Today, Im showing you another basic feature found in the CGE Engine – the Shop System:
Shop systems are quintessential in almost all modern games. Originally they appeared in early RPGs, Shooters and Beat-em-Ups – but nowadays you find shop systems in mobile and PC games all over the place (and let it be just a single premium shop). Shop systems are important to the CGE engine as well, in fact they are very important and used all the time. Shops are internally labelled “Hubs” and can be used to represent almost any kind of transaction between the player and the game system.
This compromises the typical Equipment and Item shops but also a Tavern where you can buy new Heroes, a shop that sells Professions, Skills and even shops that allow you to acquire a new Mission or Task. The hub system is quite flexible so that it can be expanded in the future as well, to compromise even more game object types.
Shown below is a typical list-view that lists all shops available to the player. From this list you are able to choose which shop you want to enter. Note that there is a grid-view as well (that looks more like a town map), this view will be revealed at a later stage.
I would like to add that there are 3 different “Display Styles” for all tables in the game (a shop or its inventory counts as a table here): List, Grid and Swiper. This allows a player to switch between different display styles in order to choose the one that fits the current device best. In addition, I plan to add more display styles later (like a real Map and so on). As mentioned, some styles can be freely chosen/adjusted by the player, while others will be fixed – depending on the situation and type of table that must be displayed. More on that later!
So for our example, Im going to choose the “Construction Site” shop – which contains all the buildings a player can build and add to the personal town (more on that later as well). The image below shows the “inventory” of that shop in it’s current state – this being said, shop inventories are dynamic and refresh over time. So you might encounter 8 different objects now, but 5 completely different objects a little while later. This dynamism also allows a player to refresh a shops inventory by paying a certain amount of resources, this will trigger a complete restock of the shop.
As you can see in the screenshot below, it is perfectly possible for a shop to contain non-physical objects like Skills or Professions as well. The inventory below shows various kinds of Professions available at the local Schoolhouse for example:
Buying a Skill or Profession is a bit more complex than just adding another object to your Town or Inventory. In fact, you are buying an object that will be added to another object (internally labelled as “Child Object”). In that case, another popup window opens up – that shows exactly those Heroes who are able to acquire the object you are about to buy.
In the example above, I have chosen the “Carpenter” Profession and the popup window allows me to select only those characters who are able to acquire this Profession (either because they do not already have a Profession or because they simply do meet the Professions requirements):
But let us return to the original example of a shop. In the image below, Im showing you another inventory – this time you can acquire various Heroes from that shop (a Tavern). As you can see, all objects come with certain restrictions and therefore the Yellow Hero im about to buy is not affordable to me right now (as it requires 25 Food).
Finally, If you select a affordable object, you are confronted with yet another popup requiring you to confirm your purchase (a staple feature found throughout the whole engine). Once you confirm, the amount of resources is deducted from your deposit and the object is added to your inventory. On the other hand, the object might be removed from the shops inventory as certain shops contain unique objects (while others don’t).
There is still a lot to explain about the CGE Shop System, but describing all details would really blow up this article. Just a few more corner points for you: Shops can come with a limited “opening time” (for example 48 hours) that forces players to place their purchases within a certain timeframe. This allows the designer to create limited shops (like a Christmas Shop). Furthermore, the shop inventory is generated according to a rarity setting which allows the designer to control the amount and rarity of objects that shows up. And so on, and so on – CGE is the foundation for highly complex, retro style RPGs after all!