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Caravel Forum : DROD RPG Boards : RPG Holds : 2016 Year of RPG Compilation (Contest Compilation)
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Author Name:2016 Year of RPG
Submitted By:kieranmillar
Hold Name:2016 Year of RPG Compilation
Theme:Contest Compilation
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Number of Levels:11
Number of Rooms:95
Number of Monsters:745
Version:DROD RPG: Tendry's Tale (1.2)
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icon 2016 Year of RPG Compilation  
This is the compilation of all of the entries to the official October 2016 contest 2016 Year of RPG.

The contest rules were simple, make basically anything for DROD:RPG with a cap of 15 rooms at most.

Thanks to all of the people who submitted entries:
* azb
* bomber50
* Chaco
* Insoluble
* Nuntar
* Red-XIII
* Xindaris
12-02-2016 at 07:35 PM
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kieranmillar
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icon Re: 2016 Year of RPG Compilation (+3)  
As with most contest compilations, the entries can be quite the mixed bag. Year of RPG encourages short experimental works by the nature of what it is as a contest, and this particular compilation is especially so, with the majority of entries being experimental in some way. Here's my thoughts on them all, in order of my least to most favourite:

Second Invasion of Tueno by azb
This is literally just the first part of Tower of the Sorcerer. It's exactly the same. It's already pretty bad to try and pass off someone else's work as your own, but it's even worse here because the second half of Tendry's Tale is also just Tower of the Sorcerer (I aim the same criticism at Tendry's Tale too). I recognized this during the voting stage of the contest and I wish I had disqualified this from the final publication.

Something Short by Insoluble
A clear first attempt at building something for RPG that is only 4 rooms big and then just unceremoniously gives up very suddenly and ends. It's a real shame, I'd have liked to have seen this go on for longer, as the design had some promise to it.

Herpaderp by Xindaris
This isn't really an RPG hold so much as a regular DROD puzzle hold with exactly one solution and one possible score, with a minor RPG twist. It's not even very good as a set of regular DROD puzzles though.

This or That by bomber50
bomber50 was the most experimental entrant of this contest, with all 3 of his entries being a simple but unusual RPG concept. All of them are quite interesting, but in practice I think this one hits the mark the least out of their 3 entries. This or That is a single linear one-way path, that offers a long chain of choices. Each choice involves you picking one path or another, usually offering different combats with different rewards, then immediately converge back again. Eventually you reach the end of the path and see how your choices have set you up for the final boss, who is actually pretty tough.

I feel like you could make a small mobile game out of this concept. However the particular implementation here feels quite tricky to reason about in practice. It's just very hard to conceptualize how your choices will turn out later, especially early on. This makes it feel very trail and error, or requires a spreadsheet to optimize, which is what most of the top scorers ended up resorting to.

I like the premise and think it has the capability to be refined into something more interesting.

One by bomber50
For just being one room of monster for stat trades One really tests your basic knowledge of how stat gains impact combat and ordering. It's a nice very basic optimization challenge for beginners to test fundamentals. Not much to it but I appreciate its existence.

Six Times as Splendid by bomber50
The concept here is extremely cool. It's the same room, repeated 6 times, with a one-way passage between them with a stat and health boost. So each time you reenter the room, you have different resources which changes your decisions on each play of the room.

Or so is the promise of the concept. Sadly, in reality there are two issues.
1) The starting resources are too low given the difficulty of the monsters, and so you can't feasibly do anything at all on the first few passes.
2) With careful accessory use you can backtrack, which ends up meaning that gathering all the freebies first then running backwards through every room is best, and that means actually you don't end up playing each room that differently after all.

I would love to see this idea expanded into one that's better balanced.

Escalation by Red-XIII
Even the more traditional RPG entries in this compilation have experimental twists. Escalation starts you off with your default low stats but has a gigantic x10 multiplier, and all the equipment tiers crammed into one short hold. This means you raise your stats very quickly, offering a turbo-charged levelling-up experience. To balance this, there's a larger than usual amount of locking off other resources if you want to take certain goodies early, either with key doors or permanently.

This entry manages it's central gimmick well, there's a risk with such rapid stat growth to have a level that's entirely cordoned off into a number of entirely separate sections for each part, but overall it does a good job of making you leave things for later in the earlier rooms so you keep returning. Some solid RPG gameplay.

Legend of Loquacious Chivalry by Chaco
Perhaps the least gimmicky entry of the entire compilation. This entry is just pure normal RPG gameplay. The gimmick, if you can call it one, is that rather than starting with low stats and facing up against the typical Evil Eyes, Roaches and Wratihwings, you start with mid-tier stats and face off against mid-tier enemies like Goblins, Tar Babies and Soulless with a higher multiplier.

It shouldn't really be any surprise that Chaco, creator of Fetch the Pie, has a solid understanding of constructing an RPG hold, which is on full display here. If anything, it's stand out in this compilation for feeling very restrained. This won first place, and it is well deserved.

Perfect Cherry Blossom by Nuntar
This entries experimental feature is great. A new pickup item, the Cherry Blossom, increases the level multiplier by 0.2. This affects health potions, greckle gate costs, and for every 5 you get, stat gems. It can feel a little intimidating at first, but once you get past that and start to feel more comfortable with the level, it's a really cool twist.

RPG gameplay benefits from some more collectibles other than just health, stats and keys. Small multiplier increases are a nice long-term collectible that, while offering some amount of immediate benefit, are really more of a long term boost that can take a while to pay off, encouraging you to forgo resources now for more payoff later, rather than just grabbing everything as soon as you can. A simple, basic collectible with huge implications.

It's worth noting that years later, the Magic Tower game Tactical Nexus came along with a similar idea of multiplier increase pickups, and proved that it works very well in much much larger levels. Perfect Cherry Blossom is quite short to fit the contest requirements and has a load of multipliers crammed into a small area, but there's no reason why this collectible couldn't work out in a larger hold to shake up the gameplay a little. While Chaco's entry had the most polished core RPG gameplay, Perfect Cherry Blossom leaves me most excited and filled with ideas.
12-29-2022 at 11:09 AM
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