RPG/JPRG Favorite features

Discussion in 'General Game Discussion and Questions' started by Verxion, Sep 15, 2010.

  1. Verxion

    Verxion Well-Known Member

    Apr 6, 2010
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    Hello there everyone!

    I'm hard at work on a new RPG with JRPG influences. It is sort of a crazy mix of influences from the Final Fantasy series, Chrono Trigger, Phantasy Star, Ultima Online, and World of Warcraft.

    I've got a whole slew of ideas for my game, but I wanted to ask you all what you enjoy most in these sorts of games, what you find lacking, and just generally what you'd really like to see.

    Any suggestion is fine, big or small.

    FYI, my intention is to have a $0.99 game that has extremely frequent FREE content releases, as often as weekly, but a minimum of monthly.

    I very sincerely appreciate any feedback you may have for me - you guys are THE experts on iPhone gaming! :)

    -Verxion
     
  2. drelbs

    drelbs Well-Known Member

    Jun 25, 2009
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    Things I like:

    Paperdolling - i.e. your in-game character visually wears/wields their inventory.
    "16-bit" pixel graphics/style is welcome.
    I like walking controls more like 1000 Find Them All!
    Good music always plays a large part in setting moods in RPGs
     
  3. Verxion

    Verxion Well-Known Member

    Apr 6, 2010
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    Drelbs: I'm intending to do something along the lines of:

    Items you find are placed in your paper doll, and -SOME- very special items change the look of your movable avatar. Since I'm a one man show, the time investment is pretty huge to have custom sprite animations for every in game item.

    I've got some great sound effects and music plans already in place.

    Not sure I understand about the walking bit - can you explain?
     
  4. walsh06

    walsh06 Well-Known Member

    lots of varying items. The one thing I love in all rpgs is the "that item" feeling. Like when you open a chest and find this awesome sword inside. Or find an amazing ring with cool effects. That kind of thing. As in you have lots to find and pick the best stuff for your character.

    Im not sure if you are doing classes but if you are I like multiples. I know this is hard work but it really can be great for a game experiencing it with new moves, weapons, stat layout.
     
  5. drelbs

    drelbs Well-Known Member

    Jun 25, 2009
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    Not everything has to be unique, but it's nice when at least if you're empty handed/sword/mace - major weapon types/armor types are visible.

    Download the lite version of the game and see what you think... (Of course this would only apply if your game is free-roaming. Mostly I hate d-pads on this platform.)
     
  6. Verxion

    Verxion Well-Known Member

    Apr 6, 2010
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    walsh06: I agree 100% on the "that item" feeling. That is actually something I really want to focus on in the game. For me, the items in games like Final Fantasy, Chrono Trigger, and Phantasy Star were very much secondary to the story. By contrast, for me, in World of Warcraft and Diablo1/2, the items were more of a focus than the story.

    So yes, I'm trying to strive for a balance between allowing the player to get general items easily, and then also being able to get "those items" that are truly amazing for their character and that modify how the character looks.

    drelbs: I grabbed the game just now, and I think I'm missing something on the movement. When I tap to move the character, he FREQUENTLY only looks in the direction I tap. A simple attempt to walk left and right in an open area has very mixed results - sometimes it walks left or right, sometimes it takes 2, 3, 4, or even FIVE taps before the character moves to the destination. When it works, it seems to work well - the character moves RAPIDLY to the destination. This is just unfortunately more the exception than the rule, at least for me.

    Keeping my finger held down is by far the most reliable form of movement in the game. I like how the buttons disappear when the character is walking. It makes the screen VERY uncluttered - this is much like I am already working toward in my own game. I'm not this polished yet though in terms of path following around obstacles.

    Thanks for the heads up! :)
     
  7. Vinvy

    Vinvy Well-Known Member

    Apr 9, 2010
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    Some ideas for an RPG..(my dream games...)

    No wild, random enemy encounters. All fights should be story based, and almost act as a regular RPG's boss battles, where the enemy has a pattern that needs to be exploited, or requires a specific strategy. The game designer would have to create these all very carefully, and make sure the battles all scale up in difficulty properly. Of course there would be quite a lot of battles still(but the game wouldn't have nearly as many encounters as the average, three steps and a fight JRPGs), a dungeon might have three big fights for isntance.

    Each battle would give you a level up automatically, no messy experience systems or grinding required. At level up you place your own points(str, const, dex etc) and choose your own skills on a skill tree, so players can play through the game differently multiple times.

    Instead of grinding monsters for experience, you can grind for money by digging for gold in mine caves, and then buy new equipment in the town, which would make big changes to your characters stats and skills, and be a big form of customization.

    Dungeons in the game, wouldn't have many fights, and instead would be more based on exploration, puzzles and traps.

    I would also love the game to have old school 8bit or 16bit graphics. And let's be honest, you are probably a terrible writer, so don't attempt anything fancy(terrible). Go the Nintendo Zelda route and keep it simple, and just try to build a good atmosphere in the game, with music, setting, art design, and strong gameplay.
     
  8. fallenashes

    fallenashes Well-Known Member

    Jan 4, 2010
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    yes
    Discourage grinding and go kill 10 quests. Also very over the top battles are awesome, but I don't know if you are doing a different screen for the battle like Crimson Gem Saga/Final Fantasy or put the battles on the screen itself, like Zenonia.

    And even if the story is horrible, if it is funny and translated properly I have more incentive to get unstuck from game.

    Oh, and try something new, some bizarre idea that somehow someway but might not make it because it is too unique. Just if you've had an idea like that. Put it in, please! I hate playing the same RPG that's just reskinned if you know what I mean.
     
  9. Verxion

    Verxion Well-Known Member

    Apr 6, 2010
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    Vinvy: I'll need to think about your suggestions a bit. On the surface, many of them don't really jive with my current plan. Not saying they are bad ideas AT ALL - just that I've got a vision for the plan so far and I'm trying to add to and supplement it with ideas from here.

    For example, right now, my plan is to have random encounters. But I absolutely HATE when you get one every half second. I also absolutely HATE the semi traditional "MMO" concept where the monsters are just standing around waiting to be attacked. So my plan was to have random encounters that are sort of capped by area so that you can't have more than X encounters per Y units of time in area Z. Once you move to a new area, those counters reset. Then there would be modifiers like if you have next to no health left, there might be an increased chance of random encounters.

    None of this is in stone, but this is how I'm looking at it for now.

    As for your description of the leveling up process, my intention is to have a set of default choices that get made when you level up. So the player that doesn't like to micromanage just says "Cool" when they level up. The player that DOES like to micromanage can get more into the nitty gritty of things.

    With respect to grinding, I'm working on a system that (if it works) allows for someone to be completely successful in playing through the story WITHOUT any grinding. And the player that wants to delve further into the game gets more story, more items, and they can do some grinding as well, but my intention is to make the "grinding" be spectacularly fun. On this side of things, the player would level up multiple levels per encounter if they are doing things right. :) Also, I'm working on there being a flat out cap on how much you can grind per "episode" so that it will hopefully never get to be boring even for the people with lots of time to spend on games.

    The plan is 8bit/16bit graphics, and I'm teaching myself how to do it and quite happy with the results. I actually never got to play on consoles when I was a kid, so this has been a really cool part of my adult gaming experience. :)

    fallenashes: I'm actually still working out how to do a quest system "right". I, like you, hate the "go kill 10" quests. Any ideas on a quest system that won't be boring, but also won't be difficult to program? I think this is critical because I want to be able to give frequent updates to my player base but I can't realistically do that if it takes me eons to add content...

    PLAN on over the top battles! :) And yes, I intend to have a different screen for battles. I absolutely love that game dynamic, and that's what I intend to do. Know that it is critically important to me to make this as unintrusive to gaming as possible. I want the player to be able to choose from a casual, next to no interaction mode where they can basically choose if they want to fight or run, and a system where the player can micro manage if they want to. The "fight or run" casual approach will mean that the player needs to run from fights that the micro management player could "handily" win, but this won't prevent the casual player from completing the game.

    I have what (to me anyway) is a crazy gameplay dynamic that should be extremely funny and off the wall. I'm very very hopeful that people will enjoy it. The plan is to have humor be a BIG part of the gameplay experience, that is very important to me. I'm a huge Disgaea fan, NOT because of the endless grinding you CAN do in the game if you want, but rather, because of the humor they put into it, including totally off the wall things that just make you laugh. :)

    Ok, I'm gonna have to get back to things for a bit, but I'll stop by this thread later tonight to respond to any further posts people make.

    THANK YOU ALL for your responses - this community is awesome for sharing information between fellow gamers and developers. I truly value that. :)
     
  10. drelbs

    drelbs Well-Known Member

    Jun 25, 2009
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    You have to hold to keep walking, you tap on things to interact with them.

    Having the GUI disappear while moving is a nice touch, and lets you enjoy the scenery! :)
     
  11. SkyMuffin

    SkyMuffin Well-Known Member

    May 24, 2010
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    college student, ENG/WGS major
    Lexington, KY
    #11 SkyMuffin, Sep 15, 2010
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2010
    Easy reset for puzzles - don't make us run back and forth between screens or have to load the game again to reset something, like in Zenonia.

    I don't necessarily think JRPG battle systems are boring, but there is something to be said about having streamlined effects. Breath of Fire 3 uses a slightly modified JRPG battle system but it is super fun because of how slick and fast the animations are (unlike the Final Fantasy series). Another example would be Chrono Cross or Lunar Silver Star Story. Other JRPGs such as the Tales series and Final Fantasy X-2 opt for more action-based battles. Whatever you do, make sure it is smoothly animated and there aren't unnecessary pauses or waits (such as in Steam Pirates or Pokemon games). The player is going to spend a lot of time in battle, so make the music and aesthetics clean and attractive.

    Don't make random encounters. Go for a system similar to Tales/Lunar/Earthbound, where the enemies walk around and you can avoid them or plan ambushes. It's much more satisfying and strategic this way. You could also add in what Earthbound does, which is automatically SQUISH enemies that are below a certain level relative to yours (making backtracking a lot less annoying).
     
  12. Qordobo

    Qordobo Well-Known Member

    Jun 11, 2010
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    #12 Qordobo, Sep 15, 2010
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2010
    When I play a game using a classical genre the highest disappointment comes when you feel the designers didn't learn from past games in the genre.

    Clearly no games are perfect and players haven't all the same preferences so what is good for a player isn't for another.

    RPG is certainly the game genre the hardest to design and implement. I don't think I can provide any good advice for a RPG that target the OP because the list of RPG quoted in OP is translated for me as MMO & JRPG. Something that makes me wonder, is the RPG designer know RPG like in the list that follows, I pick only among not too old games, and in parenthesis the most interesting or original or stunning design element :
    • Gothic 2 + Night of The Raven (Sword Fighting System & Alternate Choices & World living depth & Dialogs & Exploring enemy Territory)
    • Fallout 1 (Alternate Story Evolution & Adult Writing & Fights)
    • The Witcher (Writing quality & Management of Players choices & Management of choices consequences)
    • Dragon Quest V DS Remake (Interaction with Party NPC & Managing successive limited opened area)
    • Might & Magic Clash of Heroes (Fight System)
    • Dragon Age: Origins (Fights & Fight skills)
    • Infinite Space (Fights & Managing Events Evolution in a same place & Managing successive limited opened area)
    • Neverwinter Night 2: Mask of the Betrayer (Morale questions & Story Writing)
    • Badur's Gate 1&2 (Party NPC living & Fights & Exploration Freedom)
    • Divine Divinity (Items interactions & Puzzles design & Quests and story management in an area with free exploration & Exploring enemy territory & Exploration Quality)
    • Avernum 1 (Free exploration and story with multiple parallel branches & Exploration Quality)
    • Morrowind (Sandbox with a story that evolves & Time evolution consequences & Dialogs & Exploration Quality)
    • Din's Curse (Dynamic quests)
    • Temple of Elemental Evil (Turn Based Fights)
    Well I know it won't help, my feeling is just that any RPG designer should have played those RPG at least in part and have identified and analyze most of the design points I quoted. :D
     
  13. SkyMuffin

    SkyMuffin Well-Known Member

    May 24, 2010
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    college student, ENG/WGS major
    Lexington, KY
    Just want to add something: if you choose to go the route of action RPG instead of JRPG, please avoid the following things:

    -Identification scrolls/indentification systems
    -durability ratings, repairing, and broken items
    -gems, runes, and socketables
    -limited town portals
    -no stores except in town (trips back and forth)
    -manual pickup of gold
    -having to pickup or recover your body after death to get equipment back

    All of these things artificially limit the player's actual immersion in the action of the game, and they create obnoxious micromanagement or other annoyances.
     
  14. Vinvy

    Vinvy Well-Known Member

    Apr 9, 2010
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    I want to point out the game yipe5, which is probably the most comparable game to yours in size and development scale. One guy made the game, though he also had an artist and someone doing the music. But it's an old school style indie RPG, based around humour, multiple classes and difficulties, monsters on the overworld, quite a few dungeons(even an endless one if I remember correctly). It's not an amazing game, but it might be a good idea for you, as a designer, to play through it for inspiration. Bounce your ideas off of what it is doing, and see what you can do better.
     
  15. cubytes

    cubytes Well-Known Member

    Aug 25, 2009
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    there's all kinds of extracurricular activities that can be pushed via dlc

    for instance:

    1) you can go the suikoden route;

    where a good chunk of quests revolve around recruiting new party members. and then just release new party members in each new dlc

    -some characters require you to be a certain level; indicated via dialog "hmm you're a weakling, dont talk to me" ect
    -some characters will have quests (in the traditional sense) where they join you and you have to complete a task with them before they join your party; usually find X or defeat a boss and voila
    -some characters will simply require you to have recruited a certain character before they even think about joining your party
    -some characters require a special rare item before they will join your party
    -others only join depending on your progression in the story
    -secret characters that mysteriously attack in a random battle then join the party
    -ect ect

    2) ridiculously strong monsters:

    like ff7 the emerald and ruby weapon (need i say more?); which pretty much required you to invest a ton of time into the game. but whats interesting is that they tied it into a side quest & mini game simultaneously and not just generic level grinding. yea breeding chocobos was tough cuz you had to have the right nuts, the right gender, the right breed mix and not to mention race them all to level s (which was the real time sink) to breed that sacred gold chocobo to find the nights of the round and mime materia before you even had a chance to beat them, but still compelling a gamer (me included) to put that much time into a game for a task that was not even required in order to beat the game...is genius

    and you can expand on that concept via dlc as long as the following conditions are met:
    -the monster is somehow tied into the world/story but not required to be defeated in order to beat the game; in other words it make sense
    -the monsters require you to have the very best of the best (you can expand that as well in the dlc and level caps too if need be)
    -obtaining the very best of the best is done via multiple side quests, mini games and other secrets/extracurricular activites and never ever thru general story progression quests... ever
    -there is absolutely no way to beat the monsters thru level grinding alone (implement level caps when necessary that are dialed in to prevent the possibility of that happening)

    3: alchemy pot/upgrade/synthesis system (that requires a very VERY rare item).

    this item is what you will release (secretly) via dlc in one of the following ways:
    -release a handfull of new side quests to complete in order to open up a secret dungeon where you can lure out a very rare and tough monster with another rare item (which you get by doing all kinds of other stuff) use that item to lure out the special monster in the secret dungeon then defeat it and voila it will drop the very VERY rare item

    -release an expansion pack that adds an arena; competing in the area is a fun thing to do in its own right but if you want the item you will need to get a gold star rating which means you will have to obtain the best of the best get a gold star rating. then you will be challenged to compete against a very tough enemy; defeat that and you are awarded. however the secret is now that you have complete again afrter obtaining a gold rating and defeating special challenge. what you do is go thru the arena again with a certain weapon or armor set equipped (which is hinted at by the dialog from the special boss you have to fight in the special challenge) when you have that weapon/armor set equipped a special monster will appear for some reason (make one up) if take down that monster in a certain way it will drop the rare item

    -7 sages appear in the world; you must find these 7 sages complete each of their side quests, then fight them and earn a special item that can be given to a certain person in one of the towns who can then turn the item into the rare item if they have 3 other items

    -so on and so on; but dont spoil the secret in the release notes, dont even mention it in fact... not even a hint no matter how much ppl beg and complain, just market it as a plain old dlc. the secret is what makes it interesting ;) the who will find the secret first... then once its out its the yes i can finally max/upgrade/forge the ultimate weapon/armor/whatever now

    the above are just examples to get my point across ;) gamers looooooooove secrets and hidden stuff even if it requires a lot of work to discover/obtain...

    good luck!!! hope this helps
     
  16. Shebby289

    Shebby289 Well-Known Member

    Apr 21, 2010
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    #16 Shebby289, Sep 16, 2010
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2010
    Definitely away with too much grinding. A good example of this would be zenonia. In order to progress in the gam, you MUST be at really high levels. I like a system like Chaos Rings.. Whereby mandatory bosses have levels based on your characters level. I also like your idea of capping the random encounters, a random fight every 3 steps just get annoying.

    Personally, I'd love it if there were numerous side quests, unique equipment or even secret playable characters! Point is don't make the game too linear. And make sure the UI is user friendly. (I'm looking at you Crimson Gem saga)

    Edit: forgot to mention, dual techs ala Chrono Trigger is kickass too!

    That said, you're a one man team so I understand the difficulties in creating a top quality game. Take your time to make it right and all the best! ;)
     
  17. cubytes

    cubytes Well-Known Member

    Aug 25, 2009
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    ahh dual techs do look legit; never got into Chrono Trigger; but i do know that its regularly on top 10 RPGs of all time lists

    but i dig that duality ability concept especially if its a seamless sort of additional hidden ability and not a strict and obvious duality ability with pros and cons like the suikoden 2 "unite function" which didnt require any mp and other then the buddy atk (which was way overpowerd but still super awesome until it gets taken away) i never really used unite all that much because one character would get unbalanced/dizzy and be unusable for 2 turns. although i did hear that in suikoden 2 if two characters cast a level 3 or 4 magic spell (with a duality to the other like fire and wind ect) in the same turn, the two combine into one super powerful combination spell which would be pretty legit but i didnt get that far

    lost odyssey kinda played with the duality concept in regards to character development where the immortals would only learn skills if they were partied up with a human character which is an interesting dynamic but not mindblowing.

    of course chaos ring leverages a duality concept too but its a more obvious and strict one i believe
     
  18. Verxion

    Verxion Well-Known Member

    Apr 6, 2010
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    You guys are absolutely amazing! Using ideas from your responses, I was able to finish the rough story outline in about four hours tonight. I think the game will consist of twelve "episodes". The game will cost $0.99, it will get a monthly update and the updates will be free.

    I -really- like the story, the playability, and the length of the content I've come up with - it should be a HUGE value to the purchaser.

    I've got a spell system figured out, but I still need to nail down how I want to do combat (I want it to be fun and strategic both, and yet fast paced enough to not be tedious) and items.

    I'm basically aiming to have a combat system that is approachable for the novice player, but that also provides depth for the more advanced player. I want there to be a genuine reward for the player that does a better job of defeating his enemies. Just need to work that out.

    The story though - people are gonna like it. :)

    -Verxion
     
  19. chickdigger802

    chickdigger802 Well-Known Member

    Apr 14, 2009
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    Atlanta GA
    Accessible to novice player shouldn't be an issue.

    If the game structure is designed well, novice players should be able to get a hang of it over the progression of the game.


    Here's a thought. There seems to be few turn based rpg's on the app store that also incorporate interactivity during the combat animations to boost damage.

    Think all the mario rpg games. The action rpg market is pretty flooded so a good turn base rpg with action elements could be big.


    Also no random monster encounters... please.
     
  20. SBeaudry17

    SBeaudry17 Member

    Sep 16, 2010
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    I do like it when quests are very varied in style. Too many games end up giving you quests that all match the "bring me back 12 skins" or "kill 15 of that monster type". Original quest ideas really make a RP game stand out.
     

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