Allowing Free Exploration

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by BigToastie, Aug 18, 2016.

  1. BigToastie

    BigToastie Veteran Veteran

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    With the game I am designing, I want to allow as much free exploration as possible (so the main quest may be in a specific town but you can venture off to wherever - to a degree)


    My game has on map monsters rather than Random Encounters, so you can avoid battles most of the time, however my issue at present is, if someone low level ventures into higher level territory unknowingly, then runs into a mob and gets one shot *boom gameover, restart from save*.


    How would you guys, playing an RPG feel, if you ran into a monster party that was ridiculously hard, it killed you, but instead of a game over, if your level was very far out, it would leave you on one shot at a party member would suggest that the creatures appear to be to strong?


    But if you were in a specific level range or past that level range, and died its a game over?


    It's just I am trying to make my game as 'Open World' style as I can but I dont want people to get annoyed when they get 1 shot by an area they are not meant to be in (but I dont want to restrict them from exploring with random 'road block' style events. -it kinda breaks the continuous map styles feel for me. 


    Is there any other way, you would approach this? :)
     
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  2. Andar

    Andar Veteran Veteran

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    If you make a game open world and unguided, then any player should know the possibility of getting in over their heads - that's part of exploring, and if you remove that you'll loose some players. Of course you'll be loosing other players who don't like that, but you can't make a game pleasing to everyone and need to decide what your main game focus will be on.


    Some games give direct or indirect hints before coming near powerfull enemies, but again that depends on which type of player you want.
     
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  3. InBlast

    InBlast The Mad Hamster Veteran

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    Make an event that display a warning text when the party enter in a high level zone if the level of the party is not high enouth
     
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  4. Wavelength

    Wavelength Pre-Merge Boot Moderator

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    Giving hints to the player is good; or showing the encounters onscreen with bold, red text over their names (like many MMORPGs do if the monsters in an area are probably too much for you) is even better.


    When I read your post, though, another though came to my head.  Instead of branching the result of a defeat based on your level, why not have a mechanism similar to this: if you're in an (explorable) area where the monsters are too much for you, you're currently over (X)% of your max HP (perhaps 25-50%), and you take a hit that would be fatal, the hit isn't fatal - instead, it leaves you with 1 HP, shows an audiovisual effect (possibly protection from the "goddess of adventuring" or whatever), and offers you the chance to escape with a 100% success rate.  (Ideally, you'd let the player know exactly what happened via text the first time it happens and never again.)  If you're worried that this could leave the player in a really sticky situation once they escape, you could transport them to the nearest "safe" area if they escape in this way.
     
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  5. BigToastie

    BigToastie Veteran Veteran

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    Yeah, It's a mistake to try create a game to please everyone else you keep undoing things and redoing them.


    All ideas are great to be honest


    I might put a simple traffic light system somewhere on the users screen (or just if they are too strong have an indicator over the events that will be too strong)


    So


    Green Zone = Equal to or higher then the monsters


    Yellow Zone = mobs may be a challenge


    Red Zone =  You will rarely win these fights


    the other alternatives are good, i think i may give a prior to battle indicator a go rather then if you fight it and its too tough, as it will give you the option to still fight it.
     
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  6. taarna23

    taarna23 Marshmallow Princess Global Mod

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    I dunno. The older RPGs let you wander wherever you could get to, and made monsters progressively harder. It was generally an indication of "if you keep going this direction, you're probably going to get your butt kicked." It doesn't need to be as plain as the nose on my face, it just needs to be shown that hey, things are getting more difficult this direction - choose carefully.


    Edit: To see this in action, go play some original Dragon Warrior (or the SNES remake, which has entirely more tolerable music).
     
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  7. Arithmetician

    Arithmetician Veteran Veteran

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    @InBlast  Or rather than making it as intrusive and immersion breaking as a system message, make one of your party members comment on it.


    For example, in Final Fantasy XII there will be a short cutscene when the party reaches the Necrohol of Naubudis, an optional area filled with monsters that have significantly higher levels than the surrounding area.  Your party members will comment on how the dense Mist causes the ruined city to be swarming with monsters, and Basch will say, "We tread here on a fool's errand.  We had best turn back."


    Of course, you can ignore his advice if you want to get one of the most powerful weapons in the game... but you should be prepared.
     
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  8. Feenrus

    Feenrus Warper Member

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    I totally understand the dilemma, I am designing a similar concept myself. The thing is, you either allow a system where game over doesn't push you so far back, or places you at a certain point rather than resetting your progress, or it gets frustrating, in my experience. Older RPGs with open world exploration, lets say Morrowind, had a system in place that would scale most encounters to your level, making it so free exploration was rewarded and achievable, and you could choose your path freely. With RPG Maker, we are more limited, and the only solution I have found is to, as I allow and encourage exploration, I skew the possibility of players venturing too far off, using the main quest as an "unlocking mechanic", for zones that the player should be able to beat and explore. Similar to Pokémon games, but with more areas to explore and less one dimensional. 


    (Hope it factored into the discussion, first posterinno) 
     
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  9. TheRiotInside

    TheRiotInside Extra Ordinaire Veteran

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    I like most of what has been mentioned so far. Red text over the mob is such a classic example because it's so elegant and effective in my opinion. I think it's a pretty easy implementation with existing plugins (Yanfly's or possibly some others) that allow for text over events. A basic conditional that checks if your level is over a certain amount, displaying the mob text in red if not. If you're using enemy levels in your game, simply displaying the average mob level above their head without any colour variation or conditionals would also get the point across. "Hey, that goat thing is level 20 and I'm only level 10. Maybe I should check myself before I wreck myself."


    A good rule to try and follow is that you don't want the player to feel like they're being arbitrarily punished or cheated in some major way. Along those lines, having at least some indication of wandering into dangerous territory would be nice, especially if the penalty for losing is pretty steep.
     
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  10. TheZage

    TheZage Villager Member

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    I doubt most would feel annoyed. If the player is aware that the game is an open world, they should expect to encounter areas with difficulty levels above what they can handle, if they explore like Indiana. That's kind of the charm of the open world. You can travel and explore as you like, and the game doesn't feel constrained or forced. 


    Whether or not free explorations is a good choice, boils down to an entirely different issue for me. Quests. A lot of my world would be interwoven with each other and if it allows free exploration, the chance of game breaking issues from occurring is high, but that's slightly off-topic.
     
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  11. XIIIthHarbinger

    XIIIthHarbinger Part Time Super Villain Veteran

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    My current project is an open world game as well.


    Yanfly has a plugin that makes enemy levels scale according various criteria, & allow you to to create a baseline for their parameter progression, set level variances for enemies, as well as start & cap the levels of individual monsters at specific levels.


    It has served me rather well given how I am setting up my game, because the player essentially starts being able to go virtually anywhere within the world from the very beginning. Because there is no world map, just a world constructed from interlocking maps, in an original Zeldaish fashion. So my player doesn't get stomped by a random spider, rat, or slime; however if they decide to walk into a dungeon with a boss level monster at Level 1, or pick a fight with an elite level NPC at level 1, they are going to get merked.


    Personally I am all about player choice with my own project, because as much as possible I want the games story to be the player's journey within the game world. So if the player wants to walk up to the nastiest dragon in the game, & thump him on the nose with a rusty sword that does 1 damage; well cupcake play stupid games, win stupid prizes, enjoy the merking.


    I am going to let them do it, because a large portion of the game's content is going to be separate from the main quest, that they can chose to completely ignore if they so desire; but that will mean passing up on some of the nicer loot. I am doing this so that there is a real risk/reward sense when you're on the way to or from a quest, & you realize "Hey there is a dungeon/cave right over there, I wonder what's in it?"; & the player agonizes "Is it worth it? What am I going to find in there?".


    I think the question you need to ask yourself, is "How much do I want to let my player potentially endanger themselves, versus how much am I going to shield them from their own folly?". It's not an either or question, it's a position on a spectrum. Are you going to do a Fallout New Vegas & let your Level 1 player walk right into a swarm of Cazadors if they so chose? Or are you going to put that annoying NPC that won't let them go in particular direction until certain criteria is met?


    Because you are trying to do an open world game, you've restricted yourself to a greater degree along the protective/paternal route. That's not to say you can't still do so, but it has to be done with finesse, or you break immersion.   
     
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