The Master of Random Garbage
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.
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 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.@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.
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.and figuring out a good way to handle what happens after an Escape from combat).
I couldn't agree more.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.
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?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.
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.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.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.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?