Over a year ago, I had started 'weekly discussions' regarding the design flaws of the (j)RPG games, in an attempt to find creative ways to solve them. I believe there was much value to these discussions and have recently come up with a few more topics I think could be covered.
Given that the user base has also changed around here, I think it could bring quite a few new ideas as well.
Feel free to discuss either:
- The Problem (helping identify the root cause of why this isn't fun).
- The Solutions (either games you know that have found a workaround).
- Or any (theoretical) idea you might have.
*Please make sure that you add sufficient explanation/arguments to your logic as I take this intellectual exercise seriously and believe others will too.
This week's topic: The Schism between exploration and combat.
Unlike most other game genre, (j)RPGs are played using at least 2, fundamentally different input/interface logic:
- Exploration: an organic portion of the game where input is used to move the characters: the input commands the protagonist directly (what direction to move, etc.)
- Combat: an inorganic portion of the game where UI takes precedence. Input is adapted to control the UI, which indirectly sets orders for characters to perform.
I always felt that this duality should be reconciled somehow.
There's been many attempts (such as the "Tales Of" (X) series), but none trully capture the essence of a true jRPG. Often, what is lost in these adaptation is having full control over characters and their elaborate skillsets.
The closest successful transitions I've seen were made in Tactics-games (FF Tactics, Bahamut Lagoon, etc), but the schism is still present, and even underlined.
Though the input is used to command each character individually, all the while retaining the depth of character abilities, battles take much longer, and feel even more distant from the exploration 'phase'. There's a clear difference in pacing, and it can't quite live up as a (j)RPG per se (although Bahamut Lagoon played that with that illusion very well).
Do you have any example of games that minimize this schism? Do you have an idea of your own on how to implement this?
Edited by Orymus3, 19 November 2013 - 10:02 PM.