#StaySafeJam – 46 Hours remain

Aaaaand there it goes. This jam’s theme is „solidarity“. To be honest, I didn’t have that much of an idea on what to work towards at first, but I snatched up an important point while following the discussion in the SSJ-Discord: Solidarity can also mean solidarity with enemies. That gave me an idea. Maybe not the most creative one, but that doesn’t really matter now does it?

My Battle Plan

So the general Idea is to have a fight-or-talk based combat system. I instantly had to think about Undertale there. You either interact with your enemy so you can successfully avoid fighting him and maybe even become your ally, or you choose to fight him, for whatever reason. But your overall goal should be unite as much, if not all of the people to win the game.

I’m still unsure though how exactly combat is supposed to look like. I could further look at Undertale for this, but I don’t want it to become an Undertale clone, so there’s got to be some changes to it.

So here’s the deal:

When there’s no reason why they want to fight you immediately, you can choose between „Talk“ and „Fight“

  • Talking brings you to a conversation, where your goal is to bring your opponent to have a more positive attitude towards you (duh) achieved by bringing up values you stand for, to see if they share them. If they do, they are less willing to fight you. If you bring up enough values that they dislike, you will go over to fighting instead
  • Fighting is pretty straight forward, I plan on doing nothing more than your standard RPG fighting for this one. Not sure though how complex that’s gonna be (the answer will be „damn simple“ for sure)

The rest inbetween the fight is going to be kept simple as well. Some generic top-down action over a world map should do the trick

Enemies + Talking = Diplomacy?

But what does sound quite simple in theory, since 90% of it is just one combat system, can actually explode in size drastically. There are a lot of factors that can play into that, after all:

  • Does the opponent like/dislike anyone in my party?
  • Does the opponent maybe even hate them so much that getting a common ground between them is impossible?
  • Are there values/traits that we share?
  • Are there values either I or my enemy find unacceptable that lead to fighting?
  • How many allies does the opponent have?
    • If it’s an aggressive one, does he have the confidence to fight me, or may they even be the one to seek the alliance?

You see, there are a lot of variables, and that only covers the direct interaction, not even information gathering etc. It’s way too much to build in 48 hours while also getting sleep, and since it’s a game jam about staying safe while human malware does it’s tour all around, it’s not gonna happen. So I have to draw a line somewhere:

  • Focus on single entities rather than groups
  • No partying up in the classic sense, but alliances with certain entities may be used as an argument for persuation
  • Keep it to a simple agree/disagree for all of it, adding compromises for certain cases only when I do have the time for it
  • You only have your arguments. You cannot gather those of opponents beforehand, you cannot gather more for yourself

That should shrink it down a lot. I have to say though I do like this idea and I may or may not expand the scope after the jam or rework it into a new project, probably the latter. This also depends on how this jam goes, and whether I still have the motivation to make this a bigger thing afterwards, with faction wars and such. Kind of like the first season of „That Time I got Reincarnated As A Slime“, although the story won’t go on as smoothly in order to keep it interesting.

That concludes the first blog post for this jam, albeit very theoretical at this point. But then again the jam started just two hours ago, and it’s getting quite late here, so I don’t think I will make that much progress today. Let’s see how tomorrow is coming along.

Stay safe!