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Jonbca

What do you want in a RPG

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I''ve been working on a 2d RPG, it''s kinda a SNES Final Fantasy look, but has classes and randomized weapons kinda like Diablo. Basically waht I was wondering is what type of things you guys would like to see in a 2d rpg. I''m still beuilding the design doc and the basic system behind it so I can still incorporate pretty much anything. Any ideas would be great. Jonbca@hotmail.com Lead programmer for Primeval Journey

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1) Full refunds on items you buy within a certain time period

2) Not linear - I hate linear RPGs - don't make the player follow one single path throughout the whole game, have a world, and an overarching story, but let them wander and do mini-quests, and things like that - think Fallout

3) Fun battles. this is a must - if it's turn-based, incorporate enough strategy to make it fun, and don't make players sit around watching spell effects - keep it fast. If it's real-time, make sure that it isn't just a click-fest. Again, include variety and strategy. Even a warrior class should have special abilities to execute.

4) Rewards for actions - a happy player is a rewarded player. Make sure you don't give out health potions or equally minor items for complicated mini-quests - give them a cool new weapon or spell to wield. The frustration of the newbie quests in EQ comes to mind when thinking o this.

5) Good dialogue. If you don't think you can write it yourself, have someone else do it for you so it doesn't sound cheesey. Let's just face it - some people are good writers, some are not.

6) Remember that every player's focus is character-building, even over progressing through the story. Provide a constant stream of rewards (although don't do it so much that the fun of getting a reward is taken away - find the right balance).

7) Let the player do what they want. This is paramount. Let them customize their character, his/her name, gender, race, class, etc. Don't make them do it, though, because some people don't like to bother with it - ideally provide pre-made characters as well as the ability to customize those characters, or create a character from scratch.

8) As with any game, provide the right type of challenge for the player. If they fail in some action, they need to feel like it was THEM that failed, and not the game that failed them. If they think it was too impossible or too random of a failure (IE they get killed without knowing where the death came from until after that death), then they'll close the program right then. If they fail but feel like they weren't being skillful enough or paying enough attention, they're likely to come right back for more (IE you leave signs of imminent danger in several obvious spots but they ignore them and proceed to die).

9) Remember that in good RPGs, the player is one character, and anyone else that joins is just tagging along. They might get killed or leave the group, but your player's character will always be there. Even if you have full control over the group, it needs to be obvious which is the player's personal character - the one they identify with the most. I don't like console-style RPGs simply because of the way they often force you into a pre-determined role and give that role equal weight with other members of the party that join later.

10) Graphical variety is very important. Don't just tint new monsters a different shade than the last one, give them new models and new looks fitting with where they exist. This also applies for weapons and armor - a very nice touch is if you make armor that the player character wears actually show up on him when equipped - same goes for weapons.

Phew, that was a lot! And there's a lot more to think about when designing an RPG, those are just some random thoughts that came off the top of my head, gathered from my own mind and other various sources.

Edit: Formatted so it's less threatening and easier to read.


[edited by - AeroBLASTER on August 11, 2002 11:50:01 PM]

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1) Don''t make it repetitive! Diablo for instanse is a game that i liked in the begining, but after sometimes, after you have finished it with some characters, it''s just too boring. Also, sometimes I get stucked in areas that are too hard, I hate when I''m forced to stay in a same area becouse I get crushed in the next harder area. (of course this is a very hard thing I''m asking, so you shoudn''t be bptering with this right now).

2) If possible, have a map editor. It''s aways cool to have an map editor. Again, this is something very hard to acomplish, so I think I should kept my mouth closed, again.

3) hum... I really hate when I die, so make one were I don''t :D
Seriously, try to make bein killed a rare event (only to happend when the person is really stupid or something like that), i know it can become a very hard thing to do, but there should be some ways of punishing the player, like having the monster reseted when he runs away, stuff like that (I don''t know how to do that either)

4) Make itens a little more valuable and rare, I hate to be forced to get back to town every ten minutes. Of course, this has to be balanced, items too rare would be boring, and to valuable would be to easy.

5) I really like the skill sistem of diablo, but you could try to improve this, perhaps making points spent in one skill alterate another (there is something like this with the druid, but it could be used a lot more).

6) Good monsters. in diablo everytnig looks like centered on you, it''s kind of lame. Make less, more elaborated monsters, they are cooler. Well, you said it would also look like final fantasy, wich I don''t know very well, perhaps it allready is this way. Anyway, that''s what I would want in a rpg.

7) Can I have mercenaries, minions, this kind of guys? I would like them at the point of almost bein a leader rather then a hero, maybe I''m playing too much warcraft, we are talking about an rpg here, sorry (but I still think that''s cool).

I know what I just said are very dificult stuff to be done right but... you asked to know what people think it''s cool, right?
Hey do you have a team or you are on your own?

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quote:
Original post by AeroBLASTER
2) Not linear - I hate linear RPGs - don''t make the player follow one single path throughout the whole game, have a world, and an overarching story, but let them wander and do mini-quests, and things like that - think Fallout


Agreed, but it''s a matter of skill and time how complex it can be.

quote:
Original post by AeroBLASTER
10) Graphical variety is very important. Don''t just tint new monsters a different shade than the last one, give them new models and new looks fitting with where they exist. This also applies for weapons and armor - a very nice touch is if you make armor that the player character wears actually show up on him when equipped - same goes for weapons.


Again, different models are fun, but there is a matter on how much space you have to spare for model data and how much time you''ve got to design them.

No offense intended AeroBLASTER, your points are very good, just wanted to point out a few things.

As for my own points..hm..

1) Depth. That''s pretty much the same point as AeroBLASTER did. IF there is a story, you want the player to be absorbed by it. IE Diablo didn''t have a story and was fun because it didn''t concentrate on the story but on the action. (I don''t really consider Diablo a RPG but as an action game, but that doesn''t matter)

2) Skill points based on experience (ie. using a bow will increase your dexterity and skill with bows, like in Dungeon Siege) can be pretty fun, but it depends on what the gameplay in other respecs look like.

..can''t really come to think of anything else

-Luctus

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just a quick few from me...

1,
don''t allow any of the user-controlled characters to get too powerful... it shouldn''t be possible to destroy all opponents with a single spell or a flurry of sword blows (or whatever) - victory should be down to the player''s skill and good use of their weapons and abilities...

2,
similarly, don''t have any enemies that are too difficult to defeat but instead, as with point 1, allow you to defeat them with cunning and guile on the part of the player... obviously, there should be instances where you''re simply not prepared for a fight (if you manage to go through the game very quickly) but it should be possible to return to the battle later on once you''ve improved your skills a bit...

3,
if you''re going to have multiple characters that you can choose from at the start (following on from this single lead character idea) then they need to be varied enough that they allow for different playing styles (some people may like to use spells while others prefer to get up close and personal) but not so different that they can''t employ a combination of styles with each character - always have one well rounded character who''s pretty good at everything... also - make sure they can all get to the same overall standard (though there should still be differences in their individual attributes)...

4,
the idea of being able to do stuff like "sew dragon''s hide to make armour" is a good one... if you can have interesting little things like this in the game then it''ll encourage experimentation and people will spend time hunting around for bits and pieces to see what they can manufacture...

5,
try to limit the number of random battles that you get involved in - if you''ve played ff7, wandering around the landscape only to be stopped every couple of steps for a ruck can be very annoying...

good luck with the game...

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Thanks for all the posts everyone. I think I''ll clear up how the game is going to look a little more, maybe you''ll get a few more ideas. The game will be 2d, turn based, non-linear RPG. Some of the things that I''ve been working on are:

-map editor with a scripting engine
-graphics editor and importer
-6 vary different classes (knights, socceress, amazon etc.)

A couple of things I was wondering about are how I should do leveling/stat building. The current system I''m planning is to have it that all experience you get goes into a counter and say you have 20 in strength to go to 21 you take 50 experience out of your stash. This makes it that you are constantly trying to level up and get 5 points to throw around, but instead you build your stats as you want/need them. In regards to dieing, one of the ways that I''m thinking of developing the plot is that if you make enough(quite a few) wrong choices in the game that it''s actually possible to get a real game over, not just a game over go to the last save, but a true game over. I think this will make the player try to watch what they''re doing more and think. I know this might be a bit contraversial, building a great character, then loosing, so what I was thinking was to make it kinda like diable I were you can start over at any time. I''m going to be setting up all monsters damage/defence to be modified based on the players character level. This will make it easier to see all different routes of the game, but still keep your character being built. What do you think?

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A faction system would be nice for the monsters, if you kill too many Orcs or something then they hate you, or if you kill alot of elfs they like you...

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Looking for a new gaming experince? Want something new that deals with everyday life. Ever wanted to be a theif, banker or a cop? Then come visit the newest thing in gaming today: Lejendz!

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Every RPG I''ve played (and that''s a lot) has a certain weirdness factor to it. A plot hidden under the main plot. A conspiracy. A subplot. Something that keeps the game intriguing. Have that. I like that.

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Have different characters join you on your quests, but only for a little while until they accomplish their goals. Have a couple of quests that must be completed to win the game. After these guys fight in those battles with you, they can leave via a number of means. ie: They are killed in the battle dramatically, they leave on good terms, they feel you betrayed them, etc.

Final Fantasy II did that a lot, and it was kind of neat how your party got rearranged every so often. Don''t go wild with it though. That would get annoying if you get a kick ass party, only to have it ripped apart because all of the NPC''s were completely out for themselves and left you.


Looking for an honest video game publisher? Visit www.gamethoughts.com

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Guest Anonymous Poster
1. Remember good thing come to those who try. As your progressing through the game dont just throw in the good items during boss battles or in any place they have to get it unless ther incredibly stupid. You should have to get them, not have them come to you. I find in a lot of RPGs if you took 5 different peoples saved games (all in the same spot) they would all have the same equipment. Make it so you get all the good items in mini side plot things or secret areas. Thats what kept me playing Diablo 2. You had to work to get good things. That way instead of sitting in one spot for an hour leveling up to get stronger you could do funner more interesting things.

2. Try to make the combat more interesting than in most RPGs, make it so ther is actually some strategy involved. In most of the RPGs iv played you can get through any battle just by repeatedly preesing one button for about 10 minits. Interesting combat is a must, since it takes up a lot of time in rpgs, and since its turn based strategy is prety much the only way. Have options in battle like Defend, wher that character tries to block any atacks on any party members. And dont make all the spells just hurt the person. Diablo 2 had pretty varied spells. U need sumthin like that for skills and spels. Combat needs to be fun.

3. Dont make it so you have to play for another hour to find a save spot. Ther was a discusion on thread here on saves and everyone agreed that the best system would be: You Could save and exit at any time, but it would be more like taking a break because when you loaded it you would start wher you left off and the save file would be deleted. So you couldnt be cheap and do things like save before you get a random special item. then reload if you wanted a diff one and so on. Then ther would be designated save spots and if you died or really did somthing wrong youd just load up ther. and it wouldnt be very convinient. So that you will not want too die very often die.

4. And of course an excelent story. Twisty too.

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Thanks for the idea on saves AP. I hadn't really though to heavily on how I has going to set that up but have a two tiered system would present some interesting possiblilties. How would you guys like a level editor setup. Would you want to be able to make your own worlds or would would you prefer to have my game world have "hotspots" were the end user could link on extensions. Maybe a combination of both? What do you think?

[edited by - Jonbca on August 13, 2002 6:26:28 PM]

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I love 2D RPGs Anyway, I love lots of variety in RPGS; in the story, spells, items, enemies etc... Surprises along the way as well. Realistic characters, that are well developed; with great personalities and their own unique attitudes.

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Aren''t you guys forgetting about the secrets in the game?
I''ve played lots of Rpgs and what I really like about them are the secrets.I remember spending a couple of days searching for this hidden treasure located in a shrine which really annoyed me.
If your a hardcore gamer like me,secrets really boosts the fun factor of a game.

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Here's my wish list for RPGs:

1) A character advancement system that makes sense. My sword ability should get better unless I use it. Similarly if I use my sword once but never again for a couple months my skill should get rusty when I do go to use it. This also means that my stats shouldn't just go up for no reason. If all I ever do is swing a sword my intelligence shouldn't get better.

2) Stats that makes sense - if my strength is below normal I shouldn't be able to carry as much as the barbarian with the biceps as big as my legs.
3) A combat system that makes sense - I shouldn't be able to get in as many attacks with my 2 handed sword as the thief next to me does with his dagger. That thief shouldn't be able to damage a knight in full plate mail very easily no matter what his skill unless you have location based damage in place.

4) A good story line with plot twists and subplots and good quests. If I want a hack n' slash dungeon crawl I'll go play Dungeon Siege or Diablo II.

5) Character interaction with realistic characters - if I want to try and hook up with that maid I saw in the market I should be able to. I should be able to insult that pansy noble into a duel. If I go around a town killing people in broad day light in front of witnesses I should end up in jail or with a price on my head.

6) A living, breathing world with an economy. Part of this means no gold just lying on the street or in barrels. A banking system that also allows me to rob the bank if I want to and can get away with it.

7) A game that makes me afraid to just charge into a room blind when I'm low on health.

8) Good monster and NPC AI.

9) A good party system that allows me to script or otherwise FULLY control the members. Although this shouldn't be needed much if number 8 is done right.

10) Realistic rewards for the difficulty of the quest. 100 gold for killing a dragon? Come on, get real (unless 100 gold is a fortune in your world)

I'm not asking much am I?! :D

[edited by - Machaira on August 13, 2002 11:23:10 PM]

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hmm lets see...

1. Give Almost useless things more of a purpose.. if you have a huge world and the only things that you can interact with is a few levers that open doors the only stuff you can use is stuff that really matters to the quest add stuff in like playing a panio when the player tries to use it or turning lights off or something like that. not a must but can add detail to the game

2. I agree with everyone about the making things out of stuff like sewing hides to make armor that is a nice touch.

3. Don''t have it so you gain a level and all your guy did was beat stuff up with a sword and some how have him get 6 spell casting points or something like that make is gradual like if you fight you get lots of strength and some dexterity and if you cast spells you get more magic abliltiy and stuff and if you doge then you get dexterity if so on that is really importand its dumb if a player can just stop and say I''m sick of beating things up with my sword I want to use a bow and you pick it up and your a grand master with it.

4. adding to my last point don''t limit the players to spesific weapons make them start with skill in one but don''t limit them to it alone. that is very bad aspect of most console rpgs.

5. Have lots of dialog but not lots of dialog some players Hate dialog that is meaning less, I bealive they are those who are just trying to beat stuff and then brag about it in the most case but it is nice to becable to have a chat with characters in another world and get more information about that world but if you don''t want it then you don''t have to get it, like with dialog choses, I would would leave it as (Ask more about ...) or (End the conversation) tho because lots of players don''t like the limited choces of beging a mean character but haveing to say stuff like "Well I have to go see ya later." they would like to say "You not worth my time you slug!" or something like that that is a problem with lots of the baluders gates and other d&d games for computers.

6. don''t make the player work alot to get into the plot make it so the player can see it with out digging for it, That I didn''t like about morrowind you had to find the plot for it to work. and I never did! heh. got bord of the game to fast.

well I guess thats all I can think of. good luck!

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No reason to post, but I may as well. I kinda feel like it.


No FF game I''ve played has ever fixed the problem of walking along some long path, with an annoying enemy encounter at every step. FF3 was horrible at it. FF7 was terrible at it. FF10 was even worse. Well, FFTactics was better at it, but that''s a completely different game.


Pretty much no RPGs are under my roof except Metal Gear Solid 2 and Zelda 64. I''ve given up and hate almost all of them.

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