Mega Man RPG Prototype Update 2012/03/05 :
Menus, Battle Points, Bug Fixes, and Unlockables

Mega Man RPG Prototype Update 2012/03/05 : Menus, Battle Points, Bug Fixes

The Mega Man RPG Prototype has been updated again, and this time a lot has changed! The most obvious change to the game is that it’s an actual game now, meaning that there’s progression and goals and experience points and unlockable characters and abilities and more! You'll also notice that several robots, characters, and players are no longer available. This is due to the recent changes to the structure, which I'm going to tell you about now. :)

Previously, the prototype menu allowed you to select a player and a field and that was it. An eight versus eight battle with the opposite player would automatically start after your selection and that was the only option you really had. The battle itself lasted a long time, and when you completed it you were thrown back to the prototype menu with no feedback and no reward. All characters and abilities were “unlocked” from the beginning and, frankly, it was overwhelming to anyone who wasn't intimately familiar with the game (like me).

Thanks to my recent updates, however, the prototype menu is now like an actual game menu! You select your player, you select your mission, and you choose which robot(s) will fight for you in battle. Your player (Dr. Light) starts with one robot (Mega Man) and is tasked with stopping the eight rampaging robots (Bomb Man, Cut Man, Elec Man, Fire Man, Guts Man, Ice Man, Oil Man, and Time Man) and reprogramming them for good (again) so that they may fight for you rather than against you. When one of these eight robots has been defeated in battle, they will join your team and your player will be able to fight with them for the rest of the game, level-grinding with them and unlocking new abilities!

Once you've liberated your eight Robot Masters, you'll be challenged by a familiar face with questionable intentions. If you survive the encounter, the second phase of the game begins which is slightly harder and really requires you to know your type-matchups (hint: use scan often!) to win. I wont go into the details, but "beating" what exists of the main game will unlock a second mode – one where you play as someone else… (gee, I wonder who?).

In terms of new mechanics, battles now yield a reward in the form of "battle points" – the currency, score, and experience points of this game. Each battle has a preset amount of turns to defeat all of the target robots, and battle points are awarded based on how close you come to that amount. If you come under, you get bonus points, and if you go over you get a penalty. In addition to the player getting battle points (which will later be used as currency in the game), each robot who participated in the battle and is still not disabled receives an equal share of the player's point amount. For every 1000 points a robot collects, that robot will grow 1 "Level". When a robot gains a Level, its stats increase slightly and there's a possibility that the robot will learn a new ability.

In addition to the mechanics above, the menus in battle have also had facelift. The ability, scan, and switch menus have all had their buttons revised to show as much information as possible about the item in question. Abilities now show the type, power, accuracy, and effect – a much needed addition – and all switch/scan buttons now have the energy and stats of the applicable robot. These changes seem small, but they make the battle – and the game, really – much easier to navigate and understand. And remember, hovering your mouse over an ability in the menu will show a short description of its use (does not work on the iPad version)!

I've also gone through great lengths to maintain the weakness cycle from the original MegaMan games so that this game can be played like the classic, but I've also done a lot of work ensuring that these same robots could fit into the weakness cycle of the Mega Man 2 robot masters. I encourage you to use the scan option at the beginning of every battle and retreating if you feel you're at a disadvantage. In my testing I've found that starting with Oil Man is a pretty good start, but please experiment and have fun. :)

Lastly, there is now a "data" option on the main menu. This area contains detailed information robots including their weaknesses, base stats, abilities, and more. At first you have only Mega Man, but robots can be added to the database easily by scanning them in battle (even if you retreat immediately after), defeating them in battle, or by unlocking them as playable characters. This makes it significantly easier to play the game "in order" with the weakness cycles mentioned above.

Much more has changed that I cannot remember, but these are the most obvious additions. Oh, and I implemented a bit of a "autosave" feature (in case your session times out) based on IP address, but please do not rely on it – I update the source code almost daily and I have it coded to reset the game if the modification date has changed. :P It would obviously be better to have an account-based system with usernames and passwords, but this is a prototype and that requires too much commitment from users when frequent testing and feedback are required. It'll definitely come in the future, just not now. :)

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