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Subject: Persona 3: FES
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Date: 3rd October 2014 Time: 16:00 EST
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Author Topic: As I plan my next RPG, I could use a bit of input from everyone. :)  (Read 2329 times)
harmonic42
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« on: October 19, 2010, 07:23:42 PM »

Hey there.

Since Deadly Sin 2 got released, I have been going in circles, trying to look for my next RPG project. What I'm trying to do is balance economic feasability/marketability with the kind of games that I want to make, and would be inspired by. The reason this is an issue is because I tend to like games that, for whatever reason, are not popular to the mainstream. These would include games such as Ogre Battle, FFT, Fire Emblem, Langrisser, etc. And it is quite difficult to stay motivated to work on a project you're not inspired by.

My partner and I have been kind of dithering together, as we are sort of tired of the same old JRPG stock gameplay, so we have settled on the possibility of a tactics RPG or an action RPG platformer.

Looking at these forums, I can tell there are a lot of folks here who could provide really good feedback and sort of a cross-section of the RPG market these days. Do you all think a tactics RPG could be viable?  If so, what kind of tactics game do you most enjoy... something like FFT with few characters and very complex progression/development, something like Fire Emblem with a large amount of characters and less complex development, or something in between? Do you have any opinions on the JRPG genre itself?  Are you tired of it?  Do you think there is still room for a successful JRPG and/or innovation?  Do you think an action RPG platformer could be viable if it was only for PC?

Thanks in advance for any opinions!


edit:  Whoops, probably should have been in computer RPGs.  Oh well, same concepts apply.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2010, 07:25:24 PM by harmonic42 » Logged

Sagacious-T
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« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2010, 07:31:02 PM »

I prefer a tighter knit group usually, although the larger cast games give you more variety.

A multiclass-based SRPG would be pretty badass
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Yoda
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« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2010, 07:53:52 PM »

I like the idea of an action rpg platformer. Somehow working a class and job system into a game like that would be excellent.



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harmonic42
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« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2010, 08:00:39 PM »

The one big hangup with action RPG platformer is that PCs don't have controllers, and that the downloadable PC game market is dominated by non-reflex-based games.  Of course, these are just the results of my research, which may very well be limited or wrong. Though yeah, it would be pretty cool.
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« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2010, 08:06:22 PM »

Strategy RPGs can be hit or miss with me, but some of my favorites in the genre include Bahamut Lagoon and Shining Force I and II because they blend tactical style battles with more traditional RPG style exploration.  Both games were also quite fun to play, never feeling cumbersome or over-engineered.  Many NIS SRPGs feel overwrought to me in terms of play mechanics. 

I'm a sucker for taut political storylines, hence why I liked Tactics Ogre.  For me, I don't need needlessly complex gameplay mechanics, so long as the writing is good and the characters are strong.  My biggest complaint about JRPGs (save for the Shin Megami Tensei series) is the immature writing, especially regarding interpersonal relationships.  When it comes to story and characters, my preference is for fewer core characters but deeper development/fleshing out.  Of course, having multiple classes for characters can keep tweakers happy.  

One thing I've never really seen in a Japanese style SRPG is more modern, post-modern, or sci-fi settings save for Front Mission, Sakura Taisen, and a few others.  Most tend to go for the more traditional knights and wizards fantasy.  So I think it would be cool to maybe have an FFT, Kartia, or Tactics Ogre type game with a Phantasy Star or Soul Hackers type setting.  

Speaking of indie SRPGs, the first one that comes to mind is that upcoming one by GravelTrain.

And as an aside, some of us joked that if this Round Robin was ever made into an RPG, we'd buy it: http://www.rpgfan.com/boards/index.php?topic=8002.0
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Yoda
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« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2010, 08:31:13 PM »

The one big hangup with action RPG platformer is that PCs don't have controllers, and that the downloadable PC game market is dominated by non-reflex-based games.  Of course, these are just the results of my research, which may very well be limited or wrong. Though yeah, it would be pretty cool.

I'm not a PC gamer myself (I'm using a hand me down that's about 7 years old. Fucking Plants vs Zombies ran like shit on it) but most of my friends have cheap ass USB controllers that do the job.

I'll be getting a new PC in a few months and by god if you make an action rpg platformer I'll buy it :)

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harmonic42
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« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2010, 08:43:04 PM »

Dincrest, can you expand on what you mean by overwrought mechanics, with example games?  It's easy for my partner and I to get really caught up in mechanics. (as in, love sitting on the FFT party screen and dinking around with party preparation) If you look at the status screen in DS2, you'll see a lot of what I considered relevant stats. They went way beyond the typical HP/STR/DEF/INT/AGI and I felt like that was an improvement. But then again, I have to consider how much control and information players want... everything's such a crazy balancing act.


Haha, that cliche RPG thread is an endless pool of brilliant ideas.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2010, 08:46:09 PM by harmonic42 » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2010, 08:54:29 PM »

I agree that Disgea is a bit overly complex. It's just a big balancing act of numbers, numbers numbers.

You have levels of shop rank, levels of weapons, levels of characters, levels of magic, levels of items, levels of stats within the items, levels of class, levels of aptitude, levels of influence, a bonus gauge at the end of battles, chain reactions of geo panels to plan out, carry over of stats from reincarnation, judges who like or dislike you.

Theres just a LOT to deal with.
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badsanta
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« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2010, 09:09:47 PM »

This is just general advice: find the Happy Medium. That is, as far the gameplay mechanics are concerned. Complexity is good, but not when it's too complex, or too confusing to navigate, or isn't streamlined--I think you get the idea.

Now, if you're going for a Tactical RPG, here's two routes for the characters; let us create s our own characters with just a few story ones added in, or have a bunch of story ones only. Having a smaller cast in a RPG is fine, but in SRPG's, you usually need quite a few units, not only just because you'll likely have more then 4 characters battling in the missions at at time, but also so you can pick and choose, have options, etc. Now, in Deadly Sin 2, the skill system worked quite well, but there were only 4 characters to consider. Here, it might be best to go for a middle ground; give each character their own abilities, but also have some sort of minor crest or skill system, for just a bit of customization.

Then there's the story. Aside from SMT, RPG's and SRPG's tend to use a Fantasy setting. And not just a Fantasy setting, but an incredibly generic one. This is all up to you of course, but it might be interesting to shake things up by using either a modern, near future, futuristic, or post-apocalyptic setting. As for the characters, if you have side missions (AKA, missions that you can do but don't have to,) here's an interesting idea. See, I thought that the sidequests in Deadly Sin 2 didn't contribute much outside of providing additional gameplay length and goodies. Aside from the final batch, most didn't provide supplemental background detail, or additional character information/background, making them less interesting then the main game. It might be nice if--that is, if there were side missions-- to have the side missions provide character background/development that we wouldn't get in the main story, and if you can get optional characters (like Fire Emblem,) it could even be used to flesh them out, as they likely wouldn't get much of a chance in the main story.

That's all I have to say for now, and I hope that you found something useful in those blocks of text. :)
« Last Edit: October 19, 2010, 11:23:21 PM by badsanta » Logged
ZeronHitaro
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« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2010, 09:21:36 PM »

My feedback isn't as wordy but when it comes to SRPGs there are a few things I find that sell me on the experiences.

-Unique, branching class trees. Final Fantasy Tactics did it right I think. There are many, many classes all "technically" avaliable from the get-go but you have to spend time "grinding" if you  want them early. Where as if you play the game normally you'll still be finding new stuff even late into the game's lifespan. Wild Arms XF is the perfect example of "unique" classes as I've never seen anything offered like those before. Although the fact that you only unlock new ones as the story progresses was kind of off-putting.

-Physical character change during a class change. Call it some sense of shallowness but if I turn from "Warrior" into "Mage" I don't want to be wearing the same outfit. That was the huge complaint I had with FF 13 is that the "role change" mechanic was essentially a class-change system only they were too lazy to provide alternate outfits for the characters when they changed. It's part of the magic of a class system for me. An SRPG without it is like a circus without clowns.

-The ability to create your own characters. Look at Final Fantasy Tactics, Disgaea, Wild Arms XF, ect. Even though the story only focuses on the central cast you still have the option to play with generic, player-created characters if you want. There's nothing I hate more than being forced to play with a character I don't like either the looks of or their personality. Being able to create my own  generics works to alleviate this problem.
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Annubis
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« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2010, 09:22:13 PM »

Complexity is good, but not when it's too complex, or too confusing to navigate, or isn't streamlined--

Very important.
Some tactical have a good story but the fights are so slow you end up giving up on the game because the rhythm is awful.
The quicker you can set all the 'actions' needed on one unit, the better.
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Sagacious-T
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« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2010, 09:24:18 PM »

Make something really upgradey in a fun way.
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Lard
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« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2010, 11:18:38 PM »

Sexy, jiggly boobs.
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« Reply #13 on: October 20, 2010, 12:06:49 AM »

I'd love an action rpg platformer, and I think Prinny should have been a game like that.
some more suggestions
gameplay:
grid-based (or no grid at all) action srpg, possibly like Sakura Taisen
an upgradeable skill system like materia and materia fusion in Crisis Core
make character development (with individual character subplots) important to leveling up and/or increasing efficiency in battle, like a dating sim/rpg
maybe use georama and and synthesis of Dark Cloud (probably like it was in 2, since 1 did it but made it awkward to use) and put a new twist on it
story/setting:
generic swords and sorcery setting with horror elements instead of fantasy
futuristic, modern, post/apocalyptic, or FF10 (Idunno how to describe that setting) world with an dramatic plot similar to FFT in terms of epicness
lighthearted tone (and probably comic relief) at least occasionally so it doesn't feel too serious or potentially depressing
edit:
speaking of prinny, it's getting a sequel (with a "baby" difficulty)
I coulda sworn it was already released a while ago
« Last Edit: October 20, 2010, 04:15:05 AM by insertnamehere » Logged

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badsanta
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« Reply #14 on: October 20, 2010, 12:53:03 AM »

FF10 (Idunno how to describe that setting) world

FF10 is one of those settings set long after the apocalypse has occurred, and they come in various flavors. (FYI, I' m talking settings in general, not just RPG's--heck, not even just videogames.) Sometimes, the world has manged to somewhat rebuild. Other times, it's just as bad as before, if not worse. And other times, an entirely different civilization has arisen, like in FFX.

So, yeah, I'm not sure what to call it, but while the setting isn't seen often, it's been in other places somewhat.
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