Prototype Combat Part 2 - Unit Stats
6/01/2011 05:35:00 AM | By Rene - 0 comments

Because a lot is happening in combat, one of the toughest parts of designing the in-game HUD was deciding how to arrange information in such a way that the most relevant information would be easily visible - while maintaining that other less essential information would still be accessible.

I decided to keep things compact so that the player's eyes wouldn't have to wander around so much when looking for important information. Also, because we want to experiment with camera controls and generally larger sprites (an idea we got while playing SNK's NEO-GEO versions of The Art of Fighting), we thought the the HUD should take up as little room as possible.

As you can tell, certain information is more highly visible, with coloured gauges representing the most vital and relevant combat stats, such as HP and SP. Following those integral combat elements are other stats with more contextual importance that the player will be able to reference as needed during battle.

The Breakdown...

1 - Unit Name - The name of the unit currently in combat.
2 - HP - When a unit's hit points, or HP, reaches zero, that unit has been defeated.
3 - SP - Performing actions in combat drains SP. SP is the currency of battle in Bijoux Red.
4 - Drive - Drive is required to use Techniques. Four different levels of Techniques can be acquired for use in combat.
5 - Impulse - A passive gauge that is constantly regenerating. Once the Impulse Gauge is full, the Command Menu will open, allowing players to perform attacks and other actions. In turn, performing actions will drain the Impulse Gauge. Some actions don't require the player to have a full Impulse Gauge to execute, such as certain Evasion and Defense abilities.
6 - Avatar - The unit's portrait. Generic units don't receive a unique portrait.
7 - Threat Level - Numeric representation of the unit's natural fighting abilities. Threat Level can change during combat as units unleash powerful techniques and exchange blows. A higher Threat Level typically yields a higher damage output, as well as other passive bonuses.
8 - Break Gauge - Constantly defending attacks builds a unit's Break Gauge. When the unit's Break Gauge fills completely, the unit suffers 'Defense Break' and is rendered completely vulnerable to enemy attacks. The unit will be unable to move until the Break Gauge drains completely.
9 - Fighter Grade - A grade given to units representing their skill level in combat. The attacks and techniques of a unit with a high Fighter Grade are generally more effective in combat, especially when fighting against units of a lower Fighter Grade. Both Fighter Grade and Threat Level must be considered when gauging your chances of survival in combat. Fighter Grade is always reassessed at the end of combat based on that unit's average combat performance over the last few battles.

Rene Shible
Director - Bijoux Red

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Prototype Combat Part 1 - Overview
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