into a traditional JRPG setting. ETB, is the core concept of the plugin. This battle system introduces the element of energy accumulation, which affects the number of actions each team can perform during their turn. It deviates from the typical turn-based RPG structure by allowing teams of actors and enemies to act as a whole, providing strategic depth and flexibility.

The back-and-forth nature of Hearthstone's gameplay proved to be an intriguing mechanic worth exploring further. We recognized the appeal of this mechanic and sought to incorporate it into a traditional RPG battle system. The aim was to create engaging battles that emphasized tactical decision-making and strategic planning. SteamWorld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech, an RPG with a deck-building premise heavily influenced by Hearthstone, further supported the viability of the back-and-forth mechanic in the context of RPG battles. The popularity and positive reception of this game demonstrated the potential appeal of incorporating card game-inspired mechanics into the RPG genre.

The practical implementation of the ETB system has also revealed its advantages in scaling well into long battles. The energy accumulation mechanic and team-based actions allow for better pacing and strategic depth in extended combat encounters. This scalability ensures that battles remain engaging and challenging even as they unfold over an extended period, providing a more satisfying gameplay experience for players.

Chain Battles


OliviaAvatar.png This is an article written by Olivia.

The inspirations behind the development of the Chain Battles plugin for RPG Maker MZ are diverse and driven by the desire to create a unique and immersive battle experience. Removing the victory screen and transition back to the map scene between battles arose from the desire to maintain uninterrupted battle flow. Disrupting the pacing with frequent transitions can break the immersion and hinder the sense of momentum within the game. By seamlessly chaining battles together, players can experience a continuous flow of action, allowing for a more engaging and immersive gameplay experience. The decision to carry all rewards over to the final battle of the chain was inspired by the desire to provide a sense of accumulation and progress. In traditional RPGs, victory in each battle is often followed by a break or transition, which can sometimes feel disjointed. By carrying rewards over, the Chain Battles plugin encourages players to strategize and plan for the long term, knowing that their efforts in each battle contribute to the ultimate challenge and reward of the final encounter.

The idea to carry states, buffs, and debuffs over to the next battle within a chain was inspired by the desire for mechanical intricacies and strategic depth. Typically, states and effects applied during a battle are reset at the end, limiting the potential for long-term planning and synergy between battles. By preserving these effects, the Chain Battles plugin opens up new avenues for strategic decision-making, allowing players to leverage their accumulated buffs and exploit enemy weaknesses across the entire chain of battles. The Chain Battles plugin is designed to synergize well with the Battle System - ETB plugin. Both systems share a focus on longer battles and strategic planning. Combining the two allows for the creation of dynamic encounters with extended durations, where the continuity of states, buffs, debuffs, and other battle elements adds layers of complexity and depth to the gameplay experience. This synergy enhances the overall battle mechanics, providing a more engaging and satisfying gameplay loop.

The inclusion of a boss battle after a string of lesser enemies within a chain was inspired by the desire to create unique and interesting battle strategies. Typically, players face bosses in isolation, without the context of previous encounters. However, by incorporating bosses into a chain of battles, players must adapt their tactics and resource management throughout the entire sequence. This unconventional setup presents a fresh challenge and encourages players to develop innovative strategies that are seldom seen in traditional RPGs.

Conditional Random Encounters


IrinaAvatar.png This is an article written by Irina.

The inspirations behind the creation of the Conditional Random Encounters plugin for RPG Maker MZ stem from a desire to enhance the dynamic and immersive aspects of enemy encounters in RPG games. One of the primary inspirations behind the Conditional Random Encounters plugin is to break the monotony of encountering the same group of enemies repeatedly in a specific region. By introducing conditional requirements, such as switches or variables, certain troops can be prevented from appearing in the random encounter pool until specific conditions are met. This variation adds depth and excitement to exploration, ensuring that players encounter a diverse range of enemies throughout their journey.

The plugin aims to make enemy encounters feel more organic and responsive to in-game events. Inspired by real-world phenomena, such as earthquakes or volcanic eruptions, the Conditional Random Encounters plugin allows for the introduction of new enemy types or variations in specific regions based on these events. This dynamic element adds an immersive touch to the game world, making it feel alive and responsive to the actions and events that unfold within it. Taking inspiration from games like Final Fantasy 9, the Conditional Random Encounters plugin enables the creation of intricate questlines or story events involving friendly monsters. By utilizing conditional requirements, specific troops can be triggered to appear at certain points in the game, allowing for unique interactions and narrative developments. This feature expands the possibilities for quest design, character development, and story progression.

Battle Technician Volume 2


This talks about the inspirations behind the very Shin Megami Tensei-inspired plugins of Battle Technician Series Volume 2. The SMT series has always been well known for its battle mechanics. And now, those battle mechanics are introduced to RPG Maker MZ for you to exploit. (Get it?)

Battle System - PTB


Yanfly.png This is an article written by Yanfly.

Good lord. This battle system is oooooold. It was originally made in Yanfly Engine Melody, from the RPG Maker VX era. However, due to increased demand (namely from Archeia), and the recent release of Shin Megami Tensei V, we at the bunny team of VisuStella MZ decided to port over PTB.

The PTB battle system for RPG Maker MZ is an exciting addition that brings the Press Turn Battle (PTB) system to life. This team-based battle system offers a unique and skill-based experience that tests players' knowledge of the game and rewards them for making strategic decisions, while also punishing them for poor choices. Let's explore the inspirations behind this thrilling plugin. The primary inspiration behind the PTB battle system is the desire to create a battle system that relies heavily on player skill. PTB requires players to make strategic decisions based on their knowledge of the game mechanics, enemy weaknesses, and battle strategies. By rewarding skillful play, the plugin offers a more engaging and satisfying gameplay experience, appealing to players seeking a challenge and a sense of accomplishment.

The PTB system tests the player's knowledge of the game by incentivizing good strategies and punishing bad ones. Hitting weaknesses, guarding effectively, or landing critical hits convert a full action into a half action, allowing for more actions per turn. This rewards players for exploiting enemy weaknesses and employing effective tactics. Conversely, hitting resistances, missing attacks, or having attacks reflected can remove press actions, penalizing players for poor choices. The plugin encourages players to think strategically and make informed decisions to maximize their actions and gain an advantage in battle.

PTB doesn't pull punches when it comes to enemy capabilities. Just like the player's team, enemies are capable of utilizing the PTB system to its fullest extent. You know, equality for all, everyone. This adds an additional layer of challenge and excitement to battles, as players must carefully consider their actions while anticipating the potential responses from the enemy team. This balance of power between the player and enemies adds depth and intensity to the gameplay, creating a more dynamic and engaging experience.

Battle Command - Talk


Yanfly.png This is an article written by Yanfly.

The Shin Megami Tensei series serves as a prominent inspiration for the Battle Command - Talk plugin. These games are renowned for their demon negotiation mechanics, allowing players to converse with monsters and potentially recruit them to their party. The plugin draws from this concept, giving players the ability to engage in conversations with enemies, creating a more dynamic and interactive encounter. By incorporating the Talk command, it provides an alternative to the traditional battle actions, allowing players to engage with enemies in a different and more interactive manner. This adds depth to the gameplay experience and fosters a stronger connection between the player and the game world.

With the Talk command, enemies are no longer perceived as mere HP sacks waiting to be depleted. Instead, they become entities with their own personalities, motivations, and stories to tell. The plugin allows game developers to assign different conversations to enemies, providing unique insights and lore about the game's world. This feature breathes life into the enemies, making battles more than just a clash of swords, but an opportunity for storytelling and exploration. By engaging in conversations with enemies, players can glean valuable information, uncover hidden secrets, or gain insights into the game's lore and backstory. This adds depth to the narrative and provides players with an additional incentive to engage in dialogue with enemies, fostering a richer and more immersive gameplay experience.

Consumable Defensive States


Yanfly.png This is an article written by Yanfly.

Similar to the previous plugins we discussed, the inspiration from the Shin Megami Tensei series is evident in the concept of consumable defensive states. These games often feature intricate battle mechanics, including various defensive strategies such as reflecting, evading, or damage immunity. By incorporating these elements into the plugin, developers can introduce similar strategic depth to their own games, paying homage to the influence of the Shin Megami Tensei series.

The plugin provides players with the ability to create powerful, one-time, and one-use defensive states. This feature allows for better balancing of the game's battles. By granting temporary protection against specific elements, skill types, or hit types, these states add a strategic layer to combat encounters. Players must carefully plan when and how to utilize these states for maximum effectiveness, adding depth and complexity to their decision-making process.

The Consumable Defensive States plugin extends the flexibility of state effects by introducing new ways for states to expire on their own. Instead of relying solely on turn limits or manual removal, these states automatically remove themselves after providing the desired defensive effect. This allows for more precise control over the duration and impact of defensive strategies in battles, offering a dynamic and evolving gameplay experience for players.

As game developers, you no longer need to worry if making a reflect state will be game breaking by how long it stays afloat. By simply making it automatically consume itself upon usage, the overpowered aspect of it gets turned down quite a few notches. What were once extremely powerful effects can now be balanced.

Battle Technician Volume 3


The name of the game for Battle Technician Volume 3 is all about battle-related information. Lots of things can happen under the hood in a battle system, and sometimes, the player wants to know what's causing things to behave the way they are. The plugins included in this series will help uncover that as well as make the information easier to digest at a glance.



IrinaAvatar.png This is an article written by Irina.

The Bestiary plugin was something that was originally planned by Yanfly for Yanfly Engine Plugins but did not opt to do it out of the scope creep that has overcame the Yanfly Engine Plugins library. The information was not possible to be displayed all at once at the time nor do we think it will ever be. However, VisuStella MZ has opted for a different approach. We have decided to show information by specific pages, displaying separated information at a time. This made it possible to be compatible with our plugin library as a whole without needing to be constrained to the singular page entry that Yanfly originally wanted. With this in mind, this greatly influenced the overall design and accessibility of of the Bestiary.

With access to detailed enemy information such as stats, resistances, weaknesses, and skills, the Bestiary plugin facilitates strategic planning. Players can study the strengths and vulnerabilities of different enemies, allowing them to adapt their tactics, party composition, and equipment choices accordingly. This strategic element adds depth and complexity to combat encounters, encouraging players to approach battles with a well-informed strategy. The Bestiary serves as a progression tracker, providing players with a visual representation of their accomplishments. As players defeat enemies and update the Bestiary, they can witness their progress and completion percentage. This feature adds a sense of achievement and encourages players to strive for completion, further motivating their exploration and engagement with the game's content.

Visual Gauge Styles


IrinaAvatar.png This is an article written by Irina.

We thought about using an approach similar to how we approached the Weather Effects plugin with pre-rendered visual gauge styles in order to reduce the amount of work needed by the game developer. The Visual Gauge Styles plugin provides extensive visual customization options for gauges in the game. It allows developers to change the appearance and aesthetics of gauges, enabling them to match the game's overall theme, style, or atmosphere. This customization feature adds a layer of visual polish and personalization to the game, enhancing the overall player experience.

The plugin ensures that all gauges in the game maintain a consistent visual style. By offering a variety of pre-rendered gauge styles, developers can choose the ones that align with the game's art direction and design principles. This consistency contributes to a cohesive and immersive visual experience, preventing jarring inconsistencies that may arise from using default or mismatched gauge appearances. The Visual Gauge Styles plugin allows developers to choose gauge styles that optimize the conveyance of information to players. By selecting visually clear and intuitive gauge designs, developers can ensure that players can easily and accurately interpret the information displayed on the gauges. This improves gameplay comprehension and reduces the risk of confusion or misinterpretation.

We also took Yanfly's Segmented Gauges and Sectioned Gauges from Yanfly Engine Plugins to include as styles, too. These plugins originally have segments applied to their gauges in order to make them more legible at a glance.

Multi-Layer HP Gauge


ArisuAvatar2.png This is an article written by Arisu.

This is a plugin I've made for RPG Maker MV as Multi-Layer HP Gauge. It uses the same exact name but the inspirations behind it are simple.

The Multi-Layer HP Gauge plugin adds a visually imposing element to boss enemies by displaying their HP gauges across the top of the screen. This feature immediately grabs the player's attention and signals the importance and significance of these enemies. The large, multi-layered HP gauges create a sense of scale and challenge, enhancing the overall impact and intensity of boss battles. The Multi-Layer HP Gauge plugin offers the ability to customize the colors associated with each layer of the HP gauge. This customization allows for better visual distinctions, indicating how close the player is to defeating the enemy. The color variations can signify different stages of the battle or the severity of the enemy's remaining health, adding strategic depth and enhancing player engagement.

In addition to HP gauges, the plugin supports the display of states in a wide form, allowing for more comprehensive state representation. This feature expands the visual information available to players, enabling them to understand the current status and conditions of the boss enemies more easily. The wide form state display enhances player decision-making and strategic planning during battles.

Multiple enemies can have their HP Gauges displayed at the top simultaneously, too, in case you wish to change your default battle elements to reflect that. It's all up to you.

Battle Technician Volume 4


The plugins found in Battle Technician Volume 4 all center around skills. They are all also plugins that Yanfly has created in the past, either with Yanfly Engine Plugins or an earlier iteration of the Yanfly Engine script libraries. These plugins have been repurposed by the VisuStella Bunny Team to be remade for RPG Maker MZ. Here, we will also talk about the inspiration behind them making these plugins in the past so that you, as a game developer, may spark a new idea on how to use them for your game(s).

Equip Battle Skills


Yanfly.png This is an article written by Yanfly.

Now I'm a fan of games that give you lots and lots of skills to use provided that they have variety to them. But I'm also not a fan of sifting through huge skill lists just to find a single skill to use out of the bunch. This has been an issue that has plagued me since the RPG Maker VX era and it was around that time that I started to seek solutions from the various games I've played. Of the RPG games at the time were Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest which did not really address the second issue. In fact, they are the very reason I dislike having to navigate long lists of skills, especially after they've become obsolete. With JRPG's not providing the solution, I turned towards MMORPG's for an answer and of the one I found was Guild Wars.

Guild Wars, not to be mixed up with Guild Wars 2 or that "event" mode in Granblue Fantasy, solves the issue spectacularly. The game gave the player 8 skill slots. The player would have to choose which skills can put into which slots. The rest are held in the reserve, completely inactive. Within these slots, there are other rules, too, such as a limited number of specific types of skills (such as Elite Skills, in which, only one Elite Skill can be equipped at a time).

This equip battle skill system accomplished a few things:

  1. Reduced the need to sort through a bunch of skills
  2. Imposed limits on the player.

While it's pretty evident why the first result is considered an accomplishment, it's not so obvious why the second one is considered a positive. Imposing limits on the player creates diversity of gameplay and actually allows for better creative expression. Since not all skills are available at once, players must experiment to find what best fits their current playstyle for their current point in the game. And as there's usually not a one size fits all solution (though some Guild Wars veterans may argue this), players will be constantly playing with the equip battle skill system throughout the game. In other words, the mechanic has massive staying power.

In a way, one may compare this to Magic the Gathering, in how there are so many cards, a limited hand size, and yet, a near infinite number of combos. Magic's players often engage in discussion with one another to determine which deck works best for which situations. The same happened in Guild Wars as there's almost always ongoing discussion about skill builds and whatnot. I believe that through the usage of the feature in an RPG Maker project, it will also generate similar discussions with the player-base, too. This causes players to be engaged with the game while playing and not playing.

As a result, I've made Equip Skill Slots for RPG Maker VX. Over time, this eventually translated into Equip Battle Skills for Yanfly Engine Plugins with Allowed Types and Skill Tiers as extension plugins. Now, all three of those MV plugins are remade into one as Equip Battle Skills for VisuStella MZ. I hope that through this plugin, game devs are able to recreate a community-drive to seek out optimal skill builds like Guild Wars did all while providing a better player experience.

Skill Mastery


Yanfly.png This is an article written by Yanfly.

When I first played a Disgaea game, I've encountered the skill mastery system. This system is a staple in many Nippon Ichi Software games. When a skill is used multiple times, the user becomes more proficient in it. It doesn't rank it up or morph into anything spectacular, but instead, the user does more damage with it, have better cost efficiency, better ailment success rates, etc. To me, this made a lot of sense and it's akin to what you see often in real life and fictional stories.

I always found it cool when in an anime or manga, when a character tries to fight against a master mage. The character would use a high level spell while the master mage uses a low level spell. The master mage would win spectacularly with the low level spell, because of all the built up experience in using it. Such things were almost never possible in RPG's until this feature came to be.

The best part is, this feature benefits both games with small skill lists and large skill lists. In games with small skill lists, it ensures that skills almost always remain relevant in damage. The more a player invests in a particular skill, the more it stays relevant for them. For games with large skill lists, it allows different skills for a variety of ways to grow. If a player wants to train a skill that grows in damage potential, they can. They can also do the same for a skill that grows in cost efficiency. Another skill growth path is an extension of effect duration. With these options, players can make way for their own play styles and get rewarded for it.

The plugin first came to be as Skill Mastery Levels for Yanfly Engine Plugins. It is now remade as Skill Mastery with more options to boot, all while rewarding the player for their dedication of training their favorite skills.

Skill Stealer


Yanfly.png This is an article written by Yanfly.

The script was first made in RPG Maker VX Ace as Skill Steal. I did not remake it for RPG Maker MV as a plugin, but I did remake it as a Tips & Tricks effect. Granted, it wasn't the same, but it got the process done. Though the same effect can be translated into RPG Maker MZ, I opted for it to return as a plugin again as Skill Stealer. The reason being that there are just some effects that can be done with the plugin that couldn't be as a Tips & Tricks-type effect as efficiently. And that's the ability for the stolen skill to be only temporary for the better.

This plugin was originally meant to be made as a supplement to the Equip Battle Skills plugin. This allows the player to acquire skills from enemies, similar to how Elite Skills were captured in Guild Wars. The player would have to go out and hunt the enemies with the desired skills to be stolen. Upon successfully stealing them, the player could then equip said skills and then continue the process again. That's for the permanent side of skill stealing anyway.

For the temporary side, this is to add in a new style of gameplay where certain characters or classes are able to use a foe's strength against them in the same battle. The acquired skill being temporary allows for game devs to let players have fun with overpowered skills while having no lasting impact on the game balance for the rest of the game. Lots of fun can be had with this feature.

Ending Statements

And that's it for this article!

Happy RPG Making!

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