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Paarth

Will this new rpg work?

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I have developed a way that will make the frustrated ones cool down a little when playing RPG games.

This game is focused on having high stats and high magic in the first place. Meaning that there is no level up so players can easily defeat baddies. Also instead of learning magic gradually, the player can learn any sort of magic by reading any three magic books in the school library. But as the game progresses the player's health and magic decreases because of the story part of it. This way it becomes challenging because the lower the hp and magic as well as the stats will slightly be lowered to increase the difficulty.

In case you want to know the title of my project its called Enchanted Love. In the story all characters have feelings that they keep it as a secret which makes the story emotional.

The reason is that I feel the combat system is too cliche even for pokemon. And leveling up can be too frustrating and boring. So I want to avoid this so that players don't get frustrated and can involve more on solving puzzles and using any magic they want to face tougher monsters and bosses.

So how is it?

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Instead of leveling up, you delevel the cahracter. That doesn't sound rewarding at all. I don't feel compelled to advance a story that makes my character weaker, unless it is REALLY well written and justifies this odd decay in power in a way I can stomach

RPGs are so successful mainly due to the obviously visible character progression. You kill monsters, you level up, you are stronger -- the best way to show progress. In everyday life, you advance as well -- not in levels per se, but still you have visible progress. I guess you wouldn't appreciate starting your life as Bill Gates and then gradually "advancing" towards hobo status, huh?

Then again, it is all about story. A good one can make the player turn a blind eye to many flaws, such as taking away the most cherished and geared up character (jRPGs tend to do that on a fairly regular basis), taking stuff away (some action/FPS/RPG games do that) or having an erratic difficulty curve (thank you The Last Remnant, I have less hair now!).

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[quote name='Cap'n VG' timestamp='1318351033' post='4871495']And leveling up can be too frustrating and boring.[/quote]? Leveling up frustrating? I think 99.999% of players would disagree with you...
Maybe the process which leads to level up is frustrating, but the very level up moment is a joyful one.

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[color=#1C2837][size=2]? Leveling up frustrating? I think 99.999% of players would disagree with you...
Maybe the process which leads to level up is frustrating, but the very level up moment is a joyful one.[/size][/color]
[color=#1C2837][size=2]
[/size][/color]
[size="2"][color="#1c2837"]yes its joyful but just think. Would you waste your time leveling up to 95 to beat a very hard boss? Heck no you'd rather equip yourself which needs a lot of money.[/color][/size]
So what do you think about the concept? Even if it isn't great, its still something new unless the idea is already made up.

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I think that your idea has some merit - I'm not familiar with any games where the difficulty comes from a gradual deterioration of your character's strength. I think that is at least worth exploring and could certainly be interesting from a story point of view. There is plenty of room for a game which does things differently, especially if your main aim isn't the greatest commercial success.

True, you are inverting what is seen as a core element of RPGs, but this could just require pitching the genre of the game differently. It is not uncommon for the player to have control of a powerful character during a game's introduction and soon part ways, only to be reunited with them later on (FFX is one example). Usually this is intended to make the game's opening easier for the player or to give them a taste of the abilities and strength they will develop throughout the game, but it does at least set some precedent for the player losing power.

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[quote name='Cap'n VG' timestamp='1318419364' post='4871799']
[size="2"][color="#1c2837"]yes its joyful but just think. Would you waste your time leveling up to 95 to beat a very hard boss? Heck no you'd rather equip yourself which needs a lot of money.[/color][/size]
So what do you think about the concept? Even if it isn't great, its still something new unless the idea is already made up.
[/quote]

I sat my ass of on FFX, gathering equipment and leveling up just for the sake of it. Because there were always stronger monsters to beat, or simply because I felt I'd like to check out that skill at the end of the tree.

By taking away skills, power and whatnot, you don't give the player anything to look up to, except the obviously more dangerous enemies. Again, the story would need to blend with this concept REALLY WELL in order for a gamer, like me, not to feel hurt by progressing.

Indeed, this is a new concept that I haven't seen before (save for the uninteractive media of TV, but that is a totally different exerience).

If you feel it is a good idea, try it. I'm just not sure -- a sword is meant to be held by its handle. Holding it by the blade is a new idea, but not exactly a smart or practical one.

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As a long-time RPG fan, I am offended on the deepest levels by this idea. If you sold this game to me as an RPG, I would only play it for just exactly as long as it took me to figure out what kind of bastard trick you were playing on me. After that I would dust-bin it, and make a note of the developer so that I wouldn't accidentally buy one of their games again.

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Ok since you're concerned about the story part. I'll explain it briefly.

Once upon a time, there is a professor named Harvey Socar who raised 100 adopted children to prove to his love that he is worthy of being her husband. One day a man delivered a girl baby to him with a letter from his love to take care of her until her arrival. So as the days passed he named her lily Socar. One day when everyone went out on a picnic, they noticed an unusual house, and despite Harvey's warning, they all went inside except Lily who was on Harvey's side. Suddenly the house disappeared with all the 100 children inside the house leaving Harvey with tears while lily comforts him. After several attempts to find out how to rescue them, he lost faith and made a promise to lily that he will never lose her.

Notice that this part is just a flashback in the deeper part of the story. Now I will say the current part of it.

Harvey decides to leave lily to the boarding wizard school in order to ensure for her safety. As he leaves and gets astonished that the evil wizard serpent wrecks havoc in the school, he decides to be a teacher in the school to take care of lily. He soon learns that the school has a hidden key known as the moon key which he is determined to get it but why and what does he want with it?

As the game progresses some of the children harvey lost are found being aged. The ship armored Titan, the brave soldier Jimmy, the fun man Jack Jump and the treasure hunter John Ratzgander.

I've still yet to develop, so if anyone is interested in helping me with the story, feel free.

So what do you think?

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[quote name='Cap'n VG' timestamp='1318419364' post='4871799']
Even if it isn't great, its still something new unless the idea is already made up.
[/quote]There are several problems with this statement. First, as a player, I want to play great games. I don't care if it has new ideas, I only care about myself. Do I have fun playing it or not. That's all it matters. Also, "new" is relative. For example to me it is "yet another reversed progress idea", I have read about it dozens of times with a boring regularity. So, no, it is not new or unique (in absolute sense). But should you worry about me? Not really, I'm far from being a typical player, they will find it new for sure. The same applies to you, what you perceive as old and overused is not such for a typical player. You are a designer, your playerish spirit has been already affected by abundance of games you played :) It is a bad idea to rely on what is new to you.

In the end the old "if you think you invented something new it means you have not done enough reserach" seems painfully accurate :)
(not that it should affect how we design games)

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[quote name='Acharis' timestamp='1318435711' post='4871886']
[quote name='Cap'n VG' timestamp='1318419364' post='4871799']
Even if it isn't great, its still something new unless the idea is already made up.
[/quote]There are several problems with this statement. First, as a player, I want to play great games. I don't care if it has new ideas, I only care about myself. Do I have fun playing it or not. That's all it matters. Also, "new" is relative. For example to me it is "yet another reversed progress idea", I have read about it dozens of times with a boring regularity. So, no, it is not new or unique (in absolute sense). But should you worry about me? Not really, I'm far from being a typical player, they will find it new for sure. The same applies to you, what you perceive as old and overused is not such for a typical player. You are a designer, your playerish spirit has been already affected by abundance of games you played :) It is a bad idea to rely on what is new to you.

In the end the old "if you think you invented something new it means you have not done enough reserach" seems painfully accurate :)
(not that it should affect how we design games)
[/quote]

you have a point there seeing that Braid is similar to Blinx the time sweeper.

So how is the story part so far?




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It sounds alright to me, at least broadly. I might shuffle the part about Harvey deciding to be a teacher ahead of bringing Lily there. If he promised to never lose her, it seems odd to ditch her at the boarding school and head off to do something else, especially since his love specifically charged Harvey with Lily's care.

If the player controls Harvey, then I personally would need some reason to look for the Moon Key, not just a statement that Harvey is doing it so I should come along. You can still have mystery about it, but the player shouldn't be arbitrarily given an objective in a stroy driven game.

As for weakening the player, a key factor to consider is how it will change gameplay. Will it reduce the things a player can do in battle, and if so, will it be fun to be continuously restricted throughout the game? Will the same enemies keep popping up, or different enemies that are all roughly the same strength? Will new tactics be available in battle to compensate for growing weakness, or will battles just become longer and more unfair?

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My opinion on the weakening-player thingie: I wouldnt like it. It sounds like "Woah, congratulationa, you beat that ultra-hard level 78 boss! As a reward.. Your health will be reduced by 200 and you will deal 30 less damage! Aint that great? Muhahaha!!". Kinda reminds me of hunting commando (austrian military) where you get to do sit-ups as a "reward" for doing something well. Some might enjoy it, but keep in mind you will target a very small audience. Not the best thing to do, especially for indie game devs who get most famous by targeting niches (what you do indeed) that many people enjoy(what you obviousl don't do). A great story might make up for it, but you can't be sure..reminds me of cursed mountain: a horror game set in tibet. Pretty new settings, good story, great atmosphere, but a hige lack of gameplay. Was neigther sucessful nor to enjoyable.

However, dont get disappointed. If you want to make it, make it. Just keep this things in mind and don't expext to please too many people..

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I'm having a difficult time in distinguishing a significant difference between De-Leveling (score decrement) and Leveling (score increment),[i] if decreasing a Score Value rewards the player[/i]. You still end up with Lower Level Player in Combat with Higher Level Mobs as your primary mechanism of challenge. Previous statements suggest that the `Challenge` is the reward and I think there could be some confusion in this area for Players.

Games have always been about Scoring Points. As the developer you set the Score, the Reward for achieving it, and how its all presented to player. Arcade Games had simple Scoring Systems, achieve 10000 points for a 1UP, achieve the Highest Score to have your Initials eternally burned in the CRT display for all to wonder. Today games simply have more Scores and more rewards (ie Character Attributes, Skills, Levels, Weapons, etc) and means to convey this to the player.

So I have two suggestions to cool down frustrated RPG Players:[list=1][*]Add more Scores and rewards.[*]Add more customization and building systems.[/list]

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The only game i remember having something like this was Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. During the undead campaign you start with Arthas in level 10 (the highest), but because of the story he loses levels, stats and habilities as you advance the missions until he's only level 1.

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While I don't think that your idea is a bad one, I do not like the way you spin it. Weakening the player throughout the game sounds fine to me, and could lead to heightened drama in the game too (your storyline could use that). There was one game (I forget the name, sorry) where your character progressively got weaker as the story advanced - it worked, but the game was not really an RPG, at least not in the sense of levels and skills, etc. It worked there but if you took any "Standard" RPG and just reversed it, you would end up with a plain and simple bad game.

Leveling up is core of the fun in many RPGs, and the more difficult that process, the more rewarding it can be. Games need to be a little frustrating or challenging in order to be rewarding too - you cannot have one without the other. Now, your game sounds like it could be great in that department, except that comments like this one: "Would you waste your time leveling up to 95 to beat a very hard boss?" make me extremely skeptical. Why? Because almost all the fun in games is in overcoming challenges - regardless of the genre.

In a nutshell, what I'm saying is that your idea has potential - but only in the right context and for the right reasons.

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The story you provided made me go O__o?

I understand that it may be a derived part of something bigger, but the whole thing didn't suck me in. And the whole "serpent in magic school" thing made me painfully recall Harry Potter, a series that started great as a child/adult magic story and crash landed in the bloody dark thriller wanna-be section.

And still, you did not explain how the story justifies deleveing. What, Harvey will become WEAKER just to protect the girl? Or what? In those kinds of stories, taking away power is frustrating. If, somehow, I got attached to an NPC, I wouldn't appreciate taking away the means to protect him/her. That is especially true with children or siblings -- Bioshock 2 did a tremendously great job at catching the essence of being the Big Daddy, "a lumbering hulk aside a delicate flower" (Miracle of Sound -- "Little Sister" lyrics quote).

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Weakening the player might be a good mechanic if the point of the game is "can you win before you die?" rather than the more common "can you beat everyone? Including optional quests?".
I think reducing player capabilities (e.g. damage output) could feel frustrating no matter how well the story justifies it.
On the other hand, making the player more vulnerable (less hit points, easier to hit, etc.) while increasing his power (new and better spells, acquired power sources, etc.) would increase difficulty (matching the expected improvement of player skill) and suggest that, in-game, the stakes are increasing.

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[quote name='klefebz' timestamp='1318462313' post='4872040']
The only game i remember having something like this was Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. During the undead campaign you start with Arthas in level 10 (the highest), but because of the story he loses levels, stats and habilities as you advance the missions until he's only level 1.
[/quote]It only feels similar, there are crucial differences:
- the character was wekened, not the player (it's strategy, not RPG, you lead an army, one hero's power is not that important)
- the weakening was done via story line, not via player actions. There never was "Oh no! If I kill the unit on the left corner of the map I will fall 1 level" dilemma. You were completing missions, after each mission one of your units got weaker, not a big deal.

I think they did it very skillfully. They introduced the interesting "reverse progress" mood while in reality you were still progressing and felt no frustration at all.

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[quote name='Zethariel' timestamp='1318489895' post='4872116']
The story you provided made me go O__o?

I understand that it may be a derived part of something bigger, but the whole thing didn't suck me in. And the whole "serpent in magic school" thing made me painfully recall Harry Potter, a series that started great as a child/adult magic story and crash landed in the bloody dark thriller wanna-be section.

And still, you did not explain how the story justifies deleveing. What, Harvey will become WEAKER just to protect the girl? Or what? In those kinds of stories, taking away power is frustrating. If, somehow, I got attached to an NPC, I wouldn't appreciate taking away the means to protect him/her. That is especially true with children or siblings -- Bioshock 2 did a tremendously great job at catching the essence of being the Big Daddy, "a lumbering hulk aside a delicate flower" (Miracle of Sound -- "Little Sister" lyrics quote).


[/quote]

Oh sorry I didn't mentioned that part. Once Harvey finds out about the black book, he attempts to read each page in order to cure curses that only the black book knows. But reading the book will age Harvey meaning that his body will slightly change bit by bit thus explaining why Harvey gets deleveled because these spells in the book are the only antidotes that remove serpents curses which is why serpent made a spell on the book so if any wizard reads it will die periodically.

And serpent is a magic knight by the way. And this whole game is based on medival magic you know like smurfs.

Why can't I write a good story?

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Isn't this how RPGs already work?

Monsters get tougher to beat farther along in the game. You are just showing this by decreasing the player stats instead of increasing the monster stats.

Overall it is exactly the same thing though.

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This could go somewhere. Having the player choose by himself when and how much to "delevel" his character would make for a SMASHING moral dillema.

Let's assume the game has side-quests. In some of them, people will be cursed by this "serpent". And yeah, to complete the side-quest, the player will have to read a passage of the book, do some stuff, and help the character. The character might die before he reaches the main objective -- whatever that is, but I'm assuming it's leading the girl to a point where she can be reuinited with her mother or something (after all, the mother wouldn't want a husband who is near death, aye? So the romance part is dead in this scenario.).

So, we have a lot of moral brainwashing, and the player sparingly using the book, whereas he has to strike a ballance between the main objective, some side-quests (would have to have some significant rewards to that, like helping the player in the final battle or smthing, providing some key item or whatnot) and the increasing difficulty of mobs. Huh, that speaks as a trully player dependant game for me -- although my idea with side-quests would make for a lot of frustration, due to players making bad decisions and the game becoming way too hard to finish it at some point, or the player not feeling compelled to do anything about the side-quests. But adding a scaling enviroment that would stay on the right level regardless of player decisions would be nice.

But as [b]Konidias [/b]said, you are still doing the same scheme, save for the grinding (the story will advance the player's state). The story has to be really tight if you wish to pull this mechanic off -- give it a good thought

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I agree with Zethariel. Given the additional clarification regarding the book and the actual story reasons for doing this de-leveling, it seems to have potential. The important thing for me, I think, would be that I must have the choice of whether or not to accept the weakening based on the rewards it would offer. It would provide a trade-off, and trade-offs are what good RPGs are about. However, if I [i]had[/i] to accept the weakening at any given point, ie there being no choice but for me to accept it in every situation, that would be nothing but annoyance for me. The trick will be in making the player feel like he actually is progressing, even with the accumulation of age from reading the book.

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[quote name='Konidias' timestamp='1318529369' post='4872259']
Isn't this how RPGs already work?

Monsters get tougher to beat farther along in the game. You are just showing this by decreasing the player stats instead of increasing the monster stats.

Overall it is exactly the same thing though.
[/quote]

It may sound like it being the same but actually it isn't. In many RPG's players have to do a lot of frustrating things like getting armor or buying items and so on but this game completely removes that part because the major part is using only magic both offensive and defensive.

Let's assume that you have say 300 MP. with this MP you can learn magic as much as you want providing it doesn't exceed to more than 300. You can learn any five kinds of magic using the Wizard library. And this game isn't like combat based. It also has action elements in it.

Ok just think for a moment and ask yourself will any player enjoy the leveling process. Won't they get frustrated leveling up just to defeat one boss? Won't they get irritated when they face random enemies after every 10 seconds like FF2? My idea is for those people to convince them that RPG are also so damm good if they can wait for the rewards they will get. I feel 'Role' isn't going well in RPG's.

But still I am thankful to all of you for saying that this has potential. Even my college sir says that it has potential. Hopefully I'll get recognition for this. [img]http://public.gamedev.net/public/style_emoticons/default/laugh.gif[/img]

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It sounds to me like you just don't like RPGs. So why are you making one? Who says that doing things like "getting armor or buying items" are frustrating? I certainly don't think that, not by any stretch. I also love the thrill of leveling up, of getting new toys to play with, not having toys taken away; we are all just kids inside, and what kid likes to have their toys taken away? Maybe the idea does have merit. Personally, I just don't see it.

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