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DestinMancer

RPGs

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Learn to make an RPG by first learning to write well, and include lots of details in your writing.

Then find a group of friends and play table top games. You can do this online, but most will likely agree it is more fun in person. I'm personally not a fan of using in character voice, or much first person characters, but to each their own.

Then decide: Do you really want to make these for computers?

If so, learn to program, and expect your first RPG to be at least a year or more away. What language to start with? It doesn't matter, they're all good with different good and bad points to them. I strongly suggest learning Python, as it is easy to pick up and learn to do simple things, and it won't take you too long to move onto learning more complex things in it.

Remember, learning to Program is NOT the same as learning a programming language. Programming is about the theory behind how things work. Understanding the basics like Loops and Logical statements, Data Structures and Data Types. These things work basically the same in all languages that have them, but often look a little different at first.

Remember, RPGs are one of the most expensive (in time, and time equals money) style of games to develop. While really rather simple programming wise, their content takes a LONG time to do for a game of any length.


Another option, if you just want to tell cool RPG stories is pick up a copy of Neverwinter Nights or Morrowind, and use their game design tools to make your own 'game' with those engines. While they limit you a lot, (you will usually be stuck with the systems they have with little room to change how things work) they'll save you a huge amount of time in learning to program and developing content like models and textures. Storyline and that (unless you are doing something really funky) should not be limited by the engine.

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We already had a recent discussion on RPG creation here: http://www.gamedev.net/community/forums/topic.asp?topic_id=440489


There is no place where you go to "learn to program RPGs". First you learn how to program (I recommend a college course, if possible). Then you practice programming by making simple applications that do specific tasks. Then after a couple years of that, maybe you'll be ready to write a program for a full fledged RPG.

Or you could just use RPG Maker XP or one of those applications if you don't have the patience and will to go through months or years (mostly years) of prior study.

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I don't really have the time to give my usual "RPG" rant, but the best thing you can do write now is design an RPG without a written story that is still fun to play. Most people think that the best way to approach designing an RPG is by writing a story, but a story is not a game. If your mindset is "I want to make an RPG because I have this great story to tell", that story will very likely never be told. If your mindset is "I want to make a great role-playing game" you're already on the right track.

The thread Roots linked to has quite a few good discussions about different facets of RPG design and is well worth a read.

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Quote:
Original post by JBourrie
I don't really have the time to give my usual "RPG" rant, but the best thing you can do right now is design an RPG without a written story that is still fun to play.

I agree 100%. Make a fun interactive game engine of any kind. Then turn it into an RPG. An RPG is just another genre with personal detail added to it. The more detail you add, the more RPG it will become.

Here's some genre examples:

- Car Racing / Space Shooter / Boat Racing: Role-play as a pilot (GTA)
- Boxing / Fighting / Melee Combat: Role-play as a fighter (Morrowind)
- RTS / TBS / Tactical Combat: Role-play as a certain troop, or as the leader (Fallout)
- FPS: Only one possibility, role play as the first person that is shooting [smile] (Deus Ex)

Some RPGs have a lot more G to them than RP (GTA), while others have a lot more RP to them than G (Morrowind). My favorites are those that are in-between them (Deus Ex, Fallout). I personally need a fun game engine with my RPGs. Even with an interesting story and plot development, RPGs with boring game-play aren't usually enough for me anymore.

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Quote:
Original post by Kest
An RPG is just another genre with personal detail added to it. The more detail you add, the more RPG it will become.

hmmm. Is this some kind of in-joke?

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Quote:
Original post by Zanshibumi
Quote:
Original post by Kest
An RPG is just another genre with personal detail added to it. The more detail you add, the more RPG it will become.

hmmm. Is this some kind of in-joke?

Not purposely. No joke that I am in. Why? You don't agree?

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Original post by DestinMancer
What do you feel makes the perfect or a great RPG? Also, where can I learn to program RPGs? I'm just a beginner.


Are you asking how to make a perfect anti tank weapon?

If not, then try to play PnP RPGs, then try to implement all you experienced in the game. You'd encounter joys like, NPC interactions, character modeling, city modeling, world building, creating a proper rulesystem, asymmetric out of character computation, and breakable environment.

So you start with creation of a story, and game world and then you'd try to implement it on the computer. You might start with simple top down viewed RPG, to avoid unnecessary graphic work.

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Quote:
Original post by Roots
There is no place where you go to "learn to program RPGs". First you learn how to program (I recommend a college course, if possible). Then you practice programming by making simple applications that do specific tasks. Then after a couple years of that, maybe you'll be ready to write a program for a full fledged RPG.

I strongly oppose going into college course just to learn how to program this. In standard college course they will at most teach you how to use compiler, and basics (if you would be lucky). However they would expect you'd learn yourself the majority of the programming somehow.

If a person would sit in front of a computer for 3 days, and would try to create working program that would open a window, and move an image, he would learn more than they would teach him in college in two weeks. If such person would try to create a some simple prototype of his program, or try to learn things (algorithms, and data structures) that would be relevant to what he would like to finish, he would do much more in few weeks at home, than he would do at college in more than a half year. Do you remember what YanL said about people that finished university and entered a game development company?

He should definitely try to write programs that have some relevance to his work. If he would like to create a RPG, he should simply try to write the first working program as a RPG. Even if it will show just few things on the screen, it will teach him significantly more than creating a completely unrelated program. After prototype number 12 he might get it right, and he might learn rapid prototyping methodology.

If he will like to be an expert in the field, it will take him 7 years. If he would like to finish a RPG it will take him at most 1.5 years of work (if he would learn during typing).

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Don't downplay the important of a college education. College CS degrees are not programming degrees, true, but that is because programming is largely incidental. The topics covered by a computer science degree are still very valuable and useful if you want to excel.

That said, however, there is no reason to hold off until college to learn to write code, nor is there a reason to take a computer science degree just to learn to program, if you're not actually interested in computer science.

Python is a good first language, and their Documentation section has some excellent "for complete beginners" resources.

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