Next up, let's talk a little about the weaponry we might have and I also want to share few ideas we have for them. Good older posts related to this are "Art Style #5: Let's sketch more characters" and "Art Style #3: First animation tests". They might also give a better idea of how the weapons might look on the characters.
At first, I planned on writing about weapons and armor in one post. It ended up getting too long, so I decided to go with two separate posts. So, armor will get its own post later!
What we want from the weapons
The plan is to have a wide range of weapons, and different weapons will have different kinds of bonuses. The bonuses might affect the amount damage dealt or chance of a critical hit and what kind of critical effects the weapon has. Some items might also give more points to use for skills and actions. We would like to have a diverse set of weapons, so that the players will have the possibility to gear up their gladiators as they wish.
We like to have options. That's why the weapons will not be limited to a certain type of gladiator. This will mean you can give a mage a heavy axe, if he has the strength to wield it.
Side note: If we allow all characters to wield all weapons, we have to make sure that the same weapons fit the smallest and largest character. One solution would be to scale all the weapons for each body type. This way we do not have to make each separate versions of each weapon that will fit each three body types.
What kinds are there?
At the current state, we have thought of a few different classes for weapons. In short you could categorize them like this:
One handed weapons
Swords, axes, maces, wands, daggers and other weapons that can be wielded with one hand. Duel wielding might be interesting, but we haven’t decided on that yet. Shields might also go into this category.
Side note: One way to do the dual wielding would be to have a main hand and an off hand, so that the main hand would deal damage but you could assign anything to the off hand and get its bonuses. Usually one would have a shield there, to get extra armor.
Shields might need to be drawn in at least two angles, so that they will look good while the character is blocking. In the first GIF shown in "Art Style #3: First animation tests", you can see how the 2D shield looks when you only distort it. It might be better to switch to another version of the same shield, where it has been drawn a little bit sideways. That might look nicer.
Two handed weapons
Spears, large axes, staffs and other larger weapons that clearly need two hands to hold onto.
Side note: If a really strong character compensates by using light armor (or none at all), could it be possible for that character to wield two heavy axes? If there is dual wielding for one handed weapons then why not for two handed? This might be worth prototyping.
Bows, crossbows and other projectile weapons. Some magic related weapons might belong in this category.
Side note: Gear could be bought from merchants and the wares would vary between merchants. We will get back to this in more detail at a later date! Also, the shading for weapons and armor might be done in the same way as the characters. This way dynamic 3D lights would also affect the weapons and they wouldn't look different than the character that is holding them.
The next level?
We also had some ideas for the weapons that currently are in the “we might do them if we have the time” box. One of those ideas is weapon modification, so that you could build your own weapons that fit your needs the best.
The gear the gladiators are using might get damaged, and there is an idea that there might be a blacksmith who offers services where you can get them fixed. What if, let's say, by upgrading the blacksmith you would get the option to break down weapons and then use the parts to create new combinations?
This would mean that the weapons would be split into parts, let’s say three parts. So, a sword would have a blade, a hilt (cross-guard + grip) and a pommel. All of these would have some kind of bonus attached to them and in combination they would be the weapon's bonus set. So, you could buy a bunch of gear, tear them apart and make new gear that has the perfect bonuses for your gladiators.
Again, this would mean a different approach when making the weapons, since we can just make one sprite for each weapon. We would have to make it a bit more complicated and have groups of parts, where within that specific group, all the parts fit together. These would likely to be grouped by weapon type, like swords, maces and so on.
There are two challenges with the weapons. First, the customization, how will it be done? Could it be achieved using the same solutions as in the character building? Second, how to fit the weapons to characters of different sizes? Since the correct sized sword for the smallest characters will look like a toothpick in the hand of the largest characters. This is the most important one in my mind, but I am sure that we will figure it out along the way!
Let's continue to the next one! "Art Style #8: Armor concepts"