[GENERAL DESIGN] WHAT INSPIRED YOUR GAME?

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Since we just had a rather large thread about ideas not being unique and such, I figure it would be interesting to see where people are drawing ideas for their current games from. So, what games inspired features for yours?

In example, for myself, the strategy and character/story events elements of Binding Wyrds are inspired by the Eroge/Strategy game Big Bang Age (NSFW if you go googling it). The mission to mission parts, as well as using R&D to craft items/upgrades are inspired by X-Com. Overall theme and world building are inspired by the various Nasuverse games (Tsukihime, Fate/Stay Night, etc).

What about you guys, where are you drawing inspiration from?

Edit:
author=Red_Nova
If you don't mind, Rine, I'd like to add on to the OP: What non-game medium's or concepts have inspired you?

Don't see why not add that as well.
Silent hill games, foggy, sick monsters, dark places, flashlights, pyramid heads, cults, psychotic or drugged people who are having illusions.
Final Fantasy is the main one for mine, in terms of gameplay and such, while the story and characters are from Touhou. Other than that? It varies. There's some inspirations from Legend of Zelda, some from Super Mario RPG, the Tales Of series, Chrono Trigger, Valkyrie Profile, Phantasy Star, and Fire Emblem. Then a bunch of tiny little references to a bunch of other things. But yeah! That's the general gist of it for me!
Golden Sun got me into gamemaking in the first place, it was the first RPG I played that had dialogue between characters and a story to tell. I also loved the combat system. It's the main inspiration for my game.
Map design is something I took from Pokémon (the earlier games). I always liked not being able to reach the borders of the map, and the several tricks it used to create the illusion that you were in one huge world instead of a bunch of smaller maps linked together.
The idea for HP and MP management purely through the use of Skills instead of needing Potions is something I took from Guild Wars (the first game). I thought that was the best thing ever when I started playing it, and still wonder why not more RPGs have done this (or maybe I've been playing the wrong games, lol).

There's a lot of smaller elements I took inspiration from from other games, not going to list them all. :)
Lords of Xulima brought me back into it with the thought of "if something that bad can be critically acclaimed, even I can make a game people like"
I was between games, and having trouble coming up with a new story, so I decided to put it to a vote. After thinking about the dating sim ideas, I realized that the weirdest story idea I had was actually my own. And then I realized that I had a crap load of pictures from various trips, and was like "this could work!" So I asked basically all the girls I knew, can I use you in my game? One said, only if you change the name and face abit. Since her name was similar (but different enough to protect her id) to Liz Lemon from 30 Rock, I grabbed a few of the more goofy Tina Fey pictures. The other one was a cameo in a recent film so I can legitimately use her face, I suppose and she said it was okay to use her. But she was in the process of changing her name yet again, so I'm like "I'll just call you Fox" (her surname). The last person is asked was a friend, and he was like "sure use my name" then I find out a day later there is a small time writer by his name. Which cracks me up somehow. I wound up using anime pictures for my college years, since I don't have many real ones. All in all, even at the draft phase this autobiography idea has turned out better than I thought.
SgtMettool
video games are bad and no one should ever play them
4027
For Brave Hero Yuusha, it's mostly Dragon Quest with a bit of EarthBound. Specifically, Dragon Quest II in terms of party makeup and world design.
Marrend
Bludgeon of Inspiration, and Guardian Angel of the Description Thread
14550
Mainly, I draw concepts from Final Fantasy, despite the fact that I wasn't introduced into the series until the early 2000's via SNES emulation? Though, each game I've made has it's own inspiration. For example, I had vague ideas in regards to Matsumori Days for years, possibly. However, it didn't really occur to me to make a proper game of it until somewhere in the middle of playing Shin Megami Tensai Persona 4. Okiku, Star Apprentice was, in all technically, inspired by my incapability to make a boomerang-like tool for completely different game that I won't name, or mention in any other way. Oracle of Askigaga isn't necessarily inspired by games I've played as much as it is inspired by real-life events. Then there's Myriad Cypher, which is pretty much directly inspired by games like Wing Commander - Privateer and Freelancer.
unity
You're magical to me.
10112
I was playing the SNES version of Dragon Quest 3, and I thought, what if you took a simplistic Dragon Quest-type world with the stereotypical hero and villain roles, but made the hero in love with the villain? And everyone's female. XD

Gameplay-wise, battles are more inspired by Final Fantasy and various other RPGs, but the mapping was meant to be very Dragon Quest-like, to the point where originally the insides of buildings were going to be shown on the same map as the outsides like early DQs, but then having that many events with the shopkeepers and NPCs slowed Ace down, so I scrapped that idea.
Horror games, actually, despite primarily making RPGs. I've always wanted to try to convey the panic and tension of a horror game into a turn based RPG. Silent Hill and Resident Evil in particular are my biggest inspirations. This was especially true for Soul Sunder, but I try to inject as much survival horror into my games as I can.

For the characters, I've always taken the most inspiration from the Tales and Persona, series. Developing characters has been my #1 priority before throwing depressing and tragic situations at them.

I'm an emotional masochist.

Though as time goes by, it's becoming less and less survival horror and more tense, action horror. In fact, SMT games in general are getting more and more prominent in where I'm drawing my inspiration from.
CashmereCat
Self-proclaimed Puzzle Snob
9672
In a sense, I'm influenced quite a lot by all games I come across, but I'll generally say Braid is my personal holy grail, and Jonathan Blow has been my Bible for every game decision I've made. Account Mu was created from the template the upcoming game The Witness implied -- that puzzle games could actually be non-linear and interesting. Games like Cart Life, Papers Please and Starseed Pilgrim come in later in the ranking, for their purity in concept and completeness in ideas, but also their audacity to create games that aren't all about explosions and what people think pass for excitement nowadays (Cashmere, you snob!). They're just intelligent (ha!) games made by a very small team or even one person.

But lately, I've been really wanting to get into the narrative side of things. I'm inspired by men such as CHARLIE KAUFMAN, especially his brilliant work Adaptation and his BAFTA speech that gave me new insights on honesty and vulnerability. My most important project (in production), Paper Thin, was initiated by my want to create a simulation/visual novel game and it was actually originally influenced by the works of DON HERTZFELDT, particularly It's Such a Beautiful Day. It really opened my eyes to a magnificent new realm of storytelling that I really wanted to share in.

EDIT:
author=Marrend
For example, I had vague ideas in regards to Matsumori Days for years, possibly. However, it didn't really occur to me to make a proper game of it until somewhere in the middle of playing Shin Megami Tensai Persona 4.

Hehe, I remember when I wanted to create a high school game. Oh wait, I still want to create a high school game. (It's such an evocative location.)

author=Marrend
Then there's Myriad Cypher, which is pretty much directly inspired by games like Wing Commander - Privateer and Freelancer.

Those are cool influences and I'm glad they led to what happened: Myriad Cypher -- a game that's on my to-review list.

author=unity
but the mapping was meant to be very Dragon Quest-like, to the point where originally the insides of buildings were going to be shown on the same map as the outsides like early DQs, but then having that many events with the shopkeepers and NPCs slowed Ace down, so I scrapped that idea.

That didn't seem to me like what Luxaren's aesthetic supported, it doesn't seem that retro. Or was everything going to be one-tile-high and pixelly?

author=Red_Nova
Horror games, actually, despite primarily making RPGs.

There is a lot of body horror in your games. Crazy miasma molecules turning people insane and mutated...

author=Red_Nova
Developing characters has been my #1 priority before throwing depressing and tragic situations at them.

I partly learned from you that an emphasis on creating 3D characters (with huge backstories that may never be used) can be very important when writing. (Even though I haven't written anything proper yet)
@Red_Nova: If you're interested in RPG Horror that conveys that more 'terrified of going on' as opposed to outright body horror, check out Sweet Home, its the game that the RE team did before RE. You see a lot of the same tropes in it, and it is a very difficult, survival horror RPG...on the NES.
unity
You're magical to me.
10112
author=CashmereCat
author=unity
but the mapping was meant to be very Dragon Quest-like, to the point where originally the insides of buildings were going to be shown on the same map as the outsides like early DQs, but then having that many events with the shopkeepers and NPCs slowed Ace down, so I scrapped that idea.

That didn't seem to me like what Luxaren's aesthetic supported, it doesn't seem that retro. Or was everything going to be one-tile-high and pixelly?

I should have been more specific when I said "Early Dragon Quest." I tried to take the mapping aesthetics of the SNES Dragon Quests, not the 8-bit retro feel of the NES Dragon Quests. Granted, it became somewhat of a hodgepodge as it was my first time making my own graphics and I wasn't as consistent as I should have been ^_^;

I do in fact want to do a game with 8-bit inspired graphics, but that'll be for a later game.
Final fantasy:For a complecated story (I actually end making a real cliche one)
Class System i do that alot.

Dragon Quest:The Huge map,Final form thingy i like that,and the mapping style.

Arcade Games:By having Action mini-games like Gradius,And the overall cutscenes.
and Alot of Explosions i like that too and choosing the right intense music.
slash
And may these winds be always at your back
3739
Well, for Bossgame, I've wanted to make an RPG for a long time, but they typically take a long time to make and I'm easily distracted. So, I came up with an idea where I cut as many corners as possible - it's basically only a battle system and some dialogue.

The battles were inspired by Craze's Wine & Roses, Hearthstone, World of Warcraft, and any old RPG where you can find game-breaking combos. The plot and characters are still floating in the aether, but the ideas I have so far are from everywhere. The only direct inspiration I can think of story-wise was that I got the general idea for a couple of characters after reading Girl Friends years ago, but even then they're not very similar.
unity
You're magical to me.
10112
author=slash
The only direct inspiration I can think of story-wise was that I got the general idea for a couple of characters after reading Girl Friends years ago, but even then they're not very similar.


The lovely yuri manga Girl Friends? :DDDDDDDDDD
slash
And may these winds be always at your back
3739
author=unity
The lovely yuri manga Girl Friends? :DDDDDDDDDD


Eheheheh, yeaaaa :D

Gah, I think I cried for three days after I read that the first time /// I have no idea why, but dang, it really was lovely. It felt like it reminded me what being in love was like, y'know?

But yea, that's sorta where I got the idea for Lily & Anna. I called Lily "Mari" for a long time because I couldn't think of a name for her :P
Sated
puking up frothing vitriolic sarcastic spittle
5405
I guess I can talk about the two Sore Losers games a bit...

Both Sore Losers and Sore Losers: Riot Grrrl have a setting that is heavily inspired by the movie Escape From New York, in that all criminals have been sent to a locked-down urban area to fend for themselves as opposed to the state maintaining proper prisons. Secondary inspirations for the setting include Final Fantasy 7 and Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter because both of these games have dystopian societies where slums feature prominently, although in those two games the slums aren't there for the sake of criminals. Another inspiration would be the Streets of Rage games, a game that is referenced heavily in the original Sore Losers in homage to how much I love that series*.

That the original Sore Losers has lots of "one-off" minigames (sniping, chase sequences, helicopter flying, a Frogger minigame** and others) is inspired by the three PS1 Final Fantasy games (7, 8 and 9). All of those titles contained plenty of "one-off" minigames that broke up the standard JRPG gameplay. FF7 was especially great at integrating those segments into the storyline (snowboarding, motorcycling, marching, the hypothermia section etc.) and so that's what I sought to emulate with Sore Losers. I think the result was hit-and-miss based on reviews, but I'm going to try to take those criticisms and use them to create better "one-off" minigames for Sore Losers: Riot Grrrl, which will follow in the same tradition.

Both Sore Losers and Sore Losers: Riot Grrrl also focus quite heavily on "recurring" mini-games (lockpicking, hacking, hotwiring, smashing and others***) and this was largely inspired by the minigames seen in Fallout 3, where lockpicking and hacking also feature prominently****. My original concept for the hacking minigame in Sore Losers was actually a complete rip-off of the hacking minigame in Fallout 3, which based on reviews might have been a better choice than the maths-based minigame I ended up with! Fortunately for you guys, the hacking minigame in Sore Losers: Riot Grrrl will be vastly different based on the those same reviews!

Graphically, I'd say that the original Sore Losers was mostly inspired by another RPGMaker game, The Burning Grail. The credits sequence at the end of Sore Losers is an homage to the excellent, excellent opening sequence contained within that game. You could also say that the movement system in Sore Losers: Riot Grrrl is inspired by The Burning Grail, although it probably owes more to multiple point-and-click adventure titles (without the actual point-and-click because RM2K3). The graphics used in Sore Losers: Riot Grrrl aren't inspired by anything other than my wish to make the game look more "cyberpunk" than Sore Losers did; I never really got across the "cyberpunk" stylings I wanted in the original Sore Losers, something deftly pointed out by Darken in his review of the game.

*Sore Losers: Riot Grrrl was originally thought-up as being a cross between a JRPG and a side-scrolling beat 'em up, but it somehow ended up as a cross between a JRPG and a point-and-click adventure game. Probably because I wanted to use RM2K3 and the idea of making a side-scrolling beat 'em up in RM2K3 scares the pants off me. It is still something I'd like to do though!
**The "Frogger" minigame in the original Sore Losers eventually evolved into Frog, The Collector, which is one of my other titles. That game also takes inspiration from Pacman and similar arcade classics.
***Sore Losers: Riot Grrrl is actually going to have loads more "recurring" minigames than Sore Losers.
****Did you know that the Bethesda Fallout games were originally going to have a surgery minigame for healing crippled limbs? Imagine Surgeon Simulator but via a Pipboy. It was cut to help the pacing of battles, which was probably the correct decision.
unity
You're magical to me.
10112
author=slash
author=unity
The lovely yuri manga Girl Friends? :DDDDDDDDDD
Eheheheh, yeaaaa :D

Gah, I think I cried for three days after I read that the first time /// I have no idea why, but dang, it really was lovely. It felt like it reminded me what being in love was like, y'know?

But yea, that's sorta where I got the idea for Lily & Anna. I called Lily "Mari" for a long time because I couldn't think of a name for her :P


Yeah, I found it really lovely and touching as well! The "will-they-or-won't-they" parts went on for a while, and there were a lot of instances of "things that would be resolved if you two would stop being stupid teenagers," but despite all of that, I really enjoyed it!

Also, having played the alpha (or pre-alpha?) of your Bossgame, it's impressive knowing what inspired them, as they are very different that the characters that inspired them, and each feel like their own unique characters.
author=CashmereCat
But lately, I've been really wanting to get into the narrative side of things. I'm inspired by men such as CHARLIE KAUFMAN, especially his brilliant work Adaptation and his BAFTA speech that gave me new insights on honesty and vulnerability. My most important project (in production), Paper Thin, was initiated by my want to create a simulation/visual novel game and it was actually originally influenced by the works of DON HERTZFELDT, particularly It's Such a Beautiful Day. It really opened my eyes to a magnificent new realm of storytelling that I really wanted to share in.


This got me thinking: There's a trend here (and I'm guilty of this as well) that a lot of our games have been inspired by other games. Which is fine, but if all we're doing is getting inspired from games that have already been made or released, it's gonna stagnate sooner or later.

If you don't mind, Rine, I'd like to add on to the OP: What non-game medium's or concepts have inspired you?

One thing I forgot to mention was I loved hiking, backpacking, and camping. I tried to inject that into Soul Sunder as well, with varying results. After a long, brutal trek, the feeling of sitting down and relaxing by a campfire as you talk to your trek mates was something I really enjoyed. And having all the tool you need in your backpack, but packing you pack in certain ways would enable you to get to more necessary items quickly is also something I wanted to replicate in games in the form of proper equipment planning.
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