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Let's talk about subscreens, and item management.


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Poll: Item Management

Which subscreen style do you prefer?

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Do you like using L/R to cycle items?

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#1 Anthus

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Posted 01 January 2018 - 04:43 PM

I'm trying to see what the general public likes most here. This should be interesting for anyone making a quest, I'd think.

 

Both styles of subscreen have their advantages, and disadvantages. I personally like the classic style, and using L/R to cycle, but I know a lot of others use the GB style A/B select. Classic style can also get a bit cumbersome with many items, and is compounded by only having one item slot. A/B Style can be annoying because it requires frequent pauses since L/R toggle does not work here.

 

If I was a scripting madman, I'd do something like this

 

What subscreen styles do you prefer, and why?


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#2 TheBlueTophat

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Posted 01 January 2018 - 05:29 PM

In the rare instance I'm actually playing a quest, I prefer being able to select both the A/B items. I never use L/R switching, since I either can't (A/B button items) or I prefer going into the subscreen and selecting exactly what item I want. Awhile back I heard of somebody who scripted L/R and Ex1/Ex2 item cycling, to effect the A and B buttons respectively, which could be easily scripted for general use.

Something that I think would be neat is being able to move items in the subscreen around to your choosing (I feel like some Zelda game actually did this, but I honestly don't know), and then using L/R/Ex1/Ex2 cycling. Obviously this would require a heavily scripted subscreen, but it'd look hella cool.



#3 Russ

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Posted 01 January 2018 - 05:43 PM

I voted for custom. After being fed up with ZC's general inability to have more than two button items, I made my own subscreen that allows for mapping items to L and R, and I can never look back now. Given that those kinds of subscreens are rarely seen, however, I prefer A/B select subscreens. The idea of having a single weapon glued to A seems pretty dated with most modern quest design. That does have a caveat though: L and R item switching needs to still be a thing. I use L/R almost exclusively at times to switch items. Numerous quests (IoR springs to mind) use L/R and Ex1/Ex2 for item cycling in an A/B subscreen, and if the script isn't public, it really oughta be.

#4 Anthus

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Posted 01 January 2018 - 06:08 PM

Awhile back I heard of somebody who scripted L/R and Ex1/Ex2 item cycling, to effect the A and B buttons respectively, which could be easily scripted for general use.

Something that I think would be neat is being able to move items in the subscreen around to your choosing (I feel like some Zelda game actually did this, but I honestly don't know)

 

That would work really nicely. If I tried to use a method like that, I could still have a dedicated jump button (Ex3, or 4). And as far as I know, all the GameBoy Zeldas (including Minish Cap) let you move around your items. The 3DS N64 remakes also do this, I think, as well as ALBW. But yeah, I like being able to move stuff around too. It's a nice option.

 

I voted for custom. After being fed up with ZC's general inability to have more than two button items, I made my own subscreen that allows for mapping items to L and R, and I can never look back now. Given that those kinds of subscreens are rarely seen, however, I prefer A/B select subscreens. The idea of having a single weapon glued to A seems pretty dated with most modern quest design. That does have a caveat though: L and R item switching needs to still be a thing. I use L/R almost exclusively at times to switch items. Numerous quests (IoR springs to mind) use L/R and Ex1/Ex2 for item cycling in an A/B subscreen, and if the script isn't public, it really oughta be.

 

Yeah, again, that sounds really handy. I'd be fine to take more item slots (three or four) over L/R toggling. You could in theory still have three different buttons, all with a cycle too. L/R for A, Ex1/2 for B, Ex3/4 for "R" or whatever. I like that, but it seems kind of like overkill, and then you can't use Ex buttons for anything else (like jumping or a bow like some quests).



#5 Orithan

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Posted 01 January 2018 - 07:06 PM

If it really came down to it and I would script a subscreen; I'd say OoT's 3 button + Sword/Primary Melee button system is the most optimal system. As your primary melee weapon is viable in nearly every situation in ZC, It doesn't hurt to keep it ready at all times. It is also pretty feasible to do without rescripting everything from scratch (though; there is a caveat - You can't charge the Hammer in such a system).

 

Otherwise, the GB A/B system is great for what it is.


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#6 Russ

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Posted 01 January 2018 - 07:08 PM

You could in theory still have three different buttons, all with a cycle too. L/R for A, Ex1/2 for B, Ex3/4 for "R" or whatever. I like that, but it seems kind of like overkill, and then you can't use Ex buttons for anything else (like jumping or a bow like some quests).

I agree that it's a bit overkill. With my subscreen, the original plan was to reuse the Ex buttons for scrolling on A and B, but I found that it's really not necessary. The main draw of scrolling through items is being able to quickly access two or three items without opening the subscreen. If you can just pin four of them to different buttons, you don't really need scrolling because you usually don't need any more items than that. You can just assign the items you'll need for the area once and be good.
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#7 Anthus

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Posted 01 January 2018 - 09:22 PM

Huh, I looked in the DB, and there is only one script that comes up if you search for "subscreen" and it's not that one. I might ask Evan about it, but this is something I wouldn't need for a long time. I thought it would still be a good idea to see what people like to use though. Your's sounds pretty nifty too though Russ, if you don't mind sharing. But like I said, it would be a little while before I'd actually need this. Just doing a little research for now. :)

 

I know that I don't want to use A/B style personally, but my quest will have about 11 usable items by the end (including the sword, and Roc's feather). That is a lot to have to toggle through, so I like the multiple-button (Quasi-OoT Style) approach more.



#8 Russ

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Posted 01 January 2018 - 10:35 PM

Your's sounds pretty nifty too though Russ, if you don't mind sharing. But like I said, it would be a little while before I'd actually need this. Just doing a little research for now. :)

I wouldn't mind sharing, but it's not exactly practical. My quest uses absolutely zero built-in ZC items, you see. Launching scripted items is simple. All the item itself did was tell ZC to run a FFC script associated with the item, so my scripted system just cuts out the middle man and has the global launch the FFC script if one of the four item buttons is pressed. With built in items, any system would have to basically have to detect an L or R press, move the item into the A or B slot, press that button to get ZC to actually do the built-in weapon behavior, then move it all back. You could get around that by rescripting built-in items, which is something I hope is eventually done, but in the meantime... yeah. :P Sorry my script isn't more portable.
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#9 Anthus

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Posted 01 January 2018 - 11:05 PM

I wouldn't mind sharing, but it's not exactly practical. My quest uses absolutely zero built-in ZC items, you see. Launching scripted items is simple. All the item itself did was tell ZC to run a FFC script associated with the item, so my scripted system just cuts out the middle man and has the global launch the FFC script if one of the four item buttons is pressed. With built in items, any system would have to basically have to detect an L or R press, move the item into the A or B slot, press that button to get ZC to actually do the built-in weapon behavior, then move it all back. You could get around that by rescripting built-in items, which is something I hope is eventually done, but in the meantime... yeah. :P Sorry my script isn't more portable.

 

No, that's fine. That makes sense though, and if I knew more about scripting, I'd probably be all about it. Thanks anyway.



#10 Cukeman

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Posted 01 January 2018 - 11:30 PM

Freedom of button item assignment to both A and B. There's only pros, no cons. I mean even when it's enabled, you can still leave the sword in place if you really want to. EDIT: I guess it's a way to limit the player if that's what you're going for.

 

I'm the guy who will always use pause to change weapons and never L/R to cycle. Sucks to try and change in the heat of battle, and pressing them on accident (if your button layout makes that an issue) is irksome. But I certainly have nothing against it being there for those who want it. I just didn't like using the B trigger for that on Mega Man 9-10 Wii, I kept pressing it accidentally.


Edited by Cukeman, 01 January 2018 - 11:31 PM.

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#11 Shane

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 12:03 AM

I like GB Style, having an extra button is nice for things like puzzle solving and the like. There are cases where certain screens require switching back to two items and only having the B item can be very tedious. I sometimes use L/R, if enabled, but often times I feel it's too much a hassle and would rather pause to get my desired items. I don't think it's required in quest design either way but it's nice to have if possible since even official Zelda games are bringing back their own forms of quick switch (although the gameplay does pause). I think it's wise to design item management around what kind of subscreen you have. Having a lot of puzzles requiring two items and you can only use the B button I feel is very inconsiderate and the subscreen choice does not reflect the game design you have in mind, but that's me personally. But my point is that subscreen design, preferably, should reflect what kind of quest you're going for as there's no universal pick, I feel.

 

You could also just plan four items and have them all in the passive and disable the active... :P


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#12 Reflectionist

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 12:52 AM

Theres also something to be said about items that multitask and multiple items with the same function. I'm sure there's a more intricate answer than this, but you wouldn't necessarily want a quest with the rocs feather AND the hookshot, because they achieve the same thing.

I'd love to see a quest where you only had 4 bottles, but swinging a bottle is a melee attack and more attacks and moves are unleashed from bottles. I digress, its not a great idea, but think of how genius the game design is in Metroid that you have to shoot doors to open them. Of course you shoot doors. You jump, and you shoot. Thats it. Everything else builds on existing mechanics that teach the player as they progress through the world, no tutorials needed.

Make that blue tunic halve your damage and give you flippers. Have that red tunic halve THAT damage then give it a hotroom script.

Having a ton of items is cool, especially if you have a lot of options.

You could take a page from BotWs book and build everything from sword, board, bow, arrows, bombs, clothes.

Idk.

The other idea I have is to hide all your passive upgrades in MacGuffins. How cool of a gameplay moment would it be, as a player, to receive a shard of the Triforce of Power... but now certain shopkeepers are openly intimidated by your presence and want to give you a sweet discount out of fear?

Edit--you know, I'm a bit surprised by how many people like the A/B Setup. Maybe I'm spoiled by the 3D Zelda games, but not having a dedicated sword button really throws me off. It almost ruins the GB games for me entirely. It sucks, but I can't properly enjoy LA or Oracle like I want to, but I think I forgave Minish Cap for it based solely on the Wind Waker meets LttP art style, which kinda makes me feel like a bad Zelda fan lol

Edited by Reflectionist, 02 January 2018 - 01:13 AM.


#13 Cukeman

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 02:33 AM

...you wouldn't necessarily want a quest with the rocs feather AND the hookshot, because they achieve the same thing.

 

Not really since hookshot doubles as a weapon/pickup tool and can cross long gaps the feather can't. Conversely the feather can't do damage unless you have stomp boots.


Edited by Cukeman, 02 January 2018 - 02:34 AM.

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#14 Reflectionist

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 02:51 AM

Thats an entirely different conversation about the pitfalls of level design... but probably has to do with why all the grappling beam rooms in Super Metroid (that you CAN find before getting the grappling beam) look the same. Purple room, small platform, shallow water.

Or, to be more direct, why there are docks in LttP and MC to climb out of water. Its a way to funnel the player, but to give them instant recall. If there's a quest that uses both, its probably got a lot of items in it. Which is why theres no hookshot in Minish Cap and no feather in LttP. Switch-hook doesn't count; its a multitasker, too.

Eh, doing both makes your job unnecessarily harder from a game design standpoint, and for too little of a reward. I'd rather think of a hundred different ways to use a hookshot than a hundred items to cross a gap and retrieve things.

Edited by Reflectionist, 02 January 2018 - 02:59 AM.


#15 Anthus

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Posted 02 January 2018 - 03:22 AM

For what it's worth, I think the hookshot and feather are very different. Comparing them is like saying "the wand and arrows do the same thing". Sure, maybe on some level (both are movement options, and both are projectiles respectively), but there are lots of unique uses for both with puzzle design, and room design. Both the hookshot, and feather offer unique movement options which can be fun to use. I do agree though, that if an item/ ability is going to be included, make it worth it.

 

edit: Another thing too, with ZC, you have to think about items as keys to an extent since there are various triggers you can choose to use. Not unlike Metroid, Zelda uses item gating quite a lot too. Hookshots, and feathers, bows, and wands can all be used to gate stuff off, and grant progression. Really, I think picking a handful of options for your project's needs is better than throwing in everything but the kitchen sink. I'd rather see a quest that uses eight or so items really well than one that tries to use every item only once or thrice. For fun factor, and for subscreen management.

 

On the topic of subscreen organisation, yeah, streamlining options is good, but if there were more than one or two item buttons available to use at once it wouldn't matter how many items you could equip. Plus, I'm using a dedicated jump button. :blah:




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