IDEAS OTHER THAN DEFEATING AND COLLECTING

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Blobofgoo
Legs are a burden. Return to snek.
2751
I can only think of two game obstacles. Collection and defeating. Collecting is pretty obvious. You go around collecting all of the _____ so that you can do _____ and win the game. The other is defeating. The player is trying to reach _____ or accomplish _____ and keeps running into _____ that he has to take care of on the way.
Is there any other way I can take a story?!

In a RPG (I should have put that initially)

Edit: Because LockeZ keeps complaining, this is what I mean. It is not the end goal, but the events leading up to it. What are the obstacles that you have to go through to reach that end goal. Usually it is collecting stuff or the adventure scenario. There!
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.
5958
you can make literally any possible goal you can imagine

so yes

what an obnoxious and confusing way to ask a question

Though if your definition of "defeating" doesn't actually involve fights and is just your way of saying "accomplishing a goal" then, uh, no, the definition of a game requires that there be a goal to accomplish
arcan
Having a signature is too mainstream. I'm not part of your system!
1866
Your problem is that you look at the story as an end goal instead of a series of events that lead up to the goal, which is really the more important part.
just trick the player into thinking he isn't doing a fetch quest (that's the hard part and probably not very telling)
slash
APATHY IS FOR COWARDS
4158
Why not try making a game where the player stays in one place, defending a town from an impending doom - instead of exploring? That's a bit of a rarity in the JRPG space. The storytelling would have fantastic potential too, you could have time pass and get really invested in each townsperson, which makes losing one much more meaningful.
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.
5958
Even though this topic was presented in kind of a dumb way, I'm gonna attempt to give it a serious response.

Objectives in games are commands, given by you (the designer) to the player. A command is simply a form of a verb. Ultimately, any verb in the dictionary can be an objective in a game. Some objectives are more obvious to the player than others, but just because the player isn't consciously thinking about trying to do something in the game doesn't mean it's not an objective. For example, understanding the story is an objective in many RPGs. Not necessarily one that must be completed to finish the game, but still one that the game subconsciously prompts the player to undertake, and one that many players will not feel they have finished the game until they complete.

You can usually categorize objectives in games into a few major categories (I might have left some out, but these are the ones I can think of):
Go somewhere
- Figure out how to reach Ganondorf's Castle
- Cross the finish line before time is up
- Explore an open world and discover what it holds
Be someone
- Create and design your new character
- Rock out with your plastic guitar
- Pretend to be a policeman tonight because that turns me on
Say something
- Make Akane fall in love with you
- Choose to save the villagers (Morrigan Disapproves [-9])
- Dost thou wish to undertake this quest? (But thou must!)
Understand something
- Figure out how to use the sphere grid to improve your stats
- Realize the best strategy to defeat a boss
- Learn the game's basic controls
Do something
- Kill all the zombies
- Rack up 50000 points by doing snowboarding tricks
- Connect some pipes together to make water flow into the faucet

Of these, most often, "do something" is thought of as the game's primary objective, while the others are sub-goals that lead to it. This is especially true in any game with combat - combat creates a heightened level of adrenaline and a life-or-death scenario when encountered in real life, and as a result, humans tend to think of it as climactic and important. So the combat automatically supercedes all the other goals and becomes the primary objective of the game by default.
author=Darken
trick the player into thinking he isn't doing a fetch questplaying just about every MMO


good answers, LockeZ
The most common obstacles I can think of that aren't fighting or collecting is puzzles or mini-games. However, those are rarely very story related which seems to be what you wanted.

You could make gathering information into an obstacle. The player has to figure out how to get the needed information to progress. Of course, "figure out" usually boils down to either following the trail the developer left for you or to stumble around and talking to everyone until you get what you need.
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