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Please help a wannabe designer

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( General Talk )

I''m going to talk to you very general like, so bear with me.

First of all, read the posts on this board, there are always design issues and questions and ideas coming up, you can get a lot of good ideas just by reading the posts. Second of all, what really is an RPG anyways? You can look at all the other "RPGs" out there, and get ideas, but a good design needs to have some originality, so don''t be to concerned with falling inside the RPG genre.

Try approching the problem from the opposite side. Instead of saying, "I want to make an RPG, how do I make a game fit that." Say instead, "I want to make this game , now, how can I make that gameplay fit an RPG."

Thats my two cents, and it is probably less than that. Be glad you got an answer though. Any of you designer dudes feel free to disagree with me.

( /GeneralTalk )

Want something a little more specific? Since it sounds like you''ve never made an RPG before, make sure you''re first one is very simple like. Maybe 2d graphics, simple animiations, make sure it doesn''t take too long to make. Don''t try to make Everquest or something on your first try. I would stray from having the PC be "The One", however.

-Blackstream

I shall rule the world by saying lots and lots of nothing. People shall ponder my words forever without coming to a conclusion because there is none! No one shall stand in my way of saying nonsense, not even Mojo Jojo! Hahahahaha!

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If you''re going to design an RPG then things you might need to consider are (not neccisarily in the order I''ve listed them):

1: Setting - Medieval England, The Planet X.
2: Mission - What is it that the player must do? (this is usually something along the lines of "save the country/world/planet/race/princess/presedent/etc/etc", or it can just be.. "explore" which has no victory conditions as such and the player completes whatever quests the NPCs (see later) give him)
2a: Mission Background (Why this mission, whats threatening the world/country/whatever, who''s kidnapped the princess and why)
3: Dynamics (the basic rules of the "game universe".. this covers everything - player stats, valid weapon types.. e.g. in a D&D game your not likely to find a plasma rifle... etc.)
4: How the story will progress thorughout the game (plot twists, etc)
5: Sub-missions (or Quests) other things the player can perform besides the main mission.
6: NPC''s what characters the player is going to have to meet, fight, make friends with, etc.

That should get you started (and take a very long time, depending on the size of the game).. But as Blackstream says... start small!

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Guest Anonymous Poster
For first attempts at RPGs I would suggest looking at some Rogue-like games. Most provide their source code for you to look at. If you don''t feel comfortable designing a new RPG from the ground up, then try your hand at a new derivative.

If you do feel comfortable starting from the ground up, then having a few examples is always nice.

Here is a good resource:
http://www.skoardy.demon.co.uk/rlnews/index.html

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Blackstream, NightWraith and anon have excellent advice. I''d add: Take an RPG you really like (or if you have in mind what you want to make) and pick it apart. You will learn a lot of the why''s and how''s of designing by doing this.

Say your favorite RPG is Fallout. Look at how the character is controlled. Look at the buttons, look at what information is on the screen. Look at how levels are loaded, or quests are given. I would try to identify each seperate area, and detail it (generally) from start to finish.

So Fallout''s areas might be:

1. Load / Setup Screens (what options you get, etc.)
2. Starting Conditions (character creation)
3. Level Maps (where can you go, what''s there?)
4. User Interface (what are the buttons, what do they do; what screens do you have, and how do you get there?)
5. Game Rules (how combat works, when NPC talk to you)
6. AI (rules for the way NPCs act, like what they do when you attack innocents, or kill guards, etc.)

It may be hard, but I''d try to follow the advice of starting small. The reason? Once you start answering all these questions (and the others listed) you''ll see that this is a LOT of work! You''re more likely to finish something if you can see you''re making progress!

--------------------
Just waiting for the mothership...

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