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Complex RPG similar to Path of Exile and Diablo.

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I'm stuck. I want to make a game that feels like Diablo or Path of Exile. I think i have some of it down but i still seem to be missing a lot. All my games share a similar difficulty system. You can choose what area level you want or find a map similar to Path of Exile that lets you play a level of that area level. Either of these systems feel fine to me but i prefer the map system because it's more random and challenging. You have to use up your maps carefully. I can't really seem to figure out though what kind of item and skill system i should use. I want there to be some kind of character building but i also want there to be a lot of randomness. I think both character building and items should be random. Character building should have some non-random elements though, so you always have some decent options available at start.

 

I've played PoE for nearly 2000 hours and Diablo series for about that much as well. I don't like PoE's skill system because skills in that game are very limited. At most you can have only 1 active skill combined with 5 support skills. I want my games to feel as little limited as possible. The passive tree is also very limiting. Most builds share a similar structure and only have around tens of points that are different. Ideally the passive tree should be random every time, so builds are at least 90% different every time. This game also has the problem of forcing the player into using 1 skill. You really only have 1 skill linked with other 5 skills that is powerful. Other skills are mostly just for utility. It is good to have utility though. Having skills that let you skip attack animation to do an attack instantly, weakening enemies, powering up player and breaking status effects are all good ideas. Ideally the player should have many powerful skills they can use, this can easily be done with some powerful skills having cooldowns. Dungeon Fighter Online is a good example. That game mostly only has cooldown skills. You mostly only chain together cooldown skills and there are very powerful cooldown skills as well called awakenings. Awakenings have up to 2 minute cooldowns and regular skills have few second to minute cooldowns. The game does also have basic attacks, if you have nothing to do when all your skills are on cooldown.

 

I don't really like story in games because they often make games linear. The RPG i'd like to make would be for players who want to play the same game over and over again hundreds of times. I'd prefer if Path of Exile would start off with the player already running and finding maps from start. The less things there are that deviate from core gameplay the better. Story often makes multiple playthroughs repetitive. Doing quests you've already done many times on previous characters feels like a chore. Getting quest rewards instead when you reach a certain level would feel a lot better or there could simply be some items that are rarely found, can be used once and act as quest rewards.

 

I think RPGs should also have diversity, for example MapleStory had jump quests which were basically platformer levels but you got rewarded for completing them. PoE has labyrinth which i don't really like but it's good because it offers the player something else to do. Having a story and quests could help in this area but i feel like it gets in the way more. Maybe if quests were executed better, for example what PoE does with prophecies.

 

Everything that i say should be taken as my opinion and not a fact. Any argument might help people design games better. Even discussing obvious things can help realize something important.

 

My games:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F4Q8ECTje8I

 

Here i tried some status effects. This game has a system in which you get skills from weapons. It feels bad because of no character building. Status effects though do seem like a step forward because you can build around them, so for example enemy freeze duration is reduced. This one had maps. This one has a time limit for levels because then the player doesn't have to fully clear levels because it feels like a waste of time and i can make more rewarding levels because players can't spend much time in them.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ke_U4Ub3FXQ

 

Here i tried different skills. This game has a system in which you have items and are able to learn the skills you use. This feels bad because there isn't a lot of randomness involved in learning skills. I tried to make it a little bit random by making the player find skills but even then it feels like eventually player can still do whatever they want. This system is mostly similar to Diablo 2's. It has the problem of forcing the player into using 1 skill as well. In this one you could choose the area level. The problem with being able to learn what you want is also that you'll hit engine limitations quite fast.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hcXJvjxNZPY

 

Here i tried level generation. This feels bad because RPGs feel best in open areas. There are really only small areas in this one. This one also only had character building with no item system. This also felt bad because of barely any randomness at all. The upgrades were found randomly. This one had maps.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qysR4zPdo7I

 

Something MapleStory style. Feels limited because it's basically 2d. Does have the option to have jump quests though.

 

Other things that i've made that i think are cool.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZFWZkVm8mc Horror game. Maybe i can add horror elements to my game?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eEjm8YkpQ0A Hearthstone. Maybe i can add a card game elements to my game?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VIvCz80EXss Barbarian. Tried to model Barbarian from Diablo 2.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AbP3WkCNF6I

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WBFbHg6wMf4

My 2 FPS projects. I've also had thoughts about making something like Borderlands or Hexen. Maybe FPS have advantages i'm not seeing?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=prwLNWVIYl8 Racing. RPG racing game?

Edited by t9s1n2

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It's really encouraging that you've made prototypes to test out your ideas. But it's not clear what you're asking here, or how the videos would help. You can ask people what kind of game they'd like to see but ultimately most "what should I make?" questions just come down to your personal preferences.

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Posted (edited)

It's really encouraging that you've made prototypes to test out your ideas. But it's not clear what you're asking here, or how the videos would help. You can ask people what kind of game they'd like to see but ultimately most "what should I make?" questions just come down to your personal preferences.

Well, i feel kinda stuck, so any kind of suggestions would help. Maybe people who are into this kind of thing can get inspiration from this as well. Maybe someone sees things from an angle i'm not and can inspire me to try something new with my projects. Really i'm just looking for like minded people to give their input. Most people like RPGs as well, so no one's points are really invalid. Maybe someone knows a feature that would really help my RPGs grow. Maybe there are some serious flaws with my projects that i'm not seeing. Something definetly feels off and different inputs would be nice. Maybe there are even games that i should look more into and could have something to learn from. Any books, YouTube videos, other posts, blogs or documentaries might also help.

Edited by t9s1n2

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I liked POE but hated the complicated currency-system (barter and keep track of a myriad of little items instead of "coin" or "gold"). Played the hell out of diablo 1 & 2 but didnt like diablo3, it felt to streamlined.

 

But more importantly:
If you wanna do a action rpg like POS or Diablo I understand. Those are awesome games. HOWEVER: if you dont have a large experienced team this will just be frustrating. And you wont finish. It looks from your videos as you are learning still.

 

ARPG like you discribed are more or less dependant on good graphics, animation, sound and LOTS of content. It's not doable for a lone guy. I suggest trying to make (and finish) another type of game with less (not HUGE) scope.

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I liked POE but hated the complicated currency-system (barter and keep track of a myriad of little items instead of "coin" or "gold"). Played the hell out of diablo 1 & 2 but didnt like diablo3, it felt to streamlined.

 

But more importantly:
If you wanna do a action rpg like POS or Diablo I understand. Those are awesome games. HOWEVER: if you dont have a large experienced team this will just be frustrating. And you wont finish. It looks from your videos as you are learning still.

 

ARPG like you discribed are more or less dependant on good graphics, animation, sound and LOTS of content. It's not doable for a lone guy. I suggest trying to make (and finish) another type of game with less (not HUGE) scope.

 

It doesn't really matter to me if it's gold or currency. I understand why PoE did their currency system. It becomes irrelevant slower because it's useful throughout the game, for example a chaos orb is actually more useful at level 100 than it is at level 1.

 

Scope isn't the problem really. I understand it will be a lifelong project for me. The cool thing about making a game like this is that you can play it at any stage of production. Also the more you know the better game you can make for yourself and it will be a fully customized RPG just for yourself. I'd rather work on this game for tens of years than a game i like less for a few years because it's just that much more rewarding.

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Posted (edited)
It doesn't really matter to me if it's gold or currency. I understand why PoE did their currency system. It becomes irrelevant slower because it's useful throughout the game, for example a chaos orb is actually more useful at level 100 than it is at level 1.

 

You mean currency or barter system? (gold is currency). The problem currency becomes irrelevant later on in diablo is because its needed for nothing (best items are from drops not bought). Also repairs are pretty much free (in WOW repair costs are not free and money is NEEDED for many features such as training etc so money stays relevant).

What I didnt like about the barter system in POE was its very hard to get an overview of your wealth or the value of stuff. And in a game where you always handle your crowded inventory it becomes annoying, not fun.

 

 

 

I'd rather work on this game for tens of years than a game i like less for a few years because it's just that much more rewarding.

 

Well if it's true for you then fine:)

But for me I would rather complete a game (or even come close to a playable state) than start unrealistic super-projects. However it's always fun to dream!

Edited by suliman

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I meant gold or PoE's currency. PoE's system indeed is annoying, if you are trying to count how much money you have and if you are trying to buy something for exact price it's really annoying to do so. Most things go for just chaos orbs, so smaller currency aren't really considered. PoE has some scaling issues as well, for example some really good items go for chaos orbs, so that system isn't perfect either. Most players just use a website called poe.trade nowadays. They type in the name of the item they want and get the cheapest result, for example you can type in Marohi Erqi and get a weapon just for 1 alchemy orb which is less than a chaos orb which is basically nothing in that game and get a weapon that you can easily farm high levels with. PoE has gotten really easy lately, so items that used to be expensive aren't worth much nowadays.

 

The power creep in that game is also insane. You can get one of the best weapons in the game just for 2 exalted orbs currently on average called Starforge. Items that powerful should easily be worth 100 exalted orbs at least in my opinion. The game itself is unbalanced at the moment as well. Life builds are a lot weaker than energy shield builds and enemies mostly die instantly even with average items. It's all about trying to go through maps as fast as you can instead of actually wanting to build your character for stats. 1 exalted orb is worth 65 chaos orbs at the moment. I miss the days when PoE used to actually be a challenging game.

 

Gold isn't perfect either. The problem with gold is that later on in game you find it a lot more, so things that can be bought earlier on in the game feel almost as if they are for free. In my game i prefer something similar to gold but as the player levels then things also get more expensive to counter things getting too cheap to buy. Diablo 2 solved it by having gambling and by really having nothing else of importance you can do with gold. Gambling scales prices according to your level and there's a chance to always gamble for something good. You can even gamble the best items in the game, if you get lucky for a decent price.

 

I don't really like the idea of buying potions and arrows, for example. In PoE they have arrows that don't run out and give you stats. They also have reusuable flasks with special stats. Maybe buying these things feels important early game when you don't have much money but later on in the game they are basically free and just a waste of time to get. I'd prefer if Diablo 2 didn't have arrows and you just had unlimited ammo. Maybe a passive skill that makes you use up less arrows would also help.

 

I also don't like things that clutter inventory like charms and arrows. You need to keep a lot of arrows in inventory, so you don't run out in the middle of fighting something and if you also have charms you don't really have space for arrows. For charms they should've had extra equipment slots. Maybe a 3*3 grid in which you can fit charms of different sizes, for example 1 grand charm, 1 large charm and 4 small charms. Diablo 2 expansion brought a lot of power creep with it too, for example charms, new powerful items and runes.

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Diablo gold system would have been less meaningless if cost for these (somewhat essencial) stuff/services went up with your level:

-potions

-ammo (i agree ammo can be anoying to manage in a ARPG, so maybe better to skip it)

-repair equipment

-other town services could be needed, such as restoring hope etc. These could make gold meaningful in high levels.

 

Does it make sense that cost for blacksmith repairs goes up when you level up? Nope, but it doesnt matter. Making needed items/services expensive enough makes it more of a survival game and makes gold/currency more important (and thereby more fun to collect, and less meaningless).

 

I dont think gambling for items were a good solution to sinking gold in Diablo. It felt cheap and unfair to me as a player.

 

I agree charms were kind of annoying too. They were useful but at a cost: inventory annoyance. You shouldnt annoy the player:)

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Does it make sense that cost for blacksmith repairs goes up when you level up? It actually could make sense. Maybe townspeople see that the hero is getting stronger and expect more money for their services. Also, more powerful items should cost more to repair, since they're made out of things that might be more difficult to fix and find spare parts for.

 

I think games kinda need a fun gold sink though, like gambling. Gambling is fun because you basically get loot without killing anything and have a chance to gamble a lot, if you have money. This also enabled gold finding builds. Do you have any ideas for a fun gold sink?

 

I don't really like gold finding and magic finding though. Equipping weaker items simply to magic find, for example feels really stupid. You don't even get to use your best items because your magic find items are more valuable because they allow you to find something extremely good. Why play normally, if you can simply magic find until you can go through next content really easily and then magic find again when you get stuck?

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Posted (edited)

Well, you say you are stuck and you would like to make a game like D or PoE, then start to analyse their core game.

 

The core game mechanism of both game is pure combat, that is all. The satisfying and fun part of the game is to mow through hords of monsters.

 

Then you have features which support the core game mechanism, gear, skills,progression system etc, all which just make you better to mow through harder hords of monsters.

 

Then you have features which support the support features, like a barter/money system to get more interesting gear etc. You get the hang.

interactive combat (core)
- gear
-- buy/sell
--- auction system
-- crafting
-- enchanching
-- inventory system
- skills
-- skill tree
--- skill map
-- character classes

So, when you are stuck, start with your core game mechanism. THIS must be perfect, combat must feel right, must feel fun. Everything else is not important as long as you dont have a perfect core game mechanism. Once you get your core game mechanism down, add your most important support features, and eventually, once you have them right too, add more smaller support features.

 

The gear, barter, skill, spell system would be absolutely dull, if D or PoE would have a boring combat system.

Edited by Ashaman73

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@Ashaman

Im not sure its that simple. I thought the combat got old in both games. But (in especially diablo2), i really liked the management part, optimize my gear (even for my merc), visit town etc.

You kill monsters to find gear you like (and has good stats).

 

The combat itself was similar in both games (D2 and POE) but POE had smaller and less interesting town/hubs and an annoying barter system. That killed it for me.

 

While technically more varied in D3 (more active skills instead of spamming the "best" skill all over) it was way to streamlined and lacked charm and style. So never got into that game.

D2 and POE also has a HUGE plus in my book, that you actually use the main weapon (in D3 it just gives stats to your skills and the type (sword, staff etc) feels all the same).

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I think i've gotten combat fairly down. It could use improvements but it's working quite well at the moment. I don't think that is the main thing that makes those games good though. What do Diablo 1, Diablo 2 , Diablo 3, PoE, Grim Dawn, Sacred, etc all have in common? They have good level generation, decent graphics, decent combat, decent ways to upgrade your character, decent story, good enemies and decent atmosphere. I think a good game needs a good combination of those to work. I could see PoE working without a story. The most fun part of the game is doing maps and i'd rather just do that all the time. I don't see why all other RPGs couldn't have a similar map system. Graphics and atmosphere are definitely a thing i should work on more. My levels aren't that great yet. I have some decent ways to upgrade my character but they could be better as well. My enemies could use lots of improving as well. Maybe i simply have to make my game better in all areas for it to finally feel decent? Maybe it's all about hard work? Well, this is why i made this topic to try and figure out. RPGs really need to be tied together with bunch of interesting systems to truly work. My game should probably do something new entirely than other games. I think getting the RPG elements right might actually be more important than combat.

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Posted (edited)

I think i've gotten combat fairly down. It could use improvements but it's working quite well at the moment. I don't think that is the main thing that makes those games good though...

I think getting the RPG elements right might actually be more important than combat.


You're kidding, right? Combat is EVERYTHING in those kinds of games. It needs to be punchy, fast, and juicy. Cast a spell, stuff needs to *thunk* and *THWACK* and *PEW PEW* Blizzard spends a phenomenal amount of time polishing the core gameplay loop of "kill, loot".

A good rule of thumb is to look at where players are going to spend their time in the game, what kinds of things they'll be doing, and focus on those. The random maps? The story? Inventory management? Those are all just window dressing on the core "kill shit, get shiny stuff" loop. 90% of the player's time is spent in this loop, so that's where you should spend your development time. All the story, setting, justification for maps is just extra.

Edit: If you've never read it, I suggest you read the Diablo 2 postmortem where they talk about finding the core elements of the game.
 

First, we make the game playable as soon as possible in the development process. Our initial priority was to get a guy moving around on the screen and hacking monsters. This is what players would be doing most of the time, and it had to be fun. We were constantly able to hone the controls, pathfinding, and feedback mechanisms during the entire length of the game's development. Most importantly, it allowed us to determine what was fun to do, so we could provide more of it, and discover what was awkward or boring, so we could modify or remove it. For instance, it became obvious very early that players would be killing large amounts of the same monsters, and those monsters would predominantly be attacking the players. This gave us the opportunity to plan for multiple death sound effects and additional attacking animations for each monster. If we hadn't experienced the core gameplay as early as we did, combat would have ended up feeling much more repetitive.

Edited by JTippetts

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Posted (edited)

Lets take a look then what exactly the games do for combat.

 

Diablo 1. if you make a warrior then all you really do is slowly walk around and use basic attack. This game is completely carried by it's item system, atmosphere and story. Moving around and attacking, maybe dodging sometimes is really basic, most games have that. This really isn't a game that has good combat.

 

Diablo 2. If you make a barbarian then you start off using your basic attack, then get attacks like bash, frenzy (which is cool because it adds attack and movement speed) and whirlwind (which is really cool because it's one of the most iconic skills in gaming, even i add something like that to my games whenever i can). Until you get frenzy or whirlwind though, you are stuck with the same system that you have in Diablo 1. You just walk around, dodge and attack. This game seems to be mostly carried by it's RPG elements as well. At least this game has decent enemy variety with unique stats for enemies as well which change fights sometimes quite a lot. The problem with this game is you really end up using only a few skills, for example a barbarian only has shouts and an attack skill. Barbarian doesn't really need to deal with immunities either while other classes have to. A class like sorceress would do a lot better if you choose 2 elements, for example one to deal with fire immune enemies and one to deal with cold immune enemies. Sorceress is probably one of the most interesting classes in the game, they can get attack skills of 2 elements (3 if you cound thunder storm), energy shield (damage taken goes to mana), teleport (instant movement), chilling armor (defense and freezing enemies), warmth (regenerate mana), static field (reduce health of bosses fast), thunder storm (periodically make lightning fall on enemies). This game has okay combat but i feel it's possible to do a lot better.

 

This also brings up a few things the game does badly. Skill like teleport shouldn't exist. If all other classes have to walk, so should sorceress. This really makes sorceress a lot faster than other classes. Immunities shouldn't exist. There are way better solotions to make combat interesting. Sorceress gets almost all the tools you want which are good defense (damage taken goes to mana, chilling armor and energy shield), good movement (teleport), able to have skills of different elements against enemies weak to certain elements, mana regeneration (warmth), static field and good AoE (frozen orb has basically full screen AoE). Barbarian has very few upsides, they have good defense because of passives but it's kinda made irrelevant because of their bad AoE. Maybe Barbarians are good in party play but i'm the kind of player who plays single player only, so it doesn't really matter to me. The other thing i don't like about most RPGs is that they seem to be balanced around party play. Skills should probably work differently, if you're in a single player game than a party game.

 

Diablo 3. This game actually tries to offer you bunch of skills to use and has decent enemy variety. This game might actually be the best example for combat but the problem with this is that the game is spammy. You really just use your skills whenever they're available. Spam cooldown skills whenever they're available and buff whenever you can. When you're not doing that you use your main attack skill.

 

Path of Exile. This game makes you focus around one attack skill but offers utility skills, like curses, golems and warcries. I actually like this system most because it is least spammy. The game lets you get cool skills early on and let you build a somewhat interesting skillset. This game could do more with it's skills though. This game could easily have some of the cooldown skills they have in Diablo 3 but not too many, so it wouldn't become spammy.

 

For combat you do have to consider things like movement speed, attack speed, levels, controls, pathfinding, animations, sounds, graphics, enemy attacks and atmosphere as well. All enemies should really have a huge variety of attacks and animations. Dark Souls and Bloodborne do it quite well. Every boss kinda feels like a game on it's own. Those games have a great combat system. It required you to time your moves very well. You needed to attack and dodge at the right time. Enemies have weaknesses and you have to find them and use them properly. Maybe RPGs need to move towards that style more? Should enemies have attacks that you have to roll to avoid? Should Diablo like games have Dark Souls style bosses? One good thing about Diablo is that it is relaxing to play. Would the game still be fun, if it was a lot more difficult? Maybe there should be different type of maps, a map type that you can farm without much concentration and a map type that requires a lot of concentration to farm? Maybe more difficult maps offer better rewards? Diablo like games could introduce blocking as well. Maybe even combos that can be seen in games like Street Fighter? How complex of a combat system does a game like Diablo really need? The options are endless, i think it's important to find a good balance between fun and difficulty. Maybe the further you reach in the game the more difficult the game becomes? Maybe it starts out as simple as Diablo 1 then becomes as difficult as Diablo 2 then becomes as difficult as Diablo 3 then becomes as difficult as PoE then becomes as difficult as Dark Souls and then becomes as difficult as Street Fighter basically. For a game that has about the same difficulty all the time i think i'd prefer Diablo 3's skill system combined with PoE's character building system.

 

Sometimes adding things can ruin a game as well, for example Borderlands has great combat and RPG elements but it's ruined by some of the things it has. To even play the game you have to deal with repetitive quests, unskippable cutscenes and childish story. The game even has quests that force you to do nothing special for a few minutes. This adds up to hours of wasted time, if you play for a decent amount of time. This is a good example of a game loop being done very wrong. Borderlands would be a much more enjoyable game, if it for example simply used the map system that can be seen in PoE. Diablo 1 is a good example of a game loop done right, it doesn't have much meaningless content. Diablo 2 has some meaningless content, for example annoying areas, like act 3 and maggot lair and some quests. Diablo 3 doesn't have much meaningless content but it's a simple game. PoE has some meaningless content. I don't think the acts are even required in PoE, so you could just play maps which offer a lot more variety in it's current state but it's probably necessary for most players to get a decent experience out of the game. Dark Souls doesn't really have any meaningless content but it doesn't have any replayability. That's a game that doesn't really have any random generation at all. That's a game that could definitely use something like a map system.

 

History has shown that RPGs work well enough without the best combat out there but combat definitely helps. I think the most important thing after all is how all the systems come together. Which is your favorite combat system and why?

Edited by t9s1n2

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The core game mechanism is still the core, what you do most of the time and what the player will experience first.

 

If you play a lot of these game like D1, D2, D3, PoE or for a long period, then you will need motivation to continue playing. Therefor long living games have often some kind of meta-game, parts of the game which do not directly influence the gameplay immediatly, but which is important for some ppl in the long run.

 

As example are certain character levels, or gear sets. If you play diablo from start to end on normal difficulty, then you have experienced most likely all which is part of the core of the game. If you play it on harder difficulty to gain a new gear set, then the gameplay, levels, story do not change, it is just the motivation (challenge & collecting stuff) the player want to overcome.

 

But if you want to design a game, you should not start with the meta game at all. The meta game is only important if a player thinks that your game is fun enough to play it through and eventually want to invest more time because the core gameplay is so much fun. At this time you need to add some meta-game to add long time motivations.

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Yes, you are right. Diablo 2 would be a lot more fun if it had up to level 60 or even up to level 90 skills as well and end game dungeons. There could even be raids and what not as can be seen in WoW. It is also important to try and make the game playable for yourself as soon as possible. Whenever i work on a prototype i want it to be playable for myself ASAP, so i want most of the systems to be there from start. The cool thing about Diablo 2 progression is that it gets more difficult as well. Hell is a lot more difficult than normal. You need to spend a lot more time getting good items and progressing. There needs to be enough meta game from the start i think that a player has something to do when they want to play for a long time. Maybe there's a day i feel like my game is good enough and i want to try and reach a high level. Often you have to test your game and it's important that most of the pieces are in place.

 

Here is the workflow for my RPG projects:

1. A simple level to play on.

2. Player character you can move.

3. Enemy character you can fight against.

4. A decent attack for both player and enemy.

5. Basic item system..

6. Basic special attacks for enemies and player.

7. Maps or at least better levels.

8. Some form of progression, for example option to access higher area levels. This inculdes adding more powerful enemies, attacks, items and maps.

9. Maybe a boss map.

10. Sounds.

11. Try and make all systems better starting from the system that feels weakest.

 

This is kinda how far i've gotten with my RPGs. This is where my interest falls off and i go back to trying to make a better core with everything i've learned in a new project because most of the time my ideas are a lot diferent. At least i can reuse code and models. Sometimes code and models need improvement as well Maybe my workflow could be improved?

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I would sugguest to modify your workflow, taking from my own experiences:

 

1. Player character you can move. (check)

2. Enemy character you can fight against. (ckeck)

3. A simple level to play on. => a debug level/testground/arena, where you can spawn enemies at will and fine tune your combat sytem

4. A decent attack for both player and enemy. (ckeck)

5. Sounds. => add sound much earlier, it adds soo much to the player experiences ! Your game will feel more complete immediatly.

6. Basic special attacks for enemies and player. (this is the bread and butter of a diablo clone, cool attack options).

7. Basic item system..

8. Maps or at least better levels.

9. Some form of progression, for example option to access higher area levels. This inculdes adding more powerful enemies, attacks, items and maps.

10. Maybe a boss map.

11. Try and make all systems better starting from the system that feels weakest.

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A level dedicated to debugging and testing seems like a good idea.

 

Sounds early on would definitely help but i'm not good at sounds yet, so i'd rather do them later since i'm still learning about them. If i had some decent sounds from previous projects or more experience at making them then it shouldn't be difficult to develop them early on and game development should be a much better experience. Maybe it would even open up new things i can do with my games? Suggestions on how to improve at this area could help a lot. I'd rather not record anything and just use things i can find on the internet, since nowadays it should be possible to find most things you want. I don't really even want to use my voice because that feels unnatural. There's only so much a single voice can do for a game. I think it sounds best, if sounds are edited from many different sounds. I don't even have a good pool of sounds i can use to make sounds with. I've mostly just focused on modeling and programming. Are there any sites that have a nice collection of sounds? I'd like to keep everything i use CC0. Maybe there's some software that can make random noise i can use? I don't think i'll ever be able to do voice acting without some software that allows to generate voice acting. Is there a good way to make a zombie sound without using my voice? What are good sounds or instruments that can be used for a huge variety of things?

 

What i know about sounds currently:

Editing with Audacity.

My own software to make music with. Maybe i should make some kind of software to make sounds with as well?

Some sites to get CC0 sounds from.

 

Diablo 2 has really nice sounds and music. That's definitely something that adds to the game a lot. That helps make the game a lot more immersive and impactful.

 

Immersion might be something my game needs as well. Diablo 2 also has story, quests, a very nice graphical item system, nice levels, good enemy variety, towns and good graphics. Even character classes help create immersion. My game doesn't really have any of that yet. Maybe i need to focus more on some of these things?

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For audio check out this site for some affordable SFX libs. With Audacity, as you already mentioned, you get a free and good sound manipulation software. Either use sounds directly or combine them and you will get some pretty decent sound effect quickly into your game.

 

As solo-hobby game dev, embrace the pareto principle (reaching 80% of the goal by investing just 20% of effort).

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Path of Exile is a really encouraging game. It's one of the few of recent note that has REALLY played with the mechanics of its genre - from economy to skills to progression system everything is designed differently. POE is a Diablo clone, but it didn't copypaste all its core mechanics from Diablo. You can't say this about "Generic Military Shooter 12345". Really keep this is mind. I think if you want to succeed, take what works and iterate on it like POE did. You seem to be doing that, but don't go wild, dig deep not wide.

 

The currency system has its drawbacks, but what you gain out of it is a system which is:

 

A) harder for farmers/botters to exploit (gold farmers are so effective because they merely have to kill and collect gold, whereas in POE a bot has to make smarter looting decisions)

B) harder for assholes to exploit (eg, if the value of chaos rises or falls too much because of market abuse, other currency items like fusings or regals can compete to become the standard currency of trade)

C) other crap I won't bother to list, but suffice to say, it does complicate the economy enough that it's much harder for a "gold farmer" to well, farm gold.

 

So while it does have its drawbacks, like, making the way you trade and interact with the market much more complex - people might not necessarily dislike that.

 

Gold has a huge drawback, a huge one, in the form of inflation. POE's currency system fights inflation very well - its main currency, chaos, is consumed by some players in large amounts on high end items that can roll well. This is a great idea. Gold itself does not fight inflation well at all, because eventually the NPCs that can directly convert gold into something useful are trivialized by the rate at which players generate gold from the market. Other drawbacks as well, but this is the main one.

 

I would say though, that currency is probably not something that should be a major factor of design during the early phases of prototyping your game out. What Path of Exile doesn't do extremely well is having a good "feel" for its combat - many of the skills you can make, even after really building a good character, feel kind of stilted. "Not smooth" I guess. If you want to make an ARPG, you're going to compete directly with POE/Diablo and others, so you should try to compete where you know from an early stage you can do better - namely, the mechanics/networking of how your skills function. Smooth, responsive, and innately fun. Everything after that is just icing. Nobody will want to progress if your game on its outset is bland. 

Edited by anubite

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