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RPG survey. will help all game designers...

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i thought id ask a few questions about designing RPGs, eveyone should give in their 2 cents cause it will help a lot when we want to make one. we''ll know what the general opinion is through this survey. and if you can think of any more questions add them (with you answers) to the end of your post so the next poster can take them on. Questions :- 1)Should the story line be straight with a few dialogue choices, or should it be branched out and lead to different endings, OR should it be branched out and lead to the same ending? 2)should there be deep detailed character histories for the user to go through? or should it be sufficient just so that they understand the story, or should we add small side quests that lead to character histories? 3)should there be a lot of towns that have nothing to do with the game. or not that much? 4)should battles be random or should u be able to see the enemy on screen and be able to dodge them? 5)what do u think should be the minimum avarege hours it should take to finish an RPG? 6)should the majority of major twists/surprises in the story come soon in the story, or should they come late in the story? 7)you think Dark mysterious worlds/stories for RPGs are better (like xenogears) or happy bright cheerful type of worlds (like zelda) or maybe old magical type (like wizards/dragons/elves and what not)? 8)what is ur favourite RPG and why? My answers 1) I think the story should have multiple paths to different endings (like in chrono cross) it keeps the user coming back for more. but ofcourse you have to find a way that will make it obvious to the user that is s/he plays again it will go differently 2)character histories are necessary but not so deep histories. i think enough is when the the user know why something is happening 3)i think there should be a little places that dont have anything to do with the game otherwise the users could get confused. 4)random battles are better becasue it forces the user to level up. just kep the battle system fun and it should be good. 5)i think a minimum a 30 hours for any RPG or the user might feel cheated in some way. 6)i think major surprises should come soon first so it grips the user from the beginning, and then have surprises come is slowly so the user keeps on wanting to play to se what happens 7)i think dark and mysterious worlds are more adventurous and more fantasy like. 8) my fav RPG is Xenogears because it had a mind boggoling story, and the battle system was fun, not too hard, not too easy, and you actually have to plan ur battles if you want to win, which makes for a lot of strategy involvement. the only bad part i didnt like was the beginning of disc 2. those who have played it probably know why thats my 2 cents. hope u people keep on adding to this survey so people can use it as a reference. and im sure there are many more questions like the ones above that can be added. just make sure its to do with design nothing technical.

"We call em ''natural disasters'' but ''he'' (or she?) calls them memory leaks!!" Al **MY HQ**

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Guest Anonymous Poster
1)
Dialogue should not be shallow. If it is, it serves no real purpose, and is just here to be an obstacle to gameplay, or just information dump disguised as dialogue. I know it''s said a lot of people don''t like to read stuff, but I can''t really believe people are so dumb. If it''s intelligently written, people will read and appreciate. And if not, they''ll play Counterstrike.
However, this comes at a cost, so probably only major/important NPCs will have researched dialogue.

2)
If it servers the story, by all means yes. If not, a simple description that helps fit the character in the world should be enough. Unless dialogue, this is something that you can access
"out of the game" (most of the times), so it doesn''t have to be
(IMHO) as much detailed. However, linking it to the story is a good thing, and helps give life to the world, and, hopefully, quests as well.

3)
Really depends what your goals are. If you want a deep and wide world you can explore, yes. Many people will get lost and dump the game if they don''t know what do do though. It''s a decision that belongs to you and your particular game.

4)
Random battles suck. To me it''s just a random "you lost" messages that comes up on the screen while you''re playing. Who likes windows crashing yet once more while you''re playing ? Don''t add another windows.

5)
Way more than most games, if it''s well done. I like long RPGs, but one can be bored if the RPG is repetitive.

6)
Balanced.

7)
Any. Different people have different tastes. You must choose the balance you want your game to have between novelty (have the player want to discover what your world is) and knowledge (have the player find her marks quickly).

8)
After a quick thought, I decided not to answer this question.

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quote:

8)
After a quick thought, I decided not to answer this question.



i had an internal debate if i should add that question (number 8) or not. but i figured i should because even though a debate could be inavoidable (but it can be avoided as well), it would do a lot of good if we can ignore what other people say about their favourite games (after all everyone is entitled to their own opinion), and focus on why they like what they like (so we can put that in our games, to make our games better)

on another note. please people do not say anything about other peoples answers to number 8. this survey is to help all of us make better RPGs, so lets keep it to the point ay. just give ur own opinion and stay away from other peoples opinions (its theirs...not urs)

thank u



"We call em ''natural disasters'' but ''he'' (or she?) calls them memory leaks!!"
Al
**MY HQ**

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First of all a answer to almost all of the questions: isn''t the idea of RPGs to create an illusion of an alternative world and aren''t you kicking the illusion down if you restrict the players freedom in ways that do not have a proper explanations... Of course the computer sets the limits, but I think that breaking these limits is the challenge of making computer RPGs. And my answers are...

1. Branched and lead to different endings, definitely.

2. Very detailed character descriptions and histories.

3. Well, maybe not a LOT of towns, but places and things that just make it more believable.

4. The players should be able to see them if they would do so in
the game world. I mean that an ambush is hard to dodge, but if you see the enemy from a hill you can make up your tactics easily...

5. I think there is no minimum or maximum(?!) playing times. The game ends when it ends. If the player is killed by the first goblin he sees then it is he''s destiny.

6. The story should be interisting all the way.

7. The darker/miserable/sicker/crueler/unfair/blacker/etc the better...

8. Fallout 1 (or Diablo 1, but Fallout is more lika a RPG...)

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quote:

First of all a answer to almost all of the questions: isn''t the idea of RPGs to create an illusion of an alternative world and aren''t you kicking the illusion down if you restrict the players freedom in ways that do not have a proper explanations... Of course the computer sets the limits, but I think that breaking these limits is the challenge of making computer RPGs. And my answers are...



yes to all of that. but majority wins. so if we can figure out what most people enjoy more. then we can make a more successful game, ya?



"We call em ''natural disasters'' but ''he'' (or she?) calls them memory leaks!!"
Al
**MY HQ**

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1) Branching story with different endings.

2) If the player is allowed to make his own character then there should probably be enough to just continue the story. If you have to play as certain character''s then you should explain their history etc.

3) More towns

4) Should be able to see and dodge enemies(or at least have most battles reasonably easy to run from)

5) It should take awhile

6) I would say sooner and later. Sooner as in you have hidden magic powers. Later as in your long dead father is the main badguy.

7) I think RPG''s should move away from the elves being good, dwarves like mining and humans can be good or evil kind of storylines and more oh my god the elves are the ones who summoned the demon but they only did it to destroy the goblins who were raiding their farms because they were hungry.

8) Fallout1/2 because of it''s open-endedness and they arn''t your typical fantasy RPG.

- DarkIce

500 error *1

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1. This is entirely a matter of taste and has no bearing whatsoever on what kind of game you should make. I just asked this question to my roommate a couple weeks ago, and he said it depended on what kind of mood he was in. Sometimes he likes the power to make choices, and other times he just wants to be entertained without having to use that power. Final Fantasy and Daggerfall are both very popular, but for different reasons. There is no general answer to this question. You just have to do what you feel like doing.

Another thing you need to keep in mind: dialogue choices have no bearing on the linearity of a story. This is what you would call a design flaw. Personally, I believe actions speak louder than words, and your dynamics should involve what a player does, rather than what he chooses to say. This is not so difficult to program as you might think, provided the player can't do anymore than your game world allows.

2. Detailed character background is only necessary if it's important to the story. (AP said pretty much the same thing.) Most people don't really care about a character's background so much as how the character acts in the now, and what abilities s/he has to offer. But it certainly doesn't hurt to have the background there for the small number of players who are genuinely interested.

As for side-stories on character development, I think this is a bad idea. Character development should be the story, not a side-story . . . unless of course that's not the focus of your game, in which case there's no reason to have character development at all (e.g., Diablo).

3. I don't know why you'd go to the trouble of designing a town for you game if it's not important. That's something that always bothered me about Daggerfall. There were something like a thousand towns in the game, but only three of them were integral to the plot, and maybe ten-percent of them were big enough to be worth visiting. The rest were a waste of hard-drive space, and there was never any explanation as to why so many towns existed. Because, realistically speaking, in a world full of hostile creatures, your cities would be centralized and very well-defended.

But this is entirely up to you. There's no ethical reason you shouldn't have dozens of useless cities, but you'll create more hassle than it's worth.

4. Again, combat is a matter of preference. Some people enjoy random encounters specifically because they're surprising, and you don't always know what to expect. On the other hand, a lot of other people get sick of them pretty fast . . . partly because it's unrealistic, but mostly because it abruptly interferes with the story, which is what we're really interested . . . and random encounters are counter-intuitive to a smooth-flowing story, because you never know when your party will be magically teleported to an alternate-dimension battlefield to fight monsters they've defeated a thousand times already.

But that's just one way of doing it. A long time ago, I came up with an idea for random encounters in an immersive first-person world that let you know before the battle began that there were enemies approaching. You'd be walking along, and the music would fade, and an ominous pre-combat track would play, and then the first of the enemies would wander out of the fog. This gave the entire situation a very realistic feel, while at the same time preserving the shock factor of random encounters.

Of course, not all your encounters have to be hostile. Fallout had its share of non-hostile random encounters — most of them being pointless wastes of time.

5. Hardcore gamers generally don't like to finish games in less than 40 hours, but this is because most of the game consists of random combat and walking around for hours on end. When you get down to it, your average Final Fantasy has maybe ten hours of actual gameplay, plus 30 minutes of cinema, and anywhere from 40 to 70 hours of walking and fighting. But it seems to be popular, so what can I say?

Note to Stan555: If the player is killed by the first goblin he sees, then it's bad game design. Player-characters should never be killed under less than dramatic circumstances. These are heroes we're talking about, and heroes simply do not die like this . . . at least, not the type of heroes we would like to play. This was Gothic's greatest shortcoming (see below).

6. Your story should never run out of twists and surprises. The first five minutes should have something that captures the audience's attention. Every form of entertainment abides by this rule, including movies and books. After that, expect to have mild twists every 30 to 60 minutes, and an earth-shattering flip-flop of a twist about halfway through the game. Just remember to abide by the five basic aspects of a story, and you'll be okay.

7. This is even more a matter of taste than your first question and does not deserve a serious answer. Whatever you like is what you should make, because it's what you'll probably be best at. The general populace seems to prefer fantasy, but the general populace also takes whatever it can get, and 90 percent of the RPG's we see are pure fantasy. Don't be afraid to try something new. That's all I can tell you.

8. I don't really have a favorite because I don't really like any RPG's on the market. They all have good points, but they have even more noticeable bad ones. The most recent RPG I played was Gothic, which is actually more of an action-adventure with Tomb Raider controls. Some of its features were so innovative and gripping that I had trouble putting it down, but eventually the flaws became overwhelming and I realized that it's just another one of those games that wasn't play-tested enough. It's too bad, because Gothic could have gone down in RPG history.

[edited by - Tom on September 3, 2002 4:36:43 PM]

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1)Should the story line be straight with a few dialogue choices, or should it be branched out and lead to different endings, OR should it be branched out and lead to the same ending?

Either way, I''ve seen it turn out awesome all of those ways. It really depends on what you''re doing, and I have no preference.

2)should there be deep detailed character histories for the user to go through? or should it be sufficient just so that they understand the story, or should we add small side quests that lead to character histories?

Once again, either way, depending on what you''re doing. It does need to be said that my favorite games do have a TENDANCY to not get too involved in back story for the characters, but I don''t really prefer one over the other.

3)should there be a lot of towns that have nothing to do with the game. or not that much?

Generally, I prefer a deep, large world. Still, some of my favorites only had one or two towns. I still say go with lots of towns, but only if you can assure that it''s not going to stretch out the story and environment too much.

4)should battles be random or should u be able to see the enemy on screen and be able to dodge them?

Random battles have no reason to exist in the gaming world any more. It almost brings tears of anger to my eyes when a game has random battles.

5)what do u think should be the minimum avarege hours it should take to finish an RPG?

If I didn''t get twenty or so out of it, I''d feel like I wasted my money on it. But if it''s that short it better be damn impressive. (i.e. Chrono Trigger, Panzer Dragoon Saga) Other than that, length never hurts. The only problem is the longer the game is the more likely it is to feel stretched out. I believe a game should never be ANY longer than NECESSARY to tell its story. It''s kind of Dragon Ball Z syndrome. It absolutely ruins things when time is wasted.

6)should the majority of major twists/surprises in the story come soon in the story, or should they come late in the story?

Personally, I''d prefer a balance. If I had to pick one, I''d say I''d like to see more in the beginning, just ''cause sudden plot twists always seem to happen at the end.

7)you think Dark mysterious worlds/stories for RPGs are better (like xenogears) or happy bright cheerful type of worlds (like zelda) or maybe old magical type (like wizards/dragons/elves and what not)?

Either. If you were to check my top five RPGs ever, you''d see all of those appear. Just make sure its done well and I''m happy.

8)what is ur favourite RPG and why?

The game gaming forgot: Panzer Dragoon Saga.
As far as my opinion is concerned, there is no game that came even CLOSE to having as deep and involving an environment. It was one of the only games where I was absolutely torn between hanging around exploring the intricacies of the areas I was in and going on to find even more. I have yet to see any RPG environment so impressive as the sunken ruins in Uru.
Throw on top of that that it had a great story, even better soundtrack, and a battle system only bested by Grandia, and I''m hard pressed to find any real flaws in the whole thing. Other than length of course. (20-25 hours. )

Honorable mentions:
Chrono Trigger
Final Fantasy 6 (III SNES)
Lufia II
Skies of Arcadia
Betrayal at Krondor

Probably the recurring theme here is, I don''t so much care about certain aspects of a game nearly so much as I care that they''re done right. Only certain things (like random battles) that I believe are positively outdated. If you know the games on my list, hopefully you''ll recognize that generally speaking, they have almost nothing in common with each other in story, setting, or much else for that matter. They''re all just exceptional examples of what they are done right.

Oh. And remember these are all just my opinions an'' all that.

-Arek the Absolute

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1. I think it should branch and lead to the same ending

2. It should do it through small side quests near the beggining of the game and larger quests near the end. whats the point of a RPG without character histories

3. there should be alot of towns but each town should have something more than sleeping, shopping, and talking

4. random battles are ok but they get annoying after awhile

5. It should be as long as possible

6. It should be throughout the whole game

7. I like the happy cheerful ones but the story should still have some sad parts to it

8. my favorite RPG is FF7 because of its battle system, graphics, story, length, and the fact that you can replay all the minigames at the gold saucer.

all rpg''s should have minigames for when your tired of killing monsters

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By all means this is not how RPG''s should be made. These are just my views and ideas from my own RPG im developing. RPG''s really should be whatever you want them to be. Personal and Unique.

1)Should the story line be straight with a few dialogue choices, or should it be branched out and lead to different endings, OR should it be branched out and lead to the same ending?

I like more linear RPG''s. It should have a main story, but you can branch off. You could have say 5 Key points in the story that will never change. But have multiple paths to get from each key point in the story. Learning the story from different views. Meet different characters. Thus having replay value with the same great story. Just being told from different angles.

2)should there be deep detailed character histories for the user to go through? or should it be sufficient just so that they understand the story, or should we add small side quests that lead to character histories?

I like RPG''s where you DONT create your own character. I like when they are predefined. I don''t really know if I like the idea of learning there history through a side quest. But you should definatly learn about them, there past through out the game. A little at a time.

3)should there be a lot of towns that have nothing to do with the game. or not that much?

I like the ideas of having towns to explore. But not a LOT of towns. It should reflect your world. How the game is setup. I think having say a couple Main cities/towns. and have a handfull of others. And each one should be important. They should foward the story in some way.

4)should battles be random or should u be able to see the enemy on screen and be able to dodge them?

I dont like Random battles. I used to, but as time went on. They just got repetitive. I prefer Real-time battles now. You can get creative with the enemies. And make Random battles Real-time. Say have a creature pop up from the ground or jump out of trees. But dont force them to battle. And make them rare. Personally I enjoy the Exploration of the worlds and the story of RPG''s rather then the battling.

5)what do u think should be the minimum avarege hours it should take to finish an RPG?

I think the game play time should be about 35 - 40 hours. For an average play. The people that speed through the world and skip the dialog could play in about 30. The hardcore players should be able to play forever. Make the world interesting. Always something to explore. So even once your done the game [story] you could still run around and find new things in the world.

6)should the majority of major twists/surprises in the story come soon in the story, or should they come late in the story?

I love plot twists. They should be throught the game. Final Fantasy does this amazingly. The game should start out fast pased. To grab the player and throw them in the world. Get them interested. Explain the situation. Just as they think they know whats going on. Throw in a twist. Give some Exploration time. Story. And then another twist. I dont really like when the game starts out slow. And the twists come towards the end. they should be a the beginning, in the middle, and at the end.

7)you think Dark mysterious worlds/stories for RPGs are better (like xenogears) or happy bright cheerful type of worlds (like zelda) or maybe old magical type (like wizards/dragons/elves and what not)?

If it''s done well I love both. However I do tend to lean towards more serious [final fantasy 7/10] games then cheerful games [zelda / grandia]. It really depends tho.

8)what is ur favourite RPG and why?

Hmmmm I have a lot. Most are from Squaresoft. [dont flame me ]

Final Fantasy 7 - Amazing story. Great twists, Battles, Worlds. It grabbed you and you just had to keep playing.
Final Fantasy 10 - Although it had a crap ending and was compleatly linear. I really enjoyed the story. And thats really what holds me with RPG''s.
Zelda [Snes / n64] - Huge worlds, Fun story. Lots of exploration and puzzles.

BTW, I''ve grown up with consoles RPG''s, and thats what I prefer them. I don''t like and cant play pc RPG [cRPG]. They just dont have the same feel.

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Well, to be honest, I totally disagree with "but majority wins. so if we can figure out what most people enjoy more. then we can make a more successful game, ya?"... the majority of people can only comment on what they know, which is only a subset of what is out there. Which means that the ''majority'' decision is going to be very narrow and influenced more by factors such as cross-platform availability, marketing power, and price, rather than actual quality.

But if you want to make a ''lowest common denominator'' game, and measure success in terms of units sold rather than game quality, be my guest... here''s my input.

1) Dialogue choices are not the same as storyline. You can have totally branching dialogue and a linear story, or fixed/boring dialogue and an open-ended and versatile story. Since this question doesn''t make sense, I''ll answer it in 2 parts.

Dialogue: branching is best, as it allows each NPC to say a lot without it getting tedious if you''ve seen it all before. New additions to the conversation can go at the top of the dialogue tree so that you can quickly see if an NPC has anything new to say to you.

Storyline: basically, I am in favour of a storyline that starts off quite linearly, but as the game progresses it allows you to do more and more subquests, in almost any order, each contributing something different towards the final goal, which is the same for everyone. So the options ''fan-out'' to start with and ''fan-in'' towards the same ending.

2) Whatever character history there is, it''s only good if it has an effect on the game. Don''t reveal character history for the sake of it - do it in a way that affects a critical choice that character makes, or add it in as an aspect of something you do for the main plot. History and immersion is great but it should work with the plot, not alongside it.

3) I doubt there should be any superfluous things in your game. Why waste developer time on it? Anyway, "nothing to do with the game" is hard to quantify... if it''s a statistical game and you can buy items there or get quests, then it''s not irrelevant, is it?

4) Random battles in the vein of Final Fantasy suck. They''re arbitrary, detract from the immersion, get in the way, are repetitive, and many other things. I probably said a few things on the matter in my ''Final Fantasy 6 - Why?'' thread last year.

5) Anything less than 40 hrs seems too short to me. I spent more than double that on Ultima VII.

6) Wherever you like. Just don''t make me wait until half-way through the game before it gets interesting.

7) Dark suits me best, but this is really down to the individual player... a lot of what people consider ''dark'' to be is amusing and sometimes even childish to me. Like when people complained the Fellowship of the Ring film was too ''dark'' because 2 of the 9 heroes were killed... personally I think that is perfect.

8) Ultima VII, because it does a lot of the things people keep asking for in an RPG, and it did them 10 years ago. The size and depth of the world, the backstory, the believably scripted characters, the vehicles, the scenery, the conversations... all high quality stuff, not bettered to this day.

[ MSVC Fixes | STL | SDL | Game AI | Sockets | C++ Faq Lite | Boost | Asking Questions | Organising code files | My stuff ]

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1. Branched out definitely, but I''m not too concerned with the number of endings, just the quality of them.

2. In depth character historiesadd to immersion I think

3. I like lots of towns. No reason, I just do.

4. Depends on style. I like both personally. As long as it fits with the rest of the gameplay

5. 25hrs bare minimum without doing any side quests

6. Save the plot twists for the end. Maybe throw one in the beginning to keep the player interested.

7. I enjoy all 3, though I think the worlds could use more originality(Fallout)

8. The Complete Baldur''s Gate 2. Awesome story, epic(and I mean EPIC) gameplay, tons of unique character, tons of unique locations, absolutely and totally fun from the time I started to the time I finished a second time That game probably provided me 300hrs of entertainment

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1. As others have said, it doesn''t really matter. Both options have their place.

2. Well-developed characters are important and sometimes history can help in this, but it''s not critical if you have other ways of presenting the character or his/her history is unimportant to the plot.

3. I personally like it when there is at least one extra town as long as there is something fun to do. Kind of like Wutai in FF7. It has absolutely nothing to do with the plot, but there are some interesting things that happen there anyway. "Something to do" could be something as simple as a shop where you can get an item or items that you can''t get elsewhere.

4. I prefer to have the enemies onscreen (like in Chrono Trigger), but random encounters can be fine as long as you don''t fight an enemy every two steps throughout the entire game.

5. As long as it stays interesting, it could go on as long as you want to make it.

6. Distribute them throughout the game. Be sure to have at least one MAJOR twist, but dont have too many of those or else the player may end up confused.

7. All kinds of worlds have their place and they can all be enjoyable.

8. My favorites are Chrono Trigger (great story, lots of side quests, really good music), Lufia 2 (one word: PUZZLES!!!), and Xenogears (one of the best stories I''ve ever seen)

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1)Should the story line be straight with a few dialogue choices, or should it be branched out and lead to different endings, OR should it be branched out and lead to the same ending?

Idealy branching with different endings...also the branches should be different too...certain areas should only be available from certain branches (no retreading the same map over and over with little variation)

2)should there be deep detailed character histories for the user to go through? or should it be sufficient just so that they understand the story, or should we add small side quests that lead to character histories?

idealy the game should be very easy and quick to get into...so character info should be just sufficent to get started...and the details should flow from the game as it is played

3)should there be a lot of towns that have nothing to do with the game. or not that much?

a big NO...everything in the game should be important and should be effected by everything else in the game...


4)should battles be random or should u be able to see the enemy on screen and be able to dodge them?

There is nothing WORSE then random battles...my biggest pet pevs of RPGs are random battles, haveing to level up, and the tired cliched D&D type fantasy worlds featured in FAR to many of these games.

5)what do u think should be the minimum avarege hours it should take to finish an RPG?

It could take 5 minutes for all I care...the key is to get the player involved in the game from beginning to end...to many of the longer games begin to get stale after several hours of gameplay, at which point I quit playing them ... overall I would say 30-40 hours ONLY if the content is there to carry it that long.

6)should the majority of major twists/surprises in the story come soon in the story, or should they come late in the story?

see my answer to number 5 ... I''d say keep the twists/suprises balanced from beginning to end...If I have to hack-n-slash for 10 hours before getting to the meat of the story...I will return the game and ask for a refund...And I will return the game if it devolves into more mindless hack-n-slash after the meat of the story has been played.

7)you think Dark mysterious worlds/stories for RPGs are better (like xenogears) or happy bright cheerful type of worlds (like zelda) or maybe old magical type (like wizards/dragons/elves and what not)?

I have had my fill of D&D midevil fantasy type game worlds...I don''t care if it''s dark or light and fluffy...If the game sticks to the wizards/magic/dragons/orcs/elves/whatever type cliched worlds...I will not buy it EVER!
I will buy RPGs that draw some insperation from such game worlds...the Final Fantasy series for example (as it adds steampunk mechs, and other non-midevil elements). Xenogears is a great example, as is Fallout, Phantasy Star, Septerra Core, and Shenmue are more that illustrait the type of RPG game worlds that intrest me...it could be the wild west, 1950s, present time, even future basied for all I care...JUST NO MORE F*****G D&D MIDEVIL FANTASY WORLDS!!!

8)what is your favorite RPG and why?

I don''t have a SINGLE favorite, I like a lot of RPGS...Xenogears, Shadowrun, Phantasy Star (II, IV, and Online), Fallout, and heck even Shenmue for trying something different in the genre.

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First of all I have to say I''m a console RPG player. I don''t care very much for PC RPGs because I didn''t grow up playing them. I grew up with Dragon Warrior, Final Fantasy, and Phantasy Star. Now to answer the questions...

1)Should the story line be straight with a few dialogue choices, or should it be branched out and lead to different endings, OR should it be branched out and lead to the same ending?

Answer: I personally like Chrono Trigger''s multiple endings a lot. However, I also like Final Fantasy VI''s one ending that branched out to subquests throughout the game. The only thing I can agree with is to branch it out. Give people choices on what to do. If this leads to different endings then that''s great too. This is one of the downfalls of Final Fantasy X. It was way too linear and didn''t allow people as much freedom as previous games in the series.

2)should there be deep detailed character histories for the user to go through? or should it be sufficient just so that they understand the story, or should we add small side quests that lead to character histories?

Answer: Character histories are interesting. Learning about your characters is a good idea. I think you should have a little character history revealed as a normal part of the storyline. If someone wants to learn more then they can go on the subquests to find out all of the interesting aspects of their favorite character''s life. One thing you need to focus on is to limit the amout of characters you have to less than ten. One thing that I didn''t like about Chrono Trigger''s sequel, Chrono Cross, was that there were so many characters and so little character development. Don''t go overboard by having a hundred characters in your game. It''ll just cause people to care less about their characters if they''re too shallow.

3)should there be a lot of towns that have nothing to do with the game. or not that much?

Answer: I think that you should stick with several towns that you go to several times in the story. Maybe have about one or two towns that are mysterious that you only go to about one time.

4)should battles be random or should u be able to see the enemy on screen and be able to dodge them?

Answer: I prefer to see the enemy. It just brings people out of the world you''ve created if you go to a different screen for fighting a monster.

5)what do u think should be the minimum avarege hours it should take to finish an RPG?

Answer: I''d say 30 hours minimum and 70 hours maximum to just beat the game. It''s all up to you how many subquests and secrets you want to put in your game.

6)should the majority of major twists/surprises in the story come soon in the story, or should they come late in the story?

Answer: I''d say the twists should come in the middle and toward the end.

7)you think Dark mysterious worlds/stories for RPGs are better (like xenogears) or happy bright cheerful type of worlds (like zelda) or maybe old magical type (like wizards/dragons/elves and what not)?

Answer: This is up the the individual. I like several different styles of RPGs.

8)what is ur favourite RPG and why?

Answer: I''d have to say Chrono Trigger of Final Fantasy 6. I love both of those equally. Basically, I like these two games because the characters are well developed and the fighting systems are exceptional. Those two games are Squaresoft at their best and all of the visual flair of their later Playstation games just can''t compare to the mastery of these two RPGs.

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1) Branched out with different endings. As much freedom should be given to the player as possible. Not even finishing the story should be an option. If the player just wants to wander from town to town and do sub-quests he should be able to.

2) As detailed as the player wants. Side quests for the character history doesn''t do much for me.

3) An entire continent would be nice. A lot of different types of towns would be good. Carbon copy towns are worth it.

4) This two choices don''t seem to have much to do with each other so I''m not sure I understand the "or" here. There should be random encounters that make sense (No ancient white dragon in the middle of a forest for example). The character should have realistic combat options that he can perform.

5) Min - 30-60 hours seems good. I did DS in about 30 and NWN in about 60. Max - infinite or as close as possible.

6) Spread out twists and surprises evenly. Every one expects the late in the game twist.

7) Old school fantasy (D&D type). Sci-fi is a good second choice (Fallout type)

8) So far NWN is leading the pack. I liked the story and gameplay (for the most part) and the expandability via the toolset can''t be beat.

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1)I personally prefer a story with no dialogue choices but a story that allows for side quests.

2)I considered this one for a bit. I think that characters should only be developed enough for the story to progress. Mindless information about a character could really throw a player off. If you need to place this additional stuff in put it in the instruction manual. If your story needs deep characters make them deep but don''t needless embelish when you really don''t need to.

3)Only a few towns that don''t involve the main story. Trekking all over the world for no reason isn''t my idea of fun.

4)It depends on how often those random battles come. Many games have too many battles in fear of having too little. When you have enemies you can see it tends to have issues with good placement and also the number.

5)A minimum of 20 hours should be put into every true RPG

6)I really think they should be all over the story. Not just in the end or the beginning. A good story keeps things lively.

7) I prefer bright and not so cherry. I don''t like dark stages but I don''t want stages that look like they belong in Animal Crossing.

8)I like a few but I don''t have a favorite. I don''t want to answer this question.

Bleu Shift - www.bleushift.tk

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Answers from a (amateur) dev point of view:

1- Important dialogs must be easy to notice, either bold or some special color. Also the player must be able to talk about various things, the outcast or morrowind approach is a good one.
(Dynamic List of Topics, change topic color when asked so the player know what he already read)
On the Branched Story the problem is that you don''t want to spend weeks on that marvellous mansion the player can skip.
So either you put half the details in twice the number of places, or you don''t allow branching, or you reuse the place.

2- Deep stories are here to get the player some clues or some immerssivness. Again, what''s the point to make a fantastic story if it can be slipped altogether ?

3- Most players prefer to be well kept inside the story flow. If such places (optionnal and so that require work for maybe nothing) exists, the player must know how to get back in the story.

4- Random battles are useless, if the gameplay is about battles, then they should be planned to get maximum effectivness.

5- I think 20 hours is long enough, might increase depending on the price of the game.

6- Obviously you want something that grows with time, that''s more and more involving , it''s your reward for having reach that point of the game.

7- Dark worlds allows to hide poor artwork ^^

8- My favorite game is Outcast, and it''s called ''adventure'' game rather than RPG. Anyway what makes an RPG ? I can''t play the role I want anyhow.

-* So many things to do, so little time to spend. *-

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1)I''d prefer games where the dialogue (and other things!) allow the story to branch out to different endings, but I haven''t seen too many games with multiple endings, so perhaps it''s harder to program than I think it is.

2)Deep detailed character histories.

3)This one depends on how linear the game is. If the game is extremely linear in scope, extra towns are just teases. If the game has lots of side-quests (this is preferred), there should be plenty of non-plot-essential towns to round out the world.

4)You should be able to see the enemy on the screen and dodge them in most games. Note, however, that I am a fan of Square RPGs and am more than willing to play games that have surprise enemies.

5)It should take at least 40 hours.

6)Somewhere in the middle, but leaning towards the end, if I had to pick. I''d prefer to have surprises scattered throughout the plot, but getting more surprising and less frequent as the game goes on.

7)Anything but happy/bright/cheery. That sort of attitude just doesn''t belong in most RPGs. Notable exceptions are the early Zelda games and, to a lesser degree, the Seiken Densetsu series.

8)Ouch! I never expected to have to give this question a direct answer. I tend to find console RPGs more enjoyable, with Star Ocean 1, Seiken Densetsu 3, FF7, FF6, and Xenogears being some of my favorite games of all time. I may be forgetting some great RPGs, but I can''t post all of them.

MORE GAMES THAT HAD TO BE INCLUDED: Exile 3, Rudora no Hihou, and FF4.

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