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Class System in RTS RPG

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Hey Everyone! Just thought I'd get some help tackling an idea I have for a class system in my game. Right now, I'm working on an RTS RPG Sandbox game, where you have a few MAIN NPC's you can control and you need to help them survive (a la dwarf fortress). You are doing more than surviving though; you will be building a civilization! When making a civilization, the decisions you make with passing clans and the nearby towns/cities can also cause fights. All the control the player has over building, gathering resources, fighting, etc. will be an RTS style gameplay.

 

The part I'm having trouble with is I'd like to have classes. I want the player to see how their MAIN NPC's are doing work (each have roughly the same stats, but randomized a little bit), and make choices for turning some into farmers, some into hunters, some into builders, etc. From there, as you make decisions on how to live (eat meat or just vegetables? Build with stone or metal? etc) then your MAIN NPC's can cover a class hierarchy tree.

 

An example of this would be a hunter. A hunter, possibly necessary in the beginning of the game for people who don't want to be vegetarians, would hunt for food (could also be a forager, for veggies and fruits!). You'll want an NPC with higher confidence and strength performing this job. Now as this hunter progresses, you can have him turn into a corporal, for following a military arc (a way to build your army, starting small), a herder (building up livestock), or beast-hunter (on track to be a hero or heroine). Different traits and different quests could be ways of making these decisions for furthering the class hierarchies.

 

Here's my big question: how do I (or should I) implement a system where these decisions actually have an impact on the player's experience in the game? What if the player doesn't want to farm? There's two constraints to this: I only want the 6-12 NPC's that you start with to have classes (if you have a better idea, please enlighten mehappy.png ), and I want to make sure the player can build, craft, breed and farm, fight, explore, quest, and admire everything in the game. How would you all see something like this coming together?

 

As a (possibly big) note, I'm currently pondering the idea of using the 6-12 NPC's as the "interface" of that trade; by that I mean that you have much more control over the style, gameplay, and design of those trades. You'd use these 6-12 NPC's to interface with these particular trades. An example would be if you have an NPC for breeding and plants and another in Science or Genetics, you can use those two to create faster/healthier animals, more nourishing crops, etc. If you don't have NPC's in that department, then it's up to randomness and currency to get you those things; common worker NPC's will do the breeding and science (a nearby town, someone you "hire"...) and you use a quick scheme of buying what you want in order to get those items....you don't have to delve into that aspect of gameplay as deeply as someone who has main NPC's with that trade. I hope this makes sense....

 

I'm looking for ideas and suggestions, as well as opinions. I know it's an ambitious idea! I hope I can get some help ironing out some of the class purpose ideas to get this working rather than scrapping it...I really like the idea I just need to tie up the loose ends!

 

Thanks,

-ST

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Given a week, I think I've figured it out. I'm just going to use the class system as in interface to the game; whatever you have NPC's you can level up doing, you'll play that aspect of the game. Everything else will require you buying it or questing for it (or stealing it -- if you want to face the consequences).

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