LIGHTNINGLORD2'S PROFILE

The site owner spouts white supremacist garbage and the mods react to my concerns by laughing at me. I'm not going to put up with a toxic community like this anymore.

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Health Bars in RPG Maker 2003 for enemies/monsters

Wouldn't this topic belong into the "Help me!" thread? You'd want to use this forum if you wanted to talk about the use of health bars on enemies from a design aspect (like how to display them, when they should be visible, how to color them etc.).

What's been inspiring you!?

@Aegix: Ask yourself a few things:
1. What makes you enjoy/play Skyrim so much?
2. Can you carry over anything for your game?

Also, while the game is not in my interests, you may enjoy The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.

Let's Talk PCs: Avatars, viewpoints, and customization

I'd like to break down the various types of PCs in games and tell what they can do well and where I see issues (listed from most to least customizable):

Custom character approaches

1) Blank Slate
You determine almost every aspect of this character yourself. You don't start out with any ties to the plot or choose the ones you do have.
Examples: Dragon Age Origins, Might & Magic series, Temple of Elemental Evil
Perks: The avatar will be adjustable to the exact specifications the player wants and you'll have a feeling of making all the decisions by yourself.
Issues: You'll need a whole lot of customization to not disappoint your player that they can't play a certain type of character. Furthermore, not having any relevant ties to the story means you'll have a hard time making the player care for the game world and its inhabitants.

2) AFGNCAAP
You have little to no means to customize this character, but they generally don't have any traits that influence the story in a meaningful way.
Examples: Undertale, Zork, Pokémon
Perks: This particular player character greatly enhances the setting as it dials down the importance of the avatar. Furthermore, not being given any traits prevents the character from being unrelatable.
Issues: Not being given any traits will dissuade players that want their avatar to be special. It also stifles character-driven narratives greatly.

Hybrid approaches

3) Take this role
You customize your avatar, but the character has some significant traits and plot involvement laid out already.
Examples: Neverwinter Nights 2, Dragon Quest IX, The Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind
Perks: You gain the advantage of letting the player make a character to their liking, but also have a laid-out character-driven narrative.
Issues: Certain points in the story may alter the character or force a decision the player wouldn't want to make, causing them to feel cheated if it happens.

4) Follow the main
You get to design a character like in type 1) or 3), but you'll follow a main character provided by the story.
Examples: Fire Emblem: Awakening, Lords of Xulima, Final Fantasy Tactics
Perks: You can fully focus on your main character's development in the story without having to enforce anything on the player and their character.
Issues: A strong segration between the avatar and the main character is likely - the main could either make the player feel like a meaningless extra or the main could feel like a useless load on the player.

Provided character approaches

5) You are that one
You can enter a name for an established character and maybe tweak them a bit to your liking.
Examples: SNES/PSX Final Fantasy games
Perks: If the character is likable and acts like the player would, it's incredible for them as they can be in the shoes of their favourite hero.
Issues: If the player hates the character, they can get constantly annoyed to the point of losing interest in the story.

6) Play someone else
You don't customize the character in any personal way. The game makes it clear that it isn't you.
Examples: most licensed games
Perks: Similar to type 5, you can make the player cheer for the main character. You do have a failsafe in that the player will generally tolerate actions not matching their own personality, as well.
Issues: Not having an avatar can prevent the player from being immersed. Furthermore, a bad lead character will also discourage the player.

Equipment, Abilities, and Stats: How to Adjust Correctly

1. If a value is too low, double it.
2. If a value is too high, halve it.
3. If the value overshot into being too low/high, change to halfway between the original and the adjusted value.

This is the most reliable way of balancing numbers, which I recommended in one of my articles.

As for spells, try adding a different side effect to each tier:
1) Decrease the target's resistance to either the spell's element or the opposite element.
2) Inflict a state based on the element.
3) Deal more damage if the element's state is present. Debuffs the caster.
4) Deal a fraction of the damage to each other enemy. Inflict a state based on the element. Stuns the caster.
Just a few examples.

How good must a project be to be approved in this site? :)

Nice sprites! Did you do them?

If you're still unsure, though, just try uploading (with a couple screenies). If it isn't acceptable on RMN, there'll be an explanation for it.

Overwhelming Aspects In RPGs

I can't get behind the enthusiasm of game makers to want every game ever become an MMORPG, especially of existing RPGs (mainly, Pokémon). Generally, this only means that you play the same RPG as always, except you're constantly annoyed by other players. Things that usually hamper my enjoyment in MMOs due to other players:

-Chat window full of beggars
-Shops being risky due to players snatching the good stuff (Neopets is a very bad offender here)
-Getting destroyed by long-time players and/or big spenders
-Quests becoming tedious because too many players are killing/collecting quest targets

Multiplayer in non-MMO games is far better because I can pick and choose whom to play with.

Overwhelming Aspects In RPGs

To be fair, the UI of WoW is (from what I've heard) easily moddable, so the screen is only as complex as you wanna make it. The default interface is relatively tolerable.

Overwhelming Aspects In RPGs

Morrowind is much better in figuring out the plot - you can grab Sunder, Keening and Wraithguard and go wreck Dagoth Ur right at the beginning of the game if you already know about them.

Also, the overwhelming linearity in FF13 wouldn't have been too much of a problem on a new IP (I think), since Final Fantasy was always big on open-world exploration (despite a relatively linear plot).

My #1 overwhelming aspect is Genre Parodies. Doubly so if it's related to either anime or JRPGs. This is because the tropes they're trying to parody aren't overused at all (A lot of iconic scenes/ideas in FF7 are things you won't find in other JRPGs, not even in other FFs) or don't even exist to begin with (It took me a lot of looking and found a 2008 anime that's the only one to use overly long attack names without playing it for laughs). Not to mention that the execution of these jokes is completely terrible and always follows the pattern of repeating this very trope and basically saying "Look, ma! A cliché!".

EDIT: I never liked Final Fantasy. However, I appreciate how the games consistently fail to interest me in the same way.

What are you thinking about? (game development edition)

One thing I have been concerned with is how lore is handled in some RPGs, which is generally heavily front-loaded. The game's introduction provides a ton of info on the setting and major events and you're immediately dropped into a wide cast of characters. Having trouble to memorize this much plot in such a short time, I tend to be unable to follow the narrative on the whole (or just miss a lot of things as they come up).

Another thing a frontloaded narrative does is making me unable to enjoy the characters, particularly in dark/gritty settings. Because I have trouble remembering faces, the lack of unique quirks in character and/or appearance makes it impossible for me to relate to any of them, or even distinguish them for that matter.

Whatchu Workin' On? Tell us!

RPG Maker never had any good ways for fine-tuning stat growths or letting you use a formula. So I'm having the time of my life inserting the stats of 8 characters for 50 levels, all by hand.