Auto Assault RPG Interview

RPG Vault has published a three-page interview with NetDevil’s Scott Brown, in which the Auto Assault project lead addresses questions about the game’s RPG system. Here’s a taste:

Q: What was the process you followed to create the framework of the system? Who was involved, what were the main influences at that stage, and how did each of these influences assert itself?

A: There were two different pieces of the RPG system build side by side. One was what I’ll call the RPG system, which consisted of equations like the to-hit formulas and experience tables, and the other was the skill system.

Initially, the RPG system was loosely based on the D20 system created by one of our engineers. While this provided a good starting point, it would prove to be insufficient for our needs. This system was later completely scrapped, and this part is now is being implemented by our Systems Designer, Brian Booker. He had previously developed his own complete pen and paper car combat game, Death Valley Free Prison, and has an incredible eye for game balance. The process with Brian has been to get him all the controls he needs to make changes to the game and generate reports on how the game is running now.

The other system is the skill trees for each race and class. Ryan Seabury, one of the other owners of NetDevil and our Design Director, and I sat down and brainstormed out every cool skill we had ever seen in any RPG – ever. Then, we “narrowed” down that list to a starting point of around 600 skills that we had as possible for different classes.

The very difficult problem has been translating those skills to something that makes sense in a vehicular combat game. In particular, the fact that both you and your target are moving has lead to some really interesting design possibilities. Most RPGs involve both the person shooting and the target standing still, so for example, skill “cast” time in most games is just a balance factor of how powerful the particular skill is, but in our game, the target will likely not be in range by the time any warm-up timer has passed.

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