Chain Game II - Brainstorming

Discussion in 'Community Announcements and Events' started by Deckiller, May 20, 2013.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Deckiller

    Deckiller Phoenix Veteran

    Messages:
    206
    Likes Received:
    134
    Location:
    New England
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    RMVXA
    It seems like we have a lot of ideas floating around here. The issue with a chain story is that it would restrict some of the creativity of creators...and it might lead to missed potential if we're restricted to a particular outline. Also, a chain story may require a specific order of creators (e.g. I would be Chapter 3 by default, Espon Chapter 5, etc.)...if we run into a situation where that user has major IRL issues, then the chain could stall big time.

    Puzzles/Macguffins: Consensus seems to point to an emphasis on dungeons and puzzles with some flexibility to allow anyone to participate (like how the first game ended up). We might as well keep the outline of the plot simple: the Hero or Heroes must collect 8 Thingies spread across the world. It worked for Pokemon and Zelda, and there will still be some flexibility: not every chapter has to have a Thingie, because there could be subplots or lengthy adventures to the next Thingie. The Chain Game would also have a very specific goal in sight, and it would be hard to rush it or extend it for too long.

    To add a tiny bit of structure, I think we should have a rule that all 8 Thingies (or whatever the plot ends up having) are in dungeons, and each dungeon has some sort of special item that can be used in other dungeons (or even in the field, if people want). If people don't want to add an item, they can have their chapter be a sort of interlude that doesn't take place in a dungeon. If they want to make an dungeon but not an item, then they can use previous items.

    What if an item gives the player the ability to scale special cliffs, and someone goes and adds those special cliffs to previous areas for items/sidequests? How about rope? Gloves that destroy rocks? Zippo mark 2? I tried to do something like that with the Orb of Providence, which I wanted to implement across the entire game. We'll cater to the strength of the first one while addressing one thing that players wanted (more widespread special item usage). The key would be to keep things flexible and simple to avoid alienating people, creating something too time-consuming to implement, or forcing people to do one particular thing.

    Continuity/Consistency/Balance: I also think we need to have a Wiki or something to track the story, gameplay elements, treasure locations, characters, etc. Everything could be tracked, and the pages would be edited once a chapter was complete. This would help with balance and would also prevent continuity issues.

    Story: I really like the idea of having parallel stories, but we should keep things simple. What if we had two plots - two chains - with a unified finish? It would prevent things from becoming overly complex, while still adding a fun wrinkle into the mix. Perhaps the two chains are in separate time periods to prevent any sort of clashing. This may be difficult to pull off convincingly, and we would have to lay down some ground rules first. I mean, we could keep it a LINEAR chain game, but the perspectives alternate until someone decides to unite the two storylines (think Final Fantasy VIII with Laguna). This would also allow us to "have our cake and eat it too": one storyline could resolve the cliffhanger at the end of the first game, while another storyline could have all new characters with a new scenario (at first...hehe). Both storylines could be in Arum, and both storylines would eventually mesh...but someone wouldn't need to be experienced with the first game to play the second, because they could choose to progress the second scenario.

    Turns: Part of me likes the idea of pre-determined spots, but things could come up and spots would have to be filled in a hurry. The format for the other chain game seemed to work, so we might as well carry on with that one. If two people want the chain at the same time, we can have them go in order.

    Edit:

    Scripts/Battles: As far as scripts go, if we're going to keep with the traditional Default Battle System, why don't we implement Yanfly Engine Ace? It's easy to integrate and not overly complex. We could just use the simpler elements of it.

    Time Limits: I'm thinking 5 days, with a 3-day extension given in case of issues. During the extension period, we can discuss a contingency plan so that the chain will keep rolling on no matter what.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 29, 2013
    #41
    C-C-C-Cashmere and valkill101 like this.
  2. Seacliff

    Seacliff RPG Maker Mastermind Veteran

    Messages:
    2,938
    Likes Received:
    1,049
    Location:
    RPG Maker Forums
    First Language:
    Yes
    Primarily Uses:
    RM2k
    As for your list, I think I'll agree with most of it. I would like to have yanfly engine ace or any other simple battle system that works very similar to default but looks nicer. (Victors actor(not animated) battlers come to mind, have a system like xp)

    I agree that we should collect 'thingies' that would be obtained at the end of each dungeon. It gives us an idea of how much longer the game will go for too.

    As for the wiki, never done one before, but if it doesn't cause to much trouble, that idea would be great. I can see it now! *CHAIN GAME WIKI*
     
    #42
  3. Deckiller

    Deckiller Phoenix Veteran

    Messages:
    206
    Likes Received:
    134
    Location:
    New England
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    RMVXA
    Or even just a word document or something similar. Wiki would be easier to manage.

    Edit: For those unfamiliar with Yanfly Engine Ace, here it is:

    http://yanflychannel.wordpress.com/rmvxa/

    Also, I'm thinking we should stick to the RTP. It's simple and versatile, and there won't be a barrier to entry (each user buying tiles).

    I think we can get this rolling by mid-June.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 29, 2013
    #43
  4. Lustermx

    Lustermx Veteran Veteran

    Messages:
    252
    Likes Received:
    147
    A wiki?

    Well, the chain game II definitely seems even more interesting now! A wiki is a great idea, because it's something in which many people contribute too similarly to how many people contribute to the chain game, so it captures the spirit of it perfectly.

    I'm more than willing to help, just as I did in the first chain game. It's also great motivation for getting people into game making - I know the first one inspired me to work harder on my own project (which I managed to complete :D ).

    The wiki could branch off onto other games as well, so it could be even more expansive! Who knows?
     
    #44
    C-C-C-Cashmere likes this.
  5. Deckiller

    Deckiller Phoenix Veteran

    Messages:
    206
    Likes Received:
    134
    Location:
    New England
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    RMVXA
    The wiki would be more of a tool for the developers during the game, but it could definitely be made into a comprehensive database for the game's setting and gameplay for the player. And yeah, I also love the idea of a chain game being a good point of entry for new developers: it's a lot easier to build off of a pre-existing game than it is to make a full game from scratch, so it allows newer developers to get playable experience under their belt without being overwhelmed.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 29, 2013
    #45
  6. Seacliff

    Seacliff RPG Maker Mastermind Veteran

    Messages:
    2,938
    Likes Received:
    1,049
    Location:
    RPG Maker Forums
    First Language:
    Yes
    Primarily Uses:
    RM2k
    I agree we should stick to RTP, but I'll be fine if we have RTP styled at least, not too overwhelming and keeps ideas coming.

    The wiki would be awesome if we had it splited up by game, then by chapters. For the chapters we could have a short summery what's it about so if we ever did a sequel, people don;t have to play the game in order to join. We can even go as far as to have pages for important characters (mostly playable) in the games, but that would be overdoing it...
     
    #46
  7. Deckiller

    Deckiller Phoenix Veteran

    Messages:
    206
    Likes Received:
    134
    Location:
    New England
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    RMVXA
    The Wiki would be for the developers (for at least the duration of the chain game). If anything, we'd want it to be as comprehensive as possible to help the person making the next chapter. We'd want to list the items in each area, character personalities and actions, setting info, sidequests, unresolved secrets, etc.
     
    #47
  8. C-C-C-Cashmere

    C-C-C-Cashmere Veteran Veteran

    Messages:
    585
    Likes Received:
    280
    Location:
    Kompoota, Yntawnett
    First Language:
    English
    Hey Deckiller

    Were you implying that we'd make a JRPG with Metroidvania elements? Because that would be awesome. That is, the ability to explore an area freely, with access to new areas controlled by either the gaining of new abilities or through the use of inventory items.

    Kinda like Metroid or Castlevania. That way people can just put a power-up at the end of their section that unlocks different areas. Say, finishing someone's zone will unlock the cliff-climbing power. And then you can climb up the cliff to a later point in the story, or something. I don't know, it's pretty complicated, plus, I'm using it in my in-development game so that just might be the mindset I'm having at the moment rather than a realistic thing.
     
    #48
  9. Seacliff

    Seacliff RPG Maker Mastermind Veteran

    Messages:
    2,938
    Likes Received:
    1,049
    Location:
    RPG Maker Forums
    First Language:
    Yes
    Primarily Uses:
    RM2k
    @thatbennyguy

    Well, it had been done in the first chain game with little overwhelming effort. I would compare more to Zelda than Metroid though, since the items we find in the dungeons don't really get used again (not saying this happens all the time in Zelda, but you hardly use the dungeon item after a dungeon in most games). But if we did, that would be a tad overwhelming, but not hard as long as we leave instructions on how the items work.
     
    #49
  10. Lustermx

    Lustermx Veteran Veteran

    Messages:
    252
    Likes Received:
    147
    I think the reason why we didn't get to reuse the same items is because there were some mechanics that would just open up a room of more glitches. I know if I were to let the Zippo be used everywhere, there would be some people forgetting to turn off the zippo switch during cutscenes (so people could make Gita spin while the characters are talking in a serious scene... craaaaaazy, right?)

     Someone would have to learn how the mechanics of the previous items would work; this wouldn't be so helpful to people who are newish to RPG maker. They would waste more time learning, rather than making.

     Though, I do agree it would be cool to combine all the items together.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 30, 2013
    #50
  11. Seacliff

    Seacliff RPG Maker Mastermind Veteran

    Messages:
    2,938
    Likes Received:
    1,049
    Location:
    RPG Maker Forums
    First Language:
    Yes
    Primarily Uses:
    RM2k
    I agree with that, we should probably stick with items in our own chapters unless people doing future chapters know what they are doing.
     
    #51
  12. Deckiller

    Deckiller Phoenix Veteran

    Messages:
    206
    Likes Received:
    134
    Location:
    New England
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    RMVXA
    I think keeping item usage optional is fine for the reasons you guys said. The next person could add optional segments that require that item usage; e.g. pushing boulders out of the way to get to a new area, blowing up a giant rock, using rope to climb a cliff, finding a hidden path, stuff like that. But it wouldn't have to be mandatory so that we're accommodating those who don't want to use those items.

    I do like the idea of having a special item in each dungeon. It doesn't have to be anything crazy; it could just be an item that enables rock pushing or jumping across streams/pits. People who dislike making dungeons can make an interlude chapter between dungeons. And yeah, it would definitely be more Zelda than Metroidvania, though I do like the idea of an open-ended chain game with a minimalistic story and an ABS. That could be another idea for a project right there!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 30, 2013
    #52
  13. C-C-C-Cashmere

    C-C-C-Cashmere Veteran Veteran

    Messages:
    585
    Likes Received:
    280
    Location:
    Kompoota, Yntawnett
    First Language:
    English
    I was thinking that these items could be used in the overworld to gain access to new areas. This could bring some degree of linearity to the plot, by forcing a sequence. To regulate the usage of acquired items/powers, we can make them so they can only be used in certain areas. I mean, certainly you won't be able to scale all cliffs, otherwise you can climb off the edge of the map. But if a cliff has a particular crag that glows/sparkles, it can be used to climb up. Or, if there is water present, you can swim (if you have the ability). So that when you pass the water earlier, you don't initially have the ability to swim across it, but upon defeating this other dungeon, you gain the swimming ability, and now you can gain access to new areas across the water. There doesn't need to have any cross-use of items in dungeons, only in the overworld to create some sort of sequence.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 30, 2013
    #53
  14. Deckiller

    Deckiller Phoenix Veteran

    Messages:
    206
    Likes Received:
    134
    Location:
    New England
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    RMVXA
    Yeah, that's exactly what I've been thinking as well. Makes sense to do it that way. But some use of previous items in dungeons would also be nice, but that would be up to the chapter creator (e.g. if they were comfortable doing it). The item doesn't have to be at the end of the dungeon; it can be in the middle of the dungeon, and it can be used to complete the dungeon like in Zelda or the first chain game.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 30, 2013
    #54
  15. C-C-C-Cashmere

    C-C-C-Cashmere Veteran Veteran

    Messages:
    585
    Likes Received:
    280
    Location:
    Kompoota, Yntawnett
    First Language:
    English
    Very true, so long as it doesn't break the sequence. I'm pretty excited for this game, I'll definitely up for participation if given the opportunity. Also, Yanfly Battle Engine is smexy as all heck, and the game would be wise to choose it. I think we should go with a simple but effective battle system, aiming for the quick satisfaction that Zelda primes itself on. Also, quick battles would be better than long ones. But should we have random encounters, or player-touch encounters? Player-touch encounters will be a lot more complex to implement, but they're fun if done strategically. Say, all enemies moves along certain routes in the map so that you can dodge all battles successfully if you implement sufficient skill, and timing of reflexes. I know that random encounters make some people nauseous, whereas others are happy with them.

    The other option is to use standing encounters that block vital passageways. That way you could encounter and plan your resources for each battle, because they're just standing there waiting to be faced. I think that would invite the player to make strategic decisions, but it might also be restricting for map design.

    Edit: Kind of like



    .
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 30, 2013
    #55
  16. Deckiller

    Deckiller Phoenix Veteran

    Messages:
    206
    Likes Received:
    134
    Location:
    New England
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    RMVXA
    Touch encounters were what we used in the first chain game, and it seemed to be fine. My big this was that they were too frequent - I'd rather only see 6-10 touch encounters per area/dungeon, especially if the battles are simple. And yeah, I think "simple but unique" should indeed be our motto: something anyone can pick up and work on, but something engaging that everyone would be into. VX Ace is versatile enough for that.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 30, 2013
    #56
  17. Espon

    Espon Lazy Creator Veteran

    Messages:
    1,810
    Likes Received:
    189
    Location:
    Canada
    First Language:
    Gibberish
    Primarily Uses:
    RMMV
    Haven't only 6-10 enemies wandering around in a dungeon seems too few.  In the first game, I designed my dungeon with the assumption that the player was going to avoid 75-80% of the enemies.
     
    #57
    C-C-C-Cashmere likes this.
  18. C-C-C-Cashmere

    C-C-C-Cashmere Veteran Veteran

    Messages:
    585
    Likes Received:
    280
    Location:
    Kompoota, Yntawnett
    First Language:
    English
    OK, I haven't played the first Chain Game yet (yes, shame on me), so I'm downloading and playing it right now.

    I'll give feedback on it, too.

    Edit: OK, I'm up to Market Town, and I've got ideas. First off, the chain game feels aimless when put in sequence, but if we create a central hub where you can have your non-linear ideas branch off of, then you can experience them in any order a la Zelda. However, the powers gained in each dungeon/location unlock paths to other dungeons/locations. There should be a path available to at least 3 dungeons/locations at any time, so the player can choose to experience them in relatively non-sequential order. However, rather than telling a linear story, you can have nodes of storyline at each dungeon, that link up with the Arum Universe. The final dungeon is always visible, but is only available to be unlocked via a certain key. This way, the player is always aware of his/her goal, which is always in sight, just beyond that door. It creates player motivation etc.

    Here's the thing, though. Do we have to use completely RTP? Why not try using Celianna tileset, it's pretty standard. If we're worrying about filesize, it's usually the music that ups the filesize, so we'll use RTP music/sfx, for sure. But a graphical upgrade will do wonders for the game's aesthetic. That as well as perhaps a couple of scripts that provide cosmetic tweaks/gameplay stabilizers. One of these is the Yanfly Battle System, which is genius, and used in many games. The Yanfly Message System can also lend some professionalism to characters, as well as an appealing windowskin/font.

    Even simple alterations such as this can benefit the game greatly.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 31, 2013
    #58
  19. Seacliff

    Seacliff RPG Maker Mastermind Veteran

    Messages:
    2,938
    Likes Received:
    1,049
    Location:
    RPG Maker Forums
    First Language:
    Yes
    Primarily Uses:
    RM2k
    @thatbennyguy

    1. We need to keep the game linear so people can just pick up the story where it left off, I find the non-linear Zelda games lacking in story since there is no order in which events will occur. But that's just me.

    2. RTP is a must, there is a rule to not add more stuff as long as it matches the RTP though (save a few parts in the first chain game).

    And don't get me wrong here, I love Celianna's tilesets... but what if we get someone new to RPG maker altogether who only is use to the RTP tilesets? Celianna's and RTP styles are different and are awkward to have together so it'd be best if we just keep the options simple.

    @Dec

    The amount of enemies in a dungeon would really depend on the size of the dungeon, don't you think? You shouldn't have a set number of enemies for each dungeon if they are all over the size spectrum. However, we can assume that the dungeons in chain games wouldn't be too large as long as they have time limits (I'm guessing our time limit would be a week because that is suggested most often and it seems the most fair.) A week would give us a medium sized dungeon at best, which shouldn't be overloaded with enemies, and the player would want to skip most of them as long as our bosses are reasonable. But I think we should leave that to the player.

    My experiences by what I know of games already and what I know of the first Chain game. I agree my dungeon went on for too long with little detail, and that proves that we probably should keep our dungeons shortish anyways.

    Edit: I agree with using the yanfly battle system, but if we use it we should start the first chapter with it equipped in the system, I know a few bugs that come around if you plug it in half-way through the game. (just saying)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 31, 2013
    #59
  20. Deckiller

    Deckiller Phoenix Veteran

    Messages:
    206
    Likes Received:
    134
    Location:
    New England
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    RMVXA
    Yeah, consensus seems to be that we'll use the Yanfly scripts across the board. As far as your world layout ideas...I don't think we should create too much framework to start, but we definitely want to show that the world is intricate, not just a FFXIII hallway or a town hopper. Ironically, everything after the introduction of Market Town tends to radiate outward: you'll explore to the north, south, east, and west.

    A balance is definitely important. Having the first chapter take place in a central area with a bunch of branching paths to unmade, mysterious areas will entice participation: people will imagine what lies beyond the boulders and will want to make something there! A swamp? A desert? Their pick. When I was involved in a chain game a couple years ago, we laid too much of a foundation, which discouraged people from participating because their options were limited. We want a general, guiding framework that entices participation but doesn't force people into a box (e.g. you have to make the ice area next!)

    I do like the idea of having the chain game start in an area that basically has three or four paths, like you said. Chapter 1 could have the first dungeon, which would have an item that would unlock a couple paths forward to whatever Chapter 2's creator decides. I also feel that making the game too nonlinear could lead to storyline and battle issues: it's probably better to have the dungeons completed in linear order to prevent confusion.

    I was thinking about having the game start in a very brief forest or cave, which exits out to a large plains area (think Plains of Chains). In the center of the plains could be the final dungeon, but it's a portal-like place so that the person who makes the final chapter doesn't have to be pigeon holed into a certain design choice. Maybe the final dungeon portal/temple is surrounded by the Market Town of this game. Hmm...

    And yeah, 6-10 enemies may be too little depending on the size of a dungeon. I don't usually run away from encounters unless there are a ton, so I prefer only a handful. I hate accidentally running into enemies, especially when they clutter up a hallway and whatnot. If the battle system is deep, then it's different. But for a simple chain game? I feel there should be enough encounters to give proper exploration/battle balance, but not so many to where it becomes "smash enter to get it over with." We don't want players to hate battles when they come up, especially if the dungeon is intricate. I'm fine with it being developer's choice as long as it's not overkill...another degree of creative freedom!

    I'm fine with using Celianna's tiles, or any versatile tileset packages that are free to use. Maybe we should have a vote!

    Edit: Yeah, we'll start it from the get go. I can make a simple first chapter with all the scripts plugged in and a storyline/intro areas in place: I have experience using YF.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 31, 2013
    #60
    valkill101 likes this.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page