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Role Playing Platformer Discussion

Discussion in 'Game Design, Development And Publishing' started by SnotWaffle Studios, Jul 28, 2017.

  1. SnotWaffle Studios

    SnotWaffle Studios Member

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    Hi guys, I've been working on a platformer RPG recently and have been getting tons of ideas from different games, books, and movies. My game is heading in a direction where new abilities are acquired throughout the story that allow more mechanics and maneuvers, maybe opening up possibilities in early areas that weren't accessible with basic movement. The acquisition of all the abilities culminates in a final "battle" or escape that makes use of all of them in a rapid way.

    Here are some things I'm wondering about. If you could answer at least one, that would be great. I want to get a good discussion going.

    -What are some popular platformer RPGs? And what do you like about them?
    -Would you want to play a platformer that doesn't have levels like Super Mario Bros, but more of a world that you can travel through? What are the benefits/drawbacks of this type of game?
    -What do you think of a game that allows full capabilities (climbing, multi-jump, faster running, etc.) for a brief moment at the very beginning, to show what the player can become, then strip away those powers and make the player work for them? Is that cruel, or motivating? Does it take away from the wonder and surprise at getting new powers/abilities?
    -Does there necessarily have to be enemies/combat in a platformer? What about traps/a changing world to keep you on your toes? What conflicts/obstacles could be interesting that aren't combat related and are unique? (not spikes or lava, etc.)
    -Would you be okay with controls that only use one hand on the keyboard? And don't really make use of the other hand?
    -How important are NPCs?
    -Do you like side-quests? Should the rewards from side-quests have an effect on the main objective? (Like items that can greatly ease your journey)

    If you can think of any other pertinent questions as well, feel free to post them :)

    Thank you so much for your participation in advance!
     
  2. Yal

    Yal GMC Memer GMC Elder

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    • Salt & Sanctuary and any modern Castlevania game (aka Symphony of the Night, Portrait of Ruin, etc). I like them.
    • Yeah, I already do :p
    • I would recommend against having lots of powers early on and then removing them because it's easy to have a long tutorial early on and then it feels like it was all for nothing anyway. Look at Metroid Prime for an example of this. Having the player start out with an OP attack (effortlessly plowing through enemies) and then get a much weaker version of it (that makes those enemies more of a challenge) might be more enjoyable.
    • Yeah, RPG means combat :p I wouldn't say I'm bloodthirsty enough to want enemies for enemies' sake, but they're a great way to add gameplay in a reusable, measurable way with minimal dev effort. Don't underestimate their power as a level design tool.
    • It'd feel weird. Just have them be rebindable and you don't have to worry about that.
    • Only as important as the services and exposition they offer.
    • I like sidequests, I don't like fetch quests or anything else that screams "WE ADDED THIS IN JUST TO PAD OUT THE GAME". Fire Emblem Awakening's paralogues are some of the best sidequests, IMO, since they add extra story bits and often offers new level design quirks you didn't see in the story missions, like the moving walls in Nah's chapter.
     
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  3. inkBot

    inkBot Member

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    What you're describing sounds closer to a metroidvania. What do you mean when you say "platformer RPG"? RPG means a lot of different things to a lot of people. Some put emphasis on stat allocation and/or on stat growth, or on dialogue choices, or on certain combat mechanics.
     
  4. SnotWaffle Studios

    SnotWaffle Studios Member

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    Thank you, I feel more inclined to add combat now haha. And good point about not giving the player too much power at the beginning.

    I guess I mean more of a story oriented game where you can get different gear that helps you on your journey. Kind of like the Legend of Zelda games, where the items are necessary to get to new places/do more things. And the gear will be upgradable. What kind of game would you call that? I feel like RPG just means the player is playing a specific role in a storyline and is able to grow to accomplish the main goal of the game.
     
  5. RangerX

    RangerX Member

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    -What are some popular platformer RPGs? And what do you like about them?
    Actually, this is a pretty rare kind of game. Most people are calling RPGs any game that is having RPG elements (like Castlevania, Yal lol) but they are not. I think to be an RPG you really need to be a story based game and with the main focus of the gameplay on encounters (battles/combat) in order to progress. This said, 2D side scrolling RPGs are rare and you might just have a nice niche to exploit here.


    -Would you want to play a platformer that doesn't have levels like Super Mario Bros, but more of a world that you can travel through? What are the benefits/drawbacks of this type of game?
    Hell yeah. My game The Life Ruby is a Metroidvania-style open world. I sure think this is an under-exploited avenue for platformers.


    -What do you think of a game that allows full capabilities (climbing, multi-jump, faster running, etc.) for a brief moment at the very beginning, to show what the player can become, then strip away those powers and make the player work for them? Is that cruel, or motivating? Does it take away from the wonder and surprise at getting new powers/abilities?
    Basically Metroid's basic design? Sign me up. But don't show everything. Just a couple of cool ones and therefore you don't kill the wonder feeling of certain persons.


    -Does there necessarily have to be enemies/combat in a platformer? What about traps/a changing world to keep you on your toes? What conflicts/obstacles could be interesting that aren't combat related and are unique? (not spikes or lava, etc.)
    In a platformer no, in a RPG yes. As for specific level ingredients, this is too large of matter. I suggest you observe what are obstacles in the more platformers you can and try to inspire yourself. Personally I like to give myself themes for inspiration. Could be an environnement type, animals, places you like, etc


    -Would you be okay with controls that only use one hand on the keyboard? And don't really make use of the other hand?
    Personally no. For controls anyways you should always a couple of suggested methods for the player and key configuration to please the rest.


    -How important are NPCs?
    NPCs are one of the most important factor for story delivery so.... in a RPG they NEED to be there.


    -Do you like side-quests? Should the rewards from side-quests have an effect on the main objective? (Like items that can greatly ease your journey)

    I think side-quests are necessary. They have to be optional, you need to be able to finish the game even if you don't do them and whitout the game feeling like a chore. Side quests are the ideal excuse to add lenght, lore, secrets, etc. This will flesh out your game MUCH more.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2017
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  6. SnotWaffle Studios

    SnotWaffle Studios Member

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    Thank you! All of that helps a lot. You're awesome! Downloading your game right now :)
     
  7. RangerX

    RangerX Member

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    Still very early though. Oh well
     
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  8. inkBot

    inkBot Member

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    Metroidvania is still the term that seems most applicable here.

    That can apply to any game with a story, no matter how small or big the story element is. Calling your game an RPG will make people expect certain things from it, and not without reason. That's why I asked what you meant when you said it.

    -What are some popular platformer RPGs? And what do you like about them?
    To take the question literally, I would have to say Child of Light. I haven't played it, but I've heard good things. To answer the spirit of the question, a very good recent one is Hollow Knight. It's one of the rare ones that truly do the metroidvania formula justice.

    -Would you want to play a platformer that doesn't have levels like Super Mario Bros, but more of a world that you can travel through? What are the benefits/drawbacks of this type of game?
    Either approach is perfectly fine. The biggest challenge design-wise with a inter-connected gameworld is that you need to make it engaging to traverse through multiple times.

    -What do you think of a game that allows full capabilities (climbing, multi-jump, faster running, etc.) for a brief moment at the very beginning, to show what the player can become, then strip away those powers and make the player work for them? Is that cruel, or motivating? Does it take away from the wonder and surprise at getting new powers/abilities?

    I honestly find it a tired cliché that hurts a game more than enriches it. With Metroid it's sort of become a running joke among the fans that Samus needs to be de-powered at the start of every game, just because at the end of the previous one she was powerful enough to deal with anything. You could view it as handing the player a toy, to then take it away and only give it back later. Better let the discovery of a new ability have a sense of wonder to it, in my opinion.

    -Does there necessarily have to be enemies/combat in a platformer? What about traps/a changing world to keep you on your toes? What conflicts/obstacles could be interesting that aren't combat related and are unique? (not spikes or lava, etc.)
    As has already been said, if you throw in the label "RPG" people are going to expect combat. So if you want to live up to the expectation you're setting up, then yes, enemies is a requirement. There have been many platformers without enemies that have done fine. I prefer games with combat, myself, for that enemies are kind of necessary. All platformer obstacles boil down to the same basic idea: touch the thing and you die or get hurt. Everything else is just flavour (spikes, lava, acid, sticky molten sugar, whatever, etc).

    -Would you be okay with controls that only use one hand on the keyboard? And don't really make use of the other hand?
    Me personally, no.

    -How important are NPCs?
    In an RPG? Very. Even the Dark Souls series, which is light on actual "roleplaying", have NPC's.

    -Do you like side-quests? Should the rewards from side-quests have an effect on the main objective? (Like items that can greatly ease your journey)
    Depends entirely on what the quest is and what the reward is. Sometimes I've ignored a side-quest without knowing what the reward is simply because the quest itself is a hassle (almost all escort missions apply).
     
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  9. Yal

    Yal GMC Memer GMC Elder

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    Power isn't the problem, having to introduce them to 20 new mechanics they won't be using until several hours later anyway is. Don't do that and you're fine :p
     
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  10. TonyCold

    TonyCold Guest

    - A Very old game that I used to play when I was a kid. Forgot the name. The best thing I liked about it was the plot
    - I am ready to. Benefits: Make the player excited to discover the worlds - Drawbacks: The player might get bored easily.
    - I prefer games that allow the player to learn such skills and not get them at once.
    - Enemies aren't that necessary. However, You really want some NPCs in your game.
    - I personally prefer to use my both hands while Playing.
    - Very Very Very Very Very Very Very Very Very Very Very Very important. They can form decide whether your Plot is bad or awesome.
    - Side quests are awesome. However, I don't like it when they
     
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