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A discussion area for general design issues that staff would like detailed feedback on.

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Post by rujasu » Thu Jul 09, 2009 3:59 pm

I'm currently working on implementing a character model for Kyle, who will be the second-most important character in the next demo. Current (not committed to SVN) status:

- Uses the "generic Harrvah soldier" sprite from the previous demo
- No battle animations
- No portraits, just blank/transparent PNG files as placeholders
- Some slightly different stat ratings to make him different from Claudius (in particular, ensuring that they have different speeds)
- Same equipment settings and skillset as Claudius

While Kyle is well-defined in terms of his place in the story, it's not clear what kind of video game character he is. Considering his prominence, I think it's about time we determine how he's going to be presented in the game. Here's my list of things we need to consider for him, in no particular order:

- What sort of fighter is Kyle? I'm assuming he's a melee fighter who will have similar armor to Claudius, but what kind of weapon will he use? I could see it being a sword, but even in that case I would assume it's distinct from the type of sword Claudius uses. Or should he use a larger weapon, like an axe?

- How is he physically different from Claudius? What does he look like? Is he taller or shorter than Claudius? Is he strong? Fast? Will he have any distinctive features? I can put in attributes for the guy, but I'd like for them to mean something rather than just be random numbers.

- Given a fighting style and physical attributes, what skills will he have, and how will they differ from the skillset Claudius has? Again, I can make up skills, but I'd like an idea of what I should aim for.

- How much art do we need to produce for him? He's going to need his own sprite, to differentiate him from Claudius and the other Karlate. Ideally, we also want an "idle" and "basic melee attack" for him, as well as a set of portraits. Are there any other sprite animations we'll need for events? (This may lead to an offshoot discussion of how much art we need and whether we need to seek out new artists, but really I'm just considering what we "need" vs what we "want" for Kyle specifically.)

Like I said, I have some placeholders ready to go, but I'd like to get something reasonably close to the "official" version of Kyle, so that we can move on to other important areas of content development sooner rather than later.
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Re: Kyle

Post by Brian » Fri Jul 10, 2009 8:10 pm

I wrote Kyle to be someone much more outside of the system than Claudius. Therefore it has always been my image that he would be less skilled than Claudius (because he doesn't practice or study as much) but more naturally gifted. I'm not sure how this would translate to in game design or features though. I suppose that given his disdain for becoming a knight and his constant infractions he would be someone a little older, because it's taking him longer to get through the system. If he's older then maybe he is a little physically bigger and stronger than Claudius? In that case it could work to have him wield a bigger weapon, like an axe.

Also, if Claudius is the clean cut, follow orders kind of guy, than maybe we should make Kyle have long hair and some facial hair? That too would set up the sort of binary I think we're going for - a way to symbolize the binaries they represent through their physical appearances.
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Re: Kyle

Post by gorzuate » Sat Jul 11, 2009 2:54 am

So these Karlates or knights or whatever you want to call them have seemed to me to be the standard Harrvahn soldier. Perhaps I'm mistaken and they're actually a more elite unit of fighters compared to regular foot soldiers, I don't know. My point is they are one cohesive unit, and as such there is a standard set of equipment given to each knight. Meaning that when a Harrvahn citizen encounters one such knight, they know exactly what to expect. They won't encounter a knight wielding, say, a mace as their main weapon. If Claudius uses a sword, all of these knights in his unit should also be sword fighters. Maybe there's another unit of axe wielders, and another of archers, I don't know, but my point is Kyle and Claudius, being from the same unit, should be equipped identically.
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Re: Kyle

Post by Roots » Sat Jul 11, 2009 9:13 am

I agree with gorz. Kyle should be using a sword just like Claudius and all the other Karlate's in this demo (if you've forgotten, Karlate means "knight in training"). Claudius and Kyle should have the same initial equipment and I can't think of any other equipment in this demo that only one of the two will be able to equip.

Regarding character stats, I'd say the two should be about the same but slightly different. Since Kyle is a thief (or becomes one anyway), I think he should have faster speed/stamina recharge than Claudius. Maybe initially, Kyle can be a bit better than Claudius in all stats (HP, strength, etc.) because he has more natural talent, but because he doesn't train properly Claudius's growth outpaces his. So maybe they're about even at XP level 5? :shrug:

Skillset should definitely be different. Again I say Kyle should have a focus on simple moves of speed and agility rather than technical attacks.

Physically, when I first read him I imagined that he's about the same as Claudius. Maybe a little bit taller and scruffier. I perceived them to be two young men of about the same age going through the same experiences and that the demo was highlighting how that experience changed the two in very different ways. I don't think having long hair, big muscles, a battle scar, or any of that seasoned warrior type stuff is fitting for him.

For art we need a standard walking set of sprites (running set optional for now) and maybe a couple different simple attack animations. And all the standard face/body portraits for menus, including the damage frames. I actually think it would be best if Kyle's sprite was basically the same as the Karlate sprite with just enough differences to make him stand out. The reason is for the prologue we're going to have soldiers in the party who will need the same animations and it would be best if we keep the two similar enough to ease the burden on our artists.
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