I'd really like to get rid of LockeZ. His play style is way too unpredictable. He's always like this too. If he ran a country, he'd just kill and imprison people at random until crime stopped.
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Born Under the Rain
Why does the jackal run from the rain?



Awful haikus

I loved just one thing
My love could not be returned
Anime waifu

Awful haikus

Talk of goat lickin'
This is why you never tell
Keep it in the barn

A Deep Dive into Paper Mario's Design Philosophy

Well, the lock-and-key design is an intentionally ultra-simple type of gameplay, where all of the player's skills lack any kind of depth. None of them interact with each other. None of them have drawbacks. No turn affects anything that happens on future turns in any way that isn't 100% predictable, and even the predictable things your abilities change are limited to either preventing enemies from acting for one turn, or simply running out of MP. The game has no buffs or debuffs, no abilities which do multiple things. Tanking is nonexistent and healing involves no actual choices, both because you only have one character who can take damage. The total number of skills in the game is incredibly tiny, leaving a very tiny number of meaningful choices in any combat situation - in fact, the player almost never has more than one option of what they can do.

That last part is the worst problem, really. At no point almost anywhere in almost any battle in the Paper Mario series does the player think, "OK, I have these five or six different attacks, and each of them has a different upside and a different downside. I also have a number of buff spells or control spells which can influence the state of the battlefield. Which do I want to do, based on what I know about this enemy?" In Paper Mario, there's no reason to ever think about what to do because there's always exactly one answer. If your HP is below half then you heal, otherwise you attack the enemy's weakness. That's every turn in the game.

Plenty of other games have damage elements, which are essentially the same thing as the lock-and-key design, except that the skills in good games do more than just elemental damage. They have depth. If you rename the different damage types from hammer/jump/flying to fire/ice/lightning then maybe the problems become more obvious. The only attacks Mario can do in the entire game are essentially Fire 1, Ice 1, Bolt 1, and then once every few battles he gets a non-elemental limit break. The fact that elemental weakness and elemental immunity can do more than just change the amount of damage Mario hits for doesn't really change anything meaningful about how the player plays, since you're still always just going to perform whichever of those three attacks the enemy is weak to. Sometimes they change weakness mid-battle (and explicitly tell you so), and so you use a different one instead that round. That's it.

The areas are way better than most other games though, I'll definitely say that. It's really just the combat I hate. The solutions to interactive parts of the environments are often obvious, but often is not the same as always, and being interactive at all is better than 90% of RPGs. The only types of interaction in your typical RPG's areas are dodging enemies, finding invisible passageways, and one dungeon that has a hellish teleporter maze.

Critical Hit! (hali's review thread)

I'm also on record as saying that almost every video game I've ever played sucks, including FF6 which is actually my favorite game of all time. So don't take the fact that I think something has multiple serious points of critical failure as any kind of attack or serious disparagement. I just think that about everything because I like to focus on what could be improved about games. To me, that's what fuels game design energy. It's like building rage points to spend on a big attack, except the attack is bothering to actually work on improving games or making better ones.

Reading about the Mary Sue in literature has made me super paranoid about the characters I write.

Well, I watched a bit of the first episode. The main character is a 37 year old virgin who reminisces about crapping his pants in school, and begs his friend to delete his hard drive as he lies dying. I get where you're coming from, but I'm not really sure I'd consider him a 'literal perfect character'.

At least, he's nowhere near as bad as something like this.

Yeah, his character actually has to overcome challenges for one episode. Then he absorbs an omnipotent being and gains its power, and then he never makes a single mistake again for the entire series and everyone he meets pledges their allegiance to him and/or falls in love with him. He is so popular that his followers literally form a new nation, the first multi-racial nation to ever exist in the world, and name it after him. It's the most hilariously mary-sue bullshit ever.

A Deep Dive into Paper Mario's Design Philosophy

Paper Mario is a nice first RPG for preschoolers who are still learning to read. If you're making a game for a higher age group, not much about it is really worth emulating.

Its biggest fatal flaw is only having two party members at a time, one of whom is invincible. Other than that, though, it at least doesn't make many other serious mistakes that make players wince in pain, like so many other bad RPGs do. It avoids a lot of pitfalls. The game doesn't have any overpowered options that ruin the decision-making, it doesn't have systems that are misleading or confusing, it doesn't reward the player for playing in a more boring way, it doesn't trick the player into making irreversible bad decisions. It just doesn't do anything good either. There's nothing there to make it worth playing, or worth caring about.

Reading about the Mary Sue in literature has made me super paranoid about the characters I write.

You seriously want me to list every mediocre fantasy, scifi, and action book featuring a protagonist who doesn't do anything wrong, and who all the other characters love, and is also super powerful? Because there are a LOT of them. It's a really common setup. Just grab a few random books from a particular genre fiction section and you'll probably get at least one.
Something can be incredibly common and still awful. I think this is an example of that. Give your characters some depth, otherwise they're not interesting.

No, I just wanted you to name one.
Main character from Slime Datta Ken, to name a popular recent anime. I like the anime despite that, though, not because of it. The way magic works is interesting, and the way the setting evolves is interesting, and the political drama is interesting. Most of the characters, including the omnipotent protagonist, are boring as heck.

Sora from Kingdom Hearts, for a more well-known example. I think video games partially get a pass, though. The main character kind of has to be super powerful by the end of the game, especially in RPGs with only one character. He's still a terrible character though. And I think his pass is revoked because Kingdom Hearts is actually fanfiction. He's literally being inserted into existing worlds and upstaging all the original protagonists.

Theme Roulette 2

looks like a shoulder massager

Awful haikus

Today, four twenty
Tomorrow, Easter Sunday
The holy weekend