Advice you don't agree with?

Bernkastelwitch

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What are some common advice you see in the RPG Maker communities or game development communities that even if they sound nice, are ones you usually don't agree with and why? It's something that popped in my head, especially seeing how varied some people's advice can be.

For me, I see some people actually suggest that the first thing you do is to completely replace the RTP with commissioned or drawn assets. I am not against replacing the RTP, even if I use it for my project but to me, having that be the first thing you do is a bit counterproductive, especially given how plotlines and stuff are usually never set in stone. I heard stories of people actually spending hundreds or thousands on a commission of a ton of art assets to replace the RTP and only use like a third of it due to change of plans. At the very least, work on your game and get to a point where you can easily swap assets out since you know the direction of your game.

Are there any others from you that you tend to not agree with and if so, why?
 

HexMozart88

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Don't put any puzzles or minigames in your game.
Don't use any tropes at all.
Those are the main ones. Can't think of any others right now.
 

Bernkastelwitch

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Don't use any tropes at all.

As someone who actually took classes in storytelling, it's literally impossible to avoid tropes. The harder you try to avoid cliches and tropes, the more cliches and tropes you get than if you had decided to use ones that'd fit your story, if that makes sense.
 

EthanFox

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Mine is more a general thing, rather than a specific, named bit of advice.

It's the way some people give out advice in a manner which suggests they're convinced that what works for them will definitely work for other people.

People make games for many different reasons. Even here on this forum, we have everything from kids making their first game for fun, to people using the engine as a business tool, and everything in between.

The advice someone might give about making a game that can sell might be good advice in that context, but may be totally unsuitable to someone for whom the engine is more of a toy.
 

The Stranger

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Telling people not to make their dream game. If someone really wants to attempt something, let them. Many here are hobbyists with next to no intentions of becoming full time game devs or getting rich.

Does it really matter if they never finish? Not really. Does it matter if the end result isn't as good as they imagined it would be? Again, not really. However, if they enjoyed the experience then they haven't come away empty handed.

I think encouraging folk to work on things they have no interest in, though it might sound like sage advice, might make them throw in the towel even sooner than they would have if they had just stuck with their dream game. Because who wants to waste weeks or months (most likely of your spare time) doing something you don't care about?
 

Bernkastelwitch

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I think encouraging folk to work on things they have no interest in, though it might sound like sage advice, might make them throw in the towel even sooner than they would have if they had just stuck with their dream game. Because who wants to waste weeks or months (most likely of your spare time) doing something you don't care about?

I tried to do this and make something and I can say, it's harder to care about something you're only making "Just because" than something you genuinely want to make. I actually learn RPG Maker better if it's on the project I had in my mind for a long time than if it's an RPG Maker game made just for the sake of learning.
 

TheoAllen

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Most of the advice comes with a context behind it. People who don't agree usually because they come from a different perspective. And people who are giving the advice do not usually give the context why they should do it. Knowing that I don't think I don't have much advice to disagree with.

But for something that I personally do not do is to replace RTP with something else. I know where those people came from but it is too much for me to do it, especially the reason why I choose RPG Maker over other engines was because it comes with a default ready-to-use asset. If I have to replace everything, I might as well just learn other engines.

And one more thing, rather than advice, it is more like a convention. If you see a plugin structure, you see the entire thing is encapsulated by (() => {})(). Two years ago, I made a thread complaining about the practice. The answer I get never satisfied me.

To put it simply for non-tech people, the practice allows you to avoid a potential plugin conflict because someone else uses the same name (which really has an abysmal chance, except you're building a website with a massive JS library). However, the drawback is you can not apply a separate patch to the plugin (to fix or alter the behavior by adding a separate plugin. You have to explicitly edit the said plugin. This is, for me, extremely inconvenient.
 

RCXDan

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Don't use any tropes at all.

Oh man I remember that thread. It was so ridiculous because tropes are literally the building blocks of storytelling - you can't not use them. The only people who really buy into this are people who don't want to be ostracized for writing stories that are played out or have cliches in them, and that tends to invite a lot of artifice. I do not judge unless the quality of the story itself is not up to par.

Like do your best to read up on similar games to yours, but at the same time don't try to reinvent the wheel if the situation doesn't really call for it. Just put in your own spin and work with it.

My other piece is that you should always take advice with a grain of salt, especially if what the other person is saying does not line up with what you want to make.
 
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The Stranger

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Yeah, the no tropes one is weird. I've seen it a lot in writing advice forums, too; though not as much these days. It's like telling a carpenter not to use a saw, or not design a table this shape or that size because it's so overdone.

You also see it a lot in random game reviews. A game will be criticised and declared bad because the plot is fairly straightforward and uses tropes. It's just so strange to me.
 

Bernkastelwitch

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I'd rather embrace the tropes that actually work well with the story I want to tell than make a mess trying to avoid them.

It's not about tropes existing but rather the execution. Even the most cliche of plots can have potential to be great if you try hard enough.
 

bgillisp

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I think it comes down to more who gives the advice. Most of those who have really strong advice to give on making RPGMaker games have never finished a game of their own. I see that a lot in the don't use RTP example you posted. In fact, if you insist on doing everything in the engine yourself you will easily have a dev time of 23 years (which really happened to an indie game, it started in 1994 and released in 2017).

But I would suggest being sure to filter out the advice. Look at your target audience and see what they want.
 

Bernkastelwitch

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On another advice that is actually specific to my project, I know people say I should reduce the playable party count from 30 to like three or four. I understand their worries but given the mechanics of my game being reliant on the amount of characters and even it being related to the story, it wouldn't make sense to have a "traditional" cast size. Some of them even went as far as to scrap all my mechanics and rewrite my story to be more "traditionally sized".

I understand their worries but it's an intentional design choice for me.
 

Finnuval

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any 'advice' that starts off with "you have to do" or "The right way to"... unless I specifically asked for an explaination of a certan method as those tend to be opinnions not advice - not that those cant be good but the ones starting like that usually aren't xD
 

Philosophus Vagus

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The rtp one is a big one for me. Granted, I'm slowly converting my game to custom graphics that I'm paying people better than me to make, that's not something I wanted to do initially but decided later along the way but I made the game off of rtp and frankenedits basically and it isn't really that difficult to replace things later as long as you've got your map and scene structure set up documented well. Plus maybe you don't know exactly what you'll actually need graphic-wise as you go along, or what you don't. I have no doubt if I went all in custom graphics from the offset I would have wasted a bunch of money on stuff I'd ultimately have ended up cutting or altering, and I know for a fact more artistic types run into that kind of bloat with their time as well.

The tropes argument isn't worth mentioning, it never was. I've seen those debates but never engaged with any of them, this entire bloody medium pretty much is entwined with the heroes journey trope so tightly for example that it is pretty much impossible to separate just that trope completely, let alone all tropes that ever have been.

Accessibility is another pretty big one. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for it in the general sense but the idea that all games have to be accessible to the broadest audience possible at all times is just stagnant to me. Be what your audience wants, even if your audience is literally just you. Not all games brook an easy mode, especially when you are working in niche genres where the challenge is part of the appeal. How can you balance a rouge-like or twitch reaction platformer across multiple difficulty modes for example when the challenge is an implicit part of what makes such a game enjoyable in the first place? If you can make it work more power to you but it isn't something people should obsess with otherwise because it can drag the final project down to try to properly balance enjoyably across several difficulties.

I think people who don't make games dismiss how much work goes into a games balance in the first place, you can't just drop all the numbers and run with it, not often anyway. Also people have different expectations of what "easy" or "hard" actually is and you end up in situations where people will play the wrong mode and not get the enjoyment they otherwise would out of it because they've overestimated it or underestimated it, there's just a lot more that goes into those aspects of game design if you want to actually make it enjoyable across the board than a lot of people are willing to accept, and it isn't as simple as "just add easier modes so everyone can enjoy the games you do" all the time.
 

The Stranger

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I think people who don't make games dismiss how much work goes into a games
This is 100% true. You can see it on virtually any Steam discussion board.

"Dev, add this thing I know to be super simple and easy to implement!"
"Dev, I think you should remove this or change that because doing so won't require you to basically throw away everything and remake your game from scratch."
"Dev, I think your game would be better if it were a different game entirely."
"Dev, I demand you translate into languages no one on your team are fluent in, and which you probably can't afford translators for."
 

Finnuval

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Accessibility is another pretty big one. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for it in the general sense but the idea that all games have to be accessible to the broadest audience possible at all times is just stagnant to me. Be what your audience wants, even if your audience is literally just you. Not all games brook an easy mode, especially when you are working in niche genres where the challenge is part of the appeal. How can you balance a rouge-like or twitch reaction platformer across multiple difficulty modes for example when the challenge is an implicit part of what makes such a game enjoyable in the first place? If you can make it work more power to you but it isn't something people should obsess with otherwise because it can drag the final project down to try to properly balance enjoyably across several difficulties.
oh boy - yeah this one makes the top 5 for sure. In a broader sense even as I would also tag inclusivity to it. I mean I am all for inclusivity (Im gay myself for crying out loud) but no not every game under the sun needs the full rainbow cast just to be inclusive! if it fits the story and setting then yes, please but if you got to force it in then by Jove...don't.
 

l8rose

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Once, someone told me that I couldn't make an RPG if it did not have combat. I swear, everyone in my house heard the little cogwheels of my brain grind to a halt as I tried to process that piece of advice.

I also had someone complain provide advice on my difficulty system in some of my short games all because I use variations of how saving works and whether the game explains things or not. Apparently that's not how I should design games. Now I know. :rolleyes:
 

RCXDan

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A game will be criticised and declared bad because the plot is fairly straightforward and uses tropes. It's just so strange to me.
You know what it is? "Expectation subversion" is the worst drug that pervades the modern internet, and it's usually done for the sake of shock value or to be different without understanding how a twist can adversely affect a story.

I've read more than my fair share of stories where analyzing the twist makes everything before it not make sense or ruins the mood, simply because the writer just wanted to get a reaction in the moment.

I think people who don't make games dismiss how much work goes into a game

300%. This is why I have so much respect for people who do successfully make anything, even if I don't like what they made myself.
 

Andar

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Telling people not to make their dream game.
You (or someone you found paraphrasing me) might have gotten the wrong impression about something I wrote in my starting point tutorial, because I never said or wrote that.

I wrote that your FIRST game should not be your dream game - and directly gave the reason for that:
Your first game will always be a learning project, and it will almost always get scrapped after you learned how to use the engine.
And being forced to scrap your dream game due to beginner mistakes will damage that dream, so it is better to use some secondary idea for learning and pour your dream into your second project after you learned the basics.
 

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