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Thread: Techniques of modern game design

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    Default Techniques of modern game design

    Here's a video featuring Torulf Jernström discussing methods of making modern games more profitable. He's the CEO of Tribeflame which makes mobile games, but the methods he uses are widely used throughout the industry.




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    I saw a bit of this as much of it was displayed in one of Jim Sterling's recent videos. It's a lot of psychological techniques to coax people into buying into microtransactions.

    //This video detailed mobile games(and what some major AAA publishers are trying hard to push iin full priced games, but there's a lot of other differences in modern gaming as well though. I've pointed out the differences in quests now and the quests back then but people either don't want to listen or just don't understand. Most gamers now days are your common sheep sadly .

    Quests now days for instance are NPCs that want you to run all the way across the entire world to talk to someone, kill a group of enemies you've killed hundreds of times, or craft something you've crafted hundreds of times over. These NPCs are nothing more than event markers with check boxes that have to be ticked to resolve and that's it. These aren't side quests, they're errands. Lazy development compared to real content.

    Here's an example to how side quests were in the past, and this is nearly everything up to the end of the PS2 gen. Yes there are games like Yakuza who still do these same fetch quests, but atleast in the case of Yakuza there is a lot of great dialogue to be found within these quests that put it above just a lazy point a to b event. However, side quests are rarely like they were.

    Since Final Fantasy is popular, it's easy for people to understand, or should be easy to understand. Anyways, this goes towards any Final Fantasy 10 and prior, but I'll detail FF4. The only event where you have to bring x item here in Final Fantasy 4 is when you find Yang unconscious. What do you do? You speak to the King of Fabul, nothing, so you speak to his wife, then bring a frying pan to hit him in the head, and that's literally the only "fetch quest" side quests, but in this case, you still have to put forth effort. However, real side quests are Eblan Castle, Sylph Cave(which is where you find Yang to begin with,) The Land of Summoned Monsters, and Cave of Bahamut. There are also smaller side quests within towns and dungeons which is really just more exploration, but you won't find equipment and even summons without a bit of exploration or returning to locations, Odin in Baron Castle for instance.

    You almost don't see side quests like this anymore. Yes, it's still within some games here and there, but it's a rarity. Dark Souls, Bloodborne, Bravely Default, etc, are similar in style to the past style, but most games, RPGs included, are just NPC events that require you to do some lame point a to b fetch quest objective.
    Everything in the above post is opinion unless stated otherwise.

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    The only side/fetch quests I particularly dislike are ones that involve grinding. Like when it's not good enough to get one of an item, but you need to repeatedly do the same thing over and over until you've saved up 5 or 10 or what have you.

    Beyond that, I don't think fetch quests have changed much. I can think of tons of fetch quests in classic games where you have to travel back and forth across the world just to talk to NPCs or pick up an item from one to bring to another. From RPGs like the Lufia games and Breath of Fire, to adventure games like Link's Awakening, to even platformers like Donkey Kong Country 3. Plenty of old school games have busywork fetch quests that just extend playtime rather than involving new content in the game.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aussie2B View Post
    Beyond that, I don't think fetch quests have changed much. I can think of tons of fetch quests in classic games where you have to travel back and forth across the world just to talk to NPCs or pick up an item from one to bring to another. From RPGs like the Lufia games and Breath of Fire, to adventure games like Link's Awakening, to even platformers like Donkey Kong Country 3. Plenty of old school games have busywork fetch quests that just extend playtime rather than involving new content in the game.
    You might be able to think of some, but how many of them can you think of per game? If there are "ACTUAL" fetch quest events, events are a rarity, and it doesn't really count when a character asks you to go through a dungeon in a story event and that's the very reason why you explore that dungeon. Example. Having to get the sand ruby from the ant lion's den because Rosa has the desert fever. You're going in there to specifically get the item, but you're exploring an entire dungeon. You're not going to x area because you followed a radar, fought a few random enemies, and then came back to collect your petty reward.

    I love Yakuza, because there's actually a bit of exposition within these fetch quests, but Yakuza is a prime example of these lazy fetch quests. After you hear whatever problem the character is having, you have to run to x area to resolve problem by beating up your random generic thugs, and then speak to the person to complete the quest. However, many games aren't like Yakuza and they don't have these same fun and quirky dialogue exchanges. Many games now days just have the event, the objective for the event, and then some shitty reward. Animal Crossing is the perfect example of an early game that adopted this laziness to extend play time. It's also more frequent in PC RPGs than it is on any other PC genre or console game.

    I also like Siralim a lot because the gameplay is really good, the first game is pretty much worthless when the second game exists, but, every time you enter a new area. The events and quests in the game are just lazy collect x amount of items or kill x amount of enemies. You'll do these same lazy quests each and every floor, and yeah, the request might be collect broken pieces of equipment here, and the next quest is to make sure the spider hatchlings are okay(so collect/kill enemies.)

    Sacred 2 has hundreds of side quests, but the writing is so boring you'll just mash through the writing, you'll go to the objective point and do whatever you're supposed to do and then complete the quest. Now I love Sacred 2 because it's an amazing Diablo clone and it's really all about the gameplay at this point(same with the Diablo series which I mention below) but the point is, so many lazy fetch quests.

    Assassin's Creed, "hey, can you please focus on nothing more than map and go to this check point a good five minutes away and kill random enemies".... about a thousand times. Dragon's Dogma has incredible gameplay, but "I know you've killed these Ogres about 937 times right now, but here's another quest to kill another group of Ogres, just this time they're literally 30 minutes away.... after you kill the Ogre's come back to me and speak to me for your reward and new quest, because I'll give you another quest in almost the exact same location to kill some Chimera, chop chop." Diablo 3, enter x random dungeon with the same graphical textures and the same enemies you've seen hundreds of times to clear out the second floor of dungeons of monsters. Nioh, go back to this exact same area and complete a different objective. Destiny, go to the same destination multiple times, kill the same enemies you've killed multiple times. Anthem(I haven't played this one but based on everything I've seen,) fly around 20 minutes to some area, kill a bunch of enemies, then fly to another area, kill some enemies, fly to another area, kill some enemies, complete mission, collect reward.

    It all depends on how developers do it, because like I said, you might find a request being made in game, but the request isn't just go here do this and come back. The request has depth to it and you're required to go into a dungeon you never have to go through again. Good examples of recent games that do this, where there's actually depth to the quests would be Divinity Original Sin and Bravely Default. On both of these games, you take a request that has you explore a unique dungeon and then you get your reward. Each of these quests in Bravely Default have you entering a dungeon, exloring the dungeon and getting to and killing the boss of the dungeon and you never have to enter that dungeon again, because the dungeons existence is for that quest alone. It's not a lazy fetch quest, it's real content within the game. Divinity Original Sin often does this as well, but on Divinity you can actually complete the request before you receive the request, and later when you speak to them to accept the request you can tell them it's already completed and get the experience(and some requests are completed in various different ways, which is far from lazy.)

    Skyrim also doesn't do it lazily, but the problem with Skyrim is the amount of items you'll get that are the same or worse than what you're already carrying, and that anything you get that might be good is completely randomized. Exploring dungeons lose a lot of their luster when you explore for well, little to no reason at all. Half of Skyrim does do it lazily though, and while there's unique dialogue, it's not very good.

    The problem with games today is that developers put these lazy fetch quests in the game to extend replay value. But I'd rather have a well thought out and well developed quest line. Fewer well developed quests is far better than hundreds of meaningless bullshit quests that I'm spending 99% of my time in these quests walking back and forth like I was Frodo from The Lord of the Rings.
    Last edited by kupomogli; 07-04-2019 at 09:26 PM.
    Everything in the above post is opinion unless stated otherwise.

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    I've watched a lot of GDC talks in terms of how you should go about developing your game. There is an incredible amount of data that people have collected over the years that really drills down on people's behaviors and habits when playing video games. You can see a lot that has been implemented by comparing old games to new games. It used to be that you have to restart an entire level if you died, now you get checkpoints. Heck, even checkpoints are starting to be a thing of the past. You just respawn and keep going. All these little things inconveniences break the immersion of the gameplay and gets people to lose interest. This is why developers like Blizzard have added so many "training wheel" mechanics to their games. I've seen escort quests get "completed" status even if you failed, only because you had already put the time in to do the quest.

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    Quote Originally Posted by realswashed View Post
    I've watched a lot of GDC talks in terms of how you should go about developing your game. There is an incredible amount of data that people have collected over the years that really drills down on people's behaviors and habits when playing video games. You can see a lot that has been implemented by comparing old games to new games. It used to be that you have to restart an entire level if you died, now you get checkpoints. Heck, even checkpoints are starting to be a thing of the past. You just respawn and keep going. All these little things inconveniences break the immersion of the gameplay and gets people to lose interest. This is why developers like Blizzard have added so many "training wheel" mechanics to their games. I've seen escort quests get "completed" status even if you failed, only because you had already put the time in to do the quest.
    Recently, the guy that does the web-comic CTRL-ALT-DEL was writing about, what he termed, "quality of life improvements" in Monster Hunter World.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Buckley
    ...little quality of life improvements. Dynamic difficulty scaling, the Seliana Gathering Hub has everything, you can fire your slinger with weapon drawn...
    I never thought I would read things like dynamic difficulty scaling or even respawns being associated with the concept of "quality of life".

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    To me, a QOL improvement in a video game is, like, seeing how equipment affects your stats before buying it or using stairs without having to open up a menu, haha. I think by the 16-bit gen, nearly all the fiddly things about games had already been resolved. Most of the so-called "QOL improvements" since amount to hand-holding or dumbing down to me.

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