Making Almost Everything "Interactable"

Discussion in 'Game Mechanics Design' started by Baggie, Oct 29, 2019.

  1. JosephSeraph

    JosephSeraph White Mage Restaff

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    Depends on the sort of experience and game you're building. I love it a lot on Parasite Eve 2, but mostly because the game happens inside a pretty small area. If it were on a big, sprawling game i'd probably start to get stressed, and the quality of the writing in these interactions would probably drop also.
     
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  2. Restart

    Restart Veteran Veteran

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    Just don't do the common RPG maker newbie thing, which is to have every object in the intro area be interactable, then realize it's a ton of work partway through and suddenly have basically nothing interactable.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2019
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  3. bgillisp

    bgillisp Global Moderators Global Mod

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    One thing I've noticed is when I play a game, I will try to interact with things once. If the first bookcase does nothing, why will I check another? Or the first desk does nothing? Or the first bed? Some devs decide some things should be able to be interacted with, and not others, and I'm eliminating what you have decided to let me interact with this way. So if you hide a sword under the 156th bed in the game and no other bed to that point had text at all, how was I to know that this bed was any different than the others?
     
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  4. CuddleFox

    CuddleFox Furry Veteran

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    I think it's a bad thing to make everything interactive, because it ends up making a npc effect on the player, in the way that he knows that these interactions are useless.
     
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  5. Prescott

    Prescott argggghhh Veteran

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    Whatever you do, please don't make the interactivity something way too obvious. If the player clicks on a vase and the character just says "It's a vase." it's not worth telling them. Silent Hill has a pretty good blend of "interactive" objects. It'll only tell you what something is if its relevant.
     
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  6. Ebanyle

    Ebanyle Veteran Veteran

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    Usually, I like to put a spark, an exclamation, or something; in a object that is interactable, so the player has been warned that there's something there. But I also plan to perhaps put secret interactions, however, I'd try to put them in 'showy' places.

    Now, something that always bothered me when I was making an exploration game is that, as with a lot of those games, they are mostly centered around these interactions, but it's just straight up irritating. Like, it was my own game, that at the time had no more than 20 minutes of gameplay, yet I was getting fed up with it. You had to go into every possible object in the map just to get an "It's a chair" message, it simply doesn't work. I ended up abandoning the project and never thought about what could make this option better.

    I think this can also co-relate with teleports. In my game, teleports are always indicated by an arrow, but some secret places will only display it after you discover the teleport.
     
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  7. Countyoungblood

    Countyoungblood Sleeping Dragon Veteran

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    If an object makes me wonder if i can interact with it I will try.
    levers...
    chests..
    books..
    a sword in a stone..
    something wiggling in a bush...

    If I see ten trees in a row I will interact with zero trees.
    walking around each room pressing "A" on every square is not fun.
     
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  8. phamtruong1992

    phamtruong1992 Mage Art - Green Dragon Veteran

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    Let me make it clear: we always like that kind of stuff. The more interesting the messages are, the better. It just adds more depth and immersion to the world. And if you can pace it out logically, and have even deeper interaction it'd be really nice. And as others have said, you can sometimes reward those who spend their time exploring the world. This kind of mechanic always feels right.
     
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  9. Switz

    Switz Veteran Veteran

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    I feel it desaturates the main story and text overloads the player. It's good in some areas like libraries and stuff as long as it pertains to building upon main story though.

    Hidden items though in pots, wells, crates, chests and barrels is absolutely encouraged as well.
     
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  10. Darkanine

    Darkanine ...In my thoughts and in my dreams... Veteran

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    I don't really see how it desaturates the main story, I think it adds to it and makes exploration much more fun and rewarding. If done right, I think it can give a lot more insight on your characters and places in matters that probably wouldn't pop-up in the story, and can give some neat history to the world without exposition dumps. I guess if you hide hidden items and stat-ups through it, it could be a bit of a problem to some people, but as long as the text is interesting, I don't think most people would complain.

    But maybe it's just me. My favorite part of Undertale was how seemingly everything had some text attached to it and it was all incredibly charming to read through. I feel like I spent way more time in each major place in Undertale then I did with most games because I kept going around seeing all the text.
     
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  11. Switz

    Switz Veteran Veteran

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    I guess I compare it to Elder Scrolls Skyrim. All those books you get. While interesting, just imagine they pop up and you have to close the screen out for every single thing you touch. After a while of that, you start accidently skipping over actual important parts of the game.

    Im not going to say the games name, but a RPG Commercial game had every pot and pan interatable and it just made the story which was already not that great just feel like filler text as well. The story parts where not any more interesting than the thousands of objects you had to X through while just seaching for some loot.
     
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  12. kirbwarrior

    kirbwarrior Veteran Veteran

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    Requires a lot of effort, and that's part of the issue. It's really easy to do wrong.
     
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  13. ZankokuNoYami

    ZankokuNoYami Veteran Veteran

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    I have experimented with this a bit in my game.

    Every town has random book shelves in which if you interact with, you will get different books of lore for the world.

    There is a scarecrow in the first area that if you walk up to it, the character will say, 'Hang in there Joan!" a little reference to Frozen, haha.

    I also make each NPC have unique dialogue in which your characters interact with. Like a little girl skipping rope; each time you talk to her, she will say a piece of the lullaby from Nightmare on Elm street (One, two, Freddy's coming for you!). With each part causing the main character Esther to grow more and more worried.

    So I do feel little things like this are something fun for the player to discover.

    No matter how much I love an RPG, nothing upsets me more than when there is SO little interactivity put into it. I just run into a town to basically look for some chests and buy some armor. Maybe pick up a new quest. I feel nothing is more wasted than a room with absolutely nothing in it. Like, why did you even build that room? Why can I even go in there? Extra effort for nothing.
     
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  14. ChipTato

    ChipTato Villager Member

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    The question for me is always
    what's the context?
    Is it really necessary?
    Does it add to the world?
    Does the interaction define character?

    I dont think interacting with everything is a good idea for most games and for such things like hidden items, lore, etc
    There are much better ways than making the player mindlessly press every single object to find a secret.
    If you want a character to interact with a bush then make it so the interaction shows a character's personality. I mean seriously tho what sort of person would interact with a bush?
    Maybe say, your character's a nutjob who thinks they can speak for the trees like the dayum lorax and spends their time talking to a tree (that's a reason they'd interact with a bush)
    What about a hero, why would they interact with a bush? Does their personality support that action? Maybe they do that because they like to comment about every single thing.

    TL:DR interactions need to have purpose and not just a throwaway gag to get points from pop culture
     
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  15. empresskiova

    empresskiova Untitled Project1 Veteran

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    Hidden interactivity was taught to me by Legend of Dragoon and its Stardust, which led to unique accessories. Naturally being 7, I used the strategy guide back then to find them, but it is what it is.

    Pokemon gave you a little of it with the metal detector thing. Dragon Quest gave you tangible rewards that I eventually figured out weren’t majorly valuable, except for alchemy recipes of course.

    The Elder Scrolls (and by extension, Fallout NV and 4, which are the two Ive played with any sort of extensivity), made exploring nooks and crannies an art in looting. But, those are AAA games with big budgets, unlike RpgMaker games.

    So now, the main thing I always encourage a dev and players to put time into are bookshelves/open books. Lore, game mechanics, or whatever. It makes no sense whatsoever that all bookshelves in the game have nothing useful to read.

    Edit: In one project, I actually used books to help with the characters. If the lead actor was the warrior, she’d generally make a sarcastic remark about how books weren’t in her wheelhouse. Being illiterate and all.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2019
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