I have some special moves in my pixel art RPG game that I call "skills," similar to the skills in Cross Code. You can unlock them by earning points and points will be obtained when you reach the next exp level.

Skills are divided into subgroups in this way: weapon - element - type - level

From each of those subgroups (containing 3 level-one skills and 3 level-two skills), you can choose 1 level-one skill and 1 level-two skill(you can change them whenever you want)

Obviously, you won't get them at the beginning of the game. level-one skills will be unlocked in the middle of the game and later on, level-two skills will be unlocked. and when they become unlocked, you can use points to purchase them.

Level-two skills are just level-one skills with some modification (but it doesn't exactly look like its level-one)

"Types" determine how the skill acts and they are: attack - defense - dash - co-op

So, with 4 weapons and 8 elements and 4 types and 2 levels, and 3 skills in each level, there will be a total of 768 skills and it's A LOT. does anyone knows how to reduce this huge number?

I can't reduce the number of elements or weapons.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Why do you think it is a huge amount? What is so inconvenient about it? \$\endgroup\$
    – Vaillancourt
    Sep 12 at 13:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ well, Cross Code has around 100 skills as I know and it's just more than enough (In my opinion) so I thought 768 skills would be confusing for players (and time consuming for me to design them) \$\endgroup\$ Sep 12 at 13:20
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    \$\begingroup\$ We don't have much information about how combat and skill progression work in your game, so the chances of us landing on a good design for you is kind of like trying to hit a bullseye on a dart board, blindfolded. Try editing your question to walk us through what a "skill" is in your game (different games use different mechanics here), how the player obtains/unlocks them, how they're allocated or used, etc. Try following the tag guidance for the game-design tag when asking game-design questions, to get the best results. \$\endgroup\$
    – DMGregory
    Sep 12 at 13:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DMGregory you are right. I'll add more information now \$\endgroup\$ Sep 12 at 13:36
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    \$\begingroup\$ Do you want answers only from users who have played Cross Code, or would you like to explain your mechanics in detail so that anyone can help you? \$\endgroup\$
    – DMGregory
    Sep 12 at 14:15

768 different attacks sounds like a lot of development work. But by cutting some corners, you can reduce the development effort considerably:

  • Reuse: Use the same art assets in different ways to get more out of them. Like by creating a large projectile by just putting together a cluster of small projectiles. Or using the same flame particle sprite for both a ball of fire and a ray of fire. Or using the same character animation frames for different actions.
  • Recolors: Two skills which use the same graphic assets, but in a different color. This trick allows you to get a lot more bang for the buck in your art department.
  • Reskins: Skills which look different but are mechanically identical. This still eats into you art budget, but it saves you on two other fronts. The first is programming effort, because the two skills will likely be able to share most of their code. The second is balancing effort, because when one of the skills is balanced, the other one is too.
  • Renumbers: Two or more skills which look and work in the same way, but use different numbers. Either one is a strictly better version of the other (would work with your leveled skill system) or it's a matter of tradeoffs. Like, for example, the alternative version is stronger but slower.
  • Passive skills: Skills which don't actually do anything except increasing a couple numbers while they take up a skill slot. A rather boring way to pad out the skill list, but usually very easy way to create skills in bulk once you created the necessary architecture.
  • \$\begingroup\$ thanks! these tips are great, specially the reuse section \$\endgroup\$ Sep 12 at 19:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ A small note about "Recolors": if two things use the same pattern but different colours, it may be a usability issue for folks that rely on shapes rather than colours (e.g. colour blind people). \$\endgroup\$
    – Vaillancourt
    Sep 12 at 21:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ Here is some advise about choosing colors for a colorblind audience. But keep in mind that taking care of color-blindness is only worth it when color communicates information which is important for the player. When color is merely an aesthetic choice, then there is little reason to stick to colorblind-safe color palettes. You can use palette swaps to have red lava and green acid, as long as it isn't important that the player can tell the difference between them at a glance. \$\endgroup\$
    – Philipp
    Sep 13 at 10:17

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