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May 5th, 2016, 16:29
Jolly ho, guys! I was curious what formula makes an rpg successful? I worked very hard for quite a few years on my game MADMAN!, taking advice directly from a lot of role-players, insuring my game would contain all the vital ingredients we like in a role playing game. Added to that an engaging story and a lot of crafting. As a one-man studio, of course I had to make it somewhat retro design, and I often wonder how some developers steer their audience away from the early-style graphics of their games, and manage to successfully promote the idea of gameplay, like in the Spiderweb games? "The graphics are old, but the gameplay is wonderful!" Madman has at least that much going on, and likely more, yet it sits on Steam at 40%. Its like an old pair of sneakers under the bed! I'm wondering if its my promotion trailer? Anyone here who would like to watch it over on Greenlight, feel welcome and let me know if my trailer is somehow more of a turn-off rather than a turn-on, and any advice on generating more traffic would be greatly appreciated. Maybe at 58 I'm getting to old for this. Here it is: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfile…/?id=457828980
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May 5th, 2016, 16:51
If you ask me (as you've done), there are only two worthwhile types of RPG's:

- The world-building RPG

Could also be called the immersion RPG. By focusing on things like exploration, NPC interaction or interactive environments, you make the player dive headlong into the game. Having a coherent creative vision massively benefits the world-building RPG. IMO story RPG's are the best world-building RPG's, but many (many many) people prefer open-world RPG's. Games like Ultima, Planescape: Torment or Bethesda games fall into this category.

- The adrenaline-driven RPG

Could also be called the monster bashing or dungeon crawling RPG. You try to keep the player glued to his seat via frequent combat or puzzles (preferably deadly ones). This sub genre usually benefits from detailed character creation and party-based gameplay. Choosing from different classes, races and skills, and tactical combat are hallmarks of adrenaline-driven RPG's.


Now, I've bought and played some of MADMAN!, and it's safe to put in the world-building category. Unfortunately, I found neither the puzzles nor the NPC interaction very exciting. Surely the same could be said about Jeff Vogel's games, but he has a knack for interesting exploration. There are so many nooks and crannies that can be explored e.g. in the Avernum games, and usually you'll have a good area of the map open for exploration, whereas in MADMAN!, I frequently found my way blocked by (too) powerful monsters.

If I had to give feedback for MADMAN! 2, I'd say cut back on the (boring) combat, enhance the survival/ crafting aspect, add more dialogue and maybe smaller but more detailed environments.
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Originally Posted by sakichop
So basically what people want is a game where you can play many different races having violent sex with up to 3 friends while yelling obscenities.
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May 5th, 2016, 17:53
To me the story is the most important thing so there.
But some people couldn't care less for that so they love grat combat. Some adore micromanaging stats. Etc.

I think it doesn't matter what path you'll take. Just pick one then polish it to perfection. While such game won't be 10/10, it will have it's audience.
Sure, you can always go with jack of all trades route, but IIRC that didn't help Amalur's devs to stay in business.
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May 5th, 2016, 23:11
The biggest problem was that it was really, really basic. A well done game but it felt like an early 90's game and this is 2016.

One reason Jeff is successful is that he cranks out a game almost every year and so keeps his customers always with a new game to play. I don't even care for his games, but I generally buy them anyway because I like to reward hard work. Some of Jeff's games actually feel like they were copy/pasted and given a new name. Oh wait…they were!
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May 15th, 2016, 01:29
Just wanted to say that you are doing a great job and to keep it up! I like what i see from the videos.

As for getting MADMAN more popular idk the recipe either, i have yet to put my game on greenlight, but have you made a mobile version?

I saw that you made other games, even back in the 90s and noticed that you based some of MADMAN's visuals on them. Reusing your assests isn't bad but not great either. You could use a bigger team in future projects.
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