This is my submission for the Pixel Art VG screenshot contest, on where we had to make a videogame mock-up screen from scratch.
As I want to make this mock-up as real as possible, I also thought about the story behind the game, combat mechanics (which is what you see here) and explain the elements of this screenshot that are not very clear. So, if you don't want to spend time reading a long chunk of text, just skip to the bottom of the description.
I opted for making a game that I dubbed "Omicron Zone" (which I wish I could make it true someday, but that's far from happening). Its genre is RPG with some strategy elements. The action happens in a near future, on where sophisticated machinery is being developed at enormous scales, but at the same time, energy resources are being depleted at similar scales. Scientists, on their continuous research of new energy sources discovered what could be a source of "infinite energy", which is located in a place dubbed "Omicron Zone", as this place doubles as a miniature "black hole". While important countries in the world are racing on finding ways to reach this energy source (some, though, by using their military strenght rather than scientific knowledge and diplomacy), a few independent individuals are also interested on it. One of them hired four mercenaries to do whatever is needed to reach this energy source. What they don't know, is that they're forcefully being dragged to an adventure of epic proportions.
Battle mechanics: combats are turn-based. The order of actions are determined by the character's speed status. Exceptions are robots. Some of them may have a higher speed stat than human party members, but they always move last, wheter it is moving through the battle scene or doing an action. Of course, that's to level the difficulty a little, as machines have a huge advantage over human troops in firepower and endurance. This, of course, doesn't count on combats on where all the units are mechanic. Also, you give the commands to a character per time, unlike other RPGs on where you give all the commands to your party and then wait for them to execute. Battle is won when all party members are either KO'ed/destroyed (in the case of mechanic units, they are out of combat merely by having their engine destroyed). Experience is shared between party members in equal fractions, no matter how many successful actions they accomplished.
-Explanation of screenshot elements:
Phase: we give the name of "phase" to the time that takes every unit in the battle field to perform a move. When all the units have already performed their respective actions, a new phase starts. The more phases it takes the player to defeat the enemy party, the less experience will receive at the end of the combat.
Time: this game includes a clock (which is not in real time, as 1 minute lasts for 30 seconds). It indicates the played what's the time, which is important for strategy elements. Fighting at nightime without the appropiate gear will reduce the accuracy of the attacks greatly. Depending of the player possesing night vision gear or not battling at night could be an advantage or a disadvantage respectively. Time doesn't affect indoor battle fields, unless they lack artificial illumination.
Weather: weather in the game influentiates in several aspects. There are several states of weather. They are: clear, sunny, rainy, foggy, storm, gale, sandstorm and blizzard. Clear affects nothing at all. Sunny may affect delicate machinery and other gear that overheat with ease, rendering them useless for a short time. Rainy affects visibility, agility and fire-based weaponry. Foggy reduces vision greatly and may affect delicate gear. Storm, in addition to the effects of "rainy" weather, will affect the performance of mechanic units. Gale will affect the accuracy of the attacks and will lower the agility of non-mechanic units. Sandstorm affects accuracy, critical hit chance and will damage delicate machinery and misc. gear, and blizzard will affect heat-based weaponry, will reduce visibility of non-mechanic units and could probably halt certain mechanic units for a short period of time. Obviously, weather doesn't affect indoor battle fields.
Attack: uses weapon held in hand. Human units always can carry one weapon at a time. Mechanic units may have more than one. If that's so, an option to choose what weapon to use may appear. Some of the mechanic units' weapons have limited ammunition per battle, in order to even battle's difficulty.
Defend: will attempt to reduce damage and increase evade rate for a whole phase at the expense of not performing an offensive or supportive action.
Skill: each character will develop a certain amount of skills which depend mainly on their natural abilities. They will be, in general, much more effective than normal attack or supportive action, but at the expense of Skill Points (SP).
Item:will use an item that it's being held by a character. They could either be for supportive purpose (i.e: healing items) or attack items (i.e: explosives). Each character can carry a maximum of 9 items at the time of entering the battle field.
Status: will show information pertaining the unit the player is using at the moment. Useful to know how many health points (HP) and SP the unit has, for instance.
HP: health points, or "HP" indicate the health of a unit. When it reaches zero, the unit will be knocked out of battle (or destroyed if it's a mechanic unit). Can be restored with items and certain skills.
SP: skill points, or "SP" are indispensable for performing skills. Every skill requires a minimum amount of SP. If this minimum is not met, then the skill cannot be performed. It can be restored by using items. Some characters can naturally, but slowly, regenerate SP during battle.
Hit %: this percentage indicates how successful the attack will be. The greater the percentage, the greater is the chance of dealing damage to enemy units. Many factors influence on this percentage, being them battle field illumination, weather, characters' stats and weapons used. Also, when using weapons that allow "aim attacks" (which allow the player to aim to certain parts of the enemy's body, like legs, arms, trunk, etc) the accuracy will be reduced if the target is quite well concealed (like a mechanic unit's CPU).
Counter %: this percentage indicates the probablity of an attacked unit to retort said attack performed by the enemy party. In the case of mechanic units with multiple weapons, it will counterattack with its weakest weapon (and in the case of mechanic units, due to their high firepower, their counterattack's accuracy will be halved, in order to balance battle difficulty). It is better to dispatch units with lower counterattack percentage in order to lower the amount of damage that will be dealt by the enemy party.
Specs: all done in Paint Shop Pro. Over 20 hours were used to complete it. Size is 320 x 240 and the colors used were 34, which fit into the contest's requirements.