Would you buy a game like this? If so, what do you think it should be priced at?

LocoChoco

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What bridges am I burning exactly? Other Rm devs usually aren't anyone's target demographic. Particularly for the commercial efforts you keep insisting I might want to do, 5-10 years from now; presumably using the copy of VX Ace I have owned and done nothing with for 3 years?

You mind sending further replies to my inbox?
 

Bumblefish97

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It doesn't upset me, I just am suggesting not to burn your bridges as you never know what you will decide to do 5 - 10 years down the line, and the internet is very unforgiving, that is all.

As for the question asked, I'd say post a demo first. That is the better way to get an answer to the question.
Will likely have a demo closer to the game's actual release, right now I'm in the early stages. Only really done the intro and I'm doing some maps.
 

bgillisp

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@Bumblefish97 : Good. I'd say it might be a good idea to post an early version under Ideas and Prototypes so that you can get feedback on it. If' you've never made a game before the feedback alone can be invaluable and it is good to get that early instead of too late to change anything in the game.
 

Bumblefish97

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@Bumblefish97 : Good. I'd say it might be a good idea to post an early version under Ideas and Prototypes so that you can get feedback on it. If' you've never made a game before the feedback alone can be invaluable and it is good to get that early instead of too late to change anything in the game.
Like a tech demo sort of thing?
 

Saboera

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It sounds conceptually interesting.

However for me personally, default combat engine and RTP graphics combined together are a big turn off for any RPG maker commercial project.
It would make a great IGMC game contestant or prototype worth playing but I doubt it would have enough appeal for me to look at on steam, let alone buy it. Sadly you can blame the oversaturation of poor RPG Maker commercial games for that and the dev bias.

Although, on a budget you could buy packs of resources to overcome that. They're not expensive and go a long way distinguishing yourself from the rest of the chaff. Alternatively, there's some interesting tools tailored to RPG Maker like Game Character Hub which can help a lot to bring your RTP characters to a different level without requiring any artistic skills. Get some sounds from sound libraries and you can keep the development cost pretty cheap.

In my opinion if you aren't willing to spend money on your own game to develop it, you shouldn't expect people to be willing to pay for it either.

But then again, if it's really well executed, who knows.
 

Bumblefish97

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It sounds conceptually interesting.

However for me personally, default combat engine and RTP graphics combined together are a big turn off for any RPG maker commercial project.
It would make a great IGMC game contestant or prototype worth playing but I doubt it would have enough appeal for me to look at on steam, let alone buy it. Sadly you can blame the oversaturation of poor RPG Maker commercial games for that and the dev bias.

Although, on a budget you could buy packs of resources to overcome that. They're not expensive and go a long way distinguishing yourself from the rest of the chaff. Alternatively, there's some interesting tools tailored to RPG Maker like Game Character Hub which can help a lot to bring your RTP characters to a different level without requiring any artistic skills. Get some sounds from sound libraries and you can keep the development cost pretty cheap.

In my opinion if you aren't willing to spend money on your own game to develop it, you shouldn't expect people to be willing to pay for it either.

But then again, if it's really well executed, who knows.
There's one purchased pack I use for it so far which is the wizard castle inner tiles. By RTP I mainly just meant tiles that match the RTP, not just the stuff that comes free with the engine. There's others I think I'll be getting as development goes on but all in that sort of style. Sound effects and music I think I'll definitely be using ones that didn't come with the engine but haven't bought/downloaded any yet because I think sound I'll be adding after I've done the game itself.
 

metronome

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The concept doesn't sound uncommon for me, so you would have to "compete" in other categories if you are going to charge me money for it.
 

LocoChoco

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I'm going to give you some actual advice, since this thread has diddly squat to do with demos. Common sense dictates if ya had one, you'd have posted it.

Your idea sounds good. Solid, really. The world can't get enough of magic and magic institutions of just about any kind since Harry Potter hit the big screen. If one pays close enough attention, they will find that magic is testing well in Hollywood right now, for what that's worth to you.

My advice is focus on the long-term playability (not a real word but I use it anyway). It's not enough for me to capture a monster and put him on display, making my visitors happier. No no, that's going to loose novelty with time. I want that creature to be feral. Maybe he scares the kids at first. So I want to be able to breed them, making each new generation more domesticated. I want to upgrade its habitat to ensure it is happier at all times, so my visitors are happy.

I want my creatures to provide benefits, unlocking new abilities and resources to improve my overall R&D quality, and the quality of my museum.

A game like this requires distractions and longevity in my opinion.


You're probably wanting to sell hard copies, but this seems to me like something you could run a more mobile format with. Something like this would receive a ton of downloads if it was Free to Play. From there you could charge players for virtual product. You don't even have to be a dick about it, like most mobile games. It's possible to be fair, especially if you have little overhead (compared to companies who pay entire teams by the hour).

The long and short of it? Yes. If I was still a big active gamer investing in new titles, I would give this a shot. I love tycoon and sim games, and your spin on it sounds like it has a wealth of potential to provide a great pay experience. But make sure your game has enough depth that it can maintain a progress curve, and even provide meaningful play after everything has been acquired and mastered.
 

bgillisp

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To add to that post, I find you need to give the players a purpose too. I myself don't buy many management/sim games as there is no overall goal to them, so I grow bored of it. For example, I had the original SimCity, and I'd have to say the most entertainment I ever got out of that game was loading up an existing city that the developers made, and hitting it with all the disasters at once. But, that was because there was no endgame goal short of make a city, which that I grew tired of fast.

Probably the only sim game I found really fun was Railroad Tycoon. The original. There you had a goal of making a railroad which went from coast to coast, while fighting off the competition. That I found interesting enough that I played that game constantly when I was younger. Though, since I was in elementary school then it also probably helped I could turn off things I didn't yet understand like how the economy worked and such too.

So the takeaway from this is I think the game will need two things to be successful:
-A clear endgame goal.
-Ability to turn off some features, especially if you want to appeal to a younger crowd that might not be old enough to grasp some of the harder aspects of the game.
 

LocoChoco

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To add to that post, I find you need to give the players a purpose too. I myself don't buy many management/sim games as there is no overall goal to them, so I grow bored of it. For example, I had the original SimCity, and I'd have to say the most entertainment I ever got out of that game was loading up an existing city that the developers made, and hitting it with all the disasters at once. But, that was because there was no endgame goal short of make a city, which that I grew tired of fast.
Sim City had a Scenario mode to combat this. Games like Theme Park let you reach monetary benchmarks which allowed you to buy new land, opening new types of rides, traveling around the world. A lot of those harder aspects gave the game difficulty, so you couldn't just build stuff til you got bored. It's also educational for the younger gamer.

A big part of the purpose in tycoon and sim games of any kind is setting the goals, perfecting your builds and performance. You have to enjoy a certain aspect of gaming outside of the usual action/story oriented content. The games I personally enjoy the most are those that have heavy customization. Banjo-Kazooie: Nutz N Boltz probably gave me more raw entertainment than any other game when it came down to just play. I didn't even play Banjo games prior to it. But I spent hours building vehicles, land, sea, and air. Pushing that physics engine to the limits.

That sort of gamer is attracted to anything sim/tycoon in nature. The goal is within the concept itself. Scenarios are just fun.
 

Bumblefish97

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Sim City had a Scenario mode to combat this. Games like Theme Park let you reach monetary benchmarks which allowed you to buy new land, opening new types of rides, traveling around the world. A lot of those harder aspects gave the game difficulty, so you couldn't just build stuff til you got bored. It's also educational for the younger gamer.

A big part of the purpose in tycoon and sim games of any kind is setting the goals, perfecting your builds and performance. You have to enjoy a certain aspect of gaming outside of the usual action/story oriented content. The games I personally enjoy the most are those that have heavy customization. Banjo-Kazooie: Nutz N Boltz probably gave me more raw entertainment than any other game when it came down to just play. I didn't even play Banjo games prior to it. But I spent hours building vehicles, land, sea, and air. Pushing that physics engine to the limits.

That sort of gamer is attracted to anything sim/tycoon in nature. The goal is within the concept itself. Scenarios are just fun.
I think with RPGMaker it'd be tricky to pull off some of the customization other games have in any real detail
 

ohoward1987

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I'd recommend you to invent something new that will make a boom on the marketplace. I know that this is not very easy but you have to do it. Also I suggest to stay away from using RTP and instead get your own art as that will get more people to notice your game and potential buy it. People view RTP graphic as something with little to no originality and effort so they will less likely look at the game.
 
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Milennin

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I'd never pay for a game made primarily with RTP assets. There are so many games available for below $5 with custom made assets (even more so during Steam sales), I don't see why anybody would pay for an RTP game, unless it's their first time playing an RPG Maker game?
 

Tamina

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So many people focusing on critiquing on RTP. IMO, it's missing the point. Outside of RM community people generally doesn't care about RTP.

The entire reason why RM games are tough sell is because JRPG mechanics are old. When we talk about JRPG, its generally associated with outdated gameplay including "turn based battles(or variations of it)" "slow paced gameplay" "linear" and that before getting repeated story themes like "young boys save the world" or "Earthbound". I used to love JRPG back in PS1/PS2 era, but after playing tons and tons of them it gets old. I own much fewer JRPG post ps2 era and I'm certainly not the only player feel this way, as entire JRPG industry enters decline and only a few titles really do well.

Newer jrpg these days tend to add western game mechanics like open world, action oriented combat, 2.5D graphics and multi-player as their main selling point. Unfortunately it's tough to do any of these with RM engine. In fact RM engine is so hard to edit to create a brand new mechanics that's very different from defaults. So games that comes out with RM remains unimpressive because mechanics are all the same.

If your mechanics is new and unique, and you aim for a target audience that isn't in RM community, RTP doesn't matter. If you just make another JRPG with traditional JRPG gameplay, then it's going to be hard to sell.

I'm willing to pay for a game that plays completely different from everything else using RM graphics. Like wise if I see more of JRPG inspired by SNES era titles I'm going to pass even with all custom graphics. (Unless your custom graphics and story is really cup of my tea).

By the way, I think the concept of this game is interesting enough. But how well it does comes down to the execution. And I would certainly recommend other engine for not-jrpg games. You get more flexibility for mechanic design and it's easier to port to switch too. Overall it can be a better game without RM limitations.
 

Milennin

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So many people focusing on critiquing on RTP. IMO, it's missing the point. Outside of RM community people generally doesn't care about RTP.
Because the topic is about whether I would buy it or not, and I'd definitely not, because a game running assets I already own and can find in endless other RPG Maker titles has its value severely diminished. It's saying a lot about the creator too, since they were unwilling to get unique assets for their game, it sends the message to me, chances are, they were unlikely to get rid of the clunky default RPG Maker mechanics too. It shows a lack of care and personal touch for their project. For free games, that is a non-issue, because they're just hobby projects. For a game requiring me to pay for it, that risk is far too high to take. The market is absolutely flooded with cheap games, it's not hard to find high quality titles for low prices (or even for free if you're willing to put up with optional transactions). If I look hard enough, I can even find plenty of decent free RPG Maker games or demos to play. I'm not sure what reasons I'd have to pay for that kind of experience.
 

lianderson

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Stab everything!

Hmmmmmmmm... *pets skull made out of mountain dews*

I got it!

Forget the sales! Make the game anyways! Screw everyone's opinions! Screw everyone's advice! Become your own artist. Stab your own path. But listen to me my little murda, do not naively expect sustainability of finances from this medium. That will only create despair and terror of the existentialisms. These concepts are endless pits of emotional self hatred! In short, do not quit your night job. The darkness has spoken.

I'm hungry now.

...oh no, I only got one potpie left! A journey to the food retention building shall be required before the sun sets. Required for my area is inflicted with terrible musical vampires. They beatbox as people walk by and constantly try to sell everyone their whack albums at the price of multiple sandwichs! They're very annoying business people! We love our sandwiches! They do not understand rejection.

Good day humans!
 

Tamina

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It's saying a lot about the creator too, since they were unwilling to get unique assets for their game, it sends the message to me, chances are, they were unlikely to get rid of the clunky default RPG Maker mechanics too. It shows a lack of care and personal touch for their project.
I'd say it can be the opposite.

If your game only has less than 10k budget, you can use the budget to
1)Pay for programmer for better/more unique game mechanics.
2)Pay for yourself(the designer) for better game design. Or even hire designers to handle systems that you are not familiar with.
3)Pay for testers to fix more bugs.
4)Pay for an editor to fix bad writing and grammars.

investing your money in any of these above makes your game much better, as well as more "personal touch" than generic RM game in custom assets. But investing this little money on art assets get you crappy assets that isn't necessarily better than RTP.

I've seen more than enough people that asks for custom assets for an entire game for $3000-$4000. I told them thats not enough to create professional looking assets for an entire game with this little money, then they just look somewhere else. They ended up getting assets done somewhere cheap and guess what...it looks bad.

Many commercial asset packs out there are cheap, but it doesn't solve the problem. Most asset packs dont cover all the themes in the same style. If I want to build a game with varied landscapes like having fantasy town, fantasy city, snowy town, fire cavern, 2 different forests and modern city all in one game I'm screwed with asset packs. Since most asset packs only cover 1 or a few themes. I have yet to find any asset packs that is as versatile as RTP.

Mix and match assets from different packs isn't an option. Since different asset uses different color palette, as soon as you mix and match them it's instantly recognizable.

Finally, RTP has the most "additional resources" available on this forum. If you need random add-on like animals, small items, ships you can use them without having to worry about size and color palette. Asset packs are screwed. Trying to add those add-on items and animals to different asset packs won't look good because they are designed for RTP.

I'd only consider all custom assets if I have a much higher budget, or if I'm building a smaller project with just a few locations. Otherwise spending the precious time and money on things actually matter(game design, balance, QA, writing) will get you a much better game than spending all your money on low quality assets.

Ironically, if I have a much higher budget for custom assets Id probably use a different engine like Unity instead.

I may be biased, but I personally feel that community's endless obsession with "custom assets" is the main reason why many RM project has bad reputation: they get the priority wrong.
 

Milennin

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I may be biased, but I personally feel that community's endless obsession with "custom assets" is the main reason why many RM project has bad reputation: they get the priority wrong.
It's because RPG Maker is mostly used as a cheap hobby engine, and most people using it work alone and don't have the skill sets to cover for every aspect required to make a full quality game. That's why you have many games that may have a good story, but fall flat on gameplay or graphics. You have games with good visuals, but with boring gameplay or shallow story. There are games with interesting mechanics, but lack story or graphics to carry it.

When I look to spend money on a game, I want the full package. A commercial game built with RTP assets looks cheap, in my eyes, and would be an automatic pass from me.
 

Tamina

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It's because RPG Maker is mostly used as a cheap hobby engine, and most people using it work alone and don't have the skill sets to cover for every aspect required to make a full quality game.
More the reason to focus on game design rather than "custom art".

That's why you have many games that may have a good story, but fall flat on gameplay or graphics. You have games with good visuals, but with boring gameplay or shallow story. There are games with interesting mechanics, but lack story or graphics to carry it.

When I look to spend money on a game, I want the full package.
When it comes to indie games, game mechanics and creativity tend to have much greater advantage over graphics.

Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy sells 280k copies in just 2 weeks, Human: fall flat sold over 4 million copies. Even games like Reventure probably sell better than 99% of commercial RM game with no amazing graphics nor story, just different mechanics.
These games aren't "full package" with everything. Nor their graphics look amazing in any way. They just have very, very different gameplay from everything else.

If dev just aim to create a game with "full package of everything", their project will never compete with AAA games. I got my copy of AAA games deus ex human revolution and dungeon siege 3 for less than $3, even with custom graphics an indie game will not have same level of quality. How can you compete?

Now if a games plays extremely different from everything else on the market that would be a different story. A game with new gameplay mechanics will standout without amazing graphics because it's different enough.

The reason why most RM games won't sell because their gameplay is just clones of each other. It's always the same old gameplay used in 20 other AAA JRPG and 200 other RM games. It's not unique.

I think it's more important to encourage unique game mechanics and creative ideas, rather than ask the dev "use custom art". A low budget game with unique game mechanics will sell well, a low budget game with custom art won't.

Focus on ONE thing. Which is game design and creativity. Focusing on everything and spread too thin is never a good strategy.

A commercial game built with RTP assets looks cheap, in my eyes, and would be an automatic pass from me.
99% of the commercial game built with custom assets looks just as cheap, if not cheaper than RTP. It's not the smartest strategy to put custom assets on the highest priority.

and most people using it work alone
"Work alone" doesn't mean a game will fail commercially. Human fall flat is made by 1 person, it sold 4 million copies. Undertale also sold over a million and it's done by 1.5 person too.

Creative concept is the key.
 
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Milennin

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More the reason to focus on game design rather than "custom art".
Not really, because the art is the first thing people see when they browse for games to buy. And as I've said before, if I see RTP in a commercial game, it's an automatic skip for me.

Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy sells 280k copies in just 2 weeks, Human: fall flat sold over 4 million copies. Even games like Reventure probably sell better than 99% of commercial RM game with no amazing graphics nor story, just different mechanics.
These games aren't "full package" with everything. Nor their graphics look amazing in any way. They just have very, very different gameplay from everything else.
You don't need amazing graphics. You just need something that makes your game stand out and not look awful.

Now if a games plays extremely different from everything else on the market that would be a different story. A game with new gameplay mechanics will standout without amazing graphics because it's different enough.
You're first going to need to convince people scrolling through a store page to click on your game to check what it's all about. Anybody familiar in even the slightest with RTP will very likely skip if your game has RTP; I know I would. The very first thing I look at are screenshots and maybe a trailer to see what it looks like.

I think it's more important to encourage unique game mechanics and creative ideas, rather than ask the dev "use custom art". A low budget game with unique game mechanics will sell well, a low budget game with custom art won't.

Focus on ONE thing. Which is game design and creativity. Focusing on everything and spread too thin is never a good strategy.
You're still going to have to market it, though. Good luck marketing an RTP-made game. There are plenty of free to play projects found on these forums that have unique mechanics. Why would I pay for an RPG Maker game that looks like an RPG Maker game?

99% of the commercial game built with custom assets looks just as cheap, if not cheaper than RTP. It's not the smartest strategy to put custom assets on the highest priority.
This is why indies go with a retro look, like 8-bit graphics. Because it doesn't require mad artist skills or huge time investment to create themselves, while still giving their game a unique look to draw in people.

"Work alone" doesn't mean a game will fail commercially. Human fall flat is made by 1 person, it sold 4 million copies. Undertale also sold over a million and it's done by 1.5 person too.
I never said that. It's that successful 1-person games are the tiniest exception. They're the 0,00001% of people who happen to be good enough at art, sound, programming etc to deliver the full package, and have the time and motivation to put together a quality game all by themselves and then manage to market in a way that it attracts a bunch of people willing to pay for their games.
I'm sure there are "some" (read: a very small number) RTP-made RPG Maker games that have been commercially successful. Your best chances are shortly at the release of a new version when the market hasn't been flooded by the default assets, and the casual customers haven't caught on yet. But to answer the topic's title: I still wouldn't pay for such a game, because commercial RTP-made games have zero value to me.
 

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