February 21

6 comments

Update: Intoducing the Modular Skill System

February 21, 2024


Can you imagine playing an RPG without skills, spells or any type of special action?

Like a Diablo 2 without skill tree, where you limit yourself to spam normal attacks. Or a Baldur’s Gate 3 where every class plays as a fighter who can’t shove, do special attacks or drink potions.

Yeah, such combat system would make you bored to death.

In short, a skill/spell/action system has the power to make or break a game.

And that’s why it’s crucial to spend enough time on developing and refining such system.

Bringing BioSynth’s Skill System to the Next Level

From late December to early February, my major focus has been on the skill system that I mentioned in the last update.

It’s a part of a bigger picture: improving BioSynth based on the players’ feedbacks.

About that, let me say that there have been progresses about other aspects of the game too… I’m really happy about the direction that the game development has taken.

BioSynth is shaping very nicely and it’s becoming more solid each day. But we’ll talk about this another time.

Back to the skills…

Well, this major update to the skill system took a lot more than expected… but the final result is also way better than I could anticipate!

It has been a really hard job, but it’s worth the effort. Also because it exposed some weaknesses of other systems that I got to fix – and this is good.

What’s so great about it?

This: with the new system, we can create skills in just a few clicks.

Provided that you have the animations, the VFXs and the SFXs, you can create a new skill in less than 30 seconds.

Or in other words, we don’t need to code skills anymore, because all the possibilities are already coded.

This is huge for the game because it allows us to easily and quickly:

  • Create skills for the new classes that we eventually add to the game
  • Create skills for items
  • Fix all the skills that need a certain adjustment in one go
  • Update specific parts of a skill with no need to touch the code
  • Create skills for bosses and enemies in general, once we adapt the system to NPCs
  • Allow us to realize a very cool skill feature that we’ve been considering for a while and that would make your build customization options go through the roof

In short, this make skills highly scalable and it’s just great.

How did I accomplish this?

Thanks to modular skills.

I looked at the 72 skills that are currently in the game and break each one into pieces. Then, I tried to reduce the number of different pieces to the minimum and ended up with only 7 building blocks.

After this first thinking phase, I got to work. It took a ton of time to figure out a way to build a system that could use these 7 building blocks and make everything work smoothly. But in the end, I got where I wanted to go.

Thanks an endless testing phase, I succeeded in fine tuning the system and the building blocks so that everything was as customizable as possible.

The final result is so good that I can say that this has been one of the best choices made for BioSynth’s development since its beginning a little over 3 years ago.

This is one third of the previous skill system. It was huge and really complex.
The new skill system isn’t just way more powerful than the previous one. It’s also way simpler – because it keeps using the same 7 building blocks for all the skills.

I want to show you something more than just images… but at the moment I’m totally absorbed by another big work, so I won’t be able to make a video any time soon. But it’s my intention to show you more.

Let me close this post by saying this…

I put down on paper all the missing pieces of the puzzle in great detail. There’s a ton of work waiting for us, so I won’t be able to share many posts or videos, but the following months are a turning point for BioSynth. I hope you’ll fogive me if I stay a little silent and do my best at developing the game 🙂

Just a small spoiler… what’s ahead could mean an Early Access before the end of the year.

  • Great job, Mauro, and an early access this year would be awesome!
    Let me know if i can be of any help (feedback, opinion…)!

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