Nice topic! It made me reflect on my recently changed gaming tastes, and how I even got interested in Yarn in the first place.
As a kid, there were a variety of games for the PS1, but I didn’t like half of my brothers’ library - there were some cool strategy games that wasn’t Red Alert, rhythm games that weren’t Dance Dance Revolution, and other awesome stuff, but the ones I spent time with the most were platformers and arcade racers. The most memorable ones were Crash Bandicoot and its kart racing spinoff Crash Team Racing.
In the present, my preference of action-based games persist, but recently my interest in playing games as-is dwindled - playing games just isn’t that fun anymore. Ironically, making my game, bug-testing the previews, is very fun. Going on Twitter to comment on other indie developers’ snippets of their games is equally entertaining, because most of them don’t have many followers, and are visibly impacted when I give feedback. But, that’s probably a derail…
There was a game on the PSP, called The 3rd Birthday. It’s an action-shooting game, which got stale as the story ended. But the inspiring mechanic of the game was the town/non-combat sections, where you could interact with a lot of things. The player character’d make a simple audio cue such as “um” or “a-ah” (not sure what those are called), some interaction text’ll appear on the screen, and you can examine an item multiple times. But the best part of this was that you could freely move your character away at any point of the interaction, which had a really liberating feeling in contrast to normal RPGs. Heck, walk away from an NPC conversation, and they’ll stop talking! That game got me seriously interested in making the world of the game itself be interesting, rather than making it feel like it exists for the main characters alone. The dialogue also goes more than to point out the obvious of an object, often adding depth to the lore. It’s a wonderful interacting-experience that is more writing than code-heavy, to be fair. My Yarn endeavors are driven by that, and my recent liking of walking simulators and visual novels.
My current RPG project’s design is more of a code experimentation than full-fledged game with a dialogue system I’m proud of. Essentially, writing is something I’m really interested in making into my game, but a lot of design has to be put for me to even know how to do that.
There are several other game ideas I’d want to start with, involving action mechanics in some way; Among them, I do want to make a driving game based on Outrun, but currently I can’t think of how to create those 2D driving thing mechanics (the psuedo 3D example Seven had shown is pretty good). The twist on the game’s design is mostly narrative and story, which is possible to make, but it’s still a very early daydream, and not much has been designed. There are other small action-game projects (I still like the genre), but they have a small scope, to be more of a coding practice.
To conclude, I honestly believe that action and RPG can have a good narrative, not only for the main character, but even the world sorrounding them. It feels bad when all NPCs are seen as is a source of fetch quests and in-game currency (among other things), and kind of destroys the point. It’d feel good to achieve something better than that.