Friday, October 17, 2014

Battle Systems

Despite the lack of updates lately, I have been working away, though not in the way of finishing the game.  This time off time was spent well.  I was playing other games around the genre I'm working on.  (And also looking at similar genres for ideas.)  It helped me to not go down the road of several ideas I had for revamping a current battle system I'm working on.  I realized a lot of those systems would create games I would dislike.

You see, I'm a very specific type of video game lover.  I like a battle system that either a) doesn't make me think or b) that doesn't make me think too hard or c) rewards me if I do think hard about something.

Translation:  I'm a lazy game player when it comes to battle systems.  I loved all the older games partially because repetitively grinding levels in old RPGs was a terrible chore.  But I often found I had great zen moments while doing so.  Older games made it rewarding to grind.  Newer games rarely get the ability to grind right.

Etrian Odyssey, for example.  A great game, made for people who loved the old first person maze-runing RPGs, like the long-running Wizardry series.  But not for people like me. The only thing I ever got out of the NES Wizardy is that you should have a party of ninjas, and that you should run if you're ever attacked by a band of ninjas.

Ninjas don't like girls named Daniela

A battle system has a lot to do with whether you are trying to create an immersive gaming experience (which means an immersive battle system, in most cases) or an immersive story.  Immersive battle system games don't often have very good stories. Or rather, they aren't scored equally with the story.

On the other hand, story based games also always get lower marks in everything but the story.  And it's sad to say that more people want an immersive system, rather than an immersive story.  To me, this translates as a) the gamer market is changing and b) video game developers are doing a bad job of presenting story elements c) not enough energy is being put into story elements and the writing of video games.

I am trying to create an immersive story experience, that plays like a game.  Partially because that's my preference, and partially because I think it's a fun genre to attempt for my first game.  (How foolish I was to think I could finish it so easily, without any help whatsoever.  Alas.)

So, in summation, when creating video games, think about first and foremost what kind of gamer you're building a game for.  The FPS gamer (ie. you better have good graphics) or the story gamer (ie. you better pull them in and make them believe it.)

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