Like the title says, what do find in game maker games that just ruin a game for you?
1. 5 house villages Okay, how in the world can a village sustain itself if there are at most (based on my own formula for constructing which is 3 people min. to a house) 15 people? I was a major offender to this ( actually the more I think about what I hate, the more I realize I've done these), not putting much thought into making these villages. Another problem with having only a few houses in a town is that you can't have too many people without making it very unbelievable. For me, a fantasy village shoul have around fifty people, a town should have between 75 to 100 people, and a city should have between (this may sound insane) 100 to 200 people.
2. Boring/ confusing starts When you start a game you can't just throw someone into it without a little bit of back story (unless your game is mostly a flashback up until halfway through). Having the player guessing what's going on is good, unless their still trying to guess twenty minutes into it, that's when you've gone overboard. The same applies to having the player do the same thing over and over again at the beginning till they reach a certain level and the begin the story. You have to give a little in both story and action to keep the player interested.
3. Underpowered enemies/ overpowered heroes A big problem with making the enemies easy for the player to kill quickly is that it makes it seem unrealistic. If you're gonna make the fight a human enemy, you should atleast give the enemy the same amount or half that of your weakest character. This will make the battles more tactical than just pressing the strongest spell you've got once in order to kill them (unless they're a spider or some small creature, cause that does make sense then). The only exception to this rile is if that attack is a finisher attack, cause then you're good.
4. Unoriginal settings/ unoriginal characters I find that if I start some where that looks alot (alot... Hehehe) like that of a popular game that I've already seen, then that's just laziness. The same goes for characters in that if the the protagonist seems framiliar then it just seems like somebody is trying to get free ideas. The exception to this is if it is a fan game, then you're good. Originality keeps the game flavorful and draws the player into it more.
5. Forgetfulness It is annoying when you get sent all over a flipping dungeon just to find a stupid that, guess what, you didn't even need in the first place. When the creator forgets that he put in a subquest and then scraps it later without removing what was in that subquest just gets annoying when the player finds it. Its even more frustrating when a player leaves the gameand the forgets what they were doing and can't figure out what they need to do.
1. Suspension of disbelief bro :v Also having 50 useless NPCs is not better than having 10 useless NPCs. 2. Flashback/Flashforward introductions are a commong thing in both litterature and movies and not inherently a mistake. 3. I agree but this is 1# genric complaint about almost every RPG ever. 4. There's no such a thing as unoriginal settings, and using an already existing one is not laziness. I agree though many characters seem to be clones of each other but it's mostly poor development than lack of originality. 5. Wut?
Ok, things that are unequivocally wrong for me are: - Unskippable tutorials. - Unskippable cutscenes. (Ok, not inherently a mistake but I don't see why not put the option since it's something that could be done easily with events) - Unskippable minigames. - Slow text speed. - Slow walk speed and no run button. - Fancy fonts for message, commands and HUDs.
EDIT: Actually, I misinterpreted point 2 a little, it's not about fb/ff, and re-reading it I must say I agree with this
Having the player guessing what's going on is good, unless their still trying to guess twenty minutes into it, that's when you've gone overboard.
This post has been edited by heisenman: Feb 15 2012, 04:55 PM
RM Skill: Undisclosed
@kaust: that is very interesting to read, cuz its almost 99% right 1% left because i cant fully understand how awesome it is
ok back on topic, top five mistakes in game that just ruin it for me: 1. having a fence that can just be jumped over , but i have to go to the other long way to get a key to open the fence XD , even if its a really low fence. 2. an rpg character thats almost super human but cant even open a locked wooden door, even if its emergency the hero would still need a key for it, now i dunno if its cuz hes polite or something but its just weird. 3.vague description, at one point theres a game that tells player to look around and get to know the city, but in thruth to progress the story the player have to "speak" to everyone, now isnt that just annoying? 4.the enemy/antagonist almost alway know the hero moves and can make a critical decision that makes the hero life more miserable, its like hes standing besides the hero 24/7 5.the hero who just started a journey , saved a certain girl (whos a princess) from a couple of soldier (whos aparently so weak can be defeated by newbies) , then the girl tels her story to the hero and somehow the hero go and save the world where as millions of veteran soldier cant even do anything against the antagonist.
1. Ugly VX sprites. Especially the default ones, but 1x1 sprites in general look flat. The heck is wrong with XP that people no longer use it? 2. People who don't understand how to make a proper link.
It goes on the right, not the left. Send a blank file then there'll be a hyperlink thing when you go back to the page. Do it otherwise, and before I even check out the game 9/10 I won't bother downloading since it requires me to copy-paste your broken link.
3. People who have missing files or haven't bothered flagging the game as finished in the settings so I can play without the RTP.
(I'm lucky to even PLAY most rpgmaker games)
4. I don't care about RTP sprites, but I DO CARE that you left it at a default battle setting (except maybe Rpg2k3, since I like the side-scroll). Generally, also I mind if someone has virtually no extra stuff as any cool codes are things I watch out for. Do you have a weather system, party change, bank, and other features, in addition to a working plot?
5. Too short/ too easy. I grew up on Nintendo, not the dumbed-down overly easy Rpgs of today. It doesn't have to be impossible, but it should be at least epic. That said, difficulty should never stem from annoying design (you can't share items, so characters are constantly without a way to heal each other when it actually matters). Challenge should be from either enemy pressure (enemies are fast, and can kill the party in less than 10 hits (but more than one, 1hko is a sign of bad programming except in the case of underleveling) or difficult enemy strategies, or both.
This post has been edited by bulmabriefs144: Feb 16 2012, 12:00 AM
1. Bad translation/ text. Especially when you miss about half the story because of it. 2. Bad voice acting. If you can't make it good, don't use it. 3. Glitches or bugs that are obvious and easy to remove, still in the game. 4. Too easy battles/ skill system or no challenge at all. I'm no fucking Mainstream One button smasher, I grew up with games as hard as Donkey Kong Country and as complex as Final Fantasy 8 5. Bad mapping. Houses/ areas in wrong dimension, cloned NPCs and repeating design. Ruins it for me. No matter how good story/ gameplay may be- if my first look is on a map where there's no thought behing- forget it.
You want Next Gen graphic algorithms in RPG VX? Ask the horst :P
RM Skill: Intermediate
I'm going to disagree with OP's #1 -- towns should be a representation of a village/city. They should not include every single building needed for a realistic locale, that's just boring to play and will likely end up with bad maps even in a professionally made game. Games aren't about realism, they're about fun, and looking through house after house, for whatever reason, simply isn't fun.
Anyways here's a few of what bugs me:
-Bland maps. Even the basic RTP gives you the tools you need to create a visually interesting map. Don't have square after square of the exact same grass or dirt tile, there's no need for it! A little tasteful clutter can go a long way.
-Bad spelling/grammar - text that's riddled with mistakes constantly reminds the player that the game is done by a complete and total amateur. Don't ever, ever let this part slide in your games...it breaks immersion and makes you look lazy. Put it through a spell check and have someone look over it if you're at all uncertain about your spelling and grammar.
-Over-the-top characters. Even big-budget console RPGs fall into this trap...and often. In trying to make a character interesting, an over-the-top personality is far too often used instead of a good, solid background and a well-defined personality. Obviously if the whole point of the game is to be completely ridiculous, over-the-top is not only fine, but expected.
-History lessons. If a history is needed for the player to understand the story, a very brief explanation will suffice. Nobody wants to sit through a detailed lecture, save that for optional books that play can read at his or her leisure, such as in the Elder Scrolls series.
-Filler content. Many RPG players like a lengthy game, but that doesn't mean dungeons should be used to fill time between story developments. Keep it moving, develop the characters, and always make everything have a distinct purpose. The original Assassin's Creed failed horribly at this, requiring the player to "complete x tasks" then go back for more story time. Awful. Fortunately, this was fixed in the sequel, and it made for a truly excellent game.
Awright, lemme try my hand at this little baby. Note that this applies mostly to RPG Maker games.
1. The developer fails to realize that they are not the player. They try to make the game challenging for themselves, but what this almost inevitably creates is a situation where the entire game is at an insane difficulty level. This is great if you are making something inspired by Demon's Souls, but otherwise, the game should feel too easy for you if you want the player to stand a chance.
2. there ar so many spell errors my Inglesh teacher want to cry. Honestly, people - I know textspeak is really neat and all that, but just because you use it 24/7 does not mean you should put it into your game. I am a certifiable 100% grade-B+ grammar Nazi, and I do not exaggerate when I say that grammatical errors can differentiate your game from a work of art and a little crayon doodle your 10-year-old brother scrawled on the refrigerator door last Tuesday. No, I do not care that you cannot speak English well. If you cannot speak English well, and PM me, I will personally take your game and proofread it, top to bottom, and give it back to you. (Sorry, Krosk, for not going 100% of the way, but, well, you had other proofreaders working on the game, anyway.)
Don't get me wrong; having bad grammar does not always wreck the game, especially when we are using skaz (makin' this here text feel like it come right from Jacksonville, Tennessee, back when Huck Finn sailed the 'Sippi), buuuuuuuuuuuut there is a significant difference between skaz and crap, the latter of which is another charming Russian term that I don't want to go into details with.
3. Bleah, cliched. Look, we know she's a princess. She has the magical pendant, she's about the same age as the amnesiac protagonist, and, well, I fell asleep hours ago anyway. That doesn't mean cliches are bad; we're familiar with cliches and tropes, you don't have to go into detail about what the vampire's powers are, because every vampire trope is based off the same basic principles (sucks blood, lives forever, has scary-colored eyes half the damn time). On the other hand, if you invent something completely off-the-wall (it's a bunch of precog heptapod space alien biologists that communicate through looking glasses), you have to put a lot more time and effort into describing them.
If you're going to use cliches, then mix things up. Ninjas? Boring. The President being kidnapped? Okay, seen that before. Shirtless dudes? Seen it before. Two shirtless dudes saving President Ronald Reagan from being kidnapped by a bunch of ninjas? Bad &#^, dude!
4. Uh... I was running out of ideas.
5. MIDI music. No offense, but MIDI files really shouldn't be in your game unless you can't pay for "real" samples and are composing your own music. MIDI loops perfectly, sure, MIDI takes up almost no space, fine, but MIDI sounds like a terrible excuse for music when compared to Garritan Personal Orchestra (moderately priced at 150 dollars for this many instruments).
Great people talk about IDEAS Average people talk about THINGS Small people talk about OTHER PEOPLE
1. Poor consideration of Design - Offense #5: Flat, cliched characters This is mainly for narrative-focused Role Playing Games, where the characters are written by the designer and important to the development of narration. You must, as a designer and writer, create believable characters. Dynamic, natural, and relatable. A rapport should be set up early, without gratuitous or forced drama. Your main character and your first two side characters should have dilemmas, emotions, and beliefs that a player can relate to. It's important that you establish a problem solving system with your characters, be it subconsciously or otherwise. Your characters will go through a lot of problems in their adventure, and how they handle them should be consistent and evolving. Think back to all your favorite RPGs, and how the characters solved their problems. You'll understand. Hopefully this will also lead to good dialogue that shows all aspects of a characters emotions.
2. Poor consideration of Design - Offense #4: Confusing stories Worse than simple, easy to follow stories are confusing, convoluted stories that don't know what they're doing, or are throwing way too much conflict or information at you at once. Understanding the medium of storytelling can greatly help. Conflict, climax, resolution. Rinse and repeat. There's a formula to it, and a thought process that goes into controlling it. This typically results from a lack of control on your stories. Know what's going on in your story and be aware of it.
3. Poor consideration of Design - Offense #3: Consistently or blatantly bad spelling errors Grammar errors (such as translation mistakes) are forgivable in low doses. We know that. But if the person writes in an unintentionally juvenile fashion, disregarding spelling and grammar completely, I am immediately turned off from the game. Hell, I'm turned off from posts as well that are like this. It's just not professional, or enjoyable.
4. Poor consideration of Design - Offense #2: Too much, too fast, for too long Bad games have a poor sense of balance. Too much of anything in a game is bad. This includes too much action without enough respite, or too much respite without enough action. Too much gameplay without a pause, or vice versa. Too long or too many battles. You get too much of something and it becomes a bad thing. Too much aesthetics or too much function. I mean, the list just goes on. Know when to take a break and go another direction, or tone down the content to allow a player to take it all in. Let a problem fade before a new problem arises, or let something build and fall slowly before it goes BOOM and ends in a blast. End of levels occur for a reason, and we're given pause features because it helps us take a break from the game when we need it. We like that short moment when we can look back in the game and know what we've done. Infact, games where you can take a break for an extended period of time and come back and get into it where you left off is a sign of really good gameplay.
5. Poor consideration of Design - Offense #1: Bland, tedious, or difficult gameplay This kinda goes with too much, but damnit, it's so offensive it has to be highlighted seperately. When the game expects little of you, you expect little of the game. A game is meant to challenge you just to the threshold of your limit. It should give you the tools and advice to beat it's challenges, but allow you to apply them. It should offer different means of beating something, but offer just as many ways to fail it's challenges. It's important that you don't receive all the tools all at once, and that you understand where the tool comes into play by placing it near the challenge and allowing you to make that logical leap. This is all about patterns, and giving a player the chance to recognize and solve patterns. When the gameplay is good, the story can be forgiven. Think outside a single dimension, and find gameplay in all aspects of the game. Introduce them slowly, and carefully. A good game is defined by it's gameplay.
RM Skill: Intermediate
A village of 15 people is not absurd. especially if you consider you setting is in a lower population world with a high mortality rate. I have no desire to spend 5 hours getting out of the first village in the game.
Back stories can be nice, but I can't stand having to watch a 30 minute intro before I can even walk around. Some times the back story can be simple. like "you're a dude who grew up in on farm". That can be enough (ala the black cauldron). There is no reason why the story can't develop as the game progresses.
A difficulty setting is a good idea. Sometimes I want to play a game for the battles and sometimes I play for the story. If I'm playing for the story I don't want to spend a bunch of time grinding the same monsters over and over again.
As for the story, well If your a big publisher, no excuses. But if your a hobbyist, you do the best you can and we can't expect much more then that. (see the URL)
Originality is KEY. If I want to play final fantasy I have over 19 titles to chose from, I don't need you crappy fan game. Same goes for pokemon, chrono trigger, and all the others. Do you really think you can hold up against these million dollar projects?
Character Graphics. This isn't about RPG maker projects as much as it is A-list titles, but It is something people might ant to keep in mind. If you equip "GOLD ARMOR" then why the hell is the graphic of you still in the same crappy tunic from the start of the game? If you equip some sort of HAT, then why aren't you wearing a hat?
Quest Logs. I hate coming back to a save game and having no Idea what is going on and having to start over to figure it out.
Autobattle. If you are going to make me Grind, don't make me press X a million times. Have some sort of tactics feature or something to make it interesting or at least quicker.
RM Skill: Intermediate
1. Grinding to beat a boss. Sometimes the level between bosses jump so high that you have to grind for hours then run back and defeat the boss.
2. I dislike bosses that spam status afflictions or other high powered aoe skills. It removes all skills and makes it so you spend all day spamming heal.
3. I dislike long introductions. Anything longer than 5 min is ridiculous. Especially when it's just text after text with little action. There are better ways to tell a story than spamming text attention player.
4. I dislike having certain skills made ineffective on bosses, it's either give bosses a say to counter or don't put the skill in the game if it's so op.
5. I never liked the idea of invading a bosses cave and destroying it in order to get treasure and artifacts that never belonged to me, I never understood how that is considered heroic. I think that all bosses you face should have a compelling story for why you should fight them.
1. Including random encounters. It's 2012. Get with the times.
It's gotten to the point where if I will flat out refuse to play a game which involves random encounters. Sure, it's the easy way out, but it penalizes players for exploring and thus discourages them from spending time enjoying your game.
RM Skill: Beginner
well i just didn't think cliche is big mistakes *my brain can't proccess many twist or dificult system.. LOL
Okay, my turn.
1. That graphics hurt my eyes!! its okay if using RTP because It is painted pretty good. The originals or customs are plus point, but if the originals has bad color pallete ( ex: to bright and shiny that can makes my eyes bleed) i think it is a bad mistake. * the irony, i do this one.
2. Unbalance. Like other seniors said, hero too strong+monsters too weak = game too easy meanwhile hero too weak + monsters too strong = game too hard. of course it is includes equipments and items balance to actors and enemies.
3. NPCs has characters too. the big mistake if every NPCs says ''hi.. Nice wheater today, you can find princess in the bathroom'' when you ask for information to stranger or didn't say anithing when you stealing potion in NPC's house, its like he/she said ''wellcome to my cribs, take what do you want in the treasure box in the corner'' If we do it IRL, of course they will call police.
4. I am antagonist, so i must mean and evil laugh every times without reason. people turn into evil with reason, maybe its love, revenge, power, or wealth. No one want to be evil without reason.
5. Etc (end of thinking capacity) Damn!! the game was good in begining and the middle but it has suspended ending! Dafuq with that! This is etc LoL..
Okay, thats all, sorry for my bad english. I got 45 in english, so i pay the teacher to give me a 75
If an old dude is going to tell me that the weather is nice, or that it's my birthday, I'd perfer him not to be in the game at all, or be replaced with a character with a backstory and whatever. Quality over quantity, people. I'd perfer a small outback village with only 5 NPCs in it that all have backstories and sub quests for me to do rather than 300 of Pointless NPC Johnny.
2. Overly complicated plots
In my opinion, worst offender ever is Sonic 06. There are so many things in that game that make no sense, and mostly any plot about time travel will screw up unless it's heavily planned and thought out like Chrono Trigger. Over complicated plots drive me insane, and why people have to keep adding details, I don't know.
3. Lack of BGM.
Unless the area is named Silent Forest, or something: Please have BGM. Even if it's not remotely fitting, it helps in so many situations and can make areas seem a lot more complete. Oh also don't use 1 battle theme. Have 2 or 3. I don't want to listen to the same battle theme all the time.
4. Generic Characters
This is especially important in JRPGs and RPGs in general. Having flat, boring characters makes the entire game boring.
5. Stupid Plot Twists
If you are going to make a plot twist, don't make it so some random NPC just happens to be the antagonist with no backstory and he is evil because he is. If you're going to make an NPC the Antagonist, atleast give them a backstory and personality. Also, Time Travel Plots: Allowing your characters to suddenly go back in time is not a good plot twist.
This post has been edited by Reshiram//Exe: Mar 30 2012, 09:17 AM
1. Houses with nothing useful inside 2. Titles that are longer than 5 words 3. RTP music 4. When the quest is "get mushroom from forest" but they either don't tell you where the forest is, or they don't tell you where the mushrooms are 5. Excessive NPCs!
RM Skill: Undisclosed
I'll jump in on this:
(1) Inconsistency in Game Theme
Unlock some people, I'm perfectly fine seeing/experiencing a cliched story. Some of my favorite RPGs of all time have, at their core, really simple stories with every cliched character archetype making at least one appearance. I can accept that in, say, a game like Grandia, but if a game like Final Fantasy 12 tried to pull that stunt, I'd have some serious issues with it. The difference? The theme of the game. As soon as I start up Grandia, I'm put in the hands of a teenage boy playing make-believe in a city square. It's going to be a light-hearted adventure, and it tells me that straight from the beginning. When I start up FF12, I'm thrust into the middle of a world filled with political espionage, power struggles, manipulation, etc. Got it, it's going to be an epic. It's not acceptable for epics to take the lazy way out and give out cliche after cliche.
(2) Uninspiring map design
I hate the default RTP. With a fiery passion. Especially in VX and VX Ace. I'm not sure I understand the decision to go from SNES era graphics of XP to NES era graphics on VX, and I've never fully recovered from it. With that being said, one of my favorite RPG Maker titles is a VX game using default RTP, Legionwood. The developer did a good job with what he had available to use. He was inspired, and it shows.
(3) Lack of character motivation
"Jack joins your party!" Why? Is Jack just that kind-hearted of an individual that he felt empathy for you and your quest to recover the four magic jewel shards from the Evil Overlord's Keep and decided to just drastically change his entire life to join you on your adventure? If your game features more than one protagonist, they need just as much character development as your main hero. Maybe the Evil Overlord killed Jack's father years ago, and he swore to someday take revenge. Hearing about your cause, he jumps at the opportunity to enact it. Hell, he doesn't even care about the jewel shards, he just wants to see he blade drip with blood of the overlord.
(4) Forced or unrealistic conversation
A problem a see plaguing many amateur games, and likely the result of solo development. Each character should have their own personalities, which need to be reflected in the script. Is your hero a cocky son of a gun? Have your script show it. Is the princess delicate, innocent and naive? Again, prove that to me in the script. Conversations between characters, and characters and NPCs, should reflect their personalities:
Jack - "Hah! You and every other Overlord think exactly the same! You think you can take over the world?! Not on my watch!" Jill - "But, Jack, we just can't...kill him...can we? I've never killed someone before..." Evil Overlord - *belches*
(5) Lack of effort
I can forgive a lot in a game; default RTP, unrealistic characters, forced dialogue...as long as the developer shows me that he was devoted to his project. To me, when you sit down and get serious and decide "okay, I'm going to make a game", I want to know that the end product is your baby. You poured your heart and soul into it. Because otherwise, why waste my time? Better yet, why waste yours?
And there you go, there are my list of my Top (5) Five mistakes.
RM Skill: Skilled
1. Massive Wide Open Spaces I mean seriously. Is it that difficult to add hills, trees, plants, etc.? Very bland open maps really make me want to stop playing a game.
2. The RTP Music I mean Jesus Christ. The RTP music is horrendous. Now, most people just rip some FF VII music off the internet and use that. Although I don't like that, it's a billion times better than Battle01.
3. Cliche Stories Find the 7 crystals and defeat the demon king. Nuff said.
4. Using MIDI files as music for your game I think someone else said this. MIDI files sound terrible by themselves.
5. Boss fights that make zero sense Basically, filler bosses. Bosses that you end up fighting when you walk through a room and they appear and give you some crap like, "you have disturbed my slumber" or something like that. It's just stupid. So stupid it's laughable sometimes.
When I die, I want to go peacefully like my Grandfather did, in his sleep... Not screaming, like the passengers in his car.
1. Games Without A Focus I'm a pretentious "games are art" type developer, so I can forgive pretty much anything AS LONG as it serves a greater purpose. I don't necessarily mind large, open maps as long as I know where I'm supposed to go and have a strong reason to want to go there, gameplay or otherwise. And of course, I'm entertained on the way over. I don't mind stereotypical, flat characters AS LONG as it supports old-school style gameplay (I DARE you to tell me that the characters in Dragon Warrior are complex). When the game flounders is when these components are included when they are supposed to be the most important part of the game. Artsy, "world-exploring" games HAVE to have great maps, and narrative based RPGS HAVE to have unique, detailed characters. However, games that are polished but don't have something special about them are just as guilty of this complaint. For example: Infinite Undiscovery was perfectly playable, polished, and whatnot, but there was no reason for me to keep playing it and not put in a Tales game for the awesome battles, or Lost Odyssey for the great art and intriguing story. I'm willing to forgive a lot of smaller annoyances as long as they don't ruin that something special. But there has to be something special.
2. Extra Features For Absolutely No Reason Nothing irks me quite like a game that brags by saying they have a bank, and a card playing mini-game, and a crafting system, and another minigame, cooking, owning property, a third minigame, and something to do with equipping shards. Each of these is fine in and of themselves, but more often than not I find they contribute absolutely nothing to the game. I find that, sometimes, developers look at their games and think: "...something's missing... I'll find an item crafting script" when that really isn't the problem. The problem is (broken record) that your game doesn't have something special about it. And it doesn't have to be something complicated. Mass Effect is really just a shooter with a fantastic, branching story. It has weapon modding and character romances... but if the game came without them and we never expected them to begin with, would we care? Nope. Focus on something about your game, and take time to make sure it's REALLY good. Extra features and minigames are fine, but they're not the definition of quality.
3. Side-View Battles... Or Else Side-View battle systems are fine, but they don't change gameplay. There's this stigma about using the front-view battle system solely because it's the default, and so everyone forces themselves to use side-view systems and guess what? Everyone uses the same sprites for each game because they need to have a billion animations. How many times have I seen brown-haired goggle guy? Too many. And he always has the same personality because personality and visuals indicate the other. A guy with a creepy helmet is probably going to be evil in some manner. Again, there's nothing wrong with side-view battles, but they're only different from front-view in terms of visuals. Earthbound and several others did just fine front-view. If you're going to use side-view battles, do so for a reason relevant to gameplay, not because front-view battles are being treated like the smelly kid at school.
...And that's all I got.
Edit: I thought of another, so I came back.
4. Appealing To The Lowest Common Denominator I don't mean this in terms of crude humor (I've got PLENTY of crude humor in my own game). What I mean is that the quickest way to mediocrity comes from deciding the structure of your game based on appealing to the person with the shortest attention span. I'm actively disagreeing with some of you (no hard feelings) on a few topics because of this. One in particular is opening cutscenes and their acceptable length. If your story is complicated enough to require a ten minute opening cutscene, then do it. Do it WELL, but do it. As long as it's well put together and is entertaining the whole way through, the player shouldn't mind. Just dear God, make it skippable. The opening of Mass Effect 2 is fantastic, but only the first two times. People who are unwilling to read ten minutes of text will complain, not because your game is garbage, but because they don't like reading. That's not anyone's fault. I don't like football, that doesn't make it stupid. Do what's right for your game and provides the best overall experience, not what will quell nay-sayers.
This post has been edited by KD648: Mar 31 2012, 02:39 PM
RM Skill: Intermediate
1. Unmotivated Characters
It makes no sense when a character joins up for no reason. Nobody does something for no reason. But I think people often forget about how far certain motivation can take you. If Jack joins the party to get revenge on the guy who killed his family, once he’s completed that task there’s very little reason for him to continue on with the party. A lot of games forget that interesting characters are dynamic. Just because Jack is friends with the main character doesn’t mean he wants to be a part of the main characters bigger task.
2. Features for the sake of having features
I feel like a lot of people add features to a game for the sake of having features. I think one of the biggest offenders of this is using a side-view battle script for the sake of having a side-view battle. It restricts innovation in the battle system for people who don’t really know how to script. I’d much rather some innovative features than something that’s merely flashy. With some creativity, there’s quite a bit that can be done without scripts.
3. Mindless Fetch Quests
I hate side quests that consist of collect x number of things. At best it’s busy work. It just feels like extra material for the sake of extra material without adding anything to the game. It’s even worse when a game starts with the main character going into the forest to collect 5 pieces of lumber. It isn’t interesting. It doesn’t further the story in any meaningful way. It doesn’t help with character development. If you want your main character to go into the woods so he can run into the mysterious girl or the evil villain, just start with that meeting. Take out the filler, and give the audience some content.
4. Bad Pacing
I think there’s an attitude that having a longer game means having a more complete, or better game. But if the game is longer because of pointless fetch quests or because the player needs to grind to progress, it’s not long for the right reasons. Much like written fiction, some stories work as short stories, other stories work as long epics. Knowing what sort of story you have makes a huge difference for the pacing of the game. If your story is shorter, make a shorter game. The game will probably be better because of it.
5. Poor Planning
I think the value of writing multiple drafts goes mostly unrecognized. Simply put, good stories don’t happen in one draft. Adequate work can happen in one draft, but I’d say in almost all cases, more revisions will yield a better product. This will also help avoid plot holes and sloppy writing. It’s frustrating watching a character do something difficult when an easier alternative was readily available.