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  #1    
Old September 30th, 2013 (02:02 PM). Edited January 7th, 2015 by Maruno.
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Having trouble coming up with names for a character? Can't figure out which starters to hand out at the beginning of your game? This thread might be able to solve your problems!

This thread was created so everyone can post their design-related problems and (briefly) discuss them. And by "design" I mean everything related to the planning of your game. So, no questions about RMXP, Essentials or anything else technical.

I'm hoping that this thread will, in addition to solving people's problems, be used as a source of inspiration, as well as showing everybody different ways to tackle problems and pointing out commonly made mistakes.

Please try to stick to brief questions and answers. Proper and lengthy discussions about particular aspects of game development belong in their own threads.
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Old October 2nd, 2013 (06:10 PM).
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Well, I guess I'll be the first to ask a question

Usually, town names are consistent with each other, such as the RBY towns/cities being named after colors, while BW named them after cloud formations.

To stick with this naming scheme, I have narrowed it down to these 2:

1. Fruit/Food mixed with colors. Such as "Pearidot Pier", a green-tinted seaside harbor.

2. Types of writing/drawing styles mixed with plants/flowers. Such as "Floerette Town", a countryside village garnished with flowers and breezes.

The first one is obviously much more fun to word-play with, while the second has more potential for epic names.

So, out of the two schemes, which sounds like it might be a good scheme for a region?
I'm torn between the two ;___;
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Old October 3rd, 2013 (02:28 AM).
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Quote originally posted by Sunfished:
Well, I guess I'll be the first to ask a question

Usually, town names are consistent with each other, such as the RBY towns/cities being named after colors, while BW named them after cloud formations.

To stick with this naming scheme, I have narrowed it down to these 2:

1. Fruit/Food mixed with colors. Such as "Pearidot Pier", a green-tinted seaside harbor.

2. Types of writing/drawing styles mixed with plants/flowers. Such as "Floerette Town", a countryside village garnished with flowers and breezes.

The first one is obviously much more fun to word-play with, while the second has more potential for epic names.

So, out of the two schemes, which sounds like it might be a good scheme for a region?
I'm torn between the two ;___;
The first one seems like it would be easiest for you.

Now, what starter should I hand out that is Ice Typed?

Currently, it's Vanilluxe, Trapinch, and Beldum
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Old October 3rd, 2013 (04:50 AM).
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@Sunfished, to be completely honest with you, I'm no fan of either one. I like it when the names actually represent the city. (not quite sure how to formulate this). For example, Ashflow city is located near a volcano, whereas Validay town (derived from Vacation + holiday) is a well known place to take a vacation.

@joeyhugg: I think Spheal would work out well, but then you have to change Beldum... perhaps you can replace both Beldum and Vanilite with Spheal and Aron? (but is it really that good of an idea to hand out a steel type at the beginning? the majority of Pokemon only know Normal type moves, putting the steel type at a huge advantage)
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Old October 3rd, 2013 (01:03 PM).
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@Joey
Crap, Elarmasecreta stole my thought
There's only 3 Ice-type Pokemon that evolve 2 times, which are Vanillite, Swinub, and Spheal. And since Swinub is part Ground, this leaves it at Spheal being your other only choice. And to elaborate with what Elarmasecreta said, Metagross has a whopping 600BST, and evolves at fairly the same level as the others. The only remaining 3 stage Steel types are Magnemite and Klink.
If you use Magnemite, you can get some pretty interesting type matchups among your starters:
Spheal: Ice/Water
Trapinch: Ground/(Dragon)
Magnemite: Electric/Steel
I also like Aron, as it doesn't require the use of a different evolution method, and it would keep all your starters pretty even out.

@Elarmasecreta
Ah, I see what you mean
DPP and RSE already did what you mentioned as their towns are named after their geography and surroundings, and I didn't really want to do something that's already been done. The closest is the second choice, as "Fleurette" means flower in french, is a type of writing style, and is a cloud formation that is shaped by the wind.
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Old October 3rd, 2013 (06:08 PM).
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I think I'm going to use Spheal and Magnemite. Thank's guys! Are there any tips for making a regional dex?
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Old October 3rd, 2013 (06:54 PM).
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Well, to start it off, you should make a list of all the Pokemon you would think would fit well with the geography and setting of your region. Personally, I think these would make a pretty cool region:

1. Type diversity. You wouldn't want to pull a gen 4 on us, as Chimchar was literally the only new Fire-type line introduced in that generation, excluding Magmortar. I recommend sticking with how the main games do this, as in Ghost, Ice, Steel, and Dragon types being fairly rare, while the rest are pretty common to find.

2. Balance. Don't overpower your region with loads of pseudo-legendaries. Instead, make alot of early Pokemon you encounter weak, while super strong ones reserved for later. Basically, gradually make the new Pokemon you encounter become stronger. This rule is probably abused the most in making a region dex

3. Keep the Pokemon slightly "unique". You wouldn't want a game where there's like 3 butterflies, or alot of common birds. Since your dex is regional, limit the types of animals you encounter to one-of-a-kind. This is more of an opinion though, but the main games only ever break this rule if the resembling Pokemon are counterparts or something

Since your using those starters, I suggest you make a list of what you want/like to appear, add in some filler Pokemon, then just weed them out til you hit a number like 150-160.
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Old October 4th, 2013 (08:29 AM).
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On the other hand people like different versions of the butterfly, normal/flying bird, common rock type, etc.

So have Pidgeys on Routes up to the first forest/mountain. Then have Starlys in the forest/on the mountain instead. After the forest have the next normal/flying bird. I have Pokemon in cities and Pidoves(aka Pigeons) only appear there. Have two caves? Have Geodude be dominate with few Roggenrola in the first cave then Roggenrola is more common in the other.
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Old October 8th, 2013 (04:57 PM).
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So im implementing sidequests in my game, and some of them involve collecting special items. ie: find apricots in the forest for an NPC.

But I can't decide whether to have the apricots appear before the quest is even started, or only once it has been initiated.

on one hand, it feels more natural if the sidequest item is avaliable from the getgo, but on the other hand, it's weird finding totally random items, which have no use, when you have no idea what they're used for. and makes certain areas overloaded with items. because they have the standard items that would be found in the area AND the sidequest items just spotted all round the place.
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Old October 8th, 2013 (05:27 PM).
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Quote originally posted by DarkDoom3000:
So im implementing sidequests in my game, and some of them involve collecting special items. ie: find apricots in the forest for an NPC.

But I can't decide whether to have the apricots appear before the quest is even started, or only once it has been initiated.

on one hand, it feels more natural if the sidequest item is avaliable from the getgo, but on the other hand, it's weird finding totally random items, which have no use, when you have no idea what they're used for. and makes certain areas overloaded with items. because they have the standard items that would be found in the area AND the sidequest items just spotted all round the place.
Could you make the rarity of apricots change, so that they're rather rare beforehand and more common during the sidequest (then back to rather rare afterwards)? The player would be unlikely to collect enough of them to immediately complete the sidequest, yet they can be found anyway. A natural rarity of, say, 2% wouldn't oversaturate an area with items. It can be an unwritten idea that the apricots are more rare outside of the sidequest because the player doesn't need them and won't stockpile them, but they will rarely grab one if it looks nice.

How about only allowing the sidequest to be alluded to and started if the player has an apricot in the first place? The NPC would see that the player is (or at least, has been) able to collect apricots, which is what they want, so it makes sense to ask the player for more.
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Old October 8th, 2013 (05:35 PM).
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@joeyhugg; Concerning the regional dex; Sunfished has made some valid points. Keep in mind that, in general, the Pokémon listed in a regional dex are the only Pokémon which can be used while completing the game. This suggests that each final evolution should have a use somewhere, as otherwise player's wouldn't catch them.
Something else you could do is focus more on areas, climate, and wheather, etc. and decide which Pokémon would live best under those conditions. Or just try to include ones you like.

@DarkDoom3000; In case the item's can be used outside the side quest, make them available from the start. This allows players to gather these items for later use, and possibly already prepare for completing the side quest. Additionally, for player immersion, it also makes more sense as the world seems more consistent and real.
In case the item's do NOT have uses besides the side quest, you have a few options;
1: give them a use outside of the side quest. I know how this sounds, but this actually makes the sidequest itself more useful as players are forced to collect items and learn about their use to complete the sidequest (like your example of apricorns, which can be used to create Pokéballs). This can teach players useful game mechanics or make a grind seem less repetitive.
2: Make the item's one-offs, this means they can only be picked up once (even before accepting the quest) and are integrated into the quest, like picking up parts to fix a machine. However this doesn't give the side quest added value in teaching the player something, and merely turns it into a fetch quest.
3: actually make them appear only while the quest is active. Usually this doesn't break immersion due to its minor impact, and you can try to explain this; player now only pays attention to finding these, or quest activation causes them to be there, be creative.
2 and 3 both have arguments going for them, mainly being that players can prepare for the quest while exploring (2), or that players will not be confused by finding items which seem useless at first (prevented by 3). Whichever you choose from 2 or 3 depends on your preference and should be used consistently throughout the game, as players can learn this and build up expectations accordingly. (Extra: 2 gives players more options to explore without possibly forcing them to re-explore already explored areas, thus being more exploration focussed. 3 is more strict in making players follow their active/available quests and thus is more quest/achievement focussed.)
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Old October 9th, 2013 (01:55 PM).
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Quote originally posted by DarkDoom3000:
So im implementing sidequests in my game, and some of them involve collecting special items. ie: find apricots in the forest for an NPC.

But I can't decide whether to have the apricots appear before the quest is even started, or only once it has been initiated.

on one hand, it feels more natural if the sidequest item is avaliable from the getgo, but on the other hand, it's weird finding totally random items, which have no use, when you have no idea what they're used for. and makes certain areas overloaded with items. because they have the standard items that would be found in the area AND the sidequest items just spotted all round the place.
Okay, some simple edits in the quest description would calrify a lot of these things. In case of the Apricots, you can either imply that a wild Pokemon must've been collecting them and has littered them around, this to give some sort of clarification on how the items suddenly appeared.

Or you could have the trees on which they grow already on your maps, but allow the player to pick them only during the quest. This would prevent the player from stuffing their inventory with em, and won't have a negative effect on the immersion.
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Old October 11th, 2013 (05:13 PM).
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Oh yeah, probably should've added that the apricots are found on the ground, as orange circles which you pick up. which is why i was having trouble deciding. because if they're active outside the quest, you enter the forest and see a bunch of orange balls just lying around which you don't encounter anywhere else in the game.
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Old October 12th, 2013 (05:36 AM).
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In that case, just make them appear during the quest and not outside it.
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Old November 4th, 2013 (11:16 AM).
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Pokéblock Berries

Would players be opposed to having berries like Watmel, Durin, Spelon, and other Pokéblock berries having additional properties and forgoing Pokéblock all together?

Or you you folks rather see Pokéblock berries used for Pokéblock?
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Old November 4th, 2013 (11:32 AM).
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Given that Pokéblocks aren't in Essentials, and even if you do add them they're only useful for Pokémon Contests which also aren't in Essentials, I'd say it's fine to either leave these berries out of the game entirely or give them different effects. I'm not the type of person who demands that something work exactly how it has in the past.
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Old November 4th, 2013 (12:01 PM).
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Quote originally posted by Maruno:
Given that Pokéblocks aren't in Essentials, and even if you do add them they're only useful for Pokémon Contests which also aren't in Essentials, I'd say it's fine to either leave these berries out of the game entirely or give them different effects. I'm not the type of person who demands that something work exactly how it has in the past.
That is kind of where I am at right now. I personally like the idea of having some of these berries do other things since without Pokeblock or contests, they are completely useless. It really boils down to a workload issue in my opinion. My roommate says he loved the Pokeblock mini game and the contests, and I am pretty indifferent on them.

I don't see why there would be an issue with having the berries do something so they serve a different purpose than Pokeblock, but I wanted to get some other people's input on it before I decide what direction to take.

Did anyone else other than my roommate like playing the Pokeblock mini game and the contests?
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Old November 30th, 2013 (08:22 PM).
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I actually enjoyed the 3rd Gen Contests. Pokèblocks, not so much.

So I'm designing a new type called Cyber. It's mostly electronic Pokèmon, like Porygon, and a handful of new ones.

Does this seem balanced, effectiveness-wise?

SE against: Fighting, Steel, Cyber
NE against: Fire, Water, Electric (immune)
Weak to: Fire, Water, Bug, Electric, Cyber
Resistant to: Steel, Normal, Psychic
No immunities
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Old December 4th, 2013 (03:24 PM).
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For a fan-game, I do believe it will be balanced enough.
If this was for an online game on the other hand, I would say no. You need to take into account what types are the most commonly used, what type of Pokémon your type actually counters and so forth.

For example, in the competitive enviroment, Psychic moves are uncommon, and Steel-type moves even more so.
Fire, Water and Electric on the other hand, exist in abundance. This makes your type very weak in terms of what move the enemy might know

I would suggest looking for a type chart, and try to find out which types are the ones with the least amount of resists and effectivenesses and try to fit your type into it and try to balance the type chart, instead of trying to give your type a "proper amount of strengths and weaknesses".

But, like I said, I believe the balance you have now is fine, should you decide to use it. However, a lot of Pokémon will be able to use super effective moves against them, making them easy to defeat.
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Old December 5th, 2013 (12:21 AM).
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I was going to avoid asking the community on this one, as I feel it will end up getting some half-ass input (please don't take offense), in that it is a visual question that I feel is going to draw a response based on what looks better. That is the response I am looking for, but I am also looking for a response from a development POV.

Right now I am in the process of increasing the screen resolution and implementing the menu system as well as creating other aspects of the interface, and while I enjoy having a larger screen resolution to support larger and better animated battle sprites, It creates an interesting dilemma for something like the actual menu.

I am going to start off with a battle scene comparison.

Here is the old battle scene, with a smaller resolution and limited sprite animation:



Everything is nice and cozy, graphics are pretty much all complete and I think it comes together pretty well.

Now here is the new battle scene with the larger screen resolution, and the larger fully animated sprites:



I really love this, it is balls to the wall and it comes together nicely with the larger screen. You get to see more detail, and the animation brings it together real well. However the back sprites are far from complete, the front facing sprites are incomplete, and it makes for some fairly awkward space on the screen even with all the sprites and such in. The script for the animations and everything run smoothly so far.

When it comes to the battle scene, the new version is top notch and even though it requires more work than the first one, I think it is worth the extra effort.

But now that I am starting to work the menu and everything in, the larger screen resolution not only demands larger sprites for the menu, but also requires me to reveal more on a map than I feel comfortable with. I feel like I have to really take this into consideration, because revealing too much of the map seems like it can desensitize the player to the detail on the map and makes it harder to appreciate it. I don't want to overload the player in this regard.

Here is a look at the old menu with the smaller screen resolution, as well as a look at a map in the same resolution:





Everything is nice and snug, there is not an excess of space and the workload is pretty much complete.

Now here is a look at the menu as well as a map shot with the larger resolution:





There is a lot more space in both of those shots. The detail in the map shot does not seem to stand out as much to me, instead my eyes wander into the vast space. The menu looks really small as well, and to bring everything up in size, I have to double it to keep it looking halfway decent, and even then it is too big for the screen. I would have to rework everything and use different graphics to pull it off, such as sprites for the pokemon instead of icons. Using sprites means I need to keep them consistent with the battle sprites when it comes to style, which means they either need to use the same sprites or be made from scratch increasing work load substantially.

So I guess my question is, what are your thoughts on this situation both as a developer and someone without ties to the project?

I really like them both, but they really showcase two different aspects of the game. The old ones do a better job of covering everything, where the new ones have the ability to look so much sharper but increase the amount of work significantly.

I really do not mind picking up the extra workload, I have punched out 5 back sprite rips that are animated just like the front facing ones in the larger resolution. What I care about is consistency. Part of me feels that by getting too flashy, I may kill that consistency and I am at an early juncture where I would like to make the executive decision right now before attempting to progress any further.

Sorry, I know this is for quick design questions... I just was not sure where else to post it.
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Old December 5th, 2013 (07:54 AM).
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I say go for the larger screen size. It stands out from other fan games, and widescreen is more aesthetically pleasing anyway.

I wouldn't worry about the menu being too small. As long as there are no functional problems with the interface, the player will quickly get used to whatever design you pick. Bring back the dark tint effect used in the smaller resolution pictures though; it looks nice.
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Old December 5th, 2013 (09:00 AM).
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A larger screen looks better in battle. It does mean more of a map is visible at once, but you can design maps accordingly to suit the size of the screen. The pause menu doesn't need to fill the screen, it just needs to stand out; darkening everything else would help with that.

The larger screen size would require a lot of effort making the various menus and screens suit it.

Your choice of which Pokémon sprites to use is quite irrelevant to the choice of screen size.
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Old December 5th, 2013 (10:25 AM). Edited December 5th, 2013 by Worldslayer608.
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Quote originally posted by th3shark:
I say go for the larger screen size. It stands out from other fan games, and widescreen is more aesthetically pleasing anyway.

I wouldn't worry about the menu being too small. As long as there are no functional problems with the interface, the player will quickly get used to whatever design you pick. Bring back the dark tint effect used in the smaller resolution pictures though; it looks nice.
The dark tint was not added yet, it would be there. I just mentioned it before adding the tint, because I am already aware of how it will look.

The wide screen is nice, until you get to the overworld part of the game, where the player spends a good amount of time. The detail on the maps finds itself making less of an impact and get's rid of a good amount of visual stimulation. Instead, it gives the player a lot more to look at which is fairly desensitizing. That is my issue with the larger screen. The menu can be adjusted or redone in such a way that it can work even with smaller things. Even if that means just adding more to the display to kill space, such as moving a clock into the lower left or something.

The overworld is where the problem lies.

Quote originally posted by Maruno:
A larger screen looks better in battle. It does mean more of a map is visible at once, but you can design maps accordingly to suit the size of the screen. The pause menu doesn't need to fill the screen, it just needs to stand out; darkening everything else would help with that.

The larger screen size would require a lot of effort making the various menus and screens suit it.

Your choice of which Pokémon sprites to use is quite irrelevant to the choice of screen size.
The menus are not something I am too torn about having to make for a larger screen size, simply because they are not really done other than what people have already seen from the game, which means that I need to work on them anyways.

I basically am going to find myself remapping almost every map to accommodate for this screen size change if I want to keep the detail on the maps attractive and still grab the players attention. As it is, it is hard to grab that attention with so much space for the eyes to wander while playing.

Remapping is a lot of work, considering I have done it already and am still doing it for some maps here and there. It is not even the workload that bothers me, it is redesigning the world for a 3rd time that does. The world as it is right now is designed for a 16x12 tile view not a 25x15 tile view.

An alternative, to accomplish both, would be to have a frame while in the OW, that will disappear when you enter a battle or a cutscene. Such as something below (very basic idea)



The animated sprites are also too big for the smaller screen. A good portion of the larger pokemon simply will not fit. Gyarados and Zygarde are good examples of Pokemon that are cut off by the top edge of the screen in the small resolution. Mega Tyranitar and such would be other examples of ones that are likely to be cut off.
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Old December 5th, 2013 (11:50 AM).
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I think using a frame would be the best way to go if you don't want to redesign your maps to suit the new screen size. I, however, think frames are kind of ugly. Just my personal opinion.
I think a script that resizes the screen depending on if you are in a battle or not would be better, aesthetically speaking, but I don't know if RGSS allows that.
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Old December 5th, 2013 (12:08 PM).
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Quote originally posted by tImE:
I think using a frame would be the best way to go if you don't want to redesign your maps to suit the new screen size. I, however, think frames are kind of ugly. Just my personal opinion.
I think a script that resizes the screen depending on if you are in a battle or not would be better, aesthetically speaking, but I don't know if RGSS allows that.
It could be done I am sure, but it would be really annoying having the window size changing like that all of the time.
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