How do you make random encounters feel welcome?

You could start by adjusting the encounter rate to eliminate one-step encounters; in fact, the first thing I do whenever I start a new RPG Maker project is go into the scripts and edit the calculation for the number of steps between each encounter.

Also, the Flash game MARDEK uses a system where a warning icon appears right before each random battle; if the enemy group was weaker than the player's party, the icon would be a different color and you could skip the battle with a button press. I personally really like this system, and there's a script floating around that recreates it.

When asked why, they state that it feels like an interruption. Something that arbitrarily forces you out of what you are doing and puts you into a battle.

I think the problem here is twofold: the game abruptly shifting to a new scene just for combat, and the notion that combat is inherently inferior to exploring the map. Both of these issues are present regardless of whether you use random or touch encounters (in fact, the abrupt scene shift bugs me more when using touch encounters!)

As for wanting to avoid combat entirely, I think that's based on a stereotype that RPG combat is boring, and monsters are a waste of time at worst or a source of experience/gold at best; it's as if combat encounters exist only to serve the player (that said, I think the combat itself is another topic entirely).

One of the goals for my own game is to create a setting where monster encounters are actually dangerous, and the player feels like they're at the mercy of the environment, not unlike, say, Dragon Quest. Maybe it's out of spite toward the mindset from the previous paragraph, but I really don't think that wandering monsters particularly care that they've annoyed their latest meal.

Castles Masterpiece Set 2

Master of Mayhem - Fallen Babel
* Right now the primary qualm I have is that exactly one of the Phantos is an enemy. It seems inconsistent, but I think that can be remedied by adding more enemy Phantos (or turning some of the current BG ones into enemies)
* I can reach the 1-up located near the checkpoint by jumping over the right wall, even with Mario. Also, the position of the P-switch is quite a bit after the block wall in front of the 1-up, which seems really unintuitive if that's the intended solution…
* There's a one-block gap at the spot with the Tanooki suit, which allows me to zip and consequently get stuck beneath the ground if I'm hit by an enemy before reaching the other side. You might want to look into that.
* Final verdict: DENIED. I actually don't mind the nonlinear feel, but there are some kinks to work out.

[Poll] Your favourite magic element!

Okay, how many of these were borrowed from Pokémon?

They're not on the list, but my favorite "elements" are probably Solar and Lunar. They'd fill the same niche as Light and Dark, but with more of a space/astronomy flavor and hopefully without the implication that Light == Good or Dark == Evil.

E: I just noticed that that ELEMENTS: is an option and I'm kinda tempted to vote for that...

Castles Masterpiece Set 2

If it's the same glitch that Kentona described, then I'm pretty sure it isn't exclusive to the new 3.0.1 version (I recall seeing a similar issue described in the Talking Time Bros readme, actually). Regardless, I haven't experienced this particular issue in any version I've tried, including 3.0.1, so I can't really help out here.

Looks like SMBX might have some competition

While this does look interesting (and I'd definitely like to see a Mario level editor that doesn't involve ROM hacking or SMBX), right now it looks more like a toy than a viable game making tool (then again that may be exactly what they're going for).

My main concern right now is that apparently there are only two graphical styles available, one of which (8-bit SMB1) I think is rather ugly.

Castles Masterpiece Set 2

I just uploaded my third (and probably last) level:

Astral Ascent

I originally intended to finish this level before my Industrial Zone level, but since this is based on an atmosphere rather than a specific gimmick, I found it harder to create a focused level design.

2014 Indie Game Development Contest: $10,000 Grand Prize!

I want to make a game and submit it to the non-RPG category, but that means I'll have to find/make my own resources for everything (not to mention how weird it is to be that guy who hangs out on the RPG Maker forum but doesn't want to make an RPG, but I digress...)

Would anyone by chance be interested in working as an artist and/or composer for a platformer-RPG?

Castles Masterpiece Set 2

I just finished judging the new levels & updating the spreadsheet.

Ratty524 - Drainer Dungeon
* It's a very good-looking level, and one of the best uses of Tidal Tempest I've heard in a SMBX level.
* I don't see any real problems with the level, so I'm going to say ACCEPTED.

Seiromem - Greenhouse Garrison
* It's a definite improvement over the previous iteration.
* I'm still not sure the sizable contrasts enough with the foreground, but it is at least noticeable now.
* That aside, I believe I'm ready to ACCEPT this.

Seiromem - Sandflow Sewers
* I'm not a fan of the quicksand flows obstructing the foreground in the first room, particularly when there's also spiny generators to deal with:

At this spot, there are two generators worth of spinies to contend with, but I cannot see whatever is behind the quicksand, so I don't know whether to aim for solid ground or spin-jump off the spinies.
* That same screen is annoying on the second pass as well, because trying to jump out of the quicksand after falling in is slow and the generators are positioned at safe platforms on both sides. (However, I think it might be more manageable if the generators were less frequent)
* I seem to have found the platform that Mouser is supposed to stand on during the second phase, during the first phase. You might want to look into that.
* I can also cheese the boss with fireballs from the farthest platform (not the one hidden in the sand) in both phases, though I'm not sure how to handle that differently.
* I also checked whether fighting him legitimately is reasonably doable (it is), but both methods are tedious because any of my attacks are bound to be blocked by spinies or his own bombs. Again, this may be an inherit limitation of using Mouser.
* It's not too bad, but it's not ready yet.

Seiromem - Foggy Ferry Fortress
* First, the music. The song choice is a good fit in theory, but I hated the Ooccoo chanting being the first thing I hear every time I start the level. Also, I didn't like the music choice for the boss room, but largely because it was so different from the level music.
* Aside from that, the level itself was fairly decent.
* The boss, however, probably needs some tweaking; first, the entrance pipe drops me dangerously close to being hit by a hammer as soon as the battle starts.
* Second, I don't like that giant block in front of the boss; it gives me a very small window to attack the boss (on top of dodging fireballs and hammers), and it can crush-kill me if I'm standing on the edge of the platform. I'd suggest removing it.
* Thirdly, the red Para-Koopas never reach the platform, which makes them seem pointless. (I actually didn't notice their color until I looked in the level editor)
* Overall I think it's a good start (I'd even say this is my favorite boss level so far), but it still needs a few more tweaks.

I have another level in the works, but I've been too busy with the end of school to actually work on it (and totally not because I'm just really lazy).

Getting into Radiant Historia again probably didn't help...

Making the story into a journey

So, imo, get rid of the "small things" and just tell the story that needs to be told. And if you want to make use of the "actual gameplay" just make really kick-ass boss battles, or even puzzles, and be done with it.

Why should "actual gameplay" be limited to boss battles and other things that generally make up a minority of the content? Since we're writing games rather than novels, I think it makes more sense to create gameplay segments and adapt plot points to those, as Sviel said. If your plot calls for the heroes to climb Mount Snow for whatever reason, then create a mountain pass for the player to explore.

Castles Masterpiece Set 2

I haven't done any testing whatsoever with either of those, but I'm guessing Mouser just doesn't work with nogravity? (and doesn't he jump? Wouldn't that mess up with nogravity on?) I would probably just hide a platform underneath the quicksand for him to stand on.

And is it safe to assume that we're getting another deadline extension?