BATTLING IN GAMES, BUT.. WHY?

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Caz
LET'SBIAN DO THIS.
6283
I am having a huge amount of trouble lately: I wanna make a game, and I think of this fantastic idea for its storyline and what's gonna happen but then.. where does fighting come into it? SHOULD fighting come into it?

I mean, most successful games include lots of fighting. In particular I wanted a very Persona-esque game where you'd live life through school and do fun stuff, but in your free time go through a dungeon and fight a big boss every now and then. It's pulled off so wonderfully in Persona 4 that it fits into the story seamlessly.

When it comes to my own ideas after that, I struggle to think of a reason why the party would be fighting at all, particularly in such a modern setting as with the Persona games.

But should there even be fighting in the game? Especially as it IS set in a modern world, where much fighting doesn't really happen anymore. Would that be less fun or awesome if there was no fighting at all? What would your party do instead to level up/have fun/save the world?

Would Persona have been less fun if you didn't fight? Or even the Final Fantasy games? Are their reasons for going out and KILLING things good enough? Are their reasons for monsters even appearing in the world good enough? What other games are there with no fighting, where the character still does something in order to gain experience?

Give me your delicious thoughts.
Maybe it's easier to think about if you consider what the main conflict in the game is about.
Is there any antagonistic force that wants to hinder the protagonists?
Or is the setting more in the direction of everyday life?
If the main storyline does not incorporate as much conflict, perhaps the "fighting" can be focused in a minigame-like mechanic at the side.
Caz
LET'SBIAN DO THIS.
6283
I guess I'm mainly curious as to whether other people consider the reasons for fighting in their games, and what their reasons (if any) are.

I have a few ideas in my head, but they're mainly gimmicks, not actual stories. But as soon as I think about the gimmick my head explodes into tiny pieces because I try to think, "Okay, where can fighting come into that?" and then headdesk several times.

Gimmick 1 is something along the lines of town restoration. You do something to royally eff up a town through maybe a flood or a fire or something, and then you feel responsible for tidying it up. You then have to urr.. I dunno, save money or something to restore parts of the town which would unlock them and also new shops/awesome stuff. Obviously, it'd take a lot of money so there'd be good choices and bad choices for earning it (eg. charity events vs. robbing a bank). This idea is, of course, full of many holes and I'm not too fond of it anymore due to the whole money-earning aspect of it being so.. well, lame. Probably because of the lack of fighting! :P

Gimmick 2 is stolen from that cheeeeeesy TV show called 'Early Edition' where the guy gets a newspaper every day which tells the news of tomorrow and he has to stop bad things from happening. I figure I'd make it so that the characters receive a weekly paper instead, and you get to choose what to do each week (eg. save neighbour's cat vs. take advantage of broken ATM vs. stop a FIVE CAR PILE-UP vs. sit on your arse and do relatively nothing). But then every now and then there'd be a major "kidnapping" where someone goes missing, and it's up to the party to stop it before it happens. Again, heavily Persona 4 influenced (damn it's a good game).

So I suppose with the latter, the setting would be very much everyday.. save for the whole magical newspaper thing. It's the story of pretty much every anime with "regular kid turns AWESOME with specially granted MAGICAL ABILITIES! Woo!"

And minigames. The word minigames makes me.. ugh. Minigames are rarely done well. :P Although, I did consider a sort of.. FF8-y card game or something, or perhaps more like Yu-Gi-Oh!, really. But I wouldn't have that as the main way of fighting people or standing up for what the characters believe in. It just seems a bit.. childish. As if the hero and villain played chess to settle their differences, and that made everything better. ^^
Craze
i bet she's a diva with a potion popping problem
13832
Caz
It's pulled off so wonderfully in Persona 4 that it fits into the story seamlessly.


no it's not, it's completely separate and annoying and off-putting; the dungeons are horrible and the difficulty curve is one of the least entertaining in the SMT series; the fun parts of the game step aside so as to include BATTLES BEACAUSE IT IS RPG MUST HAVE BALTTTLES SKGHIOGNKSLk,gkl,nsgknskyh h ssgk knsg g.

***


go play a visual novel (do you have a DS? okay, go get a Phoenix Wright game or 999) and stop saying shit like 'DO YOU NEED FIGHTS IN GAM' no you fucking need -gameplay- in a game, fighting is a form of gameplay, there are more forms

you are shoehorning yourself ("but if you don't have fighting then how u get exp!???" YOU DON'T NEED EXP TO GAM MAK) and it is painful to look at, you are causing me pain
I tend to say I like to have the option not to fight. But I also like to have the option to fight.

However I just want to bring up point and click adventure games which are all about giving a story-based experience without much fighting. Of course there still has to be some kind of gameplay. Often puzzles, but just take sim-games for example, there's not a whole lot of fighting in those (except of course for the sim games that simulate fighting).

You living school-life thing reminded me of (not persona 4, I've never played any of that crap) Dangerous High School Girls in Trouble. There's some fighting in that, but I don't think the player ever gets involved in it. Instead it's all about a number of other puzzly things in order to solve a mystery. It also gives experience and similar for solving puzzles to improve abilites.

There's also interactive stories. Which I guess are just adventure games but they deserve a mention.

I mean in the end I don't think tacked-on battles add anything to games. I know lots of people disagree though, there was this topic in this forum about skippable battles that got some people hot and bothered (and the same topic when brought up by some bioware writer got the whole internet enraged... Of course the internet gets enraged on a daily basis so that doesn't mean anything).


In the end though there's many more ways to solve conflicts than to fight it out. But if it's an RPG I also have to admit that I like to have the option to fight it out should I feel the need to (or should the character I play feel the need to). But that's a part of the openness of the role playing experience.


EDIT: Also Craze told the truth about how your head is firmly stuck in the box (and it's a very small box at that)
While combat is indeed central to many, many games, there exist genres like simulation games or adventure games or puzzle games where it's tangential or rare, if it happens at all. You might not want to make a game that's like any of these, but I feel the need to point out that fighting isn't something you have to include in your project. People have made entire games around mechanics and ideas that aren't tied to combat.

I dunno, I guess the best advice I can give is to break yourself out of the mindset that there's any one thing you're obligated to have in your game. If something doesn't exist for a reason, or is just there because xyz game did it, you should probably axe it.

Edit: ...In the time it took me to post this other people said the same thing oh how shameful I am slow at the keyboard OTL
You don't need fighting in a game, there's a lot of games without fighting, like Sims games, some sport games and a lot of other games. Games without fighting is in the minority, but they certainly do exist.

However, those games (with some exceptions such as The Path) have gameplay elements based on something else. I think the real question is, where does the gameplay come into it? Is there any reason why your story is put into a game instead of a book or a movie?
Caz
LET'SBIAN DO THIS.
6283
@Craze: Wow, sorry, I didn't mean to enrage you or something. :/ I was only asking perfectly friendly questions about how to make a good game.

I'm just asking if people find it better to have a game with fighting or not. I personally find battles to be great at first but they get annoying later on. I was wondering if it would be better to exclude fighting altogether. I mean, I love actually levelling up as if what I've worked for has made a difference. I would hate to play a game at the exact same level at every point in that game as I was at the start. It doesn't have to be experience based, it could be improved equipment and weaponry or even skills. I just find it incredibly difficult to fit that into certain storylines.

And fights are a giant part of gameplay in loads of games because of that. Even games WITHOUT levelling up like Zelda or the Metroid games are pretty much entirely based around fighting, but there's no levelling because they improve your equipment and abilities instead.

But because they're so heavily based around fighting, I get bored of them easily. And also due to the lack of interesting storyline.

I'm not shoehorning myself, I'm just at a loss for what to do. Is it better to have a game with EXP and levelling up through fighting, or a different way? Is it better to get rid of levelling altogether and just improve equipment? Hell, even things like Harvest Moon manage that. I'm just stuck, that's all. I'm sorry if I made you mad with my apparent idiocy or lack of intelligence.

(As for Persona 4, I personally found it to fit in well. *shrug* Maybe that's just my idea of a good game mechanic mixed with a story, I'm not saying it's for everyone. It was difficult, yes, but I'm fed up of games which are far too easy. Putting the difficult curve aside, because that's not my concern, I found that the whole idea of it and the way in which battles were fought were good.)

EDIT:
@Everyone else: Myeah, I guess I'm mainly stuck in this mindset because I like battling in games so much, and think that it pretty much makes the game for me. I play hardly any games that don't involve fighting of some kind. I would like to make a game where there are no battles, though. I think it would be a much needed break for me.. but definitely a challenge. I just can't get my head out of the idea that a game without fighting isn't any fun. I find it incredibly difficult to imagine a scenario where the player can enjoy themselves while doing something else.
Craze
i bet she's a diva with a potion popping problem
13832
caz play more games

this is your only option, seriously. go do your homework
Caz
LET'SBIAN DO THIS.
6283
I have played a lot of games without fighting, but that's the thing: I just find a lot of them really boring and give up on them after a while.

I loved the Harvest Moon/Rune Factory series and enjoyed the hell out of them regardless of their lack of fighting (well maybe not RF, but I didn't do much fighting in that anyway). But even they get tiresome after a while because there's only so much of "talk to these people and be nice" I can take.
LockeZ
I'd really like to get rid of LockeZ. His play style is way too unpredictable. He's always like this too. If he ran a country, he'd just kill and imprison people at random until crime stopped.
6003
You don't have to have combat but you have to have gameplay. If you want to make a game that's not about fighting then do that. It can be a rhythm game or an adventure game or a Phoenix Wright style mystery game or a strategy game. But this is RPGMaker.net, so you probably want to make an RPG, right?

There's no reason it can't be an RPG where the primary gameplay interactions are something other than fights, but follow the same general flow and style as RPG battles. Imagine an RPG where instead of battles you have dances. You have to respond to elements in the environment, to your dance partners, and to the audience by using different abilities. The abilities can cost energy, they can have secondary effects and combos and skill rotations just like normal RPG skills. Instead of taking HP damage, you would have a song completion meter that slowly rises, and instead of dealing damage to enemies, you would have to excite the audience. If the song ends before the audience is thrilled you lose the "battle".

You can create this kind of RPG abstraction for literally any form of action to create player interaction. You can do it with debates, you can do it with romantic relationships, you can do it with gardening, you can do it with skateboarding. Figure out what the main type of conflicts in your story are going to be, and then create a gameplay system to emulate them and make them fun. RPG or otherwise.

Although, I guess technically you don't have to have gameplay at all. If you want to make a movie instead of a game, go ahead. Don't... don't make a movie in RPG Maker though. Please. Make it with a camera, or with CGI, or with cartoon animations.
author=Caz
I find it incredibly difficult to imagine a scenario where the player can enjoy themselves while doing something else.

:(

All those "kids only play violent videogames" were true after all.
Caz
LET'SBIAN DO THIS.
6283
Well, while that dance game does sound awesome, I think I would rather try that with something else. :P But doesn't everyone hate quicktime events? How are those even done well?

I'm not asking people for WHY fighting is bad and really unoriginal, I just want to know what people think good alternatives are.

I'd really like to make a game where a decent minigame (such as a cardgame as previously mentioned), well-planned out quicktime events or in-depth NPC interaction makes up all of the gameplay. I'm just concerned it would be too boring, in particular the NPC interaction because I'd hate to throw a wall of text at someone and call it gameplay.

As for movies, books, etc.. I don't think the ideas I have are detailed enough to merit turning it into something watchable or readable. They're not complex enough to appear in anything other than being made into game gimmicks.

I think I've gotten a lot of good responses from this though. I didn't realise that so many people actually ENJOYED the sorts of point and click adventures for mystery games and things like that. It's inspiring me to make something, at least. ^^

author=Shinan
:(

All those "kids only play violent videogames" were true after all.

I don't think they're very violent. I was born and raised on Duke Nukem and Doom though, so.. I guess I do have a bit of an affinity for the more violence-based games. That's not to say I don't enjoy NOT being violent when playing videogames.. :P
LockeZ
I'd really like to get rid of LockeZ. His play style is way too unpredictable. He's always like this too. If he ran a country, he'd just kill and imprison people at random until crime stopped.
6003
Monster Hunter Tri is an interesting example. Although the game technically has combat, it might as well not. 99% of the gameplay is performing various methods of collecting crafting resources and then using those crafting resources to create things. Some of the things you create are for combat, while most of them are honestly just to help you with further resource-collection and crafting. You could get rid of the combat in a game like this, and the fun factor would not suffer for it at all. You would need some other reason to craft things besides using them in battle, but... hell, all you really need are quests or achievements to craft certain items, and you've solved that problem.

You haven't really described very well what type of gameplay you do think would be appropriate, or even what your story is about, so I'm just kind of throwing random ideas out here.
Caz
LET'SBIAN DO THIS.
6283
Mwell I don't really have any solid ideas for a story yet because I like to consider the gameplay first. I'm weird and backwards, and think that gameplay is a lot more important than the story (or I would actually read a book or watch a movie to enjoy that story instead).

I was given Drawn to Life as a birthday present a few years back, which.. surprised me, I guess. I didn't like that you had to draw everything or the platformer aspect of it, but I really, really enjoyed that as you progressed, more of the town was unlocked. I like that idea a lot.

Same with Harvest Moon: Island of Happiness (making as many Harvest Moon references as possible because it's probably the least violent game I can think of here). You wash up on a shore after your ship crashes and you have to rebuild. You farm to get money, naturally, and use that money to rebuild the town and unlock new areas.

These styles of gameplay interest me a lot because I feel like I'm actually accomplishing something as I play, or that my interactions make a great difference. I think that's the type of game I'd like to go for.
Craze
i bet she's a diva with a potion popping problem
13832
http://store.steampowered.com/app/200910/

play this









Caz
I'm weird and backwards, and think that gameplay is a lot more important than the story (or I would actually read a book or watch a movie to enjoy that story instead).

you're not backwards if you want to play a game because it is a game and games have gameplay, stop calling yourself backwards, THE BOX SHINAN SAID YOUR HEAD IS IN

GET THYSELF A RAZOR (before i start making Saw references)
Caz
LET'SBIAN DO THIS.
6283
I've played a little bit of Sequence. It was good, but there just wasn't anything really gripping about it. :/ I enjoyed the concept of it though. Guess I just wasn't really in the mood for DDR games at the time.. might give it another shot.

EDIT: Nevermind, according to Steam I've played a whole 25 minutes of it.. ^^;; Goes to show how broad my horizons are. I guess I really am too harsh on games that don't draw me in immediately. Will definitely give it another crack though.
Thinking of the gameplay before you think of the story is not backwards. However, it seems like you often get ideas that don't involve combat and then you try to figure out how to get combat into them. That would be the real problem.
Craze
i bet she's a diva with a potion popping problem
13832
i think this guy needs to stop posting and start soul-searching
Caz
LET'SBIAN DO THIS.
6283
It's always seemed backwards to me.. though it's not like I do well either way I try: story first then gameplay, or gameplay first then story. :P

You guys are right, though. My methods are all wrong, and that probably goes to explain why I can't come up with a single idea. I do also throw all of my terrible thought processes in the same basket and never branch out, but that's why I'm here. I'm really quite awkward and find great difficulty in enjoying things, so I also find it difficult to understand why other people would enjoy that thing.. maybe if I branched out a little bit and actually tried other concepts out in my games, I could get actual opinions and stick with good ideas or move on from bad ones. :/ This will have to steer me to change my way of thinking, I believe..
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