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Default What can we learn from Undertale?

January 21st, 2016, 21:57
I suppose the 'real' big story of 2015 was Undertale. So what can we learn from Undertale?


1. A game doesn't need to be graphically perfect. Rubbish graphics do sell. Just as long as you're providing people with something new to look at, from a design point of view. Something new, not seen before.

2. Your game doesn't need to be open world nor have crafting. Just because some big games have used these features, does not mean your RPG needs these features to get noticed.

3. You don't have to provide a known generic universe. Go ahead, invent your own creatures, set it in no-one-knows-what-this-is-land, and make people fall in love with your world, not rely on them re-purchasing worlds they already know about.

Now, I've had a look at Undertale and while it looks like a fun game, it's not what I would call an RPG, it messes with so many conventions that I think it's too derivative to be a genre-specific entity. I also suspect it lacks replayability aside from good/evil runs, and I also think it would likely become boring very quickly if everyone copied it de-facto like they do with open-world and crafting.

So I'm not saying we should all rush out and copy Undertale and be hyper-derivative, but I'm saying that the 3 key principles which cloud most of the banal games we see sold as RPGs are all false flags from the respective marketing departments. People don't 'demand' familiarity, they demand originality within the confines of traditional User Interfaces and basic gameplay rules/traditions.
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January 21st, 2016, 23:31
Yet to play it, but that's a good post.

I just wish devs/publishers would view games in context, and realize that market research has it's place, but that you don't rely on it.

Undertale, along with The Witcher 2 & 3, could really help keep the industry gamer/creativity/enjoyment focussed.
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January 21st, 2016, 23:42
Your game doesn't need to be good to develop a cult following. Sorry tried the demo, as much of it I could stand and it was not for me.

The combat mechanics or mini game are just plain boring IMO. Navigate a heart through some circles, kinda like asteroids but you don't shoot. Then stop a line in the middle of a football looking thing. This happens after flirting, insulting, etc. weird creatures and stuff.

I'm sure there's something to it because many people rave about it but it's not something I care to play.
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January 22nd, 2016, 01:05
I guess if you didn't start gaming in the 80's there is some valid points here. I really don't want to play games that look and feel like what I was playing 30 plus years ago any more. More to the point if I did it has been so long that I have played some of them I could back and replay them now and it would only feel some what familiar.
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January 26th, 2016, 14:35
4. Anything can be called a RPG now a days.
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January 27th, 2016, 00:16
Yep. The way the term "RPG" gets kicked around these days, I think we need a term that describes the core qualities that a true video RPG should incorporate. How about 'canon RPG'?
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