To sparkle or not to sparkle?

Do you like being shown where interactables are via a sign or sparkle?

  • Yes, it makes it easier to find cool things.

  • Nah, I like the added challenge of finding hidden loot and lore.


Results are only viewable after voting.

Xenphir

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So I was curious as to whether or not people preferred being shown where they can interact with the environment via a sparkle or small indicator, or if they like finding things themselves by "mashing" the interact button on anything that looks suspicious?

In my game, if I did the latter, I would make the player search a house or something in the beginning to show them they can find loot or lore or easter eggs by interacting with things like barrels, pots, bookshelves, etc.

But recently I've seen a lot of games add a small sparkle to anything the player can interact with.
 

TheoAllen

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I like sparkles, especially if it's important matters like finding an item or something. Button mashing for something suspicious is for something that actually trivial like commenting a certain object for a sake of, maybe, telling a world building or easter eggs. I don't want to get myself looked at a lot of barrels just to find "There is nothing here" most of times, and when found an item, it just a measly one potion.
 

HumanNinjaToo

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I kinda prefer to have sparkles in some types of games, like RM games, because so many people do different things with hidden objects. If all the 'hidden' objects are identified some way, consistently, throughout the game then maybe sparkles don't matter though. For example, treasure chests don't need sparkles, most everyone knows there is a goodie inside. If you are using barrels to hide items in though, a sparkle would be appreciated, because not all RM games hide objects in barrels. I remember the older SNES rpgs didn't have sparkles, and I'd run around everywhere clicking on everything because I didn't want to miss an item. It was frustrating sometimes.
 

Shaz

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I'd prefer to have an option to turn it on or off.
 

Llareian

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I HATE the JRPG convention of mashing buttons at every square just to see if there's something hidden there. If you're going to use the same container that often has nothing in it to sometimes hide Easter Eggs, I think a visual indicator is needed. However, if you cleverly HIDE treasure containers behind other things so that they're only JUST visible to reward the player who's paying attention (you see this in early western RPGs a lot, or like the "secret wall" that's subtly different than a regular wall), I think that's even better.
 

Kes

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This is a feature, not a mechanic at all.

[move]General Discussion[/move]

If you're going to stick sparkles on everything that has an item, why bother putting them in anything other than an obvious treasure chest? There's nothing hidden about them, so I don't see the point myself.

In my current project, I have sparkles on the map where you take control of the PC for the first time. When you click on one of them you get info about the types of places that might have things. All sparkles (including the other ones on that map) are then turned off. I have done this to ensure that even the newest player knows what to do.

As for endless "There is nothing here" messages, I find them infinitely tedious myself, so I don't put them in. If there is nothing, I'd much rather the player moved on with the least possible display.
 

The Mighty Palm

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A sparkle is not a "hidden" item. It's just a fancy reskinned treasure-chest. So it's great if your "hidden item" is a potion or antidote

but there's just something special about checking that one, suspicious looking single tile of lava and finding a Sword of Burning Love or some such, yknow? Or catching on to the running theme of "clocks have elixirs in them"

if you keep it consistent and the rewards are worth it, then hidden items are a great addition in my book.
But let the dinky rewards sparkle, because otherwise it's not exciting, it's just disappointing.
 

Failivrin

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I use sparkles for things that would naturally sparkle, like gems or metallic keys. No sparkly herbs, please! I mean i wouldn't want to eat that...
Agree with @Kes. If there is nothing there, don't use a popup. A negative sound effect is enough to signify an empty container or failed interaction.
Only trick to hiding objects is they have to genuinely look out of place. That means you have to do an expert job with your maps. Sometimes, alas, I'll walk into an RPG house and see a pipe organ in the living room. Feels out of place, but it's just because the dev was trying to create clutter--not because there are secrets inside. If I'm in a dark castle and there's a pipe organ, that may not be suspicious either...unless everything is covered in cobwebs, except for the pipe organ?
 
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One possible ways would be having a special skill/spell (preferably keybound) which reveals all 'hidden items' on the screen as sparkles at the cost of mana or limited casts.
This way the items are still 'hidden' and can be found by normal interactions, but can also be revealed all at once at a cost for those who don't want to inspect everything.
 

Xenphir

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Hmm thank you all for the wonderful feedback! I am thinking of either having the option to turn them on or off I think. Also I definitely don't like the whole "Nothing was found" over and over and over again either but I'm glad to see I am not the only one impatient enough to find that irritating xD
 

Celianna

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I think having sparkles for secrets is fine. It would probably work out even better if it only started to sparkle if the player was within range, like 5 tiles or something. So that a secret is still technically a secret, but will reveal itself if you get close enough to it.

Of course, this is for secrets. Don't make bookcases or chests sparkle ... it's already a given the player should check it out.
 

bgillisp

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I say it's best to do it the first couple times to train the player. In my game, I put it on the first bookcase, so you know to search it. I also do the same with the first secret room. After that, you're on your own.

As for the nothing message, I personally prefer them, as I've seen some RM Makers put items only in pots, some put them in pots and beds, some put them in beds and shelves, and without them, how do I know which items you actually hide things in? Or should I just smash the button on every single item in the room? So some kind of clue I feel is needed that this was worth searching, just not this time. And you can also have some fun with them if you wish, like so...

You search the locker and find...
???: "Do you MIND? I'm trying to sleep in here!"
(slams the locker on you).
 

Xenphir

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Hmm I do like this idea of training the player to search in the beginning and after that they should be on there own to find and earn items. Though if there is a quest or an important item such as a key it could sparkle to help players with the main story line.

As much as I like the funny text ones, still don't know if I'd add it to every container there is nothing to be found in as I know some people, me included, find it repetitive after awhile, no matter the flavor text.
 

The Mighty Palm

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Oh yes I should have said what the others above are saying.
If you're going the "no sparkle" route, then you should have an NPC tell the player. Teach them that it is a feature.
Like "Did you know that some hidden items can't be seen? For example, I hid a Steel Shield in an out of place barrel in town. If you find it, it's yours!" or something. Because while it's nice to not overexplain everything, don't just assume that your average player will "figure it out".
 

Xenphir

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Right! I was thinking of having my main character search their room before their journey and if the tutorial was turned on, they will be shown what sorts of items they can interact with like bookshelves, pots, barrels, over shelves, etc. and then during the tutorial it will show them an example of a secret room with a small reward to start.

My main worry is that A. People will get bored if the rewards are too small but also it might be over powered if they are too useful like advanced potions early on or good gear early on and also B. some things that are more hidden they might not check out.

However I still think that for problem B, it rewards the players who inspect more of their surroundings and if they don't, they can still enjoy the game and there will still be enough items in chests or with a shop system they can still make it through battles fine, just maybe not as easily.

I still also think I'll stick with the idea of making any quest-related or important to advance the story related (Maybe even side-quest hidden items) sparkle so that every player, whether exploitative or not, can still complete all the quests and make it through without spending an hour trying to find one thing in some room.

I also am still playing with the idea on to allow an option to have the sparkles on or off throughout the entire game, but to be honest I've no idea how to make a setting like that, where it is accessible through the menu.
 

Prez

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What if there was a way to give interactable items (and characters, perhaps) names that appear on-screen when you walk close to them? I think that'd be preferable to sparkles since that way the effect isn't permanent and potentially distracting to the general atmosphere.
 

HumanNinjaToo

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What if there was a way to give interactable items (and characters, perhaps) names that appear on-screen when you walk close to them? I think that'd be preferable to sparkles since that way the effect isn't permanent and potentially distracting to the general atmosphere.

There was a script for that feature in vxace, not sure about mv plugin tho
 

Frogboy

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I personally am not a fan of sparkles, neither on vampires nor in RPGs. As others have said, hidden items aren't hidden any long longer if you show exactly where they are with sparkles. I also like getting feedback with a "Nothing is here" message to let me know that there are indeed hidden items in this particular type of object. Don't interrupt game play with that message, though. Use something like Yanfly's Gab Window so that it displays but doesn't waste your time.
 

GrandmaDeb

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The big picture is the bottom line.

Someone told me I had to walk up to various trees and walls to get bonuses in a certain game and I thought the game designer should be flogged. Giving someone the idea there are treasures in drawers and then putting them on the first map and them never again... flogged. First map and then one out of every 25 dressers... flogged twice. So if it is rare, maybe make sparkles.

How do people who play your game want to spend their time? Think about them.
 

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