Game Annoyance List: RPG Maker Edition

CrazyCrab

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Hi everyone,

As someone who has been using Game Maker in the past I've only just noticed that these forums lack this kind of a list, which I personally found very helpful - http://gmc.yoyogames.com/index.php?showtopic=191

Naturally only some of them apply to RPG Makers, so I thought that creating one from scratch might be a nice idea  :)

I wasn't sure where to put it, but General Discussion seemed alright - if that's the wrong place please move it somewhere else, thanks.

Anyway, I'll write down some to get started:

EDIT: I fused all the posts together, trying to create a useful and cohesive list, sorry for omitting names, I hope you don't mind.

  • No skills / Very few skills at the start. I've played a couple of games from this website where I was stuck pressing attack over and over till like level 3, because the skills were horrible or just there weren't any. Booring
  • ''Unnecessarily time-consuming tasks that should be simple (e.g. excessive distances between the bank and the shops).'' Took this one from GM Forums, as it applies to all games. Also, long distances between shops can make shopping a nightmare.
  • Tons of buildings which serve no purpose. I've seen a bunch of cities where there were countless houses, yet there weren't any interesting NPCs or anything to do inside, just same layout with some things changed over and over.
  • Questlines where you have to guess what you have to do next. I've been stuck for hours when playing some older RPG titles on my Game Boy Advance, just because I didn't talk to someone and it wasn't even properly hinted beforehand. Looking at you, Breath of Fire 2. You may be a fun game, but man, that storyline.
  • Unbalanced bosses. I played one game here which was ridiculously easy, I was just going through the forest and then BAM! A boss jumps out without any chance to go back, I didn't even get him to 1/2 health - you were supposed to grind beforehand, but I had no idea and lost all my progress. I gave up afterwards.
  • ''Grindfest''. This might be a strange term to some, it just means that in order to achieve something very small you have to grind over and over and over again. Once you have it, you grind again. There's nothing wrong with a little grind from time to time, but don't make your game about just grinding.
  • ''Inability to save the game at sensible check points (e.g. level completion, defeated boss etc.).'' GM List again, as this is one of the most annoying ones in any kind of game. Self-explanatory I believe and, at least for me, nothing comes close when it comes to being annoying.
  • Unskippable Intro. Once you defeated / K.O and forgot to save, you have to rewatch the intro over and over again. It's fine if the intro is pretty short, but what if it's takes 15 minutes or more?
  • Useless Item. I have 99 healing potions, now what? I didn't even really use them, because I have a character that has healing skill
  • Checkpoints. Or at least make them not too far away from each other.
  • The "go to this location" with no direction. I'm not in the mind of the developer so I don't know where to go next.
  • Similarly, quests that require to know the game before having played it. Sometimes, there is no quest log at all and no one is talking about what you have to do if you forgot.
  • Paralysis on my party for several turns. It's no fun watching my group being beaten to death and have nothing to do except watch them die.
  • Disabled dashing for no gameplay/story related reason.
  • Numerous spelling mistakes. I can forgive a few here and there (I make them myself...) but a barely legible text is a powerful repulsive.
  • Similarly, text that is cut in the text box. I have seen game where this happened right from the intro. Obviously the game wasn't tested, why should I bother to do something even the dev doesn't?
  • Random encounter! it's pretty annoying when you enjoy walk on the map and suddenly enter battle screen without notice  :|
  • Poor game balance.  A game that's too easy is boring, but if it's too hard (and I don't mean grinding), I just stop playing it
  • Unskippable long intros.  These are VERY annoying.
  • Lost Forever items.  No useful item should ever be lost forever.  It's OK to say "Well, if you missed the Easy Way to get the item, there is a much Harder Way to use later on."  But especially Plot Coupons should NEVER be Lost Forever (until they're used up for the Plot)
  • Unwinnable game states.  A good game should NEVER allow the player to put the game into a state that literally is unwinnable. That could be: Trapped next to the Boss, low health, no way to escape.  Or:  Player tossed out Plot Coupon (game should block this)
  • Moon Logic Puzzles.  These can only be solved by a mind-meld with the developer.  A good puzzle should ONLY require knowledge the player can reasonably be expected to have.  It should be logical and the solution should NOT rely on random guesswork. 
  • Having to spam the most powerful attack over and over as nothing else works. Some of the early (even commercial) RPG Maker games have been guilty of this mistake.
  • Every enemy in the last few zone's 1 hit KO's anyone they attack. What's the point of defense if you are going to do that? Or for that matter, what is the point of HP? Might as well give me 1 HP and call it good.
  • Too many side features. I've played many a game that seems to want to overwhelm you with too many extras to the battle. system. You don't need every feature under the sun in your battle system! If playing a battle in your game feels more difficult to follow and understand than my differential equations textbook, then you went overboard.
  • Overuse of Poison and Paralysis states, especially Poison. Lack of cures (items or spells) and immunity accesories to such states.
  • Slow walking speed in a very large map or a collections of maps. I can walk across my town from one end to the other end in less time than it takes for my character to get from point A to point B in the same map. 
  • Bad mapping: I don't expect anything amazing, and I know that not everyone can make great maps. But if the mappings terrible then I'll assume that no effort was put into it.
  • Hard/easy to get gold: Typically in most games you become a millonaire early on and buying equipment is no problem, or getting money is so hard you can barely afford to buy a couple of sets of equipment for your characters.
  • Dungeons being extremely huge. Even if mapping is fantastic and battles are fun, I don't want to spend an hour or two on the same dungeon. A change in scenery and pace would be much appreciated!
  • A game not providing any kind of warning when you're about to go to an area with no return or to do something irreversible.
  • Bosses with way too much health and no challenge whatsoever. You end up with a boringly easy boss that just takes ages to kill.
  • Reviving items only restoring 1 HP. No! Just no! What is the point of bringing someone from K.O. when they're highly likely to be K.Oed again before you can heal them?
  • The game's first boss kicking your butt into the ground. A first boss is supposed to introduce you to the mechanics of boss fights and let you get accustomed to the game, not wipe the floor with you.
Feel free to post some of your least favorite things! I'll do my best to keep the list up to date.  :)
 
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TheoAllen

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Lol, that No Skill / View Skills at the start is pretty much true. However, I understand why the developer made it. It's because they allow you to be more familiar with the system at first. They might have the target audience for non-RM player. But, if it's going too long, it would be bad.

I have no problem for grindfest. I'm actually a grinder, and grind is one of my purpose of playing RPGs. Especially if there is action points, stat distributions, skill tree, or such.

My turn then

- Unskippable Intro. Once you defeated / K.O and forgot to save, you have to rewatch the intro over and over again. It's fine if the intro is pretty short, but what if it's takes 15 minutes or more?

- Useless Item. I have 99 healing potions, now what? I didn't even really use them, because I have a character that has healing skill.

I will add more later ...
 

Engr. Adiktuzmiko

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Grinding is not really a problem, unless it's pointless grinding... 

Let's see... Hmmmm... 

Yeah, I'm annoyed by pointless grinding...
 

cabfe

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  • Checkpoints. Or at least make them not too far away from each other.
  • The "go to this location" with no direction. I'm not in the mind of the developper so I don't know where to go next.
  • Similarly, quests that require to know the game before having played it. Sometimes, there is no quest log at all and no one is talking about what you have to do if you forgot.
  • Paralysis on my party for several turns. It's no fun watching my group being beaten to death and have nothing to do except watch them die.
  • Disabled dashing for no gameplay/story related reason.
  • Numerous spelling mistakes. I can forgive a few here and there (I make them myself...) but a barely legible text is a powerful repulsive.
  • Similarly, text that is cut in the text box. I have seen game where this happened right from the intro. Obviously the game wasn't tested, why should I bother to do something even the dev doesn't?

Man, that's a lot and I'm sure I'm forgeting half I wanted to say.

I'll be creating another topic where we can express what we like, for balance.
 

TheoAllen

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Added a new one ...

Random encounter! it's pretty annoying when you enjoy walk on the map and suddenly enter battle screen without notice :(
 

whitesphere

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1. Poor game balance.  A game that's too easy is boring, but if it's too hard (and I don't mean grinding), I just stop playing it

2. Unskippable long intros.  These are VERY annoying.

3. Lost Forever items.  No useful item should ever be lost forever.  It's OK to say "Well, if you missed the Easy Way to get the item, there is a much Harder Way to use later on."  But especially Plot Coupons should NEVER be Lost Forever (until they're used up for the Plot)

4. Unwinnable game states.  A good game should NEVER allow the player to put the game into a state that literally is unwinnable.  That could be: Trapped next to the Boss, low health, no way to escape.  Or:  Player tossed out Plot Coupon (game should block this)

5. Moon Logic Puzzles.  These can only be solved by a mind-meld with the developer.  A good puzzle should ONLY require knowledge the player can reasonably be expected to have.  It should be logical and the solution should NOT rely on random guesswork. 

For example, an RPG based on the works of Shakespeare might have a puzzle where the hints are famous quotes from Hamlet.  And the solution to passing a guard dog is to buy a piece of ham and feed it to the dog.  That's a bad pun, but the logic is sound.  Another good puzzle would be if someone mentioned "Yeah, that dog keeps stealing the hams from the butcher."  Then you just need to figure out where to buy ham and maybe the butcher needs you to do something for him first (like retrieve his meat cleaver)...

A bad puzzle is:  To get past the guard dog, you need to get a fish --- which you then must feed to the cat.  The cat pukes, so you take the puke and put it on the farmer's bed.  The farmer runs out in disgust, so you take his keys.  Use the keys to open an icebox and get a piece of ham, which you then feed to the guard dog.  Especially if there are no NPCs to give pretty specific hints.

The reason this would be bad?  Each step is logical in retrospect but why in the WORLD would the player think of getting a fish to get past a guard dog?  Or smearing cat puke on the farmer's bed?
 

bgillisp

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A bad puzzle is:  To get past the guard dog, you need to get a fish --- which you then must feed to the cat.  The cat pukes, so you take the puke and put it on the farmer's bed.  The farmer runs out in disgust, so you take his keys.  Use the keys to open an icebox and get a piece of ham, which you then feed to the guard dog.  Especially if there are no NPCs to give pretty specific hints.

The reason this would be bad?  Each step is logical in retrospect but why in the WORLD would the player think of getting a fish to get past a guard dog?  Or smearing cat puke on the farmer's bed?
I think you just described about every adventure game from the 80's in that puzzle.

My list:

-Having to spam the most powerful attack over and over as nothing else works. Some of the early (even commercial) RPG Maker games have been guilty of this mistake.

-Every enemy in the last few zone's 1 hit KO's anyone they attack. What's the point of defense if you are going to do that? Or for that matter, what is the point of HP? Might as well give me 1 HP and call it good.

-Too many side features. I've played many a game that seems to want to overwhelm you with too many extras to the battle. system. You don't need every feature under the sun in your battle system! If playing a battle in your game feels more difficult to follow and understand than my differential equations textbook, then you went overboard.
 
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Ms Littlefish

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A bad puzzle is:  To get past the guard dog, you need to get a fish --- which you then must feed to the cat.  The cat pukes, so you take the puke and put it on the farmer's bed.  The farmer runs out in disgust, so you take his keys.  Use the keys to open an icebox and get a piece of ham, which you then feed to the guard dog.  Especially if there are no NPCs to give pretty specific hints.

The reason this would be bad?  Each step is logical in retrospect but why in the WORLD would the player think of getting a fish to get past a guard dog?  Or smearing cat puke on the farmer's bed?
Is it bad that I think that puzzle sounds amazingly awesome and hilarious? With the proper clues of course. But I would die laughing. We need more funny games.
 
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Susan

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1. Unskippable long intro (stated above already) followed by a hard battle or series of battles without being to save beforehand. Some even with their own cutscenes in between each battle.

2. Overuse of Poison and Paralysis states, especially Poison. Lack of cures (items or spells) and immunity accesories to such states.

3. Random encounter. It's fine when well made, but having to fight every five steps is really pushing it. This is especially annoying when exploring large maps or when attempting to solve puzzles.

4. Poor balancing. It is not a 'challenging gameplay feature' when the random encounters can be one-hit killed, but the boss of the area one-hit kills you in return.

5. Slow walking speed in a very large map or a collections of maps. I can walk across my town from one end to the other end in less time than it takes for my character to get from point A to point B in the same map.
 

Myst88

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For me it's

Bad mapping: I don't expect anything amazing, and I know that not everyone can make great maps. But if the mappings terrible then I'll assume that no effort was put into it.

Long cutscenes: I don't mind watching them the first time (unless their boring) But if I'm playing the game a second time or if I died and have to rewatch a cutscene, it's nice to be able to skip. Also unskipable tutorials.

Hard/easy to get gold: Typically in most games you become a millonaire early on and buying equipment is no problem, or getting money is so hard you can barely afford to buy a couple of sets of equipment for your characters.
 

whitesphere

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Is it bad that I think that puzzle sounds amazingly awesome and hilarious? With the proper clues of course. But I would die laughing. We need more funny games.
I think you're right if there were NPCs scattered about the town that gave fairly clear hints like:

- "Every time I feed the darned cat some of my fish, he pukes it up on my bed!"

- "Farmer Ted?  Oh, he gave his cat away after having his bed puked on for the 100th time. He can't stand messes!"

- "You have a cat?  Here," *gives player a puke scooper*

- "I hate Farmer Ted's dog!  If I don't keep a close eye on him, he eats the ham right out of my case!  In fact, Ted felt so bad he bought all of the rest of my ham, so I'm out right now."

Then, it's reasonable to have a Locked Icebox and a Key under Farmer Ted's sheets.  After all Ted, freaks out, kicks off the sheets and the key is there, gleaming.

But, without a set of clear hints like that, it's a bad puzzle.

I agree there aren't that many really funny RPG Maker games out there. I think I'll try that style for my next game for a change of pace.  And I might even use every "bad" 80s adventure game puzzle, but make it good by having NPCs give clear hints.  You have to search for the NPCs, of course, but when you have them, the hints should make solving the puzzle straightforward.
 
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Matseb2611

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Isn't this thread the same as this one?

Some of the things I mentioned on there that I don't think were mentioned here yet:

- Dungeons being extremely huge. Even if mapping is fantastic and battles are fun, I don't want to spend an hour or two on the same dungeon. A change in scenery and pace would be much appreciated!

- A game not providing any kind of warning when you're about to go to an area with no return or to do something irreversible.

- Bosses with way too much health and no challenge whatsoever. You end up with a boringly easy boss that just takes ages to kill.

- Reviving items only restoring 1 HP. No! Just no! What is the point of bringing someone from K.O. when they're highly likely to be K.Oed again before you can heal them?

Edit: Just thought of another one:

- The game's first boss kicking your butt into the ground. A first boss is supposed to introduce you to the mechanics of boss fights and let you get accustomed to the game, not wipe the floor with you.
 
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bgillisp

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- Reviving items only restoring 1 HP. No! Just no! What is the point of bringing someone from K.O. when they're highly likely to be K.Oed again before you can heal them?
Actually, there can be a place for them, mainly outside of battle. My ultra cheap revival item in my game does exactly this (1 HP). Its not meant to be used in battle though for that reason, if you want a battle version, buy the next one up (and I usually have both available in the store at the same time).
 

Matseb2611

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^That's pretty good that there are multiple types of reviving items. But most games I've seen that have reviving items restore 1 HP, end up being the only ones in the game.
 

bgillisp

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^That's pretty good that there are multiple types of reviving items. But most games I've seen that have reviving items restore 1 HP, end up being the only ones in the game.
True, and thanks to this thread I am going back over and making sure I have at least two revival options you can buy in all stores, and that the 1 HP is indeed ultra cheap.
 

cybrim

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Cybrim's solutions to Original Post.

Few skills at the Start: Do the Pok'e'mon thing where you don't have an "attack" option, disable it, rename it in the commands section as "Command" sure it is darkened and you have to create new varied attack abilities for each character, but it will no longer be boring.

Time consumption tasks: Present & Future time = vending machines and kiosks, in the Past/ Medieval era a street market dedicated to vendors in every city, have banks in established areas like guilds and inns, have guilds have special boarding rooms for members and exclusive vendors for members.

Pointless buildings: I don't walk into your house... it isn't pointless, but yeah the developer is wasting time by having spent time on unlocked houses for you to explore... just lock them.

Horrible Questline design: Have certain party members interact within certain locations. Bill in your party he is from Seattle and is near the entrance or exit of whatever Seattle map you are in, talking to him allows you to ask 3 things the 4th is "Nevermind", #1 "where to?", #2 "Needs?", #3 "Feelings?", asking the character "Where to?" should allow him to tell you where to go from your current location. Asking the character "Needs?" he should tell you about side quests (mass effect style) that are about him and should benefit him and you for completing them. Asking the character "Feelings?" should tell you how this character feels about the story portion you are in,- Bill says, "I can't put my finger on it but I don't trust the politician to follow through with his word." (am I right? lol).

Unbalanced bosses: Make the boss 3-5 times stronger (at least ) than the enemies in the area, a good boss fight should take around 15 minutes between damage & healing, also don't pull a Final Fantasy allow the bosses to heal themselves.

"Grindfest": Multi-part solutions, for instance look at Destiny's Gold bounties, you do one thing that takes a long time, you complete it, receive different skill/time consumption task repeat 4 times, receive exotic piece of equipment. Example: Instead of the time consumption tasks have a character that joins you with the "Double drop rate" perk or put it on a piece of equipment that you can equip until you complete that gather request, then get the travel request, then put the flowers on the grave at the top of the mountain (keep it at a max of 10 as far as gather quests go...)

Sensible check points: Only for standard gameplay not cliffhanger moments (just after them but not before in case you aren't powerful enough), but if I play Final Fantasy 7 or 8 for example I don't want to save on a multi-stage boss as it would ruin immersion. I understand after playing for awhile you need to eat/*oop/Sleep, so keep in mind that it should reasonably be about 15-20 minutes max between checkpoints if you are rushing through.

Unskippable intro/movies: Shame on the game developers...

Useless item: Have potions that heal HP/MP and a status effect or multiple status effects that occur at least every 7th battle in the region you can obtain it.

Lack of direction: Use the road graphics on the map, use the sign graphics at crossroads and make them tell you where you are going. Put key items in your inventory that make your allies tell you, "We have to meet that guy in Tokyo to exchange the goods, it is just south of here so lets head DOWN this road."

"Know the game" quests: Have a guide NPC in every town that any time you talk to him if you have a Quest item in your inventory your Main Character asks, "Do you know how to get to Kyoto/Seattle/Tokyo?" And he/she responds, "AH crap I'm not sure you'll have to go West/East/North/South (In the direction of the nearest town headed in the direction you need to head) to Seattle/Tokyo/Kyoto they may know."

Paralysis: Limit this ability to monsters in parties of 3 or less, it can only effect 1 ally at a time for 3-5 turns max. No more than 2 enemies that can do this in a party.

Pointless Dashing Disabled: Whoever did this doesn't want you to enjoy the game they are wrong, let the players pace themselves.

Spelling mistakes: Have your friends and family test your games, be open to the community for honesty, this is almost a sin though, and chances are there is no forgiveness, unless you are really young or this is beyond your first language, but have your friends look over it, if you dropped out of high school you should probably do everything in your power to read every book you can find on subjects that interest you, buy a dictionary to find out what words you don't understand mean, go to dictionary.reference.com.

Text cut in box: when you are typing in RPG Maker VX Ace look at the box, there are two vertical lines at the top of the text box anything to the right of the right one will never appear, if you have a face graphic anything to the right of the LEFT Line will not appear, just use the left line as a guide, if you are close to it start a new line.

Random Encounter: I don't see the problem with game design here this is merely preference, do you know how long it would take to "Fix" this? the developers don't have a lot of resources for these games. Everything might feel "Predetermined" and like Dragon Age where you have to hunt down everything to level up enough to survive barely on a reasonably challenging difficulty level.

Poor game balance: Test your stuff with different ages, think about your target audience and maturity of content, (I got my mom to play Diablo 2 with me, it was so much fun for her and I to do something together even though we have NOTHING in common), see how long it takes for them to understand the basics, use graphics for equipment and abilities that make sense to the YOUNGEST member of your target audience, for instance if you are poisoned have the "NO" symbol (the circle with the line through it) over the poison symbol on your antidote item or ability. Doing this will ultimately allow all users to focus on the difficulty of the task so you can see what needs tweaking.

Unskippable long intros: @ Original Poster... dude you've already said this.

Lost forever items: This is a flavor option, if you are playing a survival based RPG that has a heavy emphasis on struggle & sacrifice without losing things there is no point. Sometimes games outside of survival themes need to have an aspect of loss by creating a loss, after all these games exist to get a hero through a hard time and come out all the better themselves for it.

Impossible Win Situation: This is game balance, look at Pok'e'mon, they basically tell you what to expect before a boss by whatever is in the gym, then you can prepare before fighting him, use themes! Don't have the "save during cliffhanger" moments, FINAL FANTASY XIII was a terrible game, I HATE Hope and yet I had to use him to get past that Alexander fight... **** Hope... Can you be any worse?

Moon Logic Puzzles: I completely agree with the original poster, however somethings like Easter Eggs can be hidden as extras like the password to the vault containing alternate equipment's password could be my favorite food (Fable Demon Door Style).

Most powerful Spam (it tastes worse than standard Spam in a can): Have your TP Gauge switch your classes at different numbers, your classes should have completely different abilities to represent their tension, the most powerful abilities should use TP thus returning you to a weaker class, if it doesn't work have it call a common event to switch you back.

1 hit KO zones: Limit to challenge rooms don't make this garbage mandatory for the normal story...

Too many Side Features (Battle System): Clean up and polish, some famous guy once said (Seriously can't remember who), "It isn't what how you can add more to your product, it is when you can't take anything else away..." I forgot the rest of the saying, basically less is more, but definitely (Yay spellcheck) make the battle system your own.

Over use of bad states & lack of prevention and healing: If you have a monster cause a status effect, have a small chance of the cure being dropped (1/1,000).

Slow walking speed: Dude you already mentioned this...

Bad Mapping: Have your friends and family play your game and make suggestions/comments about location, location, location.

Money collecting issues: Mini-games that are small chores, but look interesting can provide money, make only sentient creatures have 1 or more "Gold" on the creature page, where do scorpions and bats get their gold?

Large Dungeons: It depends on the games, some need large dungeons, for instance if you are trying to find an underground civilization... well there you have it. Once again preference.

No Warning of No Return: it depends on the story, have Save Points before this happens, but you don't want to play a game with NO SURPRISES... that would be LAME.

Bosses Health & Challenge: Once again we kinda talked about this one.

1 HP Revival Items: Hey you remember those useless potions... maybe you should have used them... just saying. I know it is a pain in the neck but who cares as long as you can take care of business. HP revival should be % based though.

First boss being too hard: If it is story related who cares, but if it just is there to "Game Over" you... that's twisted, go play Dark Souls you sadistic developer you...

There you have it: Permanent solutions to problems that sometimes aren't problems and at other times are too big for us mere players to comprehend the contemplation thereof.

-Cybrim, Tinker of the Nether.
 

Gui

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[...]
Too many Side Features (Battle System): Clean up and polish, some famous guy once said (Seriously can't remember who), "It isn't what how you can add more to your product, it is when you can't take anything else away..." I forgot the rest of the saying, basically less is more, but definitely (Yay spellcheck) make the battle system your own.

[...]
I believe it was Bruce Lee, about his fighting techniques.
 

whitesphere

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I agree that the 1 HP Revive items should never be the only type of Revive item.  I would also add it's the same thing if the only Revive spell brings back a party member with such low HP that one hit will kill the party member again.  Sort of like FFIV's "Life" spell which brings back 6000 HP characters with, maybe, 200 HP --- not helpful when the opponent can deal 1000 HP of damage...

Actually there is 1 case where that might be OK.  Sure Revive brings back with low HP --- BUT, adds a special State.  The State is a 1 Turn one called something like "Revived," and prevents the party member from taking any action BUT makes him/her completely immune to damage.  That gives the Healer a chance to heal the just-revived character fully without making it unbalanced.

Other than that I think all battle-usable Revive spells should at least restore 20% of the members' MHP.
 

Doobles

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Two new story ones from me...

Romantic subplots that seem forced, awkward, and unrealistic.

Shallow characters that strictly abide by one personality type the entirety of the game.  You can't be a super hardass/jerk in every situation.
 

cybrim

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Two new story ones from me...

Romantic subplots that seem forced, awkward, and unrealistic.

Shallow characters that strictly abide by one personality type the entirety of the game.  You can't be a super hardass/jerk in every situation.
1: yeah I really hated the Little Mermaid... That felt really forced, she tricked him.

2: Gueston in Beauty and the Beast was a real jerk too, that is all he was: a sexist pig.
 

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