SOOZ'S PROFILE

Sooz
They told me I was mad when I said I was going to create a spidertable. Who’s laughing now!!!
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Hi I do art mostly but also do games.

Please read my comic, Patchwork and Lace. It's about a Lovecraftian Disney Princess dark mage and her superpowered undead partner hunting monsters and being bad at communication.
Yume Wheeky
What do guinea pigs dream about? Probably not this, but just roll with it.

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your game idea is too big

Your game is so big it can only be saved in a storage unit

your game idea is too big

Your game is so big, when it starts up power goes out in three city blocks

your game idea is too big

Your game is so big NASA had to take thumbnails via satellite

[Poll] THE MOST IMPORTANT POLL

A FATEFUL CHOICE

Hub vs Adventure

author=Backwards_Cowboy
Scaling enemy encounters can help with that.


To an extent, yes, but in terms of narrative it leaves a lot to be desired. And, as a player, if I'm going to be fighting harder enemies, I'd still much rather be encountering them in a new and/or different area.

Scaling enemies is a solution, but it's a very clunky and obvious one that in most cases of revisiting areas feels like padding.

How can Designers Create Levels to deal with Unflexable Players?

author=RedMask
I think I came up with a decent idea that could help players without frustrating them. This might not be easy to implement but perhaps in menu you could have a sliding hint scale which would give you a partner who gives out tips when needed based on where the player set the scale.


Based on my experiences with similar mechanics, I can see some ways that this could still be frustrating:

1) "OK, yes, I know, thank you, please tell me what I'm missing instead!" Often devs think something is completely obvious (and it probably is to most players!) but a player is just totally incapable of picking up on it for whatever reason. To the dev, the idea that you should hint it just doesn't come up, because it's 100% intuitive to them.

Alternately, the player's hung up on a more obscure issue, and gets so frustrated with the more basic hints that they give up on the hint system entirely.

2) Considerably less valid, but you will get people pissed about the existence of an optional "easy mode."

Hub vs Adventure

I was thinking the latter, mostly. I think a Zelda-style setup could work in an action game, but for the turn-based battle system setup of most RPGs, plodding over the same old terrain just to use the key item/skill to open up slightly new terrain (while dealing with constant anklebiters you've leveled past already) is more annoying than fun. (I can see a slight exception if you're letting the player see how far they've come, but that's also something to use sparingly, as the novelty wears off darn quickly.)

If you're having to revisit a level in an RPG, there should be a narrative reason for it, and a narrative payoff for it, both gamewise and plotwise.

The changes don't necessarily have to be drastic, just noticeable and complementary of the PCs' growth. (And the plot development.) This goes triple if the PCs are doing some kind of quest that affects the area over time. We're no longer living in a time of major memory limits, it's not as viable to just tell the player that the village is rich now!

May the Stats be with you

Meh. They're fine.

May the Stats be with you

I support reviews, especially when they are of games I have done! :V

except bad reviews I don't want those

Hub vs Adventure

For me, it all comes down to what the narrative calls for, at least as a player. What kind of atmosphere does a particular format lend to the story?

A hub offers a sense of home turf, somewhere safe(ish) that the player can go back to for R&R, and a stable location that's definitely the characters'. No matter where they go, how far afield, there'll always be this one familiar sanctuary they can return to. Things may change over the course of the game, but there will (usually) always be one place where the player can rely on on saving, refreshing health, and/or restocking.

A world map offers the feel of the traditional knight-errant- no place is home, or every place is. The world is filled with danger, but also with new sanctuaries, and the player can expect to find safety in settlements wherever they may go. It's a fairly optimistic view of the world overall, the idea that one can expect to get help (or at least find supplies) just about anywhere (that isn't a dungeon).

In an open world, the best narrative comes from watching different places change and develop over time, in response to the player's involvement. This is a pretty tricky needle to thread, since it essentially requires the dev to write multiple different stories that may or may not correspond to the main plot, while bearing in mind that the player may drop a story partway through or even skip it altogether. This difficulty level is why a lot of open world games have rather basic, blah plots.

With an open world, there's a less-focused sense of things- the characters may be looking to do a particular task or solve a mystery, but it's not really a big priority. There's a lot of exploration, and little distractions to check out, and overall there isn't a lot of tension, even if the story claims it's there. If you can put off fighting the King of All Darkness to help a kid find his lost dog, or see what's in those mysterious ruins, well, clearly he's not that important of a threat, is he?

A linear world is the easiest to write for, and the most focused-feeling style. Want to go back and check that first dungeon? TOO BAD! We've got shit to do! It's in the rear view and we're gonna go kick that Kind of All Darkness's ass! I personally prefer this from a narrative standpoint for most games- the "world's got its schedule, I've got mine" sense of open worlds never worked for me, even though it's fun to explore. Honestly, I feel that most RPGs would work best narratively with a completely linear layout, no world map, even if it means players might miss an achievement or piece of equipment.

The original Pokemon Rescue Team games did an interesting variation on this: Most of the games were a hub setup, but during one sequence of the characters being on the run, the hub was completely cut off, making the game almost completely linear and closed for several dungeons. It wasn't pulled off super gracefully, but it did give a fabulous sense of the change in dynamics and the tension of only having one way to go.

(Also, I love the idea of fucking with the player's sense of safety and permanence- what if that sanctuary you've been relying on suddenly disappears? WHAT THEN??? Good stuff.)

author=EtherPenguin
The always going forward linear style can often become exhausting if it starts to feel too much like "go here do this, now go here and fight this battle!" and your sort of just running from cutscene to cutscene. Still, I can see the appeal for player who really just want to experience the plot. Of course, the other extreme can become exhausting if it asks the player to tediously travel back and forth over the same areas. That can be relieved a bit with some form of fast travel.


Both those cases are more a problem of bad design, IMO. The former sounds like a writer relying on "this happened, then this happened" instead of "this happened, so this happened," and probably not allowing sequences to breathe. The latter seems like just bad layout and/or not enough changes. IMO, a good open world is basically a lot of levels that replace each other over time, rather than a set of levels that you revisit occasionally.