State of the industry :)

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rooke30
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Re: State of the industry :)

Post by rooke30 » Mon Apr 25, 2016 1:01 pm

Ah okay, a resource thing then :) . However consider this:

The history of CRPGs lie in them imitating the combat systems of offline tabletop wargames, you could even say their roots on the computer lie in them being combat simulators. That is how they developed even though there is now a push for them to incorporate the other major focus of offline RPGs – user defined stories. However, the main point is that the way the combat was employed in Loren and SOTW makes a fairly poor combat simulator in comparison to even the basic system Avadon uses. For example, in Avadon there is much more ability for strategic deployment of troops on the map, including engaging with the environment, than in Loren or SOTW’s limited separate battlefield where enemies are placed in 2 rows.

So when there was an increased emphasis on ‘RPGness’ in SOTW, but little change to combat design, well I think that was to the game’s detriment. It was like focusing more on one of the weaker aspects.

Sure, basic combat systems CAN work (the majority of JRPGs and RPG Maker games for example,) but I dunno, I tend to think the success of those games is much more of a lottery than those with sophisticated designs. Or maybe more dependent on a good story?

If developing a decent combat system would take too long, maybe keep the games a pleasant mix of a shortish and fun story combined with some combat? Tricky situation TBH.

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IotaOne
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Re: State of the industry :)

Post by IotaOne » Mon Apr 25, 2016 1:06 pm

rooke30 wrote: Avadon 1/2, Avernum 1 - 6, Eschalon 1 - 3, ShadowRun/Dragonfall/Hong-Kong, Divinity OS, Age of Decadence, Underrail, Pillars of Eternity, Wasteland 2, Darkest Dungeon, Geneforge, Serpent in the Staglands, Lords of Xulima etc

The Indie RPG realm has been revitalised in the past few years driven by unprecedented demand for old style, isometric games. It's been a good few years :3
If you call reselling old games on steam revitalising, and games like Darkest Dungeon RPG then yes, otherwise i stick to my statement.
"Truth is like poetry. And most people f*cking hate poetry."

rooke30
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Re: State of the industry :)

Post by rooke30 » Mon Apr 25, 2016 1:19 pm

IotaOne wrote:If you call reselling old games on steam revitalising, and games like Darkest Dungeon RPG then yes, otherwise i stick to my statement.
If you take a list of the isometric RPGs sold in the past few years, and compare it to a list of the isometric RPGs sold between say ... 2002 and 2010, that aren't crappy Russian developed things, then you would know how barren it was before, and how bountiful these days are in comparison:
Avadon - 2011, Avadon 2 - 2013, Divinity/Eternity/Wasteland2/Shadowrun all in the past few years, Eschalon 2 - 2010 Eschalon 3 - 2013, Underrail coming, Age of Decadence recently released, Serpents of Staglands 2015, Lords of Xulima 2014.

So I disagree with your statement.

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jack1974
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Re: State of the industry :)

Post by jack1974 » Mon Apr 25, 2016 1:26 pm

rooke30 wrote: Sure, basic combat systems CAN work (the majority of JRPGs and RPG Maker games for example,) but I dunno, I tend to think the success of those games is much more of a lottery than those with sophisticated designs. Or maybe more dependent on a good story?
For sure a good story is important. However for example Lord Of Xulima uses a combat system similar to Loren/SOTW (no map, just two lineups). The other you mention yes. But while I like the RPG with a map, it's not essential to make it fun I think. See Grimrock, even if that game is real-time so it's a bit different.
I think a turn-based dungeon game, like Eye of the beholder or Lands of lore, would be fun to play even today :)

I agree though that Darkest Dungeon is more a roguelike than a RPG. Your characers all die too quickly :lol:

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DarkWolf
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Re: State of the industry :)

Post by DarkWolf » Mon Apr 25, 2016 10:14 pm

I think that when we talk about gameplay such as in Loren and SOTW the most important things are balance and having something unique in some battles and I would say SOTW was a full hit on the mark in both those things, if I had any complaint for SOTW gameplay it would be only that it doesn't have any last boss battle in the end of a game.

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Re: State of the industry :)

Post by kadakithis » Tue Apr 26, 2016 7:08 am

When I look for VNs, I have a short list, f/f romance, some plot, and not made for guys only. There are enough out there, that I'm not as happy with one option when the game has several more guys. That said I love buying games that seem unique regardless of the orientation of the protagonist. Hatoful Pigeon, Matches and Matrimony, Kiss of Revenge, Eiyuu Senki, Katawa Shoujo, Cinders.

I just mean a lot of the games you made recently look and sound a little basic if you don't know them. Planet Stronghold and SotW both came across as fairly normal archetypes of the genre. It didn't have a hook as much as just presented itself. I knew they were good, because you put out good games and I follow them, but for both I hesitated and was happy I got them. I'm going to buy C14 right now, haven't til now because of a broken computer, but my first impression was it sounded a bit boring. Not to say it won't knock my socks off, because they always do, but a lot of these games the hook is the good writing and characters, which doesn't show itself to the buyer at first.

Games like Queen of Thieves, Roger Steel, and Undead Lily have more uniqueness to hook in a buyer so they can get to know the characters and good writing. Buyers love gimmicks and unique settings and the more glutted any market the more important to stand out.

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jack1974
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Re: State of the industry :)

Post by jack1974 » Tue Apr 26, 2016 7:29 am

kadakithis wrote: Games like Queen of Thieves, Roger Steel, and Undead Lily have more uniqueness to hook in a buyer so they can get to know the characters and good writing. Buyers love gimmicks and unique settings and the more glutted any market the more important to stand out.
Yes I know, though I offer the demo to try so people can see how is the writing/characters etc before buying :)
But I hear what you say. I am friend with some top indies like Ryan Clark (who did Crypt Of Necrodancer) and he wrote a good article about this. Talking with him, he says that for all his games the FIRST thing he does is to make sure they have a unique hook.
It's easier for non-story based games I think. I mean you can have games like the recent Steam releases, Goat Simulator, I Am Bread etc :lol: but unless you make a comedy game, it's harder to be unique in writing.
I think it's more important the banner image and maybe the message. When I first heard about Game Of Thrones (haven't read the books) and I saw the iron throne I thought "wow that's cool". And that was just a single image that hooked me.

So in future even if a game is basically generic fantasy, like Loren, I need to make sure has some hook for the potential player. Loren had it... ahem maybe was the banner with the boobs :oops: :oops: but even without that, "amazon princess" was enough to make players interested :)
I think the same for QoT. I mean... "The Queen Of Thieves!" sounds powerful. Players want to know more!
Ok end of the rant hahah!

kadakithis
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Re: State of the industry :)

Post by kadakithis » Tue Apr 26, 2016 8:04 am

Yeah, I think what hooked a lot of people in was the idea of The amazon princess, the fact you were her servant, and most importantly, it made it sound like a large epic. Even if it''s standard of the genre, it poses to be exciting. SotW didn't have any chosen ones, royalty, glowing swords, and gathering armies. Also in the banner, Loren is in more bright colors and looks right at you, rather than the twins who are somewhat muted and in more obvious poses. Looking over the description, there is also the idea of customization and the hook was in the first few sentences, while it was easier to glaze over with SotW due to the story being in the journey than in any specific thing.

I have to say I'm curious how QoT, UndeadLily, and Roger Steel will do. Those were the games that immediately hooked me based on premise alone and seem to have a more enticing feel. I have no doubt I'd have bought them before (like I did several of your games before I realized they were all the same person) and think they will be more financial successes.

chudah
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Re: State of the industry :)

Post by chudah » Tue Apr 26, 2016 1:35 pm

The sad thing is that it seems that doing "normal" VN is not worth it anymore. The only games popular on Steam are those with sexy contents. People expect them to have it, and to be cheap.
This is the damage that the Sakura games have done to the OELVN genre. Many of us predicted it would come to this, but most didn't care as long as they got their titillation for cheap, story be damned.
Many of VN fans don't play and don't fallow OELVNs (Original English Language VNs) and don't hear about them. The only really well known OELVNs on most of VNs fans forums are the ones connected with one of big 3 VN localization companies (Sekai Project, Mangagamer, JAST USA). That said among people who do also read and fallow OELVNs Winter Wolfs are considered to be one of biggest if not the biggest OELVNs developers.
I may be in the minority, but I find that a lot of OELVNs tend to have MUCH better writing that most of the Japanese novels that are localized. I think part of that is due to the English writers having a better grasp on how humans would realistically act and feel (at least from a western standpoint). Whether you want to admit it or not, a lot of Japanese characters are very tropey and oftentimes do stupid and unrealistic things in service of the story. This always annoys me. Don't get me wrong, there are some amazing Japanese VNs out there, but I often have a hard time relating to the characters.

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DarkWolf
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Re: State of the industry :)

Post by DarkWolf » Wed Apr 27, 2016 1:27 am

chudah wrote:I may be in the minority, but I find that a lot of OELVNs tend to have MUCH better writing that most of the Japanese novels that are localized. I think part of that is due to the English writers having a better grasp on how humans would realistically act and feel (at least from a western standpoint). Whether you want to admit it or not, a lot of Japanese characters are very tropey and oftentimes do stupid and unrealistic things in service of the story. This always annoys me. Don't get me wrong, there are some amazing Japanese VNs out there, but I often have a hard time relating to the characters.
I think that Japanese trend to try to put their story in setting superior to real world, have culture of their own and make characters more idealistic is a good thing not a bad one. In fact this is one of biggest reasons why I got hooked up on Anime and Japanese VNs. Like for example let's take romance genre for example, western writers often tend to write about very real life like relationships and that most of the times prevent me from liking them because if I wanted and liked casual real life like relationships I would be out there dating not sitting in my room reading romance, when I read romance I want a real love story out of this world and that's what Japanese VNs tend to try to provide, rather then sticking to a ground like western stories they shoot for the sky. Rather then trying to make characters that resemble real life people that would do things the same way real life people do them they try to make their character idol like that are superior to real life people and a symbol of what they believe people should be like and this is exactly why I like anime and Japanese VNs so much.

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