Random encounters Vs. Sprite encounters

slickdeath97

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I am trying to figure out whether to make random encounters in my game or to make the troops into sprite event encounters. Which one is better?
 

estriole

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I am trying to figure out whether to make random encounters in my game or to make the troops into sprite event encounters. Which one is better?
i would go for sprite encounter... random encounter if not controlled properly could become nightmare and deter person from playing your game...

it's my personal opinion though. :D.
 

Wavelength

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This gets asked all the time over in Game Mechanics Design (this is the most recent thread that has asked it). The clear consensus is usually that Visual ("Sprite") Encounters are better if you do them right, though there is a sizable minority of people that like Random better.

I personally like Visual Encounters much better - they give the player interaction on the map, they punish the player less for getting lost, they disrupt the player's train of thought less (since you can see the encounter coming a few seconds beforehand), and they just feel more "fair" than being randomly foisted into battle against your will. You have to be smart about how you design the Events that run the encounters, though - they shouldn't usually chase you faster than you can move, for example, and they should never throw you right back into the encounter immediately after you Flee from a combat just because you're still touching the event.
 

ATT_Turan

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I would posit that you should also consider the type of game you're making, and its inspiration.

Random encounters are much more traditional, so if you're inspired by (or trying to create echoes of) a particular series, that could be a strong reason to stick with them.

And, of course, if this is your first game you're making with RPG Maker, it's much less work to use the built-in system.
 

jonthefox

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Depends on so many factors, but in general, I think random encounters are harder to "get right" - there is more potential for frustration and un-fun gameplay that could seriously detract from the enjoyment of the game.

I like random encounters when they are not too frequent (in terms of steps), when the encounters themselves feel interesting/appealing and not perfunctory, and when the dungeon is not too long or labyrinthine that it feels tedious to traverse.

Remember that you are not going to please everyone, because even with visual encounters, people like different things. The style of game with visual encounters that I like is mystic quest, where each encounter is a visual monster troop acting as a "roadblock" that you clear out as you progress through the dungeon. I don't find much benefit in the visual encounters that are intentionally avoidable, as I think in that case you might as well just make every random encounter 100% escapable (but I also find that problematic for other reasons). A modern game that also does this well is Shadows of Adam.
 

CraneSoft

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Mechanically speaking and from a gameplay standpoint, Visual/Sprite encounters are better in every way as they allow the player to engage enemies when they want and not wasting time trying to escape from encounters they don't wanna fight. Unless your intent is to make a traditional/classic-style RPG ie. Octopath, using random encounters will likely alienate players looking for a modern-game experience.

With that said, random encounters can be used in certain types of games (ie.horror) where you are not always fighting enemies every X steps but are always in danger of getting attacked, when used correctly they can build up tension.
 

Reinarc

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That new Final Fantasy game that's coming out has a unique spin on random encounters: you stack them up and then tackle them all at once. So while visual encounters are universally "better," there's still ways to make random encounters fun. It would just take some imagination and JS knowledge.

(I'm kind of wondering if that "stack em up and tackle em all at once" system would be feasible in RPG Maker.)
 

RachelTheSeeker

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Four words about handling random encounters that can get obnoxious? "Repel that actually works". If I knew how to do that Breath of Fire trick in VX Ace, where beating random fights thins out the encounter rate, I'd use that.

It's easy to screw up both random and touch encounters. Random encounters can happen too often, and touch encounters can feel claustrophobic in tight corridors. Whether my OCD or not, I found Dragon Quest 9's touch encounters particularly annoying. I also find it jarring when touch encounter monsters on a map just kinda faff about randomly, or chase down the player with no hope to escape. Y'all know that meme of bad horror RM games where you get an instant game over if the monster touches you, and that said monster is nigh-impossible to dodge? Yeah. I'll take my chances with random myself, going forward.

Potential third option: fights that are triggered when you enter a certain area, such as many modern Western CRPGs and maybe Chrono Trigger, I've never played. In a technical sense, most RPGs do this for bosses anyway. Speaking of OCD, I do worry about softlocking the player with no means to get more money, due to no random encounters to grind for money. As such, maybe I wasn't far off with my snide first sentence? Perhaps controlled random encounter spots could work, such as the tall grass in Pokemon?
 
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Pots Talos

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I think both are fine but if you plan on doing random encounters I highly recommend ways for the player to circumvent them. Items that offer 100% repel are great they can be consumables or even armor/accessories with a passive repel and skills that give 100% chance to escape also help.

If you are doing sprite encounters than you should make a spawning system so that the player can't clear out areas with no hopes of gold or exp. Of course maybe you are making a game where you want limited gold and exp... I guess in the end, either system works as long as you think it through and make it fun for the player.
 

PixeLockeT

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Random > Sprite in terms of mechanics. Sprite encounters can look pretty visually, but it makes the game so so boring in terms of battles. Not to mention if you don't make them respawn on map while player is still in the map, having to exit and enter map over and over to make them appear again for battles is hecka annoying. I sometimes skip on-map battle games altogether due to the vast majority being handholdy. If I want handholdy easy stuff, I'll go to play a kid's game. (I rarely play a game that does on-map battles correctly)

I think something like Wild ARMs system is good. Where random battles can still give that challenge and make the player employ their preparation skills (and not just oh oopsie well just go around the enemy then if you didn't prepare, easy peasy), but gives an option to skip easy battles for a time.
 

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I actually like how the old Pokémon games handled it, with encounter areas (high grass) and safe areas. Now that I think about it, I'm not sure why. It makes sense for Pokémon (not knowing which one you will encounter), but for me, it would also work in a 'normal' JRPG.

In fact, I have random encounters in my next game, Wildsilver. I could replace them with at least some black blobs as enemy sprites in a few clicks, since the system actually works with invisible events moving around on tiles of a specific region. But I really don't feel like it for some reason.
 

Wavelength

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Four words about handling random encounters that can get obnoxious? "Repel that actually works". If I knew how to do that Breath of Fire trick in VX Ace, where beating random fights thins out the encounter rate, I'd use that.
"Repel that actually works" (and lasts more than 60 seconds) is a welcome relief to the dynamic where you keep getting thrown into battles you don't want. With that being said, Repels are also sort of a "boring" solution in that they just remove all the danger (and challenge) entirely while they're active.

This is a big part of the reason I like Touch encounters - you can avoid most of the encounters you don't want to fight (and you feel skillful doing it), but you're going to mess up every once in a while and you don't know when, so the element of danger still hangs in the air.

P.S. - You should make a Script Request for the BoF system!; it sounds like a good idea and one that wouldn't be terribly hard to make (unless it requires adjusting rates on a monster-by-monster basis).

It's easy to screw up both random and touch encounters. ... Y'all know that meme of bad horror RM games where you get an instant game over if the monster touches you, and that said monster is nigh-impossible to dodge? Yeah. I'll take my chances with random myself, going forward.
Just imagine how bad it would be if the bad horror RM game had that monster randomly encounter you and hand you an automatic Game Over instead! :guffaw: Yikes!!

I actually like how the old Pokémon games handled it, with encounter areas (high grass) and safe areas. Now that I think about it, I'm not sure why. It makes sense for Pokémon (not knowing which one you will encounter), but for me, it would also work in a 'normal' JRPG.
I think it has something to do with the fact that Pokemon was more of an adventure playground than it was a story of scenes (like a "normal" JRPG is). Essentially, by giving you a very easy way to either walk on the path or walk in the brush, it was asking you: "Do you want to travel to another place, or do you want to look for monsters to battle/catch?" It's all about what you feel like doing. Making either decision was super-easy to do, which hits the right feel for a playground rather than a dungeon. That wouldn't feel right in Final Fantasy where the mood is more intense and the core gameplay loop involves (oversimplifying a bit here) overcoming mandatory challenges and getting to see the next scene of the plot as a reward for doing so.
 
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Thefirelion

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I personally prefer random encounters and with a good ratio formula they are not frustrating, I think that with the other method you have to have the graph of the monster in question.

I just use sprites for sub-bosses, bosses battles and special enemies.
 
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Trihan

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I really like the way Etrian Odyssey does random encounters. There's a coloured ball on screen that starts out blue and grows progressively redder the closer you are to encountering enemies.

I also think that having a *minimum* number of steps required for an encounter is a good idea, to avoid the RNG pitfall of ending up with 2 encounters back-to-back because you got screwed by the generator.
 

Saireau

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That wouldn't feel right in Final Fantasy where the mood is more intense and the core gameplay loop involves (oversimplifying a bit here) overcoming mandatory challenges and getting to see the next scene of the plot as a reward for doing so.
Yeah, I can see that. :)

But if you don't put the 'grass' neatly next to the path, but have areas where you either have to pass through it or need to in order to reach a chest, you can still make it work. I think the frustrating aspect of random encounters is actually being surprised by them when you don't want to engage in a battle because you're exploring or solving a puzzle. It's like — phone calls, which are perfectly fine, even useful and enjoyable, as long as the stupid thing doesn't ring when you're trying to do stuff! :D
 

RachelTheSeeker

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P.S. - You should make a Script Request for the BoF system!; it sounds like a good idea and one that wouldn't be terribly hard to make (unless it requires adjusting rates on a monster-by-monster basis).
For a style of game you hate? After a snide response toward a chunk of something I said? For making someone else do the work of something that will never get done? Sure, seems a great idea!
 

Wavelength

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For a style of game you hate? After a snide response toward a chunk of something I said? For making someone else do the work of something that will never get done? Sure, seems a great idea!
It sounds like I've said something to insult you, and if that's the case I'm sorry - there was sincerely no intention to do so. I've re-read the topic three times now and I'm still really confused at where this response came from. I think maybe I misunderstood one of your posts, and maybe my honest analysis came across as snide because I failed to read between the lines?
 

The Stranger

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I've never enjoyed random battles. Even when I used to enjoy playing FF games, the random encounters were the worst part of the game for me. I don't mind games using vague representations for monster sprites (a silhouette that contains a random group of monsters for example), but I can't stand outright random battles.

For me, it's the uncertainty of it. I can't see anything, but then I'm suddenly in a battle.

Saying that, I can't stand trash mobs in general anymore. Useless, junk encounters are something I've grown to despise in games. I prefer tailored encounters that serve a purpose beyond granting me experience points, money, and random items. I like to see a reason for these groups of enemies to exist, and perhaps even a connection to the story.
 

Trihan

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Also screw you for making this post because while I was talking about Etrian Odyssey's encounter orb I had a really strong urge to play it and now I'm playing it and I have so much other stuff I should be doing
 

RachelTheSeeker

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It sounds like I've said something to insult you, and if that's the case I'm sorry - there was sincerely no intention to do so. I've re-read the topic three times now and I'm still really confused at where this response came from. I think maybe I misunderstood one of your posts, and maybe my honest analysis came across as snide because I failed to read between the lines?

That... that is just me being a jerk and lashing out. I'm sorry.
 

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