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My sci-fi RPG game design

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(sorry about the misspelling in the title) MOD EDIT: fixed the title spelling, I think :)

Hello people, its almost my summer holiday, and in my holidays I usually work on big projects. I have a idea for a RPG that I am going to make and I want to know what you think. I might not finish it, so don't be disappointed if i end up with half the features that I listed here.


So the basics are like a normal RPG. You have many skills, you can train in them, and you can go on quests.


The first thing that is unique is that you don't know what skills exist until you have trained in them. That way, there can be a large amout of skills without every player needing to train fully in every one of them. The skills will be grouped into categories, and you get prizes for having level something at every skill in a category. Skills can be part of more then one category. You also have a level in each category witch is usually your highest level of the subskills, but in some, a custom formula is applied. entire categories can also be in other categories, and if that is the case, the category is called the skill, and the others are "Subskills" that are not in your normal skill list, but by clicking on the parent skill. For example, if mining metals and mining gems uses a different technique, then they would be separate subskills of mining, but for most purposes, you only care about your skill in mining.  Here are a few ideas for skills:

Mining & Smiting: same as in other RPGs

Electronics: build devices

Piloting: Riding vehicles, has many sub skills. Because driving spaceships is hard

Farming: this will probably be a one-place skill, and you need to return to this again to harvest your crops

Nanotechnology: allows you to build nanobots in labs

Combat: Divided into defense, strength and accuracy,  covered later on

Knowledge: this will be the most important skill, it increases whatever you do and is needed for most quests

A skill about making cloth

Thieving: pickpocketing, lock-picking, and other related gunk




(any more ideas, people?)


combat will be turn based. probably for melee style weapons walking into your enemy will do attacking, for ranged it will probably be WASD if arrow keys are for moving.

Weapons will deal a certain damage type (they can also deal more then one) and armor will be more protective against certain damage types (eg. Iron armor will be weak against electric, but strong against laser). There will be no real distinction between melee and ranged except for the range

here are a few ideas for weapons:

Normal: swords, arrows, clubs, classic weapons, don't do much damage against more modern armor

Electric: metal swords and arrows can be statically charged so they do more damage, though they need plastic handles to be used in this way, there are also devices that zap large amount of electricity to a enemy, but do no normal damage

Laser: laser guns for ranged, and maybe a type of light saber for melee

Heat: if a item is really hot it can do small amounts of heat damage. Plasma weapons deal large amounts

Radioactive: This is also a "extra" to weapons that mainly deal normal damage. it has a delayed effect.

Bioweapon/Nanobot sending microscopic stuff into your opponents body. this damage is not done much in combat, but "needle darts" can do it, gas bombs can sometimes deal this type of damage

Gas: send a poison gas at your enemy, for defense, it only effects the helmet/mask, Also used in traps

note that for electric, gas, heat and radioactive, the user needs to protect himself against it also, especially for radioactive, this is a big down side for using it, since you need to wear full anti-radioactivity armor.

combat won't be as important as it is in some RPGs, you can stay out of combat a lot of time if you want to. Dieing will return you to your latest checkpoint, or at a save point.


The game will be isometric 3d, like my last game (see my signature), but this time I will use XNA instead of python. Tell me if I have forgotten some important information. I need to finish my final design by next week, so please reply fast.

Edited by sunandshadow

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How do you hide the skills from the player yet give them the choice of training for them? I'm afraid I don't understand the concept well. But here are some skills:


Persuasion - how well you can lead a group to greatness, etc.

Awareness - how aware you are of your surroundings
(optional) Attractiveness - be complimented on looks gaining favor with people, get the girl/guy


I really like your ideas for weapons. However, could also have an ice weapon, a wind weapon, etc.


Good luck.

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Basic skills will become visible when you use them, more hard to use skills become visible when you followed the tutorial about that skill (usually by talking to someone)

I am trying if I can replace all the traditional magic by science, so I propably wont put any superpower weapons unless I completely run out of ideas.

thanks for responding quickly.

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nanotechnology and weaving are two skills that would probably not exist in the same high tech society. IE any society sufficiently advanced to have nanotech would have factories and machines to do weaving. cloth would be a readily available commodity. or perhaps not. maybe only finished products (clothing) would be readily available. hand weaving would be an old/obsolete/lost art.


in your quest to replace high fantasy and magic stuff with technology, don't throw away believe-ablity in the process. add RPG elements that make sense, not simply because many RPGs have them.



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nanotechnology and weaving are two skills that would probably not exist in the same high tech society. IE any society sufficiently advanced to have nanotech would have factories and machines to do weaving.


There are a number of sci-fi/fantasy settings where these things could reasonably coexist: for example a post-apocalyptic setting where rare scraps of advanced nanotechnology from prior civilisations can be found and utilised, or a highly feudal society where the peasant class is kept in a state reminiscent of the middle-ages, while the nobility funds scientists/inventors to create bespoke technology.


I'm guess I'm saying that if having a particular set of technologies is important to your gameplay, a suitable lore can generally be written to explain it.

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