Mini-games you would like to see in a game?

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Zetsubou
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Mini-games you would like to see in a game?

#1 Post by Zetsubou » Sat May 20, 2017 6:31 am

I'm planning on adding some level of interactivity into my next game, outside of just dialogue choices.
Nothing super complex. Nothing 3D, hopefully nothing needing pygame.
Just small stuff designed to engage the player a bit. Like a card game, and puzzles of some sort.

I've been looking around the cookbook section for inspiration and trying to think of other VN's I've played with some level of interactivity. Things I've seen include:
-Dress-up game
-RPG-style battles
-Card games (or at least, I thought I saw this in the cookbook section... can't find it now :? )
-Point and click events
-Riddles/trivia

What mini-games, or other interactivity outside of dialogue choices, would you like to see/have you seen in a visual novel?
Any of the above? Something else you once saw in an obscure indie game? Something you've been secretly coding for months that I can shamelessly implement in my game you'd like to share?
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Re: Mini-games you would like to see in a game?

#2 Post by Evy » Sat May 20, 2017 10:57 am

It really depends on the genre of the game. Mini-games are fun, but it would be pretty out of place for, say, a horror game to have a dress-up system.

Dress-up games would work well with romance/dating sim games, or stories that focus on fashion and/or sewing, or ones where the protagonist needs to influence their peers somehow to appear more charismatic. RPG battles would fit into games with a heavy focus on adventure and/or survival, and so on.

It would, however, be interesting to see how one could incorporate certain mini-games into unusual genres. For example, your character needs to try their luck at overcoming an obstacle, and you're presented with a very short game of poker instead of a quick-time event, or rolling dice like in D&D. So even if something seems pretty out of place, if you can bullshit a way to make it work, then hey, it works. I, for instance, am a frequent user of the bullshitting method.

One thing I shamelessly enjoy is Dream Boyfriend's hearts-catching system, where pink hearts appear on the screen and you have to tap them before time runs out; broken purple hearts occasionally pop up and lower your score if you tap them. Something along those lines could work well for a variety of genres, though you'd probably have to think of a way to make it work without the use of a touch screen...

I'm sure there could be a way to implement classic arcade mini-games into a VN, although probably simplified, like a crane game or test-your-strength kinda thing... but I wouldn't know the first thing about coding those :')

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Re: Mini-games you would like to see in a game?

#3 Post by Shinoki » Sat May 20, 2017 12:17 pm

I'm not really a mini-game person (when they affect the story line since I'm really bad at games in general), but there have been some I've enjoyed in some visual novels.

Symphonic Rain: The game is music themed. The main character is a musician and he has to find a vocalist or something to perform with for a final concert at his music school. Thus, in the game, there's a rhythm game sort of mini-game. It fits into the setting of the story quite nicely, and it's fun (a bit hard though, which is why I recommend you have skippable mini-games).

VA-11 HALL-A: When you're in the main character's house, you can play a side scrolling Touhou-esque video game that the main character owns in story. It's a game based off of a tv show that she was a huge geek about. While seemingly unrelated and unimportant to the story as a whole, having a casual video game lying around for the player to play and having the game be related to the main character's hobbies helps to further immerse the player into the world of VA-11 HALL-A.

Little Busters!: There's a baseball mini-game, which is really quite fun and fits into the story since the characters are playing baseball. There's this weird mini-game at the beginning where you throw a character to the third floor or something and the game is about getting the right amount of strength into the throw (in the context of being late for class). There's also some weird fighting game type of thing. All of the mini-games are related to the story (well, maybe not the fighting thing), and all of the mini-games are skippable, which is nice.

I guess: Criteria = related to story + skippable/easy

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Re: Mini-games you would like to see in a game?

#4 Post by TheUsernameIsTaken » Sat May 20, 2017 12:46 pm

Kamidori Alchemy- I would say, clickable areas to view scenes. Copying the game battle system to this standard with customization is probably a no go.

Mana Khemia 1- If you are familiar with the Atelier series, this may feel similar to you. School curriculum which you have mini-games in the form of trying to score grade A each day. Copy the image maps of Kamidori Alchemy and insert it with the multiple mini-games of like, search & destroy/collect, etc. Each A success adds a free time event point which accumulates at the end of a sermester which you can use to gain affection points or View CGs in a map.

Age of Ishtaria- Whilst not a VN really, this game has you have a team where combat is entirely automatic. Not automatic like Kamidori, but in the way that you have skills and passives that proc at a rate between 20-45%. All you really need to do is to deal with making buffs, attack order (unless full automatic) and team building (single set team or wide range of units). Again, combine with the previous suggestions to add layers upon layers of depth.

Persona 4- The cooking aspect. If you are making a VN that involves cooking, make it so where you are given 3 options that end up with different things, like Crispy or Soft or fail. Then have some characters you give food to prefer either of these. Of course you would have to work on characters to imply, this character fancies bland and solid food, but it will certainly give people that like to research/compile lists of combinations + character analysis fun (though short-sighted since once the guide is made, some of the fun is gone).

Combine Persona 4 and Mana Khemia even if you are doing alchemy. In-game texts describe how to handle a flammable gas and you create a [Hot] lamp.

???: Candy Crush ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) it aint pretty but it gets the job done

???: Bullet hell. Because what better way to get someone to panic then a sudden transition to bullet hell.

Suikoden 2: The War Battle feature in the series. Rock-Paper-Scissors with pre-set skills (use count) though still deals with customization so may take away some time.

Zero escape: If you are looking for puzzles, this series might have a few nice ideas. The same goes for Liar game (Jdrama series)

Whacky Idea: Osu (Right Hand) + Gundam in bullet hell (Left hand) in a quest for the truth where you must answer the correct answer or risk replaying the minigame (danganronpa 2)

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Re: Mini-games you would like to see in a game?

#5 Post by fleet » Sat May 20, 2017 1:09 pm

In my fan made visual novel "Vera Blanc and the Columbia River Mystery" I included an 'open a combination lock' mini-game.
Jack Norton of Winterwolves Games gave me permission to use the characters from his commercially released games, 'Vera Blanc Full Moon' and Vera Blanc -GHost in the Castle.'
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Re: Mini-games you would like to see in a game?

#6 Post by Zelan » Sat May 20, 2017 1:17 pm

What Evy said about keeping genre in mind and what Shinoki said about making them skippable or easy for the people who don't like minigames are both important points to keep in mind.

Out of the ones that you listed, RPG style battles would probably be my favorite, but I would probably enjoy almost anything if it was done well.

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Re: Mini-games you would like to see in a game?

#7 Post by Katy133 » Fri May 26, 2017 7:27 pm

I'd like to see more hidden object mini-games. They have a nostalgic quality: They remind me of the early I-SPY computer game series.
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Re: Mini-games you would like to see in a game?

#8 Post by AntiquedFae » Wed May 31, 2017 2:19 am

Herbalism mini games. The world desperately needs more really detailed, realistic potion-making and apothecary mini games. Or at least I desperately do.

In all seriousness, the mini games I personally enjoy the most are point and click (for mystery games, especially), crafting of any sort (has a wide range of applications, but I had better be able to consume or otherwise use the items I craft in a meaningful way or else I will be one grumpy player), generally anything with a focus on knowledge-gathering or exploration, and the old standby stat raisers.

I agree strongly with the points Evy brought up about how connected to the genre as well as the story, as Shinoki mentioned, a mini-game is. In a story-focused game like a VN, the game sort of needs to serve the story. If the VN's is also strongly a stat-raiser or an RPG, for example, then those mini-games really stop being mini-games and instead become a part of the story. If that's the case then it's great...as long as that gameplay is done well. With tiny mini-games that don't effect the plot at all and can be skipped with little inconvenience (for example, the Tic-Tac-Smack mini-game in XOXO: Droplets) then there's not so much pressure on for them to be good as with a game that's a part of the plot. I guess it depends on whether you are using mini-games as a way to further the storytelling or just as a fun way to break up the reading, or something in between. Regardless, I think it's definitely important to make sure the mini-game feels natural for the setting and story. Adding something a little unique to make the mini-game your own is nice too, provided it comes naturally.

Something else I want to bring up that isn't brought up much with mini-games is...accessibility. Provided of course that reading and language is not a problem, VNs tend to be a pretty accessible format to people with different disabilities, at least in my limited experience. Depending on what it is, adding a mini-game can potentially limit this accessibility. A good example is any mini-game that involves clicking something within a time limit: these are really common in a lot of different genres because they are versatile and fairly simple in design, and a lot of players seem to like them. However, if they aren't skip-able, timed mini games can be really bad for anyone with poor hand-eye coordination or difficulty with fine motor skills, possibly making a game that would otherwise be fine and enjoyable completely off-limits to them. So that's another, less commonly considered reason to make non-integral mini-games something that can be skipped.

It's interesting, if perhaps a bit unproductive, to think of instances where unusual mini-game/genre combinations would work. For example, I associate mystery games with point-and-click mini-games most strongly, but could a dress-up game also feasibly be worked into a mystery game? Disguises are a classic aspect of the genre, after all. I can't think of a way a dress-up game could seamlessly be worked into a horror game (unfortunately) but could a shooter mini-game be worked into an otome somehow? Knocking out fan girls with tranquilizer for the too-attractive-for-their-own-good otome heroes? At the risk of derailing this thread, I feel like making ill-fitting mini-games and genres work should be some sort of game jam challenge some day...
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Re: Mini-games you would like to see in a game?

#9 Post by Alte » Thu Jun 01, 2017 1:44 pm

Found a few examples of each though some are not in the cookbook.

Cards
Lady Luck's Due: BlackJack - wyverngem
Memory Matching Card - Alex
Tiny World Cardgame - SusanTheCat

Puzzles
Sudoku - KimiYoriBaka fix
Tower of Hanoi - Alex
Vertical Word Puzzle - SusanTheCat

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Re: Mini-games you would like to see in a game?

#10 Post by Zelan » Mon Jun 05, 2017 2:23 pm

AntiquedFae wrote:It's interesting, if perhaps a bit unproductive, to think of instances where unusual mini-game/genre combinations would work. For example, I associate mystery games with point-and-click mini-games most strongly, but could a dress-up game also feasibly be worked into a mystery game? Disguises are a classic aspect of the genre, after all. I can't think of a way a dress-up game could seamlessly be worked into a horror game (unfortunately) but could a shooter mini-game be worked into an otome somehow? Knocking out fan girls with tranquilizer for the too-attractive-for-their-own-good otome heroes? At the risk of derailing this thread, I feel like making ill-fitting mini-games and genres work should be some sort of game jam challenge some day...
...I would be absolutely okay with a game jam like this.

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Re: Mini-games you would like to see in a game?

#11 Post by Remix » Thu Jun 08, 2017 5:18 am

Katy133 wrote:I'd like to see more hidden object mini-games. They have a nostalgic quality: They remind me of the early I-SPY computer game series.
Also quite a favourite of mine.
At some stage I will probably start throwing together a generic handler for these type features. Ren'py looks to have the ability with ATL to cover most of what is needed... silhouettes of targets, hints that magically colour the silhouette or move a sparkly to the target area, layers, timers... all there.
Just got a few things to do before starting.
AntiquedFae wrote:Something else I want to bring up that isn't brought up much with mini-games is...accessibility... Depending on what it is, adding a mini-game can potentially limit this accessibility.
I agree hugely. Some rather good games end up in the recycle bin here just because the author has not considered disabled players (or lazy older players who just do not have the reactions of a 19 year old weened on xbox rather than weetabix) or even just players who detest games that require repeated key bashing and an imminent trip to the shop for a new laptop [p] key.

Also consider sound and colour based mini games with a thought toward disability...
Tone-deafness, partial hearing, colour-blindness or just the desire to play games with the volume muted can limit your potential audience.

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