Crestfall9

Procrastinator
Member
Joined
Mar 5, 2018
Messages
13
Reaction score
6
First Language
Indonesian
Primarily Uses
RMMV
I don't know where to put this thread, so I just put it here.

Call me lazy, uninspiring, whatever. Either way I want to make a RNG based RPG game. And not just simple crits, damage variance, etc. I want to go to Darkest Dungeon level, without making it too frustrating like Darkest Dungeon itself. I'm not trying to sound like EA, but I believe RNG, when applied correctly, can make a game very satisfying to play. And even if the player manages to get him/her/apache-self into a bad situation because of horrible luck, I want to make the punishment not so severe so that the player can always get him/her/apache-self back into a good situation with enough push.

Well that's it I guess. I'm not fond of making long essays. Your thoughts?
 

Crestfall9

Procrastinator
Member
Joined
Mar 5, 2018
Messages
13
Reaction score
6
First Language
Indonesian
Primarily Uses
RMMV
I just found out that there's a section dedicated to mechanics design. Request to move this thread.
 

hiddenone

Lurker Extraordinaire
Global Mod
Joined
Feb 19, 2014
Messages
2,623
Reaction score
5,530
First Language
english
Primarily Uses
RMMZ

I've moved this thread to Game Mechanics Design. Thank you.


If you want a thread moved, please report your post instead of double-posting. A mod may miss your post, but will definitely see a report.
 

MushroomCake28

KAMO Studio
Global Mod
Joined
Nov 18, 2015
Messages
3,941
Reaction score
4,853
First Language
EN, FR
Primarily Uses
RMMZ
Don't know. I'm not a huge fan of RNG. There should be some rng in a game, but to a certain extent. Damage range, critical, drops from enemies, those are all alright and part of a RPG game.

When the game itself depends on RNG, that's no fun for me at least. Even if it's not too punishing, if I have to go back and reroll the dices, I'll see that as a waste of time.

The only advantage I can think of is the fact that game can easily be replayed.
 

TheoAllen

Self-proclaimed jack of all trades
Veteran
Joined
Mar 16, 2012
Messages
6,315
Reaction score
7,845
First Language
Indonesian
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
RNG promotes the plan B if plan A fails. Or some kind of unexpected outcome that you have to adapt it. So it can be fun. Some randomly generated content is one of the example. Whether how you gonna do it in RM engine, that's another story to tell.
 

The Mighty Palm

Resident Palm Tree
Restaff
Joined
Jan 29, 2015
Messages
566
Reaction score
4,154
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
N/A
Of course rng can be fun. Fire Emblem has an audience. Darkest Dungeon, Roguelikes, any kind of gambling game, Hearthstone etc.

Just keep it fair. Nobody likes doing everything right and failing anyway. Throw us some curveballs? yes. Throw constant random wrenches at our heads? no.
 

Andar

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Mar 5, 2013
Messages
33,675
Reaction score
8,490
First Language
German
Primarily Uses
RMMV
yes, if done correctly RNG can be fun.
The problem are the -zillion ways of doing RNG wrong, and experiencing those ways even one or two times can easily destroy a players interest in RNG.

Basically if the RNG turns the game into a grinding game, 90% of the western players will be disgusted by it (the number is a bit lower for eastern player as those are often more interested or less disgusted with grinding).
 

Frogboy

I'm not weak to fire
Veteran
Joined
Apr 19, 2016
Messages
1,834
Reaction score
2,343
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMZ
I'm firmly in the minority here but I actually like RNG. I like the unpredictability. It adds an extra layer of mystery to the game and the only layer of mystery if you've already played through the game before and did most everything.

Also, I make RPG Maker games with RTP. I'm going to end up playing my game more than everyone else in the world combined so I kind of like it to be less predictable. Instead of just knowing, the best way to get through this is to do this, I have to react to whatever hand the RNG deals me.

In some ways, I think it might even help me balance the game. When some really bad luck comes into play and even I, currently the most skilled in the game, can't pull through, I know I need to scale the difficulty back. It puts me in more situations that I might not think to test for.

My first RPG Maker game was a puzzle game. RNG isn't very compatible with this genre, at least, not with the type that this one is. I had a lot more trouble balancing this game than I did with the other one I made as I can just run through it knowing exactly what to expect and what I need to do to beat it.

Those are my 2 cents. I say, if you like RNG, there no reason to shy away from it.
 

Lantiz

PunyMagus
Veteran
Joined
Dec 29, 2012
Messages
723
Reaction score
1,075
First Language
Portuguese
Primarily Uses
Other
I think you're on the right path. I Love RNG and procedural generation.
A fun fact: I don't like it in combat, I hate when my character misses the target due to RNG (and maybe some bad stats, I know). In my opinion it takes some fun out of strategizing.

The best part about RNG (for me) is being surprised by situations that were not expected even to yourself, as a developer.
All the games I've done and all the ones I keep trying to create involves random numbers.

The big problem here though, is being capable of differing what is really important to be randomized and what is not.
There are many cool things to be randomized in an RPG but they are not always viable or worth the time, mostly because the audience may not bother or even enjoy.

Brotip: If you're going to use it, be sure to use a seed system, otherwise you'll have a hard time testing and debugging your game.
 

XIIIthHarbinger

Part Time Super Villain
Veteran
Joined
Apr 27, 2014
Messages
676
Reaction score
806
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
I would say the "fun" value of RNG depends entirely upon its application. Personally I use RNG quite a bit in my project.

For example, I use RNG as a factor in my random loot drop system, that I attach to treasure chests. The consequence of that is that every time the player raids a dungeon, what they get from each chest in the dungeon is different, as well as which chests are mimics waiting to attack, no matter how many times they play through the game.

I also use RNG for migrating "Super Monsters". I.e. ones that the player doesn't have to encounter in following the storyline, but can choose to take on for the challenge if they find them. However, I have these monsters migrate to different maps every day, via RNG mechanics, so they can't simply just walk out to where they are to take them on, they have to actively search their respective "hunting grounds" & have a bit of luck on their side.

However, I am not much of a fan of it in regards to basic accuracy, I have those set at 100% as a baseline, unless the character/enemy is effected by a status or injury. & I leave the RNG to things like evasion, crits, & counters, with numerous statuses to increase or decrease those chances.

Additionally I use RNG for things the player largely doesn't notice the RNG effect of, for example my weather mechanics are controlled through RNG, to make the world's weather feel more "chaotic". While my shops respective inventories rotate on a "daily" (in game time) basis, via an RNG mechanic, to make the towns economy seem more active, rather than them having the say six to a dozen items every time they walk in.

Finally I am planning on integrating an RNG mechanic into a party chat system, as well as into NPC dialogues. To make my NPCs feel more "Alive", though that component is still at the conceptual/prototype stage, & I've only built base templates.

I would say that a general rule for RNG, would be to not to make it so inherently "Random" that it overrides skill, preparation, & tactical acumen in battle; nor so random that it overrides effort they have put in in pursuit of something. I.e. you undertake the quest for a top tier weapon, & get entry level healing potion instead, that's bad RNG; if your player gets a top tier weapon, but not necessarily the one they wanted, that's good RNG. Or if your player can be fighting a close battle, & can lose against a boss because a bit of RNG went against them, that is one thing. If your player can be kitted out in top tier gear, & still be crushed by a trash mob of slimes if the RNG goes sideways on them, that's another matter entirely.

Simply put, it shouldn't remove the sense of being in control from the player, but rather should add a bit of excitement due to the uncertainty. Risk sweetens the pot, but not if you make them feel like they can't win the pot.
 

Prescott

argggghhh
Veteran
Joined
Aug 28, 2014
Messages
521
Reaction score
464
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
It all depends on how you are marketing your game and who you want to be playing it. More hardcore RPG gamers won't mind the difficulty in more randomized battles, but people who play games more for the story, especially if the story has branching paths, have a higher chance of being upset that a battle is completely different each time they play it so they can't get a solid strategy down, even through multiple playthroughs to get different story results. The second type is the kind I am and who I develop for, so that's where my perspective lies.

I say, the less RNG you can get away with, the better. The ideal way to develop cool things happening "randomly" is to create intricate systems that communicate with each other, not systems that decide what to do randomly. If players feel like what is happening is random but it actually isn't, that's the best since you have much more control over it. That being said, it is the IDEAL, not the most reasonable way of doing things. Having variable amounts of damage you can do between 1600 and 1700 isn't such a bad thing and is standard for RPGs and as long as it isn't too widely variable it is, most of the time, a non-issue where only every now and then a player will stumble upon a situation where it took them one less turn or one more turn to defeat an enemy.
You want your "randomness" to come in for "casual" gameplay, not core gameplay. For, say, an open world RPG, the core gameplay would be the combat and leveling up, while the casual gameplay would be exploring the world and solving some puzzles in dungeons. If you can create solid battles that always have a strategy of winning based on patterns, but have an explorable world that is very dynamic not because of pure random chance but great systems that work well with each other (lots of if/then branches), that is the key to making the game more replayable for these types of games because the combat is what keeps players having fun, but interesting things happening around the world that are variable and different, seemingly randomly but perfectly reasonable given all of the other situations, are what keep them intrigued and coming back. It makes your world feel ALIVE. This is something Witcher 3, in particular, does quite well. It has solid core gameplay that players can easily figure out and form strategies for no matter they're up against while tapping into that exploration and "alive" feeling for the world itself. If you haven't played it, I would highly recommend that to see what I mean.

I hadn't ever thought about RNG much in video games in terms of developing them until I watched an Extra Credits video about developing games that are accessible for speedrunners. RNG is not good for speedrunning because you can lose runs very easily and less skilled players can get faster times because they got lucky or grinded out a lot of runs because they had nothing better to do with their time. Because of this, I removed some things from my game, one of which is the ability to miss. Enemies and party members cannot miss. I've seen RPG speedruns that are 10+ hours long go horribly bad because characters kept missing. This makes it so the players KNOW that their attacks will hit, and they know that enemy attacks will also hit so they should heal up if they have to. Solid strategies can form around that.

If your game is completely structured around RNG, you need to make it heavily rewarding and tap into the "just one more time" effect. You should also include some damn good battle mechanics that are engaging and fun, and lore behind the dungeon, characters, etc. that you slowly figure out the more you get into it so that it entices players to keep going. Nobody will want to continue playing your game if it isn't engrossing or fun, and especially not if they feel like they CAN'T win rather than the odds are just stacked against them. It's a tricky balance.

Here's the speedrunning video I mentioned. Keep in mind that it doesn't just apply to speedrunning, but player enjoyment overall. Speedrunners don't pick up games that they don't enjoy the HELL out of (for obvious reasons): Here's a Luck and Skill GDC talk where the "luck/random" element is kind of what I'm talking about, making it seem random although it isn't really:
 

D.L. Yomegami

Sanely Insane
Veteran
Joined
Jan 22, 2017
Messages
192
Reaction score
250
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMZ
I feel RNG is best when either the player can influence it in some way or it's just there to add additional flavor and doesn't have a massive effect on the player's chances of success.

To name a couple examples of RNG the player can influence:
  • In Shin Megami Tensei, accuracy is tied to the agility stat, which can be buffed/debuffed. Are your attacks constantly missing the enemy? Try debuffing their agility, or buffing your own.
  • Perhaps there's an attack that deals a lot of damage or gives the player strong buffs, but has a chance of failing. If the player feels like pushing their luck, they can do so, but if not they can use other attacks that are more reliable.
RNG-induced flavor would be things like weather or NPC schedules. Things that are just there to break up the monotony so that the player doesn't see the same things every time. Granted, depending on the game such things could influence the gameplay (say there's a certain enemy that only comes out when it's raining, and whether it's raining depends on RNG). I'm also going to lump (small) damage variance into this category; unless you're making a hardcore competitive multiplayer game, a variance of 5% or so likely isn't going to determine a player's success or failure.

This isn't to say more intensive RNG can't be fun; gambling exists for a reason, after all. It ultimately comes down to the sort of audience you're making the game for; an RNG-heavy game's going to attract different sorts of people than a less RNG-heavy game.

The sorts of heavier RNG I tend to enjoy is the sort that can affect the story or progression. Like what characters join the protagonist on that playthrough or who (or what) the final boss is. This kind of RNG makes no two playthroughs the exact same, and it's great for improving the replayability of a game.
 

trouble time

Victorious
Veteran
Joined
Jan 2, 2014
Messages
792
Reaction score
603
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
N/A
Well done RNG is more fun than anything non RNG especually if you broaden it to include randomness like not knowing if someones going to block low or high in a fighting game (though in thats case its about conditioning more often than not.)
 
Joined
Oct 26, 2015
Messages
560
Reaction score
1,130
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
Something to be aware of is that there are two types of RNG. Effects you can only 'react' to, whether good or bad, generally takes overall enjoyment away from the player's control. i.e. misses and crits. A little bit isn't bad (item drops), especially if its weighted more in the player's favour, but it only goes so far.

The latter on the other hand allows the player to 'proactively' influence the results, before or after the RNG. A good example of this is card battle games; you can't control what you draw but you can control what cards are in your deck and what you do with the cards once they are in your hand.

The main idea is to have tools which either exploit or manipulate the RNG. An simple example would be a buff which makes you strike again if you miss (once per attack).
Or to have multiple options in handling the effect. i.e. when blinded (applied via RNG) in addition to the choices of curing it or taking the chance, there's always the option of using certain hit attacks and/or supportive actions until it fades.
 

Latefallen

90% of the time, my code works 100% of the time
Veteran
Joined
Jul 26, 2018
Messages
53
Reaction score
29
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
RNG can be fun for some people and not fun for others. You're not going to please everyone.

That being said, I don't like RNG. When I lose a battle I want to know that it's my fault, not just the dice worked against me.
 

Wavelength

MSD Strong
Global Mod
Joined
Jul 22, 2014
Messages
6,113
Reaction score
5,810
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
What kind of RPG are you trying to create, and how do you plan to use RNG-based elements to support that?

Don't fall into the trap of thinking that mechanics that work well in one subgenre will necessarily work well in another. What works beautifully in Darkest Dungeon might be a complete dog in Final Fantasy. Even elements that work well in a pen-and-paper D&D campaign usually flop when copied into D&D videogames.

Sometimes games like Darkest Dungeon create RNG-based systems as a way to diversify the different storytelling and overall gameplay situations that the player can find themselves dealing with. If you're trying to create a game that's focused around telling a story in one direction, where the player knows what to do next and you offer them a fair challenge, then the RNG is most likely going to scuttle your attempts to do that.
 

atoms

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
May 31, 2013
Messages
546
Reaction score
337
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV

You can setup it in a way where, while a dice does effect your outcome, it doesn't affect it more than skill. So it's add chance to the game but still not enough to be what ultimately decides if you win or lose a battle. I.e. You can balance that enemy/boss through playtesting so even if you miss X amount of turns it's possible to beat through skill.
 

gstv87

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Oct 20, 2015
Messages
2,463
Reaction score
1,472
First Language
Spanish
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
When I lose a battle I want to know that it's my fault, not just the dice worked against me.
you can crit on every roll, while using the incorrect attack, end up doing not-the-maximum-damage, and still lose.
and it would still be your fault, while rolling good.

and, viceversa.
 

bgillisp

Global Moderators
Global Mod
Joined
Jul 2, 2014
Messages
13,935
Reaction score
14,767
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
Can it be fun? Sure. There's a reason many people go to casinos. But in an RPG? That depends.

Personally, I think for RNG to work the player has to be able to influence the RNG to a degree. RNG works in the old games like XCOM and Jagged Alliance as you could influence it by getting closer or flanking the enemy or just having a better soldier take the short, or you can even blow up the cover with a grenade. All of these are player options to influence the RNG to their favor.

Or to give an example of how you can do this in RPGMaker. In my game one of the characters has high variance on all of their skills (high risk/reward ratio if you use them). However, another character has a skill which makes all attacks and skills of the target do maximum damage every time they use a skill. So if you use that skill on the character with the high variance skills, suddenly that character will be very deadly in battle.

Granted, this took a little scripting to pull off, but it can be done.
 

trouble time

Victorious
Veteran
Joined
Jan 2, 2014
Messages
792
Reaction score
603
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
N/A
having a better soldier take the short,

It does take an incredible soldier to take the enemies shorts (especially if you mean shorts as underwear).

Your characters skill to make skills do maximum damage reminds me of the Sacristan Forgeshrine from Warhammer 40k's rite of reloading, which makes any gun fire the maximum number of its (usually random) shots, which works well there (its just impractical as its a fortification and takes one of your 3 formations up to use it.)
 

Latest Threads

Latest Posts

Latest Profile Posts

Too bad the Boss Battle Build Bout isn't also for VXAce.
I might not participate in the Boss Battle contest after all... I have more important things to do, like Wishful Wanda. And of course the Dark Deception spinoff I plan to pitch, Demon Slayer.
Changed my avatar, goodbye Alan Sugar, hello George Carlin (one of my favorite human beings ever)
If you still don't subscribe our Polish channel please consider it :)
1.png
Who wants to see my review of the worst star wars movie? This movie has all the excitement of being on Jury Duty of the most boring case ever about trade negotiations.

Forum statistics

Threads
115,172
Messages
1,087,830
Members
149,727
Latest member
wizard54
Top