Boss Battle Build Bout! Sep 13th-Oct 4th!

ScorchedGround

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If it takes 5 minutes to read all your skill descriptions. You have way too many skills and/or they are way too complicated.

But isn't that kind of the whole point of this to begin with?

I mean in a contest where neither aesthethics nor artistic skills matter, but rather creative and clever battle mechanics, wouldn't it only make sense if you put in all of your effort to make these mechanics shine as best as possible?

At the core, I want to avoid making the player button-mash their ENTER key as a winning strategy.

So for the most part, I don't want to do basic "do X damage" or "apply this state" or "remove this debuff".

I thought that was the point of this contest, to create a single battle filled with well-thought out mechanics that need to be understood and used effectively to win.

And for that you need some time to read each skill and understand in what contexts they can and should be used to create a win-condition.

As for me, I am not going to half-ass anything so I'm going all out.
Especially since this is my first contest and I want to make a good first impression.
 

Milennin

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If it takes 5 minutes to read all your skill descriptions. You have way too many skills and/or they are way too complicated.
4 characters with 4 Skills (+2 Passives) each, using no more than the default description box. I mean, yeah, the Skills do fill up both lines of text because I want them to do stuff that's more than 'deal damage' or 'heal ally'. I don't think it would be possible for me to design anything that's too complicated with the 2-line limitation on Skill descriptions in place since my texts cover everything a Skill does or might do, there are no hidden effects going on in the background with any.
This contest is judged by being mechanically interesting and unique, and the best way to convey information to the player is through skill descriptions because everything else is off-limits. Why would I not make full use of the skill description box that's given to us by the default program? (And no, I'm not using any plugins for this contest, I'm working with the base program only.)
 

Touchfuzzy

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4 characters with 4 Skills (+2 Passives) each, using no more than the default description box. I mean, yeah, the Skills do fill up both lines of text because I want them to do stuff that's more than 'deal damage' or 'heal ally'. I don't think it would be possible for me to design anything that's too complicated with the 2-line limitation on Skill descriptions in place since my texts cover everything a Skill does or might do, there are no hidden effects going on in the background with any.
This contest is judged by being mechanically interesting and unique, and the best way to convey information to the player is through skill descriptions because everything else is off-limits. Why would I not make full use of the skill description box that's given to us by the default program? (And no, I'm not using any plugins for this contest, I'm working with the base program only.)
16 skills does not take 5 minutes to read. Unless you have some really esoteric skills, most should be understandable with a quick scroll through of the abilities available.

Again, I really really think people are overestimating how long it takes to do things. 10 minutes is a long time.

The average adult can read 200 words a minute. The default description box can hold maybe 16ish. At most it would take 2 minutes to read every single word of every description box. And generally for skills that aren't overcomplicated, they can be communicated with less words than that.

Also: Mechanically interesting != Complicated.

This idea that everything has to be complicated or it is suddenly mechanically boring just isn't accurate.

Maybe if you can't figure out how to get a boss battle under 10 minutes and still be mechanically interesting, you should take that as a challenge to improve your design skills rather than believing it impossible.

Seriously, the Shadow Yukiko fight in Persona 4 is under 10 minutes, and has multiple different pattern stages.
 

Milennin

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I mean, I'd hope so. Maybe I'm underestimating the average player and they'll all figure it out without problems. It's not like my boss fight is ultra complex or anything, but if players don't comprehend the Skill texts, they'll not clear it for sure (or even if they would, it'd take them way over 10 minutes to do so since using Skills correctly is the key to victory).

Seriously, the Shadow Yukiko fight in Persona 4 is under 10 minutes, and has multiple different pattern stages.
10 minutes for a boss fight is pretty standard, considering that the player has gone through the game's tutorials and learned how to play the game bit by bit as they progress there's not much else they need to take in but the boss mechanics. At that point, you play on auto-pilot and just deal with the obstacles as they come on your way with all the tools you know you got at your disposal. However, drop a player who has never played that game in that boss fight, and they'll probably not clear it within that time if they manage to clear it at all (never played that game, so can't speak for its complexity or difficulty).

In this case, players need to familiarize themselves with 4 new skill sets, without knowing the quirks of the combat system and deal with whatever the boss does. That's not nearly the same as a boss in a JRPG you probably played for many hours to get there in the first place. Though if entries are played more than once if a single playthrough doesn't cut it, then that could be OK.
 

ScorchedGround

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I am not trying to deliberately cause trouble and bend the rules,
and neither do @Milennin or @Aesica I presume.

I am just a little afraid that I pour a lot of energy and time into my submission only to then be told

"hey sorry man you're out of the race because it took us 13 minutes to beat your game so we are not even considering you anymore, so bye then good luck next time".

So I just wanted a little "insurance", that I am not wasting my time in creating a well-thought out battle with variation in skills and combo opportunities.
 

Aesica

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Maybe if you can't figure out how to get a boss battle under 10 minutes and still be mechanically interesting, you should take that as a challenge to improve your design skills rather than believing it impossible.
I don't anyone's saying it's impossible so much as just...well you're going to get a subpar entry from people who could've otherwise presented something a lot more interesting and epic. A good chunk of those 10 minutes is going to be spent by the judges just figuring out a given developer's battle system style, their take on the 3 classes and abilities, wtf they even did with their 4th class, how everything fits together, and what the boss's mechanics might be since there's no tutorial/get acquainted period allowed.

Bear in mind, in any normal game, players have a nice period to get used to all these things by fighting weak mooks up until meeting the first (and usually simple) boss. Here we're throwing judges into the deep end of what's more akin to a late-game boss and saying, "good luck, hope my stuff isn't too complicated!"

Anyway yeah, as stated by @ScorchedGround , I'm not trying to bend rules or make trouble. However in the future, contests like this should probably have a less strict gameplay completion window. 20 minutes would've been fair, as I highly doubt most people would make something that goes over that. And if they did, cutting them off at the 20 minute mark is pretty reasonable.
 

Touchfuzzy

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The ten minute restriction is a. pretty generous in my opinion (Other people who are judging actually thought I set it TOO high) and b. everyone has to deal with it. If you feel making your boss fight under 10 minutes would make it subpar, that is a challenge for you to overcome. It's an even playing field and learning to make your game concise and quickly understandable is in and of itself a skill you can improve.
 

Milennin

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Well, I can get clears on my boss in under 5 minutes for both of the two available main strategies now, so all should be fine.
 

Aesica

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Well, I can get clears on my boss in under 5 minutes for both of the two available main strategies now, so all should be fine.
Same--actually I managed to clear mine in about 4 minutes, but of course that's me knowing what everything does and how to use them together. When I had people playtest going in blind (which the judges will be doing, too) it was right at the 10 minute mark (some 9, some 11) which leads me to believe that the initial learning curve for a game is a lot greater than it's made out to be in this thread. This is a bit concerning.
 

Milennin

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Same--actually I managed to clear mine in about 4 minutes, but of course that's me knowing what everything does and how to use them together. When I had people playtest going in blind (which the judges will be doing, too) it was right at the 10 minute mark (some 9, some 11) which leads me to believe that the initial learning curve for a game is a lot greater than it's made out to be in this thread. This is a bit concerning.

Yeah, 1 strategy I know for my boss fight can clear it in a little under 4 minutes, with the other one being a bit slower (should be around 5 minutes for a good run), but not expecting to see that from people going in it blindly. I've had 1 friend playtest it, and she took well over 10 minutes on the first run.
 

GamesOfShadows

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This contest would be great to test out my idea but it's not much time left... I will try it anyway.

1) So every battle-system is allowed?

2) No tutorial/dialogue... Would one skipable picture be ok (as help / showing what to do)? I would make my own battle system and it could be a little bit confusing at start, because you won't attack with just clicking "attack". You have to use your mouse and keyboard, for gamepad it would be a little bit different.
 

Eliaquim

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Well, decided to give it a try since yesterday xD
I always ending not participating because I always think of participating close to the deadline xD
But if I keep it this way, I will never manage to participate.

So I tried and I'm having a lot of fun!! Thanks so much for this contest :)
 

ScorchedGround

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Okay so I finished and submitted my game.

And to be completely honest, I still maintain my position that 10 minutes is too little time, not by much, but little enough to prevent you from creating a great experience.

I tried to make my game stay within the timelimit by offering a "shortened" mode that makes the game shorter, though even then it may or may not go over 10 minutes depending on how you play, since my game can be played with different approaches like rush-down, slow scaling into extreme power, stacking debuffs, or playing defensively.
 

AssumedPseudonym

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 I want to poke @udime123, @mooglerampage, and @boomy real quick. The top post of the submission thread says to have your username included in the download file. I’m not sure just how big a deal it is if you don’t, but I’d hate to see y’all left out in the cold on a technicality. …Also possibly @Quexp, who apparently doesn’t have a downloadable version.
 

mooglerampage

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 I want to poke @udime123, @mooglerampage, and @boomy real quick. The top post of the submission thread says to have your username included in the download file. I’m not sure just how big a deal it is if you don’t, but I’d hate to see y’all left out in the cold on a technicality. …Also possibly @Quexp, who apparently doesn’t have a downloadable version.
Thanks! I blew right by that part of the text and have re-named the Google Drive file to include my user name.
Hope that's adequate.
 

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