Years ago, when I was first laying the foundational vocabulary on the Critical-Gaming blog I frequently referenced a game called Neo*RPG. This is a project that I started the winter of 2006 (a full year before I made my first blog post). Since I was fairly new to programming, after 3 weeks of work I managed to produce a rough demo of an action RPG engine. In the end, Neo*RPG plays more like an action game than an RPG, and I'm fine with that. Running purely on keen instincts, a lot of the work I put into the game set me on the path that I'm on today.
Essays and Articles
The idea was to design an action RPG combat engine from the ground up that's deep, dynamic, and emergent.
The core gameplay is designed around a triangle or loop of interplay between attack, shield, and push. Everything is designed to move smoothly and simply in real time stressing a lot of timing and adaptation skills. With only a few mechanics, 4 enemies, and a small number of other elements, there aren't a lot of complexities to worry about. Yet, the depth of the interplay design allows for a wide range of strategies.