Design Philosophy & Favorite Games

Discussion in 'Video Games' started by kirbwarrior, Feb 17, 2019.

  1. kirbwarrior

    kirbwarrior Veteran Veteran

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    I wasn't quite sure which forum to put this on, but it's about Video Games that already exist and there's a forum called that :L

    What is your #1 favorite video game? What do you think is the best design principle about it? What do you think is the worst? How does this affect your own game making?

    For me, it's without a question Final Fantasy Tactics, and wow is that game flawed (just playing later titles in it's own "series" makes that obvious).

    But the best principles? Well, after seeing the differences between versions it's kind of hard to say. Tactical rpgs in general already have one great thing (seeing all enemies's stats and using the fact you can see them to build the game). I think it's probably it's class system; Not only is it quite enjoyable to just try out things, but it's set up in a way so that playing the game new and not having a clue about what you are doing you can still learn and use what you know easily, while leaving it hugely open for skilled and multiple-runs players to figure out completely different ways to play (from optimal to quick to challenges to just silly fun). Other games, especially Advance and A2, come close (and some have some specifics that are better) but I can't think of a game that does a class system better.

    Worst principles? Well, translation errors, hidden boss stats, absurdly hidden requirements for some classes (how did I figure out Mime without the internet?), there's quite a lot that can be fixed, but I think the biggest thing is something that I generally dislike in many games but probably holds this game back the most and that's an unnecessary amount of RNG, especially in the Brave stat. I much prefer it in later games where things like Counters are guaranteed and working around them is generally better gameplay.

    In general the game has warped how I even approach video games in general and I'm glad it's been one-upped in any one area by other games (yet overall no game quite does everything this does). But probably it's second best thing is my biggest take away and that's its story. Without getting too spoilery, it manages to have a protagonist that's likely unrealistically good while also being both relatable and being integral to the story (seriously, even his best friend isn't "good" and is the "hero" from the lens of history, plus even in the opening scroll you know things aren't going to be a perfectly happy ending), plus a smattering of other things in the story (Two characters doing pretty clearly horrible things when by society it's not only moral but the correct actions, love is important but it's not a romance story, Orlandu being talked up as a huge badass and absolutely delivering, etc).

    I'm not entirely certain what my favorite jrpg is (it's in constant flux) but I might come back with it later. What about you?
     
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  2. Engr. Adiktuzmiko

    Engr. Adiktuzmiko Chemical Engineer, Game Developer, Using BlinkBoy' Veteran

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    My favorite game was and still is "Harvest Moon Back to Nature" on the PS1.

    There's nothing that I would say really stands out in terms of design or whatever but I guess its the simple joy of living your life, trying to fit in the new community while making sure you get the farm to be revived. There have been lots of newer games of the series and others that built upon it but it is still that one that I enjoyed the most.

    The game itself has no effect on my game development as my focus is on making RPGs, though my released games so far are adventure/VN-ish and minigame collections. I also have absolutely no intention of adding HM style farming into my games.
     
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  3. Pix3M

    Pix3M Veteran Veteran

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    I have no favorite game. The ones I like tend to have a selling point and delivers on that well. I'm only gonna mention indie titles since people are probably reading this thread for info, so here goes -

    Magicmaker, a game where you combine spell effects and go through simple missions. It gets pretty broken as you progress through the game. Pretty good example of a game where whether it was balanced or not, it did not matter. The process of finding the best game-breaking exploits was literally part of the fun. Yet in games where you play with other people balance was pretty important. Balance doesn't matter so much in single-player

    Clarence's Big Chance is a fairly standard platformer I thought was really, really funny. I don't know how to comment on the gameplay itself though it could definitely stand on its own.

    The Way by Lun Calsari, made on RM2000, has a lot of good things said about its plot. Its cynical tone also brought me in since I felt the idealistic medieval fantasy setting was getting bland for me

    The Geneforge series is one of my favorites for its themes of genetic engineering, which is a topic I have a special interest in

    Stardew Valley I thought was very interesting. I have a weird love and hate relationship with this game. Love it because its day and night cycle sets the pace and drives the game really well. Hate it because it forces me into very tight schedules, and the themes of "going outside and being social" makes me question if I should even be on the game

    Overall, I'm less into game systems and more into the high concept
     
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  4. Kuro DCupu

    Kuro DCupu Responsible for Kitten Mita development Veteran

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    My number one favorite will always be

    Elona (Eternal League of Nefia)
    A freeware sandbox roguelike RPG for PC created by Japanese developer Noa.

    What make it the best? The freedom, versatility, unnecessary amount of RNG and simply how hilarious it is, both the game content and its community. Many stuff is possible in Elona which make it close to ultimate freedom. Killing NPC, stealing, prostitution, pregnant, marriage, mutation, enslaving, your own town, farm, ranch, museum, shop, dungeon, monthly tax, salary, nuking a town, alien infestation, killing dragon by making em drunk, actually rape em and making em pay, killing monster by throwing furniture, skill that self explode, performing, start a group band, etc, oh don't make me list everything!
    "Elona is a game that defy description, and sheep on convention" - Sseth
    Aside from the weird stuff, some of the mechanic are noteworthy!
    - Spells need to be stocked like ammunition by continuously reading spellbook.
    - Casting spell or even reading spellbook always have chance to fail, and cause random "magical" stuff to happen.
    - You can keep casting spell below 0 mana, but will cause mana reaction which hurt your body.
    - Due to lots of RNG going on, savescumming has become a part of the game itself.
    - Law of physic : Fire damage could turn your item / equipment to ashes and causes wildfire that burn everything on the map, frost damage could shatter equipment and furniture, etc.
    - No class or equipment restriction. You could be anything! Heck, you could use bow as melee weapon or sword as throwing weapon. But that's just being not effective.
    - No instant stats up. Everything need to be earned by grinding it the right way. Level up only grant potential point which speed up your grinding.
    - Some monster are unique to deal with. There are type that extremely fast and unreachable but can be insta-killed with a drop of poison. There are bunch of self-exploding creature which cause chain explosion in high number. Monster that keep splitting itself that could fill the entire map. Etc.
    - Many creative way of fighting.

    If I have to say what make it bad, perhaps it's just way too complex or hard to understand for player who's unfamiliar with this genre.
     
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  5. Touchfuzzy

    Touchfuzzy Rantagonist Staff Member Lead Eagle

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    1st, on the subject of Final Fantasy Tactics, which is definitely in my top 10 games btw, I actually wrote in entire article about how unbalanced the game actually is: http://blog.rpgmakerweb.com/tutorials/false-choice/

    I love the game, but man it has some really wonky design. There are just a ton of broken combos. But the freedom it gives you to create a suite of abilities for a character, to make it YOUR character, is excellent. And the story is incredibly well done and features two of my favorite RPG characters of all time Ramza (Ramza is probably one of the most truly good and heroic characters in any game I can think of, and is the true definition of noble) and Delita (Delita is incredibly interesting from a moral philosophy perspective).

    My own favorite game though is NieR Gestalt. Another game that excels in some areas, but is flawed in others.

    For the flaws, it had an incredibly mediocre combat system (not bad, just not good either), and certain weapons were just so clearly superior to others that you were dumb for not using them (Spears in general, but the Phoenix Spear in specific was just so much better than the other weapons that it was silly), most of the sidequests were just boring fetch quests, and the drop rates for some of the upgrade materials was insane.

    But my god the story. The atmosphere. The characters. The layers.

    The characters are so good. And so well written. Just the banter between them made the side quests worth doing to hear what they had to say about whatever they were fetching. Nier himself was a man so devoted to his daughter and his friends, a man of compassion, even if he tends to hide it under stoicism. Weiss was both pompous and childish, full of self-importance and sophistication while also not being above trading quips and insults with the other characters. Kaine was all fire, but underneath she was very caring, and incredibly damaged and sad. Emil was. Emil is perfect. He's the best boy. And their interactions, all of them were just so good.

    Even the side characters like the Prince/King of Facade and Fyra, or Devola and Popola are so well written.

    No other game has ever made me FEEL like NieR Gestalt did. The only game to ever come close was NieR Automata.

    One of the other highlights to me was the fact that when you did New Game+ (which only replayed the second half of the story) you got to learn more information about what was happening. The fact that seeing it from a slightly different perspective just re-contextualizes every single action you took in the entire game.

    The whole game is a master class in video game writing. Yoko Taro is a demented genius.
     
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  6. kirbwarrior

    kirbwarrior Veteran Veteran

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    There are some great games I've apparently never heard of here.

    One of my favorite quotes; "This character is OP. Every character is OP. Everything is OP, it's absurdly broken, and it all balances each other out. That's how you make a fighter." Nothing tells you how much you can do in FFT until you start doing challenges.

    (Responding to your blog post would be a whole thread of it's own, might have to make an account to instead reply on it)

    After the insanity that is Drakengard, I want to play the Nier series (I hear the gameplay isn't terrible!). Yoko Taro absolutely has an affect on how I see and want to design stories and worlds.
     
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  7. Touchfuzzy

    Touchfuzzy Rantagonist Staff Member Lead Eagle

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    NieR Gestalt has average gameplay, NieR Automata's gameplay though was done by Platinum Games and is really really fun on its own.
     
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  8. kirbwarrior

    kirbwarrior Veteran Veteran

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    This is generally something in video games I just find odd, the idea of playing a game to join a community. In theory it sounds like something that could be fun, but I've never seen it done well in practice imo. Can anyone explain it?

    Oh absolutely. Exploits can be half the fun of a game.

    Can you expand on that? It sounds like a great concept.

    The 1 or 2 hours I played of the game looked promising. I'd definitely advise against Drakengard, the gameplay is definitely it's worst part and it being a game, well...
     
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  9. Engr. Adiktuzmiko

    Engr. Adiktuzmiko Chemical Engineer, Game Developer, Using BlinkBoy' Veteran

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    Games in which you are meant to socialize with the NPCs? Its a staple of life simulation games, having played a lot of those, especially "The Sims" games, it never occured to me as odd.
     
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  10. Touchfuzzy

    Touchfuzzy Rantagonist Staff Member Lead Eagle

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    I love Drakengard's writing and atmosphere. The gameplay is so bad I will never play it again though.
     
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  11. kirbwarrior

    kirbwarrior Veteran Veteran

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    Not just socialize, like three steps more, not quite sure how to explain it.
     
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  12. Engr. Adiktuzmiko

    Engr. Adiktuzmiko Chemical Engineer, Game Developer, Using BlinkBoy' Veteran

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    Socialize, get into romantic relationship, have a family?
     
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  13. kirbwarrior

    kirbwarrior Veteran Veteran

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    Yeah, like @Pix3M said, at that point why am I playing a game? XD
    I mean, yes, video games allow for experimentation in a controlled environment with people who generally won't worsen your life by existing. That actually sounds like a nice goal. Hmm.
     
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  14. Engr. Adiktuzmiko

    Engr. Adiktuzmiko Chemical Engineer, Game Developer, Using BlinkBoy' Veteran

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    IMHO, the pull of those games is the fact that you can try things you normally wont be able to do so in real life especially depending on your situation.

    For example, Sims allow you to live a very different kind of life, build a house, a family, see the lives of several generations.

    Harvest moon and the likes allow you to live a farm life.
     
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