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Willybood

What don't you like about RPGs?

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Willybood    122
Hey peoples Recently I just finished a very rough design document for a game I want to try and put together as an homebrow project after my uni course ends. Without going into too much detail, it's basically an RPG for people who don't like RPGs, consisting of an accessable plot, fast paced fight engine, and overall simple interface. With this in mind, what features should I consider? If you were making an RPG for RPG haters, what would you have? Thanks for your help

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Captain P    1092
That depends on what RPG-aspects those RPG-haters actually hate. :)

Personally, I don't mind a few upgradeable things here and there, and I'm fine with buying items. I don't like the fantasy theme that many RPG's go with though, and I don't like the horrible combat system that so many RPG's go with either. Oh, and when it smells like everything has been 'questified', I'm gone. Silly things like finding some necklace for a little girl or doing someone elses job aren't what I call fun. Neither do I like experience statistics, or numeric statistics in general: just use distinct items with different functions, rather than a +1, +2, +3, etc. version of everything. I don't like number pushing games, that basically reward time investment rather than skill.

So my anti-RPG RPG would probably look like an adventure or shooter, with a relatively small range of more or less distinct items that can be found or bought. Upgradeable weaponry and armament perhaps, and it'd be set in a nowadays or futuristic theme. I'm not sure if I would take a linear story approach, or try something less restricting. Probably linear, because I like solid storylines, and if you're not writing it out, everyone will form their own personal storylines - which can be fine, but personally I find such 'stories' much less interesting. I like reading a book much more than writing one after all. ;)

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Roots    1625
Personally, I would consider Zelda an anti-RPG RPG. You find and to a limited extent buy items, the only "numbers" factored in are the number of hearts that Link has (and lets face it, nearly every game needs some numeric health indicator). Battles are won by skill, and are fought on the map without any transitions needed. Plus to top it all off, Zelda is one hell of a fun game. [grin]

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Trapper Zoid    1370
It does depend on exactly what elements of the RPG you wish to remove for your RPG haters; my feeling though is that you'll end up working in a different game genre but possibly with a slight "RPG" feel.

Zelda is a good example; I've seen people classify this as an RPG for some reason, but I think of it more as belonging to a genre I call "action-adventure" (or even "Zelda style games" since it defines the template). As Roots described games of this type involves some action/arcade skill for combat, and "level ups" are delivered in the form of health upgrades and increases in the protagonist's capabilities usually through equipment upgrades (these extra abilities also usually act as a method for locking away content until the player is ready). Metroidvania style games also fall into this category, as do other games such as the Little Big Adventures and Beyond Good and Evil.

The action/adventure sounds like it fits the description of features you've given; accessable plot, simple interface and action oriented.

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Telastyn    3777
Quote:

Without going into too much detail, it's basically an RPG for people who don't like RPGs, consisting of an accessable plot, fast paced fight engine, and overall simple interface.


Or... not really an RPG at all!

Not that there's anything wrong with that, but it's important to remember that things that make fighting or action or adventure games good is not necessarily the same things that people don't like about RPGs.

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Willybood    122
Quote:
Original post by Captain P
That depends on what RPG-aspects those RPG-haters actually hate. :)

Personally, I don't mind a few upgradeable things here and there, and I'm fine with buying items. I don't like the fantasy theme that many RPG's go with though, and I don't like the horrible combat system that so many RPG's go with either. Oh, and when it smells like everything has been 'questified', I'm gone. Silly things like finding some necklace for a little girl or doing someone elses job aren't what I call fun. Neither do I like experience statistics, or numeric statistics in general: just use distinct items with different functions, rather than a +1, +2, +3, etc. version of everything. I don't like number pushing games, that basically reward time investment rather than skill.

So my anti-RPG RPG would probably look like an adventure or shooter, with a relatively small range of more or less distinct items that can be found or bought. Upgradeable weaponry and armament perhaps, and it'd be set in a nowadays or futuristic theme. I'm not sure if I would take a linear story approach, or try something less restricting. Probably linear, because I like solid storylines, and if you're not writing it out, everyone will form their own personal storylines - which can be fine, but personally I find such 'stories' much less interesting. I like reading a book much more than writing one after all. ;)


Thats pretty much what I think, I'm sick of fantasy realms, sick of having to memorise which element beats what, and I'm sick of overcomplicated leveling up systems. And since no one else is making that game, I will. Looking at it, it probably is more of an adventure game then anything else.

Without going into too much detail over what I want to do, I'm worried trimming it to the bone will take away too much depth. For instance instead of levelling up, im planning on them just being given items which give them special moves in combat, using a fixed party etc.

A couple of people have said that it isn't wouldn't be an RPG. I think the plan I've got now is just about one, the same way a Chiuaua is a dog. It's just not what you'd expect one to be.

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Nytehauq    328
If it bears more than a passing similarity to Progress Quest, it's out in my book.

If removing the "progression" in the game made it unplayable due to boredom, or if an online title would be boring if played single player, I don't like it. Progress is an enhancement of game play, not an end in itself. Most people and players learn this eventually in life. Unfortunately, progress still seems to be the base metric of RPG's.

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sunandshadow    7426
Lol what I hate about RPGs are when they don't have good deep non-cliche stories and character development, and when they are just fighting over and over and over again.

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Programmer16    2321
Quote:
Original post by sunandshadow
Lol what I hate about RPGs are when they don't have good deep non-cliche stories and character development, and when they are just fighting over and over and over again.


The fighting over and over and over again is actually what I like about most RPGs.

@OP: Make the game how you want to make it. You can't please everybody; there are going to be people who like parts that others don't.

Btw, RPG haters hate RPGs for a reason. They're not going to want to play one. If you want to make an RPG, make it for the ones that LIKE RPGs.

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pinacolada    834
I just hate that almost all of them are so incredibly long. Is there anything in the definition of an RPG that requires them all to be 100+ hour long opuses? It's not even the repetative combat that bugs me; if someone made a 100 hour long game that had good gameplay the whole time (and I've played a couple like that), I would probably still dread playing something so long.

So if we could get more *short* RPGs, that would be great. And when I say short I mean like 1 or 2 hours max. Movies and TV shows aren't any longer than that, and they are frequently able to deliver a solid story with memorable characters.

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Programmer16    2321
Quote:
Original post by pinacolada
So if we could get more *short* RPGs, that would be great. And when I say short I mean like 1 or 2 hours max. Movies and TV shows aren't any longer than that, and they are frequently able to deliver a solid story with memorable characters.


Well, first off movies and TV shows don't have to incorporate any form of interactivity. Sure you could make a one or two hour RPG, but it'd only have one or two quests.

Next you take into the fact that the interactivity only goes as fast as the player. You might be able to finish a quest in 5 minutes, but it might take me 20. So, a one or two hour game for you could still turn into a four or five hour game for me. Or worse, a one or two hour game for me would equate to like a fifteen minute game for you.

Another problem is that most RPG players (that I know, have talked to, or have heard of) play RPGs for the deep storyline and such. So, making a short one would be aiming for the minority and thus would be a waste of time and effort.

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erlend_sh    273
As soon as I read the title of your post, I thought about a friend of mine who hates pretty much all RPGs. He likes teamplay, he likes close combat and even the ocasional spell (if it's really easy to use and aim...) but he hates character customization and interacting with other characters and so forth. All he wants to do is beat things up, gain good level and items (with no strategical choices necessary during this process) so that he can dominate on the battlefield without really doing much ^^

Now making a game out of that would probably turn out bloody boring, but you should be able to get something out of it.., I hope :)

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Farraj    152
Quote:
Original post by Sadr
He likes teamplay, he likes close combat and even the ocasional spell (if it's really easy to use and aim...) but he hates character customization and interacting with other characters and so forth. All he wants to do is beat things up, gain good level and items (with no strategical choices necessary during this process) so that he can dominate on the battlefield without really doing much ^^


Sounds like a best seller to me. I like your friend, he's a very smart person :P

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Cygon    1219
1. Make it so that anyone who's trying to build a close combat fighter (like your typical barbarian or berserker) has to invest huge amounts of skill points into dexterity and will otherwise just miss the enemy with every blow.

It's highly frustrating standing right in front of a huge enemy, swinging your sword right through it and only being able to score a hit by pure luck. Don't even think of letting the enemy block instead, or even letting damage come through the block if the player is just strong enough!

2. Have enemies increase their levels to match the player's. Better yet, increase the levels of them to always be twice that of the player.

No matter how hard and long the player trains, he'll just make things harder on himself. Just imagine to angered look when he notices that he has trained for two hours only to increase the difficulty of the boss monster he had been stuck at!

-Markus-

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Kaze    948
Quote:
Original post by Willybood
With this in mind, what features should I consider? If you were making an RPG for RPG haters, what would you have?


-reduce amount of grinding

-not having to juggle 5,000 items that are the same except for one numeric value
(less equipment and especially less swords that are identical except sword B does 0.5% more damage than sword A)

-in character build don't give more option than correct answers, stop punishing the player for failing to understand the games completely nonsensical mass of stats and skills. if you're given a choice it should actually be a choice and not a trivia of what skills are actually useful and what ability point you need to use those useful skills.


(actually i like rpgs and id still like to see all of these)

EDIT:
you know, the one thing i do really hate about rpg's more than anything else is there tendency, more than any other genre, to build on their predecessors cliches, failings and nonsensicalness than good points

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Nytegard    839
For RPGs, I consider Betrayal At Krondor and Ultima 7 (both parts) to be the pinnacle.

What I don't like:

A) Grinding. You mean I have to fight 3000 rats before I can fight 3000 sewer rats? And then I can fight 3000 slimes? Grinding is just an excuse to call a 5 hour game a 100+ hour game. Most likely I'll give up before I hit the halfway mark out of sheer boredom. $50 on a 3 hour adrenaline rush, blood pumping game to me is more valuable than $50 on a 100 hour bore fest.

B) Stats. I know this is a core part of the game, but I hate 'em. Well, at least when they're visable to the user. It's one thing to know that your character can benchpress 200, it's another thing that your character has a 95 strength. Allowing people to see stats creates the people who reroll their character 800x so they can get that 18 in str. And if they continuously reroll to get the maximum, what's the whole point of randomizing stats to begin with? They're not playing an RPG, they're playing Math: The Game. Give maybe a graphical indication, but be somewhat obscure about it.

C) Leveling. I have a hard enough time carrying a dagger. I swat a fly. Ding! Wow, now I can carry a Masumune, and am a master at it! I honestly prefer skill based leveling over character based leveling. If you read, you become smarter. If you fight, you become stronger. If you run, you become faster. And it gives more opportunities to increase your character. Quests don't necessarily have to be completed to gain the experience, unlike most RPGs. If you have to kill 30 rats, you'll still gain strength, regardless if you kill them all or not. And you can have different styles of quests.

D) Absurdity. My fav. quest from Daggerfall is The Ruins Of An Abandoned Farmhouse. "Excuse me sir. I seem to have dropped my wedding ring when escaping from monsters from my old farm.", only to find out the farm house is 7 miles deep. I remember reading the Complete Guide to Ultima awhile ago, where Lord British mentioned how in Ultima 6 or so, he wanted to make it so monsters would naturally carry what they should carry. That is, if you kill a bear, you might get a pelt, but you won't get 30 gold that it was carrying in its paws. And also, when you kill the super rich enemy in all super armour, all you get is 110 gold? He's dead! Why can't I pawn off his mythical platemail of invincibility +2? Or the shop owners who still charge you an arm and a leg, even though you're the one single handidly saving the world. Or how you start off with no money. If you're the son or daughter of a king, and have them start off with nothing, PLEASE, at least give them a reason why they have nothing. The absurdity topic alone could go on for pages.

E) Linearity. I agree, some probably has to exist. But not like in Final Fantasy where you can't enter the bar until night, and night won't happen until you retrieve the treasure from the dungeon. There are ways to do it correctly, and ways not too. Final Fantasy is an example of what not to do. Sorry, but if a person is just standing in the door to an area I need to go to, I'll push him out of the way irl. Maybe I might have to deal with some consequences, but that's my choice. Lack of knowledge is a better way imho. It brings up keywords, and granted, they have issues, but if you're character (you're character, not you) doesn't know about Foo, they can't ask the character in Town WayToAdvancedForMe to find out the solution to the riddle to open up the dungeon is Bar. Also in the area of linearity is why towns will always go up in price, and all the monsters outside of the town will all be a specific level. Dangerous battles which are over my head should exist from the start. I should have to learn that I can't win every battle, and that running is sometimes a solution.

Just the previous issues bug me a bit. While I agree that other areas such as a medieval setting might become a bit repetitve, it's not too big of a deal, if the game was done right.

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Derakon    456
I don't like combat systems that distill melee down into an "Attack" command. I'm less concerned about magic being distilled into a "Cast Spell" command, since magic is, well, magic, and thus I don't know how it works. But having melee be just pressing a button to deal X damage to the enemy bothers me. Physical combat should be more detailed, and require skill from the player. Landing hits should not be a matter of your dexterity stat. Positioning should be important. The player should be able to actively guard against attacks. All of this should be done in real time.

A few games, largely in the Tales series (e.g. Tales of Phantasia, Tales of Symphonia) have done some work in realtime combat, and they're a definite improvement over most games I've seen. I'd still prefer something even more detailed, though; there's relatively little skill involved in actually hitting things, and motion is typically constrained to 2D.

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pinacolada    834
Quote:
Original post by Programmer16
Another problem is that most RPG players (that I know, have talked to, or have heard of) play RPGs for the deep storyline and such. So, making a short one would be aiming for the minority and thus would be a waste of time and effort.


Well, if the market for "long RPGs" is overcrowded (I think it is), then appealing to a minority can be a smart marketing move.

And anyway, the thread topic was "If you were making an RPG for RPG haters...", so concerns about what the majority wants seem a bit misplaced :)

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