A tip to all hopeful game makers.

Started by RoseSkye, February 29, 2012, 04:29:15 am

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That's a pretty good idea. I make the prices of equipment cost a lot more than you'd find in standard RPGs, but the other items like potions are still affordable. I start the game off in an older, more remote town as a way to limit access to high powered goods. If you want the good stuff, you need to travel to a major, wealthy city, but be prepared to pay top dollar. The best items are quest related, so I prevent the player from farming up a money (korean RPG style) to buy an overpowered weapon and break the game.

I have NPCs that have 3 levels of dialogue. Talking to Npcs multiple times is a function I promote in my game as opposed to many RPGs. The first is an introduction, usually saying hello and something of varying importance. The second level is a follow up sentence, if you come back to the person. the third is for a quest related statement (functioning as news of your deeds, locally). IN all 3 levels, there is usally a sentence that is conitional on you FAME counter, and your alignment. Example would be if you've completed a lot of quests, and you're playing like a noble hero, the townsfolk may know your name, and great you as a hero.

I like complex things, and I favor reusing npcs and locations to build a story. the entire world is pretty large however, but towns are spaced decently far apart.


I am probably a big fan of more genres than I should be. I am sticking to a pretty pigeon-holed genre myself, but I will point out a few things from different ones that I really love.

Dragon Warrior 3: Day and night changes what happens in the towns. This was waaaay before Zelda OOT and I think it may have been the first standard rpg to do that. Only certain things could happen at night which made it pretty cool. So much for the fact that you can steal and sell the stuff from your hired help and make endless money....

Chrono Trigger: Super interactivity => There may not have always been a lot of branching with the dialogue at times, but it really made me laugh when you are in court and they show all of the crap you did that makes you look really guilty. Right then, I felt as though I was a shadow of my character avatar.

Earthbound: Just awesomely funny at every turn. Rather than in many games I see where you get annoyed at having to talk to some pretty meaningless NPCs, I was in pure suspense every time I talked to an NPC because I was waiting for the next funny moment. Also, their parody on the RPGs before them. Like how the cops were famous for their 'road blocks' and just the general poking fun at themselves through a rather simple gaming interface. (ps. back attacks were cool too!)

Zelda series - Especially in the older Zelda games, the story was pretty basic. At this point, they have used the same elements so much, that you would be totally pissed if he didn't save the princess, he didn't use bombs, boomerang, bow, ect... So, what they lacked in story, they originally made up for in just great raw gameplay. They were so innovative with the first title, that they could simply just build on the franchise eternally. So, I am a BIG story fan, but gameplay could be your trump card if your story is lacking. This would have to be most likely action RPGs though..

FF VI - Character Development - Other than that of having awesome music, it really brought to life each and every character that you play. This was the first time that the FF series decided to throw away 'class names' and start working on the characters themselves. Although they had class like qualities in their attributes,(treasure hunter == thief) they did not rob the personality there. Now, classes by no means diminish the value of the character(such as FF tactics, 7th Saga, FF4), but they can be used poorly if you don't have a back story for them. In this case, they are just a waste of space with some kick ass spells(Dragon Warrior 3, FF 1, so on).

So, I say take a magnifying glass, cherry pick the elements you like the best from each game, tailor them to the genre you have chosen, and maybe make something truly unique. ;)


Very good points!

So, here is a question to everyone.  What do you feel will MAKE or BREAK a Game for you?

Many of us use the same set of programs, so we are all going to be plagued by the same set of problems that come from using the same set of programs.  There are scripts out there that help to change the nature of the Default Game, but what exactly should those scripts be trying to accomplish?  Many out there would answer that a Script is supposed to enhance the Default Engine in some way.  But I think that is actually somewhat shortsighted.  The purpose of enhancing should be to make a game more enjoyable for whoever plays it.  As script development progresses, we lose sight of the ultimate goal and instead focus on the specifics of the Script itself.  We lose sight of the Forest through the Trees.

I believe there are two things that will drive players away from playing a game that we can have influence over.  I know there are more than two, but Im going after the stuff we have an opportunity to do something about.  If a player doesnt have the time to play a game because of real life stuff, well, theres no script that can be made that will do anything about that.  So let me go off on the stuff we can do something about.

#1 Boredom

I believe many players simply get "Bored" of playing games.  The game doesn't have enough to offer the player, or time is being wasted on things that could be better focused elsewhere.  One thing I am focusing on right now in regards to Scripting is allowing a player to walk away from a conversation fron an NPC during a conversation.  I believe it will help to prevent players from becoming bored while playing instead of forcing them through tons and tons of dialogue they may not want to read.  I also believe that players should be entertained by anything that happens in a game, not bored by it.  Battles should be interesting.  For example, take a very difficult enemy and give the player a creative way to easily defeat the enemy creates a sense of reward, which increases the entertainment value.

#2 Frustration

Players also become frustrated to the point where they will put a game down and never pick it up again.  Some of the contributing factors are confusion, and not knowing what they are supposed to do.  Easily discovering what they are supposed to do I feel increases the entertainment value.  Impossible Battles are also frustrating.  Challenging a player is good, but the player needs an opportunity to overcome the challenge.  Not enough of a challenge leads to Boredom (#1), and too much challenge leads to Frustration.  A good balance between the two provides Entertainment.  For example, a combat areas.  I feel Combat Areas should be Challenging at first, but should become too easy when the player has advanced enough as a way of telling the player "its time to move on".


But my point was about Scripts.  Scripters sometimes lose sight of the ultimate goal in that the Scripts they write should somehow make a game more Entertaining.  I know I am guilty of this as well.  And my latest focus as a scripter has been to keep myself focused on the Entertainment Value as opposed to just the specifics of what a script should do.  My stupid Caterpillar Demo is horrid in regards of Too Much Technical Dialogue which bores even Developers.  But its also a Technical Demo, and because the script is so complex, it needs to provide examples of the specific features of the script.  If it were not a Tech Demo, the Entertainment Value would be absolutely ZERO because its so dry and boring, even if it does show off what I think are game enhancing features.

I dont think this really applies to small scripts.  Making events Fade In and Fade Out dont really make games that much more fun.  But shorter scripts arent supposed to.  They just offer another level of creativity to someone building a game.  But big major scripts, such as Battle System rewrites should make the game more Entertaining.  I think that is why those like Blizzard wrote some of his monster scripts.  Its a change from the ordinary, and ultimately should make a game more fun.  I wrote a moster sized Caterpillar Script that turned into more than that, but focused on enhancing Movement of Events, mostly geared toward enhancing Cutscenes.  Cutscenes are where the meat of your story will be at.  And Cutscenes can also be like A-List movies, or shitty YouTube user films.  Cutscenes are only going to be as good as the tools used to create them.  So this Caterpillar Script I've been working on is an effort to enhance the toolset used to create Cutscenes.  For example, Events can turn toward the Player, but an Event didnt have the ability to Turn Toward Another Event.  Just being able to easily turn an event toward another event helps to bring the Story to life, which increases the Entertainment Value.  I feel that players will get bored if the Dialogue in a Major Cutscene is delivered without NPC movement.  Thus, the script is intended to add to the Entertainment Value.

Sure this sounds like Im pimping my own stuff again, but really, I dont care if you use it or not.  What I'd like is to see people try to make games that are 100% focused on being as Entertaining as possible.  But it extends to everything that you can possibly do as a Game Creator.  Entertaining Cutscenes, Interesting Enviornments, Rewarding Battles, etc.  So here I go again pimping my own stuff.  I made a Double Demo called "Once More, With Feeling" in order to show what I felt had some Entertainment Value.  The name came from the idea of doing "Takes" in movies.  Do it again, but do it with "More Feeling".  I felt that the Major Story Related Cutscenes should be intended to provoke a Strong Emotional Response in the Player.  I believe I succeeded in Spades.  It ended up getting wrapped with something that started off in a Mapping Contest and turned into a complete Dungeon where the player needs to climb a Mountain by navigating through a series of caves and walking around the outside of the Mountain.  I called it "Lightgeist Mountain", and wrapped that with my "Once More, With Feeling" demo, so it ended up becoming a Double Demo.  You can check them out here.

Enough about my stuff and back on topic.  Whatever you do, Sprite, Script, Map, etc, please do everything in your power to make your games as Entertaining as possible!  And to come full circle!  What do YOU feel, in general, a game Should or Shouldnt do in order to prevent the player from becoming Bored or Frustrated?
Current Scripts:
Heretic's Moving Platforms

Current Demos:
Collection of Art and 100% Compatible Scripts

(Script Demos are all still available in the Collection link above.  I lost some individual demos due to a server crash.)


Games are not about storyline, cutscenes, scripts, graphics, audio, or controls. It is about how well all these things combined form something entertaining. Games have only one sole objective: to entertain.
I am done scripting for RMXP. I will likely not offer support for even my own scripts anymore, but feel free to ask on the forum, there are plenty of other talented scripters that can help you.