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do you like stat raising/scheduler system in dating sims?

Games with gameplay beside the story: raising your skills, map systems, life simulations, etc

do you like stat raising/scheduler system in dating sims?

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jack1974
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do you like stat raising/scheduler system in dating sims?

Postby jack1974 » Sat Sep 10, 2016 5:11 pm

Poll time!!!!!!
As I posted a while ago, I've been reading various reviews/comments from people who played some of my dating sims and they were turned off by the stat raising/scheduler system. Very often I read "the story was interesting but the stat raising turned me off" or similar.

Of course for me the hard time is to understand if that's a vocal minority or not.

Plainly speaking, my VN sells MUCH LESS than the dating sims. However, is also true that I never made a VN really good. In practice my early games were VNs, so the ones with best writing, more art, etc (more recent ones) were dating sims. So this doesn't really help me :)

So I made this poll, also allowing different choices. Because not all stat raising are the same: the ones I used in Flower Shop or Heirs & Graces are very simple to understand. Those of Roommates (with many activities and day split in 3 parts) or Nicole/Always Remember Me (visiting places and do different activities based on time of the day/weekday) are definitely more complex.

Basically trying to understand if I am doing something stupid (trying to add gameplay when people would rather just read the story :lol:).

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Franka
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Re: do you like stat raising/scheduler system in dating sims?

Postby Franka » Sat Sep 10, 2016 6:51 pm

In general, I don't particularly care for stat raising. In WW games, I've done it because I had to, but at times I've found it really, really annoying (I just want to finish another route, but I have to go through the planner taking the same actions again and again and again and..... :x ).

On the other hand, Long Live the Queen (of course not exactly a "dating" sim) is one of my favorite games, and that's extremely complicated stat raising.

I think a main issue with stat raising in existing WW games is that you generally just want to raise the same two stats over and over, and that honestly seems rather pointless when I could have just pressed the "choose this romance interest" button for the exact same effect. If stats did something else that was meaningful, besides unlocking best ending or whatever, it would be a different matter.

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jack1974
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Re: do you like stat raising/scheduler system in dating sims?

Postby jack1974 » Sat Sep 10, 2016 6:58 pm

Franka wrote:I think a main issue with stat raising in existing WW games is that you generally just want to raise the same two stats over and over, and that honestly seems rather pointless when I could have just pressed the "choose this romance interest" button for the exact same effect. If stats did something else that was meaningful, besides unlocking best ending or whatever, it would be a different matter.

Yes that's the problem. It's a system used in a lot of dating sims, but I don't like it much either.
I am trying to move away from certain choices I made in the past, like having a "good/bad choice". In some of my future games the choices will impact the story and your personality (also which CG you end, dominant/submissive etc). But there won't be anymore a right/bad choice (except some games already in progress).
I think that if I keep it, will make it simpler like in Heirs & Graces, since people seemed to like that one more than the others.

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Pace675
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Re: do you like stat raising/scheduler system in dating sims?

Postby Pace675 » Sat Sep 10, 2016 11:24 pm

One big issue about a stat mini game in a VN....the stats have ZERO effect on the game besides the ending, also the stats have little pertinence to the player character as a whole. (Yes I know it affects the ending(s)) But in the story itself, I have yet to see anything. The text shall remain the same no matter what skills you choose to level. If you want me to get hyped about a stats raising VN have it effect the gameplay and presented dialogue else it is a boring trudge just to get to the good bits.

For example:
A college romance sim with stats that would intrigue me;
What is their major, and activities. (stat part) Math, English, Science, Sports, Art? Are they a cheerleader, TA, slacker, or what ever else that fits within the Uni environment, as additional skills that could be leveled.

Now with that in mind, look for complimenting pairs, Like a Science major that is a TA, the way others would see that MC would change. And the text presented to the player should change too. From student to teacher's pet or what ever else comes to mind. That too should change what is available for the player to pursue as a romance interest (I know I know more work for you but more story and more character development is good for all!) and/or make it harder and easier to pursue others. Like the the trope nerd gets the cheerleader, there is always a path of resistance, but it is that resistance that makes getting your crush all the better.

Very rarely are there rivalries, player chooses their goals, (usually a static antagonist opposes them) with your stats, using the geek again their rival would be a jock, if they try to woo a cheerleader, or a another science wiz if they go after another scholar. Different antagonist same over all story but changes for that PC.

Right now stat raising is just a time sink away from the game, and has little to nothing to do with the game itself.

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DarkWolf
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Re: do you like stat raising/scheduler system in dating sims?

Postby DarkWolf » Sun Sep 11, 2016 2:20 am

I think I already talked about this before, but I don't mind status raising that much in WW games since I think they work well with WW games up till now and they don't take you away too far from a story like in some other dating sims where you need to greed status raising for hours to continue with a story but that said I prefer a pure VNs over the ones with stat raising element. I find stat raising to be kinda pointless since it isn't very fun to play and it doesn't affect anything other then ending witch could easily be left to choices witch would also make a lot more sense. Maybe if every job you take in status raising had a different mini game it would be more fun but even then I think I would probably still prefer a pure VN where your choices decide outcomes.

Troyen
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Re: do you like stat raising/scheduler system in dating sims?

Postby Troyen » Sun Sep 11, 2016 4:08 am

Pace675 wrote:One big issue about a stat mini game in a VN....the stats have ZERO effect on the game besides the ending, also the stats have little pertinence to the player character as a whole. (Yes I know it affects the ending(s)) But in the story itself, I have yet to see anything. The text shall remain the same no matter what skills you choose to level. If you want me to get hyped about a stats raising VN have it effect the gameplay and presented dialogue else it is a boring trudge just to get to the good bits.

Magical Diary is probably the only stat raising game where I actually liked the mechanic. You had to balance your time between five schools of magic, the more you progressed in one the more spells you learned which gave you different ways to solve the exam puzzles and sometimes different interactions with the teachers.

All the other stat raising games you essentially just spam whatever activity your love interest enjoys. It's boring because there's no gameplay involved - you just watch a number randomly grow larger or smaller based on whether the game decided you "failed" at surfing the internet.

And honestly, I find it detracts from the story sometimes. Take C-14 for an example. Picking certain activities on certain days can show different scenes so you'd normally get a different experience replaying the game just from all the possible interactions with the other characters, but even though you can end the game with four hearts on a relationship, if you didn't spend most of your time on their specific activity, you don't get a good ending. It takes away from the flexibility of the planner and the replayability of exploring different combinations. (That said, I did find the cave minigame in C-14 to be fun. If only the stats had an effect on the minigames so they didn't feel like two independent systems.)

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jack1974
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Re: do you like stat raising/scheduler system in dating sims?

Postby jack1974 » Sun Sep 11, 2016 6:48 am

Thanks for the feedback guys. Very interesting. I agree with the points made.
Stat raising would probably work better in games like raising sim with a LOT of gameplay, like the Princess Maker series. In my games there's probably "too much text" or too many scenes. Also the fact that they only change the endings is a big factor.

In practice I think that either I do stat raising where there's a lot more gameplay (at the point that becomes more a simulation game than a dating sim) or for story-rich games it's probably a deterrent rather than an interesting feature :lol:

At this point I am thinking for Never Forget Me to just go with VN/choices. It was already made so that the outcome changes only with the story choices, and the stats would influence only the epilogues, so probably doesn't make sense to do a full scheduler just for that.
Maybe I should just do a different stuff, some sort of minigame, to raise those stats. A match3 or something, I don't know. Will need to think about it :)

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Re: do you like stat raising/scheduler system in dating sims?

Postby Amberbaum » Sun Sep 11, 2016 7:08 am

Troyen wrote:Magical Diary is probably the only stat raising game where I actually liked the mechanic. You had to balance your time between five schools of magic, the more you progressed in one the more spells you learned which gave you different ways to solve the exam puzzles and sometimes different interactions with the teachers.
Yeah, I liked the stat raising mechanic in Magical Diary too. It made sense since it was a school and we were learning spells with that. So it didn't feel like a chore.

Thought my favourite VN that has stat elements in it is Seven Kingdoms: The Princess problem from Azalyne studios. Similar to Magical Diary or Long Live the Queen it makes sense to raise your stats so that your character will get better and to pass checks. Otherwise stat raising feels just like a waste of time. I don't like it when games do this : "raise stat so you can unlock your better ending with your LI." Now that feels like a chore and just stretches the play time unnecessarily.

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jack1974
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Re: do you like stat raising/scheduler system in dating sims?

Postby jack1974 » Sun Sep 11, 2016 8:36 am

Yes making stat raising because you need to pass checks is good, it's what I did with Heirs & Graces (though that game also has the "unlock bonus CG/ending" based on stats).

Amberbaum
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Re: do you like stat raising/scheduler system in dating sims?

Postby Amberbaum » Sun Sep 11, 2016 11:06 am

jack1974 wrote:Yes making stat raising because you need to pass checks is good, it's what I did with Heirs & Graces (though that game also has the "unlock bonus CG/ending" based on stats).
Honestly, I think you should do what you want especially in terms of time and effort. If it ends up simply annoying and very time consuming to program then why don't you make something that can be enjoyable for the player but won't drive you totally bonkers.

And sorry for the double post. I just saw the spammer post and didn't knew that this forum had a spam infection :(


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