Aslanemperor

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So to start out, I'm working with VX Ace. The game I'm planning is going to be a kind of template for a series of games to come. Unlike most of my posts, Plugins and Scripts are welcome to make things work out. Also, suggestions are welcome, of course!

The game: First, this game will be an investigative mystery. Players will still have to explore the world, and there will be dangerous situations and puzzles to solve. They'll need to make certain decisions that will effect the outcome of the investigation. Missing certain clues could cause them to fail!

Mechanics I'd like to input: Some of this stuff should be simple enough with basic variable control. Some pieces of dialogue, for instance, won't unlock until they know the right question to ask. Some things, however, I will need a bit of help with. To start, I need "skills" which can grow over time. I'd like to have some growth be based on a choice (for instance when they level up), but some based on how they resolve certain situations (If they talk down the angry mob, they may get a point towards "Public Speaking."). Since these skills will be growing and will determine the success or failure of certain actions, I'd like for players to be able to look over their skills in order to know what levels they are and what they have available.
When combat DOES come up, I'd like to make it count. The typical "I make a basic attack with my fighters and cast spells with my casters" would really be boring after such cerebral gameplay. I'm honestly thinking of completely removing the "attack" and "guard" commands, and making combat 100% skill based. I'm not sure how well the AI will deal with that, though.

At this point I think I've gotten the basics of what I'd like to do down. Any thoughts or suggestions? Anything you'd like to see in a game like this? Does this sort of game interest you at all?
 

HankB

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I have no idea about VX Ace, and I never use the built-in turn based combat system, but one thought I had is besides just having skills that can increase over time, also have special "detective" items that you can use. A few examples:

  • Magnifying Glass
  • Fingerprint Kit
  • DNA Analyzer
  • Ultraviolet Light
  • Phone Tapper
  • Hidden Camera
  • GPS Tracking Device (like on a car)
  • Lockpick Kit
And maybe you could upgrade these items as you go, maybe with money, which would bring in a financial dimension to the game.

Also, I feel like a detective game should also have some kind of stealth mechanic to it. Like you need to sneak past people in order to get to some evidence or to position yourself to overhear an incriminating conversation.

If you were using MV I would recommend Galv's Event Detectors for stealth stuff, but I have no idea if something like that exists for Ace, but I imagine you could find some clever way to pull it off with just eventing.

Oh, and (depending on the "feel" of the game) it might be cool to get some "Noir" sounding music to go with it. Good luck!
 

Milennin

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I don't think Attack or Guard would have to be removed to make combat count, as long as encounters require more than those basic commands. Skills could be used to enhance those commands, for example.
 

Aslanemperor

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Perhaps. I just don't think they'd be necessary. I'd like for combat to be complex, a puzzle in and of itself.
As for using that, the "make a basic attack" is built into the system, but if it's all done through the TP system in order to make players really think about what they choose? They would have to actually use resting skills in order to gain TP before they could even make a basic attack (not sure that would be the route used, just spitballing)
The thing that really worries me about combat is that the AI isn't smart. It basically chooses a random number attack based on the number assigned to the skill and a bit of chance. That means that no matter how much I customize the skills, it will be extremely hard to make combat as satisfying as the rest of the solutions in the game...

I have no idea about VX Ace, and I never use the built-in turn based combat system, but one thought I had is besides just having skills that can increase over time, also have special "detective" items that you can use. A few examples:

  • Magnifying Glass
  • Fingerprint Kit
  • DNA Analyzer
  • Ultraviolet Light
  • Phone Tapper
  • Hidden Camera
  • GPS Tracking Device (like on a car)
  • Lockpick Kit
And maybe you could upgrade these items as you go, maybe with money, which would bring in a financial dimension to the game.

Also, I feel like a detective game should also have some kind of stealth mechanic to it. Like you need to sneak past people in order to get to some evidence or to position yourself to overhear an incriminating conversation.

If you were using MV I would recommend Galv's Event Detectors for stealth stuff, but I have no idea if something like that exists for Ace, but I imagine you could find some clever way to pull it off with just eventing.

Oh, and (depending on the "feel" of the game) it might be cool to get some "Noir" sounding music to go with it. Good luck!
I love all these ideas! The Noir soundtrack particularly is already right up the alley of what I envision. Items will truly have to be important, as in the game this idea is based on, gadgets and such are rather important (since characters are as much spies as they are investigators, since the rest of the world aren't supposed to know that the supernatural exists.)
Also, I wonder if it would be possible to implement some way to switch between different characters that have different perspectives rather than just including them in the party. For instance, in the party we play on the Pen and Paper game, one of our characters is an engineer who is basically our tinkerer. That player would most likely be the one rigging things like traps for enemies and specialized bugs.
Money isn't generally a big issue (outside of exorbitant sums) but having to get a hold of various parts to upgrade the equipment (and having to decide which upgrades those parts should be used on) would have the same sort of effect.
Man this is gonna be fun to work on and even more fun to play! ^_^
 

HankB

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Also, I wonder if it would be possible to implement some way to switch between different characters that have different perspectives

I LOVE this idea. Like you have to decide which investigator to send out to a location, and each one has their own special strengths and weakness. Like, as you mentioned, an engineer type who is great with gadgets, but terrible at interviewing people.

And you could also have someone who has extraordinary senses and notices things others don't, but are easily intimidated. And maybe a very charming/seductive type, who can tease information out of people. Oh, and a "tough guy" character who can handle themselves in a brawl, but aren't very sneaky or subtle. I'm just brainstorming, the possibilities are endless. It kind of reminds me of Ocean's 11, where you have this big group of people, and everyone has their own area of expertise.
 

Aslanemperor

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I LOVE this idea. Like you have to decide which investigator to send out to a location, and each one has their own special strengths and weakness. Like, as you mentioned, an engineer type who is great with gadgets, but terrible at interviewing people.

And you could also have someone who has extraordinary senses and notices things others don't, but are easily intimidated. And maybe a very charming/seductive type, who can tease information out of people. Oh, and a "tough guy" character who can handle themselves in a brawl, but aren't very sneaky or subtle. I'm just brainstorming, the possibilities are endless. It kind of reminds me of Ocean's 11, where you have this big group of people, and everyone has their own area of expertise.
Characters for the first few games are already created, since the story is going to be centered around the original team from our little gaming group here:
There is a suave defense attorney who has only recently learned that his unusual success is do to latent psionic abilities (he's been using empathic soothing and rioting in order to manipulate emotions while he speaks to them) He is the talker, of course.
There is an archeologist who found an ancient spellbook on a dig in egypt and taught himself magic. He is the magic specialist.
There is a famous action movie star with a penchant for using guns (and sleeping with every woman in sight)
There is the driver/chef, Pedro, who is on loan to the team because they were too small. He makes a mean burrito and generally just takes care of their "RV."
and finally, there is a female vampire who runs a private "crime scene investigation" company.

I know SOME things about the story that I want to tell in the first game. I'd like the attorney to be the focus, and a bit of an origin to how he joins the team. Mainly I'm trying to figure out features to add. I certainly do like a lot of what I see here and will work to try and implement them.
 

mlogan

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I've moved this thread to Game Ideas & Prototypes. Thank you.


The Game Mechanics forum is for discussing the general ideas and principles of game mechanics, not things that are specific to your game or how to implement them.
 

Aslanemperor

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[move]Game Ideas & Prototypes[/move]
The Game Mechanics forum is for discussing the general ideas and principles of game mechanics, not things that are specific to your game or how to implement them.
I swear, you guys nitpick about the tiniest little details. How is anyone supposed to get where you want things put when by interpretation there could be three or four places to put any given thread? A mod was already by the thread and confirmed that it belonged in the thread that it was posted in (Though they've apparently deleted that post since.) What does it even matter? Why would you want two forums to cover such a narrow topic in the first place? You're seriously splitting hairs about whether we're discussing the principles of game mechanics or the game mechanics themselves. This is literally a thread about what mechanics one should include in an investigative RPG as opposed to the traditional "I run through a dungeon fighting monsters" style game we make with this software. Of course any discussion about those functions is going to delve into how, theoretically, we would implement the mechanics we are discussing.
SMH, this is utterly ridiculous.
 

mlogan

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I swear, you guys nitpick about the tiniest little details. How is anyone supposed to get where you want things put when by interpretation there could be three or four places to put any given thread?
I understand that it is frustrating at times, we just do our best to keep things organized.

A mod was already by the thread and confirmed that it belonged in the thread that it was posted in (Though they've apparently deleted that post since.)
Mods can see deleted posts, there are none for this thread.

What does it even matter? Why would you want two forums to cover such a narrow topic in the first place? You're seriously splitting hairs about whether we're discussing the principles of game mechanics or the game mechanics themselves. This is literally a thread about what mechanics one should include in an investigative RPG as opposed to the traditional "I run through a dungeon fighting monsters" style game we make with this software. Of course any discussion about those functions is going to delve into how, theoretically, we would implement the mechanics we are discussing.
SMH, this is utterly ridiculous.

The difference is that you are not asking about mechanics in general to this type of game, but specifically what you should use in YOUR game. But what really tipped it over for me is that you then go into characters for your game which is nothing to do with mechanics but wanting to discuss the details of your game idea - hence, moving it.

And to be fair, when we were restructuring the forums, I argued that game-specific mechanics should be allowed to be discussed in the Game Mechanics forum, but I was overruled. So, personally, I agree that you should be able to ask about what mechanics would do well in your own game. But, as a mod, it's my job to uphold things the way they are, whether I personally agree with them or not.

So, we can continue to argue about this and completely derail your thread, or we can just move on.
 
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Aslanemperor

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Mods can see deleted posts, there are none for this thread.
Since I know for a fact that a Mod was in here (I believe it was Archaea(sp?)) and commented that they weren't sure at first but that the topic and discussion technically fell within the rules, I find this statement questionable at best. I'm trying really hard not to just assume that you're lying here, but you make that VERY hard for me when I saw the post with my own two eyes. No amount of claiming that it never happened will change that it did. Is it possible that when you moved the post it caused whatever cache that shows deleted posts to not be in here because it's been moved to a different forum?
Either way, I really wish (as I've stated before) that you guys would try to clear things up. Your rules are vaguely worded to a point that there's no reason someone should understand the rather neat distinctions you're making. Particularly when the difference between discussing mechanics and discussing how mechanics can be implemented go hand in hand. They're impossibly linked. What happens when this conversation goes back to discussing mechanics themselves rather than implementation? Will it suddenly be violating the rules again?
 

gstv87

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instead of the typical CSI-style game where you look for clues, try a variation over a template episode of House M.D.
in typical procedural-type shows, there's always a number of scenes that will come up, and that's tied to the number of characters listed on the credits.... you can't pull out a random character out of the hat if the actor playing it isn't listed in the credits (as in, you know the culprit is one of the people you're working with, even if the roster of characters seems to be already cleared out)
in House, the culprit can be whatever Greg House thinks it can be, because it's not a character. And that, stems from the twists and turns that the case goes through, over time.
a headache now at the UCI, could be a blood clot from a week ago.... that's *plot*.
and plot is a mixture of whos, whens, whats, wheres, and whys --> and *that*, is *mechanics*
 

Aslanemperor

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instead of the typical CSI-style game where you look for clues, try a variation over a template episode of House M.D.
in typical procedural-type shows, there's always a number of scenes that will come up, and that's tied to the number of characters listed on the credits.... you can't pull out a random character out of the hat if the actor playing it isn't listed in the credits (as in, you know the culprit is one of the people you're working with, even if the roster of characters seems to be already cleared out)
in House, the culprit can be whatever Greg House thinks it can be, because it's not a character. And that, stems from the twists and turns that the case goes through, over time.
a headache now at the UCI, could be a blood clot from a week ago.... that's *plot*.
and plot is a mixture of whos, whens, whats, wheres, and whys --> and *that*, is *mechanics*
An investigation doesn't have to lead to a person. As you mention House as an example, it can instead lead to an explanation of events. For instance, if you're investigating a disturbance that indicates wild magic, the assumed explanation might be that a Kitchen Witch is messing around with Fey magic. It may instead end up being as simple as some sort of Fey mushroom bleeding into our reality.
The mechanics are boggling me, though. I have a rough idea of how to make this happen, but so far my idea is going to be pretty time consuming: Lots and lots of conditional branches combined with skills that change their MP Cost in order to tell what level they are. Still not sure that last thing is something I can even do.
 

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Since I know for a fact that a Mod was in here

It was me and it was this thread. There are no deleted posts here.

The Game Mechanics Design forum is for discussing and getting feedback on specific mechanic ideas. While you started off talking about battle mechanics, the thread has deviated quite far from that and you are now talking about storyline, characters, and other unrelated mechanics. @mlogan was right to move it, and I'm going to put it right back where she did. (Also, other people reported it to be moved before we even saw it, so it's not just one or two mods picking on you).

Just accept that sometimes things need to be moved. You may not like the way we do things, but we do them for a reason. There are many other things we'd prefer to spend our time doing, so we don't go around doing this unless it needs to be done.
 

Shaz

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Particularly when the difference between discussing mechanics and discussing how mechanics can be implemented go hand in hand. They're impossibly linked. What happens when this conversation goes back to discussing mechanics themselves rather than implementation? Will it suddenly be violating the rules again?
I have a little more time now to reply (when I posted before I was nearing the end of my lunch break). Hopefully this will clear things up a little bit ...

There is actually a BIG difference between discussing a mechanic and its implementation. Let's look at an example of adding weather to a game in a way that affects the player.

What would go into Game Mechanics Discussion? Throwing around ideas on ways it could affect the player. Do they walk more slowly in different types of weather? Are they able to do some things / access some areas / talk to some NPCs in some types of weather but not in others? Would they need certain equipment or clothes or supplies based on a type of weather? How else could weather be used to make your game interesting and unique? All of this is engine- and approach-agnostic, and is all about deciding HOW things will work in your game.

When you've made that decision, then you get to actually implementing. When you need help with that, it could go to one of half a dozen different places. If you're doing it via eventing, then it will go to the Support forum for the engine you're using, as what you can/can't do via events depends entirely on what engine you're making your game with. If you're going to need scripts or plugins, then it will go to either the Script/Plugin Requests forum for the engine you're using, if you don't already have a script/plugin, or if you do and you need help getting it working, then to the Script/Plugin Support forum.

And when you DO get to that point, you SHOULD create a new thread for each task/issue, because one discussion about mechanics could end up with you implementing half a dozen different things into your game, and they're not necessarily going to be related.

That IS a lot of potential places to post, but considering we have over 100,000 threads, we've got to group things in a way that makes it easier to keep track of, and to know when an issue is still outstanding or resolved.


I hope this helps you get a better understanding. And I also hope that, in future, if you have an issue with something we mods have done, that you approach it in a calmer manner. This is not the first time you have done this. There are ways to discuss things without attacking us (the forum rules clearly give you a path to follow if you have an issue with moderator actions), and repeatedly getting mods offside is not a great way to move forward.
 

Aslanemperor

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I have a little more time now to reply (when I posted before I was nearing the end of my lunch break). Hopefully this will clear things up a little bit ...

There is actually a BIG difference between discussing a mechanic and its implementation. Let's look at an example of adding weather to a game in a way that affects the player.

What would go into Game Mechanics Discussion? Throwing around ideas on ways it could affect the player. Do they walk more slowly in different types of weather? Are they able to do some things / access some areas / talk to some NPCs in some types of weather but not in others? Would they need certain equipment or clothes or supplies based on a type of weather? How else could weather be used to make your game interesting and unique? All of this is engine- and approach-agnostic, and is all about deciding HOW things will work in your game.

When you've made that decision, then you get to actually implementing. When you need help with that, it could go to one of half a dozen different places. If you're doing it via eventing, then it will go to the Support forum for the engine you're using, as what you can/can't do via events depends entirely on what engine you're making your game with. If you're going to need scripts or plugins, then it will go to either the Script/Plugin Requests forum for the engine you're using, if you don't already have a script/plugin, or if you do and you need help getting it working, then to the Script/Plugin Support forum.

And when you DO get to that point, you SHOULD create a new thread for each task/issue, because one discussion about mechanics could end up with you implementing half a dozen different things into your game, and they're not necessarily going to be related.

That IS a lot of potential places to post, but considering we have over 100,000 threads, we've got to group things in a way that makes it easier to keep track of, and to know when an issue is still outstanding or resolved.


I hope this helps you get a better understanding. And I also hope that, in future, if you have an issue with something we mods have done, that you approach it in a calmer manner. This is not the first time you have done this. There are ways to discuss things without attacking us (the forum rules clearly give you a path to follow if you have an issue with moderator actions), and repeatedly getting mods offside is not a great way to move forward.
I appreciate you laying it out, but perhaps consider this: What you've just described requires a minimum of two different threads in two different forums, but probably several threads spread out over several different forums because you want the person to make a separate thread for each thing. This doesn't make things more orderly, it makes them impossibly cluttered.
I guess this is one of the places where our viewpoints are separated and explains some other odd choices that the people running the site have made. The rule about art requests, for instance, didn't make any sense to me since even if there were a hundred requests in a single post, there would still be no reason each individual request couldn't be done by a different artist, and there's no reason to make a hundred different threads(not saying that I'd want to do this as I actually do think 100 requests would be excessive, especially for a single project).
In this case I think the best thing you could do is to encourage people to make as few posts as possible.
Let's take your weather effect for instance. For the sake of this discussion, we'll imagine that it's a part of a game in which weather makes a big difference in gameplay. Maybe monsters are more plentiful when it rains or something like that? There should be one central thread that discusses the game and the mechanics surrounding it. There are a lot of different elements which go into which route you want to take and whether that route will go smoothly or have problems.
There is good reason for this beyond just the fact that it makes less threads for mods to have to deal with. It cuts a lot of the questions you have to answer upon going to the different thread surrounding plugins which will all be on that centralized thread: "What version are you running?" "What other scripts or plugins are you working with?" "Do you have access to other programs for the editing and creation of certain resources?" All of this info would already be in your main thread. Not only would this make less work for you, it would make less work for the person designing the game and those trying to help them design the game.
Am I really the only person to put this particular argument forward?
Edit: Added a line which shouldn't change the meat of what I said, but which I feel made it feel less complete and disjointed.
 

Shaz

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I get what you're saying, but a thread like that could become huge - it's basically a thread for ALL the questions you could have during the development of your one game. What if you have a dozen questions that you're trying to get answered, and they all take a bit of discussion to resolve. That's a dozen different conversations going on in the one thread. If I wanted to help you with an eventing issue, I don't want to read through the last 3 pages of scripting, mechanics and resource discussions to see if any of your replies or questions are directly to me or directly about the particular issue I'm assisting you with.

And if another member comes along 6 months later with the question "how do I make my game have more monsters when it's raining?" and they do a search, your thread will show up, but they also won't want to go through pages and pages of discussion to find all the posts related to what they're trying to do.

There are a number of different ways to go about it, and this is the one we're working with on this iteration of the forum. We get that it doesn't suit everybody, but most people seem okay with it.

We've now derailed your thread quite a bit, so we should let it get back to topic. But you're more than welcome to start a new thread in Site Feedback with alternate suggestions and your pros and cons, and let other members join in on the discussion without sidetracking your thread any more than it has been. We are not necessarily so set in our ways here, but you'd have to come up with something that we're confident will work better than what we've got now, and won't be a nightmare for our very few admins to convert over to.
 

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