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Unlockable characters with their own story?

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Hey guys,

 

I'm in the process of designing the scenes for unlockable characters (either from main story or side story) for my RPG. They are unlocked by progressing the game by satisfying certain conditions such as, character A or B has to be at level 50, have good friendship with each other, unlocking quest C, and therefore trigger a cutscene when reaching certain area. Sometimes this may happen during the main story progress, or sometimes they don't (sidequest).

 

What I don't understand is how to organize them. For example I have a main structure of scenes (screenplay? I don't know how to call this):

  1. Prologue
  2. Pick a Card
  3. a) [If Card A is chosen] Rebecca joins the party. b) [If Card B is chosen] Ron joins the party.
  4. ...

That's what I have in mind, but the thing is this 3a or 3b can branch to even more unlockable characters with different choices that the graph becomes quite complex. Like, it's not 3a or 3b anymore, it becomes 3a.1.1.2 or 3.a.1.1.3.. which doesn't make sense as they branch. They don't really have a sequence. I have no idea how to organize this well in a single document.

 

Should I just separate them by Character?

Like..

1. Ron

    Unlocked by choosing Card B during scene 3.

    Scenes:

    1. Ron Joins the party.

    2. ...

 

But then I don't know how to sequence them along with the main scenes.

 

Or should I just differ it by quest?

 

I hope it's clear enough, cheers.

Edited by Alectora

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RPGs usually have a global timeline, coupled with a game state file which contains a checklist of what's already been done/collected/destroyed/otherwise altered from the base state of the game, plus numbers for anything the game keeps score of, such as the number of times X or Y has been done and the relationship with each character or faction or high score at each minigame, etc.  Any time you advance the global timeline, you can check the state file to see if various conditions are met.

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@Hawkguy

Okay so I have the tree diagram, the diagram contain scene nodes. Then each node points to a detailed scenes? (containing the screenplay of that scene? the dialogue, etc) I'm not really sure how it works, but that seems practical enough to me if approved.

 

@sunandshadow

Okay so is it like... this?

 

Timeline -->

----------------------------------------------------------------

Main             | Scene 1 | Scene 2     | Scene 3 | ...       

Ron              |               | Scene 2a   |...

Ron & Harry |               | Scene 2b   |..

Edited by Alectora

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Well, the global timeline approach is designed when you have at least a small main linear skeleton that all the sidequests are hung on.  For example, what triggers the ending of your game?  Is it the kind of game where you progress through physical areas by solving puzzles or defeating bosses?  If so then those would be the landmark events on the global timeline.  If it is the kind of game where the player has a set number of days or weeks to invest in activities, then each day/week is a landmark event on the global timeline.  If it's an openworld game then you still might have a global timeline but each quest chain is somewhat independent, and you check both on-demand whenever the player enters an area or talks to an NPC.

Edited by sunandshadow

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Well, the global timeline approach is designed when you have at least a small main linear skeleton that all the sidequests are hung on.  For example, what triggers the ending of your game?  Is it the kind of game where you progress through physical areas by solving puzzles or defeating bosses?  If so then those would be the landmark events on the global timeline.  If it is the kind of game where the player has a set number of days or weeks to invest in activities, then each day/week is a landmark event on the global timeline.  If it's an openworld game then you still might have a global timeline but each quest chain is somewhat independent, and you check both on-demand whenever the player enters an area or talks to an NPC.

 

That is one of the method to trigger them, yes. It does not explicitly have a time (like Visual Novel or love simulation game) so it's quite forgiving in terms of that. It's also not an open world game. You got to click a location in the map.

 

What I mean is, how do I organize this on my design? I mean, I may have hundreds of cut scenes I can no longer know which is which. If I make them as sequence (like normal one for movie production.. as I read it..) it just doesn't work.

 

If I'm in area selection, then go to area A, has a character named Ron with Level 50, trigger cut scene 1.1.

If I'm done with area A back to area selection, and has triggered cut scene 1.1, trigger cut scene 1.1.1.

 

But then what entity that would tell me to point to these cut scenes? An Event that should be checked every time I do something?

Say I make a document containing cut scenes, unrelated by time and only be called by an event that is triggered by any action the Player make, like:

 

Cut scene 1.1

----------------

Ron hated Harry and brings Hermione away

 

Cut scene 1.2

------------------

Hermione refused to go with Ron. Dumbledore joins this madness to reunite them and becomes partner of the journey.

 

Cut scene 1.3

-----------------

Hermione decided to go with Ron.

 

Event A

----------

Needs Goblin Card

- Triggers cutscene 1.1

 

Event B

---------

Needs cutscene 1.1 to be triggered

Goblin Card version is Rare version

- Adds Dumbledore as character to play

 

Event C

--------

Must not have cutscene 1.2 / event B triggered

- Triggers Cut scene 1.3

 

Gameplay

------------

Player obtained a non-rare Goblin Card,

check an Event that meets the condition

Event A is triggered

Trigger cutscene 1.1

Check an Event that meets the condition (cause cutscene 1.1 is triggered)

Event C is triggered (Event B cannot be triggered because Goblin Card is not rare)

Trigger cutscene 1.3

 

Is that how it works?

Edited by Alectora

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I guess I have decided that I mark them based on Quest List. So Player will have active quests to follow. Main story is automatically turned on so the Player knows what to do until the end of the Main story. But the other side stories has to be triggered by various conditions (as explained before). When a side quest is triggered, it becomes a new active quest (side quest) that the Player has to finish. So there is a new quest related to that side story (timeline..?) for the Player to finish besides of the main quest. So the Player simply stack the quests, whichever they have triggered, and choose whichever they want to finish. By this way as well, I can provide them hints when needed on that specific Quest menu. This way, any unlockable characters just follow/trigger by the progress the Quest, including the cutscenes.

 

Thanks for the attention guys!

Edited by Alectora

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