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Silentcupidz

The idea of mixing JRPG and Western RPG's into one game?

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Now I've played both genres along the lines of;

 

Skyrim

Persona series

Final Fantasy Series

etc.

 

and i thought of an idea about merging a J-RPG with Western RPG's. Like, feeling emotion, desire etc. for a game and having freedom and choices of your own in a game. Having a linear plot but being able to explore the world without finishing the story, only when you feel like it.

 

Then i thought of the multiple risks and complications that could have such as;

 

How would gameplay play out?

How would story play out?

How would character development play out with a western rpg base?

How would you create intense cutscenes?

Who would play this game?

Why would they play it?

Would the game be a mess having two complete genres merged?

Am i just trying to keep both gamers happy?

Should i just pick one side?

What concept should i choose to overcome these issues?

 

So after 5 hours of thinking (Yupp x.x) i figured i'd ask a forum. Because i felt it'll take on a big risk and i wouldn't want to hurt any core gamers with my decisions. Also i felt as if i need to stick to one side or '' risk it for a chocolate biscuit '' and go ahead with it, making sure i planned out every possible Do's and Dont's, Impossible's and Possibles, Risks and the ''go ahead's''.

 

What do you think? Should there be a game where these concepts ARE mixed or should it just stay the same? by choosing one concept and adapting it to my idea?

 

The concepts and philosophies that i chose were;

 

WKC - sense of linear story and exploration. Deciding when you want to finish the story but it still feels like a one way path

 

Pokemon - (Not in the sense of catching pokemon and winning badges in the sense of exploring a world but following a story, choosing whether or not you want to continue on with that story. You can just explore or level up and meet characters and just follow a side story or follow the main story without even looking at the side stories at all. )

 

Final Fantasy - Narrative and detailed stories and cinematic cutscenes. Also a party system.

 

Skyrim - The desire to put 300+ hours into a game with little efforts of a story. (But this makes it boring after i while, i noticed)

 

Any reply is appreciated. Thank you.

 

(C) SilentCupidz - All Rights Reserved (Only here so this post can't be reposted by anyone else)

Edited by Silentcupidz

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XD okay so after waiting a day, i got no replies. straight to the point, my question is:

 

Would it be a good idea to Add JRPG and western RPG elements into one game?

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I haven't played enough modern RPGs to know the exact differences, but sounds like an excellent idea, something of a perfect RPG, if it can be done well. I think Skyrim kind of tries to do this but it's not easy to pull off. If you can choose 100 different routes, how do you make sure that the important moments with great emotion is encountered in each one?

It also feels pretty dumb if you can explore a huge world but nothing really happens until you return to the exact place where the story continues.

One solution could be to write 1000 very good stories, and interweave them into a huge world where the player can move around as he pleases. Probably not every choice would make a good story but the player would be drawn to creating a good story by himself.

I think Skyrim is a reasonable implementation of this where the story elements simply hasn't quite filled the entire world, but a Skyrim with even longer development time could probably come closer.

 

A more linear version I seem to remember is an old SNES game called Seiken densetsu 3 if I recall correctly, where the story is linear but you can choose different characters to play and you encounter different perspectives of the story.

 

Another example, that might still be pretty sci-fi in terms of a real implementation, is to have something like 10 kingdoms, each with 10 families or factions or just people with their own agendas, and the whole thing would be a simulation that kept going for say 100 hours, and the players choices during those 100 hours simply influenced the simulation. Something in the direction of a Civilization game, but from the perspective of one soldier and more microsimulation.

Then most of the development work would be rules and balancing and content for this huge simulation, making it lead to emotional results while allowing meaningful player interaction. Should be doable, given enough time and effort, but we're talking years for 100 people, and the writing part of such a game would be continuous during development, and probably not much like a manuscript.

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I haven't played enough modern RPGs to know the exact differences, but sounds like an excellent idea, something of a perfect RPG, if it can be done well. I think Skyrim kind of tries to do this but it's not easy to pull off. If you can choose 100 different routes, how do you make sure that the important moments with great emotion is encountered in each one?
It also feels pretty dumb if you can explore a huge world but nothing really happens until you return to the exact place where the story continues.
One solution could be to write 1000 very good stories, and interweave them into a huge world where the player can move around as he pleases. Probably not every choice would make a good story but the player would be drawn to creating a good story by himself.
I think Skyrim is a reasonable implementation of this where the story elements simply hasn't quite filled the entire world, but a Skyrim with even longer development time could probably come closer.

 

So what i'm getting from you is that Skyrim would indirectly be my concept basis? In which i should adapt from? and your solution actually makes sense, of course, if done well. Let me give you a scenario of an idea i had just after reading this:

 

We have our main character that the player is equip to.

We venture off into this huge world after an intro and eventually meeting a new character.

We'll call her Y.

Now from the start, you are given a choice to start your story with Y. if you do, she becomes interwoven into your custom story.

You play on with your newly acquired party and head on through the world, getting involved with other stories that fit the characters you met so far (which would mean thinking about an entire branch of options and dialogue and ''If's and Buts''.)

At certain points, there'll be twists (and this becomes certain or unlikely depending on the route you took into your custom story. NPC's would warn you about certain places so you are not venturing off into a sudden death zone but it's up to you depending on yet again, your choices.) where you'd have to decide what you want to do, who you'd want to save and where you would want to go from here. These choices build up and sometimes you won't have even a second to choose a choice so it has to become instinct.

 

Lol it all sounds very complex i know. But it sounds like a very detailed branch of events i'd have to think about. Obviously keeping Skyrim my basis and adapting from it so players don't get convoluted into the story that they are creating. So a solution at this moment would be to have a background story of the world you are in and it's up to you to adapt from it.

 

*LARGE INHALE* something like that? haha

 

EDIT: also, it would be fair to allow the player to somewhat be reminded of their story so far so they somehow understand their own story? XD i'm either thinking too hard on this or making it confusing to myself...

Edited by Silentcupidz

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Sounds like a good premise. The main problem that I see is that it simply becomes too big before it can fill an open world the size of Skyrim's. There will need to be such a large decision-tree that it will be very difficult to manually create all the branches.

 

Because of this I somehow imagine that to reach something like that we might be better off to not make the game player-driven, in the sense that the game is instead a long movie of N number of hours that plays through no matter if the player moves from his starting position or not, and he only chooses his place in this movie. Then the difficult part in creating such a game is to make it possible for the player to find his way into interesting parts of the movie, and to decide how much he can actually influence the plot. But that's just one guess, theoretically anything could be done.

The advantage of such an approach is that it makes the decision tree smaller, as the world only needs be filled for a certain number of hours.

 

In a perfect scenario a writer would sit behind the monitor and write the story as the player goes along, determining each NPC decision based on what the player does. As the number of choices and the size of the world grows, the number of decisions becomes so huge that they cannot possibly all be written in advance. I think that is where Skyrim falls short, in that there are a few small dots in the world where there is an actual story, and the rest is an empty world, so that's where they try to create a balance where a large part of the game is instead about exploring or fighting or leveling up, because filling the whole world with story just isn't realistically doable.

 

I think the party aspect sounds very good, and might in itself solve a lot of the problems. If you create interaction between the members of your party, and allows the player to choose which of his party members desires to follow, and perhaps give each party member an emotional tie to different parts of the world, that could create a much more emotional experience. Come to think of it, that might well be the best part of such RPGs, the emotional part is very often about what happens to the members of your party.

In Skyrim you are supposed to play yourself, you can customize your characters to your liking, while in the story centered RPGs the game is about you as the player fighting for the members of your party.

So the real challenge might be in making an open world make sense for a party-driven game. This is already somehow solved for MMORPGs where the party is real people, but for a story-driven game the characters would need to be written so there is emotional benefit in exploring the world.

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I think the party aspect sounds very good, and might in itself solve a lot of the problems. If you create interaction between the members of your party, and allows the player to choose which of his party members desires to follow, and perhaps give each party member an emotional tie to different parts of the world, that could create a much more emotional experience. Come to think of it, that might well be the best part of such RPGs, the emotional part is very often about what happens to the members of your party.
In Skyrim you are supposed to play yourself, you can customize your characters to your liking, while in the story centered RPGs the game is about you as the player fighting for the members of your party.
So the real challenge might be in making an open world make sense for a party-driven game. This is already somehow solved for MMORPGs where the party is real people, but for a story-driven game the characters would need to be written so there is emotional benefit in exploring the world.

 

This part was the actual paragraph to make sense to me to be honest lol I see alot of potential on where i can go with the party aspect. I actually have a few gameplay/story mechanics that the party will have, in the sense of tying characters to other places. So what you said actually helped out alot in the sense of creating emotion through my characters and somehow creating stories in other parts of the game's world.

 

But there was some advice that you gave that just made me go ''O _ O wait what?'' like:

 


The main problem that I see is that it simply becomes too big before it can fill an open world the size of Skyrim's. There will need to be such a large decision-tree that it will be very difficult to manually create all the branches.

 

Does this mean that manually creating a decision tree for an open world with this concept will be close to impossible to do? o _o?

 


in the sense that the game is instead a long movie of N number of hours that plays through no matter if the player moves from his starting position or not, and he only chooses his place in this movie. Then the difficult part in creating such a game is to make it possible for the player to find his way into interesting parts of the movie, and to decide how much he can actually influence the plot. But that's just one guess, theoretically anything could be done.
The advantage of such an approach is that it makes the decision tree smaller, as the world only needs be filled for a certain number of hours.

 

So what you are saying is to make the actual open world a real time simulation of stories going on? And the player can choose which story he puts himself in? by for example, finding the X area by chance and triggering a storyline?

And about ''making the decision tree smaller, as the world only needs to be filled for a certain number of hours'', Does this mean that i would only need to create a decision tree in different areas and just implement that decision tree into the bigger one? in the sense that the character has gotten this far? or to make sense (haha) only make decision trees in an area and not include a default plot type decision tree where, as you said, will become too big to manually create?

 


In a perfect scenario a writer would sit behind the monitor and write the story as the player goes along, determining each NPC decision based on what the player does. As the number of choices and the size of the world grows, the number of decisions becomes so huge that they cannot possibly all be written in advance. I think that is where Skyrim falls short, in that there are a few small dots in the world where there is an actual story, and the rest is an empty world, so that's where they try to create a balance where a large part of the game is instead about exploring or fighting or leveling up, because filling the whole world with story just isn't realistically doable.

 

In my opinion, i felt you were about to actually go on and talk about a branching narrative like The Walking Dead, in which the NPC's actions are from what you chose. but when you went on to talk from ''  As the number of choices and the size of the world grows,... '' i completely lost you, Erik x( 

 

Btw, thank you for your input. I actually feel like once i sort out the kicks of this concept, i'd actually have something to go on! 

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This part was the actual paragraph to make sense to me to be honest lol I see alot of potential on where i can go with the party aspect. I actually have a few gameplay/story mechanics that the party will have, in the sense of tying characters to other places. So what you said actually helped out alot in the sense of creating emotion through my characters and somehow creating stories in other parts of the game's world.

 

Sounds like a great place to start, and can surely lead to a great game.

 

 


But there was some advice that you gave that just made me go ''O _ O wait what?'' like:

 

I think a lot of my posts is just throwing several ideas out at once, as I don't I feel I have a complete sense of what could work and what couldn't, as probably no one does or the game would already exist. :)

 


Does this mean that manually creating a decision tree for an open world with this concept will be close to impossible to do? o _o?

 

Not necessarily, I think the party aspect could make it possible. As your party is always with you, the building blocks for emotional development is always right there. It would be much easier to fill the world with elements that triggered such development in the party, rather than for example making the world or an NPC have very complicated development depending on the players actions. Also, if there is a complicated development in the world, then the player would have to come back to that place all the time to benefit from it, while as the party moves with the player the rewards for an achievement always stay with the player.

In Skyrim the only thing that really stays with you while exploring is your armor and your skills.

 

If the party is the main source of attachment for the player, it will also be easier to keep the complicated decision trees more manageable, and for the world outside the party, simpler decision trees might pass as more acceptable.

 


So what you are saying is to make the actual open world a real time simulation of stories going on? And the player can choose which story he puts himself in? by for example, finding the X area by chance and triggering a storyline?

 

Something like that. This part of my post was just a theory on how one might imagine implementing something that at the moment feels rather impossible to implement, and I don't think I really have anything substantial on that. :) Basically just replacing the ever-present writer with a reasonable emotional simulation that works hand in hand with certain predesigned story elements. For example there are chat-bots that are quite difficult to distinguish from real people, and one could imagine developing such a bot into a character in the game, and having them follow certain story lines to the best of their simulated ability. Again, nothing that's realistic to combine with a real story right now, but sooner or later it will probably be done.

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Erik Rufelt

 

Oh alright. Well i see that the party aspect would be my actual core reason for any player to play such a game. For example, letting the player feel attachment to his party creating motivation and emotion in character's he'd be happy to let go and sad to watch a character leave him. making him feel desire to somehow get them back and trekking on through his journey. :D

 

And with the simulation thing, after a few tries trying yet again to understand XD i figured i might have a small idea that could come CLOSE to such a theory. So i'll see what i can come up with. Thanks alot!

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One such game which does this is The Last Story. It combines the story telling of JRPGs with gameplay mechanics from Western RPGs. The game is very much story-driven and centres around around a party of seven characters. The personalities of these characters develops through the story. Although you control mainly just one character throughout the game, different party members will accompany you during different parts of the story. Combat is heavily based on Western action games. It's in real time, it's fast-paced, and even has a cover-system as well as 3rd person shooting mechanics. This might be a good game to get some ideas from.

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