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Member Since 09 Jul 2012
Offline Last Active Sep 28 2012 11:59 AM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Between helplessness and believability.

14 September 2012 - 02:59 AM

XD I loved Ico, but it's a totally different genre. Thanks for the detailed response though!

I found that weapon conservation in Silent Hill 3 really added to the tension too, what with the constant sense of "God there's so many damn hell hounds here! If I could kill just one--! But wait, I might need that ammo later...unless they maul me before I can get any further. Crap..." I'd considered using a clean interface for my game, so if I add weapon durability without a convenient meter to measure it by, would that have the same effect? That way, you can still tell that your trusty kitchen knife is about to fail you, but it's all you've got so you hang onto it and try to get through with as few fights as possible, because you can't really be 100% certain when it's going to snap.

Good call with the permanence thing though -- I hadn't thought about that. It would really highlight another theme of the game, where the only thing you do get to feel familiar toward is a bird carcass you're carrying around in your pocket. It makes so much sense: if I keep everything else in a constant state of flux, then that would make the dead bird even more of an emotional anchor for the player, huh?

As far as alien enemies, the first monsters I've thought of are clothes draped in the form of a person. They're hollow, but if you damage them then they bleed profusely. If they spot you, they shriek furiously and run hell-for-leather toward you, beating you 100 times a minute while ranting incoherently--
and then suddenly stop when you're within an inch of your life. They forget you exist, fall quiet, and stroll around listlessly. Left with your wounds, you have to hobble away.

In Topic: Unique vs Challenging

25 August 2012 - 12:18 AM

At the moment, I prefer uniqueness, just 'cause so many of the genres we're familiar with are kinda generic now. The three-member party RPG is so standard that half the time you don't even need to pay attention to the tutorial, and ditto the shooter, the hack-n-slash down to button layout. Games used to take more risks to emphasize their theme; Vagrant Story went for a tactical approach targeting different limbs that had different resistances to different damage types with weapons you could customize blade, hilt and handle, capped with timing-based attacks like Paper Mario and an adrenaline system to balance risk/reward. It was some crazy-deep stuff .-. And it suited the character -- a cool-headed sellsword from a group that prides themselves on tactical knowhow. Everything matched thematically, and while the convoluted crafting system and bizarre real-time-turn-based combat likely turned away thousands of players, the ones who stayed on for the ride got a consistent, literary experience. Difficulty was simply a bi-product.

In Topic: What makes RPGs good or bad?

17 August 2012 - 06:23 PM

Personally, what can make or break a game for me is how much I feel like my character fits their role. So many games say "Oh my god this dude is the best fighter ever, respect!" but his amazing skill is just spinning around until people fall over dead. The master swordsman archetype is so heavily ingrained in fiction that people feel they can skimp on showing what makes one, but that just makes the title -- and the character as a result -- empty. It's gotten to the point where fistfights end with one hit while you need to hit a dude with a sword 70 times to make him fall over, which is exactly opposite of how it works. Maybe that was interesting at one point when somebody used it perfectly in their story, but now it's the go-to cliche that leaves everything flat and unexplained.

The one saving grace of Legend of Legaia -- a game with an otherwise laughable plot -- was the combat system. Even though you were putting on the usual (incredibly well-designed) weapons and armor, your fight command was a series of brutal combos designed to flow together wonderfully, carrying impact and making you feel that you really were playing a feral child, a martial arts student, and a Buddhist monk. Similarly, Resonance of Fate's Hero Gauge-based battle system actually makes you feel like one of those important people that Storm Troopers can't draw bead on. It literally quantifies plot armor and lets you be an action hero while still rewarding tactical thinking.

Compare this to the tidal wave of games about a funny-haired kid with a sword most bodybuilders couldn't use, beating up giant robots. So many RPGs flop because there's just no personality, no attachment to your character, your role.

In Topic: [NotSoWeekly Discussion] on RPG Genre's flaws - Week 6 : "Safe Havens...

15 August 2012 - 03:18 PM

Hm, fair enough xD While part of me agrees with the 'one town' mindset, it has to be done just right. Skyward Sword (though not an RPG exactly) had one town too, and it was a boring, saccharine place floating above the 'designated questing areas.' They established all these staples of aerial civilization...and then made the entirety of that civilization one rock covered in 20 people. Lotta good that bird does the average citizen when the only place they'll fly to is the saloon that could've just as easily been built on the mainland.

Some MMOs lately have just one town too, that just functions as a mission hub. Vindictus and Spiral Knights are great games, but their single token town seems kind of boring. I'd just as soon set up camp in the wilderness and have to take turns standing watch xD So how did Diablo do the 'one town' thing right?

In Topic: Always moving in platform games

15 August 2012 - 05:49 AM

Gotta be careful with on-rails touchscreen games where you have to split swipes between yourself and the enemy. I tried out Lunar Knights a little while ago, and they have sections like Kingdom Hearts' gummy ships. The problem is that you can't dodge incoming bullets and retaliate at the same time, and sometimes the fat ass of your ship will block the target you mean to click on -- meaning that it's easier to shoot at a funky angle than to shoot somebody who's literally right in front of you >_>

Ideally I'd have some sort of jump button totally separate from the touch-to-fire system to make it kinda like a Canabalt with guns. If not, you'll have to very carefully balance your game to make sure the switch between offense and defense/evasion is practical. You don't want enemies who fill the screen with projectiles you have to dodge, then force you to shoot them to make them stop firing in the middle of their salvo. Because offense or defense will take a hit.