Well said, Entity.
Overall, I think there have been some very valuable contributions in this thread. Personally, I'm more of a conceptual game designer (I cannot program for squat), so I enjoy discussing the "design" part of game design. I like hearing what people like and dislike about Megaman, and how things can potentially be done better. I'll be keeping in mind a lot of what has been said here when designing my own level for MaGMML2.
Back on track:
When something is repeatedly done poorly, it can be easy to say that it just shouldn't be utilised. However, I think that almost any concept can be executed well with enough forethought, good execution, and play testing. I think the main thing people may or may not realize is that a lot of the most despised aspects of Megaman are ones that are typically done without a lot of thought and planning.
Designing a game requires a lot of thought. When I create ideas and stages, I take into account a lot of different factors that will affect how fun the idea is and, most importantly, how the player will react; that is the most important thing to keep in mind when creating a successful fan game or even a single stage. It's OK if you don't like a certain trope, but if someone comes along, and does it well, then that is worthy of merit. In fact, if a certain concept is despised, a fan game creator may be more successful in spite of it - because they are aware of past mistakes and are likely to think and plan more thoroughly. Ultimately, you don't have to be a veteran game designer or expert to create a successful game idea - you simply have to plan, think ahead, and be willing to respond to feedback and criticism.
No matter what, game design takes effort and planning - THAT is what will make a game successful or not.
Finally, just a few more of my thoughts - for your consideration:
- Entity, you mentioned the Lost Woods maze from Ocarina of time as an example of "dead space/repetition." I don't think the others here were thinking of that type of challenge when this point was brought up. Maze challenges usually provide some sort of mental stimulation because they require the player to find the correct pathway, which, while somewhat repetitive, qualifies as a puzzle. And you're right: If done correctly, these challenges can be fun. However, if you simply put room after room of the same thing in a stage, with no twists or interesting puzzles to solve, the player will quickly become bored. I think that is the problem being addressed here.
- I think the only things I would "ban" are underutilized gimmicks, intentional lack of checkpoints, and forced weapon usage. Although, this is because all of these are simply bad game design. I believe that after any sort of major challenge which could likely result in instant death, put a checkpoint. It think it's better to have one too many checkpoints than too few; otherwise, he player may have to repeat a single difficult section repeatedly, which becomes tedious. Basically, put enough checkpoints that players should be comfortable and never too frustrated with your level (to the point of rage quitting), while still allowing the level to challenge the player. Likewise, forcing a player to use a particular weapon can become tedious - and even if you give them constant item drops, the player may be bored or annoyed. Frankly, it's lazy. If you want to encourage a player to use a weapon, find a creative, fun, and maybe even subtle way to do it. Otherwise, make it an alternate path, or don't do it at all. Lastly, gimmicks should be creative and interesting enough to stimulate and challenge the player. Using gimmicks in new, challenging ways are what Megaman games are made of. Having a random, one-time gimmick which really just serves to fill space is, again, lazy. If you have to try cramming in an extra gimmick, perhaps your stage already has enough
. Try using the ones you already have before you add more.
Well those are my thoughts. Sorry for the length, I just wanted to throw my hat in the ring for the first time in a while. I hope we can all learn something from each other. Have a lovely evening everyone, I wish you all good luck in the new year.