Making a Command-Based, Co-op RPG

Did you know that the classic SNES RPG Final Fantasy 3/6 was a two-player game?

It’s true. But sometimes even the most ardent fans don’t realize this fun fact about the beloved SNES rpg.  It was simple. From the menu, you could assign characters to controllers. Then, when those characters’ turns came up in battle, the player controlling them could make decisions for them.

This was the inspiration behind making Boot Hill Bounties a command-based, co-op RPG. While there are many co-op RPGs, they are almost always action RPGs.  Co-op command based RPGs are far more rare because it’s not an easy thing to pull off and also be enjoyable. Final Fantasy was able to accomplish this because it was such a great game in the first place.

Although Boot Hill Bounties is command-based, the action is active-time. This means that as time passes, enemies and characters both make moves. Each battle participant has a power meter that generates power needed to perform actions.  The player can choose commands at any time and if they have enough power, the action will execute, if they don’t have enough power, the character will enter a charging state and execute the action once they do have enough power. Of course, this charging action can be canceled and a different action can be chosen with no penalty.  So even players charging an action are still engaged since the circumstances of battle can and will shift at any point, causing them to re-strategize. This is different than FF 3/6 where players must wait until it is their character’s turn before making a decision.

Does it work out? Here’s some candid video of co-op Boot Hill Bounties in action:

 

For more on Boot Hill Bounties visit www.experimentalgamer.com

Or follow me on Twitter @BootHillHeroes

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