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Oldschool retro RPG - feedback and ideas needed


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#1 Acharis   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2997

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 04:44 PM

I have been making an oldschool retro RPG (western, not jRPG) and now I have a very early alpha available. I need some feedback plus some ideas/suggestions for certain things (these are listed in the second post).


What the game is about:
- retro, oldschool, classic RPG, for those who liked the PC/Amiga games from the late DOS era (90s)
- it is NOT a remake, it's a fully original game, just stylized like the old games
- first person perspective, 90 degree rotation
- simple and pure fun, you go around slaying monsters and having various quests and adventures
- non liner, not storyline driven (the main storyline is very simple), the game allows you very high freedom in terms of where to go (few locked locations, most are "if you can survive the monsters there, you can go there immediatelly")
- the world is relatively small but rich (no huge empty areas); random, completely unrelated to the main storyline NPCs inhabit wilderness


Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image


DOWNLOAD:
http://silverlemur.com/work/URRPG/UnnamedRetroRPG-Test.zip (Windows only for now, Mac later)
(early alpha, unplayable, many things do not work yet, but you can get the feel of it from this)

Edited by Acharis, 17 December 2012 - 03:33 AM.

Europe1300.eu - Historical Realistic Medieval Sim (BETA)


Sponsor:

#2 Acharis   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2997

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 04:45 PM

In addition to usual feedback (please, don't focus on things not working or about bugs too much, I probably know about most of them) I have several things yet to design, that's I would like to get the most suggestions about (since we are on a Game Design forum so most of us here is proficient on this part :)


What kind of suggestions I need the most:
- I'm still to decide on how attributes work, resistances, how it affects combat and what happens upon level up
- The whole inventory/item system is not designed yet
- How spells are acquired?

Note that these are not tricky nor hard questions at all. Everyone know how these can work. The whole trick is to KEEP IT SIMPLE. As simple as possible (still, within the RPG genre which is not the simpliest one :)). Please, please, please, constantly remember about my development time. I'm doing the game mostly alone and I need it fully finished in 3 months at most in the worst case scenario.


Edited by Acharis, 03 December 2012 - 04:56 PM.

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#3 smr   Members   -  Reputation: 1552

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 04:49 PM

Looks great!

#4 NoAdmiral   Members   -  Reputation: 503

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 05:09 PM

Someone on here recently mentioned that "beholder" is trademarked by Wizards of the Coast (a few other monster names too), so you might want to avoid using that name.

Inspiration from my tea:

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#5 Khaiy   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1342

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 05:14 PM

That looks awesome! What's happening to the party's faces in the pic with the Beholder?

#6 Acharis   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2997

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 05:32 PM

Someone on here recently mentioned that "beholder" is trademarked by Wizards of the Coast (a few other monster names too), so you might want to avoid using that name.

Thanks. I guess I will change the name of the game...

That looks awesome! What's happening to the party's faces in the pic with the Beholder?

It's damage (from fire).

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#7 K_J_M   Members   -  Reputation: 400

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 11:05 PM

Hi Acharis.

I downloaded your game and gave it a whirl.

And i really like this. Posted Image

Everything ran smoothly and was really easy to pick up and play without instructions.

The only thing i felt was lacking was the sound effects and possibly some music to help generate some more atmosphere.

I contemplated writing something similar a while ago, more along the lines of the 'Ishar' games but instead decided against the step movement idea.

But it works really well in your game.

I can see this working really well on mobile devices.

Might be worth considering porting it to mobiles when you've finished the PC version.

The graphics have a real old school charm about them.

Keep up the good work.

KJM

Edited by K_J_M, 03 December 2012 - 11:07 PM.


#8 WildField   Members   -  Reputation: 296

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 05:36 AM

What kind of suggestions I need the most:
- I'm still to decide on how attributes work, resistances, how it affects combat and what happens upon level up
- The whole inventory/item system is not designed yet
- How spells are acquired?


I think you have to start with the question why those elements should be in the game at all. "Because other games had them" is not good enough answer. Once you answer that question, it will be clear enough how to implement them.

#9 Osidlus   Members   -  Reputation: 636

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 12:54 PM

ummmm...

I think as the game is not driven by the story-line, and lore done by one creator is limited too, the core of an entertainment should lie in the possibilities for tweaking the characters. I think this should match with the target group for the retro game well. IMHO it doesnt have to be balanced perfectly, I find it interesting to search these gaps to acquire some advantage :-).

Resistances: Honestly I am not a friend of this concept (% of resistances). Edit:{to be more specific about % resistance- it worked good in hack'n'slash games I know and in fantasy stragies as well as it is "easy to read" and map the progress. But to me % resistances represents magic the way that I don't like- just another damage throwing class.}

The other approach could come from breaking down the casting into mana channeling, formation of the spell and targeting the spell. And those "resistant" creatures could be kind of inert and thus more difficult to target (and the caster can learn to target them based on the encounters he experienced them). Or magically active creatures can compete with characters about mana when channeling or "attack" the spell when it is formed.

Edited by Osidlus, 06 December 2012 - 04:30 AM.


#10 Acharis   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2997

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 05:19 AM

I think you have to start with the question why those elements should be in the game at all. "Because other games had them" is not good enough answer. Once you answer that question, it will be clear enough how to implement them.

Reasons:
- mood (AKA: "because other games had them" Posted Image), I think games should not be all about logic only, about how it fits into mechanics only, it should also have things that are "fun" or because we are used to them and we want to see them again. That reason should not be discarded.
- progress, probably the most important one, the player needs and wants to feel some progress, getting stronger, more powerful. Attributes are a nice tool for this.
- rewards from exploration (AKA "The potion of fire resistance"), similar to progress, but more like a sort of treasure you find.
- in case of spells, more tactical options during combat (what kind of spell to select against whom and when and if), also some basic resource management (MP conservation)

the core of an entertainment should lie in the possibilities for tweaking the characters.

No... I wanted to focus it on exploration. You can go where you want when you want, explore dungeons and ancient ruins, find many NPCs (not in cities but in wilderness) with tiny quests to give. This would mean it's quite unbalanced in terms of difficulty level (you can go from the very beginning to areas where you have no chances of surviving at all if you choose so), also I need the character development options as rewards for exploration (you have these crystals in dungeons, when you find one it disappears and you get a bonus to an attribute (you select which character get's it)). I simply can't/shouldn't make it "get X attribute points to distribute after level up" for this kind of game...

As for resistances I thought of numeric 1-X random damage reduction. Let's say you have 260 fire resistance, it means it reduces damage from fire by a random number between 1 and 260. This would prevent making characters immune to fire after some point.

Generally, I was thinking of making level up as a source of HP & MP (plus some base damage bonus maybe) while attributes and resistances would be rewards from exploring the world (which means your attributes could be quite uncolerated to level, unlike in majority of RPGs).

Edited by Acharis, 06 December 2012 - 05:22 AM.

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#11 Osidlus   Members   -  Reputation: 636

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 12:22 PM

Thank you for the explanation. I think the best choices you can make is to honestly ask yourself what would you love to play. And for those sources for various boosts of the characters just to ask what are the benefits and what do you expect from such a solution - does it have some interaction with gameplay, storyline, forces the player to play a certain way (your system looks like that it forces to do an exploration as the crystals are found through it)?

I also think that great resource for "what to do with numbers" when designing a game system are pen a paper rpgs. (D20, GURPS, Shadowrun...). I believe it would not be a wasted time to try some, if not the game system it self then tons of little details and assets creating the atmosphere and immersion could be inspiring.

Maybe something for the melee game system as KISS should be applied:
apart from damage for the weapons you might have cogency or weight property on it (the higher quality weapons would have higher ratio of damage/weight)
this weight property could be compared with the wielders strenght and for example:

strenght < 0.5*weight = weapon cannot be used

0.5*weight<strenght<1*weight = weapon can be used with penalty equals missing strenght to weight into attack rating (attack rating if you can hit and damage what is the impact)

1*weight<strenght<1.25*weight = weapon can be used with no modificators

1.25*weight<strenght<1.5*weight =weapon can be used, with bonuses to atack rating of 0.33*(strenght-(1.25*weight))

1.5*weight<strenght<2*weight = weapon can be used, with bonuses to atack rating of 0.33*(.25*weight) plus 0.5*(strenght-(1.5weight))

etc.

Goal is to motivate player to make his choice of weapon for a given foe. For those who are swift and quick on their feets players might want lighter weapon to improve their chance to hit. Strenght also can be classically involved in rising damage done like WeaponDmg + Strenght/X = damage done.



Good luckPosted Image

Edited by Osidlus, 08 December 2012 - 01:10 PM.


#12 Acharis   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2997

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 04:14 PM

Thank you for the explanation. I think the best choices you can make is to honestly ask yourself what would you love to play. And for those sources for various boosts of the characters just to ask what are the benefits and what do you expect from such a solution - does it have some interaction with gameplay, storyline, forces the player to play a certain way (your system looks like that it forces to do an exploration as the crystals are found through it)?

I'm making the RPG in the style I would like to play :) And yes, I fully agree it's usually the best choice to make a game you also like to play.

I would not call it "forcing exploration". Because you always explore locations in RPGs most of the time. That's the main activity... OK, maybe put it this way, in other RPGs there is also a lot of juggling of inventory, sorting equipment, selling stuff, reading thousand lines of text and doing thousands boring side quests in the style of "help me find my lost cat". In the one I make the proportions will be more in the favour of the exporation part. You go around, kill monsters, have some *SHORT* conversation with NPCs, ocassionally buy something from a shop (but no going around selling useless loot most of the time). It's not that it would force exploration, it's that the other parts of the game would not be that "disturbing". Anyway, I think the current demo gives the mood I aim for. There is a small city with basic services (temple, trainer), some NPCs/encounters which always have maximum 1 screen of text and a lot of various (not too big) dungeons to explore.

As for checking various RPG systems I'm sort of "seen it all" :) I don't really need the list of possible options but a decision which exactly solution/combination of solutions to choose in order to make the kind of game I described (simple, light, fun, exploration focused).

The part I struggle the most at the moment is the crystals (things that let boost permanently your stats) in dungeons. I want to forge out the details. Like, is it for attributes only? How about resistances, should it be given out by crystals or by something else? How about spells, should you be finding some bookshelves in dungoens that let you learn spells or make a more standard guild system where you can buy these?

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#13 ShiftyCake   Members   -  Reputation: 471

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 03:14 AM

"Graphix sux" is what you will hear a lot from people, just in more colorful words and longer sentences.

Now, I'm not saying you need graphics worthy of an official game, I'm saying your graphics right now are in the term of "rough". You can improve the graphics a bit, but focus more on smoothing it out. Just take a look at your screen shot, and you will realize exactly what I mean. Those pictures would look a million times better smooth, and it would give the players a "fake" feel of good graphics (most won't even realize the graphics are that bad).


The only thing i felt was lacking was the sound effects and possibly some music to help generate some more atmosphere.


This person is correct, your music is lacking. It is something that all games require to be implemented into, I suggest going and finding some free rpg soundtracks for use, or if you have a friend that does music then get him to do some.
---
All of this is, of course, things you should be considering in your beta version. Right now your in alpha, so I can't really force this stuff down your throat and tell you to do it now. But it must happen some time in the foreseeable future. You said you were working alone? Why, I'm sure their are many people who would be willing to do this little game with you. At least try and get some help.

If, at any point, what I post is hard to understand, tell me. I am bad at projecting my thoughts into real words, so I appreciate the knowledge that I need to edit my post.

 

I am not a professional writer, nor a professional game designer. Please, understand that everything you read is simply an opinion of mind and should not, at any point in time, be taken as a credible answer unless validated by others.

 

I do take brief bouts of disappearance so don't worry if I either don't reply to you or miss certain things. I am quite a lazy fellow.


#14 Acharis   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2997

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 02:03 PM

"Graphix sux" is what you will hear a lot from people, just in more colorful words and longer sentences.

Now, I'm not saying you need graphics worthy of an official game, I'm saying your graphics right now are in the term of "rough". You can improve the graphics a bit, but focus more on smoothing it out. Just take a look at your screen shot, and you will realize exactly what I mean. Those pictures would look a million times better smooth, and it would give the players a "fake" feel of good graphics (most won't even realize the graphics are that bad).

To be precise, which exactly should be improved?
- are you talking about the style (big pixels) or about the execution (how these pixels are arranged together)?
- you mean the 3D view (left side) or interface (layout, portraits, menu on the right, movement buttons), or maybe all of them?
- what you mean by smooth?

All of this is, of course, things you should be considering in your beta version. Right now your in alpha, so I can't really force this stuff down your throat and tell you to do it now. But it must happen some time in the foreseeable future. You said you were working alone? Why, I'm sure their are many people who would be willing to do this little game with you. At least try and get some help.

Maybe indeed I should do that...

Edited by Acharis, 11 December 2012 - 02:04 PM.

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#15 dakota.potts   Members   -  Reputation: 455

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 01:35 AM

PM coming your way regarding music and sound

#16 Acharis   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2997

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 03:38 AM

OK, I renamed it to "Moonstone Legends". I'm quite sure that one is not trademarked (yet) :)

PM coming your way regarding music and sound

Got it. Thanks.

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