RMMV Boring and Doesn't feel Rewarding

Bigkill321

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So when I set out to make this game I wanted to get something done and playable within a month or less, but I can't really bring myself to work on it anymore because in my eyes it feels boring and unrewarding. I just wanted to make a simple arena style game, kind of like Swords and Sandals 2. Maybe since I know that all the game boils down to is fight, level up, get better gear, which is pretty much what Swords and Sandals was from what I remember, it doesn't feel like there is any reward. I don't want to put in a story until I have the fighting to where I want it, needs balancing for sure, but is that what I'm missing or is there something else I could do to make it feel more enjoyable to play so it doesn't just feel like nonstop fighting?

Link to demo:

Pictures:
RPG Maker MV Pic1.png
RPG Maker MV Pic2 (2).png
 

marbeltoast

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If your plan was to make something playable in less than a month, and you've made something playable in less than 2 months, I'd say you've dug this mine as deep as you can. Time to hop on to a different project with a different scope and ideas.

Nobody makes a masterpiece on their first try (or second, third or fourth tries, more often than not), and some games will only ever be useful as learning experiences for the dev. Understand what works and what doesn't about your current project, and start a clean slate. Continuing on with this project until it's perfect will only waste valuable time.

Of course, that's just my opinion. If you wanna keep on with this; if you think there's more to learn here, by all means carry on with your own arty thing.
 

Grunwave

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I think what @marbeltoast has stated is the general consensus that you will find from our community.

My very anecdotal opinion: I have worked on one project for 37 months now. When I complete it, I will probably never build anything using MV again.

If you fall into my school of thought, let me try to give some suggestions:

-Balancing. Definitely important for a combat-centric game. Do you think you possess the math skills to do this on your own?

-Leveling. How do you level in your game? Is there grinding, are there boss fights?

-Equipment. How does your equipment vary from leveling itself?

If you want me to play through your content and give you feedback, I would love to.
 

pasunna

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funny thing is...
I make game about 15 years now
jump from flash game to wc3 custom map
and a few of engine
I never feel my game fun... haha...
 

Conflictx3

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I think what @marbeltoast has stated is the general consensus that you will find from our community.

My very anecdotal opinion: I have worked on one project for 37 months now. When I complete it, I will probably never build anything using MV again.

If you fall into my school of thought, let me try to give some suggestions:

-Balancing. Definitely important for a combat-centric game. Do you think you possess the math skills to do this on your own?

-Leveling. How do you level in your game? Is there grinding, are there boss fights?

-Equipment. How does your equipment vary from leveling itself?

If you want me to play through your content and give you feedback, I would love to.
I'm of a similar mindset, about 19 months here and my project has a set scope and once I complete it I'm not tackling it ever again, despite the fact that my game us based in a series I'm working on that does have prequel and sequel foundations already. I love the process but its daunting and I'm a 30 year old man with a family, I often find myself in lala land when talking with my family about normal things like bills because I'm in my head trying to figure out what frame I should flash the screen to make that lightning animation really sparkle.

Sometimes you have days that feel like you hit a HUGE milestone. But many other days things will feel boring and unrewarding. About 3 days ago I spent 2 hours renaming skills, and matching up icons at 4 a.m. Not my idea of a sexy time.

But what makes RPG MAKER devs special above any other dev is majority of us work by ourselves outside of commissions. Alot of Unity devs have a team of atleast 2 or 3 minimum and ofcourse AAA have dedicated teams. We have to do EVERYTHING on our own and some things are less awesome then others. This project wont be THEEE project for you but everything your learning will make the next project more worthwhile because obstacle you hit here you'll breeze through later. You can't beat the boredom but your reward is right in the knowledge your amassing.
 

bgillisp

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Also remember that you will test your game so often that you will probably get bored of it. When that happens take a week off and go play a game or something, then come back to it.
 

ImaginaryVillain

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Maybe you should make other areas with harder fights they can work up to. Pretty much a bunch of small fights at each arena until you are worthy of facing that arena's champion. Defeat them, claim the championship trophy/belt/taco/etc, then travel to the next arena and start from the bottom. You can even theme arenas aren't particular things like water.
 

Bigkill321

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All very good insight from everyone. Since this is probably around the 10th game I started up with RPG Maker I want to see it through to the end so moving on to something else I don't want to do yet. I'm working on making more skills to change up the combat a bit more so you have to play more strategic instead of just clicking attack. I've never really worked around skills before so progress is for sure slow, but I think if I can make a vast array of skills and set it up so you can only get some of them and try to mix them together in cleaver ways to try and get the highest damage output, kind of like borderlands 3, it could make it fun. If anyone has a link to an in depth look at making skills that would be helpful.
 

HumanNinjaToo

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I think you need to decide what the overall gimmick of your battle system is, then you can design better skills around that system. For instance, using Yanfly absorption barrier is a way to add layers through the barrier point system, there are also plugins that add button combos to get skills off, and probably dozens of other ideas out there.

Super Mario RPG had the button timing for battles, Lost Odyssey had ring system timing, Legend of Dragoon had button combination presses, super ninja boy games had various fighter style gameplay for mobs and then turn based for bosses, so there are many different ways to implement something like button presses.

The point I'm trying to make is that sometimes those small things, when implemented well, add a lot to an otherwise average combat/battle system. Even making each character function a bit differently can add flavor to the battles. Instead of each PC just having skills that do DMG, maybe one focuses on DMG while another focuses on ways to play with states and buffs, while another focuses on item combination (like Rikku in FFX), etc. I think a big part of successful battle systems is making sure each character feels unique to the player and not copies with different skill names.

There are some very interesting indie games out there, maybe just play a few and you'll be inspired to do something unique in your own game. I played one on steam that was tactical RPG but used dice sets for determining actions and skills, so you could customize the combination of dice sets you took into battle. First time I'd seen something like that for a tactical RPG. :LZYsmile:
 

Bigkill321

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I think I've decided that I'm going to make it so you get some normal set of skills through leveling up real basic stuff like a lower level heal and a stronger attack like every other game, but I'm thinking every 5 or 10 levels you get a point that you can use to get strong perks if used good. Such as a skill that increases your total HP by 200% and another perk that you could get that steals part of the damage dealt so that way when used together you could regain health to fill that health pool while doing damage or something. I kind of want to make it feel like you got a set of skills that all work together and when you get them all active you feel unstoppable. I think this is what I want to do to make this feel more rewarding, so the player feels like they put time into figuring out what skills work best together. The only problem with this I'm having is I've never really spent time making skills in RPG Maker, so thinking up stuff that can be done and getting it to work how I pictured it to is a bit of pain, which is why I asked if there was a in depth look at making skills somewhere.
 

QuantumCapybara

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Maps look good, premise is neat, reminds me of Mage Duel (which might be worth playing I think it's the only other arena style game made in RM that I've heard of).

My only advice is something you've already done: release it! Chances are a big part of the reason you're finding your game unfun to play is that just about anything is unfun to do when you're doing it for the 56 millionth time, as is the case when you've been playtesting and playtesting and playtesting your game. Other people's judgement isn't clouded by proximity to the project and at this point their feedback is more trustworthy than yours. If they enjoy it, then it isn't boring and unrewarding, or at least nowhere near as boring and unrewarding as it feels to you.

I've made games--well, unfinished demos--that I decided were awful trash because I personally wasn't enjoying them after a month or so of work, but then come back to the same unfinished game/demo like 3-5 years later and been surprised to find I had a really good time playing it.

Of course this isn't to say there aren't things about your game to be improved upon, I'm sure there are, but the ideas in the last post you made seem solid and sound easy and fun to implement.
 

HumanNinjaToo

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I think I've decided that I'm going to make it so you get some normal set of skills through leveling up real basic stuff like a lower level heal and a stronger attack like every other game, but I'm thinking every 5 or 10 levels you get a point that you can use to get strong perks if used good. Such as a skill that increases your total HP by 200% and another perk that you could get that steals part of the damage dealt so that way when used together you could regain health to fill that health pool while doing damage or something. I kind of want to make it feel like you got a set of skills that all work together and when you get them all active you feel unstoppable. I think this is what I want to do to make this feel more rewarding, so the player feels like they put time into figuring out what skills work best together. The only problem with this I'm having is I've never really spent time making skills in RPG Maker, so thinking up stuff that can be done and getting it to work how I pictured it to is a bit of pain, which is why I asked if there was a in depth look at making skills somewhere.
You could probably just search youtube. There seem to be a lot of how to... videos on there from RM youtubers. Most of them seem to be a couple of years old. You could try searching for Driftwood gaming, echo607 (I think). They both have done a lot of how to vids on game creation, including designing skills.
 

Wavelength

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I haven't tried out your demo, but for games like you're describing, I find the most appealing thing to look forward to, and to enjoy trying out while playing, is getting either new characters, or interesting new abilities that feel like they're changing the way that the character works. Those will not feel that amazing to you as the designer, because you already know what those characters/skills do and you've done a lot of playtesting so they don't feel new or shiny to you, but they will feel extremely aspirational to your players, and if your core gameplay is even a little fun or satisfying, the promise of a new shiny character/skill will keep them truckin'. Make sure the player can see how close they are to the next thing, and that the new thing feels really satisfying and cool in certain situations.
 

Former_Sky

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I remember making an rpg maker game that took me about three years to make. The gameplay was overall unimpressive. It was a hit though because the game was brimming with funny dialog, exciting bosses and lots of secrets. So figure out what you can add that would make your game stand out and focus on that.

Also, as bgillisp mentioned, sometimes you just need to take a breather and get away from your project if it's weighing you down. Take a couple weeks off if you're not feeling it.
 

Grunwave

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Played through up til level 21.

Found a couple bugs"
Ghost attack is set too low, probably a typo
Inn does not take your gold(need to add a line that reduces your party's gold)

If you want additional feedback, let me know.
 

Ragen

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As mentioned by @marbeltoast, you have to decide whether you would like to go along with this project or start a new one.

Not everything must be thrown away, of course, you can copy your favorite ideas into your new project. Though, I would recommend you to start fresh and merge it with a latter one (maybe even on a third project) so you can try on and see what appeals you the most.

On top of that, there are plenty ideas at the community (haven't been here for long, and spotted some good ones)... would recommend you to interact with them ... and brain storm ... even though they may not be useful to your game... you will certainly obtain more "out of the box" or "fresh" ideas. Give your project a week break and help out others on their games, maybe you find that inspiration you need.

If as you said you do not want to "give up on this game" it's also a "ok" option, though I would you recommend you to step back a little so you can be creative and place new ideas on the paper before going back to codding, spriting and eventing.
 
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