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Can this RPG mechanic work?

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I've played RPG games and majority of them are pretty much the same. So I want to do something new to the genre.

 

 

Title of the game: Touche

Author:Artwark

copyright information:n/a

 

 

Game concept: The game is a puzzle rpg game which involves two main characters though some others will be playable as well but not major.

 

 

Demographic:The game is focused mainly for those who love  role playing games and for those who wish see something new  with the unique game mechanics.

 

 

Feature set:

1.Control two characters with one solving puzzles and the other battling in this RPG.

2.Why not let the one solve puzzles recover...So the one fighting can recover!

3.Use fast track option so that the one in need can be focused more!

 

 

Game mechanics: It is an RPG game as well as puzzle based. At first players control Prince Jornne and Prince Thornne who have their own paths.

 

 

When controlling the characters there are two options. At first both the characters are controlable where both will move the same directions and cannot be moved seperately. The other way is as the game progresses, The player will recieve an amulet which allows the player to control characters seperately. various events will occur depending on which prince is being played. When shopping, players can swap the items from one prince to another and swap money as well by using the fusion belt which is received later on in the game.

 

 

In the battles, both  princes will fight two enemies. Sometimes both will fight each other or at different areas where events happen simultaneously. Each prince has a style of battle. For instance, Jornne has the ability to attack, defend, use magic, run and use items. Jornne's magic is light and doubles the damage when striking it against dark enemies.

 

 

Thorne however can do the same things as what Jornne does. However his offence and defence stats are higher than him. His dark moves are doubled when facing holy enemies.

 

During the battle modes, the player controls both the princes in battle. The prince who touches a monster gets to face the monster whereas the other prince gets to face phantom pirates who are just a clone of the monsters but are more darker and carry swords . Monsters when defeated give exp whereas Phantom Pirates when defeated give money.  When one of the main princes faints, the monsters will merge with the phantom pirates doubling their strength forcing the other prince to fight them both but if the enemies are defeated, the other prince gets both exp and money whereas the one who faints doesn’t although he can still fight in the next battle and can still be moved in the outside area.

 

As the game progresses, Thornne will obtain the Fusions Bolt which allows players to swap stats between the two princes such as Attack, Defense, HP, Magic,Luck and Leveling up as well during both battles and outside areas.

 

 

In some cases  the player can use fast track for attacks, magic, recovery etc without the player doing it manually. 

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I'm confused. Why is the puzzle prince fighting? Does fighting prince also do puzzles? What sort of combat system are you talking about? I assume that you're suggesting a JRPG-style combat system, but the RPG genre encompasses quite a few styles of combat (Fallout 1&2, Fallout 3, Diablo, Ultima, Final Fantasy, etc.), and there are variations among each of those.

 

How does this mechanic really provide a different experience than simply controlling one character? Is this experience really unique to this mechanic, or can it be achieved in other ways? How does this mechanic help tell the story, or does it? Is it just a mechanic for mechanic's sake?

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Ok I'll try to elaborate.

 

You control two characters and both the characters have to solve puzzles together otherwise progress cannot be done. So the characters are both one unit.and you need to take care of them both. 

 

The prince who solves puzzles also fights because as I said earlier, both are somehow connected so the the prince who doesn't fight the monsters fights the phantom pirates that give money when defeated and the prince who fights also gets to do the puzzles.

 

So take this example. In the section where one prince has a puzzle, the other prince can't make progress due to the puzzles the other prince needs to solve. In other words, The world where one prince is will affect the world the other prince is because of the puzzle solving. 

 

Combat system is just like a JRPG except that you get to choose which character to use for combat due to them being in different situations. This system is unique because of the ability to swap stats between the two princes. So if one prince is low on health, you can swap with the other princes DEF to compensate the low health to get less damage and vise versa.

 

It provides a different experience because two characters have a separate story and since you rely on both the characters, the events of the story will vary. Infact the mechanic plays an important role to the story so that's why its very vital.

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A mockup would be helpful. What I see is a lot of words, but it leaves a lot to interpretation sadly.

Halfway through your OP I was almost certain I knew what it was to be like and it looked like another game I've played, but the rest of the post somehow contradicted that understanding.

Never underestimate the power of mock-ups (even as greyboxes).

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I don't understand why the two characters are doing separate things during a battle. What about a battle system where for your characters to take actions, you have to solve puzzles? For example, imagine a typical jRPG with a "tetris-like" area near the top of the screen. When you select an action for a character, they won't execute the action until you solve the simple puzzle on the screen.

 

 

If you keep switching from one character fighting a battle to another solving a puzzle, that just seems too disruptive to me. I would recommend combining the two instead of having the battle and puzzle actions be completely separate, because that can be annoying for the player to constantly switch back and forth between two different environments/play styles.

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Sounds vaguely like a Mario & Luigi RPG game of some sort. They often play around with Mario and Luigi doing different things or swapping between modes.

 

Have you played The World Ends With You? In that game, using the Nintendo DS's dual-screens, each character is fighting on a different screen.

 

It sounds like the mechanic could work - but execution is everything.

 

Swapping stats sounds like it removes each prince's individuality - I, as a player, no longer need to care about the differences between them. In my mind they then become one character in two bodies, rather than two unique characters. This may be what you are going for, plot-wise*, but makes the game less interesting, character-wise.

 

*Cliched plot twist: they aren't really twins, they are same person who got split apart in two or more bodies.

 

I've played RPG games and majority of them are pretty much the same. 

 

By "the same", do you mean they have ceased to be enjoyable to you, or that they weren't really enjoyable to you in the first place?

 

Why have they ceased to be enjoyable? Have your tastes in genre changed, or have you just played similar RPGs so much that you feel like you're just replaying the same game over and over?

 

What parts have ceased to be enjoyable? How would you go about improving - or removing - those parts?

How can you take the RPG genre and distill it, refine it, build upon it, polish it, and improve it?

 

 

 

So I want to do something new to the genre.

 

Are you doing something different just for the sake of being different, or are you trying to do something better and make things more enjoyable?

 

Different doesn't always mean better. Different doesn't always mean enjoyable. Sometimes they can be improvements, other times they are just gimmicks that are entertaining for one game, but aren't really lasting improvements to the genre. Which is fine - the occasional gimmick-game can be enjoyable. Are you designing a gimmick game?

Edited by Servant of the Lord

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Yeah, it'd be good to get a series of mock-ups, or a prototype; it's hard to know what game is intended, exactly.

 

The strong part of this is, I think, the idea of the conjoined worlds such that doing puzzles in one has effects on the fights in the other, and fights in the other affect the puzzles in the first.  The more different the "princes" and their actions are (thinking vs. fighting), and the more different the worlds are (say, realistic vs. high-fantasy), the stronger the idea.  The more that both princes do the same things (both fight, both puzzle), the more it's just like playing two RPGs simultaneously, which feels more gimmicky.

 

I'd consider doing combat on the same screen as movement -- like Chrono Trigger or a roguelike -- rather than switch to a separate JRPG-style "combat screen".  If the princes are affecting each others' worlds, but then when a fight happens you "leave" that world and fight in a featureless void, then you lose a lot of opportunities for manipulations of world A to change the course of fights in world B.

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For such an idea, depending on how you implement it, you may narrow down the appeal for the game to small demographic.  To reduce this risk you should, in my opinion, play with the puzzle idea as an additional characteristic but one that isn't necessary to playing the game.  Then if your audience is attracted to the concept they'll utilise this play style and you'd be able to explore it further.

 

It just seems like you're looking for a niche, which is good, but haven't fully hatched out the details but for the purpose of offering a different experience.

 

What do you think? 

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Sounds vaguely like a Mario & Luigi RPG game of some sort. They often play around with Mario and Luigi doing different things or swapping between modes.

 

Have you played The World Ends With You? In that game, using the Nintendo DS's dual-screens, each character is fighting on a different screen.

 

It sounds like the mechanic could work - but execution is everything.

 

Swapping stats sounds like it removes each prince's individuality - I, as a player, no longer need to care about the differences between them. In my mind they then become one character in two bodies, rather than two unique characters. This may be what you are going for, plot-wise*, but makes the game less interesting, character-wise.

 

*Cliched plot twist: they aren't really twins, they are same person who got split apart in two or more bodies.

 

I've played RPG games and majority of them are pretty much the same. 

 

By "the same", do you mean they have ceased to be enjoyable to you, or that they weren't really enjoyable to you in the first place?

 

Why have they ceased to be enjoyable? Have your tastes in genre changed, or have you just played similar RPGs so much that you feel like you're just replaying the same game over and over?

 

What parts have ceased to be enjoyable? How would you go about improving - or removing - those parts?

How can you take the RPG genre and distill it, refine it, build upon it, polish it, and improve it?

 

 

 

So I want to do something new to the genre.

 

Are you doing something different just for the sake of being different, or are you trying to do something better and make things more enjoyable?

 

Different doesn't always mean better. Different doesn't always mean enjoyable. Sometimes they can be improvements, other times they are just gimmicks that are entertaining for one game, but aren't really lasting improvements to the genre. Which is fine - the occasional gimmick-game can be enjoyable. Are you designing a gimmick game?

 

I was inspired to do this mechanic after playing Bowser's inside story. The thing is though that the Mario rpgs don't require a lot of grinding process in order to make progress. The idea of this mechanic is that I want anyone to enjoy RPG's not because of its gameplay but also because of the genre having well written stories and people who play it halfway won't get to enjoy the rest of the story. So yes, you can say that I'm making a gimmicky game.

 

Some of you mentioned that the game wouldn't work with swapping stats and I want to tell you that levelling up in this game is not so frequent as it would in any RPG. you can battle tougher bosses with low levels, something that cannot be done in rpgs. Therefore the game will be really fun to those who aren't interested in RPG's normally

 

When playing RPG's, there are various things in common. grinding, talking to characters to find out what to do, facing bosses, watching cutscenes and then facing climaxes. While its understandable why everyone likes this process in RPG's, it will leave others not that interested because of one factor that can potentially stop players from playing. Grinding and I want to make that process more enjoyable by improving in it. 

 

Another problem RPG's have is once the game is beaten, there really is no point in revisiting the game unless the game offers story branching such as Chrono Trigger. Then Side quests only give the benefit of the player getting more powerful rather than offering something else like unlocking concept art and such. 

 

The world ends with you is an action rpg whereas I'm making an RPG game instead. As for the character wise, its not going to be as cliche as you think it would in my defense atleast. I'm going to bring out branching paths for the story like trigger.

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Some of you mentioned that the game wouldn't work with swapping stats and I want to tell you that levelling up in this game is not so frequent as it would in any RPG. you can battle tougher bosses with low levels, something that cannot be done in rpgs. Therefore the game will be really fun to those who aren't interested in RPG's normally
 
When playing RPG's, there are various things in common. grinding, talking to characters to find out what to do, facing bosses, watching cutscenes and then facing climaxes. While its understandable why everyone likes this process in RPG's, it will leave others not that interested because of one factor that can potentially stop players from playing. Grinding and I want to make that process more enjoyable by improving in it. 

 

I think some of us are having a hard time visualizing what your game would look/play like. At least I know I am. Telling us that the game would be fun for a broader audience or that you're going to make something "more enjoyable by improving on it" doesn't explain why, which is, I assume, what we're trying to understand. Also, what if I love the grinding process present in a lot of JRPGs? Am I going to like your new system? 

 

Whether something is an improvement is entirely subjective. You might like FF8's magic system because it's more dynamic and adds diversity to combat, but I might prefer FF7's magic system because it resembles deck-building (like that seen in playing-card games like Magic).

 

Clarifying the systems and mechanics, not just your quality-assessment of them, will help us provide feedback.

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