What mechanics do players expect in RPG Maker games?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by PrincessRapunzel, Jan 9, 2018.

  1. PrincessRapunzel

    PrincessRapunzel Warper Member

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    Hello everyone! This is my first real post here. Apologies if it's in the wrong place.

    I've been writing little games for a while now either in BASIC, C, and Unity. When I first started with RPGM VX Ace I did a little game that I wrote as a parody/satire/gimmick while I learned the ropes. I must have included three dozen gaming tropes in that effort and I had fun doing it. I'm far from an expert and I still consider myself a newbie game designer.

    Now I'd like to try my hand at designing my first serious RPG using MV. One that I'd send out for others to try. But I'm a bit stuck on how to approach that sort of effort. Moving from newbie test-world building to a serious work is a challenge I'm finding.

    I'm used to having objects in-game be interactive. I'm a fanatic of Elder Scrolls games and if you've played them you know that quite a bit of the world you can interact with. Boxes, barrels, doors, fireplaces, books, animals, people, etc., etc.

    Do players of RPG Maker type games expect similar experiences? Must I event everything so that characters can interact with them? It sounds tedious to do so, but if that's what's expected these days then I'll do it.

    I was asking myself these questions when I played two different demo games in RPG Maker Fes on my Nintendo 3DS. In one game, I could interact with nearly everything. I could turn on a sink and the text box said, "The water is cool and looks refreshing." Another game I was hard pressed to find anything at all to interact with - things one would expect to interact with (doors) were useless and I had to hunt and peck to see which doors were actually useful. Both were challenging in their own way. In the first game, you almost had to touch everything since you didn't know what might be useful to you. In the other, however, you still had to touch everything since you didn't know what worked at all!

    In my test games I would normally only make chests and doors interactive items in the world. Everything else was static eye candy.
    So how do you design your worlds? What do players expect to see/find/do in a serious RPG game?

    Thanks for your time!
     
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  2. EpicFILE

    EpicFILE Epic Member Veteran

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    The early Final Fantasies don't have that much things to interact with.
    Yet they are still good games.

    The things that need to be concerned is consistency.
    If the player learns from the beginning that they can interact with barrels,
    it'd be weird if the player can't find any other barrels to interact with aside from that first barrel.
    If the player learns that they can't interact with pots,
    they might be missing some items if suddenly there are many interact-able pots mid-game.

    Hopefully it'll help you :D
     
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  3. Frogboy

    Frogboy I'm not weak to fire Veteran

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    There's a really simple trick you can do to make this task go a lot quicker. Make common events for interactables that are repeated often. If you want every barrel and jar that doesn't have anything in it to say "Nothing here", all it takes is one common event in a blank, Action Button triggered event. Just copy this event and paste it everywhere you need.

    You could also make several different ones if you want more flavorful text (sinks, mirrors or whatever). By having these in common event calls, if you ever want to change the text, you only have to do it in one place. You can also use the random number generator and pick one of several flavor texts for that type of object.

    It's a little tedious pasting the event in so many places but really doesn't take all that long.
     
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  4. OnslaughtSupply

    OnslaughtSupply Ssshhh... Veteran

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    Like @EpicFILE said, you have to teach your players what is interactive early on and then stick to it. If you make nearly everything interactive, the player will expect this the rest of the game. If you only want some items interactive, do the player a favor and have some "shinies" or "sparkles" on interactive objects so they don't get stuck. The trick is consistency.

    @Frogboy 's advice is really good too from a work flow perspective. I do this and I also make a debug map that gets left out of the final version. Place most of your interactive objects there so you can come back and copy and paste them without having to rewrite door events or treasure chests over and over again. You can also do some trial and error here for debugging purposes and not mess up a good map.
     
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  5. Soul Tech

    Soul Tech Time Traveler Veteran

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    Some ideas, you could use the libraries to get an item book and make a series of books that together explain the history of your world (example: book of world vol.1 / 9). You could also hunt animals making them elusive to reach but when you touch them you kill them and you can remove the skin to sell it or something like that, you could design options to interact with people and be able to steal or extract information, etc. There is definitely a lot to do and dont be too much ambitious with the size of your maps, better small and detailed than huge and empty.
     
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  6. Neka Music

    Neka Music Veteran Veteran

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    I hate those kinds of "cue" or interactive objects, especially for those like : "Look, it's a great object", and that's all about it.

    Like the earlier post, you could make interactive objects that add something to your games, like books of history, or side-quest related objects.

    In my game, all interactive objects will be either side-quest objects, hidden items, hidden enemies or history/useful information of the world.
     
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  7. PrincessRapunzel

    PrincessRapunzel Warper Member

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    My current plan is to include books that go into the lore of the world (think "Brief History of the Empire v1, v2, v3", "The Battle of XYZ", and "Alchemical Research") that will give backstory as an integrated experience in-game rather than a massive info dump exposition at the start. I prefer where the player character knows little about the greater world and learns as they progress. The thinking here is that in feudal times the populations were largely uneducated or "simple" craftsman. The educated were the rulers, the clergy, etc. Your typical farmboy-as-world-savior wouldn't know about anything much beyond the fields and woods of his village. He'd learn as he adventured outside those confines.

    Translating this into a workable world leads to an implementation issue. I'm not opposed to eye candy to help fill the world to show that its a livable place. Just balance that candy with function so that your player isn't just stumbling all over the junk to get on with their task.

    So beyond those lore books, I may just keep with typical containers. A chest, a pot, a barrel. Those will potentially have loot. But the "clutter" won't. Well, unless it's plot necessary - a note on the wall, a magic apple, etc.

    Cool! I like the idea of using a "shiny" mark and lore books for exposition. I'll have to balance my ambitions with my limited skill in art. I won't get into my issue with beds not aligning with the wall and other graphical oddities. :ywink:
     
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  8. Requiem

    Requiem Veteran Veteran

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    I expect 300 hours of open world gameplay a la Skyrim.

    Anything less then this and I'm not downloading it.
     
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  9. Leon Kennedy

    Leon Kennedy Restaff Novice Restaff

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    They expect hand holding quests, telltale variety of gameplay and the secret weapon able to one shot Ludwig back to the Wasteland. Jk, partially.
     
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  10. HumanNinjaToo

    HumanNinjaToo The Cheerful Pessimist Veteran

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    I don't really expect every object in a game like this to be something you can interact with. Some things would be nice, like maybe bookshelves or objects that stick out from the norm, but then that's really only if it makes sense in the game. I don't want to read a bunch of text bubbles that talk about how ordinary everything is, that's just blah. Personally, I'd like to be able to discover items or useful info that leads to side quests, something like that. I don't mind finding out info about the world either, as long as it's done in small bits. By this, I mean that I don't like to read walls of text about the world; but, I'm cool if it's presented in smaller tidbits here and there.
     
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  11. atoms

    atoms Veteran Veteran

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    I think it's nice to interact with things, players like variation, but games without interaction can still be good.

    It depends how much time you have on your hands and how much effort you want to put in your project.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018
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