GOOD EXAMPLES OF EPISODIC RPG MAKER CONTENT

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Hello everyone.

So here is the situation. I have been working on my game project Shooty and the Catfish for a number of years now and its getting pretty close to being done. There are however elements of it that aren't working, mainly the story, its just not mixing with the games structure, at least not in a way I am happy with.

My original plan was to have each chapter of the game play out episodically, sort of like a cartoon from the 80's or 90's, with each chapter following a similar to each other. So why not just release each of these chapters as its own stand alone game? They each clock in at around an hour, or a little more if your thorough and talk to everyone. There would be 5 episodes all up with each episode released around 2 months after the last (I am looking at releasing them for $1 each, or $4 for all the episodes in a bundle once its complete). Id be focusing on making each episode dense with content, focusing more on NPC interactions than things like combat, with 1 large dungeon acting as a centrepiece. Each episode would also start you off with the gear you would finish with at the end of the previous episode. I am also considering removing levelling entirely and just having battles drop gold for optional upgrades.

So here is my question, does anyone know of any short form episodic RPGM content that has been released on Steam that would work well as a reference point? I cant imagine I am the first person to think about this model, and while I know there are currently episodic RPGM games on Steam they tend to have much bigger episodes than what I am planning.

Thoughts?
It is the model I was planning on (although I was planning on charging a lot more per episode, and now that I see how little you're planning on charging, I feel kind of dumb) using for both halves of Road To Paradise (if you bought Episode 2 of The Dragon you'd naturally get Episode 2 of The Staircase for free).

I can't think of a game that's used it on steam to make money but RPG Maker games on scheme (Freudian slip??) Steam are a new and kind of scary thing to me.

I just saw the thread title and immediately needed to blurt THE WAY. It is the best example of episodic rpg maker content. I don't know it if it ever made anyone any money directly, but I do think I halfway recall hearing Lun Calsari had gotten into the industry.
author=StormCrow
It is the model I was planning on (although I was planning on charging a lot more per episode, and now that I see how little you're planning on charging, I feel kind of dumb) using for both halves of Road To Paradise (if you bought Episode 2 of The Dragon you'd naturally get Episode 2 of The Staircase for free).


My episodes are only going to be $1 because they are going to be very bitesize little chunks of game. Pushing an hour if you are very thorough in terms of content. Dont use my model as a sign that your doing things wrong! My episodes are also self contained so people only have to buy the episodes they are interested in.

author=StormCrow
I can't think of a game that's used it on steam to make money but RPG Maker games on scheme (Freudian slip??) Steam are a new and kind of scary thing to me.


I dont expect to make money on these, its definitely a passion project, but at $1 a pop I only have to sell 100 copies to cover submission costs atleast. Anything on top of that is a bonus ha ha.

author=StormCrow
I just saw the thread title and immediately needed to blurt THE WAY. It is the best example of episodic rpg maker content. I don't know it if it ever made anyone any money directly, but I do think I halfway recall hearing Lun Calsari had gotten into the industry.


I had to look it up, it certainly looks intersting from a visual standpoint!
I think the economic model of per episode doesn't work.

You could release the game as single episodes for free (like, five demos) and then have the complete thing for the price with alot of added material (sidequests, new dungeons, etc).

Why don't they just play the demos you ask? Well, some will. But the game quality of the real thing should be more polished and have more content, so some will play

I don't like the idea of charging people for my games anyway. I've played games that were $8 and the person usually oversells their own talents. A game is supposed to be fun. I can't imagine that happening when you're in the business of money. You're most likely to make a game that sells well.

The best episodic games I know of was Forever's End (unfortunately, the author probably has perfectionist issues, so episode 2 is not done), and Love and War (also not done episode 2). If you'll notice both of these games are character driven not story driven. I think this is kinda the point. You can have story as big as you want, but if the characters are not engaging, the who thing sucks.

I dunno of a ton of finished episodic games, besides mine. The temptation is to make game big and grand, but I started that game after reading a book called ReWork. It basically lays out an idea, that when people make businesses (and games, for that matter) they are in a rush to go pro, to build things "big and better." The book is basically self-demonstrating, it tells you in short snippets to make your business basically more like a down-home business and to do daily work in short snippets.

The reason most episodic games fail? They're too big. An episode should be like an average event on here, just a series of small games. "I want to tell a massive 600 page script for 4 episodes." "I want to make money on my game..." Leave those expectations at the doorstep. If your game is good on the part of the episodes, you can expect to make money on the finished project. If you have team you trust, yes, maybe. But otherwise, no.

My game, Tales From The Reaper, is not some big overblown story. It basically follows the model of two shows, Tales From The Darkside and Shinigami No Ballad. Both are slice-of-life, so the episodes actually are episodes and not "parts of a quartet." The idea is to actually get done, to have a fun and interesting story. Down-home good.
  • Part 1: Sick Girl. The three main characters get introduced. The group of Reaper visits a sick girl and wants to get her better, so they get herbs for her. Depending on whether they give her a hard-to-chew herb or wait for a medicine, she either lives or dies. In the latter case, one of them has to reap her.
  • Part 2: Well of Souls. They try to figure out why new monsters are being born. The whole thing explores the world of the Afterlife, as they're searching for why there seems to be an abnormality in the process of rebirth.
  • Part 3: The Crystal. It's basically myth-making. There's a crystal that shatters and... yeah stuff happens. I know this sounds vague but the fact of the matter is I'd be spoiling things
  • Part 4: Reaper in Love. It explains why Reaper romances basically seldom happen, then ties in to my other game.


Each of these stories is basically free-standing. It's not epic. It's not even that impressive. It just kinda tells a small story and then together, it works well. That's not an example of a "good" episodic game, but it is a good example of an episodic game.
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