What is the gold standard?

Valryia

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What is the standard that makes an rpgmaker game good? When is it sellable, and what is a fair price? It seems that it is very hard to pin down.


Or do i just feel that the players nowadys are insatiable?


In case you don't know what the gold standard is, imagine a runner.


Reaching the goal - this includes being the last one - is the copper standard. In game terms, this would mean an "complete" game.


If you reach the goal by being the number ~500 out of 1000, then that is the silver standard. The game is "average" which equates to ~60-70 rating.


Being in the top 10% is the gold standard. A runner still doesn't win a price - which is why i hate sports - but a game is good enough to reach ~80.


Finally, the platinum status which is +90... but that isn't a goal - it is a superhuman effort that doesn't make you money long term.
 
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Andar

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there is no standard, because the price depends on the game balancing. So every game needs different prices depending on how much loot and how many enemies it has.


And unfortunately a lot of developers never get to that part of game balancing (the number of abandoned game projects is extremely high)...
 

Valryia

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@Andar Then give me examples for each price range.
 
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Ms Littlefish

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I can't really say there is a true standard. Moving market to market even has a lot of differences. No matter what group of people you are working among there will always be a diversity of likes and dislikes represented. Even when you narrow it down to a single genre there is still a lot of variety. Some games have wider appeal, but a single game can never please everyone. So instead ask yourself what snippet of people are really going to be interested in your game. What appeals to those people? 
 
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Valryia

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@Ms Littlefish There is a standard. Why else are some excellent games being stomped into the ground?


Let us look at Time & Eternity for the PS3, a original game with an interesting, new and fun battlesystem, good music, nice aesthetics, likeable characters - and a metacritic score of 42!


I get the feeling that if i would orient myself towards my own ideals, then my game would get sunk by the general public.
 

taarna23

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So it is with any business. I make jewelry. I think they look very nice and would absolutely wear them. Not everyone is going to agree with me, and I'm sure some people are even going to question my choice of gemstones.


Games get popular for stupid reasons. Games get, as you say, "stomped into the ground" for stupid reasons. It depends on the whim of public at the time.


You make what you make, and hope for the best.
 

bgillisp

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@Valryia: Actually your own example disproves what you said. Different games please different people. You like time and eternity, but others didn't, based on those scores. There is no way to make a game that pleases everyone. For example, I don't like Dark Souls. Does that make the game bad? No. It just means it wasn't for me. Same thing with any game you make. Someone is going to like it, and someone is going to hate it. Make the game you like to play, and it will show and draw in others. That in my opinion is the best way to go.


Also, keep in mind that some of those people that hate on a game never played it. Sometimes they just bash the game because it is popular, and they never played it themselves. Look up the trend Sporing a game or amazon bombing to see more on this.


And finally, don't put much faith in review scores. I still remember the scandal where publishers bribed review sites to give good reviews.In fact, wasn't there a recent incident where a publisher threatened to pull their ads from a site unless the game got a 8.5 or higher?
 

Haydeos

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some people make absolute crap, and it still sells. Other people make beautiful works of art that doesn't sell.


I can't even say "Just Don't make a clone of all the other bad rpgmaker games" because even those cash-grabs still...grab cash.


This is life! Just do what you want!
 

Archeia

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If you were a customer looking at your game, would you buy it at x range? Is a good way at looking at it IMHO.


Like I would never buy an RM game unless it placed in a lot of effort on not feeling like an RM game. And this is because I started with Rm2k/3 era and spoiled about the quality of RM games to a degree. Not everyone would have the same mindset as I do though.
 
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Ms Littlefish

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It'd be easy to say "have amazing everything in your game" but as Taarna says; there is whim. A lot of bad critic reviews and poor reception from a wider audience can be the result of the market being flooded with that kind of game and the same thing popping up too much, too soon. Likewise, lots of arguably great things can be made at a time when no one is really asking for it. A lot is complete chance. Your game can also be great but have more niche appeal and not catch the attention of the wider audience. There are plenty of "cult" films and games that have awful scores but the hard devotion of fans. And, scores aren't everything because critics are normal people and like different things just like everyone else.
 
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Valryia

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Let me ask you guys another question in the same vein, but from another perspective.


If i show off my game on this forum, and most of you guys like it, is that a good baseline?


Or to say it more simply, how can i avoid "whims"?


And if the gold standard can't be pinned down, can i atleast examples of universally acclaimed rpgmaker games?


With a fightning system, that is. (I still think that something like To the Moon, while great, are more visual novels then anything.)
 

AwesomeCool

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@Valryia - You cannot really, there is no guarantee at all on that makes a game strike it big or not.


Ex: Valkyrie Chronicles bombed at launch, but the re-release is popular.  Wind Waker was hated at release (with Twilight Princess considered the better one) and now it is the opposite. PlanescapeTorment flopped on release, but is now always at the top of GoG sales charts.  WW2 shooters were hated in the past and now a bunch of people are begging for them back (future spam these days). and many more examples


The best you can do is read the trends, but even those shift quickly and dramatically.


Also, there is no standard.  One person will love your game and another will absolutely hate it (with probably more haters as that is the hip thing to do apparently, hate on anything you can).  


I would just make a game that you and your friends would be happy playing in the end, aka a product that you could be proud of.  And if you and your friends enjoy playing it, there are going to be others that would to. :)
 

taarna23

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Okay, let's start with some perspective. Definition of whim:

noun

1.


an odd or capricious notion or desire; a sudden or freakish fancy:


a sudden whim to take a midnight walk.





2.


capricious humor:


to be swayed by whim.





That said, you cannot avoid whims. You're looking for an answer that doesn't exist. Do yourself a favour and stop chasing the rainbow in hopes for the pot of gold. Simply appreciate the rainbow, as the pot of gold doesn't exist.


As for universally accepted, previous comments should have to realizing there is no such thing as a universally acclaimed game. Somebody, somewhere is going to hate it; want to take it out back and burn and bury it. You can not please everyone and you will make yourself crazy trying. Make it your game, in your way, and somebody's going to enjoy it.
 

Valryia

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@AwesomeCool I don't have friends that i could orient my game after.


@taarna23 I don't want a hit, i want something is good, nothing more. I don't want my runner to go the wrong route, so to say.
 
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Galv

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From my experience, using the default RPGMaker assets is a big turn-off for most people (maybe moreso if using them in a commercial game). The first thing anybody will ever see of your game is usually the visuals (screenshots, artwork) - and this becomes their first impression.


If your game looks exactly the same as 100's of other rpgmaker games then this first impression is not a very impressive one. I'm not saying the default assets are horrible, but this is something you need to think about.


There are a lot of videos of game devs sharing their thoughts and experiences on what makes games good that I think are worth checking out. One that might be of interest is Extra Credits:


https://www.youtube.com/user/ExtraCreditz
 

Valryia

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@Galv Of course i don't plan to use any default resources. It is a neccesary start. But will it get me to the goal? Just how much work do i need to put in?


I am well aware of Extra Credits and they are good guides, but i need something more concrete. A literal basement to orient myself after.
 

amerk

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As a previous poster stated, there really is no solid answer that can be given. I'd love to tell you that with great effort comes great reward, but that's not always the case. It's going to depend on:


1. Who are you targeting? - If you trying to convince an action rpg junkie who places resolution and graphics ahead of gameplay, you probably are not going to easily convince him to play a turn-based RM game. If you are targeting a player who prefers simple and casual turn-based, you are probably not going to easily convince him/her to play a difficult rogue-like Dark Souls clone.


2. What portal are you selling to? - RM portals do better for RM games than other places. So portals like Amaranth, Aldorlea, Degica, etc., may fare better than Steam.


3. Reseach the audience and the prices for the portals you are selling your game on. If the audience seems more inclined to take a casual turn-based game at $10, you may be hardpressed selling an action rogue adventure for $30 and expecting good results.


Even then, the internet is full of self-acclaimed critics, and many have the unfortunate necessity of convincing others to think like them. And these trickle into all portals. Some will offer constructive criticism, others will outright hate your game and belittle you as hard as they can. Your best resource is to have a strong following of supporters that can help you through and also provide just an effective of a voice to convince others to actually try the game. Which is why it's often recommended to start off making games for the community in order to build that following, ask for feedback, develop the trade, and learn everything you can about a game development career.


In regards to how much or how little of resources you need, well as Galv said, people will pick on the defaults the moment they see them; however, people will pick on poorly custom made resources just as quick. Some people spend little on their resources but are selective in the style they choose so they aren't as easily recognizable, and others spend hundreds, if not thousands, only to barely make their money back, if at all. I will generally give any game a chance (free or not) if the defaults look like they are used well by a competent developer, but others won't even bother the moment they get wind of the RTP, even if they are very well designed.


From gathering the most common suggestions:


1. Customize your main characters - face and sprite.


2. Avoid chibi style if possible


3. Make the game mechanics fun


4. Get a cheap (or free) art program and make some changes to the default and store purchases - changing color, clumping tiles, re-arranging tiles - these can go a long way.


5. Change the music from default - plenty of commercially free and cheap packages you can get hold of.


That is not to say this will offer any guarantees, but it may help get you in the right direction.
 
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Galv

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I agree with what others have said, I don't think there is an answer to your question.


I'm not sure that there's a 'literal basement' for you to build your game on unless maybe if you copy someone else's (like many MMORPG's have, making them feel very similar to each other).


I see game development as an art. It is used to tell an interactive story that can be executed in countless different ways - the idea being to create a new experience for others that comes from within yourself. Even AAA game devs have spent tens of millions of dollars on games that have failed. If there was a solid foundation for success, I would image those companies would use it.


How much work do you need to put in to making a good game? Potentially years of hard work.
 

Valryia

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@Galv "Years of hard work" that is exactly what should be said more often. I am pressed to do make my first commercial game quickly, but no one seems to truly understands what that means. I wish others would understand and use that phrase more often.


@amerk My main focus - and strenght - is a balanced and quick fighting system. (Something FF10 x Shin Megami Tensei -ish) Other then that, for my first good game i imagine...


- I am not shy to make the 4th wall a main focus story wise, meaning a high degree of awareness of the PC's towards the player. (Baten Kaitos, but more interaction)


- A good amount of philosphy, but still relativly easy going. No bull ala "it was all a dream" or an "cerberus ending". (FF9 + 20% more philosophy)


- no clear white and black, but also no muddy grey mess.


- I prefer anime style, with lighhearted humour. I do not shy away from drama, if it is limited. (Legend of the dragoon, among others)


- the hardest for me, but very important also, good music.
 

bgillisp

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@ValryiaHow fast do they think you can make a game then? I often respond to those people with a response that if they think it is that fast to do, here's the engine, go. Let's see what you can do.


But yes, Galv summed it up best. Years of work. For my game I actually took how long I thought I needed to make it, then added an extra year to that time. Ended up with 3 years for the timeline, and I still might fall short by a couple months, depending on how RL obligations and such go in this last year.
 

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