Question for Everyone:What do you look for in an RPG Maker Game?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by VitaliaDi, Apr 30, 2019.

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What's most important to you while playing an RPG Maker Game?

  1. A compelling story/plot

    67.4%
  2. Great graphics

    4.7%
  3. Unique gameplay/programming

    23.3%
  4. Great music and atmosphere

    4.7%
  1. VitaliaDi

    VitaliaDi Jedi Master Veteran

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    A lot of us here are game creators as well as players. I know lots of people, including myself, got into RPG Maker after playing a game made in it.

    I know that when I'm playing a game or looking for one I look for good graphics, either novel or just pretty in general. And I love a good story.
    I'm not really big into the turn-based system since I'm more of a story seeker and I love the Zelda-type retro gameplay where you solve puzzles and search for hidden things. That's my go-to game and I try to incorporate those things into my games because of it.

    What draws everyone else?
     
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  2. hiddenone

    hiddenone Lurker Extraordinaire Moderator

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    Puns. A decent pun in the game's post will get a download from me.
     
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  3. Engr. Adiktuzmiko

    Engr. Adiktuzmiko Chemical Engineer, Game Developer, Using BlinkBoy' Veteran

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    What I look for in a game (any game) is good story and gameplay, on equal terms so I cant cast a vote since its single vote only... Music and graphics arent that much important to me in games, as long as they aren't like super bad or doesn't make sense in the game.
     
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  4. Ebanyle

    Ebanyle Veteran Veteran

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    Honestly I don't know? As much as I love plot what usually draws my attention is the graphics though. But my favorite RM game attracted me because of the protagonist's name lol
     
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  5. BlueMage

    BlueMage Slime Lv99 Veteran

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    I look for unique gameplay!
     
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  6. MrKiwi

    MrKiwi No Flying Bird Veteran

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    My answer might be a bit "romantic" but what I like from general RPGM games, its the feelings that creators puts on them. I doesn't have to be a novel-like game, any action, fantasy or sci-fi can do so. I just think its wonderfull to see, feel, and live the passion and creativity behind every rmaker :kaoswt:
     
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  7. richter_h

    richter_h Eh? Sweetroll? Veteran

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    Simply put, I'm looking for the combination of points shown on the polling. In other words, I'm looking for the perfect blend of story, gameplay, visuals, music and a bit of challenge.

    Also, a generous amount of humour.
     
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  8. TheoAllen

    TheoAllen Self-proclaimed jack of all trades Veteran

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    It's easier to say what I do not look for, rather than what I look for.

    I may be looking for one that has a battle (that is for sure), but sometimes I can ignore the battle if it really has a specific setup like if I play a fan game from something I know that is mostly a narrative, I might be fine without battles. But a random original game, probably not.

    However, I'm not really looking for a very specific, complex mechanic battle system, even I can live with boring repetitive combat as long as it isn't a hindrance and the story is worth to follow. But I do look for a game with custom animations/sideview sequence. I don't mind RTP for the graphics.

    Now for something I do not look for, here is the list:
    • Horror games.
    • Puzzle focused games.
    • VN/Heavy narrative driven/choices.
    • With battles but include a puzzle as an obstacle.
    • A game with default animation.
    • Frontview.
    • Non-Pause ATB.
     
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  9. Heirukichi

    Heirukichi Veteran Veteran

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    A good story with a solid background is always nice. To be completely honest, I usually look for a challenge. However, people often add bad mitigated RNG to increase difficulty (which just make things random and annoying, not difficult), and when there is no RNG the game becomes simply too easy once you learn the mechanics. This is why I usually look for a good story, that is something easier to find.

    However when gameplay is bad is no laughing matter either. It takes time to decide if a story is good or bad - unless it is very bad - and you might have to play the game until its very ending to understand everything, but that would be impossible if the gameplay is bad. So, even if I mostly look for a good story, a good gameplay is a "must have" for each game I play.

    Truth be told, when you start a new game you face something unknown. If the first impact is bad - being it a poor tutorial/introduction or a poor gameplay in general - it is not worth playing, unless you have a particular reason for playing it (you have read reviews and really want to give it a try because of them), you could as well try a different game whose known part (gameplay, tutorial/introduction) is good. A bad first impact is something that really gives out a bad design vibe.

    In general, at least for me, if the first dialogue lines make no sense, if the first part of the game is very boring or if the gameplay is bad from the very beginning of the game, I stop playing the game and uninstall it. There is plenty of games out there, there is no need to play something you know for being bad since the very beginning.

    You could say that before playing it, a game has an unknown chance of being bad, and that chance is the same for each game you never played before (unless it has very positive reviews, of course). Knowing this, you could define a certain weight for each aspect of the game. When doing so I usually assign a very low weight to music because, in the worst case scenario, you can just mute it.

    Graphics are nice, but when I was young I played games like the MS Dos prince of persia (my screen had no colors back then, just black and green), the weight I assign to graphics is very low as well. On top of it, I really hate when developers focus too much on graphics and neglect something else that might really make the difference. There are a lot of situations where developers focused too much on graphics and had to neglect other aspects of the game because they ran short on time. As long as game graphics are acceptable, I am fine with playing the game.

    Story and gameplay have the highest weight. However, as I mentioned, the story is something that you experience by playing the game - unless incredibly obvious bad design choices were made and the story proves to be terrible from the very first dialogue lines.

    To decide if a game is worth playing I start like this:
    Code:
    Story.weight =~ Gameplay.weight
    Graphics.weight < Story.weight
    Music.weight << Story.weight => Music.weight = o(Story.weight)
    Based on those assumptions I continue defining a formula to see how bad a game can theoretically be (I calculate its chances of being bad). I start assuming that every aspect has the same chance of being bad or good (thus it starts at 0.5) and then modify that chance as I play based on what happens. It is somewhat similar to relaxing edges when calculating the shortest path in a graph.
    Code:
    InitialBadChance = Story.weight * 0.5 + Gameplay.weight * 0.5 + Graphics.weight * 0.5 + o(Story.weight) * 0.5
    # The last part being a small o means it can be omitted
    initialBadChance = Story.weight * 0.5 + Gameplay.weight * 0.5 + Graphics.weight * 0.5
    
    If one thing is bad at the very beginning of the game the chance of it being bad suddenly turns to 1. Since Gameplay has a higher weight than Graphics in my opinion, and it is also something you experience from the very beginning, I can change that chance of being bad quite soon. However, if the thing being bad is Gameplay, things turn ugly quite soon.
    Code:
    CurrentBadChance = Story.weight * 0.5 + Gameplay.weight * 1 + Graphics.weight * 0
    # I am assuming graphics are good here.
    # Since Graphics.weight < Gameplay.weight
    Story.weight * 0.5 + Gameplay.weight > 0.5 * (Story.weight + Gameplay.weight + Graphics.weight)
    
    If it turns out having a higher chance of being bad compared to an unknown game, why should I keep investing time playing it? Trying a new one makes much more sense to me.
     
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  10. Vervain

    Vervain Creature Member

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    I suppose I veer toward spooky or surreal games, but regardless of genre, I really prefer games that try something new.

    I'm much more likely to pay attention to games which look as though they're trying to be something more than 'cute girl gets squashed by the creepy environment sim 2019' or 'oldschool rpg IV'... If a game makes me think "wow, how did they come up with that????" then I'm pleased~.
     
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  11. Switz

    Switz Veteran Veteran

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    All about the story. But some other areas can cause me to second guess committing myself to purchasing or not.


    First thing I'll look at while deciding to buy or not is I look for any images that have characters talking to see level of writing and theme I can expect. You'd be surprised how many games get the PASS button hit because it reads too cliche or childish. "Mommy said not to talk to strangers". Since I consider the story the main area I want to be absorbed in, seeing stuff like that takes a HUGE hit on my descision.

    The second thing I'll look at while deciding to buy or not is graphics...or should I say effort. I'm fine with stock tilesets, just as long as their map images do not look like all our maps we made in our first two hours of discovering RPG Maker for the first time.

    But the cream is the story. If the initial tests are passed I'm willing to purchase if the story description is just okay which I find is almost all the time.
     
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  12. Aesica

    Aesica undefined Veteran

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    A good storyline, but also, a cohesive, balanced battle system with some degree of depth is nice. I love me a good RPG battle system, but so few RM game developers pay enough attention to this aspect of their games. Another good selling point to me is "it was made with MV." Nothing against the older engines, but they fullscreen horribly in most cases.

    Similar to what @TheoAllen mentioned, there are things I consider to be UNselling points in RM games:
    • Generic/dull/minimally-designed battle system
    • Front view, with a few exceptions
    • The oddly-popular "choices matter" gimmick. I'm sure it can be good in some cases, but in every RM game I've played that bragged about this "feature" implements it in a way that obligates the player to use a guide to avoid making the "wrong" choice, such as losing an important character.
    • Missable content. If done in excess, this alone is enough to make me put down an otherwise well-done game.
    • Complex gear management systems. As in, don't make me have to socket, enchant, and upgrade my gear before it's usable unless it's a scaling mechanic that unfolds over the course of the game.
    • Elaborate elemental system without any transparency/strategy (no scan/libra or other way to view weaknesses/strengths)
    • Everything is poisonous and poison doesn't go away after battle. Why would you do this to players?
    • Excessive amounts of minor bugs (bad pathing, buggy items, broken quests, etc)
     
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  13. bgillisp

    bgillisp Global Moderators Global Mod

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    No sells to me:
    -If it looks like Baby's first RPG.
    -If it looks like it is trying to sell on sex appeal only.

    As for the battle system, don't care. I find I can stand a game with a poor battle system as long as the story is good. But if the reverse occurs, I usually give up before I finish as there is no incentive to continue. In fact, that is why I still to this date haven't finished Trails in the Sky SC, as the battle system is great, but the story is not (in my opinion) and I eventually gave up in Chapter 7 as I had no more incentive to continue.

    BTW, I'm surprised some of you don't like front view. You DO know that most of the classics of the 80/90's used front view right? Wizardry 1 - 7, Might and Magic I - V, Bards Tale I - III, just to name a few. Personally I like front view as I feel it doesn't waste my time with needless animations of my characters walking around and such in battle. in fact, I think this is why in the older games 1 hour long battles were unheard of, as they used front view so everything was over with much quicker due to skipping of things most don't want to see for the 151672 time in a game.
     
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  14. kirbwarrior

    kirbwarrior Veteran Veteran

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    I voted "plot" but it's not quite that simple.

    I play rpgs for the story. But I wouldn't say it has to be the most important. Good gameplay is kind of required to make a game worth playing. Take that away and you have a movie. I've beaten precisely one game for the story despite the battle system and going forward it isn't worth doing again. Bad gameplay will often turn me away. Good gameplay keeps me coming back for replays.

    Music and atmosphere can make a game grand, but rarely will it make a game bad. As long as it doesn't get in the way, I don't care, but I will absolutely appreciate it when it's good.

    Graphics do matter, but not in a scale sense. They don't need to be realistic or even "good", they need to work for the game. Super Mario 64 technically has terrible 3d graphics and yet I've never once been bothered by it since it works for the game and plays well with the graphics.

    If the story is even only slightly compelling and the rest of the game is solid, then it's much better than one area being fantastic at the cost of the rest. A good game doesn't sacrifice one of the four for another, it seeks to work them all together.

    Note that this isn't different for rpg maker games. The system the game is made in and it's price tag basically don't matter to me. There are romhacks out there that I like more than AAA games. However, something unique does tend to stick out more with finding rpg maker games, I love Monstruct and it all came from such a simple premise of turning the default battle system into a puzzle game.

    One last small note; I seem to generally have good luck with picking games out in general. Out of my huge library of games, I have precisely one that I might regret having bought. Well, either luck or I'm easily entertained.
     
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  15. Aesica

    Aesica undefined Veteran

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    I guess my reasoning is that I find it overall less immersive, and in the case of RM games, is often just a symptom of a poorly-designed, lazy battle system since it takes less work to make something work for front view than it does for side view. I often find that, with front view battles, I just want them over with because they're just lazy attack mashers.

    That's not to say it's a complete dealbreaker, because some do it okay and in some cases, it's actually ideal. In the next game I plan on making, the theme is sci-fi aboard a space ship, complete with some combat encounters where you control the ship itself. This can't really be done well in side view, so I plan on having it be front view even if the more traditional battles will be side view.

    That said, I spent a lot of time with Final Fantasy and some NES ports of the Ultima, so the early DQ/DW games were the only ones I really played where there was front view. Oh, and MM: Isle of Terra and MM: Xeen, but I always thought both of those had terrible combat so I don't really count them as a model for anything. While I truly enjoyed the gameboy SaGa (FF Legend) games, the combat even in those felt a bit annoying and detached due to being front view.

    This is actually a valid gripe, and to be blunt, I think a lot of developers who use side view (and assuming Yanfly's battle engine) need to pick up the action sequence packs, take some time to learn them, and take steps to make sure their abilities are executed in a more concise manner.

    Specifically, I have my "move user: X" delays cut down to about 15 or 20, whereas the commonly-used values I see in other projects is around 30-60 which is...horrendously slow. I also recommend that people cut out the "wait for animation" part for many abilities. Using either a custom wait time that is less than the total animation duration or leaving the wait out all together speeds everything up quite a bit.

    To validate your point even more, I picked up a $0.49 game on steam not long ago because I thought it might at least be making valid political statement about the country it takes place in (I think it tried to, but it was pretty poorly executed if so). This game used side view, but the attack animations took FOR EVER to execute because the battlers moved super slow, to the point I just got the 2000+ achievements (rofl) it spewed out and then left it in the trash heap.
     
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  16. Heirukichi

    Heirukichi Veteran Veteran

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    I agree; animations are something people might like, but when you play a game where battles are the very core and, in order to explore the whole game, you have to fight many times, I really think battle animations are too annoying. As a matter of fact I think there should be an option in EVERY game to disable battle animations completely. Battles are nice and all, but when you take 10 seconds to come up with a strategy for the next turn and then you have to wait 40 seconds for all the animations to be played it becomes quite annoying.

    This, however, applies to front view battles as well. I think animation should be optional there too. What I mean is that they are nice, but they effectively add nothing to the system itself other than just graphics...and graphics, as I stated in my previous post, have a lower priority compared to gameplay (at least in my opinion). If the gameplay has to be slowed down just because the developer wanted to show nice graphics that is something I really cannot stand at all. Why should a fight take 10 minutes when it could have taken 2 minutes without animations? Especially in games with random encounters you often need just a couple of seconds to come up with a strategy because those enemies are something you already know how to beat. When that happens, around 90% of the time spent in battle is because of animation you have already seen too many times.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2019
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  17. TheoAllen

    TheoAllen Self-proclaimed jack of all trades Veteran

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    Frontview tends to have a horrible pace. And with the nature of the default turn system, you don't know who is attacking who. It feels too fast, especially when mixed with row actor status in the status window. You're forced to read the battle log. Sideview with animation tend to waste a time, but they're also easier to follow who is attacking who. But to be fair, I don't like wasting time in animation as well. They're just make the whole battle easier to follow than frontview.
     
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  18. bgillisp

    bgillisp Global Moderators Global Mod

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    @TheoAllen : Funny, as I've never felt that I need to know exactly who attacks which bat in a group of 7 in any battle system. Al I care about is the overall result at the end of the turn once I've input my commands, which is honestly all that matters. Do you really need to know that bat A did 2 damage and bat B did 6 damage when you can't do anything about it until your next turn anyways? I've never felt the need.

    In fact, I recently played Wizardry 8 which is known for taking way too long with the turns due to showing way too much little data like that. I read a book, and just looked at the overall status of my party and enemies at the start of the next turn, as that is the relevant data and will be the exact same no matter how it is conveyed.
     
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  19. Aesica

    Aesica undefined Veteran

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    While sure, the ultimate goal is to just "kill the bads and get the loots," however being able to follow the journey is also important for the overall experience. I mean sure, you could probably make a battle system that just cuts out everything in between rounds--no animations/messages, update everyone's stats, and go straight to the next round after you input everybody's actions. But would that actually be "fun?"

    In the wizardry game I played (5 I think?) you could also mash through the combat text at breakneck speed with a turbo controller. This made combat not only extremely short, but I also distinctly recall how it made the battles feel extremely impersonal and boring, like something to just push out of the way so I could continue exploring. Personally, I think there's something to be said for being able to follow and enjoy the narrative going on instead of just "here's what I want to do, roll the dice and calculate stuff quickly behind the scenes, then give me the updated stats asap so I can give my next set of commands to repeat the process."

    Having a good battle narrative can make for memorable battles, but this cannot be said for combat designed to be overly quick and detached."
     
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  20. bgillisp

    bgillisp Global Moderators Global Mod

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    False. I have actually had some really memorable battles without seeing how much damage I do to every little item with every little character. In fact, that same Wizardry game has given me many memorable battles, and I still read books between turns as I wait for it to resolve.

    I think it comes down to what you want to see. I've just never cared to see every little thing in a battle. I look at it as more of a mastermind overseeing the action, where you want to see overall results and adjust from there, not every little paper cut every solider takes. But maybe I'm just different here.
     
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