Maybe been asked before but opinions on battle systems

(Caution poor grammar ahead)

What I’m wondering is what is everyone’s opinion on battle systems in choice script games. I’ve played a game with a battle system (Tokyo Wizard btw would recommend) and it seemed pretty interesting. But I’m unsure if I want to put effort on something alot of people may not like.

Any opinions would help. =)


I usually enjoy battle systems in choice script games, as long as the system remains enjoyable through multiple playthroughs of whatever game the battle system is in.

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I think that battles should just be written out like regular, detailed narrative. It’s more engaging that way and I just think it’s higher qaulity in general. That said, I’m sure, if done right, RPG-like battle systems could be interesting.


I would say not to. I’ve never seen a battle system done right in CS; it’s just not a good medium for them. There are several major differences between CS and an RPG system that cause this.

Firstly, the battle mechanics (for any battle system) can be rather arbitrary and hard to learn. For a true RPG system, the game will generally start with the basics in an easy environment, before slowly adding more mechanics in and upping the difficulty until the player actually understands everything, and has had hundreds of battles to test their knowledge in. This – especially the number of battles needed – is certainly something that could be done in CS, but then it runs into the next issue.

Secondly, there’s no map to explore. For a large number of RPGs, battles will be random encounters encountered while exploring the map. The exploration provides something interesting to do between the battles, instead of just fighting again, and again… (And remember that you need to fight many times, to build up experience as both a player and a character.) Unlike the first point, this is pretty much impossible in CS, and a far more grindy system must be used. True, some RPGs will force players to grind, but I’d say that that was also an example of poor design.

Finally, the lack of a save system can make simple mistakes, or a lack of understanding of the rules, into the loss of the player’s entire game. This can be ameliorated using checkpoints, but you’ll need to add in a lot to make it comparable.

Now, these can all be done (to an extent) in CS, but it’s not going to be easy for the writer, and it’s not really going to be fun for the readers as a simple prose battle, as suggested by @Samuel_H_Young. I should note that when I played Tokyo Wizard, I managed to talk my way past every single encounter, and so ended up in the final battle with no real knowledge of how anything worked, and I imagine a lot of other players will be in the same boat.


All these responses reqlly helped, thanks to everyone that replied.

But what if i made it an option to have a battle system or not. Like at the beginning of the game u can toggle battles or not.


That sounds like an interesting idea, and that sounds like an option that would be able to make everyone who plays the game happy.
So I say you should go for it!

Honestly, I’d recommend forgoing the battle system all-together. I heavily prefer writing and reading prose battles as opposed to a battle system where I have to track stats an various information. I have a full explanation of how I tend to write combat, but it’s kinda side-tracking from the conversation, so I put it at the bottom.

Either way, I tend not to like battle systems at all. I guess if you wanted to put one in and have the option to turn it off, that’d be fine. But in my opinion, if the story can progress without a battle system, then do you need to have one?

---- Lengthy Battle Writing Example ----

Typically, when I write violence in a Choicescript game, like I’m writing in Zomb, I do it as a diverging line. This is best show as an illustration because I have no way to describe it using words.

Apologies for the crude drawing, this is just the best way to represent what I’m talking about. Basically, for every battle I write, I usually start at a single point. From there, I center my choices around two different battle endings: good or bad. I usually stick to two or three for simplicity’s sake, but regardless of how many, I always try to converge each choice to a specific point afterwards.

As an example, in Zomb, when you fight against Leon, you can make either good or bad choices. However, regardless of the choice you make, you move on to the next “segment” of the fight. The only difference is whether you hurt him or got hurt. Then, the battle converges to one ending point, where the choices can be tallied up and the ending decided. Using the same example, the endings are “Leon dies in the battle” or “S.O. saves PC by breaking free and killing Leon.”

I’ve found this system to work wonders in CS games. It makes writing so much easier, and it also makes it a lot easier to read. I always try to use this system when writing combat.

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Writing Tokyo Wizard was a challenge indeed, but I’m hoping to reuse and expand the “engine” in my next RPG style game. There are multiple problems with implementing a true RPG in CS (and @Lucid probably knows more than anybody about that…). I think there needs to be a compromise between the storytelling and RPG components. This also means making sure than players who don’t like RPG components can still enjoy the story (so, need to implement a difficulty system and allow people to bypass combat, etc).

I kind of enjoy writing such games… If you liked TW try highway wars (car battle dynamics) or my WIP birth of a hero… Superhero RPG I guess…