How do you make your game interesting to play?

Discussion in 'Game Mechanics Design' started by Nutty171, May 9, 2017.

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  1. Nutty171

    Nutty171 Adept at ineptitude Veteran

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    Many RPG Maker games' gameplay can usually be dumbed down to "Move from point A to point B, and attack the enemies when they appear." Of course this differs slightly from game to game, but to me they just seem... flat. There's little stimulation, and it probably gets bland after a while. Me? I'm looking for inspiration for a dungeon-crawling side project of mine.

    So here's my question: What do you do to make your gameplay interesting?

    I don't care about story or graphics. Just pure gameplay. What kind of puzzles? What kind of combat? What keeps the overworld (outside of battle) from being simply moving around on a flat plane?

    In a nutshell (more or less): Tell me how you make your game interesting gameplay-wise. I find it very interesting to see what other people do. Don't be afraid to go into specifics about how your specific game works. Inspiration is what I want out of this thread. (And not just inspiration for me.)
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2017
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  2. Tai_MT

    Tai_MT Veteran Veteran

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    I think the problem for you lies in the way you've simply boiled an RPG down to its base concepts and then unilaterally stated, "These basic concepts are boring!". You can do that for pretty much any activity there is. Oh, all Hiking is, is walking up a pre-determined trail carrying a heavy load full of not terrible tasting food, going from A to B and hoping that somewhere along the trail, you got a nice view. For that matter, what is entertaining about driving? You go from A to B, listening to the radio, experiencing Road Rage, and you hope you see something nice along the way.

    When you boil things down to their base concepts it all seems boring.

    See, the thing is that "fun" is an emotional reaction. So, whatever it is you're doing in a video game, your players have to feel something. It feels good to win. It feels good when you solve a problem in such a way that you feel smarter for having figured it out. It feels good to get rewarded with things for playing the game in a certain way (whether we're talking about Achievements/Trophies or we're talking about finding a chest with a rare weapon at the end of an unexplored hallway). It feels good to be able to put a little bit of yourself into your characters and make them your own.

    As such... "Fun" and "Interesting" are going to be subjective. I, for one, hate crafting systems in games. I find them tedious for no real gain, or they're too heavily relied upon and they turn into a gameplay cycle of "collect crap, then use that crap to make other crap" that I just find dull and repetitive. It only annoys me more when there are "set recipes" and you can't deviate from them at all. You can only craft the things the programmers have decided you should be able to craft. With the components they decided you should craft with. Nope, you have to use Shark Leather to make this, you can't use Panther Leather. You have to use Iron to make this, you can't use Steel. For me, not fun at all. I also don't find "enemies on the map" to be fun as a game mechanic.

    What makes a game interesting is going to be subjective to each and every single person.

    What do I do to make my game interesting? I make game I'd like to play. A game full of features I enjoy, things I wish AAA developers would do, and things which I think are unique or rare across all of the RPG Market. That's what I do.

    I like stories, so my game revolves around them.
    I hate puzzles, so I don't really have any.
    I hate dedicated healer classes because they make the game too easy, so they're gone.
    I hate lots of skills that I have to scroll through, so they're gone.
    I hate combat that the easiest way through is just to mash "Attack" or cast my best spell, so my combat isn't designed that way.
    I like customization and options, so I try to include as many as I can without conflicting with those stories I'm telling.
    I like making choices in games and having a play experience relatively unique to me, so that's what I'm trying to do.
    I hate that grinding levels, stats, and gold makes a game too easy, so I've removed or changed how that works.
    I like the world to change a bit upon my interaction with it, so it does in lots of ways (including opening shortcuts as you gain levels).
    I don't like "overlap" in skills, so I'm trying not to have any.
    I like skills that gain levels and can be customized, so mine can and are to an extent.
    I like things like the "Traits" in some tabletops or early RPGs that give you a good benefit, but a bad drawback as well. They're in the game.
    I hate mini-games... so they're not in the game.
    I like lots of equipment that does lots of stuff. It's in the game.
    I like lots of elements to play around with, so they're in the game.
    I like unique vendors, so I've tried to add a bunch as well as a mechanic that makes them more unique.

    That's just the short list.

    I just make a game that I want to play, that's how I make it interesting. If I'm bored playing my own game, how can I expect anyone else to find it interesting?
     
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  3. Wavelength

    Wavelength Pre-Merge Boot Moderator

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    It's a good question. I think every good game will have its own answer for how to make gameplay engaging But in the hopes that over-generalizing will be useful, I think that it's often a good idea (especially in turn-based games) to subscribe to Sid Meier's Equation of Fun, which is:

    Fun = Interesting Decisions / Time

    The more interesting decisions that a player makes as they fight a boss, go shopping, traverse an overworld, craft items, rip through a mob, level up, or spelunk in a dungeon, the better. Create skills that can be used in several different interesting ways during battle. Place multiple landmarks, treasures, or attractive-looking things just out of easy reach for the player on a map and let them naturally decide which one they want to try to seek out. Offer the choice between different stats, skills, or talents for a character as she levels up.

    As far as what I do in my own (soon-to-be-released) game timeblazer, the game has a lot of these kinds of interesting choices, but I also made a lot of changes to traditional RPG gameplay in order to streamline away the slow, boring, and predictable parts, allowing the most exciting and interesting things about an RPG to shine through. Playtester feedback has been consistently positive, though a couple people have mentioned that the quick pace and doesn't give the complex rules and gameplay enough time to "breathe" and become natural. I think that if I were to start from scratch, I'd even allow for slightly more repetition so that players could get comfortable with all the tools at their disposal. Among the kinds of gameplay and pacing changes that timeblazer offers from your average RPG:
    • I streamlined dungeons into "action stages" composed of five strategy, concentration, action, and/or puzzle games which each last about 60 seconds. There's no way to get a game over or get stuck during the action stages, but your performance will determine how easy or hard the stage's boss battle will be. Dungeons are no longer a slog; they're exciting experiences that change every minute.
    • I removed encounters from the game entirely - the only battles are (JRPG-style) boss battles (and a few other storyline-based battles). Each boss battle is a challenge with its own twists and turns (this post details my favorite).
    • As a result, "grinding" is also gone. No EXP, no Gold. You get level-ups, skills, and gear after beating boss battles. You can get better gear by completing bonus missions during boss battles, often leading to an interesting risk-vs.-reward scenario.
    • You choose which skills your characters learn after each boss. The choices are mutually exclusive, so once you pick one the others are gone forever. Since the entire story can be played in about two hours, this is one of the hooks to encourage replaying it.
    • I removed plot flags in all senses except technicality. You never need to find an NPC to move the game forward (this is one of my least favorite things to do in an RPG); in the few places where you need to take an action (that doesn't involve skill or strategy, e.g. beating a boss battle) in order to advance the plot, simply walking a short way in the right direction will get the job done.
    • I offer choices during cutscenes, to keep the player a bit more engaged. The choices the player makes during cutscenes don't affect gameplay, but they do significantly alter the way the next minute or two of the scene plays out.
    • Since the gameplay is heavily based on forward motion and a torrid pace, I also removed the overworld and made it impossible to backtrack. This isn't something I'd recommend for most RPGs, but it felt appropriate for timeblazer.
     
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  4. Nutty171

    Nutty171 Adept at ineptitude Veteran

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    Okay. First of all, thank you for the input! Second, I think my mention of "attacking the enemies that appear" hurt my post. It may have hurt my credibility, and either way, what I said is far exaggerated of how I really feel regarding battles. What I'm mainly looking for is traversing the world, though I'm trying to center this thread on your ideas. I'm just here for inspiration.

    The way I see the overworld, it's just moving from point A to B. Arrow keys. Sure you can throw in some different layouts, elevation changes and it's all fine and dandy. I myself in my main project have random encounters that are restricted to certain areas such as tall grass, a la Pokémon. but on the second map, I realized, "This map is not much different from the first one." I want to make the gameplay feel unique throughout the game, but I've quickly run out of ideas. However, I could be wrong. Maybe the different layouts do make it interesting. Maybe, the thing is, it's only boring to make. What do you think? Does moving-around-to-avoid-the-tall-grass-but-occasionally-going-through-it-to-get-some-treasure appeal to you, even if the layout is the only thing that changes?

    This reminds me of when I got Super Mario Maker. I was at first lining up blocks, enemies, bottomless pits, etc. to make levels similar to 1-1 in the original Super Mario Bros. But, it got stale. Eventually I had made enough levels to have used up all of the elements in at least one level. I kept struggling to make something unique, something different. It's hard to explain the feeling.

    I might read through your posts more carefully and respond to them specifically later. Again though, thanks for the input! It's interesting to see how other people see this! Especially, I noticed you're both people that I recognize.
     
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  5. Tai_MT

    Tai_MT Veteran Veteran

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    If you're just asking about the Pokémon mechanic, it's important to remember that there are only a few specific instances players seek out combat in those games: Collect New Species of Mons, Increase Levels For The Next Challenge, and EV Train. Which means, if a player doesn't want to engage in combat, routes are much shorter, take a matter of seconds to cross usually, and are gone.

    So, I recommend keeping that in mind when limiting combat to only specific tiles. That means, you need to have multiple paths through an area, high ground, low ground, an easy route, another route full of combat, maybe small puzzles like the boulder pushing from early Pokémon games to unlock new routes or even faster ways through the same route.

    For me, the easiest way to make maps interesting has just been to make them less linear and more about a player making a choice of which direction to travel, or how to get from this end of the map to that end. What if there's a hill to climb that goes up to a sparkling crystal lake, but you can skip it if you like and just walk passed that hill? Maybe put a cave or something along the path? Maybe some NPC's with quests or that sell items other vendors don't? Why not vary up the terrain a little bit? Maybe there's a dirt path on this route... but maybe it turns into a dilapidated stone one? What if there's just a random patch of sand set in the middle of your thick grass? Well that's weird, is there something to investigate there?

    A lot of just making maps interesting is getting a player to think, "what did the game developers put over here?" or "is there anything to be gained for going here?"

    That's my two cents on it.
     
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  6. Nutty171

    Nutty171 Adept at ineptitude Veteran

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    @Tai_MT I don't know exactly how, but you just gave me an idea. In my main project, the main character (my avatar) wakes up with no memory whatsoever, and at the very beginning of the game, he meets somebody who knows a lot about the world. So, in certain areas, I can put places where she gives you information about the world. My only question about that mechanic is, how would you suggest I implement it? How would I let the player know that this is a spot where you can get some backstory? And more importantly, is this a good idea in the first place?

    But back to why I made this thread, which was for my side project, which is a room-by-room dungeon crawler. In that game, I don't what separate battle and overworld screens. Plus, I absolutely suck at scripting* and prefer to do everything with events. Any suggestions for that? Should I make a separate thread for this more specific question?

    *And social skills. Asking for custom scripts is difficult for me.
     
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  7. Tai_MT

    Tai_MT Veteran Veteran

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    You could do the information thing easily enough with events. Just put in the events close enough to what they're talking about, or next to something with the best angle. You could probably copy and paste those talking events over a wide section so that it's difficult to miss the auto-run event. As for a good idea? That really depends on your audience. If I find your world interesting, I might want to know more about it. Besides, nothing really stops a player from mashing through your dialogue if they don't want to read it. You could have these events show up without any telegraphing what-so-ever. Just have them auto-run the moment you touch the area or section you want to show off.

    If it's a room by room dungeon crawler... Then I'd suggest you worry about just including interesting rooms that do interesting things. In a dungeon crawler, the things that make it interesting are the loot, the monsters, the traps, the puzzles (if any exist), and the unique features of the rooms. I'd suggest including some "room types" that might be common to run across. Maybe a "library" looking room that buffs magical abilities just from being in it (you can event quite easily giving a state to your characters upon entering a new map as well as remove it when you leave it). Maybe this other room here has a religious altar in it and you can pray to the deity for a random stat roll or something. Maybe this room over here is actually a Bee Hive and there's a puzzle to figuring out how to knock down the hive itself and kill all the bees to clear it for some sick loot.

    Honestly, that's all I got. Just think up some really neat ideas for rooms.
     
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  8. Nutty171

    Nutty171 Adept at ineptitude Veteran

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    @Tai_MT Lol of course these would be easy to make with events. I want these events to be optional and out of the way. So my question about his specific mechanic is how do I let the player know where it is, or even if it's there? But, I can probably figure this one out on my own. I'm not that stupid.

    You have some good ideas there, but I guess I didn't make it clear enough.
    What I meant to say was that I don't want any "battle mode" even if there's no screen transition. Enemies would be nice to have, though. Maybe I should look into turn-based-strategy-board-game-like battles...

    Thank you for the ideas! Now time to put the thread back to how I originally intended (I'm now addressing the "general public")
    Tell me how you make your game interesting gameplay-wise. I find it very interesting to see what other people do. Don't be afraid to go into specifics about how your specific game works. Inspiration is what I want out of this thread. (And not just inspiration for me.)
     
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  9. kirbwarrior

    kirbwarrior Veteran Veteran

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    Have you played Secret of Mana or other action rpg hybrids? Tiny amounts of variation make the maps in that game stick out pretty well. If you showed me a screen shot of somewhere outside, I could tell you were in the game it was and I don't think I've played it in a decade.

    Some games either use "sparkles" to designate that you can interact with the environment. Final Fantasy 9 gives your character a "!" when you are near something you can interact with. Other games make it so you can interact with near everything (for instance, commenting on books, ovens, clothing, anything that looks like you could learn something from).

    RPGmaker games often do this because older rpgs often did it. Final Fantasy 6 is largely that and yet it never feels like it because it gives battles and environments character, even if you find a way to boil things down to "Mash A" (if even that, considering the yeti).

    My games largely use the "gimmick" idea that many of my favorite rpgs use; Bravely Default lets you manipulate amount of turns, Final Fantasy X-2 has midcombat class changing (and a score of other, smaller things like move-cancelling), Earthbound has running encounters that run away if you are too high level and you instantly win instead of fight, etc. My simple project "Delve" was trying to capture the simplistic magic of Final Fantasy Mystic Quest and I took inspiration from 7th Saga where guarding was nearly necessary to playing the game because the buff was so awesome (7th Saga increased attack next turn, Delve gave you an extra turn next turn). One of my current projects is set to allow you to simply attack to win encounters but heavily rewards you for taking strange steps by stealing, talking, etc.
     
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  10. Milennin

    Milennin "With a bang and a boom!" Veteran

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    Just by making the game you, yourself, want to see. Interesting is subjective anyway. Some people are OK with just walking around on a map, while others want to be able to interact with all kinds of stuff. Personally, I like it when I can examine all the objects on a map, so that's what I put in my own game. It adds a lot more to the game world, in my opinion. To me, it's very disheartening when I play a game, and nothing comes up when I try to interact with stuff on the map.
    For story, I don't care a lot what the game is about as long as I get to beat up something big and bad at the end, but I find that having fun characters is much more important to my enjoyment, so I make largely character-driven games built around a simplistic story.
    For battle, I dislike the traditional RPG standards, like massive MP pools that are slowly drained over the course of many battles and can only be restored through potions. Instead, I prefer small MP pools that are emptied every battle but get regenerated through skill usage.
    I like it when skills behave a bit different from the norm, or have secondary effects, or have drawbacks, so I avoid making skills that only do more damage than auto-attack or that simply heal a number of HP.
     
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  11. kirbwarrior

    kirbwarrior Veteran Veteran

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    I'd like to expand upon this;
    1) What aspects in games do you like?
    2) Why do you like those aspects?
    3) Have you played any games that use those aspects but you find unfun?
    4) Do you like any games that you realize don't have those aspects?

    I happen to like Overwatch. This is strange to me because the type of game it is I don't usually like and it doesn't have the things in games I usually alike. I can't even identify what about the game I do like.
    Final Fantasy 8 is a game I do like, but it is absolutely a perfect example of how to take so many incredible ideas and do them so wrong.

    I happen to like the "slog" of random encounters seen in traditional jrpgs. But I also can think of tons of games that do it wrong. I'll use my above questions;
    1) Random encounters that treat a dungeon as a single "obstacle".
    2) It enhances exploration and keeps things tense without needing to actually kill me. The 'two turn' rule from FFMQ applies fantastically well to this.
    3) Many, many games, especially in rpgmaker.
    4) I've loved the rpgs I've played that had no encounters whatsoever, where every battle was scripted.
     
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  12. fireflyege

    fireflyege Magic is the destination of all wisdom. Veteran

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    @Tai_MT "collect crap, then use that crap to make other crap" sums up my perspective to crafting if the equipments is entirely dependant on crafting.

    I use gold for items, items are not that expensive but not that cheap either in my game. I do not like players to stock up 99x Elixirs and then proceed to roflstomp the dungeon with spamming the most damaging spell you got.

    The story is a huge part of gameplay. Your gameplay must also be affected by stories. For example if you have an elemental mage that has pyrophobia it would be pointless to put fire magic to it skillset but instead increased magic on other elements to make up for it. If the character has a character specific weapon type a fire elemental weapon for that characters would also be pointless.

    I hate puzzles, too. They are unneeded and lore wise they are pointless. Ok I can say that for example if a dungeon is supposed to test people based on their intelligence a puzzle that is enjoyable and not that difficult would be good. Most people hate to search for internet or talk to the game maker just to get past that level.

    For dedicated healers there is a solution. Do not make the dedicated healer too strong to single handedly outheal any damage the enemy throws at the party. You need to make defensive skills for other characters to support the healer. When you are deciding what your other members will do you must make them ask ''Can I attack this turn or support my healer with my defensive skills?'' and if you answer that question wrong you must pay a price at the form of safety.

    About having lots of skills, make sure they are distinct. My mage has 30 moves and 24 of them are attack spells, one single target and one AoE for each element in the game because that is the character's gimmick is to exploit elemental weaknesses, if he does not have those spells his gimmick would be nonexistent. And even for that character, his other 6 spells are support spells which you must use correctly to maximize damage so even if you are going ham you must make those count.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2017
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  13. kirbwarrior

    kirbwarrior Veteran Veteran

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    This isn't always true and I really like the games where there are only puzzles because the story requires it. It can add quite a bit to the world.
    Don't most people just take the time to figure out puzzles?
    Pokemon did a neat thing related to this. In one of the gyms, there is a computer that asks you a yes or no question. Answer correctly, and you continue. Answer wrong and you fight a trainer. Letting puzzles be one option to get past, even if the better one, could help those players out, and reward players who actually try to solve it (and the players who want to look online will look online).
    I actually like cheap, just enough effective healing in games like Pray in Final Fantasy and Regen in FFX specifically. They both make you want to mitigate damage so you can heal more of it.
    This is just a thought; Is it necessary they are distinct spells? If there is no functional difference except element, you might be able to set it up so there are two skills that you pick an element when you use them. That would cut down the "amount" of skills to 8. You don't have to, but your post inspired me.
    We should start a new thread if you want to go into detail, but I actually don't know how to have items be consistently "medium" price throughout a game.
     
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  14. Tai_MT

    Tai_MT Veteran Veteran

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    I personally prefer no puzzles either. They get especially silly when they're like a puzzle to find objects and put 'em into a slot or something to open the front door of a place that's used quite a bit. "This is how you get into the cultists' church!" So everyone has a set of these 3 tablets they use to get in? Why not just use a single key if that's the case? You're effectively screwed from getting in as a cultist if you accidently misplace one. The first few Resident Evil games are freakin' notorious for this nonsense.

    Not necessarily. I used to as a young kid. Usually, I don't even bother if I don't figure it out immediately. It's faster to just go to google and type in, "how to solve x puzzle", get the answer, and then do it. The games that are exceptions to this for me are... well... Portal and Portal 2. That has more to do with the sandbox type nature of the puzzle solving in those games and feeling really smart when you figure it out... rather than trying to figure out the EXACT method someone wanted you to solve their puzzle in their game.

    As for Pokémon... The correct way through that is actually to purposefully solve all the questions wrong. The PokeYen and the XP is more valuable than the momentary satisfaction of getting a question right. Solving the questions is the wrong answer.

    As for other "puzzles" In Pokémon, I'm glad that most are woefully easy. Especially after Cinnabar Island cave thing to get Articuno in Red/Blue/Yellow. I spent freakin' HOURS in those caves pushing rocks around until I figured it out.

    I actually like cheap, just enough effective healing in games like Pray in Final Fantasy and Regen in FFX specifically. They both make you want to mitigate damage so you can heal more of it.

    But, the worst puzzle is the Gym with Lt. Surge and his trash cans.

    Lots of RPGs have no functional difference between elements except of course for the element. Fire does as much damage as Lightning as Ice, etcetera. You can try to make them different (the way I did so was in their execution, amount of targets, and states that could be inflicted), but most players really won't care if they do something different so long as you can burn down plans with Fire, put out flaming enemies with Water and knock down flying enemies with Wind.
     
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  15. kirbwarrior

    kirbwarrior Veteran Veteran

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    I could never do that. It's no different than reading a walkthrough. I'm not saying it's wrong, but rather very meta and makes it feel like a game rather than a story.
    I do agree here. Puzzles should be more like Portal. Or be entirely solvable without having to leave the game or even area.

    On the note of the "wrong way" in pokemon, that's the problem with not giving exp and money for solving the puzzle. Those puzzles should have given you at least as much as winning the battle.
     
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  16. Tai_MT

    Tai_MT Veteran Veteran

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    For me, having a random puzzle in the middle of my story is already very "meta" and immersion breaking. Once you've put that into the game, there's no further harm for me that can be done by simply looking up the solution. The faster method of solving it actually gets me back into the story quicker and back to being immersed faster.

    Yep, they should've done it that way, but I suspect as a limitation of the programming at the time, there was no way to do that or communicate it well. Personally, I'd have scrapped the idea entirely since the reward for getting the question right is to avoid combat... and avoiding combat with trainers is a bad thing since money is scarce and valuable and the xp a trainer gives is far above anything you fight in the wild. The puzzle works against everything the game taught you up to that point. That's why it's kind of a good example of bad design.
     
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  17. Nutty171

    Nutty171 Adept at ineptitude Veteran

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    When I hear "puzzle" I think literally "puzzle." Not "find this obscure item to get into the building," not "press those buttons in an obscure order that you find on the back of a house." I think of actual logic puzzles that test your intelligence. No quizzes either. When making puzzles in my game, I tend to gravitate toward boulder-pushing puzzles such as in Pokémon. And with those puzzles, I never have it take up more than a screen. that way the player can know exactly what's going on and can figure out exactly what to do before needing to do anything.
    Something tells me you've played a lot of games that do puzzles badly. It's entirely possible to make a puzzle "blend in" with the game/world. It doesn't have to stick out and be all, "hey I'm a puzzle!" But I have to agree that "having a random puzzle in the middle of the story" is entirely the wrong way to do it. If you're going to have a puzzle in your game, then you need to have many smaller puzzles and not just one big puzzle in the middle of a game that's devoid of any other puzzles.
     
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  18. Tai_MT

    Tai_MT Veteran Veteran

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    Even the whole "push stuff around the room" breaks my immersion in terms of puzzles. Even the stupid Braille puzzle from Pokémon Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald broke my immersion quite a bit.

    The problem with a puzzle is that it always screams, "I'm a puzzle!". There's no way to have a puzzle that doesn't do that. This is why Portal tends to do it the best.

    Portal dispenses with anything and literally tells you, "You are in the Enrichment Center, being Tested, go do the Tests". So, unless you're willing to run the game on the assumption it's entirely puzzle based... those puzzles will wreck my immersion.

    Zelda even does this nearly the same way as Portal. The game world is littered with puzzles, the storyline is solving those puzzles and beating bosses in order to obtain the McGuffins. You then use those items to get to the boss or beat the boss or weaken the boss, or whatever. Even the bosses are a sort of "puzzle" in most of the games. Zelda revolves around puzzles, so the puzzles don't break the immersion.

    But a standard RPG, Western or Japanese... Puzzles break that immersion every single time.

    The only puzzle in an RPG I liked and enjoyed was the one in Final Fantasy 6 in Zozo, where you can get the Chainsaw by being clever. All the NPCs in the town tell you something about a clock. "The hour hand? It's on the 6!". Seems weird and random and nonsensical. It's a town of thieves and liars, why are they talking about the freakin' time? No day/night cycle in the game, so it makes no sense. Until you reach a room... with a clock that has stopped. And upon clicking it, it asks you to set the time. Well, huh. Well, everyone is giving me conflicting times. So, who is telling the right time? Simple! Everyone is lying to you! It's the times that nobody says! So, you wander around, talk to everyone, and find out what the proper time is. Or, you can Brute Force it and try every single possible time.

    I found it fun because it required you be paying attention to the world you were playing in, required you to explore the whole area (picking up lots of treasure and XP at the same time), and required you to talk to everyone. Even better? You could ignore it entirely. Totally unnecessary, easily skippable, and it's only reward was giving you a unique piece of equipment for a single character... which you don't need, and isn't super powerful anyway.

    That's the last puzzle I solved in an RPG that I found enjoyable.

    I don't even find the puzzles I solve in Tomb Raider enjoyable. It's all just very "meta" and "immersion breaking".
     
    #18
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  19. fireflyege

    fireflyege Magic is the destination of all wisdom. Veteran

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    @kirbwarrior well I hate puzzles just because they include boulder pushing and X key item to Y to open this door all the time. If you can do creative puzzles that feel like they are necessarry for the stroy and not require too much of a brain to solve you can do it. For example I have attention issues and cannot really stand drawing my attention to a puzzle. Killing something or dungeon exploring is fine since I feel like I am starting to get progress but when I am doing puzzles I do not. Most games need only 2 or 3 puzzles to make it work. The game does not need to have a puzzle on every dungeon.

    About items, I can make a conversation to tell you in detail but for example my game has 10 weapons of each type, and each character can use 2 weapon types. The weapons will be hard to get, but they will have the same power in my game, just different effects or increased power at the cost of something else. So I am actually fine with weapons and items are the thing you open your purse for. Long things short I can actually balance the prices. I would suggest a more in depth system in detail if we would speak in a conversation about this.

    @Tai_MT I can actually do that for the mage or make the spells to seek elemental weakness but the character's gimmick is abusing elemental weaknesses with the right spells. When his TP becomes 100 he gets a buff called Unstable Magic where he deals %25 more damage with his spells only if he manages to exploit an elemental weakness with said spells. But you also have the option to use elementless magic (Arcane) which deals pretty static damage and does not have any enemy that resists to it but no enemy is weak to Arcane either for lorewise reasons but you can manipulate arcane weakness too in some ways. The buff also gives %15 arcane damage. I thought some kind of attunement would do as well and also equipment only spells. But I thought of making them distinct with additional effects. I am working for it and I am open to ideas.

    About my game's healing, my healer can heal just well with 4 healing spells but one of them does not require a turn but have an other penalty. My game relies on having trances, when you get 100 TP you get additional effects. The heal that does not require a turn has 25 TP cost and nothing else. So if you use it when not in trance you delay your power moment and when you use it in trance it is even worse since in trance you cannot get TP and lose 25 TP a turn, so you reduce the power moment by 1 turn. But the character is not supposed to heal all the damage, nor can she heal enough health. She is supposed to heal all the time, but other party members have useful spells that support her for example other allies that have heals and such. To compensate for the healer's reduced heals the healer has vastly increased utility like a temporary buff that lets her heal from her heals that heal an ally more than %100.

    The support spells are extreme on my game. Sometimes letting the healer heal other allies when your ally needs healing, and letting the witch apply the Corpse Mine to it is a better solution. When your ally dies the mine explodes and it can potentially kill enemies shortening the healer's work and giving her a chance to resurrect that ally. I want the player to foresee the events and decide, letting them turn the tide with different strategies.
     
    #19
  20. kirbwarrior

    kirbwarrior Veteran Veteran

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    Boulder pushing and item finding are barely puzzles. I'd say the Zozo Chainsaw was quite brilliant and a perfect example of having a puzzle without the player even noticing. That's why I brought up the pokemon puzzle; A puzzle that doesn't stop you from progressing doesn't force the player to escape the game to play. Zelda is a fantastic reason I like puzzles, and why I like it when jrpgs can pull off 'puzzle' bosses like Zelda.
    (IMO the chainsaw is absurdly fun and makes Edgar worth using by itself for quite a long time)
    This is a side effect of older games. I wouldn't say it's common knowledge, but the player should be rewarded for avoiding combat when the game "tells" them it's the correct path. If I were to do that puzzle, I'd give the player double xp and gold for solving the puzzle, so that fighting lets them continue but it's clear that you want to solve the puzzle, not that you need to.
     
    #20

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