Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

MatrixCubed

Inventories -- how do you like to manage?

Recommended Posts

A few questions regarding games that involve (not-so?) heavy inventory management (mostly including the venerable RPG): 1) Do you like games that feature only items that have some major significance in the game, or that have many different useless items that, to some, offer more depth? 2) How do you prefer to manage your inventories? Preselected tile grids or individual drag''n''drop areas that let you place anything you want, anywhere in containers? 3) What about a little realism (down in the back!) concerning items that are too large for containers that would normally be limited to smaller items. (Yes, that means no more extra halberds and platemail suits in your backpack). 4) Do you view extra items you find in games as merchant-fodder (extra items are for selling, and nothing else), or would you view each item as more a part of the world, offering a little more in the way of world-depth (hey, I''ll grab that in case it has some use later on)? Your comments are welcome; assume I''m doing a little research in terms of game and interface realism. MatrixCubed

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
quote:
Original post by MatrixCubed

A few questions regarding games that involve (not-so?) heavy inventory management (mostly including the venerable RPG):

1) Do you like games that feature only items that have some major significance in the game, or that have many different useless items that, to some, offer more depth?


A few useless items for depth is good IMO.

quote:

2) How do you prefer to manage your inventories? Preselected tile grids or individual drag''n''drop areas that let you place anything you want, anywhere in containers?


I think I like the grids better. The bags like in UO get too messy.

quote:

3) What about a little realism (down in the back!) concerning items that are too large for containers that would normally be limited to smaller items. (Yes, that means no more extra halberds and platemail suits in your backpack).


yeah, I think that it would be interesting if only things that were large enough to fit in containers were able to be put in there. It may be interesting if you had to have an actual scabbord (sp) for your sword, etc...



"All you touch and all you see is all your life will ever be --Pink Floyd
Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur.
Need help? Well, go FAQ yourself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
quote:
Original post by MatrixCubed

1) Do you like games that feature only items that have some major significance in the game, or that have many different useless items that, to some, offer more depth?



I''m with Naz, a few chotkes and trinkets are okay, but not too many. If you have puzzles, I can see this as being a problem, though, because folks may be prone to leaving behind needed puzzle items because they''ve filled up with junk.


quote:

2) How do you prefer to manage your inventories? Preselected tile grids or individual drag''n''drop areas that let you place anything you want, anywhere in containers?



I myself like Fallout''s system with a list and bags. I want to get to things quickly, and don''t really need art wasted on depiction of stuff.

quote:

3) What about a little realism (down in the back!) concerning items that are too large for containers that would normally be limited to smaller items. (Yes, that means no more extra halberds and platemail suits in your backpack).



I like this, and I''d like to see mass limits that affect your character. It feels better not to be able to run around at 35mph carrying the equivalent of Fort Knox.

But if you fix this, you''ll have to address another couple of issues: The first is that carrying lots of stuff may inspire a kind of pinball high score mentality, and that''s why it''s used. Having lots of stuff (ask any Yuppie) somehow FEELS better, like having a pinball score of 1,000,000,000 instead of 100.

Another, bigger thing: Item effectiveness. I wouldn''t want to play in a system where I could carry only a few types of armor, but needed many. It''s no fair if I need a flak vest, powersuit, and laser reflect but can only carry one into battle. In fact, it''s tedious, because since I want to win I''ll have to march back to base to get them EACH time!!!!!

quote:

4) Do you view extra items you find in games as merchant-fodder (extra items are for selling, and nothing else), or would you view each item as more a part of the world, offering a little more in the way of world-depth (hey, I''ll grab that in case it has some use later on)?



Either, but only when you give me reason to. In an economic game like Diablo, Gillian isn''t going to swoon and love me more if I''m carrying brandishing a goblin scalp around town. Little kids aren''t going to gather around and Griswold isn''t going to cheer me on. So I''d just sell it.

If you don''t build any reason to have these extras, then yes, they''re either merchant fodder or annoyances that take up my precious inventory.



--------------------
Just waiting for the mothership...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Anonymous Poster
Good questions. I think a lot depends on the game as a whole.

Inventory items are important for
1) character upgrades
2) consumables
3) keys

So how important are these to your player interactions? Where does the character get better equipment and how hard/expensive is it to get?

Likewise, how oftten is the player going to need the consumables? How many is the character expected to lug around in order to effectively play the game?

How often is the player going to need to dig through the inventory compared with the inventory size? How long is the player expected to carry an object around?

The need for and use of inventory is really tied directly into the rest of the game, so it''s hard to separate it out as a different component.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Well, the game I am planning is based on pre-Roman times (in fact, around Old Testament-era), so there really are no huge technological advancements as far as armor and weaponry are concerned. My main beef with other such games is that the entire point of the game is to level, gain 100% in 3L33+ skillz, and basically max one''s character out. I''m trying to come up with something that is more civilized and less "Fantasy Quake". I want to present interesting roles to players, and offer a sort of level of realism and believability that really lacks in today''s games (and that many people cry foul on because it''s never been done before).

So many items will be useful in the game, many will be required for day-to-day operations, and even more will be used for what I''ve termed a "historical-fictional" mishmash of a magic system.

Hopefully my ideas will come out comprehensible and (remotely) acceptable.

MatrixCubed

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
quote:
Original post by MatrixCubed

Well, the game I am planning is based on pre-Roman times (in fact, around Old Testament-era)




*sigh*... non medieval... no elves... no kobolds...

Somebody slap me, I must be dreaming... :D


--------------------
Just waiting for the mothership...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Anonymous Poster
Based on your description, I would avoid the paper doll route of the current crop of RPGs. You don''t plan to have muych in character upgrades, instead focusing on consumables and keys.

So, what I would do (an opinion) is almost eliminate the traditional ''inventory'' from your game. Stack the consumables (magic ingredients) and only have them show back up in the interface when it''s appropriate (casting or designing spells, for ex).

Similarly, the items that allow a new action (keys, day-to-day tools) should provide extra options on the player interface / menu. Ex: if you have a clay pot then you can fill it with water. A player probably won''t need more than one clay pot at a time. When the player approaches a source of water, he''s now got another action icon available (use pot) or another menu selection. Don;t force him to search through a potentially huge list of items that do nothing associated with the water just to get to the clay pot.

In general, your keys might only show up as an interface and on any buy/sell screens.

If you''ve agreed with this so far, then the only conclusion I can reach is that traditional inventories wouldn''t be needed for your game.

The only exception I can see is if you want to enforce some time limits on the player and his ability to access a particular piece of inventory.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites