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Old 04-01-2008, 11:29 AM   #1
Nakate
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Default The perfect game

I would like to ask everyone out there what you think would make the perfect game. Things you would want the game to have, things you don't like, etc. This information will be used to help us make the Neko-Sentai MMO as good as we can make it, and I'll probably use it on a few other RPGs I'm designing as well. As such, I guess I'd prefer information about RPGs and MMORPGs, but really I'd just like to know what everybody thinks. I'll start with a few of my own:

-A love interest. I like to have a love interest in the game, and I like the relationship to come full curcle by the end of the game, preferably finally coming to a conclusion alongside the conclusion of the game itself. Personally, I think FF8 and FF9 are good examples of this.
-Kickass hero. I'm getting tired of games where some 12-year-old arrogant punk ends up saving the world and becoming a stronger fighter than people twice his age. (There are exceptions, Earthbound has got to be one of my all-time favorite games, and the hero was probably about 12-14, but it FIT.) I am NOT fond of characters like Vahn in FF12, but prefer heroes like from FF7 and FF8, who look like they could actually kick somebody's ass.
-plot wists. Use them! A general rule of thumb is if you can pick out a guy in the first 5 minutes of the game and know he'll be a major villian, don't make him the last boss.
-non-linear. Now I'm not too fond of the "choose-an-ending" games where there's a hundred ways to get to the end and a hundred different endings. I like a reasonably linear storyline. This linearality tends to make it much better written. However, I draw the line when you can guess well beforehand where you're going to go and why. I was none-too fond of the map system in FF10. Where are we going next? Well, judging from the map we're going over here next, and probably over there after that.
-difficulty. No cheap deaths... ever. (see: invisible coin blocks in most Super Mario World hacks that cause you to fall into a pit) I don't want to die a hundred times getting somewhere either, only to have to fight a boss I die against, then have to do it all over again. I should be able to get to a boss without dying and without knowing the area beforehand. I don't want to have to die against a boss more than once or twice, and if you're going to kill me off, put a save point closeby beforehand.

I guess some of these are more general... but I'm happy to hear anything you can think of, from battle-system to how the save screen looks, game length, annoying sound effects, whatever.
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Old 04-01-2008, 11:53 AM   #2
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Probably, in general, there is no such thing as the "perfect game." Some will like some things one way and others the other way. As for me, I can agree with most of your thoughts on what a game should or shouldn't have. If i can add to that list, I would have to say don't have too many clich
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Old 04-01-2008, 05:18 PM   #3
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A well written story line.

Multiple possible love interests and endings, think star ocean 3 OH GOD NEL IS HOT.

The hero should have a well developed past, or no past at all until you throw in plot twists further down the road. Think, Star Wars KOTOR.

Non linear gameplay, with a somewhat linear main storyline.

Intrigue, deception, lies.

As little plot armor as possible. People die when they are killed.

Multiple ways to make a living in the game whether it be adventurer, mercenary, woodcutter, blacksmith, banker, merchant, etc. Not nearly enough RPG's use this approach. When you get to a new city, you're going to need to find work, a place to sleep, food, and so on. Your class should also play a role in what types of jobs would be fitted for you. For example, fighter types could do especially well as mercenaries, blacksmiths, woodcutters, anything that would require physical strength or combat skill. Thieves/rogues, would resort to banditry, or spying, and assassination for a particular lord; scouting for mercenaries, armies, adventurers. Depending on their background if they had knowledge of the markets and the value of items, they could make good merchants.

Indifference towards alignment. My qualm with games like NWN2 is that it seems to favor good or neutral alignments, and punish evil characters, making the game harder for them. I like The Witcher in this regard because it favors nothing, you are free to act as you want. However there should always be consequences for whatever action you choose. Escort a merchant from a small town to the city? Then return later to see that small town destroyed by a clan of marauding orcs. Choose to stay in the town? You save the town, but find the merchant's body later in your travels, and have to fight a group of bandits armed with the equipment he was transporting.

Save points near difficult boss fights, an option to skip through dialog, an option to reload at the beginning of a battle rather than just from the last save point. I got really frustrated at the final boss in golden sun. Every time I'd lose, I'd have to sit through the same 10 minutes of dialog before the fight just to try again.
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Old 04-01-2008, 11:54 PM   #4
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Well, I pretty much agree with everything said so far, just thought I'd add my 2 cents worth.

sound effects! Overboard=Overbad. Nobody wants to listen to a guy scream AAAAYAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!! at the top of his lungs every time you do a specific action or high-pitched screeches when something gets hit(like the damn Scamps from Oblivion). Loud or otherwise annoying menu noises are also a big no-no. Grates on the nerves quite quickly. Variety in action noises (such as in FFXI and most popular games) helps to releive the monotony aswell.

Camera Angles! During Turn-based battles with cinematic action animations need varying angles as to releive the monotony. Otherwise, you just end up with stuff like Tidus's Blitz Ace move from FFX; loud, annoying, lengthy, and drab due to no variety in the camera position. Always the same...damn...thing.

One more thing. Innovation for enemies, plotlines, and abilities. Orcs, goblins, zombies, angels, demons, vampires...done to death. If one of said cliches is unavoidable, change it up a bit! Demons? draw some inspiration from Capcom. Goblins? FFXI has a new view on them. Orcs? ...Ok, you got me. An orc's an orc. But still, innovation and invention keep people interested (well, as long as it's at least semi-imaginative. Nobody ever got an award for the evil boss monster Angel Pudding Vampire.) Don't be afraid to push the envelope, but don't go too far.

Now, everyone's seen the standard good vs evil black and white, red and blue story. As was mentioned earlier, deception, intrigue and lies are great. There is no Black and White in the real world, only shades of grey. Though not necessarily about the real world, fiction, because it is not about someone who actually lived, can just as easily be about ourselves. And please, never underestimate your audience; they are generally sensitive, intelligent people who respond positively to quality entertainment.

Ok, one last point (God, I'm a real windbag tonight aren't I?). Abilities that have been done to death are NOT subject to the one man's trash is another man's treasure rule. On occasion, it's fine. Poison is pretty much unavoidable. And the basic elements. Just mix it up, make it interesting. We're burnt out of fireballs and lightining from the fingers just doesn't have that spark it used to.
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Old 04-02-2008, 02:16 AM   #5
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Oh yes, as for class balance, ensure that no single class is more desired or required than another. Bosses should require party versatility, endurance, and strategy. The full power of abilities should be analyzed before they're even put into the game. Utsusemi practically destroyed FFXI in the way it was implemented. The same was true for TP burns because of the lackluster skillchain system.
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Old 04-02-2008, 02:36 AM   #6
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I agree with most of the above statements, and would like to add some of my own ideas. Basically, there are three pillars of a good RPG. Writing, Gameplay, and Sound.

Writing:
The same basic fiction writing rules apply to games as well. Predictability is very very bad. I've walked out of a movie that was predictable before. Same applies to books. Do something different, or put a spin on an old idea. Perhaps the protagonist finds out he's gone too far. Maybe s/he discovers the unforeseen consequences of their actions. Perhaps the protagonist switches sides only to discover that neither side is the "good" side. Perhaps the antagonist realizes their mistake and tries to stop what they're doing. Perhaps the protagonist kills the antagonist before s/he can fix the situation like they wanted.

Look at the example Miyazaki has set forth in his movies.
Spirited Away: Yubaba isn't evil, she's just trying to run a business, and isn't very likable.
Howl's Moving Castle: The sorceress decides to end the war.
Princess Mononoke: Eboshi is trying to produce iron and protect her ironworks.

Of course there has to be conflict, but it doesn't always have to be evil vs. good. It can be a conflict of interest. In fact, I think the better stories are exactly that. Storyline makes a huge impact.

You have to have strong characters too. I've heard authors say "Make each character have 1 unique trait, and build the rest of the character around that 1 quality." So if one of your characters has abnormally large hands, make the other characters refer to him as "Ham-fist" or something similar. "Hey, ham-fist! I could use some help with this wedding dress." Also, people are mortal, but we're so used to easy going stories that we sometimes need to be reminded. Kill off a character or two. Make the story visceral.

(I always liked Squall cause I found him hilarious. I could see myself in him; I could see me reacting the same way.)

Gameplay:
This is a broad term, so I'll break it down a bit. This includes controls, interface, customization, spells and abilities, battle system, movement, and progression.

Controls: Simple controls are for simple games, but don't make things convoluted either.
Interface: Make menus quick yet smooth, easy on the eye, and logical layout.
Customization: The more a person can customize, the more they feel ownership of the game.
Spells/Abilities: Make them original yet not overly complex. The more the merrier too.
Battle System: Its so tough to make a battle system that everyone loves. Games like FFTactics are tough because the learning curve is so steep, but once you get used to it, its fricking awesome. And games like Golden Sun are so simple, the repetitiveness makes you want to finish the game asap and end the torture.
Movement: The maps should be easy to move around in, but not overly simple
Progression: Becoming more powerful and gaining fun skills is the heart of RPG's. Try to make all characters balanced, yet useful in their own way.

Sound:
Includes soundtrack and sound effects. Should be able to hear, but not too loud. Cursor movements should be very soft (grumbles at FFXI). Background music should set mood, and cutscene music should invoke emotion in some way. Variety is also a good thing. Music is such a powerful tool, and it is not to be underestimated. A good soundtrack can make or break a game.
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Old 04-24-2008, 11:10 AM   #7
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What makes a perfect game is up for each and everyone.

I play almost anything I can get my hands on. Everything from Final Fantasy, to Megaman, to Soul Blade, to Mario Kart, to Oblivion, Fable, Metroid, Aliens vs Predator, Decent and so on. Personally, I find the most fun games to be those that give me a gun or sword and tells me to go do stuff.

Stories are good, but not necessary for me to enjoy a game. It's like you come across a boss and this boss explains how it'll rip you piece by piece while letting you live long enough to see your allies die before you and then it ends with a question to you and you reply with: "Yaaawn! You talk too much.."

So as long as I can slaughter as much as I want without being so restricted, I'd be content. I love hack n' slash when stuff dies in 1 slash and not 50 slashES. If you get my point :p

Just my 2 gil... Oh wait!, I don't have any gils.. -gets naked- Better?
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Old 04-24-2008, 04:19 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nyuuh

Just my 2 gil... Oh wait!, I don't have any gils.. -gets naked- Better?
PIcs or GTFO (lol jk)

What makes the perfect game? Character Creation, Somewhat Plot control, bad and good endings, Freeroam
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Old 04-24-2008, 04:48 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryuuri
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nyuuh

Just my 2 gil... Oh wait!, I don't have any gils.. -gets naked- Better?
PIcs or GTFO
Remind me in 2-3 years :roll:
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