A watched pot never comes to those who wait (Mixed Idioms)

You've made your bed, now eat it too.

A watched pot never comes to those who wait (Mixed Idioms)

A penny for your arm and a leg?

From Archades to Crescent ~ Town Design for the Solo Dev

Guys, seriously? Did this thread have to get derailed into a shit-flinging fest where instead of actually discussing about the topic at hand, we're attacking other people's character? Cool it.

In all fairness to the rest of the folks here, I kind of started the name-calling, without offering a constructive response to the OP. Allow me to remedy that here.

First, a comment on the sprawling cities of Final Fantasy XII. I really liked them. I thought they were clever, intriguing, full of depth, and packed with interesting people--the first time I played the game. On subsequent journeys, I found them rather tedious.

I think a lot of modern RPGs (not necessarily JRPGs) have the same problem: They want to offer these massive, cool places to explore, but can't make the experience worthwhile more than once. The Elder Scrolls games fall into this category for me, and it's part of the reason I only ever finished Oblivion one time.

Is this worse or better than Final Fantasy 1's boring nothing-towns? It's difficult to say, but as with most things, the ideal truth lies somewhere in the middle of the extremes.

I believe that a few towns should be spectacular and most should be plain. Sometimes a town's only purpose is to serve as a way-station between dungeons (and, in some instances, perhaps an actual way-station would be better than a town!); you should not put much effort into creating those towns because the player is not going to spend much effort exploring them.

Unless something important to the story happens in a town, players are going to come into town, sleep at the inn, buy any new gear, restock consumables, and then leave. A few of the more prudent ones will talk to all the NPCs and fewer still will check all the nooks and crannies of every building for hidden stuff, and every once in a while it's worth rewarding those players. But these places don't need to be special, and they don't need to take up a lot of time. Just enough to fit in aesthetically with the world around them.

As for towns that you want players to remember, it takes very little to make a place memorable, and less still to make it meaningful. It's as easy as adding a distinct piece of architecture or an NPC with a witty piece of dialogue. Even if your mapping skills are terrible, players will remember the town where that shopkeeper subtly threatens you with violence if you don't buy his stuff, or the town built around an old, dilapidated power plant.

Those are the places where, ideally, the things in your story will happen. Those are the places players will explore and remember. So, those are the places you should spend a large amount of effort on. The rest can take a back seat.

From Archades to Crescent ~ Town Design for the Solo Dev

First Page of First Topic in Game Dev Forum

No, really. Literally just stumbled upon it. Call it a happy coincidence.

But seriously, Corf. You have the worst attitude. You happen to be very good at mapping, and you occasionally have a decent nugget of wisdom worth sharing, but you lord it over the rest of us like you're the gods' gift to game development.

Take a chill pill, and use your obvious talents to raise people up, rather than bring them down.

From Archades to Crescent ~ Town Design for the Solo Dev

I'm not a stalker. It's on the first page of the first thread in forum. I just happened to be browsing it and this one at the same time today, and found it rather amusing.

Proof is a strong word, one that I spent many years in academia removing from my vocabulary. However, that post is solid evidence of you taking a shortcut for the sake of saving time, something for which you've been attacking the OP in this thread. Don't you think that's just a little hypocritical?

And as it stands, in this context there's no significant difference between a hard deadline, a soft deadline, or just the desire to finish in a reasonable amount of time. It all boils down to getting the thing finished when you want it to be finished.

From Archades to Crescent ~ Town Design for the Solo Dev

I'll just leave this here...

For the sake of trying something new - and to cut down on development time significantly (because I don't already have an ice cube's chance in hell to finish by Christmas) - I decided to bust out the ol' tablet and draw myself a world map, using points and graphics from the RTP basis tileset to dot the land with locations. Due to the shortness of the game, I actually had to scratch my head about how I'd portray this region properly without making it feel empty, and this just seemed like the best solution.

[Poll] Looking for Feedback About My Magic System

Along a similar vein, I could add basic parameters. I was thinking of doing that anyway, but it helps solve the problem. One parameter can be dedicated to offensive magic, the other to defensive. Wisdom vs Intellect, for example. And while the power of buffs and debuffs can't really take advantage of a parameter, their effectiveness can in some ways. Length of effect, chance of failure, etc.

Healers who dedicate their growth to the healing stat will necessarily lack the power to deal lots of damage with offensive spells, and vice versa; a character still has the option of taking the middle ground but at the cost of effectiveness in all categories.

[Poll] Looking for Feedback About My Magic System

That's exactly right. That's why this conversation is important. It's debatable how much of the abuse in FF7 and FF8 were intentional and how much was unforeseen by the programmers, but there were definitely, definitely abusive ways to play the game. Playing Triple Triad for three hours, harvesting 100 Curagas, and running around spamming Renzokukens with Squall still at 1000 HP in the opening areas of the game, whether intentional or not, is pretty broken.

With any system like what we're talking about, where the player is given a lot of freedom to customize abilities, the possibility for abusive tactics like that exists (even unintentional ones), and it's important to think about them. I really appreciate all the input you all have given in this regard.

I'm curious about how a hybrid system can unfold, and extra aware of the potential pitfalls.

[Poll] Looking for Feedback About My Magic System

And as much as I enjoyed the game, that always bothered me. The concept is brilliant: your power is tied to your magic, so you need to make important decisions about when to use your magic, because every use costs you power. The implementation just resulted in spamming limit breaks and physical attacks that were far too powerful and disregarding summons and magic that were far too weak.

Generally, I'm of the belief that abilities that have a cost, such as magic, need to be more powerful than abilities that are free, such merely attacking. However, the flip side is that cost has to be meaningful and directly tied to the power of the ability. Final Fantasy 7 and 8 both got this wrong, each in the opposite fashion.

You know, this has me thinking about a certain design philosophy for Magic the Gathering cards:

High power
Low cost
No drawback

You get to pick just two of those.

It's a good thing to keep in mind.

[Poll] Looking for Feedback About My Magic System

I totally agree with you. FF7 is pitifully easy and has about as much balance as a one legged man on a boat with seven gallons of rum filtering through his liver. I've killed the final boss with a level 30ish party. 8 isn't much better, though I find that playing the game as intended can actually offer a reasonable challenge from a novice perspective.

Final Fantasy games in general offer a multitude of lessons on what not to do in system design.