Yora

Yora

Do I finally have a game concept?

As anyone who had the patience to follow the progress on my videogame concept to this point should be aware of, I've been plagued by a complete indecision between making it a top-down, party-based RPG or a first-person open-world game from the day that I concluded that a 2D sprite game is definitely off the table. The main argument against a top-down game has always been that the aesthetics of my fantasy and space opera worldbuilding really call for gorgeous landscape views, unreasonably big trees and towers, and views of exotic and alien skies. Which you just don't get when you always hover above the characters and look down at the ground. A first-person game is perfectly suited for such views. But with the ability to push the camera right up to every object in the environment, you have to have much more detail to accomplish the same feeling and appearance of realism, compared to a camera that is 10 meters way. And I also feel that in a non-linear first-person game, where players have freedom to roam around the game world, wilderness environments really only work as open-worlds. If you have smaller areas, players will constantly run into the…

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The Indecision, what a show! The Indecision, here we go!

It's been only ten days since I announced that I had finally made a decision for which of my two game ideas I want to pursue, and only two days since I wrote a bit more about my priorities for making an open-world immersive-simulation. And yet, here we are again. In the last two days, I cooled significantly about my plans to make an open-world first-person game and instead rediscovered the spark that had me originally excited about making a top-down party-RPG. The biggest factor has probably been my contemplation about representing the scale of the world in-game. While it's not strictly a technical requirement, open-world games basically always have a single continuous overworld map. Skyrim somehow manages to just pull it off to make its world feel like the country it is supposed to represent, but that map is already of a size that would be completely delusional for me to attempt all by myself. Other than that, open-world games usually cover a single island, valley, or city, and have a clear focus on a very local story. But I really like the idea of travelling the world, and also the world feeling world-sized. Isometric RPGs typically had a…

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The Open-World Immersive-Simulation

At this point of the concept creation process of my game, I have organized my various ideas and feature wishlists into a somewhat coherent concept that reflects what I consider the ideal open-world roleplaying game. However, Open-world RPGs have gotten a somewhat stained reputation in recent years, for a number of common features and design decisions that many people are increasingly fed up with, and that are regarded as actively making the games less enjoyable instead of more. I do agree with many of those complaints and the whole reason that I find making an open-world game of my own interesting is that I have a very clear vision of how many of these problems would be very easily fixable. After doing some extensive research on the subject, I've found that the common issues many people are having with Open-World RPGs from the last 10-15 years are not actually about the open-world environment, but about widely adopted gameplay features that actively get in the way of what made the early 3D open-world games from the early- to mid-2000s so compelling and enduringly beloved in the first place. People don't hate open-world games. People hate Ubisoft games. A category in which…

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Settling on a Game Type

As it just so happens, it's now exactly two months since I first got the idea in my head to learn making a videogame. And over four weeks since I wrote anything about that here. The main reason for this is that we're currently smack in the middle of peak season at work at my day job. It's basically crunch time for growing plants right now. The time that I do have after work and on Sundays I mostly spend on doing research (which is playing a bunch of 20 year old games and watching Game Makers Toolkit and GDC presentations on youtube). The other reason is that I have been really undecided about what specific kind of RPG I want to make, which of course determines what options for gameplay mechanics are even possible, how the world would be structured and communicated, and what kinds of assets I will have to learn to produce for it. The two main options that were in consideration since the second week were the Baldur's Gate-Kenshi top-down party type, and the Morrowind-Thief first person type. Two general types of RPGs I have a lot of affection for and experience with, which both have…

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3 Reasons for 3rd-Person

The concept phase for a videogame is turning out to be a much larger and interesting adventure than I expected it to be, even while still completely in the pencil notes phase and have done zero digital work on the game yet. Just pondering at work or while lying on the couch what kinds of features I would like to see in an RPG and how I could implement them into specific game mechanics has been quite revealing. Many things that sound great as general statements in a vacuum can look much less appealing when envisioning them in direct interactions with other systems. In the process, I've been cooling significantly on the idea to make the game a first person open world game. All the reasons I had to abandon the earlier plans for an isometric game with either 2D sprites or a 3D engine still remain in place. But switching to a first person perspective and controls is introducing a lot of issues of its own. So right now, I am pursuing ideas for a third person 3D game with iso-RPG-style controls again. But with a camera that allows for zooming in and out on the character across a…

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I played Daggerfall

I wanted to make this another Homework Notes post, in which I list off all the things that I noticed while playing a classic CRPG from the mid-90s to early 2000s that would be good lessons to remember when creating a game of my own. But it really wouldn't deserve that title. I played Daggerfall for a total of three hours. Two hours making it out of the first dungeon, and then one more hour progressing the story in the overworld. Which seems like it's probably not enough to properly rate and review a game of this scope. But I just can't make myself go back to it. Daggerfall is without a doubt the worst game I have ever played. And by a huge margin. This is just atrociously bad. I would love to mention the things about it that I did find interesting or inspiring enough to say something good about them. But there just isn't a single thing about this whole experience I had that wasn't awful. In the unity engine, the outside world sometimes manages to look a bit evocative, but that's not part of the original game. It's not "it's an old game and you're playing…

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