Story vs Gameplay - which is more important in a RPG

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

?

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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    I see. I think the problem is most people think of things as bad/poor or good/great. Average is kinda forgotten about. I remember when a 7/10 or a 6/10 game score meant the game was average. Now most treat it like the worst game ever if you get a score that "low". So that might be contributing to things here too.
     
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  2. Heirukichi

    Heirukichi Veteran Veteran

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    @bgillisp I definitely agree. However, even if people might think that such a train of thoughts is legitimate, I would like to remind them that (just by looking at numbers) a game with 10/10 in a certain aspect and 6 or 7 in a different aspect, has an average score of 8/10 or 8.5/10, which is not exactly low. And this is why I thought it was important to clarify those things.

    Of course, a bad counterpart would make the game average even if the other aspect is perfect, but if one is superb and the other is average, that still makes up for quite a good game. And this is why I think that this train of thoughts is quite misleading.
     
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  3. bgillisp

    bgillisp Global Moderators Global Mod

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    Well as someone who teaches stats I agree, though that does assume you weight them equally. Someone who gave a 10 to story and 5 to gameplay but weighted gameplay as 80% important and story as 20% important would end up with an average of:

    .8 * 5 + .2 * 10 = 6/10 for a final score.

    But it would still be higher than the lowest part yes.
     
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  4. Heirukichi

    Heirukichi Veteran Veteran

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    Well, of course, the overall score also depends on how you weight those aspects. To be honest, weighting them equally is also quite difficult, it means casting your vote on each aspect independently and then calculating the average value. Of course the "independently" part is difficult to achieve. It requires a very objective judgment with little or no subjective opinion at all, otherwise it is just natural for personal tastes to get in the way and affect the result. However, an intellectual honest person should be able to reduce the error margin on those weight factors to ±10% when analyzing something.

    I originally thought this thread was about objective answers (based on its title and the OP's first post), but taking a look at what is written in the poll, I cannot say that for sure. I mean, if you ask me which one is more important, the answer I gave in my first post is the one I would go for. If you ask me which one I prefer (subjective opinion), I would definitely go for the story if the game-play is acceptable, without a second thought. I just noticed this now, but this sure bugs me.

    @MushroomCake28 could you clear my doubt? If it is the latter, it means I misunderstood the purpose of the poll and I should cast my vote instead.
     
    #64
  5. MushroomCake28

    MushroomCake28 KAMO Studio Veteran

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    You two aren't thinking about it the way I intended the poll to be, well at least partially. What you guys are describing by weighting the importance of story and gameplay is to evaluate the game's score as a whole. When I'm talking about an average or amazing gameplay, I'm talking about the score of gameplay regardless of its weight in the equation. Same goes for story.

    Where you guys are right is when it comes to selecting between Amazing story/average gameplay and average story/amazing gameplay. That choice is personal and highly subjective, and when deciding people will weight story and gameplay different according to their personal preferences. Of course some people will weight gameplay more than story (the people who have voted for amazing gameplay and average story), and others will weight story more than gameplay (people who have voted for good gameplay and amazing story).

    So if we take a concrete example with two games:
    Game A: Average/good story with amazing gameplay
    • Gameplay: 10/10
    • Story: 7/10
    Game B: Amazing story with average/good gameplay
    • Gameplay: 7/10
    • Story: 10/10
    So for someone who weights gameplay more than story, so gameplay > story, let's go with something like 50% more:
    • Game A = ( 10 x 1.5 + 7 x 1 ) / 2.5 = 8.8/10
    • Game B = ( 7 x 1.5 + 10 x 1 ) / 2.5 = 8.2/10

    So yes, it isn't something objective, and I wasn't looking for an objective answer because the nature of the question is subjective. People have different preferences, and I simply wanted to know if what people preferred between gameplay and story. I'm not looking for a "right" answer lol.
     
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  6. Heirukichi

    Heirukichi Veteran Veteran

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    @MushroomCake28 thank you for clarifying this. If what you are looking for is a personal preference, and not something related to the importance of one aspect over the other, then I would say I vote for story as well.

    I admit that both can be quite interesting hooks for your game, but if I have to express a personal preference, that would be for an amazing story. As long as the game-play is not bad and the game is nice to play, a good story is what leaves a good taste after finishing the game, at least for RPGs. If we talk about different game genres, the answer is different as well, but for RPGs I prefer having a decent game-play and a superb story. On top of it, when it comes to game-play, it is usually easier to find a different game with a very similar game-play. A different game with a very similar story (characters, lore, main plot, etc.) is much harder to find.
     
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  7. TheoAllen

    TheoAllen Self-proclaimed jack of all trades Veteran

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    Hmm... I'd vote for gameplay for one reason. A story can be great and all, but I probably only going to play it once, and never play it again (I do this to all kind of media, be it a show, movie, manga, novel, even a game isn't an exception). Of course, the game will leave me a good memory for the story and maybe also inspire me in some way. But good gameplay makes me want to come back to play the game even if I have to go through the same story all over again. So gameplay wins.
     
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  8. BlackGoldSaw

    BlackGoldSaw Veteran Veteran

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    Just to clarify, I used "bad" as an example in my post, but "bad or "average" perspective wouldn't have affected my vote. Probably cuz my brain is still so old school, lol. I sound old every time I say it, but back in the day games didn't have much (if any) story, so what determined if you played a game was based on gameplay, and I guess that just hasn't changed for me.

    I also think about replay value. Like, what leads me to playing the game multiple times. With the story I'd play once, maybe twice just to fully understand the story. After that I'd just be skipping through the dialogue/cutscenes anyway. But I think it ultimately comes down to an individual's mentality on video games in general.

    I hear a lot of people talk about being "immersed" in the story or game world or whatever which I personally would associate with books or movies. For me it's like if I wanted a movie or book experience I'd watch a movie or read a book instead. Mind you, I'm not a fan of either of those things anyway. Don't get me wrong, I'm always down for good story/characters, but it's never a deciding factor for me.

    I'm one of those "mechanical?" type of gamers if that makes any sense. For example, I love the story & characters in FF7 (one of my favs of all time). After escaping Midgar I'm excited to see what happens next in the story, but my mind has even more fun thinking about what setup I'm going to use to be able to obtain the Enemy Skill "Beta" from the Zolom this early in the game.
    (Okay, let's give the Elemental Materia to Barrett since he has the highest HP. Put it on his armor linked to fire. Have Aerith's Limit Break on standby,etc.)


    tl;dr

    Short and sweet version is I enjoy games the most when they put my brain to work. I love to experiment with different ways of playing. Whether it's different setups (like what 4 classes am I going to choose in FF1) or self-imposed challenges (like a low-level run,no item run,etc.) I like thinking about what problems I'll have at certain points in the game and figuring out how I'll get around them.
     
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  9. bgillisp

    bgillisp Global Moderators Global Mod

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    @MushroomCake28 : Actually, your example is the same as mine, you just assigned different weights, using 1.5 and 1. I used 80% and 20%, which would be 4 and 1 in your system. But it looks like you do mean for it to be interpretive as well.
     
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  10. kirbwarrior

    kirbwarrior Veteran Veteran

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    I'm the same way... with games I've already beaten. I think that's another weird part for me, the story is important on the first play through (although I rarely skip it on later playthroughs), but the mechanics keep me coming back.
     
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  11. Ksi

    Ksi ~RTP Princess~ Moderator

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    Why not both?


    No, seriously. Aim to do the best in both areas that you are capable of. Be open to feedback. Learn what you need to to do better. Do both.
     
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  12. DRG

    DRG Orange juice lover Veteran

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    In my opinion. it's all up which one is given more emphasis.
    for example: a game that is story heavy, doesn't need to be gameplay heavy. and a game that is gameplay heavy doesn't need to be story heavy.
    an example of the the former would be something like persona 5, while an example of the latter would be the Mario & Luigi games.
    Edit: Though just because you put emphasis on one doesn't mean you can't or shouldn't put emphasis on the other.
     
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  13. xaev

    xaev Veteran Veteran

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    For me it would depend on the game itself, I would love more depth in story and characters but the gameplay has to have progressive difficulty etc. so that the player don't feel bored.
    But for gameplay wise... unless it's really done well with its progress levels and design then I guess story won't matter because the game is fun on its mechanics alone. Both are great in their own way ^-^ really depends on execution.
     
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  14. MushroomCake28

    MushroomCake28 KAMO Studio Veteran

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    This is not a discussion of "which should I focus on?". No one is intending to neglect one aspect of their game. The question is which would you prefer. Some people are better at making good stories, others are better at creating good gameplay. Of course we want both to be as best as they can, but often one ends up better than the other.
     
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  15. Kupotepo

    Kupotepo Fantasy realist Veteran

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    This is a funny question like which one is born first a chicken or an egg. You requires to create a story because it is a role playing game. If it is not it becomes different kind of a game. It is a story that a product a RPG. If it is not, it becomes an action battle fight levelup game or a card fighting game.

    Since you define a gameplay as an interaction with NPC,I say both interaction and narrative goes hand to hand. How to you going to feed information to a player? Maybe with a cutescene, maybe interact with NPCs, perhaps with items, perchap with a picture.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2019
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  16. AfroKat

    AfroKat Villager Member

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    Based on the time of this post the results are split 17/17. So that should tell you neither should be vastly more important then the other.
     
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  17. Ksi

    Ksi ~RTP Princess~ Moderator

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    Cool and all, but what if you want both in the games you play? What if you want the developer to have worked on both so that they're both great? What if you appreciate great gameplay paired with great storytelling? Or are we not allowed to have that preference? >.>
     
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  18. MushroomCake28

    MushroomCake28 KAMO Studio Veteran

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    Gameplay isn't the interaction with NPC, it's the experience of playing the game, so yes it includes story, but it's much more than story: there's battles, mapping, items, NPCs, etc.

    Well that would rating them equally. But in reality most game will excel more at either the story or gameplay (I can think of the Witcher 3). In that scenario, would you prefer the story being better than gameplay? Or the opposite? I'm not advocating for neglecting one aspect of game making of course.

    To visualize it, you can use the formula I wrote earlier in the thread:

    Code:
    Score = (Story * weight1 + Gameplay * weight2) / (weight1 + weight2)
    So the question is basically "What's your value of weight1 and weight2"? Or do you rate them equally? etc.
     
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  19. TheoAllen

    TheoAllen Self-proclaimed jack of all trades Veteran

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    The point is, if you force someone to pick the choices, it is like they strongly prefer one over another despite their disclaimer. Thus, their word may be used against them. I'd say, if they don't want to vote, let them be.
     
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  20. MushroomCake28

    MushroomCake28 KAMO Studio Veteran

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    How people think others might interpret their words isn't the issue. The issue is just saying which has a greater weight in the score equation between story and gameplay subjectively.

    Code:
    Score = (Story * weight1 + Gameplay * weight2) / (weight1 + weight2)
    Even if it's 1 vs 1.1, there is a difference.

    And no body is forcing people to vote.
     
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