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chickenpicnic

Pokemon Arena - Real Time Action RPG PvP Simulator

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Posted (edited)

Hey there!  I'm here to show off a small project I call Pokemon Arena.  Please forgive the very low quality GIFs.  The game looks better in a regular format!
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Overview
Pokemon Arena should be viewed as an enclosed simulator of what a real-time action RPG version of Pokemon might look like.  I wouldn’t consider it to be a fighting game even though some might.  It does share some similarities, but to treat it strictly like a fighting game would do it a disservice I think and would likely lead to confusion in general. 

 

Design Philosophy
The idea here was to try to turn a turn-based game that relied on careful methodical strategy and some randomness into a pure skill-based game.  Each move has set values that include damage, hit velocities, status effect data, and a ton of other values.  Additionally, any randomness that exists in traditional Pokemon is replaced completely with something fitting to this type of game.  Sometimes I also equip moves to Pokemon that are "impossible".  I'm not too interested in being perfectly accurate here.  Sometimes an illegal option is more interesting than a legal one.  I'm doing this project purely for fun to take a break from another project I have been on for 5+ years.  Fun is the number one priority here and I view this game as an experiment to see how successful a re-genred (not a real word ¯\_( ͠° ͟ʖ °͠ )_/¯ ) version of Pokemon could play.  Balance isn't much of a concern here either.  I will occasionally make changes to things that are grossly over powered, but there is so much counter play in this game that trying to balance something perfectly would be not only virtually impossible, but would also be considerably less fun to develop and play.

 

Concept
I would consider this game to be a battle simulator of sorts; something that gives an example of the types of fights you'd encounter at the mid-game level in a full game centered around this sort of combat.  Trainer fights would play out just like fights in this simulator would while exploration of the world would function about the same.  This concept assumes that you, as the player, already know a lot about how Pokemon battles work and what each move does.  There are, of course, ways to refresh your memory on this, but it still assumes you have at least a casual sense of the game already.  I make no effort to teach the ins and outs of Pokemon in this game as I do not have the time to do so.

 

Controls
Here’s the controller layout.  Some of these functions may be confusing, but I’ll go into more detail as the post continues:

 

Spoiler

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Moves
All moves are on a set cool-down that can only be performed at preset intervals.  Generally speaking, all moves can be cancelled into and out of each other as long as another move is available.

Spoiler

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You'll also notice that each move has its own warning system built in.  A red warning indicates a normal attack and a yellow one indicates a move that cannot be interrupted.  The latter are rare.  Also a standard hit will be indicated by a circle or a box that gives you the area in which the attack will have its effect. 

Spoiler

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A move that is indicated with an exclamation point indicates a projectile and a move with no warning whatsoever indicates that it is a non-hitting status move.

Spoiler

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Finally, almost all moves have some level of automatic tracking.  This effect can be overidden by holding the "Macro" button to manually aim a move.

Spoiler

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Combinations
As mentioned, everything can cancel into everything.  This is the core of the game.  Learning to use your moves optimally is key to this game.  There are some limitations, but generally speaking this rule applies all around.  This allows you to perform combos for more damage or to set up something unique.  It should be noted that there are systems in place to prevent infinite combos.  One prevents hard stuns from happening more than once per combo.  Additionally, when juggling, each concurrent hit will cause the target to fall faster.  Eventually they will fall so fast that further moves cannot connect.  Finally there is a OTG (off the ground) decay.  Each time the target hits the ground, the window to hit the target closes until they become fully invincible.  Of course, move cool downs can help mitigate larger combos, but careful timing and planning can get around some of these limitations:
 

Spoiler

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Status Effects
For example, no move will randomly miss and status effects are guaranteed as long as you can land the move.  Moves like “Toxic” or “Will-O-Wisp” fall into this category.  Other moves like “Poison Jab” don’t instantly poison, but slowly build up a “Poison” value.  Once that value hits a certain threshold, Poison is inflicted.  Additionally, while status effects have a minimum amount to fully activate, they have an "over fill" amount that allows you to extend a status effect beyond its normal limit.  A flashing bar indicates when a status is over filled.  Finally, you can continue to fill a status effect simply by landing an attack that builds a status.  As usual, only one status effect can be active at once.

Spoiler

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Currently, only some status effects are fully implemented.  Side note, no electric types cannot be paralyzed in Pokemon Arena.  The following GIFs are just for demonstration purposes.

Spoiler
  • Poison - Slow damage over time.  Takes quite some time to recover.
    yetKEhb.gif
  • Burn - Slower damage over time.  Cuts damage output in half.  Takes quite some time to recover.
    ucLthbo.gif
  • Paralysis - Drastically reduces movement speed.  Recovers relatively quickly.
    nL2wA09.gif
  • Frozen - Prohibits all movement and attack ability.  Recovers quickly.
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Z Moves / Mega Evolution
Treat these moves like you would a super or ultimate move in a fighting game.  Do damage to build a super meter up and activate!  In the highly rare event that a Pokemon is equipped with a Mega Evolution, they will also have a separate Z Move they can perform after transforming.  These moves have very high damage or a very unique utility.  They are also somewhat hard to attain.  It requires you to stay in for quite a while generally.

Spoiler

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Abilities
For the most part, these function just as they do in the traditional games, but with no randomness.  I also tend to take some liberties with these.  You might see a Pokemon with an “impossible” ability if their normal ones don’t make sense in this format.

 

Switching
Similar to moves, you can switch at any point as long as you have the ability to do so.  Swapping is on a rather long cool down, though, so don’t expect to do it often.

Spoiler

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Stat changes
Similar to the traditional game play, your stats can change in battle.  They have been condensed, however, into 3 stats : power, defense, and speed.  Game play rules have been adjusted to conform to this condensed format.

Spoiler

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Elemental effectiveness
This works identically to traditional game play.  Not much here has changed.  When landing an attack, the color of the damage text will denote its effectiveness.  Green is super effective, grey is normal, red is not very effective.  For now, ineffective moves do not connect in any way.  This might change later on.

Spoiler

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Basic Gameplay
Up to 4 players can play simultaneously.  Right now, only free-for-all is supported, but I plan to add at least a 2v2 mode as well.

Spoiler

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Each player selects up to 6 Pokemon.  On top of that, each Pokemon (currently) has 4 preset move sets.  Each move set is unique in its own regard, but generally follows a specific archetype.  Let’s go over each here:

Spoiler
  • Physical : Uses a variety of physical-based attacks.  Expect this style to be close to mid range with fairly quick attacks.  Large combos and hard pressure is the idea here.
    SpnJSpk.png
  • Special : Mid to long range projectiles and beam-based attacks.  Generally speaking, you don’t want to be close with this style.  You wont have many options to escape beyond the built in defensive options.
    lp1V85M.png
  • Support : Low to no direct damage in some cases.  The idea here is to help the rest of your team with supportive healing or buff/de-buff techniques.  You want this Pokemon off the field as quickly as possible
    vzXbXf6.png
  • Specialist : A unique style with no set rules.  Expect a mix of range, support, and close up attacks.  These tend to fit in well with unique synergized strategies, but may not function too well on their own.
    BxD4zcf.png

 

In case you are unfamiliar with how a move or ability works, you can press a simple combination of buttons to get more in-depth info.

Spoiler

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As you can see, each Pokemon has 4 moves, an ability, and a Z-move OR a mega evolution.  Each Pokemon also has access to two mobility options.

Spoiler
  • Dodge - A quick semi-invincible technique used to avoid incoming damage
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  • Hyper Dash - A very fast dash with long range forward momentum.  It can be slightly steered and any move can be activated at any point during its movement.  You can also cancel it into a partially invincible back step to avoid oncoming hits or use it to fake out your opponent.
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Weather
Weather works similarly to how it does in traditional Pokemon.  Weather wars can also work the same as only one effect can be active at once.  Randomized turn counts are removed in favor of set timed amounts.  Also, in some cases, effects are simplified to conform to the game's style.  Currently I have these weather effects functioning:

Spoiler
  • Sunny - Boosts fire damage, lowers water damage.
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  • Rainy - Boosts water damage, lowers fire damage.
    LLCibSR.gif
  • Sandstorm - Slow damage over time to non-ground Pokemon.
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  • Hail - Slow damage over time to non-ice Pokemon.
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  • Acid Rain - Slow damage over time to non-poison Pokemon.
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Pokemon choices
 Listen, I’ve been playing Pokemon since Gen 1.  I was roughly 11 at the time.  Since then, I have rarely found legendaries all that interesting (Mewtwo and Suicune are pretty much it).  This generally is true for final evolutions as well.  What this means is you likely wont see a ton of "popular" Pokemon in this.  I'm pretty much adding Pokemon that I personally find interesting.  Having said all that, if I decide to take this further than I already have, I may do some kind of poll every now and then.  Here’s who I have planned.  This is subject to change, but for now, it’s who I like:

Spoiler

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Release
Not 100% sure when I’ll have this ready to release, but I’m aiming to put it out soon (hopefully within a week or so).  It wont have any online functionality any time soon though.  I recommend using Parsec to play with friends online.  It’s free and it’s amazing.

 

Engine Info
Pokemon Arena was built from the ground up in Unity3D.  I used an action RPG / fighting game engine that I have been developing for the past 6 years.  I call the engine "Park Engine" for short since it was largely developed for another unrelated project (more on this later).  I built the engine from scratch.  This includes too much to list, but the basics of it are hit detection, effect and sound spawning, character creation, any many MANY more features.  On top of all this, I have created a toolset that allows me to create a character and a ton of other features with no programming.  Occasionally I have to add a new feature with some light programming, but this is rare.  Park Engine also has a lot of functions that allow NPCs and other RPG related functions to be created, but those are unused in Pokemon Arena.  Here's a few shots of the toolkit I have built for this engine.

Spoiler

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Inspirations
This is a tricky one.  Obviously Pokemon is a big one here, but Tera Online is likely the biggest.  Before they changed the PvP servers to what they are now, I had a great deal of fun "challenging" other players at inopportune moments.  Low level PvP was always my favorite.  I never really enjoyed it in the post game.  Back when I used to play Tera Online, I wanted to make a game like that, but somewhat simplified and more focused on skill-based combat.  This is the direction I took it.  I also draw a lot of inspiration from Dark Souls and Kingdom Hearts; though the connections to those are probably more subtle than I think they are.

 

Credits
As of right now I am the sole developer.  Here’s what I have done on my own:
Custom rigs
Animation
Shaders
Programming
Game design
UI design / layout

Here’s what someone else did
Model rips - Model Resource
Sprite rips - Spriters Resource
Sound rips - Sound Resource
Music - Peanut / Wurd Munchaz

Edited by chickenpicnic
removed discord link
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This looks like the kind of Pokémon game I've been dreaming of for years!

Also the kind I'd be really bad at lol.

 

Is there going to be a Story/Solo mode? Your planned roster looks pretty cool to me, although Ground and Ghost having one more pick each is totally not okay and you absolutely have to stock up the other Types by one each!

 

Also nitpick: Shadow Claw should be a Ghost Type move, not Dark

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4 minutes ago, Gentleman Jaggi said:

This looks like the kind of Pokémon game I've been dreaming of for years!

Also the kind I'd be really bad at lol.

 

Is there going to be a Story/Solo mode? Your planned roster looks pretty cool to me, although Ground and Ghost having one more pick each is totally not okay and you absolutely have to stock up the other Types by one each!

 

Also nitpick: Shadow Claw should be a Ghost Type move, not Dark

 

Hey thanks!  This is a game I've been thinking about for a long time myself.  I finally had the chance to make it happen.

 

There probably wont be too much in terms of a story mode.  I would expect something closer to a mode where you fight through AI controlled opponents similar to how a fighting game might handle it.  Each fight would be its own gym and eventually you'd take on the elite 4 and the champion.  Technically the AI already works, but I have yet to "teach" it how to play.

 

The ground/ghost slots having 4 is because I'm debating between the last 2 in each slot.  It'll end up being one or the other.

 

Not sure why I thought Shadow Claw was a Dark type move.  Good catch!

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So Solo Mode kinda like Pokémon Stadium's Gym Leader Castle or Smash bros Classic Mode then huh.

 

Also bummer, my smart scheme to get a bigger roster failed! What a shame!

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12 minutes ago, Gentleman Jaggi said:

So Solo Mode kinda like Pokémon Stadium's Gym Leader Castle or Smash bros Classic Mode then huh.

 

Also bummer, my smart scheme to get a bigger roster failed! What a shame!

Yea think of the solo mode like that.  Since the game supports 4 players, I'd make it at least 2 player co-op as well.

 

Hah I mean it took me 5 months to configure/build the engine and make the 8 that are already in now.  My goal is to have one from each type at least. 

 

Also side note, I just started on this guy today:

DwgMoAR.png

 

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