freakytapir

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Now, we've all heard of the 'Multiple Endings' game, and some of you might even have played 'Nier Automata' with its 26 different endings. There's also been plenty of games with a 'Class or race specific intro' like Dragon Age. My idea is to combine these two.
At the start you would pick your class, play through the intro, face the first boss, win, then a second boss comes in and you lose. Maybe a little Dark Soul's like "You died" flash screen.
You'd be booted back to the 'Character selection screen', only for your original class to be grayed out. The next class you pick, you might notice you still have the learned skills from your last class, and all of your xp, but your stats and class have changed.
"Weird, I picked alchemist this time, why do I still have 'Fire'? Oh, and I'm level 2? Huh ..."


This would continue until you lose a sixth time (Six starter classes).
Only then would the 'Main game' start.


To clarify, each intro is a sperate story that introduces a part of the main cast, and would skip certain parts on run two to six, like basic combat explanation..

I'm actually using these short intros to tutorialize all the systems.
So the 'Foebreaker' intro would teach about Elemental weaknesses
The 'Alchemist' would explain item usage (Cooldowns, skill based Item usage vs just the item command ...)
The 'Blood Mage' would explain Buffs and debuffs and how to best use them.
The 'Champion' would explain Weapon properties and TP usage.
The 'Martyr' would be Shields and Tanking in general.
The 'Mindknife' would explain the 'Materia' system and its uses.

Now, am I completely mental, or is it just the other guy?
 

HexMozart88

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Not a bad idea, but what happens if the player wins? Or is it impossible?
 

freakytapir

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Not a bad idea, but what happens if the player wins? Or is it impossible?
Well, he's supposed to win against the first beginning-specific guy, but then auto-lose to the second guy.
The second guy is supposed to be the eventual Act 1 Final boss.
The way combat math is structured, the player just cannot hope to win against an enemy that much higher leveled than him. (Turn-based, no reflex based mechanics)
Seeing as the intros have no random encounters at all, out-grinding the boss is quite impossible.

So maybe I'll just add a "Boss gets to 50 % hit points, goes into overdrive mode" mechanic that basically wipes the ...
Wait a minute, that could be a part of the story. That each time you face that boss, you can get a bit further, uncovering another layer of "This boss will **** you up", so that when the player finally faces him, he knows what ****ery is coming in a seven phase boss battle.

Ooh, actually showing how the hero becomes stronger through his myriad lives, the BBEG standing behind his 'Dragon' growing ever more concerned. But the hero eventually always falling.
 

Quexp

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This is an interesting tutorial idea. What if the player chooses the "right" class too early? Will he/she miss part/all of the tutorial? Also, would it be easy to skip if wanted?

Edit: It just dawned on me that my first question is probably what HexMozart88 was posing.
 

Cythera

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This is a really quirky idea. I saw something sort of similar in an RM game before; look up 'Metastasis' on itch. The dev is totally slipping my mind right now, but it was made for the 2020 driftwood game jam, so that should narrow it down enough for you to find. Provided the dev left it up haha.
My concern with this idea though is to just make sure the player is aware their death is supposed to happen. Players will pick their favourite class or the class that sounds the strongest for their play style. Once they lose and their favourite class is blocked out, they might feel like they failed. Like this is the punishment for losing that battle - losing access to a class.
Also, letting them pick a class then taking it away is kind of a false choice. If the main class isn't vital to the plot, maybe record the player's first class pick and assign that after they've run through the six starting scenes. Unless your intent is to combine all 6 classes into one, then I say: that's a fun technical problem, and, watch your balancing doing that, and, watch your skill count so you don't overwhelm players.
Some things to think about, but I'm liking the idea overall. Is quirky ^-^
 

ShadowDragon

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@Cythera I know the gameJam MetaStatis and beat it, it is really nicely done,
and a really complex mechanic. but not sure on the beginning, but I might
be able to know how it's done or do it similair.

not exactly sure what multiple beginnings he means though, but I still have
the game :)

@freakytapir what exactly try you to do with multiple beginnings?
if he fail to win, you can retry the battle? or from save file to retry a different
road but also a different text?

the more details you give, the better we can help you achieve the mechanic
to make it happen.
 

Tiamat-86

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6 different intros sounds like a bit much though. by the end of the 3rd 1 i'd be starting to get annoyed by the lack of actually feeling progress and tutorial spam overload.
which is probably why games like BoF4 and wild arms 2 only do 2-3 separate intros that are a whole dungeon each and space out the tutorials as get farther into the dungeon.

almost all games ive played that have guarantied losing a fight in the intro are just 1 and done things where the intro characters are always either ancestor/parent to that main character, or else no relation at all and the intro serves as a quick 1 battle thing that introduces 1 of the villains.
losing intros tend to work better as lore/motive builder and less for tutorials, (FF6 for example, whelk counters attacks to his shell, only attack its head. everything else is optional at the house leaving town.)

from past forum discussions: in general a series of forced tutorials is usually a hated thing.
if its a mechanic that is seen in other popular games or just a slightly altered version of a common thing chances are nobody needs to be forced to hear it. a side NPC is usually enough.
only time there should be a forced tutorial is when its something either rare/unique and is linked directly to class progression or your like 95%+ GOING TO DIE REPEATEDLY unless you learn this mechanic.
 
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freakytapir

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This is a really quirky idea. I saw something sort of similar in an RM game before; look up 'Metastasis' on itch. The dev is totally slipping my mind right now, but it was made for the 2020 driftwood game jam, so that should narrow it down enough for you to find. Provided the dev left it up haha.
My concern with this idea though is to just make sure the player is aware their death is supposed to happen. Players will pick their favorite class or the class that sounds the strongest for their play style. Once they lose and their favorite class is blocked out, they might feel like they failed. Like this is the punishment for losing that battle - losing access to a class.
Also, letting them pick a class then taking it away is kind of a false choice. If the main class isn't vital to the plot, maybe record the player's first class pick and assign that after they've run through the six starting scenes. Unless your intent is to combine all 6 classes into one, then I say: that's a fun technical problem, and, watch your balancing doing that, and, watch your skill count so you don't overwhelm players.
Some things to think about, but I'm liking the idea overall. Is quirky ^-^

You're right on the 'Picking your favorite and having it snatched away' front. It's a delicate balance.

For now, the 'Character selection area' has an NPC commenting about how you're 'there again', with advancing dialogue every time.

You also keep the skills from every pick, so at the end of it all you have about 6-12 skills. An 'Equipable skill' system limits the amount the player has to take care of at a time.

And well, not really combining all the classes into one, but the main character is supposed to be the most versatile of them all. The lowest base stats, but the biggest amount of 'stat points' on lvl up, with an easy way to re-spec out of dungeons. The MC is supposed to be always changing. He is the incarnation of the 'Hero' across all worlds, tapping into the knowledge of all of his lives. I plan to place a lot of emphasis on 'Finding the right build' for every boss fight.

The ... 'point' is that the 'class' you take on selecting a class on the character selection screen is that of your 'Mentor' in that intro. So when they join your party, you know how they would play.
So choosing 'Foebreaker' ( The mage/Fighter multiclass) sends you to meet the actual 'Foebreaker' who will be joining your party later on, so if you want to build your MC like that, you have an idea of how to do that.
 

Cythera

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@Cythera I know the gameJam MetaStatis and beat it, it is really nicely done,
and a really complex mechanic. but not sure on the beginning, but I might
be able to know how it's done or do it similair.
It was a really interesting spin on a game; that's for sure. As for how it was done, the game made good use of Olivia's Meta Control plugin. Which basically allows you to make switches/variables that are global and carry between save files.
For now, the 'Character selection area' has an NPC commenting about how you're 'there again', with advancing dialogue every time.
Good, make sure there's enough notable variance between the intro scenes so players know things are changing. Its going to be challenging to make this kind of system without chasing players off right away because of, apparently, locking classes and repeating scenes.
Six scenes does seem like a bit too much; I'd personally take 4, maybe even 5, as a player. You'd have to be very careful to keep their interest in all scenes, and to make it very clear more comes afterwards; this isn't just a loop.
Without knowing more about your game's plot and mechanics, it's hard to give specifics ideas. But, I still think this is a cool concept, just watch your execution of it :p I hear people say in games you have 2-5 mins to draw players in, and 30 mins to keep them playing. Something like that.
 

alice_gristle

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I wanna get into things right away, so if the game's gonna be like, "We gonna go through these hoops first," it's gonna blow my patience. After maybe two such runs, I can totally see myself rage quitting. :biggrin: :biggrin: Soo, I'm sidin' with @Cythera and @Tiamat-86 on cutting back on the introductory scenes. Six sounds like five too many. :kaoswt:
 

freakytapir

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Six scenes does seem like a bit too much; I'd personally take 4, maybe even 5, as a player. You'd have to be very careful to keep their interest in all scenes, and to make it very clear more comes afterwards; this isn't just a loop.

You know, I might just trim it down to three times (out of six).
So you'd have to play once in each world, but you wouldn't need to do al the classes.

So you'd have
Fantasy world: Champion (Fighter/Rogue) or Blood Mage (Mage/Cleric)
Modern World: Foebreaker (Fighter/Mage) or Alchemist (Rogue/Cleric)
Futuristic world: Martyr (Fighter/Cleric) or Mindknife (Rogue/Mage)
 

ScorchedGround

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I think you should just give the player the option to skip past all of this stuff.

From what I have read so far, your approach seems to serve 2 purposes:

#1 Each of the six beginnings teaches you one core gameplay mechanic (Tutorial)
#2 Each of the six beginnings introduces important characters and story elements

I think that as long as each individual "restart" gives the player a fresh experience and new stuff to look at and learn (which seems to be the case from what you described), that should be fine, even with 6 characters.

However, this approach would greatly damage the replay-value because you'd have to sit through all of this again everytime you "truly restart" the game. And at that point, you don't need tutorials or story-introductions anymore.
 

freakytapir

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A small clarification on the intros: They're not just text information dumps, they do contain actual game-play too. The 'Tutorials' require you to actually use the information given to defeat the boss at the end of them.

So on a replay you can go faster and faster.

Besides, this intro is also part of the 'real game'. You're already building levels and learning skills.
It's not a 'hard reset' between each one.
So if you do the 'Alchemist' one first, you'll notice you still have 'Quick Potion' when you switch to 'Martyr' on the second intro and are already level two, just a different class, That intro will give you 'Shield' for the third intro, where you pick 'Foebreaker', and learn 'Quickfire'.

So there's a sense of progress even if your class keeps changing.
It's also done to habituate the player with the concept that the MC is extremely fluid in build. Stat points and skills equipped are supposed to be adapted to every dungeon you do.
 

Mosi3c

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I am pretty interested in how this plays out. It sounds really fun. I would suggest taking note of how long it would take someone to get through all of it and if they could possibly take a break. If your looking at so much tutorial someone can take a break and come back, that is a lot of tutorial.
What if you went inverse? What if each one was (if you had 3 intros and 4 was the real story) what if you made the 3 slightly less than a 4th of the game each? With enough investment in that character, it could sell the idea of precursor events and the impact of that character on the next. Just an idea
 

Maliki79

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I immediately thought of two games: Final Fantasy 6 and well, the first 3 Wild Arms games.

In FF6, there is a point early on where the already established party splits into groups and continues the story for a bit. Not exactly what you were planning, but just felt very close to me. The WA games all let you choose between 3 or 4 chars to start the game with. They then walk you thru how to play with each char in and out of battle.
(Very cool idea, imo.) If you haven't played any of these, I'd recommend giving at least the WA games a shot to see how they work.
 

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