What mechanic or element would RPGs be better without?

Discussion in 'Game Mechanics Design' started by Wavelength, Oct 31, 2017.

  1. trouble time

    trouble time Bearer of the Word Veteran

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    I edited my second post there a bit. I'll still respond to what you wrote above though.

    1. I know it's not a story line it's an opening, I know you're talking about execution. The first is better executed than the second.

    2.A fictional king is a clear antagonist, you know what you're going. Your sister vanishing most likely means she's dead, if she isn't then I still don't have any idea what could have taken her, and that opens up about as many questions as the bogus ones you asked about the initial one. I know you think it depends on the execution but the second one as is has failed at executing as well as the first.

    3.We basically are saying the same thing, though I can raise many more objections to your original post I just wanted to point out propping up the second example is detrimental to your case.

    EDIT: One objection that's burning in me is the mention of Ocirina of Times story as something to emulate and well...that's like telling someone to emulate the plot of Contra, that is to pretend to have one to string the levels together.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2017
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  2. Mr.Chris

    Mr.Chris Veteran Veteran

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    you missed my point with the examples. I'm talking about the initial game opening. First 20min of gameplay I would much rather have a simple and easy start like I'm hiking with my sister, she falls, gets injured and then vanishes. As opposed to finding out about important places and ancient curses and the antogonist etc. just the first part of the game only. I never meant an entire game revolving around finding your sister lol I agree that sounds very boring. But I wouldn't mind it for the first part of the game. I feel like Rpg games just throw too much vocab and info at you in the beginning. Which is what I am trying to say here
     
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  3. trouble time

    trouble time Bearer of the Word Veteran

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    Yes, just the first part, I didn't miss the point, I disagree with you. Two you never mentioned any important places I assume you'd find all that out along the way, and even as the first part of the story, the first one is more interesting. Hardly anything you mentioned has anything to do with vocabulary, even the first example just had two proper nouns and one was self-evident in its meaning (for someone to be the king of something, generally that would be some form of country or provice) and the other proper noun is a character name.

    There's no extra vocabulary actually involved in figuring out someone is cursed either, if anything most of what you've said applies more to scope than vocabulary. Maybe this isn't what you mean, but I can only read what's been typed.
     
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  4. kirbwarrior

    kirbwarrior Veteran Veteran

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    Anyone remember King Dalton, the worst villain in his game?
    I take back everything I said before. I'd rather play a game where the maker is literally trying to take advantage of my wallet than play a game made by someone who is this fatalistic.
    (I know it wasn't directed at me) The king story is enough to draw me in to play the game. The sister story sounds worse than boring, it sounds annoying. If that was me in real life, I know it'd put me in a sour mood (for one, I'd be beating myself up over a stupid decision).
     
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  5. Mr.Chris

    Mr.Chris Veteran Veteran

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    Fatalistic? Nice..

    What makes me so fatalistic? Because I mention that the most successful movies and video games are usually the most simple and cliche? You really think any story is 100% unique, it's not. The way you tell the story is what makes it unique. The setting, the characters etc. but if you break it down most stories follow the same archetype and plot lines over and over again. Developers should pay attention to how they deliver the story instead of trying to be too clever or too original, only my opinion
     
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  6. kirbwarrior

    kirbwarrior Veteran Veteran

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    My apologies, I didn't mean to offend. It's just, whenever I hear people say things like that, it usually implies further personalization that the speaker has effectively "given up" and/or is the definition of truly pessimistic.
    I refuse to believe that. If it's true, then why continue with fiction at all? I play games, I read novels, I watch movies, I love stories. If you're telling me there is nothing new under the sun, then why pretend it's worth it? If it's impossible to have a unique story, then is creativity dead?
    Most. That's important. Romeo and Juliet has been told and retold and reimagined so many times because it's a story people want to hear. There's a tv channel that mass produces feel-good romances that some viewers want. That doesn't mean it's impossible to have an original story.
     
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  7. Mr.Chris

    Mr.Chris Veteran Veteran

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    I have not experienced a good original story in a very long time. Is creativity dead? Eh I dunno. A real fatalist might say yes but I'm not so sure. But I do believe every story copies parts of other stories. where the story is set and how it's told is usually what makes it unique. But it all follows the same patterns. There are unique stories to be told for sure. But commercially successful stories maybe not. People like to play as the hero. Doesn't mean you can't make a game where people play as a villain. You could make a game where you are a side character to both the protagonist and the antagonist... now there's a unique story lol. But I doubt people want to play a side character in a videogame. Truth is that people like to play as the hero. People like to rescue the princess and to defeat the evil boss. People like cliche stories. They just don't want the story to feel cliche. I'm basically just repeating myself at this point
     
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  8. kirbwarrior

    kirbwarrior Veteran Veteran

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    I'd like to say something here. Most of my problems with games is in the conflict of "Game that is good vs Game that will sell". A similar line is "A story that is good versus A story that will sell". I'm entirely certain genres exist entirely inside the second. I'd rather have the first.
    An original story isn't necessarily good and definitely has nothing to do with popularity. Certain stories just aren't going to sell because people don't want to believe that story exists. A recent movie came out called The Voices and it's a prime example of a movie I loved and a story that I'm sure no one wants to be true. On the other end of the spectrum, Golden Sun is a paint-by-numbers rpg made up entirely of elements from games that sold well without understanding why those elements where there in the first place (Isaac and Felix are silent protagonists only while you control them).
     
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  9. Tai_MT

    Tai_MT Veteran Veteran

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    I'd like to point out the RPG Maker game: "You Are Not The Hero".

    By all accounts, it's a fantastic game. I don't know the sales figures of it, but it was pretty popular when it came out. I didn't buy it, because I don't like the "minigame gameplay" aspect of the game.

    People want to play interesting games. They don't want to be saddled with the same clichés all the time. Most people look for "mold breakers". That is, stories they feel are original enough to warrant experiencing.

    Also, if you break anything down to its base components... it's going to be boring. That's how it works. Your brand new Ferrari is so beautiful and exciting. All the way up until I start breaking it down into its base components and telling you how it works, why things work, removing its painted finish to show you the raw body underneath... Now it's boring. Now you don't think it's beautiful or exciting.

    Your problem is that you're confusing "The basic archetypes of storytelling" for "All stories have been done before". All squares are rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares. The "archetypes" for storytelling are essentially the only ways you can have conflict in the story. There are only so many conflict types, and to tell a good story, you need some sort of conflict. So, while the same conflict types are used across every genre of storytelling... The same stories really do not. Sure, you get the same lazy hack writing as exists in every medium. "Avatar" is "Dances With Wolves" in Outer Space. "West Side Story" is "Romeo and Juliet" in an American Gang setting. You're going to have Hack Writers without original ideas, trying to capitalize on old existing ideas. The reason these kinds of movies sell is because... there's no alternative. Hollywood is so laden with business-people that are opposed to new ideas, that they've stagnated. Do you think a movie like "Ghostbusters (the original, not the craptastic remake) would ever be made in Hollywood today? How about "Back to the Future"? The "remakes" and "retellings" of old stories in Hollywood exist because they want guaranteed money and don't want to take a chance on something unproven. Essentially... it's cowardice.

    The same type of thinking exists in the AAA game industry.

    Therein lies the problem. These stories aren't actually told by storytellers. They're not used by creative people. They're used by business-people looking to make a quick and Risk-Free buck. They "sell" because what else is on the market? Who else can get a foothold? At least now, in the AAA industry of video games, we've finally got an alternative with the Indie Scene. But, do you think we'll ever get that with movies? Oh wait, we sort of do with YouTube. Don't you think there's a reason these alternative forms of the same media are becoming wildly more popular in some instances?

    As a writer, I can't really explain how offensive it is to hear "All stories have been done before, originality is dead". I'm paraphrasing here, of course, but that's kind of the gist of what you've said. Originality isn't dead. It's suppressed. All stories haven't been told before. I got into the habit, as a writing exercise, to come up with an original idea, for a story every time a person says that.

    So, here's yours:

    A man and his friends are trapped in their worlds' equivalent of "Limbo", and are forced to participate in a world created by the man. The world is created by his subconscious, so it's cliché riddled and very... storybook. They're trapped here because Death, who is an actual entity in this world, tells them that the man is somehow special, but cannot elaborate. He tells the man that his special nature grants him The Test, instead of automatic placement. So, he says the fate of the man will be determined by what he does in this world of his own design. But, what does that mean? If he does a lot of good things for the imaginary people he gets to go to Heaven? If he does bad things, he goes to Hell? Death explains that it's not that easy and that he's not just determining where he's going, but possibly also whether he even lives or dies. But, there's a mysterious entity meddling with Death's plans and corrupting the world in places. That entity is also bringing the mans' friends into this world. Problem is... not all of these friends are actually dead. So, are they illusions? And, what power in the universe could ever compete with Death and play with his realm? The man is set on a mission to discover himself, remember key points in his life, and to discover what his own personal fate may be. A fate he will end up choosing for himself.

    ---
    Sure, it borrows pieces of other stories, but can you say you've ever played a game like that? Ever read a story like that? Watched a movie like that? The premise of "The main character is dead" has been done before, sure, but how about the reasons for being dead? Or the scenario constructed around being dead?

    An "original story" isn't just, "Let's take something that exists, and change one or two pieces". An original story is, "Let's take this premise that probably already exists, and run wild with it. Go crazy. Get nuts. Tell a unique story that only uses the premise as the backdrop for the story. The set up."

    Just as a premise can be used a million times over, same as the basic tenants of "conflict" in any story (because there really are only so many of both), a good writer uses both as "set dressing" and as "the background" of the narrative. The stories can largely flow differently with tons of originality and unexplored concepts. Even if your basic premise mirrors other stories with the same basic premise. Originality is the "twist" an artist adds. It's "the hook".
     
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  10. OM3GA-Z3RO

    OM3GA-Z3RO Wounded Seraphim Veteran

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    I have three things that I think should be removed.

    1. Damage sponge enemies, not bosses, normal enemies. I am sick of playing an rpg game and come across 1 enemy that takes me more than a episode of anime long to beat and the worst is that they become common enemies.

    2. Main villains with tragic pasts, what ever happened to the good villains that does evil for the sake of evil. Nowadays the villains you find have a tragic past so if hey aren't happy, no one should. They are all a bunch of emotional attention seeking terrorists

    3. Giant colossal final bosses, have you ever gotten those feelings when you encounter the main antagonist and you were excited to fight him, man to man/woman but the developers decided to take away your satisfaction and just make the main villain transform into a giant without fighting him in his human form? I hate that there aren't many humanoid final bosses in games anymore!
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2017
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  11. TheoAllen

    TheoAllen Self-proclaimed jack of all trades Veteran

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    Then u would rather beating weakling that u would not even sweat?
     
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  12. OM3GA-Z3RO

    OM3GA-Z3RO Wounded Seraphim Veteran

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    Okay, lemme rephrase it for you then.

    Normal enemies that take longer to kill than a boss and they don't deal a lot of damage to you, those enemies where there is no challenge and very little reward but it takes forever to kill them, basically enemies built to waste your time.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2017
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  13. Frogboy

    Frogboy I'm not weak to fire Veteran

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    For a long time, the rpg cliche was for the main villain was some powerful person or being that you knew little to nothing about before facing off with them. Most of the time, the BBEG was just some wizard, dragon, demon, god etc that never leaves his castle until you build up enough power to break into their home and destroy them. Giving the main villain a reason or purpose for doing what they're doing is something that most RPGs should try to strive for. It's a difficult thing to do right, though, as villains aren't typically the focus of the storyline.
     
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  14. lianderson

    lianderson Veteran Veteran

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    The thing that needs to change in most in RPGs, especially indie ones, is them not getting made.

    Get back to work you lazy bums!
     
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  15. kirbwarrior

    kirbwarrior Veteran Veteran

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    Couldn't say it better myself.
    Side note; Did you know more people watch Let's Plays than the top six tv channels? The greatest thing to know about suppression is that it never lasts. Eventually originality will overtake media. Or media will fall and make room for it anew.
    That's one large issue I have with these villains. Most villains seem to fall into "Pity me, I was wronged!" or "Pity me, I'm insane...". I'd like to avoid that.
    Looking back, I more appreciate games that didn't do this. FF7 does have the "laser space angel"... but the real confrontation ends with protagonist and antagonist just one v one, no frills, no background, basically a "Fight Club" feeling, and it's incredible. FFT does have a "larger than life" final boss, but it never takes away the person-ness of the character. Although, I don't have an issue with fighting suddenly-mountain final bosses. I think Kingdom Hearts 1 did it well.
     
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  16. OM3GA-Z3RO

    OM3GA-Z3RO Wounded Seraphim Veteran

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    Yeah, I remember fighting Ansom in KH1 and I loved it that you fought his humanlike form and only then you fight a giant version. The game at least gave me a chance to fight the main antagonist in equal stance but games that never give you the chance to fight them man to man and go straight to man vs giant just urks me. Rogue Galaxy comes to mind and people that has played this game will know what I mean.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2017
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