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Community => General discussion => Topic started by: Diarandor on April 23, 2016, 02:00:24 pm

Title: What is more important for you in a Zelda-like game?
Post by: Diarandor on April 23, 2016, 02:00:24 pm
Hi pals! I am a very curious person, and I was wondering which elements of the gameplay of a Zelda-like game are more important for most of the players (which is quite subjective to each one's opinion), so I created this poll.

The result can be useful to quest makers in order to make a game with balanced gameplay/mechanics according to what most of the people want.

You can vote for 2 options, to choose the 2 options you think are more important. I think it is a bit hard to choose since all elements are very important in my opinion.

PS: do not vote random, please! :)
Title: Re: What is more important for you in a Zelda-like game?
Post by: Whiterose on April 23, 2016, 02:33:11 pm
Of these elements, exploration is my favourite. The quest should also look good, and not too square or too simple, there should be a sense of adventure when you play the game.

Though, I always say that story is the most important element. If you don't have a good story, everything else in your quest won't have substance. A story ties together all the elements.

Think about what a Zelda game would be like with no Hero of Time, no Princess Zelda, no Hylia. These words have meaning because of the story that is built around them, they are what people called the "lore" of a world. Without a story, Ganon would never take power, Link would never go on his quest, and Zelda would never grow into her powers. Hyrule would be just a place, not a land of adventure and danger.

Work on building a great story, then support that story with your other elements.
Title: Re: What is more important for you in a Zelda-like game?
Post by: zutokaza on April 23, 2016, 09:44:45 pm
I love exploration and story the most. Puzzles can be annoying if they are too difficult, but none in all the Zelda games I played are too hard. A basic ARPG battle system is all I need, but some advanced features are required for extra fun puzzles.
Title: Re: What is more important for you in a Zelda-like game?
Post by: the bread on April 24, 2016, 03:40:46 pm
I do also think that story is perhaps most important. Unfortunately, I feel that a lot of Zelda-Fangames don't pay enough attention to make a good storyline. Even Mystery of Solarus is quite weak considering the story :-\
Personally, I'm not really much into exploration, what I like best about Zelda games is, when they connect combat and puzzles. For example, a boss that needs both skill, strategy and thought to be defeated.
Title: Re: What is more important for you in a Zelda-like game?
Post by: Renkineko on April 25, 2016, 07:46:11 am
How can you say the story ? It's always the same : Ganon is coming back, Ganon is returning, Ganon, stole the Triforce, Ganon tries to abduct the world... There is never a big twist in the scenario, each character is exactly who you think they are since the beginning. Nah, Story in a Zelda is clearly not a good point.

For me, exploration and puzzle is really intricated. If it's a real open world like in W-RPG, then it's not a Zelda : there must be a little "metroidvania" effect with unlockable objects which unlock new paths, etc. So that's why I think "puzzle" are in front line side by side with exploration. When exploring dungeon, the level design is very important. I loved the first Zelda with the dungeon's name being reflected on the map, it allows the player to suppose secret room, where walls could be exploded, etc.

I don't find the battle system of Zelda very interesting (it's not bad, but it's clearly not the better point of the serie). The last Zelda games with the combo possibility is interesting, but meh. Already viewed elsewhere.

Of course, this post is clearly a personal opinion, I don't say I'm right or anything :)
Title: Re: What is more important for you in a Zelda-like game?
Post by: zutokaza on April 26, 2016, 01:12:29 am
I honestly agree that Ganon is over used, but the Zelda games do have changes in story and exploration. I would like ARPG games that are not just Zelda though. I liked Sword of Mana. It was pretty advanced for a GBA game, but I feel like it was rushed.

I can play a game forever as long as "new" characters (creatures = mystical beings with animal humanoid characteristics, cyborgs, fairies, mixed, and etc.) and stories are introduced with new places to explore. I like dark settings where the player is trapped with no where to escape. Safe zones or underground villages and etc. The main character being a bad guy or a combination is interesting as well. The hero always winning kinda gets old. Deed choices always gives choices and more quest options. My stories have a great mixture of all the attributes I mentioned.

Secret of Mana was good too. It is for SNES.
http://gameslikefinder.com/secret-of-mana/

Again, very advanced for its time.

Other inspiration might come from:
-Boktai
-Alundra, I did not like the second one Alundra 2 was pretty bad.
-Soul Blazer
-Illusion of Gaia
-Terranigma
-Shining Soul II
-Juka and The Monophonic Menace
-Secret of Evermore
-Yu Yu Hakusho - Ghostfiles - Spirit Detective (This needed more and the art could have been better. Too much limitation and lack of features.), again the second one was horrible because it turned into a turnbased game.

There sooo needs to be a Pokemon ARPG rated M or beyond with humanoid experimentation. Kinda like with Mewtwo. I believe it was a combination of human and mew cells. I think the movie's rating should be higher.
Title: Re: What is more important for you in a Zelda-like game?
Post by: Zefk on May 05, 2016, 10:17:22 pm
I kinda agree with Zuto Kaza. The games he listed are some of my favorites. I believe story and exploration make games exciting, but the art appeal/atmosphere can really hook a person first.
Title: Re: What is more important for you in a Zelda-like game?
Post by: Diarandor on June 12, 2016, 03:35:10 pm
It is quite interesting that people think puzzles and battles have similar importance, so the best recipe for dungeons could be to make dungeons to be one half of puzzles and the other half consisting of battles, where battles and puzzles alternate. This is more or less what official Zelda games do, so this pull does not say something new...  :(

In my opinion, a lot of variety of puzzles is needed. Apart from key-door puzzles (or weapon-obstacle puzzles, which are in essence the same), it is cool to find from time to time some intelligent and original puzzles. I don't mean complex or annoying puzzles like a sokoban-like puzzle with too many blocks or things like that (those are quite boring). I mean a bit of innovation, although this is quite hard to do and one needs to be very creative.

I agree with @the_bread that one of the coolest things is when battles and puzzles are mixed, but this is usually done only for dungeon bosses; so maybe adding more number and variety of bosses and minibosses could improve the game (althought that means more work for the art part). Also, it is not good to see that almost always the bosses have to be killed with the weapon of that level (there are some exceptions where you need an item from a previous level or an item that is bought at some shop), which maybe should be changed to give more challenge.

I also agree that the story is very important to keep the player focused on the game, but the exploration seems to be the most important characteristic for a Zelda-like game. IMHO, adding many many mysteries and secrets to the overworld maps is one of the important things that give quality to the exploration part (and they force the completist players to backtrack if they want to find all the secrets and easter eggs). Also, too big and empty maps are usually boring for the exploration, but secrets and mysteries contribute to fill them with more fun.

For those who are bored, this is a funny video comparing OoT and ALTTP, where some gameplay elements are analyzed:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOC3vixnj_0
Title: Re: What is more important for you in a Zelda-like game?
Post by: Zefk on June 12, 2016, 10:35:00 pm
The video was a bit weird, but it does give some interesting points. The "wait and attack" was not very exciting in Ocarina of Time, but most of the complaints are on the viewpoints (That should be able to be changed) and gameplay changes depending on it. Wait time for minor chests were ridiculous and people did not always need instructions for using an item.

Story is important to me because slashing things all the time gets boring. I want other tasks besides just being a hero. Good story is hard to do because artificial intelligence is not yet done. I would love to be able to have real conversations with game characters. A world that changes by itself after the developer set down the basics.

A multiple lock on feature would be nice. The ability to shoot each bat one after another without having to keep locking on to each bat, but that would be too easy for the player.
Title: Re: What is more important for you in a Zelda-like game?
Post by: Renkineko on June 13, 2016, 08:01:30 am
I don't think the story is your main motivation to continue a Zelda game. Puzzles yes because you want to know what will be the next riddle with the item you freshly acquired, maybe the charisma of characters (you want to see more of this new Ganon Minion because he's fun when he's doing his drama queen), but does anyone here has already been surprised by the plot of a Zelda?

I think the completionist syndrom is also a big motor for the players: I need to find all the Gold Skulltulas. I want to get all the Piece of Hearts. Where is that last Bottle, I see there is one, there is an empty slot on my inventory! All of this keep the player in the game.

Agreed about the fact that some bosses should be beatable with olders items than the one found in their level. But not with a buyable weapon, except if that weapon is needed to go inside the boss room, because you could be stuck if you enter the room without all the items that must be used in your possession. Or it's an open room and you can escape anytime you want.

And agreed with zutokaza about the others games, especially Secret of Mana, Illusion of Gaia and Alundra <3
Title: Re: What is more important for you in a Zelda-like game?
Post by: Zefk on June 13, 2016, 09:59:35 am
Mine is story. I will admit that Twilight Princess and Ocarina of Time have an okay story, but for me there something missing. I always say games are too short because the story did not satisfy me. I do not mean to flood the player with a bunch of details because 3/4 view games are not visual novels. There has to be a decent amount of twists or unique characters. There must be good puzzles too.

Quote
I think the completionist syndrom is also a big motor for the players
The internet kinda kills this one. A simple google and you will know all.
Title: Re: What is more important for you in a Zelda-like game?
Post by: YoshiMario2000 on June 13, 2016, 03:52:13 pm
Quote
I think the completionist syndrom is also a big motor for the players
The internet kinda kills this one. A simple google and you will know all.
That is indeed the case for a lot of games, but that's usually because someone had already went into the game and found it all. There is a large fan base for those games, and a lot of people playing them. For fan games, information is not as common, because it's not a full fledged game made by the big boss.
Besides, If there is no wiki, forms or other information source, or the player just wants to actually have a challenge, the player will be forced to adventure on their own, and finding secrets are a lot more satisfying then. And that is how a lot of games are intended to be played.
Title: Re: What is more important for you in a Zelda-like game?
Post by: Diarandor on June 13, 2016, 07:23:21 pm
A good solution against walkthroughs is making some randomness for the plot. Not necessarily procedurally generated dungeons or maps (as in Lenna's Inception). For instance, in the Oracle games for the gameboy the companion and a small part of the world may change on each new play. The order of the dungeons could be changed a bit randomly, and player choices could affect a bit to the overworld (and the end of the story), or other things like that can be done. Of course, all of this means additional work if we allow the story and maps to have "parallel branches".
Title: Re: What is more important for you in a Zelda-like game?
Post by: Renkineko on June 14, 2016, 07:51:47 am
Quote
I think the completionist syndrom is also a big motor for the players
The internet kinda kills this one. A simple google and you will know all.

I don't see the point. I use online walkthrough sometimes, but if my own save don't have the 100%, I will not stop to play. Even for game I don't like. The worst was for me Ni No Kuni: it was really an awful game for me (too childish), but I had to finish it on 100%, like every other games. It's because I want the 100% I use sometimes walkthrough. It's like saying "There is let's play of this game on Youtube, so people don't need to play it".

@Diarandor: As the writer of the walkthrough of ZMoSDX, I don't see why we need "a solution against walkthroughs"? oO

If you don't want to use a walkthrough, let it be. But for people who are not necessarily good at video games (my first thought is for my mother who like to play but she's not a good player), walkthrough is the best way to keep them with you. What's the point of letting people leave the game unfinished? Besides, all that you say is coverable by a walkthrough : either by side note "if you have this companion at this point of the adventure [...]" or "you can choose either way between this dungeon (see [link or page]) or this one (see [other link or other page])". Even rogue-lite have sort of walkthrough if there is a general scheme for a game (you have to pass this point, you have to defeat one of theses bosses, ...)

Title: Re: What is more important for you in a Zelda-like game?
Post by: Diarandor on June 14, 2016, 12:16:47 pm
@Diarandor: As the writer of the walkthrough of ZMoSDX, I don't see why we need "a solution against walkthroughs"? oO

Yeah, you are right  :-X. I thought that @YoshiMario preferred games without walkthroughs, so I gave just a few ideas for that purpose. I personally like walkthroughs and use them a lot, so I am not against them, and I want to play Solarus games that have walkthroughs too, so do not worry. ;D
Title: Re: What is more important for you in a Zelda-like game?
Post by: YoshiMario2000 on June 14, 2016, 08:25:28 pm
@Diarandor: As the writer of the walkthrough of ZMoSDX, I don't see why we need "a solution against walkthroughs"? oO

Yeah, you are right  :-X. I thought that @YoshiMario preferred games without walkthroughs, so I gave just a few ideas for that purpose. I personally like walkthroughs and use them a lot, so I am not against them, and I want to play Solarus games that have walkthroughs too, so do not worry. ;D
I'm actually fine with walkthroughs, but I do prefer to play games without them. For some games, (Xenoblade Chronicles) Some players might need a guide for the huge world that they present. Or small pieces of info so that the player can find that one item that they need for a quest that their doing. It's not about preventing walkthroughs, it's about having your game built well enough that it shouldn't be needed, and yet that their still is the satisfaction of finding something on your own.
Title: Re: What is more important for you in a Zelda-like game?
Post by: Zefk on June 14, 2016, 10:01:06 pm
I made this puzzle guide (http://forum.solarus-games.org/index.php/topic,658.0.html) because of this interesting conversation.
Title: Re: What is more important for you in a Zelda-like game?
Post by: Renkineko on June 16, 2016, 07:51:29 am
@Diarandor: As the writer of the walkthrough of ZMoSDX, I don't see why we need "a solution against walkthroughs"? oO

Yeah, you are right  :-X. I thought that @YoshiMario preferred games without walkthroughs, so I gave just a few ideas for that purpose. I personally like walkthroughs and use them a lot, so I am not against them, and I want to play Solarus games that have walkthroughs too, so do not worry. ;D
I'm actually fine with walkthroughs, but I do prefer to play games without them. For some games, (Xenoblade Chronicles) Some players might need a guide for the huge world that they present. Or small pieces of info so that the player can find that one item that they need for a quest that their doing. It's not about preventing walkthroughs, it's about having your game built well enough that it shouldn't be needed, and yet that their still is the satisfaction of finding something on your own.

Agreed 100%, a well designed game is a game where you need to think a little to find everything, but the logic behind is not twisted. A well designed game does not punish the player who just want to advance the story with item they will not be able to get later, and it does not punish the treasure hunter who do every side quest before the main quest (with a main quest too easy after that). But it must not prevent the use of walkthrough :p
Title: Re: What is more important for you in a Zelda-like game?
Post by: Zefk on June 16, 2016, 07:51:32 pm
Quote
Agreed 100%, a well designed game is a game where you need to think a little to find everything, but the logic behind is not twisted. A well designed game does not punish the player who just want to advance the story with item they will not be able to get later, and it does not punish the treasure hunter who do every side quest before the main quest (with a main quest too easy after that).

I think this would be a purpose for a paid game guide, that would be well made and obviously not give away spoilers. I honestly never bothered with paid guides or walk-throughs. I like the feel of discovery, wonder, and figuring it all out on my own. I think really amazing weapons and gear should take effort to obtain or find because I would get bored if it was too easy. I kinda dislike when everything is laid out for me. I do however think there should be a warning in the game. A warning and/or counter that will let the player know there is still more optional quests or items. I think the player should always be able to go back to locations and maybe the optional quest becomes harder if it is done later, but that might take more programming effort and time. Also, this might be different depending on the type of ARPG. Does the player only get stronger with weapons, more heart health or does the player have the option to increase stats without them? This would be a Fable vs Zelda question.

I do however dislike that there are optional quests that are not able to be done. For example, at the start of Fable there were optional quests besides the giant queen wasp. Not enough renown, and I went and got enough. The optional quests just vanish. I put real effort into be able to do those quests and avoided the wasp queen to do it. I wanted to fight that ice troll! This might have been due to bad planning at the start of the game.

I stopped playing Fable after the 3rd game, but I like how some quests were able to be done over and over again. They needed more spice though because I do not like quests that are exactly the same.