Daily Design: Day 255
Daily Design is a series of game concepts devised daily through all of 2016. These are just basic concepts, designed based on randomly generated words. Today, they are;
Tactic, Mesh and Capture.
As such, the game I’ve designed today is…
Shikari is a grid-based tactical RPG about guiding hunting parties as they tackle increasingly larger prey.
It plays like a cross between Fire Emblem and Monster Hunter, taking a lot of cues from each series. Most obviously, characters that die are gone for good, and the game is played on a grid. The goal is also to hunt monsters, where capturing them leads to greater rewards than killing (but is far more difficult).
Players start the game by building a small, ill-equipped team (because they’re dirt poor). This team is then led on small hunts to increase their profits, allowing them to train, purchase better gear and tackle harder beasts. That’s essentially the entire gameplay loop – train, equip, hunt, repeat.
There are no named characters in the hunting party, unlike Fire Emblem. Instead, they can be hand-crafted by the player, but are initially randomised (like in XCOM). They come in several different classes, each of which has a specialisation; warriors can dish out huge damage and take a beating, but are slow. Healers are self-explanatory, but can’t take or deal much damage. Trappers lay traps for monsters and make capturing them a lot easier, but aren’t much good in a straight up fight, and so on.
Once players accept a mission, they’re taken to the general area that the hunting target is located in, such as a forest. The party occupies a single grid in this mode, with the goal being to find the monster. Characters with high hunting and tracking skills will notice tracks the monster has left behind, which players can follow to find it faster. Other monsters may attack the party on the way which is a potential risk as well as a drain on resources, so finding the hunting target ASAP is important.
Once the monster is located, the party engages in, which changes the map view. Now, the monster occupies a certain amount of grid space based on it’s size, while each party member occupies a single space. The game works largely like a traditional TRPG from here, with characters taking actions based on their speed.
Monsters that are large enough to occupy several grid spaces tend to have multiple areas to attack, such as legs and tails. Like in Monster Hunter, damaging these enough will both cripple the monster and lead to extra rewards. Once defeated, monsters also (randomly) drop items that can be used to craft new equipment.
Equipment is lost when a character dies, unless the party manages to win the fight or retrieve the corpse. If the entire party is wiped out, all gear is lost. Players can sound a retreat on any turn to have the surviving party members flee the battle, but it’s a hard call if you’ve lost a couple of team members – risk fighting with less numbers for the win, or cut your losses and lose some gear?
As a result of the permanent loss of gear and having to equip several party members, crafting equipment isn’t nearly as time-consuming as it is in Monster Hunter.
This is an idea I think could really be developed further, but it’s a bit beyond the scope of this blog post. I hope you get the gist of what I’m going for!
That’s it! Thanks for reading. I’ll be back tomorrow with another quick game concept.