How do you approach Game Progression?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Kupotepo, Mar 16, 2019.

  1. Kupotepo

    Kupotepo Fantasy realist Veteran

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    According to Gamasutra website, progression is the path from beginning to end the player takes.
    Today I would like to discuss progression blockade. I thought the possible ways of progression blockade requirement into levels of characters, how much quests did a player accomplish? or have certain items.

    Or you just let a player walk about everywhere at the beginning. I might frame the question in a confusing way. Please tell me.:kaosalute:

    For example, some game requires a player to do or die. Another game lets a player move forward despite unfulfilled prerequisite.

    Another question: when your player wants to go to another town/city/village/Someplace, do you allow them to move freely or you build a wall/a fence/a cave to black them?
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2019
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  2. TheoAllen

    TheoAllen Self-proclaimed jack of all trades Veteran

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  3. Milennin

    Milennin "With a bang and a boom!" Veteran

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    My first game was pretty open, letting the player go wherever they wanted and complete the game in the order they felt like doing. But there were no battles, so it worked out for that game.
    Every other game I've made so far has been pretty linear in progression, with a set path to start to finish. Though, I like to design my areas to allow for exploration and have multiple pathways to the end of each area, with some of those resulting in different events happening and things to find along the way, so it feels like there's still choice in where you want to go.

    As for roadblocks, yeah, I use them if they're absolutely needed. But most of my areas are more the kind you travel through once and don't really come back to, so roadblocks are rarely required.
     
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  4. Wavelength

    Wavelength Pre-Merge Boot Veteran

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    Most JRPGs simply gate freedom throughout the game by how far through the series of main objectives the player has gotten. For a JRPG, this makes a lot of sense, as it's not only that you can't do Activity C or go to Location C until you complete Objective B, it's that you don't even know that you want to do that (or go there) yet. The player simply plays through the story, and it makes sense that they do one thing after another.

    In many games, sometimes the player is allowed to see that they "should be" allowed to do that or go there, and there's some blatant roadblock in their way, and that creates the kind of situation described in the thread that Theo linked.

    I find gating through "main objectives" a better way to gate progression in JRPGs (and many other genres) than through levels, items, or quests complete.

    Some games do the inverse and gate the main objectives through levels, quests, etc. For example, a game won't allow you to take the next "story quest" until your party is Level 50 or whatever. I suppose this can work for certain types of MMO, mobile game, etc., but for a more immersive genre like RPGs, I don't think it's a good technique.
     
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  5. MushroomCake28

    MushroomCake28 KAMO Studio Veteran

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    Well for starters, there are 3 aspect of progression:

    1. Story progression
    This is how the story progresses, the coherence, climax, etc. In other words, how does the story brings the player to the next part of the game. This can be done quite differently depending on the game, and there is no good answer.

    2. Open-World / Linear
    To what point do you allow the player to do what he wants? You can choose to make the game very open, meaning the player can do mini-quests and explore all areas instead of continuing the main quest, or you can make the game very linear, meaning forcing the player into the main quest and limiting the explorable areas. Of course, you don't have to stick to one: you can make some part more open-world and some other parts (maybe where the story is more intense and is near the climax) more linear.

    3. Difficulty progression
    This is the difficulty progression throughout the story, taking into consideration the player level, skills, items, equips, etc. You can make it so if the player just plays the story, he'll be fine, but you can make the progression curve harder and expect the player to do side-quests between main quests to gain levels and equips.
     
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  6. Kupotepo

    Kupotepo Fantasy realist Veteran

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    @TheoAllen, thank you for the link.
    NPC: You shall not pass.
    Player: Why is not?
    NPC: ..............

    Thank you @MushroomCake28, @Milennin, @Wavelength

    That is a great idea. It is easier to maintain a game's area too.

    That is the reason for the linear procession.

    I agree with you that require a story to executed itself, no rush.

    The most concern of that approach is that I fear that players wonder to a powerful boss and die.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2019
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  7. MushroomCake28

    MushroomCake28 KAMO Studio Veteran

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    @Kupotepo
    Well that's the thing with open world: the player go and do whatever he wants, even encounter a boss that is too strong for his current level. To accommodate that, you can for example use a quest system and list the recommended level for quests.
     
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  8. Diarist

    Diarist Small and bitter. Veteran

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    My first game was very linear. While there was an overworld at times, there weren't any side quests or anything fancy. I made sure every boss fight was doable without grinding enemies as well (save for one instance which I'll bring up). NPCs quite literally did nothing but throw out terrible one liners about being busy or about events.

    In the final chapter there were optional bosses you could fight for the best possible equipment. Though honestly they weren't very 'optional' since unless you did a ton of grinding the final encounters weren't gonna go well for you.

    But other than that my first game railroaded the player pretty hard. To be honest this next project might do that a bit as well, though I've got a few ideas here and there to not make it so apparent (reward exploration and talking to people).
     
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  9. DJK1NG_Gaming

    DJK1NG_Gaming Villager Member

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    I like having the progression either halted by not having the Key Item to enter a Story Related area or just having the monsters in the area too strong. Or just having the story prevent you from going there or direct you from a different direction by force.
     
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