iPad PRG - character management vs. story

Discussion in 'iPhone and iPad Games' started by nomand, Dec 25, 2008.


character customization (special, gurps, etc. or story and gameplay?

  1. complex stat system with a lot management options

    5 vote(s)
  2. immersive gameplay and story

    20 vote(s)
  1. nomand

    nomand Active Member

    Dec 25, 2008
    For an RPG game on your iphone, would you rather have a very detailed character management system where you can affect every little aspect of it, or would rather focus on the gameplay(not the character management) and the story. please consider the iPhone platform and touch limitations while answering. Also consider the time you spent gaming and how long would you spend customizing your character and how much actual gameplay would be left. just assume.... ^-^
  2. OahuSurf

    OahuSurf Well-Known Member

    Nov 20, 2008
    I want Diablo...so a good story and lots of items / customization would be ideal.
  3. nomand

    nomand Active Member

    Dec 25, 2008
    stop thinking of it as a computer / console. its a phone/mp3 player, and unless its proclamed a dedicated device, it will cater for a general audience and not hardcore gaming. having such world and character customization detail as Diablo would take months to develop and you will not be happy to pay 20$ for it.
    For me, a great story is by far more important that being able to customize my characters luck, flee, barter skills or whatever. i'd be more than happy if the game did it for me as i level. thats why this issue arises. With playability of about 6 hours for a mobile game and with about 30-60 minutes game session, what do you want, to play the game or to create a detailed character that wont stay there for long...
  4. nate@pdxine.com

    Dec 24, 2008
    I thought Vay was a great start for iPhone RPGs. There was some story, and the game had a decent play through time. Sure it fell short in a lot of ways but it was afterall just a Sega CD port of a so-so RPG to begin with.

    I would much rather have a nice story that has a strong foundation. If I can only play the game for a few minutes each day, I would much rather spend that time learning more about this universe and the progressive storyline than fiddling around with hit points and different armor.
  5. along123

    along123 Well-Known Member

    #5 along123, Dec 25, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2008
    I would want both. Do it so that you can price it at $9.99 premiums. If the story is good and you get to upgrade the characters, buy items etc. The game will sell itself. I think personally, you can't price too much for iphone game but you can earn back profits by selling more!

    You either price it too high and get less buyers or you price it at least at premiums and sells more. As generally, people won't pay you more for iphone games might as well you make the game so damn good and popular that it will sell more by recommendations (word of mouth). Also, you need to see that every year Apple will try to sell more iphone/itouch so that means more future customers for you down the line and some of them are not members of Toucharcade. They might only be browsing the itunes store and if they read how good the reviews are for your games, definitely you'll sell more. Keep updating it with new maps or whatever so that your game won't be forgotten and people will see it and through the years people will still be buying it!

    So, even if you make a good game and only sell for $9.99 if you keep selling it you'll earn back your money!

    But if you sell it at $20 for an iphone game, I'll certainly bulk at it even though, maybe it's popular. Game price for the iphone is totally unique i think!

    I think the name of the game is, to make a good game. The rest will follow. But, you'll have to make it an original on the iphone and not some porting of others games. So that you can build from the grounds up and also budget yourself for the iphone market if not, you'll be losing not just customers but sales too!

    You can't depend on just one game to sell. You need to make more games to earn more profits of course. You can also keep updating it and improve on it so that you can keep selling the game for years and years!

    Soooo.. err.. my point is I want both! hahahaha!!

    Hope this help in your game development strategy!

    :D :cool:

    Edit: Can you give a third vote option for those of us that wants both?
    2nd Edit: Or give us an option in the game. So, that we can choose the
    stats or whatever if we want or character development. If you can actually
    do that? You please both sides?
  6. Frand

    Frand Well-Known Member

    Since people already quoted Diablo, it's obvious that character management comes first. Diablo's greatest achievement was how it rewarded players by always dangling the next carrot in front of their noses, be it the next skill to get, level to gain or piece of armor to loot.

    Besides, we're talking about games. A good game with a bad story is almost par for the course, whereas a good story will not carry a bad game.
  7. nomand

    nomand Active Member

    Dec 25, 2008
    I was exaggerating when i said 20, but you know, just to wage peoples oppinions and find out true values. =]

    it all just starting out :D personally i think even 10 is quite high, 6 is probably perfect for a good title. BUT! american green is so worthless right now, i have to pay 1.5 of the price here in New Zealand :( but besides the case, most of the best games on appstore i bought were either on special or were not more then 6$. Galcon was probably most expensive one i bought (back in the day). Still waiting for rolando to go on special, dont wana pay 13$ (NZ) for it right now... although its worthy, i have lots of others to entertain myself with for now. =P

    aha.... like rolando. they even bought out toucharcade to change their background! ohmygod i cannot imagine how much they spent on their advertizing, but it must have been paid out quadriple in the first few hours of sales ;]

    cannot :p the whole point is to truly find out what draws people more, the charactar management or the world emmersiveness and the story. ;)

    noone's making anything as of YET, but, wouldnt it be a great waste of resource to make an indepth character setup and let the user simply turn it off? It would be rather more tangible to make two different games then to be honest.

    iphone games should exist only on iphone, due to the platform unique interface and controls. Spinoffs of existing titles are fine, as long as they accomodate good platform integration. Things like Square Enix's new game is a totall miss the point thing even though its not a remake (but truly, with square enix, everything is a remake of um... FF-likeness?) =\

    great comment! i share this oppinion, but the poll should show in a few days what people think.

    Its obvious that character management is a game feature and is certainly NOT first. Look at PSP's Final Fantasy Crisis Core. The game is average, but it caters for both, the casual wana-hacknslash through the game and find out what happen, and the hardcore wana-customize-my-materia-to-the-shits kinda gamers, and its cool, BUT, the game was short in essense, but long in its useless battles and annoying encounters. the ending was great, and i'm glad i finished it, but again, i had to struggle through boredom to get there.... this is not the kind of game i would wana play agian. So, back to the character management essence, it is, what makes an RPG an RPG, BUT it also introduces the 'management' part of it as well. With iphone screen this small, having more of the game and less of the interface/management part is best, even if you have to go into multimple windows, but keeping it down is best to fit the mobile gaming session time. You will customize your character to the bits, and before you know it, the game has ended..

    so you're saying you'll play a game with a shit story? how does that make a good game then? (speaking of rpg's that is.. We already know examples of bad stories with plubmers and dragon captive princesess, but great gameplays ;) )

    a game with a great story is already a good game, however dumb the AI wouldnt be, however bad the music is, however unpredictable the camera is, you will look past those mistakes, and be drawn into a story. honest.
    if i am to give you a game that give all the character cutomization in the world, but say, the game has no story at all, would you be bothered making a character for nothing?..
  8. Frand

    Frand Well-Known Member

    Okay, I understand what you're saying, and misunderstood. I don't think the features for character management should be extensive. What I do emphasize, however, is that it's fun and rewarding to just click on anything extensively. That's what Diablo did well... you basically just sit and click for hours, and the game keeps throwing fireworks at you.

    Did Diablo even have a story? If there was, I don't remember anything other than "go down a dozen levels and kill that demon". The rewarding mechanism, low complexity of the interface, together with the excellent design regarding replayability made it a winner.

    I honestly don't recall many games that would have had good stories. FFVII was captivating for its time, but I don't know if it's covered with nostalgia. All the FF games that have come after it have just been derivative crap or disappointments in general as far as their stories went (haven't played FFXII).

    Yeah, I'd rather have a character in a sandbox with good playability, rewarding and challenge than a story. Philosophically, I'd even argue that a story is a detriment to character development, since a story reduces replayability and enforces a linear game structure.

    PHARTGAMES Well-Known Member

    They go hand in hand,

    WOW is a perfect example of this, do a quest, gather a whole bunch of crap, spend the same amount of time as you did on the quest working out what to do with all your crap.


    The end.
  10. Frand

    Frand Well-Known Member

    Agreed, but to think that an indie effort could reach your example (or Diablo, for that matter) is too bold, and given the need to compromise in scope, it's better to skimp on the story than the game mechanics. Trying to do both would mean an average result that leaves no-one satisfied.
  11. Chiller ONE

    Chiller ONE Well-Known Member

    Sep 20, 2008
    #11 Chiller ONE, Dec 25, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2008
    Although I can't stand WOW.
  12. nomand

    nomand Active Member

    Dec 25, 2008
    I see your point, and i agree with it on a certain level. But as a matter of personal taste, Ragnarok had me playing for about 5 days before it finally met an uninstall. (i take mmo and fun with friends online out of the picture and just focus on gameplay vs story (story = none.) )

    Currenly i'm playing Fallout3, and it has a great Overall story, like the world, what happened, history, recalling fallout1 and things like that, it all comes down to "The Story", not just father searching part that is. So in the bigger picture, the story has to be there even if theres no storyline, a story has to be present to set the world, let player understand it. I havent played Diablo, but i'm sure its not just "You're in hell. do whatever you want" kinda game right? it has its own subsystem.

    FF games are really not that great. What makes them so likable though, is how everything connects to the main story with multiple storylines and stuff that you can do. but seriously, i agree with you XD

    linear game structure cuts replayability yes, but if the whole point IS to tell a story, then there is no real need to have the sandbox and the character customization? GTA series for example... how many hours do you spend Sandboxing rather than playing the story? i for one go 1/9 in story/just killing shit XD, because its fun, because the whole point of gta is sandboxing. (actually this goes against my point haha, but i'm just recording my thoughts :p)
    The games i've played that had a good story and no sandbox, i really enjoyed playing, and never once thought about being able to sandbox in.
    but ofcourse again, its personal prefference.

    WOW is purely driven by its MMO'ness. take out the MMO out of WOW and you'll never touch it again. :p
    Its the world that users create for themselves. its a completely different matter and i refuse to go any further into it, not to arise any debates XD
  13. along123

    along123 Well-Known Member

    A very nice way to put it mr.phart. Haha!;)
  14. along123

    along123 Well-Known Member

    The way, I see it a good gameplay + good story = an enjoyable game = re playability.

    Just like you love the new superman story (i do) and I'll watch it over and over again. Not, everyday but once awhile at least.

    And just like gaming if I'm having an enjoyable time playing the game, I'll play it again over and over again. Also, once in awhile. For example a shooter game. We all know, if you finish it, it's like you're done with it and you keep it aside. But, if you like the storyline and the gameplay is awesome, definitely you want to play it all over again right?

    I don't know where I'm going with this but I hope you see where I'm coming from here. Anyway, I think you can't definitely choose one after another as some guys really like to spend much time on stats, character development and all that. But, some guys just want to go to the actions and finish the game quickly and move on to the next game.

    I think before anyone buy a game they'll look at what the games offer. If the game offer stats, character development and all that they'll definitely wanna buy it and if the game is an all action game then guys who like that will buy it.

    For me, I've played Far Cry 2 and Fallout 3 and both of them offers character development, complex stats etc. I like it but I also find the action a little slow unlike Gears of War which is like all action and with an interesting story to boot. Same with Call of Duty 4 which doesn't offer character development or stats.

    I think all these companies that make this game have a better stats on what people like then us and I'm sure they have board meetings or whatever before they decided to create a game.

    I also think before any dev want to create a game for an iPhone/iTouch they really need to think about it. For now, maybe the iPhone/iTouch gaming world is still relative new and small and so they're a bit at risk cause they don't really know where's the market leaning to. I think, it'll be a long way before you found out what the majority really want in an iPhone/iTouch game.

    Apple need to market more before the world really see the iPhone/iTouch accepted as a gaming platform. And, of course more iPhone/iTouch need to be sold before that happen!

  15. Frand

    Frand Well-Known Member

    Frankly, it's been too long, but aside from the few FMV clips that Blizzard has always been excellent with, the world itself didn't really flesh out the story in Diablo.

    I distinguish 'premise' from 'story', and I agree that a well-thought-out setting to the sandbox is a key element to any game except Geometry Wars :)

    And with this, it's impossible not to mention Bioshock. Even if the main character hadn't been an integral part of the story, just exploring the world would have kept me going. Well, truth be told, even if the back story would've been taken away, simply the art design itself would've probably kept me happy for a long time.

    Personally, I bought GTA III back then, played it for about five or ten hours to discover the limits to the sandbox, and then I lost interest. I hoped that GTA IV would've kept me glued, but it didn't. Funny thing, my interest in GTA IV was killed by the mission structure. I would've probably played twice longer if the missions didn't have linear choke points. Because I didn't progress in the missions, the roadblocks from the first island were never removed for me.

    Well, with all this sidetracking, I'd finish off with the comment that I think your poll doesn't give good options. If I have to choose between a complex character management system or a good story, I'd take the option that gives me more entertainment for less effort.

    However, if you give me a simple way of growing in power and gaining new abilities, the drive to gather and grow is way more compelling than trying to enjoy yet another story of an angsty pre-teen saving the magic crystal from an evil power-hungry corporation.
  16. TheOZ

    TheOZ Well-Known Member

    Dec 21, 2008
    This is a question that would depend on your time, focus and whether you are interested in creating a mediocre game or a very well thought out and fun game. If you have the time of course you would want to incoporate both aspects into an rpg, but as i've experienced in playing many rpgs the story should come first. If someone handed me a game where you just upgrade and knock down monsters I wouldn't even touch it to be honest. Develop a great story and everything should just fall together, and if you want alittle more "umph" to your game then you could incorporate the customization option. Also if you did make a customizationan option in the game you don't have to go as far as luck and lock picking.

    Though if I had to choose between the two I would definetly say focus on the story, but if you do focus on the story make sure it is orginal and incredible because if the best thing about a game is the story, but it's cliched then what else do you have for the backbone of your game.

    Hope that helped, oh and you're only asking questions about customization and story, well I hope that does not mean you are shying from other important aspects that make up a game?
  17. nomand

    nomand Active Member

    Dec 25, 2008
    yus, but also they are two different genres that are hard to mix without falling off a cliff in attempt to make an epic game that has everything. i love the story and action in GOW series, and i love the exploration in far cry/crysis and fallout3. :)

    that would be epics. If Apple adds more features, a dedicated GPU, and some sort of control extention (i see it as the whole screen surface has touch, so the the black areas above and below the screen being touch sensative as well) would be awesome.

    to be honest, Bioshock was a disappointment for me in terms of story. I love the world, the design and the idiology, but i just totally didnt connect with the story, probably because there was no interactions with anyone, so that everything was delivered to you via recordings and audio... i think it wasnt as effective.

    awesome comment, this is what i was looking for. :D

    no way, no pre teens saving shit from shit. XD no square enix shit, that shit is shit. :eek: lol

    yupyup! thanks for comment, very solid.
    no way nop ^-^ its a big process, its being managed by a number of people.

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