Bumblebee Games

A clueless guy trying to make an open-world RPG with no experience.

Yora

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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Yora

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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Yora

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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Yora

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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Yora

A different Approach to Health and Injury

Yesterday I was thinking how the hit point mechanic in basically all CRPGs and really the vast majority of all videogames with a combat component feels really archaic, and how we should consider it hopelessly outdated. If there were any other ideas that had been introduced in games in the last 40 years. Hit points as a mechanic to track how much a character can endure in a fight before being felled by a mortal injury were fine when Dungeons & Dragons came out in 1977. It's easy to calculate in your head and keep track of with pencil notes while you play. And it made real sense to use the same approach for videogames, back when games were typed by hand and looked like this. But you'd think with nearly half a century of videogame innovation and the unbelievable increase in processing power, this simplistic and crude mechanic would have become obsolete decades ago. Instead, it's still basically the universal default that nobody even seems to question. That isn't to say that it's a bad mechanic and that all the games that use it should have been using something else instead. But its continuing ubiquity is really quite puzzling…

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Yora

Stealth Archer Metroidvania

Four weeks ago I spontaneously decided that I want to learn making a videogame. And it would be an isometric RPG like Baldur's Gate, Fallout, or Albion, because those looked technologically much simpler and like creating assets and environments would go much quicker. But the more I was planning out a roadmap for what kind of work would have to be done to make such a game, it's been starting to look at lot like the degree of challenge and amount of work to be done won't actually be meaningfully simpler and faster compared to taking on a first person 3D game. Whatever time savings there might be from going with an isometric perspective probably would be eaten up by the amount of writing that would have to be done for such a narrative-heavy type of game. And while I think most challenges with animated 3D models and fully 3D environments can be overcome by putting more work into them, unsatisfying writing is something you can't fix with just persistance and determination. And I'm actually not that interested in doing a lot of dialog writing in the first place. So I have decided to explore ideas and concepts for a…

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