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What do you want to see in an opening?

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Pretty vague question really, but for purpose nonetheless.

 

After doing some script work, database work, and resource gathering, I've decided to finally add

this much-prolonged 'opening'. I obviously know the inner workings of an intro, but I think I need a 2nd

opinion here.

 

Like the topic says, what appeals to you guys in an opening? Maybe things like battle... emotion... and

how much background info you want. Playability isn't a matter here, I'm still deciding whether to include

that or not.

 

If it helps at all, this is somewhat of a linear RPG, although it is story-based, not free-roam style.

 

 

 

 

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I'd like to know who I am, where I am, why I am there, (what my mission/quest is, or atleast what I'm supposed to be doing.)
Now ofcourse any of these can be taken away at first to create mystery (starting with amnesia or waking up in a strange place are pretty common in rpgs)
But I'd use the intro to introduce the hero and the world he is in to the player.
And basicly set up the experience to really dive into your story.

Or you could (also very popular) start with showing the antagonist and his evil scheme to give a sense of what you're up against.
Or ofcourse (ALSO very popular) start with a flashback scene, which makes no sense when you first see it, but as you progress in the game, things become more clear. 

Other than that, I usualy start with a little tutorial on how to navigate across the map. (then let the player walk around and interact with things)
and then a battle tutorial. (after which the hero gets into a battle. (or have the tutorial at the start of the first battle)



 

Edited by TheHarmp

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First, I'd like to know who I am and know my objective. If the player has partners, I'd like to know more about them.

 

I also would like to know about the evil character and what he plans to do.

 

When the scene ends, a character talks to you and asks you to do something, or come with him/her, or something like that. There is a wide variety of ways to make a good Opening for a RPG, but those are my suggestions.

Edited by ZoroarX

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The World... (it's important to see where are we. medieval age ? futuristic? or fantasy world).

The Major Problem ( Since it's Linear, the hero must know what problem that make him into journey).

and The Hero Him/Herself. (what or who is she/he?)

 

 

hmmm just wondering... are we talking about Opening at the start of game or Opening Videogame (like anime opening)??

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From a casual gamer on pc/android/emulator gaming, i need to see motion, pictures moving, nice sound effects. and in a style that will begin the pacing of the actual game. so it transitions well when i play, the opining would have set me up just right. But with out giving me too much.

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The most important thing is ambience. The intro must immerse the player in the setting (not necessarily ther story). If the player feels like part of the world, the game feels that much more captivating. Then, during the intro, a brief tutorial is welcome, UNLESS breaks the atmosphere.

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What I want to see in an opening: everything good about your game. Avoid too much information dump, focus on gameplay elements (unless your cutscene is good enough to keep people watching). The first few mins of a game are very important, you don't want to bore the audience to death.

 

This video is brilliant for game openings: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EFU4tjMndi4

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I think that intro's to any game should start very fast paced, I always liked the idea of your character having to escape from a sinking ship or burning building was a good way to draw the player in and make them have to think on their feet and get used to the mechanics quickly. Then running off that energy, you can have some exposition scenes. I think setting a good pace at the start is vital to keep players interested. 

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As far as intros go, I'm the type who doesn't really need a lot. I just need to know three major things:

 

1. What kind of place am I in? 

Beyond just labelling it 'fantasy' or 'sci-fi', what's the general atmosphere of the place I'm starting in? Are things tense or peaceful? Are the people living here generally content or is there discord? Finally, are there any major differences between the game's world and the real world (like the existence of magic) that I should know? 

 

You don't need to spell any of this stuff out explicitly (in fact if I have to read through a dozen screens of scrolling text that describe every single cool worldbuilding concept you came up with, I'm probably gonna quit right there). Show, don't tell. If there's a magic system in your world that's based on, I dunno, sandwich making, then feel free to have people talk about how the mustard shortages are affecting their businesses, but please, don't make me read about how "seven hundred years ago, the gods of rye proclaimed that their power..."If you can show me how your world operates at the point in time where your story takes place, then I don't need a history lesson on how or why this came to be.  

 

 

2. What kind of person is the main character?

And please, feel free to go beyond the stock RPG MC traits of "likes helping people" and "hates injustice".  What are their pet peeves, their favorite foods, what makes them mad, what they're bad at...stuff like that. It's good practice to hint at a character's basic flaws early on, because if we know a person is sometimes lazy, or snarky, or forgetful, it helps us to get a better idea of just who they are than simply revealing that they can be brave or strong.

 

3. What's wrong?

Some openings tend to avoid this in lieu of starting the player out in a nice, mellow village to explore, but honestly? If I know within the first few minutes (or at least, I think I know, you can totally misdirect me) what the major conflict of the story might be, it'll hook me just that must quicker. 

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Not a question of graphics I think... I know you're talking about ''what we like to SEE''' and in a video game it's really graphical...
But it's not a matter of Crazy camera angle and stuff... unless you're not using RPG Maker or you're doing a big screen movie.

What I think is the most important about the 30 first seconds of the game is to 'Fill' the mood.
I mean : The Environnement, the music, the sounds, the colors, the light!
You must totally catch the Player within the 30 first seconds unless he's gonna get lame and just skip that intro... (we don't want an intro to be skipped... that's too sad) (Maybe my explaination goes in the same way as Kidd the Maniac)

I, the player, want to feel that something is going on. Really going on I mean.
It's not a matter of ''ACTION''... unless it's an action game. If it's based on dialog and developping relation, catch me with some Scene ''ala'' Tarentino style.

A good way to introduce a game is by thinking of the intro as if it's a movie.
Try to get your inspiration in movies you like or you think would fit the ''MOOD'' of your game.
Actually if the intro is too contrasting with the 'real beginning of the player taking action' ... maybe the player won't like it.
But a contrast between the intro and the ''start'' may just unbalance the player and make him want to continue the game!
Picking the curiosity is also a great way to catch up the player's attention.
All about Catching up the Attention.
Not needed to yell or scream or FLASH the screen... but you have to create a place, a mood, a feeling, an environnement where the player will feel something.  It could be sad, really joyful, anxious, enigmatic, confusing!, annoying... disturbing or whatever but never let the player indifferent about the game... don't let the player get his own opinion of the game within the 30 seconds. He must not even think, all he needs is to travel 100000 miles and get really into the game! No matter what the graphic are likes... pokemon graphic, Final Fantasy 7 or Mist graphics... doesn't really matter.

Well... I hope it help you.
And before I forget, if your game plot is all written... than I think it's important that you leave some messages in your intro, some spoils, some hints.
As subtile as you can get just to catch up the 'Subconscience' of the player. (I know it's a publicity tricks but it's something that people really like)

Like Sughayyer said, (cause I read while I write) the AMBIANCE of the game.  If you're ain't sure, I may propose you do a sketch intro, than an other sketch, than an other! And maybe you could make a demo of all your intro and make a poll for which one the Public did prefer.

 

sorry my english really crappy... :P

 

Really hope it helps you. I'll follow this topic for any news or comments, really interesting subject.

 

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I want to be drawn into your world, to be given a reason to play. Start me in the middle of a storyline, even if that storyline doesn't have anything to do with the main plot of the game itself, but give me a reason to want to know more about this world you've created.  A classic example of dumped into the a storyline that has little to no bearing on the main one, Final Fantasy VII.  It sort of makes you want to know more about what's going on, and why.

 

No need for info dumps, assume your potential players are smart enough to piece the story from the basic info: character's name, where is he, how are people interacting with him, does he seem like a criminal or a king, did you map your world as medieval or futuristic or mix setting, is the music quirky or serious. Hints towards your world will ultimately be more interesting than a novel you must read at the beginning, and to be honest, unless your hero has been thrown into this world just as the player has been going in, he should as a character, know how the world works and who's who.

 

One thing that turns me off of an RPG, even if I hear that it's a good one is an unsubtle tutorial...

Assume that your gamers have played at least a game, and most likely an RPG in their lives, so no need to explain most things.

If you game has a special mechanic that is unique to it or to a sub-genre, the best way to introduce that is to naturally explain it the first time the opportunity to do it comes by. Don't have a crafting tutorial for the sake of it, make it so that your hero has to make due with the junk that's around him because he's stuck weaponless otherwise, have an event make him mention that he should find something to fight with and then have him sharpen a stick for a makeshift dagger and tie some rope on a plank of wood to make for a primitive shield. The player will then know that found items put together will result in useable items.

 

And please, make it so that the player has at least an idea of what to do next. Games that lets the player meander around a peaceful village until some seemingly random event thrusts him into adventure are hard to keep the interest. Chrono Trigger was almost victim to this in my opinion: you start in bed and you have to go to a fair. The saving points for it in my humble opinion were that 1: you were told you needed to go to the fair so you had a direction, and 2:once there, a few things happened and there were things to do and it didn't take too long for the story to start and there wasn't a tutorial section, just play and you'll get the hang of the differences between this and the other RPGs you've played before.

 

 

so yeah, make it interesting enough to hold my interest, don't look down to your players and tell them the obvious and don't make a tutorial. :)

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