Things to avoid in your game

HexMozart88

The Master of Random Garbage
Veteran
Joined
May 15, 2016
Messages
1,759
Reaction score
3,172
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
No, I got that point pretty well. I agree that you shouldn't include features you don't like, but you also seemed to be referring to stuff you didn't like about features in general, so that was what I was addressing.
 

bgillisp

Global Moderators
Global Mod
Joined
Jul 2, 2014
Messages
12,618
Reaction score
12,956
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
No idea why you thought that, as that wasn't the point. Maybe it's this dumb cold medicine, I'm not stating myself well right now. But at least it seems it's been sorted out.
 

TheoAllen

Self-proclaimed jack of all trades
Veteran
Joined
Mar 16, 2012
Messages
4,724
Reaction score
5,405
First Language
Indonesian
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
Right. Regarding visual encounters, I've been discussing it in another thread that I don't feel like to bring back it here. But whatever issues mentioned in this thread, most of it was never been my issue. And the reason why I choose visual largely not because "it's popular so I need to do that", but it was from my own that I liked visual way better than random encounter most of the time.

I don't feel like to "innovate" with random encounter just because a person is telling me to do so. I already pick my choice. But instead, I'm just gonna wait for someone to actually innovate a random encounter. Granted, I'm not actually picky with whatever encounter system the dev has chosen. I'd deal with it until I find it's either "this is great!" or "yeah, this is annoying".

Also, at the end of the day, I value the direct feedback to my game. A discussion is fun to see how people see a particular subject, and a consideration to change something. But the actual decision influence is largely from my players than just from a discussion. Assume those feedback aren't against my vision.
 

Tai_MT

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
May 1, 2013
Messages
5,275
Reaction score
4,496
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
@TheoAllen

I had a pretty great discussion with @Wavelength a while back on the pitfalls of both encounter systems. I don't remember what we eventually agreed on, but I think it was a pretty good discussion as we had both brought up points the other had never considered before.

I think if you like something, you put it into your game anyway. It's rare a person puts things they don't like into their games. If they do so, it's essentially out of inexperience or for marketing reasons.

The important thing is the refinement of whatever you decide you like. Is "Default" anything better? I don't know. I'm inclined to believe the Default RTP of the RPG Maker Engines is pretty fantastic and wish we had more assets in that style (because frankly, we have like... NONE)... but, does that make them inherently "good"? No.

As with anything, it's all in how you use it. If you use the default and implement it in the default way... it's bog standard. There's a case to be made for improving and innovating. For not just doing "what is expected" even if you like it "bog standard".

I, for one, like the bog standard "Random Encounters". It has never bothered me in a single RPG. No, not even the "take one step, here's a new battle". But, if I did it like that, what kind of audience would I draw? Not the ones with serious criticism against such a system.

I think that's the important thing. Realizing that just because you love something... doesn't mean it doesn't need to be improved or changed. Don't change it because people say you should. Change it because it makes the experience better. In an objective and measurable way.

As the saying goes, "If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got."
 
Joined
Oct 7, 2013
Messages
298
Reaction score
343
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
I think Pokemon has my favorite random encounter system, the idea of it only happening on really specific terrain so you can either avoid it or seek it out is pretty nicely balanced I think, im not sure why more RPGs havent borrowed that idea.
 

Wavelength

Pre-Merge Boot
Global Mod
Joined
Jul 22, 2014
Messages
4,626
Reaction score
3,892
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
@TheoAllenI had a pretty great discussion with @Wavelength a while back on the pitfalls of both encounter systems. I don't remember what we eventually agreed on, but I think it was a pretty good discussion as we had both brought up points the other had never considered before.
I believe one of the main points we agreed on was that Visible Encounters are the better way in theory, because they don't force the players into unnecessary or unwanted combat (and give the player something interesting to do on the map, and also because it lets players who are seeking combat find it immediately), but in practice they are considerably harder to implement well (which requires creating a fair dynamic where the player can avoid encounters but it's not trivially easy, making it so that all the encounters in a dungeon don't bunch up in one place, spreading out the pace of encounters well, and figuring out a good way to handle what happens after an Escape from combat). :)

I still think the pros outweigh the cons for even a remotely competent Visible Encounter system, and I know you still think the cons outweigh the pros in almost every game you've ever seen, and I think that's reasonable, if those are things that bother you a lot. I'm aiming to design a game that averts all of those pitfalls, and where the act of seeking out or avoiding the Visible Encounters in dungeons will be really engaging.
 

Tai_MT

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
May 1, 2013
Messages
5,275
Reaction score
4,496
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
@Wavelength Yeah, that sounds about right. I remember saying and thinking that I would enjoy Visual Encounter systems if they were done better and about half a dozen ways they could be improved with you.

In either case, the discussion helped me improve my own preference for Random Encounters too. I'm hoping to create a system that avoids all of its pitfalls as well. One where the player won't get annoyed by it and will find it minimally intrusive, yet it will still allow players to "grind" if they so desire.

I'm hoping your game will be the first I play where I genuinely enjoy the Visual Combat system aside from Earthbound. :D
 

Kupotepo

Fantasy realist
Veteran
Joined
Jul 5, 2017
Messages
784
Reaction score
756
First Language
Thai
Primarily Uses
RMMV
The duengons that take eternally to finish. It is draining me personally.
Constant stunt and miss can be annoying.
Grinding system that take too long to gain exprience point.
 
Last edited:

Ninjakillzu

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Aug 19, 2013
Messages
137
Reaction score
43
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
@HexMozart88 I'd agree with you on cheesy stories and characters. It's the vast majority of what I've seen out of most games in the last 10 years or so, Indie or otherwise.

But, it doesn't help when the community built around RPG's and video games actively abhors story and characters and lore. There is very much a culture of "just let me play and kill stuff". Very much a culture of "instant gratification". People who can't go more than 5 minutes without needing some form of stimulation like pretty colors and wild sounds. People without the patience to read text.

Put simply, there's little emphasis on story or characters... so that's what the market reflects.

That isn't my personal design philosophy. I'm not looking to cater to the "instant gratification" crowd. I'm looking to tell a good story with compelling characters and interesting exploration and systems. I'm not looking to just jam stuff into my game because I fear the player may lose interest without it.

If my storytelling sucks. If my characters are boring. Then, so be it. I'd rather get feedback from players looking for those things who don't appreciate them.

I simply don't believe I'd ever get feedback like, "I wanted to like this game, but it didn't have any mini-games in it, so it was terrible!". I'd rather get criticism and feedback on the things of SUBSTANCE I put into my game.

As for what I'm going to do personally... Yeah, the whole point of my projects is to avoid doing what 90% of other RPG's do... and the RPG Maker community does. I want to try new things. If I can invent a new formula, that's what I want to do. If I can innovate the genre, even a little, that's what I want to do. I don't like the current stagnation of RPG's in which everyone does the same thing and gives advice to do the same things everyone else is doing.

I'd like a return to, "I play RPG's for the story, characters, and exploration" and not a continuation of, "I play RPG's 'cause I like to level up and feel powerful". That's not what I'm into, and the audience I want to reach is the audience that isn't into that either.

Put simply, the driving force behind my game is story, characters, and exploration. I've put the puzzles into my combat system in order to try to make Turn Based combat as interesting as it could possibly be. I don't have mini-games because they serve no point in a game except as a distraction. And, if your game is really so bad that you have to distract your players from it with a mini-game... Why not just learn to get better at being a dev so you don't need the crutch of minigames and puzzles?

Especially when nobody is going to praise your game for even having minigames or puzzles. "Oh yeah, you totally need to play Final Fantasy 7, the best part is the Chocobo Races! Play the game for those!". That's just not how it works. "Guys, you GOTTA play Skyrim! There's so many puzzles in it! They're the highlight of the game!". Pretty sure nobody ever says these things. Because, quite frankly, they're "filler". Serve no purpose. Salvage nothing. Redeem no faltering quality in the game.

In short, they're the equivalent of waving keys at someone and going, "doodly doodly doodly doodly deee!!!" and them going, "oooo! SHINY!".

The novelty of them wears off quickly in any game they're in.
I 100% agree with everything you've said! Here's the kicker: I've never played a JRPG. I have no grinding, no puzzles, no mini-games, and definitely no time wasting "deep" crafting systems to bloat game time. In my current projects, I focus a HUGE amount on lore, characters, and generally making the worlds seem "lived in". My games are much more influenced by by RPGs developed in western countries.
 

somenick

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Nov 2, 2014
Messages
182
Reaction score
90
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
and figuring out a good way to handle what happens after an Escape from combat). :)
A while ago I was fooling around and upon escape from a visual encounter, I would momentarily instruct said event to move away from player. Especially if the visual encounter seeks you out, giving you a second or so to run, literally.
 

arekpowalan

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Feb 20, 2013
Messages
143
Reaction score
46
First Language
Thai
Primarily Uses
RMMV
Losing health by doing for minor actions
Lunar Dragon Song achieved one of the most mind-boggling penalties by not only limiting your running stamina, but also reducing HP when the character becomes tired. Not only this doesn't make sense for an adventurer, but it makes navigating towns and dungeons downright tedious. Certain games like Rune Factory use stamina system, which is also troublesome during dungeon exploration, although it is less bad because you do other things than fighting and of stamina can be increased by leveling up. If you want to implement some penalty for player's action, be very careful not to make it too unbearable.

Overly convoluted battle system
Some of the most glaring pitfalls in indie gaming is that you may think your battle isn't fancy enough, so you add bunch of strange parameters and rules into it. While this makes you game looks original, the system can be so convoluted to the point of being a mess. Unlimited Saga and games from Compile Heart are some of the most infamous when it comes to inventing weird battle systems or adding junks to the traditional ones that they end up either too confusing to play or take forever to finish. If the system isn't broken, don't fix it.

That said, it's also important to play around with the existing battle systems. Games likeDragon Quest, Shin Megami Tensei, and Ethan Oddessy all used first person battle with heavy emphasize on command and party tactics, although all of them have different styles and unique approaches. Usually, the creator add one or two gimmick(s) and use different UI boxes, battle animations, different party formation, and pretty colors to make their game stand out from others. You need to be rather creative when it comes to designing a battle system to make it interesting.

Forgotten party members
A lot of games introduce party members that go through their respective story arcs, only to be completely forgotten once their character developments are over. This happens a lot with stories that cram too many characters into the roster and the author doesn't know what to do with them after certain points of the narrative. Dialogues, side quests and extra character arcs should be added so that all party members share enough screen time throughout the journey. Make them equally engage in the journey and make them as equally relevant in important events such as plot twist scenes or final battles.
 

cthulhusquid

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Aug 19, 2013
Messages
158
Reaction score
54
Primarily Uses
Spamming basic attacks
This. If a game can be completed by just spamming basic attacks, then I have no reason to play it (unless there is a very good reason why skills are limited). Mashing the attack button requires no thought, and it trivializes battles.

Puzzles
I have never been a fan of puzzles in games. If I wanted to solve a complex problem, I would work on some actual puzzles rather than a forced-in element designed to make the game longer by frustrating the player.
 

GLM

ブラッドシェド © 1989 POLOCOM
Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2016
Messages
28
Reaction score
15
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
Overly convoluted battle system
Some of the most glaring pitfalls in indie gaming is that you may think your battle isn't fancy enough, so you add bunch of strange parameters and rules into it. While this makes you game looks original, the system can be so convoluted to the point of being a mess. Unlimited Saga and games from Compile Heart are some of the most infamous when it comes to inventing weird battle systems or adding junks to the traditional ones that they end up either too confusing to play or take forever to finish. If the system isn't broken, don't fix it.
I couldn't agree more.

Puzzles
I have never been a fan of puzzles in games. If I wanted to solve a complex problem, I would work on some actual puzzles rather than a forced-in element designed to make the game longer by frustrating the player.
Several people have said this now. Do you think there is an acceptable level of puzzle complexity that doesn't really get in the way? Like the old "move a few blocks around for a chest" bit?
 

TheoAllen

Self-proclaimed jack of all trades
Veteran
Joined
Mar 16, 2012
Messages
4,724
Reaction score
5,405
First Language
Indonesian
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
Do you think there is an acceptable level of puzzle complexity that doesn't really get in the way? Like the old "move a few blocks around for a chest" bit?
As a player, a puzzle that does not really get in my way is fine. I just shrugged off and move on. Usually a flip switch puzzle with obvious indicator, simple lock picking puzzle and maybe boulder push. It's probably not going to the thing I remember from the game though. But if the puzzle is too complex, it's definitely going to be the thing I remember, usually in the bad way.
 

Aesica

undefined
Veteran
Joined
May 12, 2018
Messages
1,017
Reaction score
949
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
Several people have said this now. Do you think there is an acceptable level of puzzle complexity that doesn't really get in the way? Like the old "move a few blocks around for a chest" bit?
I think the key here is "for a chest" or similar, optional rewards. Even though I enjoy puzzles, I know not everyone does so I can see how having to solve some complex puzzle in order to progress through the game might be a turn-off. However, if that complex puzzle is off to the side and rewards optional loot instead, I think that's just fine if not an excellent way to use puzzles in your game.
 

cthulhusquid

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Aug 19, 2013
Messages
158
Reaction score
54
Primarily Uses
I couldn't agree more.

Several people have said this now. Do you think there is an acceptable level of puzzle complexity that doesn't really get in the way? Like the old "move a few blocks around for a chest" bit?
If it's something very simple then it depends, but I really hate the ones where you have to press a series of buttons and they each turn on or off one/several things. I'd rather just gather keycards and be done with it, ala-Doom.
 

Tiamat-86

old jrpg gamer
Veteran
Joined
Dec 5, 2017
Messages
320
Reaction score
126
First Language
english
Primarily Uses
RMMV
Puzzles and mingames can both have the same value when done well
Minigames
- when rewards easily overpower you for a large portion of the game (dragon quest 11)
- when it so much as speed bumps main quest progress with promise of missable 1 time reward (FF9 cards, 10 blitzball)
with proper balancing minigames can just be an equal alternative to grinding for the same amount of time.
(dragon warrior 3)
1 hour gambling and you buy all best equipment in 3rd and 4th town
1 hour grinding and gain 5 levels and buy 1/3rd of the gear
both methods result in the same overall increase after 1 hour
(just enough to make kandar a little to easy but makes even match for enemies in next area.)
Puzzles
- roadblocked (BrainLord horrible for that) puzzles connected to the main story should remain fairly easy. dont have a ice sliding puzzle that requires an exact 10 moves in a row, keep the difficulty low enough that your friend jeff can still pull it off when drunk.
- encounters, for the love of god please turn off encounters in puzzle rooms that require alot of walking
sidequests are a great place for more complex puzzles as long as the player knows that it is just a sidequest.
completionists will want to do it for rewards. challengers will want to test their mind against the creators.
casuals will know that its not required.
a good quest journal might even entice some casuals to try your puzzle sidequests when they need a break from the main story
No Returns
it is recommended that you give ample warning to save just before any point of no return.
even if you can return but just not for a very long time a save warning is still appreciated.
never have places that you can only visit momentarily and then cant re-enter unless it is 100% questline and 0 items to find.
Encounters
it seems like the only way to even attempt to make everyone happy is to have both encounter systems, BUT not at the same time.
so have any bartender can trigger option that flips a switch and turns on/off encounters. when the option is set to
On - there is no random encounters. visual enemy event pages become active. cant grind.
Off - there is random encounters. visual enemy events are hidden. can grind as long as HP allows for.
this again just boils down to your core audience being casual vs pro gamers
(screw the hardcore gamers those guys only want customize-able endgame)
Endgame
treat the end boss as a No Return. if you have endgame or not people dont want to lose half a dungeon just because they won or lost the fight.
weather you make a stand alone game. or making something for the people that arent satisfied with games that never get content updates,,,,
go play some dam NES,SNES,N64,GameCube,Sega,PS1. "Endgame" is a term that started around the same time as DLC.
before that it was just "The Game" and the game just had 1-2 optional bosses stronger then endboss. and most of which were only hidden behind guess what?..... a puzzle, or barely even hidden at all.
anyways...
endgame can be just as risky as making a sequel. if done well you've made a name for yourself.
but if done poorly, everything youve workd on get summed up to "the expansion killed the game"
for both the creators and the players side, endgame should only been seen as series of optional sidequest tied to lore.
if main quest continues into endgame it no longer endgame, it just bad writing and not having a clear ending.
 
Last edited:

CraneSoft

Filthy Degenerate
Veteran
Joined
Apr 16, 2016
Messages
110
Reaction score
94
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
Personally I think the whole point of puzzles is to break out of the boring, monotonous routine of "walking from point A to B, open all chests in the way, kill things and fight boss" formula in dungeon crawling. If a game completely lacks puzzle in any form, sooner or later every dungeon (especially the bigger dungeons) will feel the same and I'll begin to lose interest. I'd agree on most people put puzzles without much thought into them (making puzzles for the sake of having puzzles to prolong the dungeon) and only results in annoyance (due to either being trivial or overly complex) rather than entertaining the players.
 

Aesica

undefined
Veteran
Joined
May 12, 2018
Messages
1,017
Reaction score
949
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
After playing a few games from the completed games forum section, I need to add one more thing:

HEY! LISTEN! Pushy, Overly-Lengthy, Gameplay-Interrupting Tutorials
It's fine to tell me what keys will move me around and interact with the game world/UI when I first start the game, but when something pops up every 2 seconds to tell me to equip a weapon, use a newly-available skill, open a chest, or some other agonizingly obvious thing, I'm going to get annoyed pretty quickly. I don't want to call out any games here, but I played one in particular that was like, "use this skill to generate a whatever-charge!" followed by "now use this skill to consume your whatever charge now that you have one available!" followed by "and now use this skill since you have 2 more charges available!" I stopped playing the game at that point because honestly, all I needed to know was that "this skill generates whatever charges that I can use to power these other skills. kthx"
 

TheoAllen

Self-proclaimed jack of all trades
Veteran
Joined
Mar 16, 2012
Messages
4,724
Reaction score
5,405
First Language
Indonesian
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
A tutorial is a complicated thing. You see some people hate tutorial, but from my experience, some people need that spelled out loud. Especially when you're making a "brand new" system/rules that are not seen in most games. The sweet spot would be a feature to turn the tutorial on/off or if the tutorial is a serial of sequence, you can skip it. But then again, some ppl who decide to skip it may not actually understand the system. It did happen to my game at least, the thing I'd expect my player would understand if the explored it a bit, but they decided not to explore and complained why it worked that way. Granted, it still partially my fault for not making the UI clear enough, to begin with.

So I'd say, tutorial varies from the game by game. What matter is to listen to your player/audience what goes wrong with your tutorial or your UI design. A player may arrogant enough to skip tutorial pretend that they do understand that they may don't.
 

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

Latest Threads

Latest Posts

Latest Profile Posts

Just finished making a character selector at the beginning of the game that allows the player to pick gender and skin tone. I couldn't be more pleased.
Stream will be live shortly with some Witcher 3! Feel free to drop by!
Helldivers is so much fun!
Suitemate: "Do you have detergent"
Me: "Ya, the spray kind"
Me: *realizes he said detergent, not deodorant*
Me: "Guess I'll die!"
If there's one thing I hate about myself, it's that I procrastinate. Ever since I started looking stuff up on how to properly balance and create armour, weapons and skills; I've let myself down in progress.

Forum statistics

Threads
94,612
Messages
922,335
Members
124,489
Latest member
phihhim
Top