Mandatory Minigames on your game

Tai_MT

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
May 1, 2013
Messages
5,898
Reaction score
5,615
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
yeah caravan just sounds like a **** design they should have caught.
i'm not saying that every idea is a good idea or should be implemented into a game. but if the core game is good and they want to add in something fun to do that belongs in the world space i dont have a problem with it.

I have a problem with it because it tends to detract from the core experience being created. It interrupts the flow of the actual game, in most instances, and distracts the player from the product you had told them you were selling them.

Is "Gwent" any good? Probably? I dunno, never played it. Does it interrupt the flow of The Witcher 3 to play it? Interrupt the narrative? The story? The primary gameplay loop? Or, does it synergize with all of those things?

That's the problem I tend to have. Why are you selling me "The Witcher 3" and then getting bored with your project partway through and dumping another game on me that ultimately detracts from the experience I paid for, and then hoping I like this new game you've dumped on me?

At minimum, it seems like the dev team suddenly developed Multiple Personality Disorder and couldn't organize their project coherently enough to keep it to only a single game and a single experience.

Maybe instead of 2 gigs of a different game jammed in here, I would've preferred 2 more gigs of the main story content because that was so much better.

Maybe I'll feel differently about mini-games when more games adopt better stances on "removing them" for players that don't want them.

Like say:
1. Ability to click a box on installation that says you don't want it, so it isn't installed and wastes disk space. Or, even, the ability to install JUST the mini-game, if I like only the mini-game.
2. Ability to turn them off entirely for the game in the options menu.
3. No achievements or unlockables that exist from playing these games (no in game advantage for engaging with them).

Then, maybe I'd soften my stance on mini-games.

not everyone comes into game dev with common knowledge on how things work or what has already been done. rpg maker is targeted towards people with little to no know how to create games. which is fine it makes a good starting point to build from. but not everyone starts on equal footing. there are some devs on here that probably could be working at some big studios but luckily we're blessed with their knowledge :guffaw::wub
i come from the perspective of i like learning how things work, so yeah i sometimes redo things others already have done just so i can see for myself how it's accomplished. just to satisfy my own curiosity.

There's a difference between discovering something because it's "The Christmas Ham" type situation, and one where you put in effort to discover something that you can google in 5 seconds.

For those not initiated into "The Christmas Ham" story, here's the abridged version:

A woman is cooking Christmas dinner for her in-laws. She cuts the ends of the ham before cooking and serves it to the family. The in-laws are perplexed by her cutting off the ends and ask her why she does that. So, having never really thought about it, goes, "I'm not sure, that's just the way my mom taught me to do it, so I do it that way."

But, the thought bothers her. So, she asks her mom after a week of mulling it over.

Her mom says, "I don't know why I do it either. But, my mom always used to cut the ends off the ham too, so that's just the way I learned how to cook it."

So, the woman, not deterred in the slightest goes to her grandma, who is thankfully still alive and asks.

"Grandma, why do you cut the ends off the ham for Christmas Dinner?"

And the Grandma, not missing a beat goes, "Oh! That's because when your mom was growing up, we were poor and all we had was this small pan to cook a ham in. The only way I could get it to fit was to cut the ends off the ham, then it would fit in the pan."

This is the difference between "Everyone just does it because everyone does it" and "People do it because there's a known reason why you do it that way".

Why does everyone have a combat system heavily reliant on just numbers and granting tons of levels? Because everyone does it. Very few people have ever looked at this critically (I'm one of those people, because that's the sort of person I am with any feature or system or anything. I want to know why it's done the way it is, so I can understand how it works in order to iterate on it, or to remove the stupid bits of it).

That's what we're ultimately discussing at this point. People willing to give the reason why it's just not done, and others going, "no, I don't care why it's not done, I'm going to waste time coming to the same conclusion everyone else did 30 years ago".

i'm always a firm believer in trying to succeed no matter how many attempts in takes. many things we use today and think little of were made because someone didn't give up trying. people can look insane until they succeed, then they are praised for doing what others thought couldn't be done. flight for example, who would have thought massive pieces of metal could one day fly millions of people across the earth. people thought they were crazy for trying, until they succeeded.

The problem with your line of thinking is that you're applying it across the board, and you're using a small minority of people to propose a generalized rule for the rest of them. Put simply, you're trying to use the exception to make the rule. Reality doesn't work that way.

As for the other place your viewpoint falls apart is just in that you're talking about people doing things that haven't ever been done before. Not things that are "outright proven to be 100% impossible", but just things that haven't yet been accomplished. Birds can fly, so why can't people? Surely there's a way to do that. So, you keep trying until it's accomplished. Nature showed us it can be done, so just by understanding how it works, we can mimic it. Meanwhile, nobody spends 100% of their life trying to push against a single wall in the hopes that a different mindset or mood will suddenly allow them to phase through it into the room beyond it.

This is why it's important to recognize your own limitations and to cease trying when you know something is beyond you.

I can never be an astronaut. I am not wired for it, nor do I have the discipline to maintain that peak physical fitness (among a few of my other genetic defects, that disqualify me). But, I'm not going to waste my time and my life trying to be an astronaut. Trying again and again and again and again and again to no avail, for no purpose, on something that just isn't possible.

if someone can accomplish that then i have a little faith that a simple mini game can be implemented well.

I'm not saying a mini-game can't be implmented well. But so few ever pull it off, that you may as well be promoting buying lottery tickets. Sure... SOME people win the big jackpot... but that doesn't mean you should spend your money buying dozens of tickets every week in the HOPE that it'll be you.

So, unless you've got a very tangible skillset and mindset that would allow you to consistently pull that off... I simply recommend not wasting your time on it. Because... frankly... you're not qualified to pull it off, and you're only deluding yourself that you are.
 

Vuono87

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Feb 5, 2014
Messages
63
Reaction score
48
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMZ
I have a problem with it because it tends to detract from the core experience being created. It interrupts the flow of the actual game, in most instances, and distracts the player from the product you had told them you were selling them.

Is "Gwent" any good? Probably? I dunno, never played it. Does it interrupt the flow of The Witcher 3 to play it? Interrupt the narrative? The story? The primary gameplay loop? Or, does it synergize with all of those things?

That's the problem I tend to have. Why are you selling me "The Witcher 3" and then getting bored with your project partway through and dumping another game on me that ultimately detracts from the experience I paid for, and then hoping I like this new game you've dumped on me?

At minimum, it seems like the dev team suddenly developed Multiple Personality Disorder and couldn't organize their project coherently enough to keep it to only a single game and a single experience.

Maybe instead of 2 gigs of a different game jammed in here, I would've preferred 2 more gigs of the main story content because that was so much better.

Maybe I'll feel differently about mini-games when more games adopt better stances on "removing them" for players that don't want them.

Like say:
1. Ability to click a box on installation that says you don't want it, so it isn't installed and wastes disk space. Or, even, the ability to install JUST the mini-game, if I like only the mini-game.
2. Ability to turn them off entirely for the game in the options menu.
3. No achievements or unlockables that exist from playing these games (no in game advantage for engaging with them).

Then, maybe I'd soften my stance on mini-games.
the example of the Witcher, the game is 100% complete. it didn't need anything added to be great mini games or dlc, but the addition of a mini game just adds to the overall experience of the game. it isn't hiding some flaw in the game. it is just simply something extra you can do. the amount of space it takes is pretty miniscule. especially in the scope of a rpg maker game it's what a few mb maybe? most pc now days have hundreds of gb if not tb of memory.

having the ability to check a box to exclude content might be a bad idea in my opinion, then people will want more. what if i don't want cut scenes? what if i don't want combat? it just opens the door for more headaches.
This is the difference between "Everyone just does it because everyone does it" and "People do it because there's a known reason why you do it that way".

Why does everyone have a combat system heavily reliant on just numbers and granting tons of levels? Because everyone does it. Very few people have ever looked at this critically (I'm one of those people, because that's the sort of person I am with any feature or system or anything. I want to know why it's done the way it is, so I can understand how it works in order to iterate on it, or to remove the stupid bits of it).

That's what we're ultimately discussing at this point. People willing to give the reason why it's just not done, and others going, "no, I don't care why it's not done, I'm going to waste time coming to the same conclusion everyone else did 30 years ago".
you're saying no one makes mini games anymore, i disagree on that it just depends on the type of game you are playing. but speaking of traditional rpgs a lot have mini games of some sort. and most you can avoid entirely. there are games like zelda, assassins creed, trials of cold steel, final fantasy all of their recent games include mini games of some sort. other games implement a mini game into other game mechanics such as crafting.

i understand you can have your opinion on them but simply saying no one does it anymore is false. what you find as a waste of time others enjoy when done right.
The problem with your line of thinking is that you're applying it across the board, and you're using a small minority of people to propose a generalized rule for the rest of them. Put simply, you're trying to use the exception to make the rule. Reality doesn't work that way.

As for the other place your viewpoint falls apart is just in that you're talking about people doing things that haven't ever been done before. Not things that are "outright proven to be 100% impossible", but just things that haven't yet been accomplished. Birds can fly, so why can't people? Surely there's a way to do that. So, you keep trying until it's accomplished. Nature showed us it can be done, so just by understanding how it works, we can mimic it. Meanwhile, nobody spends 100% of their life trying to push against a single wall in the hopes that a different mindset or mood will suddenly allow them to phase through it into the room beyond it.

This is why it's important to recognize your own limitations and to cease trying when you know something is beyond you.

I can never be an astronaut. I am not wired for it, nor do I have the discipline to maintain that peak physical fitness (among a few of my other genetic defects, that disqualify me). But, I'm not going to waste my time and my life trying to be an astronaut. Trying again and again and again and again and again to no avail, for no purpose, on something that just isn't possible.
i'm not going to tell someone they shouldn't try to do anything. if they want to try and make something fun for others to enjoy that's fine by me. im not saying everyone will be successful but i don't think everyone will fail either.

so you believe humans can mimic the flight of a bird but no one can see how something like a fishing mini game was done and mimic it? no one can mimic a card game? how has it not been done? when it's been literally been done over and over again? i really don't understand that mindset, and i disagree 1000% not just AAA games but even recent indie games not just rpg maker come out with games that include mini games.

knowing your limitations and finding ways around them are different things. maybe you can't be an astronaut but you could still work with a space program. for 1000's of years people been finding ways to do things no one thought they could do. a game of blackjack isn't that complicated, neither are most other mini games that get developed.

I'm not saying a mini-game can't be implmented well. But so few ever pull it off, that you may as well be promoting buying lottery tickets. Sure... SOME people win the big jackpot... but that doesn't mean you should spend your money buying dozens of tickets every week in the HOPE that it'll be you.

So, unless you've got a very tangible skillset and mindset that would allow you to consistently pull that off... I simply recommend not wasting your time on it. Because... frankly... you're not qualified to pull it off, and you're only deluding yourself that you are.
skillsets can be taught and learned. yes some people are naturals at any given thing. you might not know how to start a fire but you can be taught. you might not know how to write a line of code but you can be taught.

i agree that it does take a certain mindset and a little determination to achieve your goal, and not everyone has that. but motivating others can be a powerful thing, you can change someone's mindset and make them feel more determined to complete the task. does it mean that they will? not always, but it's still worth doing.

anyway this is all i got to say on the subject, we can agree to disagree. i didn't want to have a full on debate on here. if you still want to discuss more feel free to message me. sorry to the OP @Eden019 for derailing your thread a bit...
 

woootbm

Super Sand Legend
Veteran
Joined
Apr 26, 2014
Messages
384
Reaction score
353
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
This whole thread is so much funnier than people realize. First of all, all the cases against mini-games use examples of "bad game design." And all the cases for mini-games are making examples of "good game design." So basically they're bad if they're bad BUT they're good if they're good? No kidding.

The main thing us amateur dev's need to focus on is figuring out how to make our gameplay enjoyable. If the primary gameplay is bad, why would you try to add secondary or tertiary ones?


There also is this question of "what purpose do mini-games serve, anyway?" That's simple: to shake things up. You don't want players doing the "same thing" for too long. It's one of the reasons high encounter rates are so hated. Even if the combat is great, people want more out of an RPG. It helps pacing. Players need both highs and lows. Calm parts and stormy parts. Tension and relief. Mini-games offer some relief while also keeping the player engaged.

Also: if your game is short, don't even bother with mini-games. You don't want your tight experience to feel like it has padding. Padding should be a trick saved for longer games.
 

Vogie

Warper
Member
Joined
Nov 22, 2022
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
Other
Minigames where it's mandatory for you to do them once, to introduce the mechanic - this is fine.

Beyond that, I'll mirror Cythera here - it only makes sense if it fits in the world.
Minigames that are mandatory for specific styles of play also make sense - if the player is a
  • hacker, they must use the hacking minigame to do the hacking
  • thief who has access to the lock picking minigame
  • huckster (from Deadlands) who must use the poker mechanic to use their magic
and so on. Having a poker or blackjack minigame in the local tavern to gain money or loosen lips for information is perfectly fine as long as it isn't the sole way to do either of those things.
 

Basileus

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Oct 18, 2013
Messages
403
Reaction score
582
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
@Tai_MT
"Every single thing you add to your project needs to serve a purpose."

I agree with this 100%, especially since we are often working alone or in small underfunded groups. It's hard enough for us to even finish a game, let alone starting making new games within games.

I don't have proof, but I suspect that a good amount of the mini-games we see in professional games may have started as something with more purpose but were scrapped at some stage of development and the devs chose to re-use the assets since they already put in the work. If you have an idea for some dungeon puzzles and end up with something that doesn't quite fit, then I don't see a problem with turning the test puzzles you already made into an optional mini-game and putting a prize at the end. Sometimes our ideas just don't work out and it's a waste to just delete all of our work.

But seriously, do not go out of your way to make mini-games and them make them mandatory. I can almost believe that Square made Blitzball thinking that it would play a larger role in the story only to realize that matches took too long, but making it mandatory to continue the story was a huge mistake.
 

Iron_Brew

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Nov 19, 2021
Messages
665
Reaction score
1,888
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
The main thing us amateur dev's need to focus on is figuring out how to make our gameplay enjoyable. If the primary gameplay is bad, why would you try to add secondary or tertiary ones?

As per usual, @woootbm smashing the nail on the head.

Manage your scope. If you already know you're gonna struggle to make your main game fun why spread yourself even thinner by trying to make more games within the game.
In the words of the great Ron Swanson:

1669247219639.png
 

fop

Secret Cat
Veteran
Joined
Mar 12, 2016
Messages
40
Reaction score
97
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
I see there's been a big debate here and everyone has written some very well thought out posts. I'm uhhh not going to do that. To the OP: I read your post talking about the circumstances around the game and getting the key item and I think it's a cute idea.

Then again, I'm someone who likes minigames. They're one of my favorite parts of rpgs and the rarer minigames become with indie rpgs, the sadder I get.
 

Latest Threads

Latest Posts

Latest Profile Posts

All the artists on here always share their art, and I wanted to partake in the sharing. I wanted to show off the album art for my game's soundtrack while also showing off this song. I wanted to take a break from all the pianos/strings/jazz. I experimented with some side-chaining techniques to modulate the dub-step like synth.
Crazy idea to help people be more productive. We all upload a photo of someone who is good at nagging, cajoling, guilting, etc. you into doing what you should be doing. Then, after you have posted X amount of times in a defined period, that photo pops up with the text of "Shouldn't you be working on your game?" Just for fun.:wink:
Avery wrote on MouseWorks's profile.
That is a really cute avatar concept that you have there! I like it :3
Well, here's a screenshot of just another game that might never be completed...

quicktrip_xp01.jpg
Fake FullScreen (Download):

Forum statistics

Threads
128,509
Messages
1,195,114
Members
169,084
Latest member
riluohuangsha
Top