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Article - 'How to make the DBS original 1' by lamorea

An item about Game Design posted on Aug 7, 2004

Blurb

Lamorea gives us some good advice for shaping up our databases!

Body

How to make the DBS original! Part 1

Part one will be up to making your monsters original, This can apply to CBS’s too, so please read through! This article will help you create monsters, and flesh out your world. At the end I will put up 3 different monsters I made on the spot. =)

This article will be divided into 5 different parts, As follows:

Part 1 - Habitat & Lifestyles.

Part 2 - Skills

Part 3 - Using Weakness & Resistance

Part 4 - Using Pictures

Part 5 - Creature Life Patterns


PART ONE -
Habitat and Lifestyles.

Monsters are like people, they should live in an environment that suits them as well as possible.
For example, you won’t find a creature made of lava living under water, and you won’t find a bird living in an underground tunnel. When you are creating a monster, you should remember that they are more then just MOB, they should be as realistic as possible. If they are used to a specific condition they should live in that specific condition, but this doesn’t always have to be true, if your story can explain it, then you can allow it. If deforestation is happening, all the forest animals should be wandering about wherever they can get to.

Your monsters, if possible, shouldn’t be placed by how powerful they are. In a lot of games you will see a few creatures at the start of the game, for an example I will use the RM2K3 standard: Bat, Slime, Spider, Remora. That makes very little sense, why would bats, that love darkness be living in a bright cheery field? Why would slimes, that love damp places be living in a bright and cheery field? Spiders, I can almost understand. But, Honestly, why would flying fish be in a field?! Try to make the geography as realistic as possible, if a lion is to powerful for your characters, but they’re in a field, they should still (RARELY) encounter lions. The fact that your characters can’t handle them doesn’t mean they shouldn’t exist.

As for lifestyles, you should try to make creatures have dens, nests etc. So if your wandering around in a cave or such, you could find, a bat nest. A place filled specifically with bats.
Humans live in groups, so do animals, that should be shown in-game, very rarely will you find one animal without others near by.

PART TWO -
Skills.

Skills should be an explanation of what the creature is and how it survives, each creature should have at least ONE UNIQUE attack/skill. The player is more likely to enjoy it when every creature uses something different than “Fire 1"
Skills should always have unique, yet sensible names, a weak fire attack could be called Char, a medium one, Flame-break, and a powerful one called Firestorm.
Creatures should use attacks that share an element with their resistances, an electrical creature uses electrical attacks. Just because it makes sense, but don’t be afraid to break the rules. It can keep the player on the edge when (s)he is wandering through the ocean, and a creature with a superheated steam attack (with the fire element) pops out of no-where, because players usually prepare for the element with items that provide a resistance to it.


PART THREE -
Using Weakness & Resistance

Use Weakness & Resistance to flesh out your creatures even more, Angels should have a holy attribute, un-dead should have a weakness to holy attacks, Etc, you could even make skills that only work on certain types of creatures. This should be obvious enough to most, but a creature should usually be weak to it’s opposite, a creature that resists fire well should take high damage from water. If you really want to, you can give each attribute a spiffy name, Aqua, Sacred, Shadow, Etc... I could go on for a while, the more attributes the better, it adds a little tactics to the game, it makes it so that a specialist character has a harder time dealing with certian monsters.

PART FOUR -
Using Pictures

You should try very hard to get a picture that describes your creature to a T. If at all possible, make your own art, you get a much better response from people for original artwork. And try to keep the pictures all similar. Realistic looking creatures probably shouldn’t be placed with anime creatures, or with cartoonish creatures, try to keep this in mind. If you’re having a hard time finding a picture for your creature, you could try making the creature TO the picture, it makes things MUCH easier =)

PART FIVE -
Life Patterns

Young to old, all things that were alive will eventually die. You could implement creatures at various stages of maturity, so you could have 3 of the exact same creature, except each one is more powerful then the last. Or you could make it so that they “Evolve” and that a caterpillar will eventually turn into a pupa, which will turn into a butterfly. This can look VERY cool if used in a CBS, and is actually SHOWN using animations.
Anywho, this brings an end to my article. Here is my 3 sample creatures:

Thyquill (Thigh-Quill)

A volcanic worm like creature, it’s body emits extreme heat to anything around it. They have very fiery tempers, and when angered can go berserk. Thyquills like to live near volcanoes, or other hot places. Their nests are usually built in underground tunnels, they dig them by melting away the surrounding rock.

SKILLS -
Flare - Shoots a small bolt of flame, does tiny fire damage.
Berserk - Raises attack but lowers defence.

Weakness -
Cold 150%
Aqua 150%

Resistance -
Fire - 0%



Ork Shaman

Orcs are usually violent and stupid, but rarely, an intelligent Orc is born.
When an intelligent Orc is born, they are put through intense spiritual training, where they learn thousands of ways of inflicting harm. Physically weak, once their spells run out, they’re pathetic and hopeless.

Skills-
Fireblast - Spits a giant spiral of flame that incinerates anything it touches. Does heavy fire damage.
Iceshard - Shoots a large spike of ice at the target, it can cause a piercing hit (10%), which makes the target bleed until healed. Does medium cold damage.
Orkish Fury - Raises attack of target creature.

Weakness-
None

Resistance-
None


Storm Eagle

Storm eagles are a rare type of bald eagles that were hit by lightning and survived, they are very resilient to attacks, but they can’t cause very much damage. Storm eagles usually live in mountains and tall trees, but they try to follow storm clouds around.

Skills -
Jolt - A weak attack that uses some of the electricity in the Storm Eagles body. Does tiny damage
Dive Bomb - A weak attack, that may cause stun (20%). Does tiny damage

Weakness-
Cold 125 %

Resistance-
All except Cold & Electric 75%
Electric 0%


As someone has said before, Monsters are people too!

(P.S. Sorry for any shoddy typing, I used an American spell-checker, and it didn't like the canadian spelling of some of the words in there. so sorry for any small mistakes that it decided were right. DAMN YOU SPELL CHECKER!)