WHAT SPICES DO YOU ADD?

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Hi everyone!
Do you ever run into a
"What should I add into my game?"
"Can I even do that?"
"That sounds way too complicating for people get into..."
I'm sure you've ran into at least 1 or more similar questions to this.

Sometimes I hit that little bump that stalls me in motivation and so-on with these questions myself, and thought "Wish I had somewhere to go to talk about these things."

So I'm here! Do you guys have issues like that? (listed above) or anything close to it?

For example, I wanted to know if the "majority" of things. Let me list them out.

1. Some people like random encounters (no enemy sprites to engage, just purely random) or some people prefer the enemies visible so you can decide for yourself to engage or not.

2. Some people like collecting materials to make a weapon, some people just like purchasing, or maybe doing a long/short side quest for an optional weapon.

Why or why not? Hopefully this can get things started.
All the time.

Innovation and new things are very, very important to me; I believe in the "don't fix what isn't broke" mantra, but letting the player experience something different all the time and surprising them is what I always aim for, though I don't want to shoot for shocking swerves (change for the sake of it) since that's no good.
I don't really have issues like that. In my opinion, if someone wants to get through the details of the game, and wants to collect everything (like myself), they will do the most complicated tasks as well. And if someone is playing just for the heck of it, they won't be bothered anyways.

In my (unfinished) games I like to put in hidden stuff all the time: so when someone plays and actually have a nice idea of "what if I do this", I try to reward them.

Though I still can't decide which is better, the random encounter, or the visible enemies. Since I'm an old Final Fantasy fan, I don't have problems with the random one, but since it doesn't really make sense if you don't see your opponents, I usually have visible enemies - except for the world map, where its random (since the hero sprite is smaller anyways).

I think it's good to implement sidequests, those who wanna do it, they'll do it anyways for a hope of some nasty rewards, and it still won't affect the people who can't be bothered.
These are both really good answers thank you!
I am also a really big fan of the old school FF series.
I think it's also important to include side-quests too!

Do you guys have any games you've played in the past that you thought was a very interesting implementation in an RPG?

For me it's probably the dialogue sequences that are optional that lets me get to know the characters a bit more outside of the main story line, like the Tales of- series.
I thought this topic would be about cooking.

I am very disappointed.
I don't know, for example I liked the idea in FF5 that you can turn your ship into airship and submarine. Or that funny side-quest, when you had to go through the whole map by riding a Chocobo :)

Recently I haven't been playing much offline RPGs, but I liked the FF10 idea, where you could switch your party members in fights.

Also I like when you get to choose your own words, like in SW: Knights of the Old Republic.
1. Some people like random encounters (no enemy sprites to engage, just purely random) or some people prefer the enemies visible so you can decide for yourself to engage or not.

2. Some people like collecting materials to make a weapon, some people just like purchasing, or maybe doing a long/short side quest for an optional weapon.


1. I like to tweak battles in some way. Either by custom systems or maybe custom exp awards. The idea of a standard battle is boring to me, ever since I figured out how to do this. Personally, I don't believe it makes a difference whether you have encounter rates, visible enemies, or terrain-based encounters.

2. Quest items are best. Treasure chests are a major hassle in terms of programming thanks to the whole absence of self-switches. And collecting scraps seems even worse.
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APATHY IS FOR COWARDS
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garlic and fivespice

Also, I generally overhaul all genre-based game systems to fit whatever the core of my game is. For example, Lily, the game I'm working on now, is about taking risks and doing the best with what you've got. While it still feels like an RPG, it focuses on randomized elements, exploring, risk vs. reward, and adaptability. I designed the battle system and the exploration to match. Every fight you start is an active decision that costs you resources but in return allows you to explore a direction further; every skull chest you open is risking a harmful bomb, but possibly rewarding you a pile of money; etc.

Designers often stick with what they know, which is why most RPGs have towns, chests, battles, minigames, level-based progression, grinding, puzzles, etc. and while that's not inherently bad, these things aren't necessary for a good RPG and sometimes might harm the experience rather than help it. You gotta take a careful look at what you're trying to accomplish and get your mechanics to match.
For the Random vs On Map encounters, well, it should depend on how it fits the game. If on-map enemies would work better in your game setting and with your systems, then use those. If random works better for it, use them instead (just don't use the default 30 steps. Or, even better, make your own random system since the default one is messed up*)

Take the Lufia series for example. The enemies are on-map and it works so well because the player can interact with them, using them to solve puzzles and the like. With most of the FF games, the maps would be overrun with enemy sprites due to the amount of grinding the games rely on.

As for collections or the like... well, I personally like to add something in that's optional, but then I was brought up on mid- to late-era SNES RPGs, so I like me some optional content. Bonus if it ties in with the characters, setting or story in some way. Or adds depth to the world and the people in it. I'm just a sucker for depth and I tend to make the kinds of games I like to play.

As for over-the-top systems and the like, I usually try to stick to just a few systems if I need them. I don't like over-burdening the player with unnecessary shit, so using systems that work well together and compliment each other is a must. For example, if I use a crafting system, I'll usually make a harvesting one and allow for increased enemy drops. If I'm making a different kind of magic system, I may add a little more to the equipment side of things so that magic-less characters have something to fall back on too. If I have a duelling system, I like to implement some aspects of the regular battle system so they fit better together.

And at all times I aim to add depth to the characters of the world. In my mind, the best spice is that which makes the world feel more real to the player. If I can make a player care about not only the main characters, but the side characters as well, I feel I've added something real to the game.

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*The way the default random system works is that it chooses between the numbers. So if you have it up to 90 it will choose from between 1-90, meaning there's always the chance for a one-step encounter. Which is BAD.
Thank you everyone for such a detailed response!

Liberty, I completely agree with the depth of characters being one of the major "spices" in a game. For me when I can't tell if a character is a playable character or not just because of the sheer amount of detail the character's personality is placed in a game, inspires me and allows me to grow an attachment.

I think small details such as the realism of a world also allows the player to see how much time was invested in making a world, which in turn igniting their curiosity to see how much -more- detail they can find. I'm hoping I can do this with the amount of content and small things they can discover in my game.
In my game I want to make it as realistic as possible. For example random weather, when it's raining birds that are usually flying around are nowhere to be found, people in towns are getting into their houses, pub fills up with people, etc.

Of course random weather is regional - in the desert you'll only see sandstorms, while at cold plains, snow.

The reaction of the NPCs' make it so real, that the players feel they are actually playing in a living world. Of course it is hard to make, but if you want a detailed world, you have to.

For example, I love the Gothic series, and one of my greatest moment in the game was, when I wanted to sell some things, and the shopkeeper literally just went off to the castlewalls to take a pee, refusing to serve me.
While other players might find it .. unpleasant, I found it hilarious.

I enjoy making animation and combining sprites together (e.g. somebody sitting in a chair, equipment that is visible on a character). It's just satisfying for me, even if I can't go all out with it.

Another thing I love to do is change the world around the player without any strong sign or announcement--though that's from the perspective of the genre I'm working with, and the purpose is to get in the player's head as much as I can. overall, I want players to be apprehensive and/or hopeful, because I want to affect how the player feels strong enough for them to enjoy the game. The worst part about it has to be that I don't know how it's going to turn out for the majority of people, and there's always the chance of failure.

Also character development and interaction, because I'm actually a writer at heart.
That changing the world around them concept sounds very interesting! Is it like a psychological thriller? I can see how easy that can be but playing with the players attentiveness sounds so fun! hahah. Character development is always important to me too, showing not just one dimension of the personality is very important in a good story for me.
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