RMVXA Help Coming up with Tiered Skill Names

Discussion in 'Game Ideas and Prototypes' started by Vis_Mage, Jun 28, 2019.

  1. Vis_Mage

    Vis_Mage Novice Magician Veteran

    Messages:
    402
    Likes Received:
    142
    Location:
    Ridge Island
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    RMVXA
    Call me old fashioned, but I love the old school RPG styled tired spells. Stuff like Final Fantasy's Thunder-Thundra-Thundaga, or Dragon Quests Woosh-Wooshle-KaWoosh-Kawooshle. It has a certain charm to it, and makes it easy to tell how powerful a spell is at a glance. I know it's kind of a divided opinion whether this type of skill names are liked or not, but it's really nostalgic to me.

    So, I've been trying to come up with a good sounding set of prefixes/suffixes for my own JRPG, but have been stumped on this for longer than I care to admit. :kaoback:

    I currently am working with Flare-Flaremore-Flaremire, with either RaFlare or OmniFlare as a multi-target version of the spell, but it just doesn't feel right.

    I'd really appreciate any brainstorming help here. Thank you! :kaothx:
     
    #1
  2. ShadowDragon

    ShadowDragon Veteran Veteran

    Messages:
    972
    Likes Received:
    306
    Location:
    Netherlands
    First Language:
    Dutch
    Primarily Uses:
    RMMV
    FlareOut -> Flarecano -> FlareBuster?
     
    #2
  3. NinjaKittyProductions

    NinjaKittyProductions Professional Murder Hobos Veteran

    Messages:
    359
    Likes Received:
    303
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    RMMV
    You could go with a template-like approach, such as a prefix of Ri- for stronger single target spells and Mu- for multiple target spells. Take Flare for instance.
    Flare
    Ri-Flare or Flare-Ri
    Mu-Flare or Flare-Mu

    or you could do something alone the lines of evolved spells: Flare -> Blaze -> Eruption
     
    #3
  4. ShadowDragon

    ShadowDragon Veteran Veteran

    Messages:
    972
    Likes Received:
    306
    Location:
    Netherlands
    First Language:
    Dutch
    Primarily Uses:
    RMMV
    Like above which is similair to Golden Sun Series :)
     
    #4
  5. onipunk

    onipunk Archmage of Procrastination Veteran

    Messages:
    246
    Likes Received:
    156
    Location:
    Glasgow, Scotland
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    RMVXA
    For one of my projects, inspired by Dragon Quest, I'm kind of splitting the difference between DQ and the above-mentioned Golden Sun style. Generally for each spell I choose a theme, base word or sound and build off of it. Having a very tongue-in cheek feel like the DQ series helps me with this approach so it might not work for more serious titles but going for stuff that makes me smile has helped. Like, for fire I've got Boom, Kaboom and Badaboom, for light I have Dazzle, Bedazzle, and Razzledazzle, for healing I've got Bliss, Bliss You and Bliss Your Heart, and so on. I personally think it reads pretty well in terms of knowing what level each spell is in its own line, and like I said, it makes me smile. So maybe something like that? I actually really like the Flare, Flaremore, Flaremire example (although you could do Flare, Flaremore, Flaremost - I have an enemy in the aforementioned game based on the Morrigan of Irish mythology with that name structure [Morrigan, Moreigan, Mostigan]) but overall I think your approach works pretty well! It'll work for nearly any elemental word you can slot into it so as a template, I think it does exactly what you're looking for.
     
    #5
    Wavelength likes this.
  6. mathmaster74

    mathmaster74 just...John Veteran

    Messages:
    285
    Likes Received:
    190
    Location:
    Sheboygan, WI USA
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    RMMV
    Flame, Flambe, Flare, Fricassee (Burn, Brand, Broil, Brulee) :biggrin:
     
    #6
  7. ave36

    ave36 Veteran Veteran

    Messages:
    90
    Likes Received:
    34
    First Language:
    Russian
    Primarily Uses:
    RMMV
    I use the prefixes Re- and Mort- for my attack spells, and Re- and Ex- for my healing spells. There are no separate spells for all-hitting attacks, I use a scope switching script so any spell can be made all-hitting.

    Examples:
    Fire: Flagra, Reflagra, Mortflagra
    Gravity: Gravia, Regravia, Mortgravia
    Healing: Elixi, Reelixi, Exelixi
     
    #7
  8. Wavelength

    Wavelength Pre-Merge Boot Moderator

    Messages:
    4,518
    Likes Received:
    3,769
    Location:
    Florida, USA
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    RMVXA
    I personally dislike "template"-style names because they are not evocative (and tend to encourage very similar, uncreative spell effects), but since you said you like them, this isn't my place to rant about why individualized names are better.

    What I will recommend is that you choose prefixes/suffixes that give a sufficient "feel" as to what the spell is doing. Final Fantasy's Fire - Fira - Firaga structure works partially because each name sounds like it's getting bigger (especially at Level 3, where an entire syllable was added, but even at level 2 where a voiced vowel sound was added at the end of "Fire" where the e was silent).

    Appending words that actually mean something to the spell's base name can definitely help get the point across - for example I like your "Flaremore" (stronger Flare) and "Omniflare" (multi-target Flare, which you could also call "Everyflare" or even "Flarea" if you wanted to get cute) - but as you noticed, it can sound a bit jarring trying to create these compound words, especially if you're using both a prefix for scope and a suffix for power ("Omniflaremore"? Ew.)

    Taking that to something like the "Woosh" line - even if I were able to infer that's a wind damage spell, I would have no idea whether Wooshle or KaWoosh were its higher-damage upgrade. The name change tells me absolutely nothing except that it's not the same spell. That's why I feel that Omniflare is a better name, for example, than Raflare.

    Some professional games do indeed make up random syllables to represent scope or power, but I find these systems to be incredibly confusing. When I learned that "Dia" was a healing spell in the Persona series (which I wouldn't have ever been able to guess without reading its entire description), I figured, OK, that's one healing spell that I possess, and maybe it makes some weird modicum of sense because it's the Arabic word for 'blood money'. Then later I learned a spell called "Media", and I could only read it as the word media - perhaps a communication or telepathy spell. It never even occurred to me that this was actually the prefix "Me" plus the base spell "Dia". Again, I needed to read and remember its effect to know that it was a party heal. I also put the game down for a couple months at a time due to not being able to beat a certain boss, and each time I came back, I had to re-learn the names and effects of spells because there was nothing I could just intuit after forgetting them.

    The risk of players not seeing the word stem hidden in your spell name (like how I missed Dia in Media) is very real. Look no further to how people will pronounce a word the first time they use it after they've seen it in writing (especially in a flexible language like English), and it becomes very clear how the mind can fixate on an unintended combination of letters. Taking a few examples from @ave36's suggestions above, a player might think:
    • Flagra: "Maybe it's a physical Flaying skill?"
    • Reflagra: "A Flagra skill that repeats twice?"
    • Mortflagra: "Sounds like a Death/Doom spell"
    • Regravia: "Some kind of power healing or regen spell?"
    • Exelixi: "Probably an instant death or execution skill"
    The names may sound cool when you say them, but a player might say them in their head very differently, and it might not sound as cool, but more importantly it will be confusing to them until they spend a lot of consecutive time with your game.
     
    #8
  9. ave36

    ave36 Veteran Veteran

    Messages:
    90
    Likes Received:
    34
    First Language:
    Russian
    Primarily Uses:
    RMMV
    Anybody who heard the words "conflagration", "gravity" or "elixir" will not make such stupid mistakes. All this sounds contrived as hell.
     
    #9
  10. onipunk

    onipunk Archmage of Procrastination Veteran

    Messages:
    246
    Likes Received:
    156
    Location:
    Glasgow, Scotland
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    RMVXA
    I'm not gonna lie, when I read Gravia I totally read it as sounding like gravy and not gravity. The -avia sound just reminds me of the word avian, therefore you get gravy-a.
     
    #10
  11. ave36

    ave36 Veteran Veteran

    Messages:
    90
    Likes Received:
    34
    First Language:
    Russian
    Primarily Uses:
    RMMV
    My native language is not English. In it, gravy is not a word, while gravity is, it is international.

    BTW, the word for dried apricots in my language is "curaga". Various attempts to translate the name of the Curaga spell only made it worse. "Lechenga": lol, "pechen'ka" (cookie). "Lechilagas": lol, Legolas?
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2019
    #11
  12. Wavelength

    Wavelength Pre-Merge Boot Moderator

    Messages:
    4,518
    Likes Received:
    3,769
    Location:
    Florida, USA
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    RMVXA
    Those are not stupid mistakes. The only stupid mistake is the one you're making - which is assuming your player will understand obscure information the exact same way that the designer intended it.

    Very few people will associate "Mortflagra" to "Conflagration". More people will associate it to "Mortality" and assume it's a Death (perhaps instant KO or Doom-type) spell. "Regravia" might conjure up "Regrowth" or "Grave" (since the first "a" would be long by standard English rules) but few would get "Gravity" out of it. No one except you will see "Elixir" (ee-LIKS-urr) in "Exelixi" (ECK-sel-lik-see).

    I am not trying to pick on your naming system nor am I saying it is bad. It was simply the clearest example in the thread of a naming convention where the function of many spells is obscured by the name. That's always a risk with the prefix/suffix naming systems unless you're super-careful to pick well-known prefixes and suffixes and keep the base word's "emphasis syllables" unchanged.
     
    #12
  13. ave36

    ave36 Veteran Veteran

    Messages:
    90
    Likes Received:
    34
    First Language:
    Russian
    Primarily Uses:
    RMMV
    I repeat: in my language, the system totally works. There are no words "grave" or "gravy" or "flaying" in it (they sound like "mogila", "podliva" and "obdirat'" respectively, and not similar to "flagra" or "gravia"), and the default pronunciation of Exelixi is eck-sel-EEK-see. As for the English translation of the game, well, that's not my problem, that's the problem of the guy who will be doing it. I am totally OK with him renaming my spells.

    As for Mortflagra, this spell is first seen in the middle of the game when the player already knows what Flagra and Reflagra are. When the player first acquires the battle mage of the game, they see only Flagra. After using Flagra a ton of times, they get what it is, and then they see Reflagra. They get that it is something like "Flagra Again" except bigger. After using Reflagra a ton of times, they get Mortflagra. By that time, the word "Flagra" is already imprinted on their cortex, and it is obvious that Mortflagra is another kind of Flagra, except... well, deadlier than usual.

    It's the same with Elixi. When they first get the paladin of the game, they only see the standard Elixi. It is obviously that Elixi = elixir = works like a potion, and that's exactly what it does. Then they start meeting Reelixi, and understand that it's Elixi again except better. Then Exelixi, and by that time they know the drill and understand that it's another kind of Elixi.

    So the mistakes are yours, and you made two:
    1) Assuming that everyone is making games in English because it's the default world language, and its rules apply to every other language;
    2) Assuming that I shove all of my spells on the player at once, rather than introduce the player to them gradually.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2019
    #13
  14. Wavelength

    Wavelength Pre-Merge Boot Moderator

    Messages:
    4,518
    Likes Received:
    3,769
    Location:
    Florida, USA
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    RMVXA
    Actually, sir, I made neither of these mistakes.

    I play two Belarusian games with large Russian communities, so I've been around the language quite a bit - enough to know that many words with different meanings can have similar roots. I don't know what Russian words will have similar syllables to the Cyrillic equivalent to "Regravia" or "Exelixi", but I feel very confident in assuming that there are several, if not dozens.

    And I never assumed that you throw all the spells on your player at once (after all, why would you do that?). I get that seeing Flagra will allow some players to see "Reflagra" or "Mortflagra" and understand the similarity. Others won't, though. Particularly in the case of "Mortelixi", even a player who understands the progression may think that the "Mort" is an upgrade to the fire spell that has a chance to inflict Death, or similar.

    The problem is that it's both incorrect and arrogant to think that every player will pronounce made-up words in their head the same way that you, the designer, pronounce them. And if they're latching onto different combinations of letters than you do (e.g. GRAV vs. REG in "Regravia"), they're probably going to get a very different idea about what the skill does.
     
    #14
  15. ave36

    ave36 Veteran Veteran

    Messages:
    90
    Likes Received:
    34
    First Language:
    Russian
    Primarily Uses:
    RMMV
    This is false confidence. Also, there is no such thing as Mortelixi. Also, I am not a sir but a madam. Summarizing these three points and your previous arguments, I can conclude that you assume too much. This is a problem.

    It is not my arrogance. This is the rules of the language. You cannot say REG-ravi-a in Russian, it does not sound like a word. reg-ravi-A sounds a bit better but still unnatural. reg-RAV-ia is the natural way to say it according to the rules of the language. The only real way you can mispronounce it is reg-rav-EE-a, and it does not sound like something unrelated at all. So they can call it reg-rav-EE-a to their heart's content. The other names are exactly the same as Regravia; there are no dangerous mispronunciations, though there may be safe, permissible ones.

    BTW, please stop teaching me my own language, especially if all you know about it is cyka blyat comments from online games players. Just believe that it works and stop biting me.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2019
    #15
  16. Wavelength

    Wavelength Pre-Merge Boot Moderator

    Messages:
    4,518
    Likes Received:
    3,769
    Location:
    Florida, USA
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    RMVXA
    @ave36 It's a shame that you are so quick to assume bad faith and act defensively when I made it very clear upfront that I am not "biting you".

    You are now asserting that none of your players could possibly latch onto combinations of written letters in made-up words that are different than what you, the designer, intend them to latch onto. It's become apparent that you're not ready to accept the weaknesses in your system, and that's okay. I don't see the need to argue with you any further. Feel free to take any parting shots you'd like to; I won't respond.

    I just hope that everyone else reading the thread will understand the possible pitfalls in that naming convention, and will avoid making the same mistake that you're making,
     
    #16
  17. ave36

    ave36 Veteran Veteran

    Messages:
    90
    Likes Received:
    34
    First Language:
    Russian
    Primarily Uses:
    RMMV

    And you are asserting that if they latch into a combination of written letters, it is doomsday and the game is bad. What's so bad about it? When I started playing SMT, I thought Bufu was a toad status spell, because bufo is Latin for toad. Then I saw enemies cast Bufu on me and realized that it's an ice spell. The world did not end that day, and I did not ragequit SMT screaming "What a bad, bad, bad game! I thought it means toad!"

    If there are people prone to such behaviour, they are statistically insignificant and not a target audience for Legend of Terra Firma anyways. If they fail to notice the fire icon and fire animation, and think Flagra is a spell for sticking a flag even after they see it in action, they are mentally retarded and I never wanted them to play LoTF.
     
    #17
  18. onipunk

    onipunk Archmage of Procrastination Veteran

    Messages:
    246
    Likes Received:
    156
    Location:
    Glasgow, Scotland
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    RMVXA
    Wow, hard slur against disabled people there. Absolutely no need for that and I hope you consider doing and being better in future.
     
    #18
    Wavelength likes this.
  19. Kes

    Kes Global Moderators Global Mod

    Messages:
    21,071
    Likes Received:
    10,705
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    RMVXA
    @ave36

    Under no circumstances do we tolerate the use of terms like the one you used in your post. Do not repeat that sort of language.

     
    #19
    FirestormNeos and Wavelength like this.
  20. bgillisp

    bgillisp Global Moderators Global Mod

    Messages:
    12,409
    Likes Received:
    12,642
    Location:
    USA
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    RMVXA
    @Wavelength : While I have to admit the Persona system of spells causes some confusion...the details on what every spell does is in the description of the spell (and every game I played I could access that description in battle too). All I had to do was read the description and see what the spell I was about to do did, and that avoided all confusion.

    Sure, it slowed down the game, but eventually you learned that Ma or Me as a prefix made all spells area affect, and La or Lo at the end meant it was more powerful, and dyne at the end made it a super powerful system. Once you figured that out you didn't have to read the description every time and did just fine.

    Now if we want to split hairs on misunderstanding spell names, where I come from Flare is an item we use to signal we need help. So should Square not use a spell named Flare in Final Fantasy because everyone in the USA might assume it is a signal flare to summon help? Every word out there can probably be misunderstood, and there is no way around it. There's probably a language out there that Fire/Ice/Water/Earth/Wind means something different than what we think it does even.
     
    #20

Share This Page