How do you feel about blank or empty interaction points?

kerbonklin

Hiatus King
Veteran
Joined
Jan 6, 2013
Messages
1,726
Reaction score
276
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
Golden Sun did this feature perfectly, there were only certain specific objects in maps that can ALL be checked throughout the game, which were pots, cube-crates, bookshelves, fireplaces, stoves, etc. (I think there was one more) Each searchable object type I mentioned had like 1 ~ 3 different search texts for non-items. (except stoves and bookshelves, they had multiple unique messages)
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Frostyfirefly

Seeker of the Weird
Veteran
Joined
Nov 6, 2013
Messages
629
Reaction score
90
First Language
Spanish
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
Golden Sun did this feature perfectly, there were only certain specific objects in maps that can ALL be checked throughout the game, which were pots, cube-crates, bookshelves, fireplaces, stoves, etc. (I think there was one more) Each searchable object type I mentioned had like 1 ~ 3 different search texts for non-items. (except stoves and bookshelves, they had multiple unique messages)
I've never played Golden Sun, I keep hearing good things about it, and this adds to the list.
 

amerk

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Mar 13, 2012
Messages
1,433
Reaction score
495
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
@ Amerk: Yes, there must be a way to set interactable things apart; I'll have to be careful on not giving too much away though, I like those "eureka" moments when you finally find the missing thing for a puzzle or something.
I recommend checking out Indrah's game 'In Search of Dragons'. The developer implemented a system I personally felt was well designed and still encouraged people to explore. That system basically was: When you got within the vicinity of a hidden item (be it in a bush, wall, tree, shelf, etc) a green arrow popped up right in front. Once you gained the item, the arrow goes away.

However, when you walk away from the area without getting the item, the arrow disappears until you come back.

It meant I didn't have to hunt every chest or drawer for the once-in-a-chance item until I saw the arrow, but I still had to walk around every possible angle of the map to see if an arrow popped up.

I'm not entirely sure of how this was done, but I think it's an easy enough thing to figure out with some practice, and might be worth imitating by others.
 

Kes

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Aug 3, 2012
Messages
22,510
Reaction score
12,013
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
I seem to be in a bit of a minority on this one.  I make it so that certain items (jars, crates, cupboards, that sort of thing) will often have an item, but by no means always.  I think, as Hain says, that good exploration should be rewarded.  I do not use sparkles, exclamation points, changes to the mouse cursor or any other of the myriad ways that exist to highlight items, because I think it ruins the whole point of having to look for things.  If something is important, or I think that the player may need that extra healing item, then it goes into a chest, and so becomes obvious in that way.

As for putting comments, I occasionally put one on something that doesn't have an item, but I keep it rare, because unless you are something of a writing genius, by the time you are up to your 500th blank item (and think about it, that's not an exaggeration by the time you include all the things you could interact with.  It will end up higher than that) you will have repeated yourself so often that it is both tedious to write and tedious to read.  I put comments on found items sometimes, but not always, or else use it as a way of having some interaction among members of the party.

So long story short: I don't mind having blank interactions.
 

amerk

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Mar 13, 2012
Messages
1,433
Reaction score
495
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
If you have it consistently and often enough, then it shouldn't be a problem. However, it's when you start adding items to the lone stray bush or log, or when one in every 50+ pots has an item, that hunting each one becomes less rewarding and more of a chore.

Basically, in a game where exploration and looting is the norm, an indicator may not be needed, since it's expected to find something in almost every village.

But in games where loot from a shelf or pot, etc., is not the norm, I don't think it should be expected that a person is going to spend an hour hunting every pot for that once in a lifetime item, and in those cases an indicator of some sort is the best way to go.
 

Frostyfirefly

Seeker of the Weird
Veteran
Joined
Nov 6, 2013
Messages
629
Reaction score
90
First Language
Spanish
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
@ Amerk: Indrah's system sounds really good for a specific type of game; it guides the player just enough without hand holding too much.

@ Ksjp17: Yes, I like that old school aspect of "screw you if you didn't look carefully enough". I guess it all comes down to how well you can handle the blank interactions: too many and oddly placed, it may ruin the pacing of the game.
 

cabfe

Cool Cat
Veteran
Joined
Jun 13, 2013
Messages
2,356
Reaction score
2,553
First Language
French
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
One thing to consider : if you allow the player to "break every crate and vase" to find items, chances are high that a lot of people will do it throughout the entire game.

And it also extends considerably the game length, even if it's fake.
 

Frostyfirefly

Seeker of the Weird
Veteran
Joined
Nov 6, 2013
Messages
629
Reaction score
90
First Language
Spanish
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
One thing to consider : if you allow the player to "break every crate and vase" to find items, chances are high that a lot of people will do it throughout the entire game.

And it also extends considerably the game length, even if it's fake.
That's true, been there; I'm not a fan of "fake" game length extension, for example, the character walks deliverately slow, need too much grinding to pass a certain part or boss, etc.
 

Andar

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Mar 5, 2013
Messages
34,763
Reaction score
8,971
First Language
German
Primarily Uses
RMMV
One thing to consider : if you allow the player to "break every crate and vase" to find items, chances are high that a lot of people will do it throughout the entire game.

And it also extends considerably the game length, even if it's fake.
That's true, been there; I'm not a fan of "fake" game length extension, for example, the character walks deliverately slow, need too much grinding to pass a certain part or boss, etc.
It always depends on what type of player you want to make the game for.

While I consider that slowing walking speed or requiring grinding to pass certain bosses is a bad methods to extend a game, I wouldn't consider exploration (if made good and consistent) a bad method for this.

Granted, collecting 500 gold from 1000 pots just to buy the weapon needed for the boss is a bad implementation, but with a good implementation, exploration becomes part of the gameplay and isn't a waste of time.
 

Kes

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Aug 3, 2012
Messages
22,510
Reaction score
12,013
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
@amerk

I think your points are very valid.  For me exploration is an integral part of an enjoyable game and, as Andar says, with good implementation, exploration isn't a waste of time.  You are, of course, quite right about being fair to the player when you say that if it's not the norm then some sort of indication if needed.  It is so infuriating that having got nothing from crates for the last several hours the one item you need to get past that boss up ahead is in a crate in a corner.  How is the player supposed to know that, based on all the experience they've had to date?!  But I think as long as you are consistent, then most players don't mind having to do a bit of hunting. 
 

Omnimental

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Apr 27, 2012
Messages
237
Reaction score
83
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
If exploration is a theme in the game, I wouldn't use any indicators.  You lose the thrill of discovery if it's pointed out to you.

If exploration isn't a focus, I'd use zones to have a sparkle appear on interactive objects when you get within a certain range.

Or go down the middle and have a HUD icon that appears when you're close to a hidden object.  Doesn't tell you exactly where it is, but you know something's there.
 

cabfe

Cool Cat
Veteran
Joined
Jun 13, 2013
Messages
2,356
Reaction score
2,553
First Language
French
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
(...)Or go down the middle and have a HUD icon that appears when you're close to a hidden object.  Doesn't tell you exactly where it is, but you know something's there.
Yeah, a Loot-Detector 3000 !

It might even be an upgradable object to expand the scope of items to find :)
 

Frostyfirefly

Seeker of the Weird
Veteran
Joined
Nov 6, 2013
Messages
629
Reaction score
90
First Language
Spanish
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
Have any of you guys played the PC game "Clive Barker's Undying?"

This thread reminded me of it: the main character in that game has a sort of "second sight" that allows him to see events in the past or things not possible to see with the naked eye. When you activate the ability, you see all these creepy things, like a dead guy hanging from the front part of a mansion, paintings that turn into grotesque renditions of death and decay, you can see how some monks in a monastery died, etc.

Sometimes, it gives you tiny hints on what to expect in a level, but most of the time, it's just there for flavor or decoration, and it's pretty hard to know when to use the ability, because there are very few places in a huge level when you can actually put it to good use; and it costs mana to activate it, which is quite valuable in this game, one of your only two forms of ammunition, overall, the skill is directly related to poor interaction management, but handled better, for example, with a noticeable sound or effect that indicates that you should use the ability, it could have been a very awesome feature.
 

EraYachi

Lord of the Dance Cowboy
Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2013
Messages
21
Reaction score
5
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
Really, it depends on the type of game, too. I've got two in development, one is a classic RPG, the other a horror adventure.

In, say, a horror game, it's something you really want to put in. Make all objects examinable, make all cupboards and drawers interactive. Since the point of a horror adventure (not battler) is to explore, find items and figure out puzzles, even the surrounding environment has to be part of it.

As for a regular RPG, I'd also go the Golden Sun and Wild Arms 1 route. Only make certain items like pots/barrels breakable or interactive. It's optional, but lots of people like the treasure hunting aspect and 100% item completion aspect. Also it's a nice reward for people to fully explore the maps you've worked so hard on.
 

Frostyfirefly

Seeker of the Weird
Veteran
Joined
Nov 6, 2013
Messages
629
Reaction score
90
First Language
Spanish
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
Really, it depends on the type of game, too. I've got two in development, one is a classic RPG, the other a horror adventure.

In, say, a horror game, it's something you really want to put in. Make all objects examinable, make all cupboards and drawers interactive. Since the point of a horror adventure (not battler) is to explore, find items and figure out puzzles, even the surrounding environment has to be part of it.

As for a regular RPG, I'd also go the Golden Sun and Wild Arms 1 route. Only make certain items like pots/barrels breakable or interactive. It's optional, but lots of people like the treasure hunting aspect and 100% item completion aspect. Also it's a nice reward for people to fully explore the maps you've worked so hard on.
It makes sense. Also, I think a good horror game should feel like a novel, there's some element of creepiness only good descriptions can trigger through you own imagination.
 

judgebeanhead

Villager
Member
Joined
Jun 14, 2013
Messages
9
Reaction score
2
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
Items like these add to the environment of the game. Seeing little bits of information about the local area or getting little details the player can't see at first glance [or that aren't on the sprite at all] can make the world feel more alive. But its alright not to have them. You just have to be consistent. If you can look at the bookcases and flowers inside a house, you should be able to look at the grandfather clock and the papers on the desk as well.

I think sometimes its alright to have NPCs that dont talk even. For example, final fantasy 12 had 100+ character models that would just stand or walk around, but couldnt be talked to. they were all there to add the environment of a large city to the various areas, but it made sense that you couldnt talk to them. some of them would stand in groups and be doing a talk animation, so why interrupt their discussion. some people would be sitting together looking up at the sky. there were soldiers that would walk around. there was an indicator for the ones you actually could talk to, but even the npcs that couldnt talk made the world feel alive, maybe even for the reason that they cant talk.
 

Frostyfirefly

Seeker of the Weird
Veteran
Joined
Nov 6, 2013
Messages
629
Reaction score
90
First Language
Spanish
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
Items like these add to the environment of the game. Seeing little bits of information about the local area or getting little details the player can't see at first glance [or that aren't on the sprite at all] can make the world feel more alive. But its alright not to have them. You just have to be consistent. If you can look at the bookcases and flowers inside a house, you should be able to look at the grandfather clock and the papers on the desk as well.

I think sometimes its alright to have NPCs that dont talk even. For example, final fantasy 12 had 100+ character models that would just stand or walk around, but couldnt be talked to. they were all there to add the environment of a large city to the various areas, but it made sense that you couldnt talk to them. some of them would stand in groups and be doing a talk animation, so why interrupt their discussion. some people would be sitting together looking up at the sky. there were soldiers that would walk around. there was an indicator for the ones you actually could talk to, but even the npcs that couldnt talk made the world feel alive, maybe even for the reason that they cant talk.
Yes, I really liked that approach in FFXII, too bad that, at least to me, those characters sometimes felt even more alive than some of the main characters.
 

Thalzon

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Mar 3, 2012
Messages
1,802
Reaction score
2,498
First Language
English
In Blue Dragon for the 360, you could go around and inspect a LOT of random junk all over every map. Most of the time, you just get "nothing".

HOWEVER!

Halfway through the game, you may happen upon an odd NPC who celebrates nothing, and will reward you really good items depending on the number of "nothings" you've found.

Suddenly you hope to go from finding semi-valuable vendor trash to hoping to never find anything anymore.
 

Frostyfirefly

Seeker of the Weird
Veteran
Joined
Nov 6, 2013
Messages
629
Reaction score
90
First Language
Spanish
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
In Blue Dragon for the 360, you could go around and inspect a LOT of random junk all over every map. Most of the time, you just get "nothing".

HOWEVER!

Halfway through the game, you may happen upon an odd NPC who celebrates nothing, and will reward you really good items depending on the number of "nothings" you've found.

Suddenly you hope to go from finding semi-valuable vendor trash to hoping to never find anything anymore.
I think I remember that, such a cool game; the battle song was awesome!!
 

kj3400

Hmph Master
Veteran
Joined
Nov 29, 2013
Messages
553
Reaction score
75
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
I actually lampshade the 'obvious object is obvious' by putting a sparkle there but not having an item there. Mind you, I don't know if it's really lampshading, since later in the game, the hint to 'generic key item' is said sparkle.
 

Latest Threads

Latest Profile Posts

I've decided to stop buying candy in supermarket and bulk buy 4.5kg of candy. The disadvantage of that is, now I eat a lot of candy. -_-
Microsoft has consumed Activision Blizzard. Makes me wonder if they're gonna make Blizzard Blizzard again.
HexMozart88 wrote on AphoticAmaranth's profile.
Your profile pic's face is my current mood.
tfw you're turning old af concept art into a workable game asset (ΦωΦ)
UMjgAfe.png

zGZGQEZ.png

Working on its arm and other leg. boy oh boy getting this thing to move is going to be *fun*
Hi everyone, thanks for reading :kaoswt:
I have a channel for you, An RPG MAKER MV plugin tutorial on YouTube:kaojoy:
Any supports'll be appreciated and I hope you have a great day:wink:

Forum statistics

Threads
118,541
Messages
1,116,793
Members
155,575
Latest member
stratosphericsock
Top