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I''m using Visual Basic to create a simple text-based RPG. I''m still working on the character creation form, want to perfect it before moving on to the main game form. Anyway, I''ve got some ideas for character creation already, such as name, sex(male,female), race(human,elf,orc,dwarf), and class(knight,barbarian,robber,archer). Any other ideas for inside or outside these categories? Also, I''ve played some games before, where on the character creation form, you begin with initial generated statistics (you can click on a button to generate new stats), and the available classes or character types change according to what the current statistics are. For example, a Knight should have at least 10 defense. Is there a sort of listing or class to add these extra features? And it could even have something to do with the race chosen as well i.e. Dwarves are naturally slow. The statistics I''ve included already are Attack, Defense, and Speed. Any suggestions for more statistics to use? I appreciate any help, this is my first text-based RPG with character generation. Grant Palin

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Hey, don''t forget about magic. You need magic in such a game. Honestly, the best way to learn how to make an RPG is by using VC++ Console application programming. It''s more suited for the structure of the character.

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Actually, I just thought of that. I''ve now added Power and Intelligence to the skill list. What do you mean by console application programming? As for structure of the character, I''ve already set up a type statement for the character, as follows:

Public Type Character
Name As String
Sex As String
Race As String
Class As String
Condition As String ''Good, okay, or critical
Attack As Long
Defense As Long
Speed As Long
Power As Long ''Controls the effectiveness of spells
Intelligence As Long ''Controls the number of spell points
MaxHP As Long ''Maximum Hit points
CurHP As Long ''Current HP
MaxSP As Long ''Maximum Spell points
CurSP As Long ''Current SP
Level As Long ''Current level
Experience As Long ''Current experience
ExpToNextLvl As Long ''Experience to next level
End Type

And then I create an instance of this structure.
Public Hero As Character

Is this what you mean by a character structure?

Grant Palin

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Plan out your whole game as a paper and pencil game first. Thats a big think for me and my strongest suggestion. Making the paper and pencil version of your game like Dungeons and Dragons style helps alot to decide how you will balance the mechanics in your game.

~Vendayan

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I''m working on that too, actually. This all just started out as me playing around with controls, and I thought, "Why now make a simple text-based RPG, along with a character creation form?" And there I was. Anyway, along that line, I decided I should get all my ideas down in a text file, so as to keep track of everything.
Right now, I''m still on the character creation form, brainstorming. I''m trying to think of other classes, skills, races, and benefits for each. I think I''ll add an option for choosing a character portrait as well. I''m still trying to figure out the effects of specific races and classes on the character. I''m thinking maybe I''ll generate the stats first, then show which classes are available with those statistics, and then choose race and sex. If the user doesn''t like the classes available or stats generated, they can click a button to generate new stats, and change the class availability. Which means, I''m gonna have to do some planning for each class I''ve come up with so far, in terms of necessary statistics.
Anyway, suggestions are welcome!

Grant Palin

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Okay, commenting on your character creation system... it sounds really frustrating! If I''m understanding correctly, I randomly roll some stats and if, say, the intelligence is high I can be a mage. But what if I want to be a knight? Do I have to keep rolling until I meet all the requirements? I''d choose the class first, which would have a minimum in the important areas, and then add a few more random points in.

Personally, I don''t like randomly rolling stats at all (if you''re allowed to reroll them), because you''ll eventually get what you''re looking for anyway, and its just tedious. EQ has a better system, IMO, and I''m sure other games too. Basically, you select a race, which then limits what classes you can pick. Once you have your class selected, you are allowed to spend a certain number of points to improve your stats. Note that in this system, there are minimum values that are "appropriate" for that class, and player just add what they want, where they want it.

As far as suggestions, more classes can''t hurt Depending on how you implement things, different classes shouldn''t be too difficult to add. I won''t write all the classes that I could think of here, but look at games like Final Fantasy Tactics; they have a TON of classes that you could use, or just get inspiration from. Tactics Ogre is another good game to look at (and of course, D&D )

Stats... well, I think attack and defense are poor choices, because they should vary on other stats. Think about it this way... (Traditionally), can a wizard pick up a claymore and swing it like a wizard? With only a stat like ATT, there is no way to take this into account (I''m kind of speculating here though) I think strength and agility / endurance would be better choices for "attack" and "defense" respectively. Other stats that might be good to use are widsom and/or intelligence (some games use them to differientiate between different classes of magic; also, magic point growrth), vitality (usually used to determine amount of HP), and maybe luck (for whatever reason).

Finally, for race bonuses... there are a lot of options (just going to post how I view various races:

Humans: Typically the most well rounded race; few advantages, disadvantages. Some games give the some sort of merchant bonus.

Elf: Faster, better magic users, can take less damage; more in tune with nature than other races

Orc: Strong attack, weak defense, can take a lot of damage, very strong

Dwarves: Cave dwelling, strong, good with technology, small

And of course you have more options here too... races like halflings, undead (not really a race... but yea), faeries, drow (dark elves), some kind of cat people, list goes on and on.

Hopefully this looooong post will spark some new ideas

------------------
Warcraft III mod:
Project ROR!
http://projectror.warcraftiii.net
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quote:
Original post by Peon
Humans: Typically the most well rounded race; few advantages, disadvantages. Some games give the some sort of merchant bonus.



Personally, I''d just take the humans completely out of the picture. Average = boooring.

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I wouldn''t take the human race totally out of the picture, but it''s definately boring to always see them used as the "all around" race.

A suggestion: go out on a limb, give them relatively moderate physical attributes (compared to those of orcs/dwarves), but allow them to use more complicated weaponry or technology then the other races. Let the humans have a wider range of offensive arsenal.

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Well, the rolling for stats first was just an idea I was kicking around...I got it from a game I had played a looooong time ago, which had a similar character creation system. Might and Magic 2, I think.

Anyway, Peon, that suggestion of yours is an idea, I might do that. The other option I have is to choose a class first, which gives you minimum stats, and then choose a race which affects stats again, based on the abilities of that race, and then you can play. Selecting a race, then limiting class choices, would be a bit much for me, since I would have to come up with several more classes, and develop their properties as well. I''ll just work on those I have already, for now, adding special abilities, strengths, weaknesses, etc.

Actually, I could combine the two...Choose a class first, giving you minimum statistics, choose a race, addign to your stats in different ways for each race, and then use some extra "points" to enchance any stats you like. How''s that sound?

Could you explain that bit about statistics a bit more? That brief explanation left me kind of confused...Elaborate please!

I''ll see about developing some extra races also. That shouldn''t be as hard as creating new classes. I''ve already got some specifics about the races I have already, some of which you mentioned.

Could you suggest some more classes to me? May be about 6 or so, and I could choose from those (with recommendations of course!).

Grant Palin

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Okay, I''ll just comment on the things individually

[quote[Actually, I could combine the two...Choose a class first, giving you minimum statistics, choose a race, addign to your stats in different ways for each race, and then use some extra "points" to enchance any stats you like. How''s that sound?

Yeah, that sounds a lot better The only problem with this is that you might end up with say, an Orc cleric or something, but if you don''t mind that this is a great way to do it IMO.

Statistics:

Okay, well I''m not sure if you were referring to a certain part, but here goes:

A stat such as "attack" is not a good choice, because "attack" is better defined as your strength, speed, and skill with a weapon (among other things). For instance, what is my attack in real life, and how does it compare to anyone else? You can''t really measure that. On the other hand, if you use a stat like strength like I suggested, its (relatively) easy to determine if someone is stronger than someone else.

Some of the other stats I suggested:

Strength: This would be a measure of physical strength of a character. High strength would allow character to use a greater variety of weapons, and to do more damage in melee combat.

Agility: This can be used to determine attack or defense. Agile character will be fast in combat, and able to dodge blows as well.

Intelligence / wisdom: Again, this is a typical measure of magical skill. I think in FF2 (Well, FF4, but still) they used wisdom for white magic, and intelligence for black magic. However, probably just including a stat like intelligence is sufficient in most cases.

Endurance: This measures how resistant a character is to the effects of fatigue and damage (ie: can they run far? can they take a lot of damage before dying?) This is somewhat related to strength.

So once you have your stats selected, THEN you can determine attck. For example, maybe you could have a formula like this (I made this up right now, so it might not make much sense ):

if (hitSuccessful(agility, targetAgility)) //randomly decided if character hits; higher agility = better chance of hitting
{
damage = (strength*raceBonus)+weaponModifier
//weaponModifier is simply the extra damage that a given weapon allows the character to inflict
}

Defense can be calculuated in a similar way.

quote:


Could you suggest some more classes to me? May be about 6 or so, and I could choose from those (with recommendations of course!).




Sure, here goes

- Some kind of mage! Looking at your list, this is the class you need the most IMO. It would involve implementing magic which I''m not sure you wanted to do, but it would make the game a lot more interesting IMO. Also, if you implement magic, you can use the same idea to give the rest of your classes skills (ie: Barbarian can have bash for 0 mana or something) I''m a sucker for specialization, so even several types of "mages" wouldn''t hurt (priests heal, mage attacks with magic, etc...)

- Lancer / Dragoon / Valkyrie: This unit it typically quick, looks majestic, and carries a long spear. In the Final Fantasy series, they usually can jump too, though I''ve never really understood why

- Priest / Cleric: I touched on this when I wrote about mages, but priests are a cool class to have as well. They are typically frail, though strong healers. Actually, this might not be a good class in your game if you''re going solo; priests are usually more of a support class, and not meant to fight alone. Still might be an option, though.

- Summoner: Summons creatures of course Not much else to say about it. It might be somewhat hard to implement; I tried to put one in a text rpg I as going to write (but never really took shape, lol) but the fact that it can summon things means you need to have some code somewhere that will allow you to control two characters. It''s a fun class to have though.

- Poison unit: I don''t really know how to describe it, but I''ve always thought it would be cool if a game had a character that revolved around using poisons to weaken enemy characters, and then going for the kill. Perhaps you could implement this through an Assassin or Thief type class.

Alright, that''s pretty good for now I guess. Hope it helps!





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A console application is one of those boxes that look like the DOS interface (black bg, white text). Programming for them is simple yet powerful.

Anyway, the way I set up humans in my RPG is by giving them lots of strength and hit points, but make them weak in magic. My RPG also uses classes and races, meaning each character has a class and a race. It's more fun that way. You should try it out, it makes for more possibilities.

[edited by - gamechampionx on June 27, 2002 11:59:52 AM]

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Thanks, Peon!

I changed Attack to Strength, Defense to Endurance, and Speed to Agility. Better?

I tried last night what you suggested, being able to select a class for minimum stats, then choosing a race to add to the stats. I''ll have to think about that for a while; it got kind of tricky. I''ll stick with randomly generating stats, for now anyway. It''s simpler.

What''s wrong with an Orc Cleric? Doesn''t really work? Should class choices limit the races to choose from, or the other way around?

I replaced the Mage with a Sorceror, and the Archer with a Warlock. They are both spellcasters; the Sorceror has more healing sort of magic then attack magic, while the Warlock has more attack magic then healing magic. How''s that?

I can add more classes later on.

Since this is my first game, I think I''ll just stick with a single charcter right now, and get the rest of the game running (adventuring, fighting), get those figured out before I start adding other characters. That will make things more complicated.

Grant Palin

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quote:
Thanks, Peon!


Sure thing, glad I could help

quote:

I changed Attack to Strength, Defense to Endurance, and Speed to Agility. Better?


Of course, up to you in the end But yeah, that''s more in line of what I was thinking of before. How are you planning to make casters effective (ie: are you adding something like intelligence?)

quote:

I tried last night what you suggested, being able to select a class for minimum stats, then choosing a race to add to the stats. I''ll have to think about that for a while; it got kind of tricky. I''ll stick with randomly generating stats, for now anyway. It''s simpler.


Hm, well, it doesn''t have to be hard. This is how I would do it:

- Select a race. Depending on the race, several classes become unavailable.

- Player can now select a class (ie: Elven ranger)

- This class (with race bonuses) will have have some base stats. For example, a ranger might have STR 10, END 6, AGL 12. From there, maybe you have 4 or so points to spend on those stats, divided however you choose.

This is just an example, but maybe it will help you apply it to your game.

quote:

What''s wrong with an Orc Cleric? Doesn''t really work? Should class choices limit the races to choose from, or the other way around?


Technically, nothing, its just not traditional. Like you''re probably not going to see any Orc clerics (Orcs: strong, dumb, not much magic) or Elven brawlers (Elves: quick, frail) What you said above works both ways, though I''d choose race before class.

quote:

I replaced the Mage with a Sorceror, and the Archer with a Warlock. They are both spellcasters; the Sorceror has more healing sort of magic then attack magic, while the Warlock has more attack magic then healing magic. How''s that?


Yep, sounds good. The more variety, the better

quote:

Since this is my first game, I think I''ll just stick with a single charcter right now, and get the rest of the game running (adventuring, fighting), get those figured out before I start adding other characters. That will make things more complicated.


Yup, good idea. I do the same for all my games. Just make sure that it will be painless to add more, or you''ll get lazy like me and you won''t

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quote:

Of course, up to you in the end But yeah, that''s more in line of what I was thinking of before. How are you planning to make casters effective (ie: are you adding something like intelligence?)


Well, it seems to make more sense that way. The way you expained it to me cleared it up a bit. What I was thinking of was adding a multiplier to all spells, so that when cast, their efficiency equals the multiplier times the character''s Power stat.

quote:

Hm, well, it doesn''t have to be hard. This is how I would do it:

- Select a race. Depending on the race, several classes become unavailable.

- Player can now select a class (ie: Elven ranger)

- This class (with race bonuses) will have have some base stats. For example, a ranger might have STR 10, END 6, AGL 12. From there, maybe you have 4 or so points to spend on those stats, divided however you choose.

This is just an example, but maybe it will help you apply it to your game.



The problem I had was that, if you choose a race, then a class, what if you want to go back and change your race? I tried that, using option buttons, and the stats kept adding up- they wouldn''t reset for the new race. So like I said, I''m going to have to think about it for a while, and decide how to properly implement that, so the stats change accordingly.

quote:

Technically, nothing, its just not traditional. Like you''re probably not going to see any Orc clerics (Orcs: strong, dumb, not much magic) or Elven brawlers (Elves: quick, frail) What you said above works both ways, though I''d choose race before class.



Well, I don''t know much about that...I''m not much of a gamer, although I really like Heroes of Might and Magic. I''m sure if I release a game with an Orc Cleric, I''m sure all you guys would jump on me for that ;-) I''ll leave it to testers to correct me!


quote:

Yep, sounds good. The more variety, the better


I''ll leave it that way for now- I need to get the gameplay nailed down first.

Grant Palin

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quote:

Of course, up to you in the end But yeah, that''s more in line of what I was thinking of before. How are you planning to make casters effective (ie: are you adding something like intelligence?)


Well, it seems to make more sense that way. The way you expained it to me cleared it up a bit. What I was thinking of was adding a multiplier to all spells, so that when cast, their efficiency equals the multiplier times the character''s Power stat.

quote:

Hm, well, it doesn''t have to be hard. This is how I would do it:

- Select a race. Depending on the race, several classes become unavailable.

- Player can now select a class (ie: Elven ranger)

- This class (with race bonuses) will have have some base stats. For example, a ranger might have STR 10, END 6, AGL 12. From there, maybe you have 4 or so points to spend on those stats, divided however you choose.

This is just an example, but maybe it will help you apply it to your game.



The problem I had was that, if you choose a race, then a class, what if you want to go back and change your race? I tried that, using option buttons, and the stats kept adding up- they wouldn''t reset for the new race. So like I said, I''m going to have to think about it for a while, and decide how to properly implement that, so the stats change accordingly.

quote:

Technically, nothing, its just not traditional. Like you''re probably not going to see any Orc clerics (Orcs: strong, dumb, not much magic) or Elven brawlers (Elves: quick, frail) What you said above works both ways, though I''d choose race before class.



Well, I don''t know much about that...I''m not much of a gamer, although I really like Heroes of Might and Magic. I''m sure if I release a game with an Orc Cleric, I''m sure all you guys would jump on me for that ;-) I''ll leave it to testers to correct me!


quote:

Yep, sounds good. The more variety, the better


I''ll leave it that way for now- I need to get the gameplay nailed down first, which I''m still working on. Specifically, the battle system.

Grant Palin

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Personally, I would allow weaker characters in the game, as many players feel that piloting a weak character through an entire game is a bonus challenge. Sure, Orc Priests don''t really make too much sense from a statistical point of view, but their added incompetence can make the game more difficult, and possibly more fun. Also, you don''t want players saying, "Man, too bad I couldn''t be an Orc Priest." Creating crappy parties is one of the fun parts of FF1. Four White Mages are a lot tougher than your typical party, and add to the replay value of the game. Also brings in "bragging rights." Yeah, I beat the game with an Orc Priest as my character. Wow, you''re good. Look at nethack for some ideas, too.

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I see you've made some progress. I think you should make each class matchable with every race. It adds replay value, and even if a race and class have different stats, it can make the character more of an all-around player, as long as the classes and races are balanced.

[edited by - gamechampionx on July 1, 2002 9:46:21 AM]

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Okay, I''ve uploaded to my website a compiled version of what I''ve done so far. It includes the Character Creation form (as I have it now) and the Combat form (as I have it now). Please have a look at the program, and let me know how you like it so far. Please leave suggestions and comments about the current appearance, usability etc.

Note that the program is by no means complete- I''ve left some notes on the forms to indicate what is done and what is still ongoing. Specifically, I have some extra buttons on the Combat form for testing purposes. I plan to add more classes and reaces for the hero to choose from, as well as more enemies. Also, I need to add race and class bonuses for the hero- the character creation is quite basic at this point. But right now, I need to perfect the battle system and character creation. After that, I can see about creating a form for adventuring, with a picture for the map or such. I have to decide how I''m goind to do that...Anyway, just look at what I''ve got so far and let me know what you think!

Here''s the link:
http://www.freewebz.com/hommworld/other/TextRPG.zip

Grant Palin

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Cool, looking good Not a whole lot to comment on at this point, but it looks pretty nice, and it works from what I''ve seen too.

The only thing I found somewhat odd was the random stats feature. I really don''t play many RPGs, so I''m not sure how they do it, but I think it would be better if it randomized a little, but that the stats made sense for that class. For instance, I chose sorceror and rolled an 18 in STR. This might be normal for RPGs, I''m not sure, but it just seemed kind of odd to me.

Then again, you did mention that class bonuses weren''t implemented yet, so that might take the random numbers into account I guess.

Overall, nice work! Keep it up

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Being an experienced VB programmer, I would like to say that your form layout is very nice. I''m just wondering if you have a Maxlength for the user''s name input textbox. You should implement one if you don''t have one already. Other than that, it looks really good.

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quote:
I''m just wondering if you have a Maxlength for the user''s name input textbox. You should implement one if you don''t have one already.


I have now!



Grant Palin

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quote:
Original post by gamechampionx
Being an experienced VB programmer, I would like to say that your form layout is very nice.


Ahh, another VB user! Just what I need! I wonder if you could help me with a problem in the game...I have a progress bar showing the amount of Hit Points the enemy has, but, whenever I defeat an enemy, I get an error message on the line that updates the current value of the progress bar. I can send you my source code, if you want to see what I''m talking about. Or I could post the important code online. Please let me know!

Grant Palin

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quote:
Original post by gpalin
Ahh, another VB user! Just what I need! I wonder if you could help me with a problem in the game...I have a progress bar showing the amount of Hit Points the enemy has, but, whenever I defeat an enemy, I get an error message on the line that updates the current value of the progress bar.

yah, not everyone thinks VB is the devil...
anyways, (assuming you are using the MS Windows Common Controls ProgressBar control) you are most likely trying to set the "value" member of the progress bar to a number outside the valid range of numbers. there is a "min" and "max" property in the progress bar, and "value" must be between these (inclusive).
is it possible that when you kill an enemy his HP goes below zero?

--- krez (krezisback@aol.com)

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quote:
Original post by krez
yah, not everyone thinks VB is the devil...



I like it a lot, actually. It''s a quick way to jump into programming, and it''s much easier than some other languages. I''ve liked the visual design interface from the first day I used VB.

quote:
Anyways, (assuming you are using the MS Windows Common Controls ProgressBar control) you are most likely trying to set the "value" member of the progress bar to a number outside the valid range of numbers. there is a "min" and "max" property in the progress bar, and "value" must be between these (inclusive).
is it possible that when you kill an enemy his HP goes below zero?



Yes I was using the Windows Common Controls form of the progress bar. And thanks for that tip- I think that''s just what the problem was. I had a set of commands for updating the enemy''s HP bar, decreasing it whenever I hit the enemy. I moved that into an if block which executes only if the current HP is between 0 and the enemy''s max HP. elseif was to end the battle, the enemy''s HP having fallen below 0. Thanks for the advice! That''s got that irritant out of my hair now.

Grant Palin

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I''m making some changes to the Character Creation form...I''ll put up a new copy for you people to goggle at later ;-) Right now, I have several frames on the form for the various stages of character creation, each containing Option Buttons to choose class, race, sex, etc. I''m trying to create a Reset button which resets all the options (in case you want to start over). Anyway, I can''t get it to set all the option buttons to false. I''ve tried calling the form_load procedure, but the buttons didn''t change. I tried a loop, going through all the buttons, but that didn''t work either. Might be something about them being in frames... Can anyone help me?

Grant Palin

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