Bumblebee Games

A clueless guy trying to make an CRPG with no experience.

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vast majority of all videogames with a combat component feels really archaic, and how we should consider it hopelessly outdated.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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Yora

3 reasons to choose 3D

The idea of making a game with a Baldur's Gate II style look and controls, that takes heavy influences from games like Fallout or Albion is certainly an appealing one. You can do pretty amazing things with this type of game, and I believe that it is on the more technologically simple end of how videogames go. But there are also a number of inherent traits of this kind of RPGs that could be considered downsides for the kind of things that I would really like to see and express in a game of my own. The first thing is that they are either very heavy in combat or dialogs to make up the bulk of the gameplay, often both. A big combat game is something that I explicitly don't want to make. While the degree of violence in most RPGs is pretty tame, the sheer amount of it is almost always staggering. Your average 16-year old RPG protagonist has killed more people with his hands in his two weeks of adventure than the most brutal warlords in all of history. I find violence to be an extremely interesting topic with incredible depth and complexity. But that depth is not…

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Yora

An isometric Stealth-Game Features Wishlist

Not even a week ago, I decided that I want to try my hand at learning to make a simple 2D isometric RPG. But thinking about what I would want to do different from the games from the 90s that I am familiar with immediately led to my original plan getting completely overwhelmed by feature creep. Which this early in the concept phase isn't really a problem, as there isn't any existing work that becomes obsolete or needs to be completely redone because of it. But the list of features that I would ultimately want to have in a finished game has grown considerably over the last five days. This is a list of things that I want the game to do, from the perspective of a gameplay designer. How the game would actually make these things happen is a programming task, which at this point I know only very little about. But I am already trying to define the features in a way that I can conceptualize as "if-then" statements and that would require the smallest number of calculations to produce a resulting value. I don't have the slightest clue yet. But I think the worldbuilding for the setting…

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Yora

Homework Notes: Fallout

Years ago, I played a little bit of Fallout 2, which gave me a basic understanding of the game's gemeplay, but I didn't really enjoy it and I stopped playing after something like two or three hours. But I had watched several in-depth videos on the first Fallout in particular over the last year, that widely praised it for its accomplishments and dove deeper into its gameplay mechanics. So when I started thinking about what kind of game I would want to make, and zeroing in on some kind of isometric RPG, Fallout was one of the main references for how I want to approach things. Though I'm not really that much interested in the series, having played Fallout at least once will surely be hugely valuable in the future. This really is part of the necessary homework to get into developing this kind of game. Having now played some 10-12 hours of Fallout, I have to say my most objective assessment would be "I am not enjoying the game. To phrase my overall perception in the most positive way, I think that looking at Fallout side to side with Baldur's Gate is like looking at Nosferatu and Casablanca. Nosferatu…

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Yora

A Skill-based character attribute system

I may not have a lot of experience making videogames, but I do know RPG-systems! And it seems rather odd to me that so many CRPGs that have been developed over the decades very clearly attempt to emulate the mechanics used by pen and paper games to determine if an attack hits or a skill checks succeeds. Sure, it works. But those kinds of mechanics are designed around the necessity to introduce randomness by rolling dice and the ability to make all the calculations involved in your head in a second or two. These are limitations inherent to the medium, but in a videogame there really is no need to abide by them. You are needlessly restricting your own design. When the very first CRPGs were being made, and it was still completely unknown what form such games would actually take, I do see some wisdom in those early developers choosing to use a rules system that they already knew does work, and concentrating their work on the technical aspects of having it run in software. And of course, Baldur's Gate is a licensed D&D game, so obviously it had to mirror the game mechanics of D&D. But overall, as…

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