Story vs Gameplay - which is more important in a RPG

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by MushroomCake28, Jun 18, 2019.

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Which would you prefer?

  1. A very good story with an alright gameplay

    22 vote(s)
    51.2%
  2. An alright story with an amazing gameplay

    21 vote(s)
    48.8%
  1. bgillisp

    bgillisp Global Moderators Global Mod

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    Regardless, I haven't seen anyone change their vote as in either case you still got one over the other. That's why I said I don't think it matters honestly about the semantics of what they state. Plus is everyone really going to read the entire thread to check? Probably not.
     
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  2. MushroomCake28

    MushroomCake28 KAMO Studio Veteran

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    Yes both are necessary, but one will always be better than the other since no game is perfect. The question isn't which is better, but what would you pick between a good story/excellent gameplay and excellent story/good gameplay.
     
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  3. Heirukichi

    Heirukichi Veteran Veteran

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    As you could see in the link above, it was already declining in the 2nd generation, and people who played the 1st generation when they were young, were not that old yet (generation 1 came out in 1997, while generation 2 came out in 1999, only two years later).

    The reason behind that is, in my opinion, in part related to how mobile consoles market works, in part related to the game itself. To be honest, even the players aging played its role, but certainly not in the beginning, as two years are not something that makes a real difference.

    If the players who played the first (and eventually second) generation stopped playing the game, it means that the company did not provide a product that was interesting enough. I am not going to discuss this here because this is not the place to talk about that, but 2 years are definitely not enough to say that the fault lies in the aging of old players.

    I never said that. Original games are good and should be used as examples, however, this is not a good example. This is a game that sold many copies SOLELY because the game-play was original.

    The combination of repetitive game-play and non-existent/bad story, is precisely what brought a lot of different sagas to their demise. Every sequel has a game-play that is consistent with the previous ones, but if there is a story behind it, people play it a lot.

    Just take a look at the numbers behind Mass Effect trilogy sales (Andromeda is not considered here, and it is not part of the trilogy either so you cannot really consider it a sequel). They all have similar game-play (with improvements made in each new version, as they did in pokemon), but they have different stories, and that was the hook that kept people playing the saga.

    I am solely talking about numbers here, I am by no means talking about personal preferences. However, looking at those numbers, it looks obvious as the story plays an important role when it comes to sequels, even if the gameplay is more or less the same.

    An original idea becomes obsolete the very moment something including it is deployed, which means that you cannot rely on its originality for much long. You have to provide other contents at some point, contents that keep your sequels "fresh".

    - - - - - - - - - - - - -​

    @bgillisp well, I usually read all the posts in a thread before casting my vote. If somebody provides solid arguments I might change my mind by simply reading them, the idea I start with might be wong, and somebody might know more than me on a certain matter and provide evidence about it. I cannot ignore evidence and solid arguments, that would mean being very narrow--minded, would it not?

    However, I see your point, a lot of people just cast their vote and did not care about the discussion at all, which is not exactly helpful, but it is certainly real. Anyway, I hope that somebody who reads the whole thread and then casts its vote might exist. To be honest, there should be no need to read the clarification at all, since both the title and the first post are quite clear on this matter in my opinion.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2019
    #43
  4. kirbwarrior

    kirbwarrior Veteran Veteran

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    It really depends on what "okay", "average", and "alright" really mean. I tell people that I play games for the story, but I also play games. My favorite movie has no gameplay ;) I actually can't really think of an RPG that I would consider near average in one of those places, especially TBRPGs. The ones I like for gameplay and not story usually end up with little or effectively no story. The only rpgs I can think of that hav "average" gameplay would also have average story (Dragon Quest 1, Quest 64). Plus, the rpgs with weaker stories usually have charm to make up for it (Pokemon, FFMQ).

    If the question was "one is bad, the other is grand" I would easily pick gameplay. I've beaten exactly one story-driven game with boring gameplay and I don't look forward to doing it again (I played the sequel for all of ten minutes and I already felt the dread). And a game that's fun but has fairly terrible presentation isn't really a problem. On the other end of the spectrum, if the question was "both are great, but one is superior" then I'd pick story. But I can't really think of any games that fit the criteria of the thread, so I'm not sure how to answer the poll.
     
    #44
  5. bgillisp

    bgillisp Global Moderators Global Mod

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    @Heirukichi : You mean since it was edited? Yeah it is pretty clear now. But I doubt many are going to change an already cast vote either.

    @kirbwarrior : I think that is why we often say just make it fun. If the game is fun somehow that is what really matters. I've played some games that were fun that the gameplay was good and the story was meh and I've played some that were fun with a good story and poor gameplay.
     
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  6. kirbwarrior

    kirbwarrior Veteran Veteran

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    See, the cool thing about that mentality is that if you approach making a game with that thought, you often won't make a subpar story but a fun if shallow one.
     
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  7. Heirukichi

    Heirukichi Veteran Veteran

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    @bgillisp yes, I mean as it is right now. However, only around 20 people voted, and among the posts I checked, only 25% were made by people who misunderstood the question, that means around 5 people. If more people are going to cast their vote, that much is not going to affect the final result too much, you should always consider an error margin due to functional illiteracy anyway, a mere 5 people can compare to those numbers as long as there are only 20 votes, as the amount of people voting increases, their overall weight on the final result is going to decrease.
     
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  8. MushroomCake28

    MushroomCake28 KAMO Studio Veteran

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    @Heirukichi Of course re-using the same original gameplay in a sequel makes it less original (since it was already used, so it's less "new"). But if we're talking about a single game not a series of games, then pure originality in the gameplay without a story could work like the first gen of Pokemon.
     
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  9. Touchfuzzy

    Touchfuzzy Rantagonist Staff Member Lead Eagle

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    I will say that it has been part of my departure from the series. Not because they have less story, but because Pokemon has been telling the same story over and over and over and over again. 8 gyms, elite 4, champion, along the way we stop some organization that is trying to do x because of y.

    The fact that the story format was identical for every game is what burned me out on the series.
     
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  10. Heirukichi

    Heirukichi Veteran Veteran

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    I agree, but that is something that could work when games did not evolve so much as a media. Nowadays finding a game that is based solely on its original and unique idea is quite rare (almost impossible). Game-play or story, it makes no difference, it is very hard to find a game that is completely original.

    I know everybody would like to hear that his or her own game is very original, but that is not what is going to happen. There is also a post made by Archeia, where she linked a video of a few things that you should not mention when pitching your game. The video also explains a few things about the hook of a game, it explains how the hook is not necessary something original, but something people have already seen, but that is delivered using a different perspective.

    Both, the video and the interview to Umberto Eco I mentioned in one of my previous posts, explain how the two aspects (respectively game-play and story) can hardly be original nowadays. This is why it is important to consider the two things combined, and this is why I mentioned sequels as well, because there are a lot of games with a lot of features, but if you take a look at each single feature, you will most likely find another game with a feature that is the same or similar, even if the game as a whole is different.

    That said, if you manage to get the idea of the century, good for you, go and use it in your game, that would probably be the best option ever, but it is not good to rely on something so distant and unrealistic, it is safer to have a clear understanding of reality and just take occasional extremely original ideas as something extraordinary.
     
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  11. Basileus

    Basileus Veteran Veteran

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    I voted for amazing gameplay with an okay story. I feel like gameplay is more important overall. I can't exactly progress in the story without playing the game, you see?

    If one area had to be lacking, I would prefer it be story. I can deal with a cliche plot or stale main premise if the gameplay is fun. If all I wanted was a good story then I would read a book - I have a backlog of books as big as my Steam library already anyway. When I sit down to play a game it's because I want engaging gameplay. Fun mechanics, things that make me think, maybe even just silly things I can do if I put my mind to it. I still go back to retro games I grew up with and most of the time the stories are hardly epic or even close to original, and there is way less actual plot in those games than what you get today. But I still love going back to them because they are fun to play. What's the point in making a game if the game part of it wasn't actually fun?

    A great story is wonderful to have. But I need to get through your gameplay to get to it, and the last thing I want in a game is for the mechanics I interact with for everything outside of cutscenes to be bad and make be not want to see the next bit of story anymore.
     
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  12. Aesica

    Aesica undefined Veteran

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    I went with amazing gameplay/mediocre story, although they're both pretty important for RPGs. In more action-oriented games, gameplay is far more important (along with graphics and sound) and in some cases, the story is minimal or even nonexistent.

    That said, in RPGs, I can sometimes forgive a mediocre story if the gameplay is well done, however I find myself a bit less forgiving if the story is great, but the gameplay (especially the battle system) sucks. I mean seriously, who wants to slog through hours of boring, unbalanced combat just to see the next cutscene, even if the story is well-told? If your gameplay sucks, you'd better have a story mode difficulty option. Really though, I'm going to say that both are fairly close in terms of importance, and if you want to create a game that truly makes an impression on players, you need to not halfass either of these two things. Part of why I liked FF4-FF7 so much is that they had both solid gameplay and interesting storytelling.
     
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  13. empresskiova

    empresskiova Untitled Project1 Veteran

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    I’ve already voted but hadn’t posted yet...

    I went with gameplay. A nice story is great and all... for some people. I usually don’t end up paying attention to the story and commonly forget it as I get to the next part of it.

    Beyond that bit though, good gameplay makes me want to come back to the game later to try to finish it. I might be sitting around eating when I recall a cool game with a mechanic that was done nicely and suddenly want to play said game.

    The story doesn’t make me want to return to a game for a second playthrough. But, maybe I haven’t played a game with really good storytelling? Hard to tell.
     
    #53
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  14. Shikamon

    Shikamon Warper Member

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    I prefer amazing gameplay because most games I played using the story as a justification for the game system. or make the world become more believable because players will know about the history, the social system, the people, etc. if I need to read an amazing story, I rather take any visual novel :D
     
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  15. slimmmeiske2

    slimmmeiske2 Little Red Riding Hood Moderator

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    Story for me. Then again it also doesn't help I'm not a fan of standard RPG gameplay. :aswt: So in my case, the story is the only reason I'll play a RPG game.
     
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  16. Tai_MT

    Tai_MT Veteran Veteran

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    Honestly, I've tolerated games longer when they had a storyline to engage my brain and they've had crap gameplay. To keep me thinking. Wondering about the Lore. The world. Keeping my brain motivated.

    I tend to tolerate "amazing gameplay" games a lot less when I have no interest in the story. I tend to play them in "short bursts". It all just becomes "monotonous" at some point, no matter how "deep" the mechanics.

    I end up falling into this way of thinking:

    "Oh jeeze… MORE enemies? How many enemies are IN THIS LEVEL?", "Another puzzle? Haven't I done enough of these?", "How long is this game?" Namely, without a compelling story or characters to keep me going... I tend to suffer burnout much faster.

    To be honest, I'd rather have both great mechanics and a good story. Without decent gameplay, even with a good story, it feels like a "slog" between story moments. Without a good story and with great mechanics, I end up just suffering burn-out as I settle into a pattern of behaviors and slowly shut off my brain.

    I sort of need the whole experience to really enjoy a game.
     
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  17. MushroomCake28

    MushroomCake28 KAMO Studio Veteran

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    I just want to point out again, how perfectly balance this vote is. It always seem to tend toward 50/50 lol. I have to insert this:
    2ns394.jpg
     
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  18. Heirukichi

    Heirukichi Veteran Veteran

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    @MushroomCake28 @bgillisp and now the number of people who voted considering a "bad" counterpart increased to 7, maintaining the good old 25% of votes that spoil the result.

    It looks like it is still not clear enough, no matter what. I give up. XD
     
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  19. bgillisp

    bgillisp Global Moderators Global Mod

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    Out of curiousity, how do you know how many voted assuming bad? For me my answer is the same regardless.
     
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  20. Heirukichi

    Heirukichi Veteran Veteran

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    @bgillisp I just read their posts. Of course I cannot know how many of them voted assuming a bad counterpart if they do not post the reason that brought them to cast their vote, but if, when explaining their reasoning, they mention that the fact that a bad counterpart makes a game unplayable or not interesting is the reason why they picked that particular option over the other, it is clear that they considered a bad counterpart.

    EDIT: on a later note, the fact that the answer might be the same is also a possibility. One could simply have the same train of thoughts that @slimmmeiske2 had, and just play games because of the story (or because of the gameplay as well); in a situation like that, having an acceptable counterpart or a very bad one would not make that much of a difference anyway.
     
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