Idle Game Mechanics

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

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Have you tried making an Idle game mechanic?

  1. Yes, but it didn't work well.

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  2. Yes, and it works.

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  3. No.

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  1. Warpmind

    Warpmind Twisted Genius Veteran

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    Some silly notion struck me last night...
    Has anyone tried (and just as importantly, has anyone succeeded in) making an Idle Game in RPG Maker?

    Granted, most such games are clicker games, but it seems to me the engine should be able to handle that sort of continuous resource generation, with a slightly different interface for buying upgrades and such...

    UPDATE:
    The Idle Progression mechanic is, in and of itself, a piece of cake; a few lines in a common event/parallel process.

    Making it interesting and/or engaging, that's the hard part.

    TL;DR: It can be done, but it just might suck like a hull breach on the ISS. :p
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2017
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  2. The Stranger

    The Stranger The Faceless Friend Veteran

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    Idle games, as in Clicker Heroes and the like? I've never tried, but it would be interesting to know if someone else has managed to accomplish this in RPG Maker. I wonder if it's actually difficult to create something like this, or if it's just a matter of it being time consuming?
     
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  3. Milennin

    Milennin "With a bang and a boom!" Veteran

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    Wouldn't the game need to continue to be active even when the player isn't playing?
     
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  4. Astfgl66

    Astfgl66 Veteran Veteran

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    @Milennin I imagine it's only a matter of getting the last time the game was saved and compare it to the system time when you load and then do calculations. Not necessarly having it online.
    If you want to prevent "cheating" by advancing system time you'd have to ping a server I guess.

    I don't think the mechanics would be hard to implement. It should be easily feasible, with scripting only necessary for UI. And even then you could probably use evented UIs. Probably using yanfly's picture common events would be a good start.

    I think it's a bad idea for a different reason: most of those games are very light and meant to be played in browsers. RPGMaker games tend to be rather on the heavier side and require downloads so I don't see an idle RPGMaker game piercing in the pc market. Maybe for smartphones since all apps require downloads anyway.
     
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  5. Llareian

    Llareian Jack of All Trades, Master of None Veteran

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  6. Astfgl66

    Astfgl66 Veteran Veteran

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    @Llareian I know.
    However it's not the usual way they are distributed, because of the large amount of music and image files. I have subpar internet, true, but the game you've linked above for instance makes me have 45s loading screens between maps, and hangs up each time it has to load an animation in battle (5s of freezing), so that's hardly something I'd call playable.

    Let's not mention music taking more than a minute to load, and other problems I encountered in my 10 minutes of playing, which were about 50% loading screens.

    Sure it's possible. Is it a good idea? I don't think so.
     
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  7. Llareian

    Llareian Jack of All Trades, Master of None Veteran

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    Interesting. I had no idea! Thanks for educating me. :)
     
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  8. GoodSelf

    GoodSelf Zhu Li! Do the thing! Veteran

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    This sounds awesome - I might have to give this a try!
     
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  9. Wavelength

    Wavelength Pre-Merge Boot Veteran

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    Maybe I'm short-sighted, but I don't see any possible way in which gating resource generation by real-time can ever be an enjoyable or positive experience in a single-player game.

    Perhaps gating access, to a heavily story-focused experience, by time could be rewarding, as it would give the player a lot of time to marinate and scrutinize what they've found so far.

    But resource generation? I see this used as a trick by mobile game devs who can't come up with a better business model than "pay me and I'll remove this stupid limitation for you". Have you guys ever seen it used in a more positive way?

    (To be really clear, I'm talking about "real-time" on the scale where you might be waiting for many minutes, hours, or days to get things done - when it's on the scale of seconds, like in an RTS game or an action battle system, it can balance out the otherwise-extreme emphasis on APM and make for good gameplay.)
     
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  10. Warpmind

    Warpmind Twisted Genius Veteran

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    Actually, you seem unfamiliar with Idle Games, which is a VERY different experience from the Facebook/Mobile type games where you are subjected to forced breaks.
    and
    go into a fair bit of detail on the genre.

    It's a weird, relatively new genre, but it's a surprisingly popular one.
     
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  11. Wavelength

    Wavelength Pre-Merge Boot Veteran

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    @Warpmind Ah, I see - you meant the Progress Quest type of game. I didn't realize that a whole genre had been built around this concept. I don't really have anything to add here because I still don't see the value of this sort of game (except as parody), but from the videos you linked it sounds like they've got an audience of people who do, and far be it for me to disagree with Daniel & James. :p
     
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  12. Warpmind

    Warpmind Twisted Genius Veteran

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    Well, the genre largely IS a parody of itself, so yeah. ;)
     
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  13. Rayhaku808

    Rayhaku808 Chubbizard Veteran

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    What I wanted to do for one of my games was to simulate the player having a job outside the game. The game would calculate how long ago you last played using the internal computer's clock to give you cash. This simulated cash is small and limited and you can purchase a variety of things with it, gems (common freemium currency in mobile games), gold, high tier gear, full heals, temporary stat boosts, temporary exp boosts and revivals of dead party members. It was making fun of how mobile games like to entice players with these except my game is already giving you the money, you just need to budget it.

    But I didn't know how to do it so oh well, scrapped. I think it's cool, funny and could still work. Maybe one day
     
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  14. Wavelength

    Wavelength Pre-Merge Boot Veteran

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    It's easy and I mean very very easy once you know how. Just use Time.now() (or better yet, Time.now().to_i to return an integer) in Ruby, or Date.now() in JavaScript, to return the number of seconds (in Ruby) or milliseconds (in JS) since Jan 1, 1970, based on the user's computer and regional settings. In JS, you'll probably want to divide by 1000 to get a number of seconds, but it's not mandatory (you could also divide by 60000 to get a number of minutes, or 3600000 to get a number of hours).

    Save that to a variable in your game - any normal variable - let's say Variable #5. When you want to see how much time has passed, do the same calculation, save it to another Variable - let's say Variable #6 - and find the difference between the two to find out how much time has passed! Finally, if you want to use the present time as a new "starting point" for how much time has passed the next time you check, set Var #5 equal to Var #6.

    Implementation aside, I don't really see the value in this kind of game mechanic, outside of parody. As a player, I'd much rather earn ("work for") resources in-game, assuming that "work" involves fun activities, than be handed them for the passing of real time. I have used Time.now()/Date.now() before, but it's usually for things like setting arrows in a DDR minigame or judging a Timed Hit during battle - basically wherever it makes more sense to look at real time rather than Frames.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2017
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  15. Rayhaku808

    Rayhaku808 Chubbizard Veteran

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    Basically. But thanks I wasn't expecting for that to get solved, and here. I have a lot of experimenting to do now. It was just going to be a separate method of getting the currency, which of course you could still attain much of in the game through just playing. Mainly achievements.
     
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  16. Wavelength

    Wavelength Pre-Merge Boot Veteran

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    Yep, play around with it and see what you can do with storing/comparing times. It's pretty cool.

    I knew that you (and possibly the OP @Warpmind) largely want to do this kind of thing for parody reasons and I think that's awesome, so long as the game's tone suits it. I was really clumsy in segueing my commentary from the technical details, and that's probably why you thought I was telling you "DONT DO IT". But I just felt the need to say that in general, to anyone who does want to replace a "standard" resource system with a real time-based one that works on the scale of minutes or longer (and isn't intended as parody or storytelling).
     
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  17. Warpmind

    Warpmind Twisted Genius Veteran

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    Yeah, I do note that most idle games use the idle resource gathering as a sort of complementary mechanic that takes over the resource building after a while.
    In a JRPG, it could be interpreted as opening a bank account and gaining interest, investing in a business and receiving dividends, buying a mine and gaining a steady supply of ore or metal, and so on while the party is out adventuring.
    Ideally, for a major project, it could be well employed as a means to acquire resources the player can't be arsed to gather manually (hiring more miners to get more steel for better weapons, perhaps?) or which otherwise would require an absurd amount of material grinding which, in my humble opinion, would slog down an otherwise enjoyable game.

    I can see several ways the idle mechanics (whether including timetracking out-of-game or not) could work great within the frame of the narrative, and just as many pitfalls. At the end of the day, it's another tool to be considered for suitable placement, I suppose.

    Noting the Javascript bit, though - that's bound to come in handy at some point.
     
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  18. kitty1980

    kitty1980 Warper Member

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    Did anyone ever try to make an idle game using RPG maker? If yes, can I play the game? :D
     
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  19. Kes

    Kes Global Moderators Global Mod

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    @kitty1980 'Game Mechanics Design' is for discussing aspects of game play at a fairly conceptual level. It isn't for asking for games. I suggest you make a thread in 'Video Games'.
     
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