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TheKroge

Designing for a non-traditional RPG

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Hello all. I'll try to keep this concise. I'm developing a game right now, an RPG, that is not the typical create character-> find gear -> kill monsters -> find more gear -> complete quest -> win game. It's more of a competitive RPG in which the user plays a distance runner, and you have to train and complete certain tasks in order to become a better/faster runner. There is a minimal amount of items in the game currently, and I expect it to more or less stay that way, as they are really just a way to give incentive for users to perform the quests (ie, if you don't perform quests, you don't get items). You do get gold which you can use to get temporary power-ups and other things, so there is still some instant gratification when you win a "race".

The way the game plays, and the options the user has are very simple. The user can perform a task, or "quest", to train their user, which makes them "fatigued" for a while but increases their stats. They can also race other NPCs to get money and "experience" which makes them race better. Last, they can race other users who are online, which puts them into a leaderboard that shows the fastest users who play the game. You can only be put on the leaderboard by racing other users, so there is the incentive to race other players online.

The problem with this is that I'm having trouble developing a good story to drive the quests, and on top of that to create quests in general (because I have no story!). The only similar game I can think of would be something like rockband, in which you get money for doing gigs, and also notoriety so you can perform more gigs (or in this case "quests"). So I can try to do something like that, but I was just wondering if any of you have been in an odd position like this, where you couldn't base your design or story off of something already popular, because there isn't anything like it yet!

I also have a thread in the help wanted for people who want to help out with this project, it is already a functional game it just has no content. If you want to play it, here's the website so you can get an idea of what I'm talking about: https://titanfiles.uwosh.edu/users/devinp52/rwav.html

Any criticism/helpful hints, etc are welcome! Thanks for reading.

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I suggest taking a look at other racing games rather than RPGs to gain inspiration.

I found the most enjoyment playing a racing game where I had to upgrade my car parts (nitro/engine/gears/etc) to help make me a more potent racer. Perhaps you could have shoes/clothes/food/beverages/other enhancements to partake in? Recovery methods could also be something to be earned as well.

As for the story, well, that is entirely up to you. What do you want the genre of the game to be? Creating NPC racers in a world where your character exists can be the very basics of the story. Give reasons to the characters as to why they want to race and also how they all interact.

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There was a movie about a postman in a post nuclear theme, he was delivering stuff (you could make a story that it needs to be delivered fast). Also MadMax style racing/chase/motor gangs could fit. I also recall some Pen&Paper RPG where you were a messanger, can't recall the name.

For fantasy theme it is harder... Maybe some silly story like, there is a princess to be saved but the dragon is invincible and all knights are training to outrun the dragon and run with the princess before the beast can catch him? This also reminds me about the "Fat Princess" game smile.png

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Awesome, thanks for the thoughts. I've spoken to some other people about the game as well who PM'ed me, and with the help of your input as well, I think I am finally starting to feel a better sense of direction with the game.

The user will be able to have temporary performance enhancers, which they can spend their money on, and the main item that will aid the player will be shoes, but I will look into more racing games to get an idea of more items for the player. Ideally, I think the training (and potentially nutrition if users want to micro-manage that much) should be the deciding factor in who wins races instead of the items, so I don't want to focus on them too much.

Keep the thoughts coming though, I'll update you all once I get a better sense of where to start the story.

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I'm pretty much in the dark about what the draw of the game is intended to be.
As described, I think it sounds a lot like a life/other simulation game, not a RPG. Princess Maker and Football Manager come to mind.

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hm...there are a few things that jump to my mind, dont know if it helps but....

Fantasy-Setting:
You’re a member of a slave race who is used to keep treadmills working, so running is what you really are good at. In times of wars your kind is used as runners on the battlefields. For special accomplishments you/your family is released from slavery.

Sports-Setting/Sci-fi :
All your life you were fond of running. You became a very successful runner in the popular free-running tournaments of the glorious cities made of glass and steel. Your success made you arrogant and foolish. Drugs and bad company had their effect on you. You have been banned from the sports, left by sponsors and exiled from the good parts of town. Your bionic implants need repair so you choose to participate in the dangerous lowlife version to make your living. Will it be a Cinderella-story or another page in the book of fallen stars?

of course there is the also the setting of a story with you being a messenger, but that was mentioned already ^^

hope it helps to spark something

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