All About cboyuno
Ask yourself this. What is gameplay? You hear this phrase a lot, and you assume that it's the most important part of a game, but what does it mean? The way I like to define it is: "That which keeps a game from being a movie".
Have you ever played a game and gotten the warm fuzzy feeling? I'm talking about waking up, powering on your console or PC, grabbing a snack and becoming completely immersed in the world brought to life for you by the game designers who made it. For you, it stops becoming code and starts becoming characters, your favorite weapons, your favorite moves, decisions, and often an epic soundtrack. The way in which a game is presented to us often has the greatest impact on us.
While hardcore gamers will argue endlessly over what makes the greatest games so good, there are simple elements that make a game suck you in and forget about life. These games have the "X-Factor", and they have a few ingredients that make them so delicious. (One of which game developers have no control over).
Everyone who considers himself a gamer will agree that at least one of these X-Factor games existed for them. Without it, they certainly wouldn't have become gamers. As time goes by and you play more and more games, it becomes increasingly difficult to find a game that really makes it worth the $60 price of admission. The more games we play that are copies of each other, the less we become immersed and we start to yearn for old games and the excitement and wonder they gave us. This can often lead to people replaying their old games, or purchasing remakes of old games.
Player Impact: If there is no connection between the player and the world, the player will immediately grow bored and the motivation to keep playing just won't be there. Believe me when I say this is the most important aspect of any game. Even if you are playing a simple game like Tetris, you need to at least care about your score. The score is a reflection of your impact on the game world. In a game like World of Warcraft, the idea remains the same but it is far deeper and more complex because the human element exists, and your impact will shape the world itself and how other players see the world. In a competitive multiplayer game like Call of Duty, players fight for impact. Greater impact = a greater sense of power and everyone loves the power trip they get from calling in an AC-130.
Sense of Wonder: When you first played Zelda, or when you first played an MMO, this is what you felt. Maybe you felt this from playing Pokémon: Blue Version as a child and realizing that you had an entire world that could be impacted by your own choosing. At 8 years old you could explore mountains and defeat evil. If you ever wonder why games seemed better as a child it's because the sense of wonder came naturally to you. When I argue with people over which Zelda was better: Ocarina of Time, Wind Waker, or Twilight Princess, the answer is always the game that the person played first. For me it was Wind Waker because that was my first Zelda game. For my friend it was Ocarina of Time because that was his first Zelda game and for my little cousin it was Twilight Princess.
Progress: One reason why gamers play more games than they watch T.V. is because they feel a sense of accomplishment and progress. Nothing kills a game for me like a lack of progression. If I don't feel like I'm going anywhere and that I'm not getting anything out of a game I stop playing it and rarely ever look back. Why do you think every game has a leveling system these days? Why do you think that RPGs are so much fun? You guessed it; you enjoy progress even if it's not real progress. There comes a point where you will just keep playing a game until you have unlocked everything. You later wonder how you spent so much time playing "that game". Well, you were addicted to progress. Your progress gave you greater impact on the world and allowed you to do and discover more and more new things, adding to your sense of wonder and enjoyment of the game.
One common misconception is that graphics and gameplay are extremely important. Well I'm going to turn that on its head and say gameplay isn't the most important part of a game. It never has been and never will be. People play games that are fun, not games that have good gameplay. Until gameplay has been defined, it will remain a useless description. After all, why do you think Farmville is so popular?
Borderlands and Fallout 3 showed us that First person shooters can mix well with Western RPGs. As amazing as these ideas were, the concept of a Western and Japanese hybrid RPG only hit me after playing Dragon Quest IX for the DS and Mass Effect 2 for the XBOX 360.
Western RPGs tend to be gritty. They are bloody and the world around you is harsh and unforgiving. Your character is usually selected by you from the beggining and the character customization is on a large scale. You can be the hooded necromancer with red eyes or the half naked blonde chick that fights with her fists. The choice is all up to you.
Japanese RPGs go for the anime type graphics and physics. Character customization usually comes down to allocating points. Instead of body parts flying around, usually fireworks are in place. It is often turn based with beautiful visuals and likeable characters. Japanese RPGs are usually kid-friendly. And this my friends, is the wall or should I say "protection" that is keeping Mr. JPRG and Ms. Western RPG from having a child.
Now don't get me wrong, I love both genres, but in order to create a hybrid I am going to have to make some changes. The first thing that has to go is the kid-friendly staple. I am not saying it is impossible to make a Hybrid RPG without blood, but the blood isn't really the only thing that makes a game mature.
In Mass Effect 2 you are able to decide the fate (or should I say the LIVES) of many people at many different points in the story. Mass Effect 2 uses the same method of cut-scenes as a JRPG uses to tell the story. The main character is usually very passionte. However the player is given controll of what the main character says and does. This is something that must be included. Keep the emotional and dramatic conversations but include decision making and don't be afraid to let the character speak even if you can't hear them.
In Dragon Quest IX you have many decisions, and decisions are a good thing. Dragon Quest IX allows you to craft your gear or grind monsters for gold which you can use to purchase the gear. You can beat the game solo or with a full party. This is something that should be in all games. In the Hybrid RPG party size should be decided by the player.
The real question however, is how do you manage combat. The truth is, it doesn't matter. A turn based RPG or a real-time RPG or even a Hybrid (ALA Tales of Symhonia) all are fine decisions. This is up to the developer.
Now picture in your head a turn based RPG set in the apocalypse with anime type graphics. The bacground is a dark sky with crumbling buildings similar to fallout. However the graphics engine is that of Dragon Quest IX.
"You and your party slowly travel down the small dusty gray raod and each one of you is looking down at your feet as you walk. Another caravan approaches yours. Because the raod is narrow they pull out their guns and ask you to move out of the way for them. You decide to stand your ground. For a minute your caravan and thiers are both their staring each other down with shotguns and pistols. Because the game is no longer restricted to a moral code, your character, a chick with pink hair steps forward.
You tell her to attack and she pulls out a magnum,Hammers onthe trigger and it blows half of the other caravan driver's head in half. The recoil knocks her back a bit because she doesn't weigh much, and her face looks solemn as if this isn't the first time she has had to do this... Two of the caravan members open fire and you order your party to attack too. After winning the battle one member is still alive and has laid his machine gun down, now out of ammo. Your right arm is bleeding and if you dont find an old hospital soon you will surely die. You have to option to spare this man by letting him run, kill him on the spot, or recruit him to your party..."
Your characters may be good, evil, or something in between. The game does nothing to censor your decisions. This particular game is not for children! Yet it still has the same graphical engine as a traditional JRPG.
Now I will break down what I see as the fundamentals ofany Hybrid JRPG and Western RPG.
- Deep character customization with manydecisions for the player.(WRPG)
- Lengthy gameplay that you can sink your teeth into with a high level cap (or no level cap) (JRPG)
- Ending may be a sad one. Main characters may die, maybe even all of them. Players have some say in the storyline (WRPG)
- Graphics are uniform and may or may indeed have a "cute"anime look. This does not mean that the game is kid-friendly. (WRPG)
- Hidden secrets and endgame. There should be stuff to do when the game is over (JRPG)
The Hybrid RPG will have lots of customization with an emotional storyline. Characters will feel much more human and the ending will be anything but predictable. Combat will be grittier with blood and the scenery while beautiful will also be more down to earth. The music will be a mix of both happy JRPG tunes an gloomy melodies from Western RPGs.
Thanks for reading!
Ah, viva la Resistencia, żno? Defeating WoW seems impossible. The game has outlasted all of its competitors as far as anyone is concerned.WoW has done what no other game could. It turned a game into a community. Many gamers have fond memories of WoW (some hate it) However, it needs to end. It is time for WoW to pass on its crown.
So why does WoW need to die? It doesn't, but it does need to give up its place as number one. This party has gone on way too long. Games like Warhammer: Age of Reckoning and Age of Conan both failed due to a lack of content and polish. They tried to take WoW head-on without giving enough thought into what they were doing. The critics would argue that they were not being original enough.
Along came Realtime worlds. They created an open world GTA-like MMO. They promised that at its heart it would be a shooter and that it would have many MMO qualities. Well, APB failed in a number of ways. In fact, Realtime worlds went bankrupt. There were balancing and matchmaking issues as well as hacks. This was bad to begin with. The real problem was that 100 million dollars won't make a good game if your concept stinks. The MMORPG players didn't like it because it was too much of a hardcore third person FPS. The hardcore third person FPS players all stuck with games like Gears of War 2 and the open world players just scoffed and went back to GTA IV! It was a hot mess.The critics claimed it was too different from the traditional MMO to succeed and for the most part they were correct.
So you can't be too similar to WoW, and you can't differentiate yourself too much it would seem. Well, I think we are forgetting something here. It's a game called City of Heroes, and it came out before any of these games. City of Heroes has seen mild success (Which means a lot inthe MMO industry). The game looks like most MMOs however it has something that every game needs. Indeed it has a strong community, fun gameplay, and graphics that don't require a good computer to run. It also has a vast world to explore.And folks, this is the key.
City of Heroes is just a basic MMO where you customize ahero and then you team up with friends to kill "bad guys" and learn new moves. You've seen it all before, BUT, it does everything properly.It really is quite simple yet far more successful than a recent game like Champions online. At this point in time you would assume that most developers would have the basics down for creating an MMO.This is not the case. Too much complexity in the wrong places is the issue.
I have read an article where it talks about game developers saying that they just can't compete withthe WoW juggernaut. It's this kind of defeatist attitude that will never meet with success. WoW can be beaten; it just requires a few simple tools.
First, make the graphics so that the majority of gamers can run the game on their computer. Second, make the gameplay simple yet challenging. Don't copy WoW. Do something different enough for the gameplay to be fun. (Age of Conan got combat almost perfect). In other words. Change the setting/atmosphere and make the combat different yet addicting. These are usually the only things that the developers get wrong!
Make the world big. Make it REALLY Big. Nobody likes instances in a modern MMO. Champions online made a bunch of different instances for the different zones. This meant that you never really got to know any of the players because you really were playing accross thousands of servers instead of just one home server.
This ties into the last point. The community needs to be there. This is the most important aspect. To do this, don't create ways for players to easily grief each other.A program that plays a song for the person that you kill is a bad idea. Nobody wants to hear "Still Alive" from Portal every time you kill them (Looking at you APB!).
Make smart gameplay decisions but never lose sight of keeping a game simple enough and accessible enough for casuals. (WoW is at least 50% casual players.). If you isolate casual players or hardcore players, the game suffers. If you want to dethrone WoW the casual players and the hardcore players must interact.
Games like Farmville online may succeed but theywon't dethrone WoW. It will isolate the hardcore crowd in the same way Age of Conan isolated the casual crowd.
Ultimately the success of a game rides on the shoulders of the gamers. You must be willing to give up WoW and try out the newest MMORPG. Because sooner or later, a better game will emerge. If the gameplay suffers even a little bit, players become angry and take their anger out on other players. Solid gameplay that fits the physics in a vast and inspiring worldis the foundation for a happy MMORPG community. Once a game launches, the strength of the community determines success or failure.
Thanks for reading!