RMMV Do you like when RPG games explain monster existence?

Are you interested in games that explain how monsters came to be?


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SwordSkill

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I've been contemplating on how to make a game that explains how monsters came to be for a very long time and just recently started a project based on it, what are your thoughts?
 
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I voted yes, but I want to add that it heavily depends on the context of the game.

A game containing a swamp area, and there's swamp creatures you have to fight? Ehh, I could get by without thinking too hard about it. I probably wouldn't be interested in that. Not unless the swamp is a huge major area where I will spend most of the game. Knowing some lore could help with puzzle solving, weaknesses of swamp enemies, etc.
But if the swamp is an area I just happen to pass by, then meh.


If the monsters are representations of someone's imagination, what memories or repressions do they have as a character that creates those deformities of monsters that we encounter?
That would be quite a lore to explore.


It all just depends.
 

ATT_Turan

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Only if it's somehow relevant to the actual plot of the game.

For example, in Phantasy Star IV, the plot from the beginning of the game is that the places the hunters are visiting do not normally have monsters, so how the monsters came to be is relevant.

In Pokémon or generic fantasy setting, it's just a fact of the world - this fantasy world is different from ours, and one of the differences is that in addition to the various kinds of animals we are familiar with, there are also species of monstrous things.

There's no reason to explain that in most fantasy games.
 

The Stranger

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Voted yes, but it really depends. I classify all non-human and non-standard animals as monsters in games, and do like to see some sense in them. I don't really need to know why they exist, but rather how they exist in relation to everything else.

If you have hordes of hostile monsters roaming about, I doubt you'd find many settlements without walls and people to defend them. So, when I see roadside inns and hamlets in games that have a lot of hostile monsters, and the people in that world acknowledge the existence of so many hostile monsters (hiring you to kill them, save people, etc), I struggle to immerse myself in the setting. You can't just take medieval Europe and throw monsters and magic in and expect it to stay the same. It wouldn't be the same by any stretch of the imagination.

Knowing a dragon lives nearby, one that is preying upon people and cattle both, would result in more than just folk hanging around moaning about it; they'd probably leave in reality if they couldn't chase it off. If the dead are known to frequently rise and feed upon the living, then why would you ever see isolated houses outside the safety of a town wall? Why would anyone ever create graveyards inside a town? Hell! Why would they create graveyards at all? It's the little things that make monsters seem like they actually belong in your world that help create a sense of believability. That's what I like to see in games and stories.

If monsters are less numerous and more supernatural in nature (cursed beings, demons, etc), then I really don't need to see how they fit into the wider world beyond a vague explanation linked to superstition, religion, etc.

I'm the kind of person who likes to be able to see hints of a wider world, even if I can't visit those areas. A large city with out of bounds areas that makes it look far larger than it actually is, for example. I also like to see farms, merchants selling more than just weapons and armour, signs of culture outside of prophecies, and other such things.
 
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GmOcean

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As others have mentioned, Yes; but it depends on relevance. For instance, in Tales of Zestria the monsters are created due to the excess 'malice' the world has. Essentially just clumps of negative/dark energy given form. It's a neat little bit of lore, but since it ultimately doesn't have weight on the way the game plays from then on, that's all it should be. A bit of lore.

So yeah, as some background lore for your games story, I don't mind it. But I can't think of how it could play as a focus for a game.
 
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Generally yes, though how necessary this lore is depends on the story. I can't think of any video games offhand where I wondered about the monsters, their behaviors, how they came to be, etc., but I also can't think of any video games where developing the monsters beyond being merely a game mechanic didn't benefit the game.
 

Conflictx3

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100% yes but its not something people really care either way, personally when i use to play RPGs like FF7 and Star Ocean 2 I never asked why these clearly advanced civilizations didn't do some crowd control on these beasties or why they calmly remain in the forest and outside of major cities.

but when i played my first RPG to explain the monsters existence (i think it was legend of legaia with the mist IIRC...or maybe the mist just made them stronger IDR) i def had a moment where I sat back and thought "well divorce our marriage & call me kanye, that makes alot of sense why these monsters are here!!"
 

RCXDan

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Just gonna echo what everyone else said and say it depends on the story you want to write. For most folks I don't think it's a major thing to think about and if you can't properly explain where the monsters come from, it tends to detract more than it adds.

I do enjoy it though if you can give me a good explanation for where the monsters come from, doubly so if you work it into the actual plot.

Example: Are your monsters part of the natural world? If not, how so. If they are, how do the people of your world adapt to them?

@The Stranger made a good point - if there's all sorts of nasty monsters casually lurking about just because, the people who live in your world should be way more cautious.

My favorite subtle take though is in a game called Megaman Legends - you never get an explanation for what the Reaverbots... are, but they only ever show up in ruins and never on the surface (barring some exceptions in remote areas).

This allows the game to have happy lighthearted surface areas while the dungeons you visit are claustrophobic nightmares full of robots that want to kill you for existing. The people topside are rarely threatened unless they decide to go snooping for treasures under the ground.
 
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pawsplay

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In the original Final Fantasy, we know the world is crawling with weird monsters that wouldn't hang out normally because the Fiends unleashed them.
 

greenrivers

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Yes, absolutely. It's a great bit of world building if you take time to drop a bit of lore about the monsters - how they interact with the world, what's their impact, some fun or weird facts about their biology - etc. Done well, it can be a way to elevate encounters from just being trash mobs.

For example, the way the player is gradually drip-fed information about the darkspawn in dragon age origins, culminating in the reveal of the broodmother made what was a standard enemy into something truly horrific and gave them an idea of what failure would entail.

I would never recommend infodumping, but things like books, journal entries or a bestiary make for great flavour text for the lorehounds. And even if you want to take a more minimalist approach, you should always have some idea how the creatures that inhabit your world exist within it.
 

Tiamat-86

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only if its relevant to the plot in some way. if its directly related to a story arc, ya your going to want to know why and how.
but if its just some minor detail thats a side effect of something related to the main story it could just be some obscure npc or bookcase that mentions it.

if it has zero relevance to anything in the story then theres no need for it. most people not going to go on an african safari and spend the entire time questioning why and how lions exist. explaining it for no reason would be no different then a pointless evolution vs creationist argument. might as well throw in some flat earthers too by that point.

(this is 1 of the parts i hated of watching log horizon, they spent way to much time on "why do monsters have money". do you wanna have to stop and gut every lizardman you kill for a liver to sell to an apothecary and scales to sell to jewelers and blacksmiths? no thats grotesque and very time consuming just gimme the money and cut out the middle man, its a frigging video game)
 
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lianderson

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Explaining logistics proves the dev at least thought about the stuff! Power to the thinking!

Good day humans.
 

Enigman

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I voted Yes but as others have said it's not a dealbreaker if it's not explained. If it's pertinent to the plot or overall story (ultimate goal is to destroy the source/cause as part of the final battle) then yes it would be needed.

I don't mind if it's just part of the world building or lore and that I might have to find tomes explaining it as part of random finds in the odd library or two. It's something I can follow up if I want but has no impact on the main story or side quests.
 

TheoAllen

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95% chance I will skip the monster lore. But I voted yes.
 

Sethorion

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Yeah, it's an actual dilemma in plotting my current game premise. I'm trying to figure out a compelling reason for my character to run around slaughtering things, especially considering there is a "Pacifist" ending.
 

richter_h

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If it has something to do with in-game lore, game mechanics and/or drive the story forward, why not. Otherwise, why bother.
 

Lornsteyn

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I voted yes, but actually I dont care.
Its not a must have, the monsters coul be just part of the world like animals.
But it can also be interesting if they are from elsewhere and its explained.
 

Franz_Pantalon

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People will always try to find an explanation to the world they live in! (even if it doesn't mean that the explanation is the good one).

... people even often try to explain things that do not exist.. so yes.
 

MarxMayhem

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I vote yes, but with more ot less the same reasoning as others before me, plus one more condition: Unless I'm about to fight a plot-related monster, I prefer to not have the game spoonfeed me this info- let me find it on my own, and let it be optional.

Players will initially not care about the creatures they fight on random encounters. However if they spend enough time in an area, they will be able to recognize "lore" left by the developers (or lack thereof if done without thought by them).
If you spread out this lore and make it optional for the players to know, they will feel rewarded for knowing ahead of time, and educated if they learned about it later, specially if the "lore" helps with things like how to fight monsters or where to find them.

If you make it mandatory for them to learn this lore (i.e. expostition dump cutscene) and do it for every single monster, they won't feel educated or rewarded, they'll feel like there were lectured, in the negative sense. Whenever players would feel this, it becomes less like they're playing a game and more like they're reading a beastiary, and that's a negative experience.

Don't get me wrong: beastiaries are great, but people are likely to open your game to fight the stuff you made, and not to bask in your worldbuilding prowess.
 

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