Land of Fire

by Pixelcomet
Land of Fire
An atmospheric, anime inspired role playing game.
Hello everyone PC here with Land of fire's eleventh devlog. This week has seen quite a number of new additions. The most prominent being our updates to our combat system. Last week and the week before we showed video's of the game's combat. To say the least it was admittedly sub par for what we were capable of.. Not to mention boring, bland and other synonyms. Though thanks to the feed back we've gotten since we've managed to spice things up! Hopefully for the better too.

When we were met with this problem we were somewhat intimidated by it[At least I was!] From experience I know that having a player sprite that contained a large number of animations made future work on clothing and equipment a nightmare for most. This in itself played a huge role in our past failures- Scope.

In the past we added more animations but still lacked the understanding, or more often than not the experience to put it all together into a single cohesive combat system. This was seen with Spirit mostly. So with the possibility of walking down the same path with spirit age we decided not to rush into this. We needed to figure out how we could get better, less stiff animations without shooting ourselves in the foot when it came time to do overlays. We came up with a pretty clever way to do just this.

In a nutshell the method we came up with is partitioning the player sprite into sections. Arms, legs torso. With this we were given a little more freedom to create more fluid animations. What we learned is that the main torso animations were frequently just copy pasted and edited versions of other states. So you'd benefit from having few torso animations. The arms and legs were sometimes all that changed in an animation so with them separated we could pretty much mix/match the sprites we had and create animations at run time. This was a pretty huge deal as we could now get MORE animations in the game to help improve our visuals. Here's a comparison!

The first image shows our previous methods, Animations were fairly stale and simple. It ultimately led to us having to make some pretty big changes. The second image is what we currently have now thanks to the feed back we received last week. Well visual aside a lot of people have been asking for some insight into the current mechanics. As of this moment the combat is still no where near where we want it to be but here's a few tidbits:

Firstly our combat system is now combo orientated. We've taken HUGE amounts of inspiration from the console naruto games and street fighter here. Players will be expected to chain light, heavy and charged attacks to execute combos.

Light attack basic combo
This week we've only managed to get a single combo in.
At the moment basic combo which consist of three light attacks[left clicking] and finishes with a more powerful attack.

Heavy attack
The heavy attack would obviously hit much harder than your average light punch but there's a catch; Heavy attacks can only be used to start or end a combo. This is because they have a much longer animation. We spent quite some time trying to get the timing right! Anyhow, If you miss you're likely to get punished. Street fighter inspired here.

Guarding at the moment simple reduces damage. However there's another mechanic that's also available to the player in combat. Everyone will have 3 substitution charges. They recharge while in combat[taking damage and dishing out damage goes towards restoring a charge]. Basically the system works much like a parry would. You time your opponents attack and guard at the right moment. Then you'd evade their attack and blink towards the direction of your cursor. Simple right?
This guy is obviously pretty bad!

Secondary equipment[right clicking].
Secondary equipment will, for the most part be your alternate means of dealing damage or defending yourself. They'd mostly be ninja tools and various items available at your disposal. Right now the system is still pretty bare but you can pretty much see that certain ninja tools will be able to ricochet off of some surfaces. While not necessarily realistic in any sense we thought It'd be cool to have!

[Nudity alert!]
J aka Sullight has been busy with some misc animations for NPCs too!

With that here's some conceptual work of how we plan to introduce ninjutsu into the combat system.

This pretty much wraps up what we've gotten done this week. Once again your feedback and constructive criticism is all welcomed and appreciated!

P.S Oh and sorry for the nude player sprites! We didn't have time to update our clothing to match the new animations!
Nice improvements. Things are looking much better compared to before.

Looking forward to seeing how else the game grows. Keep up the good work.
Thank you. Your feedback in the last dev log was pretty insightful. Just the right amount of kick that we needed.
Coolio looking forward to playing
I enjoy your innovations and game design. Looks like you put in a lot of work!

However, when taking inspirations from console games/streetfighter you need to take the open world environment into consideration. And the fact that it is mostly designed for 1v1.
In Naruto or Streetfighter the space is limited and you ultimately can't run for hours and stall the fight.

-> I would like to see Jutsus as an enabler of combos. For example Gaara casting his Jutsu on an area and if it hits, the enemy will be stuck in sand while Gaara is dashing towards him. Or maybe the enemy is thrown towards Gaara by some huge sand arms.

Moreover, your current system is favoring Tai-users heavily. Keep in mind that not everyone likes to fight in close-quarters and try to balance this.
My current feeling is Tai>Nin>>>Gen

Ideas for balancing:
-> Tai users generally gain more health/defense while training their strength. Hence, being tankier.
-> Add dash-attacks as combo enablers. A swift dash with a 0.5sec stun/dazzle if hitting the opponent as an example.

-> Nin users are more specialised in far range attacks and can only combo by using their "best skill"? Or elemental synergies? or if they get in close range.

-> Gen users rely on decieving their enemies. They set traps and once someone is inside they continually take damage/have their effects reduced.
-> Gen users primarily as supporters. They can cast Jutsus to temporarily disable their enemy at the cost of not being able to do anything themselves. These Jutsus either break naturally after a time or if the caster takes damage or if the target releases it. (And of course these Jutsus depend on your and your targets Gen-lvl. If he is way above you, the Jutsu won't even affect him)

Conclusion: I see where this game is going and I'm quite impressed by the mechanics. However, instead of strictly copying the combat system I would much rather like to see an adjustment towards an MMO. Keep in mind that battles are often held by more than just 4 Persons. Define clear roles in battle and what different players can do. (Tank, ranged dps, supportive ninjas). Its only natural that teams are going to form; people are going to work hand-in-hand to achieve goals.
-And look towards the issue of "running away for hours".

But great and huge progress! Hope to see this out soon.

Btw if you haven't quite decided on the progression system yet:
*add seals to the game - you need to use the corresponding seals to cast a Jutsu.
If you practise a Jutsu a lot you will eventually master it and have it unlocked as a "quick cast" (not requiring seals anymore).
Mastering a Jutsu should take a long time that decreases with your Ninja rank and the Jutsu difficulty. For example Genin: 15000 casts , Chuunin 12000 casts, Jounin 10000 casts.
-> People would have incentives to not only train their "stats" but also master Jutsus and specialise on 3-4 core Jutsus that they quick cast while having to use seals for unmastered Jutsus.
While I'm at it:

Idea for currency system. As many of you know, most Byond games only revolve around character progression but leave out the wealth progression.

My idea is to add currency and a real value to it.
I study economics in University and have recently written an exam about it... I have lots of ideas:

1. Why do you need money?
People can easily trade their goods and have a wide variety of items that they normally couldn't get themselves or very hard. For example buying items in shops, buying crafted items from other players etc.

2. Money
Since there is no central bank to govern the moneyflow, a game has a constant gain of money. By adding several ways to spend it, theres also a moneysink.

Money = (Income - Consume) * Playerbase

We can see, that if time passes and more people play, money will also constantly rise. If the prices for the consume stay the same and no new items are added, the real value of money decreases. Everyone will have lots of money and items.

3. How do we spend money?
There are 2 kinds of goods. Goods that you only buy 1 time (sword, clothes) and goods that you constantly use (food,supplies).

Consumption = Price*long-lasting-goods + Price* Consumables(Income)

-> You only buy long lasting goods once but the amount of consumeables depends on your income and your personal spending behaviour.
-> This means that in the long run only consumeables are dependant on your income and therefor determine your consumption.

4. Good ways to add money into the game
Missions and npcs should give money upon kils. These amounts should be very low and just barely cover your expenses for supplies.

Moreover, instead of constantly gaining money, people should also be able to lose it.

5. Losing money and the benefits

Upon death 20% of your total money (TM) goes to your killer and 5% of your total money vanishes.
This is the basic thought, but has to be adjusted to protect newer players.

This is easily done by checking the lvls. If the level difference is above 10, then only 5% of the total money goes to the killer.

What is this good for?
-> People would on the one hand play more cautious to not lose money
-> People on the other hand are more likely to search fights to make some earnings.
-> Doing missions and crafting will be more competetive, since there will be PKer that are looking for your money.
-> People won't have as much money/ every item

6. Shops
1. Supplies
2. very valueable items, that are ones goal
3. items that are almost impossible to purchase -> achievement

7. Bank to safe money
You can add a bank to safe a minimal amount of your money. For example: You can always deposit up to 15k. But that is the max. Or your deposit value rises with your rank: Genin 10k, Chunin 15k, Jounin 30k, Kage 100k

Awesome work, I'm excited to see what else you guys come up with!

I don't necessarily agree with seals, the cast-use numbers seem kind of high. People want to feel rewarded for progressing, is this game going to focus on pvp, or is this an RP-game.. Also if it were a pvp game, who in their right minds would care about casting their own handseals to fire a skill. If I wanna kill someone because they're trying to run or escape, and the skills that I have, that are seal-less, are on cool-down...How will I stop them from running if I have to perform handseals, aim, while moving at the same time? On top of that, i'd have to remember which buttons I'd actually need to press.

I recall a Naruto game on byond a while back, called Jinketsu, that had a system like this. You could press combinations to use jutsu and pressed spacebar to activate them. The game was fine, but it didn't get too popular from what I saw, I played it, was fun and they gave us a few slots to have as signature skills that didn't need seals. Regardless, lots of memorization and Momentum loss to simply remember and place some hand seals.

Momentum in a fighting game, especially the MMO you lot are trying to make, is a very important aspect of the fighting game genre. Just pausing a game for too long can completely kill a person's game-breaker lol.

Ideas & Concerns:

If you're going the pvp route with roleplay elements, that's fine and all, but I dont think the players should have the power to literally & manually type in handseals. Thought I think you should add a few rules to jutsus in general when you are making them or balancing them.

1.) No Jutsus, at any time should be instant cast. Of course every skill should have different cast times based on the skill.

2.) No Jutsus should ever be 1 hit Ko's.

3.) The stronger the skill/Jutsu the longer the cast time

4.) Casting Speed stat or the stat that raises the time at which hand seals can be performed, should to some degree contain a cap.

5.) Clan jutsus damage should be static, or based off something other than Basic Stats, for example... Strength, Agility, Chakra, etc. Perhaps a passive ability or a skill that can be raised with points, etc.

6.) Elemental clashing would be a feature I'd love to see, if that is implemented, you kind of already know where i'm going with this, I'm sure you guys are already doing this.

Ideas & Concerns:

Stuns should be interactive, so if someone puts me in some wires, or break my guard and I get stunned. I should be able to type in some key strokes to get out of the stun faster, etc; unless the person is leagues above me in power and it'll be harder to do something about. Keystrokes could be A, UP Arrow Key, Left Arrow Key, Right Arrow Key, S; the buttons shouldn't be far apart, but they'd have to be buttons that the user has access to, and the sequence has to randomize itself every time, as a means to confuse the player into messing up. In this case, I'd moreover use the attacking combo keys; so left click, left click, Right click, left click. etc.

Side Notes:

A good balancing idea would also be to make certain jutsus learn-able only after reaching a certain rank.

I dont know what ideas you guys have for clans, but I feel as though clans in general might just break the game! unless you can find a way to make them tie in better with your game. For example, I understand sharingan supposed to be op, but if it don't fit in a way that works with your game system it's not needed.

Though, Mastering jutsus for the sake of increased size +/ distance +/Power are great things, they shouldn't be a whopping 12,000 uses/casts while still taking into effect, cool-downs.

Conclusion: I'm seeing the improvement, I'm looking forward to the end result, Take your time. Shoot ya boi gm! Loving the comparisons, support anyway we can! Also cutting the base into parts makes alot of sense, when you think about it; that allows you to have a more versatile base without having to go in there and RE-animate a lot of already finished icons.
I would like to see mangekyou sharingan or Chibaku tensei please :)
uchihaaaa! if clans are in, I'm going Kaguya Mist first character. Too many people make uchiha noobs :D
i love you guys ;_; , WOW thanks for all the post and concern!
Most of which Sakimaru said about jutsus and how they should be learned and work have already been written down/ talked about. We've also have taken some steps to make sure the game isn't only tai based or 1v1 based since we are primarily PVP based( but we also don't want it to just be another Spirite Age). For example, the combos we have for melee are there for anyone to use as a "secondary" means of attack, some combos (for specific martial arts ) have a wide range hit box so they could hit multiple people at once/AOE attacks for crowd control, or they have quick combos to just dish out their damage and back off. But there's also the dodge system we have in place so you could get out of danger if someone tries to cuff a feel while you're slapping up their homie. Lets not also forget tai-jutsus skills, which will be special moves that don't have these long combo prerequisites to do them, but some might need to be set up. For example, primary lotus? could only be activated when an enemy is in the air at anytime, if its because a jutsus shot them up there or because your combos "finisher" shot them or even your home slice did a jutsus that shot him up there and you just happen to be walking by(they would have to be targeted and in range of course). but yeah im loving all of these concerns keep them coming!
WHEN IT COMES TO MONEY- "we" don't know zip, we haven't talked much about it, at least i wasn't in the same room when Ishuri and Pixel talked about it, so "we" dont know nothing. Most likely when it comes down to it pixel would research into how to go about it. Moreover, i find it to be a big help that we have someone like Shellfisch who knows so much about economics and we'll definitely put as much as we can from what Shellfisch posted, and address it in a future devlog to receive some tips about how we could improve it.

As for the jutsus users, yes they will focus more on long range attacks, but there will be martial arts in the game that focus on implementing your type of elemental skill into your hand to hand combat(if you wish to use it, highly recommended though). this would be use to actually do damage when you're in close range to someone,get them off of you by creating distance between you (the finale hit for most of the combos will probably be knock backs) and the person who has been on your cheeks the whole fight a.k.a. tai-users. These martial arts will primarily take advantage of the low cast time jutsus.
-cough- -cough-
i forgot to mention, since we will be going for a more "original game" we'll be changing up/ adding in clan jutsus, also changing their names, maybe? possibly? we might keep the names. but we're going to change them.
Uchihas for example... sigh.. i mean at least i feel like those damn Uchihas were pretty high on the damn pedal-stool
They recieve eyes that can see attacks coming, see chakra, <eternally burn someone, make dimensions> ( and those are just the special types), all of them have susano a big shield monster that attacks for you(defense and offence >:C ) which can become a EVEN BIGGER BEAST OF A shield that does damage.. ah .. ah what am i missing <_< >_>. well you see where im going with it, i know uchihas require messed up ways to obtain these abilities, and we had some hard and messed up ways to unlock them too.. i mean messed up.. like the show type of messed up, but if they do go through with it and god forbid someone gets eternal, that would mean gg for the whole server(or a HUGE advantage over whoever theyre fighting), so some things will be nerfed or changed, we dont have an idea on how they would be nerf. We could always make a separate post where ya'll can post your ideas on how we can change up the clans, i believe that would be the best way to go about it. thanks again <3
Moreover, your current system is favoring Tai-users heavily. Keep in mind that not everyone likes to fight in close-quarters and try to balance this.
My current feeling is Tai>Nin>>>Gen

Right now it might seem this way given the fact that we have to redesign how Ninjutsu should work and Synergize with other disciplines[tai nin gen]. I fully understand that there are some who want to fight by flinging jutsu at the other guy and I will try my best to keep that alive with the system. To some extent.

We've got quite a few nice additions planned for future dev logs. Feel free to continue with the feedback. If you'd like some insight on what we have planned feel free to leave a comment.

SULLIGHT i beg you do not make ems like the show. you guys gotta fit and tailor it to your game. There is a way to balance everything. For instance, in that Big Susano, It should hit hard, but you can only perform susano related jutsus, All of your other jutsus become unusable, as a result your entire hotkey jutsus should change to that of susano usable jutsus

Or give the skillcard for MS a hotkey options button that allows people to place their jutsus on a psuedo hotkey bar, or seperate hotkey bar while in options, so that whenever they activate their ms, the moves that they have on their hotbar will change to the hotkey bar they pre-made for MS activation.

Of course you should not activate said function in combat. Hah
See , I dont mind a naruto game where even though you are a taijutsu god, and i'm a ninjutsu god, I can still fight on par with you if I decide to imbue my weapon with my element. That make sense. But I expect a tai user to have more mobility/attack speed/defense against tai. I dont expect my damage to be as high as yours. unless im powered up in my elemental affinity. Though, The tai user should still have more .. Priority.

What you can do is give taijutsu users Longer combo strings, so instead of 3 hits, give em 5 or 6. Since there will be different combos, different attack styles as well as a base icon splicing, it should be easier to do more animations.

if tai is what they're going to specialize in as a focus or specialization, etc etc.

There is always a balance. Like EMS doesn't have any drawbacks really, according to the show, but when MS is activated, your hotkeys can change to mangekyou sharingan based techniques, that way you can't use none of your regular ninjutsu along with it. Create Mangekyou sharingan moves with different elemental affinities and effects, or you could allow players to manually create their moveset of skills that they have activated, so that when they put on the form they have a pre-determined list of skills that go on the hotkey when the skill is active.

I dont think because it is a naruto inspired game, that you should wholeheartedly follow their concept, Not all the way at least. As players we want diversity, being that you guys are literally a group of people making an "indie game" everyone expects a great indie game from you. But the fact that you guys aren't really.... A BIG MAJOR GAME COMPANY means that you don't have a SUPER WORDLY FANBASE yet, to fuck up o.o. Ya'll can take all the risks you want to take right now in improving the game.

This is byond, we have a few good games, a few bad games, and an abundance of rips going around, I'm loving the innovations you guys are making, Great STRIDES people great strides.

So I agree, change the names, Change the abilities, create a clan, who cares, this is an innovative ninja game. Ya'll go on facebook and play ninja saga. none of their shit is 100% naruto and because of that, they made some good money. But the artwork you guys have plus functionality will probably be one of the best byond games & naruto games of all time, but only if ya'll stick with it. So by all means. Make mistakes, Take our feedback. And Upgrade, cause I wanna play ----> This is not an insult, just trying to stress the fact that you guys are a great team of talented people, who are making a dream come true, so just keep on Winning like ya'll are doing.
My heart is in tears, thank you so much, and don't worry none of what you said came out as an insult !! <3 WE'LL DO OUR BEST <3
Wow I love you! Great developing team.

Just a simple thought on clans:

Only make average Jutsus available.
Most Uchihas struggle to get 3 tomoes let alone Mangekyou.
To my understanding only ~10 Uchihas out of millions reached Mangekyou...

Looking forward to your next devlog!
Do you have any deadlines?
none written in stone, the only thing i can think of is ishuri finishing all the combos for 1 (hopefully 2) martial arts that we have in the game for the next devlog. Which we will intern make a video (with commentary and break downs) on how we have the combat so far.
i remember when they first started they griw up so fast T-T
Can't wait to play this game, one of the best naruto games on byond so far. Keep up the good work, looking forwad to the next devlog!

Question: What are the clans the game will be offering?

im an uchiha fan, but i also agree that they shouldn't be overpowered either. I can related to the "hotkey change" suggestion offered by sakimaru. you can also make the request for these op jutsu secrets to give a little challenge.
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