How can I create an RPG game that's not Undertale?

gmestanley

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So, I'm currently working on my game, and while I was wandering through the Internet, I thought: "How can I create a non-Undertale RPG?"


Actually, what I'm saying is that how could I create a game nowadays so that people wouldn't pass by and say "bah its not undertale so its not good"


Let me explain this.


Before Undertale, the RPG-genre games (except for the horror ones) were all the same: "A game where you kill monsters, so you can gain experience and increase your level, along with a good story." And that's great.


Because the genre had one main definition, if you have experience, you could create an RPG game, upload it to the Internet (Steam, the RPG Maker Forums, etc.) and then people would actually analyze the game and say if it's good or bad, and everyone would be happy.


But after Undertale's release, you can't create an RPG game that's not inspired on Undertale anymore, because there will be people that'll come and say: "Oh it's just a generic RPG, it's not like Undertale which is very well done", because Undertale introduced the feature of not needing to hurt enemies at all. Although, at the same time, if you create a game that's heavily inspired on Undertale, the critics will come and say: "Oh my, this game is too much inspired on Undertale, so it does not counts as an RPG game", because Undertale has made quite a fame for it, and it does not count as just "Another RPG game".


So basically, if you create a game that's not inspired on Undertale, it'll suck. If it has inspiration on Undertale, it'll suck too. Well, we're stuck on the same dilemma.


I hope you guys understand my point.
 

Leon Kennedy

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Well if you put it that way you could also make a game that has some different features than your standard rpg game. Then use a different battle system than undertale so you are basically taking a page outta their book and also adding your own.


I don't think people will automatically find every traditional rpg game bad because of undertale though, different genres will just make the game feel different overall now say if you make an attempt at a undertale like game than yes people will definitely make the comparison.
 
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supercow

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easy , ignore it and make your own game with your own style while having fun , if you too focus on other games you will lose sight on the importance of your game ( what exactly do you want to make game for ? ).


dont be discouraged with other games , make your own and pour your time and effort and soon it will be your "own" , people will always find connection between game A and B id say ignore it :|


i dont even know or care what undertale is , not everyone does .
 

gmestanley

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thank you guys for your positive and awesome responses!  :p

Well if you put it that way you could also make a game that has some different features than your standard rpg game. Then use a different battle system than undertale so you are basically taking a page outta their book and also adding your own.


I don't think people will automatically find every traditional rpg game bad because of undertale though, different genres will just make the game feel different overall now say if you make an attempt at a undertale like game than yes people will definitely make the comparison.


I agree. I think that if I put just some things that look like Undertale on my game, then there won`t be any comparison. I`m also planning on a different battle system than the default one and the Undertale one, a battle system that would be different but not too much complex.

easy , ignore it and make your own game with your own style while having fun , if you too focus on other games you will lose sight on the importance of your game ( what exactly do you want to make game for ? ).


dont be discouraged with other games , make your own and pour your time and effort and soon it will be your "own" , people will always find connection between game A and B id say ignore it :|


i dont even know or care what undertale is , not everyone does .


Oh okay then, so the key to the success is to not be discouraged with other games that are better than yours, make time, focus and effort so soon my game will be considered my "own" game, right?


That's because I want to create a game that would be a great success in indie game industry, just like Undertale was.


I'm actually trying to get inspiration on some games though. I was first inspired on FF6, but then I gave a try to Earthbound, loved it and now I'm making my game inspired on it too. I wonder what game will be my next victim.
 
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TheRoflcer

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You wouldn't entirely be able to attract the people that have that direct mindset, but you can ease in the concept while making your own project.


A lot of games generally have there own 'identity', not to be confused with namesake or genre. Even retro-style games like Shovel Knight and Undertale tried creating a general atmosphere to go along with the selling point to differentiate themselves from all other retro-style developers in the business.


Using Undertale as the main reference here, on top of the fact that you can play the game pacifictly or commit genocide, the advertisement gave off a 'quirky' tone with the characters it showed off.


Another great example is Dreaming Mary. Despite it having a mostly cute art-style and character, the advertisment I saw for that game made it evident it was going to do a U-turn and sure enough, it wen't into horror territory.


However you can, even if its only in text that you can promote it this way. Try to get through both the style of gameplay and the atmosphere you want to bring out of it.


When I created my Fantasy Rpg, I wanted to create something familiar in style but unique in concept, and I presented it that way on Steam with screenshots. All screenshots were various in setting, and three of them subtle expressed consequence that happen in game.


And that's assuming your project doesn't have unique ideas and you're making a game to appeal to an audience that wants more of what you're making. If you do have something you feel is unique, or done before but done better here, broadcast that as best as you can.
 

Isaac The Red

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I dont like undertale, so by not being undertale i already like your game more.
This, not everyone is riding that undertail bandwagon. I myself could care less of it's existence. And if you'll allow me to blaspheme for a moment. I also don't care about the Mother series. [Earthbound for those unaware.]


You don't need to follow the trends to make a popular game. You also don't need to make a 'popular' game. Just make a game. Your asking this because you've never made a complete RPG, full of story and all that. But thats where the game is, in RPGs we play them for the story, and the role within that story that we play. Make that engaging and interesting and even with the default MV engine, someone could play through it and say. "The game was good." even if they also think. "A bit generic, but great story."


If it wasn't for it's story, the original Final Fantasy wouldn't have saved a company from bankruptcy, and wouldn't have continued to make successful games using the same game play formula. And all the way from 1 to 9 the general formula of game play had stayed the same, yet each game has people behind it saying "Amazing" and "I love it"


The big thing however is that, with RPG maker, our games are not judged on their own merit, they are judged as RPGMaker games, so to get your RPGMaker game out there and liked is not an easy task. So you have to work so much harder on creating a story that's engaging, entertaining, and keeps the player interested. The bar is set higher for us. So we have to work harder.


Don't get discouraged though, make the game you can make, and share it with your friends, inside and outside of the RPGMaker community, Your friends here in the community will be able to help you make the most out of the engine, while all of those you share it with will give you feedback on the story and help you get better on both sides. Even with default Graphics and sounds, it's still possible to make a great story, and share that game.
 

Rikifive

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I've never experienced that issue, but judging RPG's basing on 'Undertale' is hilariously stupid. I mean, that would be okay if I'd be making an Undertale fangame, but besides that, why should I care how good or bad Undertale was? If anybody would rant on my game only because 'Undertale' was better, then I'd just reply 'I didn't even play that, but k, thx'. But still, if that person would explain WHY exactly my game is bad comparing to 'Undertale' using relevant arguments, then that would be a totally different (acceptable) story.


Don't let the fanbase 'eat' you ~ do what you want to do, not what others would like to see. Besides, giving critics like in your examples is on Kindergarten Level, so I believe, that Undertale fanboys are behind all of this...


Remember, that 'Undertale' is not the only source of troubles. It's always like this. That being said, I remember comments like 'FNAF was scarier'...  I'm not sure how about nowadays.


Listen to constructive feedback; ignore fanbase's words of flat wisdom. =3
 

Pierman Walter

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@gmestanley Interestingly, I have the exact opposite problem. People accuse my game of being too similar to Undertale, and that I was deliberately ripping it off, even though I had never heard of it before. I had an aquatic lady with a spear and got yelled at. I had a fat dog and got yelled at. I abbreviated item names in menus and got yelled at. I feel like no matter what you do, you will get yelled at either way, so you might as well keep doing what you are doing.
 

Kes

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So far this is not really a discussion about the principles of game making - it's more like a discussion in the General Lounge forum.  If it's going to stay like this I can move it.  However, anyone want to take it deeper/broader? Or maybe @gmestanley you have a sufficient answer already?
 

Sated

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I don't think your problem is an actual problem. Anyone who would assume that a generic RPG is inspired solely by Undertale is being silly, because they're ignoring the rich heritage that RPG games have had since the 80s. 
 

Alexander Amnell

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   This problem is kind of silly for one simple reason: Undertale wasn't even the first rpg that allowed you to play as a pacifist. Fallout allows you to spec your character around negotiation and then get through the game without killing anyone if you have the patience for it (2+ all require at least some killing but the same can be said of 2 except for two forced kills out of a huge game). The Deus Ex series also allow you to get by enemies without killing them (human revolution even has an achievement called pacifist for being a pacifist throughout the entire game, though since you are still knocking people unconscious throughout the game admittedly it's a bit of a misnomer). But you see, where undertale got famous for being a game about not killing monsters, these much older games merely included similar functionality as an afterthought for player immersion, leaving the path to pacifism more obscure for players to discover of their own will and curiosity rather than have the game preach to them from the get go about non-violence in nonsensical situations.


   If you ask me the games mentioned above did it better, so the idea that all rpgs will now have to pass some kind of new standard set by undertale is laughable. If undertale didn't get flack for borrowing it's main mechanic from other games' afterthoughts why should yours get flack for continuing (or not continuing) to utilize that function? It's not worth worrying about, at all.
 

gmestanley

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;_;  (crying because of happiness)


thank you guys "sniff", I didn't expect all those answers "sniff".


I want to prove that even with a disrespected engine, you can still release a good game. And you guys? You proved to me that it is possible. I just need some time, effort and work.

So far this is not really a discussion about the principles of game making - it's more like a discussion in the General Lounge forum.  If it's going to stay like this I can move it.  However, anyone want to take it deeper/broader? Or maybe @gmestanley you have a sufficient answer already?
Based on my answer, you could already guess that it's sufficient to close this topic.


However, I want to go further on this discussion, since I have never been so happy in my life and I want this happiness to continue.


Well, it's not really a discussion about the principles of game making, but General Lounge would be a forum to talk about things that don't have anything to do with RPG Maker, right?


Anyway, put it where you think it's adequated, ksjp17. After all, you're the one with the moderating powers here.

I've never experienced that issue, but judging RPG's basing on 'Undertale' is hilariously stupid. I mean, that would be okay if I'd be making an Undertale fangame, but besides that, why should I care how good or bad Undertale was? If anybody would rant on my game only because 'Undertale' was better, then I'd just reply 'I didn't even play that, but k, thx'. But still, if that person would explain WHY exactly my game is bad comparing to 'Undertale' using relevant arguments, then that would be a totally different (acceptable) story.


Don't let the fanbase 'eat' you ~ do what you want to do, not what others would like to see. Besides, giving critics like in your examples is on Kindergarten Level, so I believe, that Undertale fanboys are behind all of this...


Remember, that 'Undertale' is not the only source of troubles. It's always like this. That being said, I remember comments like 'FNAF was scarier'...  I'm not sure how about nowadays.


Listen to constructive feedback; ignore fanbase's words of flat wisdom. =3
Wait a minute, your personal text says that you are the "Bringer of Happiness"...so does that means that you bringed happiness to me?


How could that be true? I HATE PONIES!


...jk XD.


Lol, giving critics on games that aren't like Undertale is on Kindergarten Level? Holy frick!  :guffaw:
 

Rikifive

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Why, yes! Not many manages to notice that, but that's true. =3


But why? D:


jk x3


Exactly! Imagine me saying:


"This game is boring, because it doesn't have ponies."


People would automatically think, that I'm a little kid with extreme obsession, that didn't even manage to pass the kindergarten.


My example is almost the same as the ones you gave ~ I just compared your game to ... you know what ~ Was that relevant? No. Was that silly? Absolutely! So do critics, that are basing on Undertale and everything else. Of course, if they would give meaningful arguments to explain their opinion then yes, that would make sense, but one-sentence-critics like "Oh it's just a generic RPG, it's not like Undertale which is very well done" are 'very clever'...


So... Would you be bothered by me saying, that your game is bad, due to lack of ponies? x3


You most likely would ignore me, so do the same there! ;)
 

atasuke10

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Comparison is the death of motivation :p do your own thing according to your expectations and your standards, out of both will improve with experience and you'll improve :D  

edit: Just noticed i typed this while listening to undertale ost, sorry for my hypocrisy XDD
 
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RHachicho

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Worrying over how your game compares to others will only hurt it. And divergent games like undertale only really work if there is a genre behind it to compare it to. Ask yourself if Undertale's gameplay would really hold up if it wasn't such a short experience? The answer is it wouldn't eventually the monsters attack patterns would get boring. And the lack of any feeling of progression would wear thin. People love to lionize undertale. But what made the game great where it's story and structure. The gameplay was super bad. Only masked over a bit by a rather innovative combat system. That in an ingenious move further served as a storytelling device.


Also personally I do find Undertale's morality a touch self righteous at times. There's all this focus on pacifism. But pacifism in the face of evil is just surrender. Sometimes it really is kill or be killed. And there's nothing evil about defending yourself and the safety of your family and way of life.


Of course that whole defend your family and way of life bit is often used by governments to fool people into unjust wars but I'm talking principle here. If there's an intruder in my house and my family are sleeping there you can be damn sure what I'm NOT going to do is offer him a "cup of tea". Unless cup of tea is some new metaphor for a 2 by 4 to the back of the head.
 

Frozen_Phoenix

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"How can I create an RPG game that's not Undertale?"

Creating a rpg that's not Undertale!


Just make whatever you feel like making... If at least one person (not you, of course) likes your work, it's good enough unless you're selling it.


Also don't go the route of just copying successful games' formula, that's the reason mmorpgs are utter trash now: it's the same wow garbage over and over. Try to make something unique that comes from yourself.
 

gmestanley

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Worrying over how your game compares to others will only hurt it. And divergent games like undertale only really work if there is a genre behind it to compare it to. Ask yourself if Undertale's gameplay would really hold up if it wasn't such a short experience? The answer is it wouldn't eventually the monsters attack patterns would get boring. And the lack of any feeling of progression would wear thin. People love to lionize undertale. But what made the game great where it's story and structure. The gameplay was super bad. Only masked over a bit by a rather innovative combat system. That in an ingenious move further served as a storytelling device.


Also personally I do find Undertale's morality a touch self righteous at times. There's all this focus on pacifism. But pacifism in the face of evil is just surrender. Sometimes it really is kill or be killed. And there's nothing evil about defending yourself and the safety of your family and way of life.


Of course that whole defend your family and way of life bit is often used by governments to fool people into unjust wars but I'm talking principle here. If there's an intruder in my house and my family are sleeping there you can be damn sure what I'm NOT going to do is offer him a "cup of tea". Unless cup of tea is some new metaphor for a 2 by 4 to the back of the head.
...oh yeah, I forgot this too!


Undertale forces a bit too much the "pacifism" concept and even push it to where you must act as a pacifist when you are facing the ultimate evil (except for the Neutral final bosses). And I totally agree with you too, if I encountered an intruder on my house, what would I do?...well I'm not having any ideas right now but, for sure, I WOULDN'T offer him a "cup of tea".

"How can I create an RPG game that's not Undertale?"

Creating a rpg that's not Undertale!


Just make whatever you feel like making... If at least one person (not you, of course) likes your work, it's good enough unless you're selling it.


Also don't go the route of just copying successful games' formula, that's the reason mmorpgs are utter trash now: it's the same wow garbage over and over. Try to make something unique that comes from yourself.
"unless you're selling it" well, that's my case. I want to sell my game to help myself & my family.


And...wait a minute, all the mmos are now the same formula based on WoW? Holy cow, I didn't expect for the MMORPG's being in THIS critical state. Sorry, I don't play MMOs (thankfully).
 

Kes

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Moving to General Lounge.
 

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