Game without random encounters; alternate ways to make currency/exp?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Diarist, Mar 15, 2019.

  1. Diarist

    Diarist Small and bitter. Veteran

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    The game I'm making isn't gonna be very combat heavy, at all. The few fights that exist will be dedicated to boss battles (a few encounters with other stuff too but even then it's only like... 3, maybe?) which are intended to be very character driven anyway. As a result, the party leveling up and gaining [insert currency here] would be, well... yeah, fairly limited in terms of earning stuff from fights alone.

    I had other ideas. Like characters leveling up as you interact with them and share certain dialogues. Finding money in weird places around the city. Maybe small interactions with random citizens and stuff depending on how you talk to them you can level up and/or acquire money, etc. I wanted to try adding hidden files/collectables or something that could give exp as well but I'm not sure how well that would work out, since I'm not sure if the engine is capable of journal style stuff.

    Was wondering what people thought of this, and if anyone's ever attempted something similar beforehand.
     
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  2. bgillisp

    bgillisp Global Moderators Global Mod

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    There was a PS2 game where your characters levels were based on affection levels, it was Sakura Wars. And I think one of the Vampire games from the 2000's (I believe it was Vampire Bloodlines) did it where you earned skill points only by completing quests, and that was the only way to power up in that game.

    Maybe check those two games out to see what you think of the ideas? Or at least look up some youtube videos of the game?
     
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  3. Andar

    Andar Veteran Veteran

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    Using "Random Encounters" for giving the player EXP and Gold (basically grinding) is often used as a cheap way for the developer to get out of playtesting. Simply because if the player has a source of unlimited income (by unlimited battles) the developer doesn't have to make sure the game is balanced.

    You can have games work without battles - technically you can use any form of quest or interactions to give EXP by event command.

    However, this will require you to be much more careful when balancing - if the player needs to find 99% of the items in an area to gain the gold to pay for the ship into the next area, then you have to make sure that the player can find all hidden item caches.

    A lot of developers are simply too lazy to put in that amount of playtesting and balancing - especially as they can't test themselves if a player will find all the items whose positions they know by heart.
    On the other hand it will put your game apart from the mass if you do pull it off...
     
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  4. Mystic_Enigma

    Mystic_Enigma The Doofiest of Dorks Veteran

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    I'm seek to try something to that degree. Experience is gained through battles, as well as from special items. But money has to be obtained by other means, be it randomly spawning hotspots or treasures found across the land, as well as from Quests.
     
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  5. NinjaKittyProductions

    NinjaKittyProductions Professional Murder Hobos Veteran

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    From a table-top stand point, you could dole experience by interactions. That is, as the player interacts with the world around them, experience is gained. This is seen in some games where the player gains experience just by discovering a new point of interest or even area that they have not been to before.
     
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  6. Mrs_Allykat

    Mrs_Allykat Failsauce Veteran

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    Another method that can be used is getting rid of levelling and XP altogether. Every new "power" is an acquired thing, and the resulting game could be handled like they were in the classic adventure game styles. (f.ex. "Space Quest," "It Came from the Desert," or "The Secret of Monkey Island.") The trick then would be balancing the game, and making sure that any new abilities are handed out in a way that the player will "feel" a progression.
     
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  7. Rhaeami

    Rhaeami The Sleepy-Eyed One Veteran

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    The Persona games put a lot of emphasis on powering up by talking to people - lorewise, your "social links" are a source of power. Though they don't go all in, as it only determines max power and you still have to grind to take advantage of it.

    Quest 64 measured your spell power by how many elemental spirits you collect, which are scattered throughout the world like a scavenger hunt. They also didn't go all in, as you also get stat boosts from fighting.

    Countless modern RPGs and MMORPGs award more exp for doing quests and such than for fighting monsters. The quests don't necessarily involve combat.

    Shadow of the Colossus was an action/puzzle game consisting of exactly 16 boss fights and no other combat. Leveling up your HP and Stamina was done by finding collectibles, and was the main motivation to explore between bosses.

    Maybe those give you some ideas. :kaohi:
     
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  8. bgillisp

    bgillisp Global Moderators Global Mod

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    @Andar : Not 100% true, as many games now the EXP curve is set up so that a random fight might give you 1 EXP but you need 40,000 EXP to level up. So sure, you could fight 40,000 more battles to level up, but most won't bother at that point.

    That's how many 80's/90's games I played handled it, the EXP curve requirements went up so sharply that you didn't want to stick around and grind even though you could. Could you imagine trying to grind to say level 99 in Final Fantasy 7 before you even leave the opening city? That would take forever.
     
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  9. TheoAllen

    TheoAllen Self-proclaimed jack of all trades Veteran

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    First question first, why do you need exp at all? Where it will be used? If your game isn't a battle heavy game, why bother to level up? Can you just use a static progression for the battle? Like, the battle is just part of an obstacle/puzzle.
     
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  10. Diarist

    Diarist Small and bitter. Veteran

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    Would very much like that, but I'm not aware of how to remove the level indicators or "Party earned X exp!" at the end of what fights there would be anyway. Otherwise yeah this could be an option outright. Though I do wonder if the alternatives would be more interesting.
     
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  11. TheoAllen

    TheoAllen Self-proclaimed jack of all trades Veteran

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    Easy, post this question in the support forum, you get the answer ;)
     
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  12. Shaz

    Shaz Veteran Veteran

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    If you only have a few boss battles, consider making them strategic (using particular skills/combos) rather than grunt, and you can do away with levels and EXP altogether. HP and MP might still be useful. Getting rid of unwanted bars is easy, and not something you need to worry about right now. The more important decision is whether you want to do this and what you're going to do instead if you remove them.

    Alternate forms of getting gold are finding it (chests, barrels, etc), stealing it from houses or NPCs (pickpocket skill if it suits your characters), gathering/selling, crafting/selling, doing quests for gold, have a "job" board (mini-quests), have a bank where you can leave your gold and earn interest, have a house that you can rent out, have a farm or market garden where you can grow stuff and sell (or grow stuff and make other stuff and sell).

    Lots of other things to do, I'm sure.
     
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  13. Onism

    Onism Probably napping. Veteran

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    This is a lovely idea, I always thought it odd that bats would be carrying out gold coins, after all.. I might take this and try implementing it. I hope you don't mind me stealing it :D

    The only thing I'd be wary of for you is with your boss battles. While people who game often will be experienced and know more of what to do- you can't just throw a player in a game with no battles, only to eventually come across a difficult boss battle?

    Also, Experience gain is not shown if no experience is gained. The only messege you will see at the end of battle is the "(Player) is victorious!" which you should be able to change too, if you like.

    Also also, this post has a plugin that seems to remove all EXP and Levels- it may be of use to you. This thread also contains a plugin to not show the levels on the character pages, including if you're using Yanfly's menu plugin. And if either of those don't work, this user seems to have found a way to do it, providing you're using Yanfly's Core. And finally, if you're not using anything like that, this thread has instructions on how to remove the level indicator on all pages.
     
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  14. Diarist

    Diarist Small and bitter. Veteran

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    Unfortunately I'm planning to use VXAce, not MV. So this plugin won't be an option I'm afraid. Though I will look into the other 2 links, thank you.

    That said, yeah. Getting the fights right is gonna be a challenge. I don't want overleveling to be possible, but at the same time I want them to be very much possible even without finding extraneous stuff.

    I'm thinking of making EXP come from finding items like files, and character interactions. Same with money. Maybe NPC interactions can either result in gaining some exp or gaining some money depending on how you talk to them.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2019
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  15. Onism

    Onism Probably napping. Veteran

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    @Diarist Oh oops, I thought I'd checked that all four links were MV, which one wasn't?

    Items and interactions are a nice way to go, similarly if you're already planning on doing quests- that could make sense to give experience. I think in my current project I'm making the only way to 'earn' money is to sell items to shops or travelling merchants, or do the royal quests.
     
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  16. Mrs_Allykat

    Mrs_Allykat Failsauce Veteran

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    In one of my projects, I have the monsters giving XP but no coin at all. Currency is acquired through a simplistic crafting system instead. There are several variants of this sort of methodology, as there are quite a few makers, and AAA devs too, that think a bat isn't going to directly drop gold pieces or whatnot.

    Anyway... An example in the "cafe" game I'm working on, the player has to harvest honey to make a cafe menu item that sells during the players' sleep cycle. The player will need other ingredients too, but the honey is the limiting ingredient. To get the honey, they have to rustle a flower bush that stirs up the "bees" (monsters). This means the player a) has to find the harvest node, b) fight the defending monsters, c) craft the item, and finally d) sleep. Since there are other items that can be made, it doesn't hamper the player as much as it would seem; however, it's enough break the kill mobs make gold coin cycle.

    The crafting thing has the potential to bore a player to tears, so any system like that will need some kind of intermittent reward (achievements, titles, a random super-item, etc) to maintain their interest.
     
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  17. Kes

    Kes Global Moderators Global Mod

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    @Onism Please remember that this section of the forum is not about implementation, so please leave to one side possible plugins/scripts. That discussion belongs elsewhere.
    Thanks.
     
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