Fishing minigame mechanic discussion

Discussion in 'Game Mechanics Design' started by Canini, Jan 8, 2019.

  1. Canini

    Canini Veteran Veteran

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    I am thinking of incorporating a fishing minigame into my game. I think it would provide a suitable distraction to the main action and fit in very well into the game world (which concerns two members of a viking age hunters-farmers-warriors class). Fishing minigames is also the go-to minigame type for roleplaying games so no new mechanics that are totally unfamiliar to the player have to be introduced. My two main questions right now are:

    1 How exactly should the game work (reaction-based, should rods used and bait play a part, guide the line towards the fish you want to catch, stamina meter)?

    2 How exactly should the game progress as the players experience increase (able to fish bigger fish with better rods, haul up treasures from the bottom of the lake)?

    3 What exactly should the reward be (eat the fishes for health and/or stat ups, get a reward such as money for breaking previous records)?

    One thing I definately DO NOT want to do is any sort of stamina mechanic where you have to eat regularly to stay alive. Please also note that as far as the interface goes I can do both a sideview and stimulate a very simple 3d POV-shot.

    What I chiefly want to know from you guys if you know of any games that have fishing minigames that you particularly enjoyed, what the reward was for beating them and if they had any ”progression” within them. Many thanks in advance on your suggestions and thanks for reading.
  2. Wavelength

    Wavelength Pre-Merge Boot Moderator

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    I've never been a huge fan of any fishing minigames in RPGs, but I do see the appeal they'd have to some players.

    My favorite implementation of the fishing itself is probably in Chantelise (watch a minute of it), where the fish are represented onscreen once you cast your line. You have to wait until they swim up and nibble the bait, at which point you must quickly react and hit a button to engage in pulling in the fish. From there it uses a timed hit meter system similar to Mario Golf, where the more accurate you are, the more you tire out the fish, and if you tire it out enough in 3 tries you catch it (otherwise it gets away). What you catch depends on both the body of water you're fishing in, and the size of the fish as it was represented onscreen in the first part.

    My favorite implementation of the meta system around fishing is definitely Dark Cloud 2 (aka Dark Chronicle). When you caught fish in this game, you could add them to your fish tank. Fish in the tank could grow by eating fish food that you drop in or even by eating smaller fish in the tank. They could also mate with other fish and have babies. I believe there was also a fish judging contest (think like a pet show), and a fish fighting contest (the fishes' stats would be partially based on type and partially based on what you fed them) that would run occasionally - if you won the contest, you'd get really cool and valuable items. The other alternative is you could simply grill the fish you catch (once you've invented the grill tool), turning it into items that restore your HP. Finally, the "hub town" would frequently hold fishing contests where you try to catch the biggest fish you can within a certain number of in-game hours and bring it back to town. This whole system was entirely optional to interact with, but it had a lot of depth if you wanted to explore it.

    There's a bunch of different mechanics you could use to represent it and none of them are wrong. I do think that it's cool to have some element where the fish are physically moving onscreen, as I mentioned above with Chantelise. Whether that's guiding the bait towards the fish, waiting for the fish to swim around the bait, or even something non-traditional like moving through the water to catch the fish with a net, I think it's cool to have something where the fish physically move around. Gives it a lot more life.

    There's no need for Experience in a minigame, but if you do feel it's something you want to add, I'd recommend having EXP cause fish to bite more often (or have more fish appear if you're using a physical representation as above), and also allowing you to catch new types of fish that beginners aren't able to hook. One thing I would not do is have EXP make it easier to catch fish - since the player's skill is increasing the more they fish, they will seek harder challenges, not easier ones.

    I think Dark Cloud 2, as described above, has some cool systems built around fish, eventually rewarding you with really cool stuff if you brought your fish up well. If you don't want anything that complex, and want the fish to be something that you mainly eat, then a popular (and IMO good) thing to do with foods in your game is to have each dish not only restore some HP and/or MP, but also provide a different type of bonus for your next battle (or next X battles), such as +20% ATK, +100% EXP earned, or One Free Auto-Revive. Finally, consider using the fish as part of another system - such as regents for creating new skills. This would tie the fishing system into other things that the player really wants to get, encouraging them to use it while adding a lot of potential for depth (though if you do something like this, it might be a good idea to also allow the player to purchase most fish in the game, so that the minigame doesn't become "mandatory" for players who don't like it).

    Canini likes this.
  3. Aesica

    Aesica undefined Veteran

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    I was always a fan of how the Breath of Fire series (2-4 anyway) handled their fishing minigames. It was less about timing some button press with a meter and more about aiming/maneuvering your cast as well as (for 3-4) reacting to the behavior of the fish once you catch it. I think 3's system is probably the easiest to figure out the mechanics of by obvservation:

    As for the questions:
    1. While it depends on what you (the developer) find fun, my previous statement about the BoF series stands. :)
    2. If I implement fishing (I might, I might not) I plan on having the player progress through the fishing system by just finding better rods and bait as they get further in the adventure. I wouldn't recommend a "fishing skill exp" system because that's just grind. No thanks.
    3. The rewards I plan on having would probably be things from this list: sell fishes for gold, consume fishes in battle for various effects (healing, mp recovery, attack items, etc), or as the only way to find certain rare items.
    Wavelength and Canini like this.

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