Don't worry about the storyWell, not yet, anyway. After all, the #1 priority in the creative side of games should be the challenges players have to go through. Before we go any further, let's put ourselves in a position where a designer cares more about progressing his story in a scenario as opposed to making a fun quest. Jonas was a powerful Battlemage. He had unlocked all five sacred runes and was fully prepared to enter the Dark Wizard's lair. Except a Stone Guardian stood in front of the entrance. Jonas fought the Stone Guardian, who shattered to pieces. When he went inside the lair, the Dark Wizard decided to absorb the Stone Guardian's soul and grew stronger than ever. Okay, not my best work, but you get the idea. This sounds like it'd be really enjoyable to go through because the story's so deep. Hey, even from a gameplay perspective it's pretty neat. The Dark Wizard has new powers in the final boss battle! Except, there's one thing missing. The depth. Not the kind of depth you look for in a story, either. I'm talking about the sequence of actions the player must take in order to complete his mission. When you think about it, the final quest really just boils down to the player going to the lair and killing two people. He should have built his story off of the barebones of a fun quest.
Barebones of questsI think you've seen them in games before, too. You've played enough mediocre and just plain awful RPG games to see that all quests have this skeletal structure of blandness that's added on to by story. These barebones often include basic quest structures such as:
- Go find this item.
- Go kill this mob.
- Bring this mob to this location safely.
- Go kill X amount of mobs and bring me their substance.