Role-playing game developers can avoid overloading their players by grounding their games in realism, Marvelous AQL Inc. executive officer and CCO Yoshifumi Hashimoto said during a GDC panel.
Hashimoto spoke at the "RPG Development: Inspiration and Perspiration" panel through a translator. Hashimoto offered development insight by outlining many of his methods on Rune Factory and Muramasa. According to Hashimoto, when there's too much info on a game, players can get lost or forget where they are. Developers need to streamline the information remembered to create an "invisible staircase," Hashimoto said.
Hashimoto also spoke about how Rune Factory tried to capture the experience of living a fantasy life. He compared to it J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings series and characters living in The Shire. The goal was to make a game where players could enjoy a rich life without necessarily being a hero, Hashimoto said. Putting bits of realism in the game, he continued, helps it resonate with players and feel as though the experience is real. If players can't understand a developer's ideas, they're no good, even if they're unique.
Hashimoto said that his goal was to make a game where people didn't want the world to end. They wouldn't want to "clear" a world, Hashimoto said, because then it would be over. He advised that developers can do this by creating a game that isn't predictable and outside the box, which can help exceed player expectations.