I've been kicking around ideas for a fast paced ATB system. I made some sketches and want to ask for some basic feedback on the idea and interface design before I ask anyone to help script it, or try to script it myself (all I know how to do is make windows :-x) It's possible that something like this already exists - if so, please let me know! My examples use 5 characters because I'm basing it off of FF4. If there's a script that allows you to use 5 characters in battle that'd be sweeet.
My inspiration comes from the PSP remake of Final Fantasy IV, Chrono Trigger and FFXIII. I basically want to take the best aspects of each and make a fun, fast paced and easy to use system.
Each character has their own status/command menu across the bottom of the screen, and the player can move the cursor left and right to easily switch between player commands (similar to Chrono Trigger). When a command and target are selected, that character's status box displays the command and target name while the ATB charges again to execute the command. Using items and regular attacks execute almost immediately, while powerful spells have a higher wait time (this is standard in FF4 and FF X-2). While waiting for a command to execute, the player can cancel the action by highlighting the command box and pressing a button (let's say "x"), which will allow you to pick a new command. If the player presses a certain button (let's say "A"), it triggers autobattle, so the character will repeat that action over and over again until canceled. I'm thinking the status/command boxes should have the actor's face behind it so it's not just blank while you're waiting for the ATB gauge to fill.
The ATB system needs to have speed and active/wait options, with a wide variants in speeds. This will determine the difficulty - the lowest speed should be almost like playing a turn based game and the highest should mean the player's mind and fingers have to fly. You can also set paradigms for specific actions to hotkeys in the main menu. How often do you find yourself making the same selections again and again in random battles? Just set up your standard "Attack/Attack/Fire/Cure" paradigm and hit the 1 key in battle and watch the game play itself!
Please let me know if my explanation makes sense and any questions or feedback you have. Thanks!