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The Making of BBS - Battle System



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pepe1092

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I found a developer blog of BBS from 1up.com

Here the link KINGDOM HEARTS Birth By Sleep's Page on 1UP.com

Thanks to http://www.1up.com

Tai Yasue said:
Hi everyone, my name is Tai Yasue, and I am the Co-Director/Battle Director of KINGDOM HEARTS Birth by Sleep.

I’d like to start off this series of blogs by sharing a little bit about what went into creating the battle system for this game.

While coming up with the battle system for KINGDOM HEARTS Birth by Sleep we wanted something that would be exciting to control, with dynamic interactions as in previous KINGDOM HEARTS titles and also something that gave a lot of freedom to the player in customizing combat capabilities. Judging from the reviews in Japan we were successful in doing both in large part to the Command Deck system.

The Command Deck system lets you customize your Command Deck in the camp menu and choose which commands to use in battle. By using the commands against enemies, a command gauge increases and when the command gauge becomes full, your fighting style changes according to the commands used. For example if you use commands associated with wind and jumping, your character changes into the Sky Climber style and you can attack enemies using aerial combos.

The idea of style changes is fairly similar to the Drive system in KINGDOM HEARTS II but in Birth by Sleep we wanted the style to be discovered by experimenting with different commands. For those not interested in experimenting, the element of surprise when evolving into a new fighting style and using new actions is also a lot of fun.

Controls

When deciding the button controls for KINGDOM HEARTS Birth by Sleep we wanted to capture the general feel of previous KINGDOM HEARTS titles while implementing new systems such as the Command Deck system. Basic actions such as combo attacks (X button), jumping (circle button) and dodge rolling (square button) are the same but by using the triangle button you can use a command from your customized command deck.

We wanted the controls to be dynamic like the Reaction Command in KINGDOM HEARTS II so we designed an interface where new commands would appear when the command gauges maximized or when succeeding in a certain action like sliding behind an opponent.

As for camera controls, there was a lot of experimenting and in the end we implemented two types of controls which can be switched in the config menu. In the default mode you can rotate the camera horizontally using the L and R button. Although you can't move the camera vertically in this mode, players at the Tokyo Game Show seemed to prefer it because you can move your character and camera at the same time. In the other mode you can move your camera horizontally and vertically by pressing the L and Analog buttons.

D-link

With the D-link system we took a departure from the summoning systems of previous KINGDOM HEARTS titles and let the player use the commands of other players and characters without actually summoning them. For example, by linking with Cinderella your command deck changes and you can execute magic commands and classical dance commands. If you acquire a certain item, your link with Cinderella strengthens and new commands are unlocked.


When linking with other players we put the focus on the reunion of players. After forging a link with another player in the Mirage Arena (a multiplayer world) and playing in a single-player world, you can strengthen your D-link command by reuniting with him/her in the Mirage Arena. The D-link command is a powerful command that evolves differently according to your play style and the play style of your link partner. For example if your link partner gathered a lot of munny before reuniting, your D-link command may evolve into Gold Rush (a command useful in gathering prizes).


Shotlock

The Shotlock system is a simple to use but deadly attack system where you can score multiple hits on several enemies. By aiming a target circle at your enemies, you can lock on multiple times and by executing your Shotlock command you will hit enemies as many times as you locked on.


There are a wide range of Shotlock attacks, with some having your character shoot volleys of magical spells and some with your character charging enemies at incredible speeds. If you succeed in locking on a certain amount of times, there is also a climactic finish attack sequence you can execute by pressing on additional buttons.

Evolution of Commands

As I mentioned above, we placed a lot of importance in having the freedom to customize combat capabilities and to do that we wanted to develop as many unique commands, abilities and combo attacks to choose from as possible. At the beginning of development Nomura said that he wanted about 500 and I never thought it was possible but many sleep deprived man-hours later, we somehow managed to develop double that.

Obviously the number of commands isn't the deciding factor in making a fun game and we focused on interesting ways to acquire and strengthen commands.


To acquire the commands we designed the Command Meld system. By installing commands in your Command Deck and defeating enemies, commands level up. Two commands that have leveled up can be melded in the camp menu to create a more powerful command.

We also developed the Command Board game to add another layer of fun. With the Command Board you get to play a monopoly board game on a board of a world you visited, against different characters and players by rolling dice, moving along panels and earning points. By designing a game where you place your commands on the panels of the board and pay points to strengthen your commands, we came up with a fun way of linking the Command Board with the command elements of the main game. Strengthening your commands on the Command Boards lets you extract a larger toll from passing characters and also levels up the same commands in the main game.

Balancing the Multiplayer Mode

Balancing the multiplayer mode was one of the most enjoyable parts of creating the game. We balanced late in development and had teams of sleep deprived designers laughing and shouting their way through multiple rounds while giving us a variety of opinions. The programmers who were concentrating on fixing bugs looked visibly annoyed but I really enjoyed the heated atmosphere.

Tips

There is no single way to play well but when testing and balancing the game I really enjoyed finding new commands and melding them. Because we didn't create a lot of restrictions in the game design, the player is free to meld powerful commands relatively early in the game.

As for the commands, I guess my favorites are the Mini command and Mine commands. With the Mini command, you can miniaturize huge enemies and step on them. The Mine command is enjoyable simply because you get to watch your enemies come to you and get blown upwards.

I hope that players in North America will enjoy all of these new elements!

For those of you who can't see the webpage. No pictures though, sorry.
 
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skyfoxx

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Nice find. It doesn't tell us anything new but it's still interesting to read from someone who worked on the game.

By the way, doesn't he look pretty young for being 130?
 

CrossLegion

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It's always nice to be able to look at things from a developer's point of view. I really enjoy reading stuff like this.

Perhaps if BBS does well in its upcoming release, they'll consider developing for the PSP a bit more. It could use the life support.
 

skyfoxx

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Haha, the Mini command sounds great!! *imagines Ven stepping on Heartless* and poor poor sleep deprived developers XD

It's really fun doing that in multiplayer as well (I have the Japanese version but a local friend of mine got the illegal patch... still ticked off at him for it)
I tell you, it can be really satisfying to shrink your opponent and then get on-top of a giant ball and roll over them a bunch of times. It's a n00b trick but it's a lot of fun.
 
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Wheels

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It's really fun doing that in multiplayer as well (I have the Japanese version but a local friend of mine got the illegal patch... still ticked off at him for it)
I tell you, it can be really satisfying to shrink your opponent and then get on-top of a giant ball and giant roll over them a bunch of times. It's a n00b trick but it's a lot of fun.
*adds to list of things to do* XD
 

destiny seeker

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I have to say the battle system was really cool when I played BBS. Anyone who does not have BBS yet is gonna have a great time playing it.

Nice find. :)
 

kupo1121

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I know the miniature attack is cool, but I am much more excited for the mine because I love to blow up things and watching them blow up.
 
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